I recently posted about Henri Cartier-Bresson and his concept of “the moment décisif”.  I bring you another master of street photography, Josef Koudelka (Born 1938 and still shooting today). Koudelka truly understood how to utilize the frame to its fullest, not letting even a millimeter go wasted. He’d use his compositions to tell a story that is greater than the sum of its parts and allows us to hone in on the emotional spirit of the subjects. For example, this photo of a boy riding his bike is made greater by the inclusion of the woman on the left and the horse of the right. It puts this quiet moment of the boy in a greater context with just a few “clues.” The way the woman looks off camera at something we can’t see gives a sense of mystery, of unease, allowing our minds to fill in the rest and bringing to life a still image.

Three of his books are Exiles, Invasion 68, Gypsies


Josef Koudelka's angel boy on bicycle