Category Archives: Photographers that changed the world

Photographers that changed the world – Charlie Harbutt

I was once fortunate to do a week-long workshop with Charlie Harbutt. I think Charlie is one of the best kept secrets in photography. He is a rare breed. He is, or has been, a photojournalist. Working in Magnum as well as co-founding his own agency.

He writes and talks extremely well about photography.

He is an exceptional teacher.

His personal work has also explored avenues that I find very interesting, especially for someone with a photojournalistic background, such as in this picture…

As a teacher I found him to be almost totally ego-less. His main concern was to find out what pictures were inside you. He wasn’t trying to churn out copies of himself. The effects of the workshop took, I guess, at least two years to work through for me. But without Charlie helping me to see that I was really interested in the photograph as a reflection of a psychological state, I’d never have attempted to do things like my Scene of the Crime series. He demonstrated how the moment of pressing the shutter, even in the fleeting moment of street-photography, could reflect the internal life of the photographer, by discussing this pic…

… and how nearly every element in the frame coincided with a preoccupation at the time.

From ‘Travelog’

Great photographs exist not so much where image and reality meet and balance, but in the electric tension between the real and unreal…