View Full Version : Influencial Photographers
What photographer have influenced you the most - or that you simply admire the most?
Personally I have five 'House Gods';
* Sally Mann
Love her family photos. They often walk the thin rope between reality and dream. I think I come back to her books more often than any other pure photo-books I have.
* August Sander
German perfection :-) His portrait photos showing 'reality as it is - not the way it should be' captivates me. I saw the exhibit in San Francisco as well a few months back and the prints were beautiful. His 'Family of Man' project is just unbelievably good.
* Yousuf Karsh
Another amazing LF portrait photographer.
He eternalized most influencial personalities in the last 40-50 years. His photos of Churchill and Einstein are still amongst my favorite photos ever.
* Michael Kenna
The master of b&w square landscape/city-scape photography - often with the 'touch of man'. Many nocturnal images as well.
Beauty in simplicity.
* Henri-Cartier Bresson
Can't leave HCB out of this. His street photography reached a level most of us can only hope to ever come close to.
Finally - to quote Karsh:
"Within every man and woman a secret is hidden, and as a photographer it is my task to reveal it if I can. The revelation, if it comes at all, will come in a small fraction of a second with an unconscious gesture, a gleam of the eye, a brief lifting of the mask that all humans wear to conceal their innermost selves from the world. In that fleeting interval of opportunity the photographer must act or lose his prize."
What are your favorite photographers - and why? :-)
i'm really bad about remembering names.
there was/is(?) a u.n. shooter that i really like. i think his last name is issac.
hcb was a definite early influence. the more i looked at his photos the simpler they looked. he inspired me to think that even i could do it.
maryellen mark was another early fav of mine. i loved her b&w shots. they were kinda raw, yet powerful. i often found it hard to stop looking at her stuff.
ralph steiner was a film maker and photographer. his influence was more from his writing. he just made sense to me.
edward weston, i think because of his mastery of the medium.
gene smith, a genius and self destructive, both at the same time.
he started me listening to music in my darkroom.
robert doisneau(sp?) a french photographer. his cityscapes are so peaceful and serene yet full of life.
can't think of any more just now...
Although they are not my favorite photographers, the ones who influenced me most were Edward Weston and Gary Winogrand. As a teenager I attended an exhibit of works by Weston and for the first time understood photography as a means of artistic expression. Close to that time Winogrand was featured in a photo magazine article, and a greater obverse to Weston's disciplined technique could not be imagined. Winogrand's pix were on the fly, often grainy, sometimes blurred, tonality could be soot and whitewash and yet they breathed life and energy. Not that my work has ever resembled either of these practitioners, but my photography commitment/addiction/affliction began with exposure to them and persists yet.
Why couldn't I have been inspired by a successful businessman instead? :confused:
I certainly agree with Mary Ellen Mark's addition. She is great, and is a great teacher. Perhaps we ought to add Gene Richards?
Definitely Yousef Karsh, Ansel Adams, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Alfred Steiglitz, John Hedgecoe and whomever took the stunning photo of the Arabic woman with the blue-grey eyes that was once a cover shot on National Geographic. I believe they did a follow up on this photo subject, sort of a where are they now. Also can't leave off Galen Rowell, Art Wolf (Wolfe?) and Freeman Patterson.
Robert Doisneau and Cartier-Bresson, Gene Smith and Margaret Bourke-White are in my photographic pantheon. I'm not forgetting Winogrand, and Robert Frank (street shooter from the 40s and 50s). Seldom do you see beauty in grain like in these guys' prints...
Bill Eppridge, I had the chance to meet Bill at a PMA convention at the Javits Center (NYC) in the early 90's and had a couple martinis with him. Truly one of the best photojournalists out there, often forgotten but great images. I asked him what it was like on the Robert Kennedy campaign and Bill was 6 ft away from Bobby when he was assasinated, amazing stuff. He mentioned that he just started shooting at the scene unfolding in front of him and they had to push process the film like 8 stops at the lab. Bill took the famous shot of the busboy holding Bobby Kennedy's head up with this surreal glow of light behind him.
Duane Michals, out there but really cool stuff, been around for a long time.
David Hume Kennerly, great photojournalist, Pulitzer Prize Winner
I'll think of some more and post some more links
Dave Bekerman, a friend turned me onto this guy, he is by far the most prolific New York street photographer I've ever seeeen. He captures the pulse of New York City, check out his images, great source to learn some compositional skills.
When I was about 17 years old I started subscribing to Popular Photography - this was around 1959. I think I was influenced by just about all of the work I saw in the magazine - I couldn't pin down a specific photographer as a major influence at that point. But the articles in Popular Photography taught me much about cameras, technique, and composition.
Today I would have to say my favorites of the past are Eugene Smith and Robert Capa. Both were fantastic characters and led intriguing lives. Smith was a flawed man - very neurotic and self-destructive, but a brilliant photographer. Capa was very nearly an action hero - and also did great work.
I enthusiastically go along with Summitar and nominate Dave Beckerman of NYC as a strong infulence on me. I discovered Dave about the time I got back into photography after a 20+ year haiatus. It's not just Dave's excellent photographs that have inspired me; there's also his thoughtful and entertaining daybook. I encourage everyone to check out Dave's website at www.davebeckerman.com .
Another photographer I greatly admire is Sam Abell. He is among other things a National Geographic photographer. You can learn a lot about composition by viewing his photos.
I recently participated in a photography workshop with Karen Gordon Schulman of Steamboat Springs, CO. Karen is a great teacher and photographer. She taught us a lot about quality and direction of light and ways to stretch our innate creativity. As a photoautodidact (as Dave Beckerman might say,) this workshop was the very first formal "course" in photography I've ever taken. And I must say, it has strongly influenced my photography, all for the better. You can see her website at www.focusadventures.com Karen is sort of a cousin of mine... although that doesn't bias me at all... nah... not a bit! :-)
Finally, I'll include Matt Denton, whom I've "met" via the russiancamera-user forum on BestStuff. Matt has a really good eye for design, and I've started seeing some of my surroundings and photographing them in a "Dentonesque" way. Check out Matt's excellent camera & photography site at http://homepage.mac.com/mattdenton/photo/
A relatively new name to add to this list as a photographer from Magnum and Sigma agencies. He recently had a show in Chicago and his work is simply stunning. No, no the epic, David-Lean-esque shots of massive migrations, but his portraits of children: Sebastiao Salgado. One of the websites showing his work is www.pdnonline.com/legends/legends10
Knock yourselves out!! :)
BTW, thanks for posting David Beckerman's site!
Yes, I've liked Salgado for some time now. I believe he uses a couple of Leica's for almost all of his field work if memory serves me right. I read the PDN article about him - great magazine by the way.
There's a really excellent Salgado website here (http://www.terra.com.br/sebastiaosalgado/).
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