Mimicking the Masters: Robert Capa


Robert Capa was a Hungarian photographer who documented several wars during his lifetime. His photographic style captured the essence of the events as they happened and this evokes feelings for anyone who views his photos. Here are some tips to help you achieve Robert Capa’s photography techniques.

Surely, we can learn a thing or two from Robert Capa, one of the world’s greatest photographers. This doesn’t mean that we have to risk our lives and take photographs of people in the middle of a war like he did. Instead, we can take a look at his photos and see how he composed his shots amidst chaos and destruction.

Photos via PBS, Time and Space in Text

Compose shots diagonally
When we look through the viewfinder, we see the four corners of the frame. The initial instinct is to set the subject at the center or divide the frame into three. Robert Capa made use of diagonals for his shots. Take the four corners of the frame and imagine a diagonal line crossing from one corner to the other, then place your subject according to the imaginary grid.

Photos via PBS, Time and Space in Text

Focus the contrast on the subject
One of the aspects that make Robert Capa’s photos phenomenal is the use of contrast. You do not need the aid of editing programs to achieve this. Capa believed that the highest contrast for both black and white should belong to the subject – meaning the lightest white and the blackest black. Even if you are working with black and white film, you can easily make the subject pop out and be the focus of the photo if there is contrast.

Photos via PBS, Time and Space in Text

Take uncommon shots
Part of Capa’s photography technique is to take photos that seem unreal. Despite hating the war, he was able to capture some heart-wrenching moments and other surreal scenes with his trusty 35mm camera.

Here are some amazing black and white photos from the community:

Credits: russheath, lyndxe, rtmoratin, mephisto19, troch, bkspicture & aanum

For more information on Robert Capa, read Best of the Best: Robert Capa and Lessons from Photography Masters: Robert Capa. You can also read more articles on the Mimicking the Masters series. The information for this article was taken from Adam Marelli Photo.

written by jeanmendoza on 2011-12-20 #gear #tutorials #tips #war #photographer #tipster #technique #tribute #mimicking-the-masters #robert-capa-week


  1. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Amazing! B&W has always been my favorite medium

  2. novakmisi
    novakmisi ·

    great works !!!

  3. darlim
    darlim ·

    thanks for sharing. its important we learn from the greats to improve our shots

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