From the series Dark LensCedric Delsaux
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
Vughligorsk, Ukraine. Le 19 février 2015.Une famille quitte la ville de Debaltseve qui subit depuis plusieurs semaines de lourds bombardements de la part des forces pro-russes qui tentent depuis plusieurs semaines d'encercler la ville de Debaltseve aux mains des forces Ukrainiennes. Cette ville située entre 2 bastions pro-russes, est un point stratégique qui leur permettrait de relier la ville de Donetsk et de Lughansk.
Vulhegirsk, Ukraine. Le 15 février, 2015.Des membres de la première brigade d'artillerie "Slavic" viennent de récupérer des ravitaillements apportés par leur camarade et repartent sur leur position.
Vulhegirsk, Ukraine. Le 15/02/15.Des membres de la première brigade d'artillerie Slavic à l'arrière d'un camion partent ravitailler leurs camarades sur leurs différentes positions dans les environs de Debaltseve.
Nov. 16, 2014.
BanguiA Christian man is destroying burn out cars in rage, next to a looted mosque that was set on fire earlier, in the capital Bangui.
BanguiA young girls stands in the doorway of a house. A member of her family, 21 year old Fleuri Doumana, was killed two days earlier by a grenade launched by a member of Seleka. The rebel group that took power in March 2013 carries out numerous exactions such as murder, kidnapping, and torture.
Mariupol
Crash Malaysian plane-Ukraine
Ukraine, Maidan to Donbass
Ukraine, Maidan to Donbass
Ukraine, Maidan to Donbass
Overview of a neighboorhood in difficulty in Jerusalem.
From the series Dark Lens
Cedric Delsaux
1 of 27

9 French Photographers You Need to Follow

Jul 14, 2015
Sign up for LIGHTBOX and more. View Sample

The relationship between France and photography has been a strong one, dating back to when Nicéphore Niépce first invented the medium in the 1820s. That relationship produced prestigious photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Guy Bourdin, André Kertész, Marc Riboud and Raymond Depardon, among many others. It also attracted many others—like William Klein, Brassai and Robert Capa—to call France their adopted home.

There was a time when Paris was the center of the photographic business, with most photo agencies operating out of the French capital. (Magnum Photos, for example, was founded there in 1947.) Today, New York, London and Los Angeles compete with Paris for the title. But France's unconditional love of photography endures. As the country celebrates Bastille Day, TIME presents its choice of the most exciting French photographers working today.

William Daniels
For the past 18 months, William Daniels has dedicated most of his time to the Central African Republic, photographing its violent clashes in late 2013 and early 2014, as well as its fragile state since then. Daniels was the recipient of the Tim Hetherington Grant last December, which will help him fund several trips to the African country over the next nine months. “I’m doing this because I believe it’s important to bear witness to what’s going on there,” he says. “Plus, I think photography is a real conduit for emotion, and that’s important for me.”

