Ernst Haas: Color Brought to Life


Ernst Haas (1921-1986), acclaimed as one of the most celebrated and influential photographers of his generation, was born in Vienna. He attended medical school, but his strong creative impulse led him to the camera, and in 1947 he had his first solo exhibition of photographs. At this time, he also began to work for Heute and Du magazines, impressing Robert Capa so much that in 1949 he invited Haas to join the Magnum photo agency. During that year he also began experimenting with color film, a photographic medium that at the time was rarely used for creative artistic interpretations. Color photography was still extremely experimental in the early 1950s. The color film speed was slow, and the emulsion could only handle limited subject contrast. However, his creative curiosity led him to develop a style of photographing movement that is now indelibly associated with his name. A simple description of it is ‘motion blur.’

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