Co-founder of the Contact Press Images agency, David Burnett is an American photographer who has been travelling the world for more than 40 years, constantly innovating in the way he produces his images.
A camera buff who still uses old film cameras such as the Holga and the Speed Graphic as well as the latest digital ones, he makes equipment serve the image. Known for the exceptional sharpness of his subjects and his original use of depth of field, he is regarded as one of the world’s leading photo-journalists, one who is always seeking fresh approaches.
What I immediately liked about David is that he had the right equipment. When we worked together covering Valéry Giscard d’Estaing’s 1974 presidential campaign, he was using a Hologon (a Zeiss-Ikon camera with a no-distortion wide-angle fix lens) and a whole bunch of other lenses, so that no matter what position he was in, whether one or twenty metres from the candidate, he would take a photograph with the right technique. (...)
In a sense, as a press photographer, I am somewhat like an American. Burnett, on the other hand, is French. He has his own method, he listens, he jokes with the others. (...) He’s an American photographer with a European work style. He wears both hats, which is what makes him so good at what he does.