Bruno Barbey, master of composition

Bruno Barbey

Bruno Barbey is a french photographer born in 1941. He is one of those great figures in contemporary photography who deserves to be vindicated with more force. Being an internationally recognized author, member of the Magnum Agency, he may not have gained as much fame as other photographers of his generation. Still with his talent he has brought to photography a magnificent use of color and an admirable touch.


Barbey studied photography and graphic arts in Switzerland. In the 1960s worked for Éditions Rencontre de Lausanne and collaborates with Vogue. In Italy he forged himself as a photographer carrying out a memorable work entitled ‘Los Italianos’. Even today one of his most outstanding books. Although if anything served as a springboard it was his admission to the Magnum agency, being a full member as early as 1968. Key year for his work, since he did one of his capital jobs: portraying May 68 in Paris. Still in black and white, but full of strength and the talent he already treasured.

Bruno Barbey

During his career, he traveled across five continents covering different war conflicts and making memorable reports. From the Polish revolution of Solidarity to Northern Ireland and, of course, working in Asia, with the revolution of the Ayatollahs in Iran, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China. Also he capture amazing images of the civil wars in Nigeria. Of course he photograph his homeland Morocco. In fact here he has made some of his most iconic and spectacular images.

The work of Bruno Barbey

Influenced by Cartier-Bresson, Bruno Barbey attached great importance to the careful and elegant composition, which he knew how to translate into color, becoming one of his great virtues.

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Harmonious, delicate and fresh photographs, together with a close look and at the height of their Magnum contemporaries. A good example of this is his work on China or in India. Recently it has become a book that collects his photographs of the Asian country for four decades. indeed it is a good approximation to the changes that have been experienced and that Barbey captures with great beauty and talent documentary film.

Bruno Barbey is a highly respected photographer, who has made a very notable contribution in his reports. Also he has managed to reach anyone with elegance and harmony of his work. Especially, I recommend his work with color images. Among his prizes, the French National Order of Merit stands out.

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