A Year of War in Central African Republic

BanguiA young girls stands in the doorway of a house. A member of her family, 21 year old Fleuri Doumana, was killed two days earlier by a grenade launched by a member of Seleka. The rebel group that took power in March 2013 carries out numerous exactions such as murder, kidnapping, and torture.
A young girls stands in the doorway of a house, two days after a member of her family was killed by a grenade said to be launched by a member of Séléka. Bangui, Central African Republic. Nov. 14, 2013.William Daniels—Panos for TIME
BanguiA young girls stands in the doorway of a house. A member of her family, 21 year old Fleuri Doumana, was killed two days earlier by a grenade launched by a member of Seleka. The rebel group that took power in March 2013 carries out numerous exactions such as murder, kidnapping, and torture.
BanguiDemonstrators gather on a street in Bangui, the capital, to call for the resignation of interim president Michel Djotodia following the murder of Judge Modeste Martineau Bria by members of the Seleka. 30 minutes after this picture was taken, Seleka militia shot into the crowd, killing two and wounding another.
BanguiA Christian man is destroying burn out cars in rage, next to a looted mosque that was set on fire earlier, in the capital Bangui.
BanguiA soldier from the national army, Central African Army Forces (FACA), wounded in fighting with Seleka rebels waits to be treated at the Community Hospital.
BanguiCentral African Republic army soldiers (FACA) mourn the death of a colleague, who was killed by members of the Seleka rebel group.
Antibalakas (christian self defense group)  in the bush between Bossangoa and Bossembelé. Antibalakas first took arms to protect their families from the Seleka exactions (murder, rape, robbery). But some decided to take revenge over the muslims community as the Seleka is made only of muslim men, which made the tensions between the 2 communities getting very bad.
Between Bossemtpele & ZawaPart of a group of several hundred of Anti-Balaka militias return from an attack on a Peul (Fulani - a Muslim tribe) village.
Gulinga, 5 km from Grimari.Relatives mourn the death of two men and one woman, murdered by Seleka fighters shortly before, in the village of Gulinga. They had accused them of being Antibalakas. The woman was killed as collateral damage” according to a Seleka colonel who admitted the killing.  Grimari has been under attack from Antibalakas for two days since it is the gateway to the Ouaka region which is still controlled by Seleka fighters whose general Mahamat Darrassa is a conciliatory figure, having dislodged other Seleka units who were wreaking havoc among local communities. French peacekeepers trust Darassa, viewing him as the only reliable safeguard against sectarian violence in the Ouaka region.
Bangui.A man accused of robbery is detained at the police station. He was about to be killed by the guard of the General direction of work.While we arrived there, the guard was saying he wanted to kill him but left when he saw us. A dozen person around, some in suits, civil servants working at the direction, were claiming he should be killed.
A woman cries the death of her 23 years old daughter Fleuri Doumana who was killed by a grenade launched in her courtyard by a member of the Seleka. The rebel group that took power in March 2013 carries out numerous exactions such as murders, kidnapping, torture.... Bangui.
In Bossangoa, about 40 000 displaced people, mostly christians who left their village attacked by the Seleka, took refuge around the cathedral. The people live there with low access to health, very low food and in bad sanitary conditions.
Nov. 16, 2014.
BanguiA man prepares a body for funeral at the morgue surrounded by Some of the dozens of bodies of Christians presumably killed by Seleka militia in revenge for attacks by Christian Anti Balaka militia on Bangui.
Central African RepublicBanguiRelatives touch the coffin at the funeral of Judge Modeste Martineau Bria who was killed by Seleka fighters in Bangui. The murder of Bria led to an outpouring of public anger at the reign of fear imposed by Seleka fighters who have refused to disband following the December 2012 coup against former president Francois Bozize.
Bangui.French troops are trying to save a muslim man who was attacked by christians while he was in jail, accused of being a Seleka member, responsible for many exactions.
Bangui.Mpoko airport IDP camp where 100 000 people live (Jan-fev)
BanguiA makeshift camp built by around 100,000 internally displaced people near Bangui's Mpoko airport. Though food is short and sanitary conditions are poor, people have fled to the airport area where they feel safe from attack from Seleka fighters due to the French army presence near the airport.
BanguiInternally displaced people (IDP) queue for food at a Don Bosco centre in Bangui. Food supplies are low and there is not enough for everyone. Some 18,000 Christian IDPs took refuge here, fearing violence from mainly Muslim Seleka fighters who have been clashing with Christian Anti Balaka fighters in the capital, Bangui.
BambariA woman cooks in the Bambari hospital coumpound.
Boda.Peul (muslim tribe) children suffering from malnutrition and diarrhea in the enclave of Boda. About 11000 muslims are trapped in Boda center with low food and very low access to health. Children suffer from malnutrition and diarrhea, wounded and sick people can't be treated well as there are only two nurses and a doctor from IOM who comes from time to time. They miss medicines and tools. Any muslims who try to get out of the enclave can be shot by antibalakas. Nearby, there are also 9000 christians displaced by the fighting between the two communities.
Between Bozoum & BossempteleThe remnants of houses burnt by Seleka forces.
Ndassima gold mine. The gold mines in Ndassima were run by Aurafrique, a subsidiary of the Canadian company Axmin, before Seleka rebels managed to take over the site following a 2013 offensive.Several hundred artisanal miners produce an estimated 15 kg per month. Séléka forces under General Ali Daras are in charge of the security of the site and to road to access it from Bambari. According to artisanal miners, local traders and a Séléka commander, soldiers are instructed not to engage in commercial activities and do not levy taxes. They do get contributions from the population when responding to incidents like theft. Most of the gold produced in Ndassima is trafficked to Cameroon through Bangui, by air and over land. In late August, 27 miners died during a landslide (on the left of the picture).
Former child soldiers playing war games as part of their rehabilitation work. According to UNICEF psychologist in charge of them, such play help them to deal with their past.
Bangui.Fishermen on the Oubangui river on early morning.
BoaliAn alter boy prepares for a mass at a church where the priest offered sanctuary to a large group of Muslims who were the target of Anti-Balaka forces.
Boda.Elderly Hamadou Magazi has Tuberculoses and can't leave the enclave to be treated. About 11000 muslims are trapped in Boda center with low food and very low access to health. Children suffer from malnutrition and diarrhea, wounded and sick people can't be treated well as there are only two nurses and a doctor from IOM who comes from time to time. They miss medicines and tools. Any muslims who try to get out of the enclave can be shot by antibalakas. Nearby, there are also 9000 christians displaced by the fighting between the two communities.
BanguiA wounded muslim man lay on the ground after being attacked by dozen of angry christians saying he is a Seleka member. He is protected by MISCA and french soldiers but he will died from his wounds before a medic arrived.
Bodies of christian, mostly antibalakas, laying down in a street in Bangui, on the day following a major attack in several places in the city.
BanguiMalouloud Mahamat Amat, 30, walks in his former coumpound of 5Kilo, in Bangui, where plants obvertook his house and his family's that hosted 43 people and was attacked by Anti Balakas on the 23rd of March by handgenade. 8 members of his family died, including 2 brothers. He is the only one of the family who stayed in Bangui.
A young girls stands in the doorway of a house, two days after a member of her family was killed by a grenade said to be
... VIEW MORE

