Ralph Gibson and his Unique Relationship with the Leica

Ralph Gibson has achieved worldwide acclaim as a photographer for more than four decades. His bold, graphic style is instantly recognizable. As a consequence, photographers and educators look to him for inspiration. A champion of individual expression, Gibson urges photographers to develop a personal style by following their own instincts.

Gibson studied photography while in the US Navy and then at the San Francisco Art Institute. He began his professional career as an assistant to Dorothea Lange and went on to work with Robert Frank on two films. He has also had a lifelong fascination with books, and since the appearance in 1970 of “The Somnambulist”, his work has been steadily impelled towards the printed page. To date he has produced over 40 monographs, his most current projects being “State of the Axe” published by Yale University Press in Fall of 2008 and “NUDE” by Taschen, 2009. His photographs are included in over one hundred and fifty museum collections around the world, and have appeared in hundreds of exhibitions.

Ralph Gibson by Renato D'Agostin, 2007

Gibson’s awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Leica Medal of Excellence and the Silver Plumb Award from the Landmarks Preservation Committee. He is a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, and holds honorary doctorates from the University of Maryland and Ohio Wesleyan University. In 2007 he received The Lucie Award for Fine Art Photography. He has worked exclusively with the Leica for almost 50 years.

To see more of Ralph Gibson’s work, please visit his website: http://www.ralphgibson.com/.

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12 comments

  • Great! I have been admiring highly his work…and camera. And combining images and music is also extraordinary the way he does it. Thank you for sharing.

  • I have been an admirer of Ralph’s work over the span of many years. He has been a great inspiration for me. Ralph also endorsed my first edition of Spirit Quest many years ago, which was a great honor for me. That edition didn’t make it to the press, but the current edition has: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1621886. And, I have a new book in the works.

    Kudos to you Ralph… for your countless contributions to the art and science of photography!

    I also had the pleasure of using an M6 some years ago, and immediately fell in love with the M series cameras. To this day I covet one… especially the new M9. For my work, if I had an M9, I would need or want no other! Congratulations Leica… for your great achievements over the years.

  • Le travail de Gibson illustre combien il est important d’avoir confiance en son appareil-photo, de faire corps avec lui, car c’est lui , en bout de piste, qui livre le produit concret de notre imagination et de notre créativité.
    Antoine Godbout,
    Canada
    20 avril 2011

  • I freakin’ LOVE Ralph Gibson. Ever since I bought a copy of Days at Sea so many years ago I’ve been waiting for a comprehensive record of this man’s complete body of work. I’d get two. One to keep pristine and another to paw the hell out of. Why has this not happened?

  • I think Ralph Gibson is trying very hard to be someone he is not.

    I truly believe someone needs to tell the emperor he is not wearing any clothes. Oh, why is Ralph pimping a camera for Leica?

    Now Clyde Butcher knows exactly who he is. Just look at his work.

    When I look a Ralph I see a commoner trying to be a member of the Royals.

  • Clyde Butcher is a totally different sort of photographer to the one’s who use portable cameras. He’s not interested in humanity. Personally, I wouldn’t trust a man with a beard!

  • Clyde Butcher is a totally different sort of photographer to the one’s who use portable cameras. He’s not interested in humanity. (Personally, I wouldn’t trust a man with a beard!)

  • Amazing Photographer, Amazing Work, Very Inspiring!
    Amazing Photographer, Amazing Work, Very Inspiring! I wish I was able to get the MM RG Edition. I can not stop looking at his work or watching his videos, should have more expanded ones.

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