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RayPA
10-09-2007, 19:26
Just curious and for fun, who of the four do you like better (vote one only)?

Ansel Adams
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Garry Winogrand
Willian Eggleston

rogue_designer
10-09-2007, 19:29
While I like 3 of the 4, Bresson's images are more memorable to me, so I'll have to vote for him. HCB +1

Rob-F
10-09-2007, 19:30
Why do we have to like one better?

RayPA
10-09-2007, 19:32
Why do we have to like one better?

You don't. Just pick one, or don't. I like three of four, but picked Winogrand.


:)

jan normandale
10-09-2007, 19:36
Ray, I'm familiar with these famous names but not their work... I should go to the library!

RayPA
10-09-2007, 19:41
Ray, I'm familiar with these famous names but not their work... I should go to the library!

Yes you should, Jan! Here are some samples to jumpstart your trip to the library: :)

AA (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/A/adams/adams.html)
HCB (http://www.afterimagegallery.com/bresson.htm)
GW (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/W/winogrand/winogrand.html)
WE (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/E/eggleston/eggleston.html)

eli griggs
10-09-2007, 19:50
I voted for HCB over Adams just because his work is on more of a human scale, but it was close.

The other two are mostly unknown to me and while I've seen some of their stuff before, I don't feel that they're in the same class as HCB or AA.

Eli

RayPA
10-09-2007, 19:54
I voted for HCB over Adams just because his work is on more of a human scale, but it was close.

The other two are mostly unknown to me and while I've seen some of their stuff before, I don't feel that they're in the same class as HCB or AA.

Eli

works for me! :) I prefer HCB over AA, too—for the same reason.

.

jan normandale
10-09-2007, 20:43
Yes you should, Jan! Here are some samples to jumpstart your trip to the library: :)

AA (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/A/adams/adams.html)
HCB (http://www.afterimagegallery.com/bresson.htm)
GW (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/W/winogrand/winogrand.html)
WE (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/E/eggleston/eggleston.html)


Ray, thanks for the links. I think I relate a bit more to Eggleston, but I like what Cartier-Bresson does to put motion into a frame. Very interesting guys! Adam's only image that really interested me was Central Park Skyscrapers.

Nando
10-09-2007, 20:46
When I first saw HCB's work, I was blown away. It was almost like discovering photography for the first time all over again. Of course, I've heard about the man and I was familiar with three or four of his photographs but after reading so much about him on RFF I took some time do some research on his photographs and it was an absolutely wonderful and educational experience. I think we'd all be surprised as to how much HCB is mentioned here on RFF. When I was a newbie here, it really seemed to me that HCB was THE photographer, especially when it came to 35mm rangefinder photography.

I can say that HCB is without question my favourite photographer. I really wonder if this guy ever took a bad photograph. I find many things about the man very inspiring.

I can't say the same thing about the other photographers listed. I appreciate their work and I like many of their photographs but they didn't affect me to same extent.

I also very much like Koudelka, Rodchenko, Erwitt, Alverez Bravo, and Salgado.

Honus
10-09-2007, 20:48
I like them all, for different reasons.

Adams pushed the craft of fine image making to a new level. Plus, he was a Bay Area man. HCB is an icon for 35mm and (what is now called) street photography. His best images, imho, are masterpieces. Winogrand was incredibly prolific and imaginative with both subject matter and composition. Eggleston made the ordinary bizarre and the mundane complex. I also lived in Memphis in the late 60's, early 70's, so his images from that time have a particular resonance with me.

In the end, though, everything is just "light on surface". I voted for Winogrand. One of my favorite photos of his is this one, where's honus? (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/images/full/winogrand/winogrand_austin.jpg), particularly since I am in it.

wray
10-09-2007, 21:03
I like them all, for different reasons.

Adams pushed the craft of fine image making to a new level. Plus, he was a Bay Area man. HCB is an icon for 35mm and (what is now called) street photography. His best images, imho, are masterpieces. Winogrand was incredibly prolific and imaginative with both subject matter and composition. Eggleston made the ordinary bizarre and the mundane complex. I also lived in Memphis in the late 60's, early 70's, so his images from that time have a particular resonance with me.

In the end, though, everything is just "light on surface". I voted for Winogrand. One of my favorite photos of his is this one, where's honus? (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/images/full/winogrand/winogrand_austin.jpg), particularly since I am in it.
I couldn't have said this better myself.