William Daniels—Panos for TIME
1 of 30

Cedric Delsaux
With his work Dark Lens, Cedric Delsaux has been labeled the “Star Wars photographer.” The French man Photoshopped the saga’s characters into real-world situations, creating a body of work that went viral a few years ago. This approach is indicative of Delsaux’s take on photography. “For a long time, we all believed that photographers were here to show reality, to reveal what had happened, but we’ve since realized that it wasn’t that simple,” he says. “Photography only reconstructs reality through a particularly convincing illusion.” His next project will revolve around cars, but it won’t be documentary: “I’ll look at the car as a metaphor,” he says. “I’ll use it to say something about us.”

Edouard Elias
Edouard Elias’ first foray into photojournalism was in Syria in 2012, where the young photographer was quickly noticed for his carefully composed style. After being taken hostage for 10 months, Elias has been reevaluating his profession. “What’s important for me aren’t the reasons or personal traumatisms that push us to make these choices where we sacrifice a lot, but how we behave as journalists on the field,” he says. “We have to remember that we’re always an added element that creates risks for the people we’re following.” That’s why Elias is now focusing on long-term projects, such as his recent documentation of the French Foreign Legion. “[My goal] is to create a real relationship with my subject,” he says.

See the French Foreign Legion in Central African Republic

CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
French Foreign Legion soldiers are waiting for the next patrol on Aug. 24, 2014.Edouard Elias
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
CENTRAFRIQUE/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
French Foreign Legion soldiers are waiting for the next patrol on Aug. 24, 2014.
Edouard Elias
1 of 11

Maia Flore
Maia Flore sees photography as a conduit for her reveries. The resulting playful images depict her suspended in the air in Sleep Elevations, or donning a red outfit in quirky positions within mysterious landscapes in Situations. Through her photos, Flore invites viewers to share her surrealist take on life. The 27-year-old photographer now plans to turn to video and installations for her next projects. “I want to produce new ideas with different media,” she says.

Capucine Granier-Deferre
For more than a year now, Capucine Granier-Deferre has been documenting the conflict in eastern Ukraine. “I have a special relationship with this region, a sort of bond, something that makes you want to tirelessly go back,” she tells TIME. The 31-year-old photographer, who will attend this year’s Joop Swart Masterclass, is now working on a more personal project on her family. But she remains committed to Ukraine, she says. “On the field, I feel like I’m face-to-face with human nature in its purest form. You’re facing death, but also life.”

Guillaume Herbaut
“We live in a society that’s constantly inundated with images,” says 45-year-old Guillaume Herbaut. “With my work, I’m trying to make people stop for a few seconds so they start asking questions.” For many years, Herbaut documented places linked to major events from the 20th century, such as the Chernobyl disaster. Now, he’s gone back to newsier work in Ukraine, for example, and in his native France.

Julien Pebrel
“I’m interested in the term ‘journalism’ in the word ‘photojournalism,’” says Julien Pebrel, a member of the Myop photo agency. “I’m interested in documenting territories, looking at subjects that are at the margins of breaking news, but still related to it.” For example, Pebrel’s latest work takes place in the southern Caucasus region where Russia continues to exert its influence. The work, he says, directly relates to the situation in Ukraine.

