Ernst Haas on Photography and Expression

Known as a chronicler of 20th Century life in America and beyond, the photographer reflects on how he approaches his art
Photograph: Ernst Haas

“We can write the new chapters in a visual language whose prose and poetry will need no translation.”

— Ernst Haas

Photograph: Ernst Haas

“The best pictures differentiate themselves by nuances…a tiny relationship – either a harmony or a disharmony – that creates a picture.”

— Ernst Haas

Photograph: Ernst Haas

“The most important lens you have is your legs.”

— Ernst Haas

Photograph: Ernst Haas

“Don’t park… Arrival is the death of inspiration.”

— Ernst Haas

Photograph: Ernst Haas

“There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.”

— Ernst Haas

Helen Frankenthaler in 1969. Photograph: Ernst Haas

“Only a vision – that is what one must have.”

— Ernst Haas

Pool Reflections
Photograph: Ernst Haas

“In every artist there is poetry. In every human being there is the poetic element. We know, we feel, we believe.”

— Ernst Haas

Parallel Worlds
Photograph: Ernst Haas

“Living in a time of the increasing struggle of the mechanization of man, photography has become another example of this paradoxical problem of how to humanize, how to overcome a machine on which we are thoroughly dependent… the camera…”

— Ernst Haas



    • Thanks, Pete! Yes, it’s interesting that you mention Leiter, since there’s a certain amoung of crossover in their choice of style and subject matter. I hadn’t realised that Leiter was such a recent discovery! That would probably account for it…


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