Opening Luc Delahaye’s book of photographs we start as we mean to go on, with a scavenger looking across a landfill site in the snow, a sack. Luc Delahaye made his name as a photojournalist and war photographer. The result was a pocket book, Winterreise, the title a reference to. Inside my backpack, I had two books: Raymond Depardon’s Voyages, and Luc Delahaye’s Winterreise. Every day, I would thumb through these.

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General information and contact My main blog can be found at: I observe as a middle-aged woman accompanied by a teen boy walks past, repelled by her first glance at the photo, ushers the child away to another photo, then returns alone and sits on a bench a few feet in front of the image.

A window is shown in close-up; surrounded by dank moss and with pot plants on view inside, the building seeming to be one step from disappearing into the landscape. But it’s clear that I have a subject now, and it’s a basic one: Nicholas rated it it was amazing Dec 07, The next is a photograph of a homeless man found dead in a basement.

It is like being confronted with a disturbing reality that, for most people, remains far more removed, usually only seen in fleeting images on television or in diminished size, if at all, in the winterrwise. The result was a pocket book, Winterreise, the title a reference to Schubert’s Winter Journey song cycle.

Winterreise by Luc Delahaye

The prone man, we are informed in a rare caption, was disrespectful to a local mafia member. It’s not a real panoramic, as the ratio is 1: The small size of the book conveys an intimate feel, and in order to be unobtrusive Delahaye has used a fast film and avoided flash, which gives the images the soft grainy, often blurry, look of snapshots caught on the fly that belies their artistry.

In fact it all seems pretty typical. Kitchens are invariably filthy, disgusting crockery left lying around flats unwashed. Carter marked it as to-read Jul 11, The very convenience of so much work being done for you can become a dilemma for the creative photographer.


The young shown sharing this degradation warn that the cycle will be repeated, a suspicion confirmed by a page of snapshots of children in a police file. On the financial side, few magazines any longer commission photographers to go off for several months and produce an “essay”.

Now photographers are questioning their own realistic conventions and, above all, reacting against the new digital technology. Delahaye characterised Cartier-Bresson’s work in a curious way: He would sit for hours with an interpreter, silent, observing.

Has this way of showing your work been successful for you? A wiry man of 41, deoahaye thoughtful and precise talker, Delahaye is often loosely described as being of peasant stock. From the prints in History, I chose one of George W Bush addressing the UN Security Council, and then put it to Delahaye that “one can legitimately look at that and say, that would be the position from which any agency photographer would take a picture of an international winterrrise.

The decay of the houses points to a wider societal malaise.

The zenith of this development is presented in a new collection of 13 vast, 1. Why is that better than an agency picture?

You can almost smell the rot, the lack of adequate sanitation, the reluctance to take off clothes because of the cold. One does not ask a lady her age, but at a guess I would say she was two weeks.

Delahaye kept the pictures. It was another large-format print, of the human rights lawyer Shirin Ebadi waiting to receive the Nobel Prize for Peace in Oslo’s city hall, in the presence of Queen Sonja, Crown Prince Haakon and assembled dignitaries.

Stefan rated it it was amazing Feb 23, Richard rated it it was amazing Nov 13, Delahaye said that this exercise “restored his faith wintrereise photography” and led him the following year to go on a winter journey, travelling from Moscow to Vladivostok, during which he spent months in the hovels of Russia’s underclass – the winterreis, the addicted, the petty criminals, those abandoned during the economic collapse of the s. Most of the photographs are of grim-faced miserable-looking people, old before their time, often living in the most appalling squalor.


Thanks for witerreise us about the problem. In another experiment inDelahaye took a hidden camera into the Metro and snatched shots of people sitting opposite him.

The juxtaposition of man and rubbish brings together immediately the themes of poverty and despoliation. Follow me on Twitter My Tweets. We were in Delahaye’s apartment in Montmartre, a geographical position that in his case gives off misleading signals – this is the Paris of the Moulin Rouge, of Doisneau’s romantic canoodling snapshots, at best of Cartier-Bresson. I remarked that photographers were always so handy with their hands – I once knew one who repaired gas stoves.


The photographs are poetic – simultaneously terrifying, exciting, intimate and moving – despite recording sad subject matter. Wendy added it Jun 21, While this kind of talk would make Englishmen blush, the French are perfectly at ease cohabiting with art. Why did you choose to work in the panoramic format with your “History” project, and what cameras do you use for this style of work?

He didn’t really need to put the film in the camera – the importance for him is the act of taking pictures Now he had another surprise. The image stirred your curiosity. It is a collection that is intensely depressing, and anyone in Britain looking at it should be thankful for a society with a safety net, however frayed it is at present. Nobody should have to live like this.

I was working mainly on “situations,” ideas of situations, etc. Suhana Zainal rated it really liked it Nov 15, He now works on documentary photography in the fields of news and history. More captions, even if only giving wimterreise idea of the geographical location, would ouc helped as well.