Paris Terror Attacks: One Tense, Mournful Week in Photos

More than a million people marched in Paris - and nearly 4 million gathered all over France - in solidarity after the killings that stunned the nation, Jan. 11, 2015.
More than a million people marched in Paris - and nearly 4 million gathered all over France - in solidarity after the killings that stunned the nation, Jan. 11, 2015.Julien Pebrel—MYOP for TIME
More than a million people marched in Paris - and nearly 4 million gathered all over France - in solidarity after the killings that stunned the nation, Jan. 11, 2015.
France’s largest demonstration since the end of World War II, Parisians of all walks of life marched against terror, Jan. 11, 2015.
A memorial site for the 12 victims of the terrorist attacks near the offices of Charlie Hebdo, the satirical weekly publication, Jan. 12, 2015.
Flowers, candles, notes, and “I am Charlie” signs are strewn at an improvised memorial near the Charlie Hebdo offices, Jan. 12, 2015.
Police guard the area near the Charlie Hebdo offices, as Paris remains on alert after the killings, Jan. 12, 2015.
Students stand in front of the Yeshiva Yad Mordechai in the Marais, a traditionally Jewish quarter in Paris, Jan. 11, 2015. Rising anti-Semitism has propelled Jews to leave France in record numbers with 7000 emigrating to Israel in 2014.
Life goes on at this Jewish bakery in the Marais, a traditionally Jewish quarter in Paris, France, Jan. 11, 2015.
The Charlie Hebdo attackers, the Kouachi brothers, spent years of their young adult lives in the banlieue, or suburbs, outside Paris, where low income housing projects are populated largely with immigrant populations and youth unemployment rates are rampant, Jan. 13, 2015.
The Kouachi brothers, the Charlie Hebdo attackers, fell into a life of petty crime before turning to fundamentalist religion. At one time, they attended this mosque in Paris’s 19th arrondissement, Jan.11, 2015.
Men pray at a mosque in the 19th arrondissement in Paris, which the Kouachi brothers, the Charlie Hebdo attackers, had once attended, Jan. 13, 2015.
More than a million people marched in Paris - and nearly 4 million gathered all over France - in solidarity after the ki
... VIEW MORE

Julien Pebrel—MYOP for TIME
1 of 10

Jerome Sessini
Jerome Sessini has been a fixture of French photojournalism for more than 20 years now — he’s covered the conflict in Kosovo in the late 1990s, the Iraq war, the fall of Aristide in Haiti and the 2006 war in Lebanon. But it’s through his award-winning work in Ukraine over the past 18 months that he’s made a name for himself outside of industry circles. He was one of the first photographers on the scene of the Malaysia Airlines MH-17 crash last year, and he has often returned to Ukraine in the months since, producing one of the strongest bodies of work on the ongoing crisis.

See Scenes of Daily Life in a Ukrainian City Marked by War

Mariupol
After several months of training, new recruits of Ukraine’s National Guard swear during a ceremonial oath. Zaporizhia, Ukraine. May 23, 2015.Jerome Sessini—Magnum Photos
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
Mariupol
After several months of training, new recruits of Ukraine’s National Guard swear during a ceremonial oath. Zaporizhia, U
... VIEW MORE

Jerome Sessini—Magnum Photos
1 of 21

Pierre Terdjman
The French photojournalist started his career as a news photographer with the Gamma agency. Now, he’s moving away from the breaking news beat, concentrating on long-term projects in France and Israel, where he’s been documenting poverty and social inequalities. Terdjman is also the co-founder of the Dysturb movement, which pastes news photograph on the streets of Paris, New York, Sydney and many other cities, in a bid to reconnect the public with news events.

A woman and a child walk in front of one of Thibaut Camus' photographs on Rue du Prevot, Paris.
A woman and a child walk in front of one of Thibaut Camus' photographs on Rue du Prevot, Paris.Rafael Yagobzadeh
A woman and a child walk in front of one of Thibaut Camus' photographs on Rue du Prevot, Paris.
A woman stands in front of one of Pierre Terdjman's photographs in Paris.
A man walks in front of Benjamin Girette's portraits shot in Ukraine in Feb. 2014
A woman walks in front of one of Zacharie Scheurer's photographs shot in Lebanon.
One of Pierre Terdjman's photographs on a Parisian wall
A man walks between two of Pierre Terdjman's photographs in Paris.
Paris, France. 19 Mars 2014.Pierre Terdjman #dysturb
Paris, France. 19 Mars 2014.Pierre Terdjman #dysturb
Photographer Pierre Terdjman puts up one of his images on a Parisian wall.
A woman and a child walk in front of one of Thibaut Camus' photographs on Rue du Prevot, Paris.
Rafael Yagobzadeh
1 of 9

Olivier Laurent is the editor of TIME LightBox. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @olivierclaurent

All products and services featured are based solely on editorial selection. TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website.