Bingley
10-09-2007, 21:39
Oh this is hard. How could 35 mm RF users NOT vote for HCB or Winogrand? Well, I voted for Adams. I'm reading his Autobiography and studying his work. Adams was not only a great photographer, he was also articulate about his art. His discussion of visualization, and of the way he integrated craft, technique, and composition with the goal of establishing photography as an art form in its own right and not as derivative of other art forms (e.g., painting), puts him ahead of the others, IMO. Even if one is pursuing different aesthetic objectives than those of Group f/64, there's a lot to learn from his work and his writings. He admired HCB, BTW, and used a Contax from time to time.

MikeL
10-09-2007, 21:52
One book I never get tired of looking at is The Animals.

oscroft
10-10-2007, 00:00
It was a relatively easy choice for me - I've loved the work of both HCB and GW for ages, but HCB still edges it. AA's work is also superb, but for me a great landscape will never have the same impact as a great shot of life and humanity. And finally, I have to put WE in a very distant last place - I just don't get his stuff at all.

Pherdinand
10-10-2007, 00:24
I was looking for R. Capa on the list...
Could not find it so i went for the "mainstream HCB" :D

J. Borger
10-10-2007, 01:34
My preferences change over time ... and are not always the same.
At this moment i voted Eggleston .... because his work is highly original and impossible to copy or mimic ........

varjag
10-10-2007, 01:59
Have to admit that I still don't understand the aesthetics of Eggleston, despite all my honest attempts. Probably that part of my brain is underdeveloped.

mfogiel
10-10-2007, 02:04
In my opinion HCB is difficult to beat, he has been an innovator in technique and style, he was a painter, and therefore a master of form and composition, he was sensitive to social side of things, so he kept the human condition at the mainstream, and he had an incredible talent and persistence. His best shots are simply miracles of all these elements coming together.

Richard Black
10-10-2007, 03:45
Adams, for all the reason noted above.

kbg32
10-10-2007, 04:10
Being the consummate New Yorker, I had to choose Winogrand. HCB and Eggleston are not far behind. Not to offend anyone, but as I became more and more involved with photography, while I do respect his achievements, the less I like Adams. I liked him even less after I read his autobiography and began to know his friendship with a certain historian who wanted to write the history of photography in a very biased way.

RichC
10-10-2007, 04:14
I voted for Eggleston: http://www.masters-of-photography.com/images/full/eggleston/eggleston_plastic_bottles.jpg

oscroft
10-10-2007, 04:24
Hi folks,

http://www.masters-of-photography.com/images/full/eggleston/eggleston_plastic_bottles.jpg
A few people have been praising WE here, but I honestly just don't get his stuff at all. I wonder if anyone who likes him would be kind enough to tell us what they think is so good about the photo in the link above? (I'm asking out of genuine interest - I'm really fascinated by other people's views on art).

telenous
10-10-2007, 04:28
I appreciate Adams for his craft in B&W and colour respectively but ultimately his photography is not for me. Eggleston and colour is growing on me. I love Winogrand's work but my vote went to Bresson for the thrill and education his work gave to me when a photographic novice. In a certain way I feel that my enjoyment and understanding for Winogrand's work is amplified by the fact that I 'arrived' at it after looking at Bresson's photography. That's not to say that Winogrand's photos cannot be appreciated in the absence of what Bresson did before but I think they take an additional layer of interest if they are seen in a[n imaginary] street photographic dialectic.

Todd.Hanz
10-10-2007, 04:40
Winogrand...of course!

kbg32
10-10-2007, 04:44
MOMA had a exhibit years ago of Adams' early work - yes, incredible. I can't help not separating the man from his work. When I was a student, I worked in a large camera store and had the pleasure of meeting Gary Winogrand. While everyone is biased in some way, he was a genuinely down to earth nice guy. While I might not care for everything he has produced, I have respect for the guy.

It's funny, as I've known people who have gotten into photography, there are certain photographers who are always mentioned as favorites at the top of everyone's list. As they have matured, and progressed in developing their own style, they have begun to produce a new set of more "sophisticated" (?) favorites.

As far as shooting lots of film, it could be said for HCB as well. I have seen some of his contact sheets reproduced of some his well known imagery. He didn't always get what he wanted on the first try as sometimes we are lead to believe.

To learn our craft, hone our vision, we have to shoot - lots.

ferider
10-10-2007, 05:06
I voted AA, but missed Capa in the poll.

One has to split AA from his marketing stereotype, see for
instance his 35mm (Contax RF, I believe) photos of Manzanar

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/anseladams

not that popular in the US for obvious reasons.

