Ernst Haas was born in Vienna in 1921 and took up photography after World War II. His early work on returning Austrian prisoners of war brought him to the attention of Life Magazine, from which he courageously declined a job as staff photographer in order to maintain his independence. At the invitation of Robert Capa, Haas joined Magnum in 1949, developing close associations with Capa, Werner Bishof and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
He began experimenting with colour, and went on to become the premier colour photographer of the 1950s. In 1962 New York’s Museum of Modern Art mounted its first solo exhibition of his colour photography. Haas’ books were legion, and one, The Creation (1971), sold 350.000 copies. Ernst Haas received the Hasselblad award in 1986, the year of his death.