Photographer Profile – Ed van der Elsken
Ed van der Elsken (1925-1990) was a Dutch photographer and filmmaker. He originally planned on becoming a sculptor. But after discovering the photos of Weegee his interest in photography was ignited. He moved to Paris in 1950 and worked in the photo lab at Magnum where he printed Cartier-Bresson’s photos! Apparently Cartier-Bresson was impressed with van der Elsken’s street photography! He also printed the photos of Robert Capa and Ernst Haas. Not too shabby!
The subject of van der Elsken’s photos is for the most part on the counterculture and bohemian lifestyle that he encountered on the streets of Europe. He also produced a large number of documentary films which I haven’t seen yet. It is
unfortunate that he has not become better known. His photos have a cinematic look and they capture a glimpse into the humanity of the times and the spirit of place. They are still very relevant. I hope that you enjoy his work and are inspired by it.
This article is reprinted from the Shoot New York City Newsletter Issue 30. You can subscribe to it online.