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Photojournalist Benoît Gysembergh Dies at 58

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Gentleman Photographer passes of complications from cancer.

On Friday, May 3, Paris Match reporter Benoît Gysembergh died of complications from cancer. His work lives on in the images he has left and the memory of his vigor for image-making. "Photos live for two things," wrote Benoît Gysembergh, "The first is the istant where the finger pushes the shutter. The perfect moment, the alchemie of the shadow and of the light, the colors of a geste, of a glance. The second, is to have them published" (Le Monde). Gysembergh went on in his own words to describe the great thrill and prestige of having work published on a full page, or best of all, a spread of two pages in Paris Match. In his life over 500 double pages were published in Match.

Gysembergh discovered photography in high school when a supervisor lent him a Leica. He would later travel to Paris from his home in Normandie to work. There he met Léon Herschtritt, who was both a photographer for Nouvel Observateur and ran a café in the 9th arrondissement of Paris. Gysembergh worked behind the counter, displaying his first photographs on the café walls, and was introduced to regulars like Robert Doisneau, Jeanloup Sieff and Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Gysembergh would go onto work for Paris Match in its golden age and travel to the front lines of conflicts around the world. He knew every front and embassy around the world and worked on the front lines in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Lebanon, Chad, Somalia, Ex-Yugoslavia, Rwanda, and Cambodia. Between wars, he would dig into political issues, expose varied light onto stories, or disappear for a long trip in an uncharted region of the planet.

Complete story in Le Monde

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