Alex Webb is a documentary photographer who has been active since the 1970ies, shooting reportages in many countries of America, Africa and Asia. He tries to capture people and their interactions, emotions and surroundings.


Being more of a graphic designer than a photographer, I very much appreciate Webb's graphical style and can't help but look at his photos analytically - also because unfortunately I don't know anything about the stories behind them. His pictures inspire me to challenge my sight and perception to improve my own photographic practice. What I find especially striking is his pictures' depth created by including elements that are very near in the foreground as well as elements that are very far away. Webb comes up close to people and visibly interacts, but seldomly focuses on only one thing of interest. This makes for very complex compositions - captured spontaneously, but in a way looking perfectly arranged. Most of the time, the nearer elements are out of focus and boldly cropped, turning them into graphical elements rather than bodies or objects. This graphical quality is also emphasized by the vivid colors, the very dark, sharp shadows cast by the tropical sun and the dark skin prevailing in the countries he visited, so that there is often an interplay between flat-looking silhouettes and half to fully three-dimensional-looking bodies and objects. Also, Webb likes to include two-dimensional surfaces like painted backdrops, graffiti or posters. All of this causes an interesting confusion of dimension and perspective that makes you look at his photos for a little longer, but still you will keep discovering new details.