Photography rally in Karuizawa, Japan

by Marc Riboud, Nagano, Japan 1958

Karuizawa by Marc Riboud, Nagano, Japan 1958

Using his trusty Leica camera, Marc Riboud photographed these committed amateur photographers in deep concentration, one eye squeezed shut, the other gazing through the camera – which might be an Asahi Pentax, a Canon, Nikon, Elegaflex, Robot or Contax – at a subject which has obviously caught their attention. Presumably this subject is being captured, but it remains enticingly hidden outside of Marc Riboud’s chosen frame.

“To me, photography is not an intellectual, but a visual process. The eye’s task is to see, not to think.” The present photographs by the French Magnum Photos member seem like a metaphor for Marc Riboud’s photographic self-concept, formulated by him in 2000 – after all, they are focussed entirely on the seeing and the shooting eye.

With one exception they were taken during a photography rally in Karuizawa in Japan, which was also the source of the photographic icon being auctioned in the previous lot 142. In 1958, one of seven Japanese owned a photo camera; photography magazines reached print runs of three hundred thousand, and the photo industry was trying to outstrip the German competition.

Photo credit: © WestLicht Photographica Auction

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