Erich Salomon


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(1886–1944?), German photojournalist and ‘father of candid photography’. Salomon was born into a bourgeois Berlin family that suffered heavily in the German hyper-inflation. After various jobs in the 1920s, he became publicity manager for Ullstein Verlag, publishers of the Berliner illustrirte Zeitung (BIZ). Having experimented with an Ermanox camera, capable of taking pictures in low light, he took a chance on working as a photographer for the BIZ. Seeing himself as a kind of contemporary historian, and exploiting his social contacts, he captured unposed images of political and cultural celebrities. Typical was Reception in Berlin (1931), showing Albert Einstein engaged in animated conversation with Ramsay MacDonald, surrounded by a group of luminaries including the Nobel Prize-winner Max Planck, smoking cigars and sipping cognac.


From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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