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[b. 1921 – 2004] One of the best of the post-war generation of French photojournalists
I will never say that I won’t do a job because I don’t like it. There are some things I can’t do because I don’t know how to, but otherwise I will do anything and this is a good lesson in humility. Even though I am doing exactly what my client wants, I put my personality into the pictures. - Jean-Philippe Charbonnier - Creative Camera, May, 1970, page 136

Réalités assignments are fun, but I know that all assignments cannot be all fun. In all my work, even in the most trivial thing I do, I can find something that is fun. - Jean-Philippe Charbonnier

Photographic equipment and techniques are very much behind the general improvements in science. I think it's very strange that we have to spend some time in a dark-room to process a film. It hasn't changed since the first days of photography. I think that the zoom lenses being made do not cover the right range. You and I know that we would rather shoot from 25 to 100 than 85 to 300. It's like having a car with only a top gear. - Jean-Philippe Charbonnier

I try to make my pictures simple. I don't like "tricks" like fisheye lenses, or long telephotos, even though I have to use them sometimes. - Jean-Philippe Charbonnier

I see in cinemascope. I think that the 35 mm. frame is too square. I am forced to work with fisheye through to 500 mm. lenses, but my normal choice is a 35 mm. lens on a Leica, and a 100 mm. lens on a Nikon F SLR. It is a matter of taste, because I think Henri (Cartier-Bresson) works with a 50 mm. lens only. Using a camera is very much like putting on a tie, or another tie, or another pair of shoes, according to God knows why. There are days on an assignment when I will shoot only with a 200 mm. lens. I put my 200 vision in my head and shoot away. I don't see anything else. When I'm fed up with it I either stop shooting or switch lenses. - Jean-Philippe Charbonnier

When the war was over I came back to France, and worked for a daily paper on layout. I left the paper in '49 to become one of the first "photojournalists". It's a horrible word, it doesn't mean anything, and I can't pronounce it, but anyway I was one of the first to both write and take pictures. - Jean-Philippe Charbonnier

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