Trained at the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts just after WWI, Kesting started his career as a Professor at the private school Der Weg, first in Dresden and later in Berlin. While he was exploring his own photographic style, creating his photograms, he also experimented with techniques such as solarization and image overlapping. He became friend of Schwitters, Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitzky and Archipenko. After WWII he made a photographic report – the Dresden Totentanz – to condemn Dresden bombing. In his late career he experimented also with chemical painting and camera-less photography.