Lucien Clergue with his first camera at Montmajour Abbey in Arles in 2004.
Lucien Clergue, who has died aged 80, was a French photographer whose friendship with Pablo Picasso helped forge a passion for bulls in the ring and women on the beach.
A short, sharply dressed man with a clipped beard, Clergue was a true Mediterranean. He lived in the Arles area for most of his life, photographing its bullfights, circuses and local beauties.
The last were the subject of a series of nudes taken in the dunes and surf along the coast of the Camargue. He treated a nude as if it were a landscape: his models were generally photographed in part, mostly with faces out of frame, and with their contours striped with shadows or, as he put it, "dressed in light". They often appeared more like Henry Moore's amorphous sculptures than real women.
However, Clergue's impact on the photographic community was perhaps more pronounced away from the lens. In 1968 he co-founded the Rencontres d'Arles festival in his home town, now one of the most important dates in the photography calendar; 96,000 people visited in 2013.