Roland.

Finder
10-10-2007, 05:09
Rather a limited list. There are many photographers I like better than all of those on that list.

pesphoto
10-10-2007, 06:05
voted for HCB, but Kertesz in numero 1 for me

jan normandale
10-10-2007, 06:22
Hi folks,


A few people have been praising WE here, but I honestly just don't get his stuff at all. I wonder if anyone who likes him would be kind enough to tell us what they think is so good about the photo in the link above? (I'm asking out of genuine interest - I'm really fascinated by other people's views on art).

I would have taken that shot too... so I don't know how to tell you what it is about that photograph except I like it. For this one it may be how he has made a cohesive image from what at first seems an asymmetrical one. In looking at his photos in the link Ray provided, his work seems more about the concept first and then the image.

kbg32
10-10-2007, 06:54
I like eisenstadt, cappa, the dustbowl photographers, eggelston (he grows on you after meeting and somewhat understanding the man), I also liked bob carlos clarke, there are many others I've liked -- usually, it's the image rather than the photographer --- Stanley Kubrick was an exceptional photographer, jack robinson, there's countless timeless images that really hit home with me

How true Blake!

kalokeri
10-10-2007, 06:55
My vote goes to HCB.

Maybe I´m too much part of the so-called "Old-Europe", but I never was that much impressed by Winogrand or Eggelston. Cartier-Bresson was - in my eyes - one of the luckiest men of the last century. He was always at the right place at the right time - remember for example his pictures of Ghandyand his burial.

Thomas

RichC
10-10-2007, 07:03
Eggleston link: http://www.masters-of-photography.com/images/full/eggleston/eggleston_plastic_bottles.jpg
A few people have been praising WE here, but I honestly just don't get his stuff at all. I wonder if anyone who likes him would be kind enough to tell us what they think is so good about the photo in the link above?For me, Eggleston's images that work are those, like the one I posted, that seem ordinary but aren't - his photography looks casual, mere snapshots, but are very deliberate.

The linked photo, Black Bayou Plantation, asks questions, and draws you in: Why are those bottles there? What happened? What does it mean? This image is hyper-real, almost surreal; Eggleston has deliberately imbued the scattered bottles with significance.

Another favourite photographer of mine is Harry Callahan, who also creates images full of exaggerated meaning. Here's a short essay I wrote on one his photos, which, coincidentally, is also about something dropped: http://www.richcutler.co.uk/photo/essay_01.htm. Unlike Eggleston, Callahan is more traditional in his compositions.

ferider
10-10-2007, 07:21
I always think it's interesting to see who those guys hung out with.

For example, this is Steinbeck with Capa in the background:

http://www.magnumphotos.com/CoreXDoc/MAG/Media/TR3/F/W/J/F/PAR45598.jpg

Or the portrait of Georgia O’Keefe by Ansel Adams (another AA RF photo, BTW). Or Ghandi and HCB. Etc.

Roland.

cp_ste.croix
10-10-2007, 07:53
Have to say that I've been a Winnogrand fan since highschool...though it's hard to pick from such a list.

Off the list, I'd say Arbus is my fav of the moment, or maybe Natcheway (sp?)

jan normandale
10-10-2007, 08:11
Have to say that I've been a Winnogrand fan since highschool...though it's hard to pick from such a list.

Off the list, I'd say Arbus is my fav of the moment, or maybe Natcheway (sp?)

totally OT... where have you been? I thought you dissappeared! Good to see you again.

Ara Ghajanian
10-10-2007, 08:29
Thanks RayPA. If I didn't look at this post, I wouldn't have investigated Eggleston's work. Pretty great stuff. Makes me want to carry color film in my M6 at all times.

I picked Winogrand (even though I love AA and appreciate HCB) because of his attitude. He seems like the kind of guy I'd hang out with. His photos are good too.

cp_ste.croix
10-10-2007, 08:41
totally OT... where have you been? I thought you dissappeared! Good to see you again.

In all honesty, I needed a break. Too much gear lust and there was a bit too much drama for me for a while. I've continued to lurk though.

It's good to be back, there are some great new members here!

And now back to the topic...

shadowfox
10-10-2007, 09:03
I think this poll elicit multiple interpretation.

Do you like your favorite's photograph? or his personality? or both combined?

These can yield different choices. Personality-wise, I think my favorite would be Gary Winograd with HCB as a close second. But photograph-wise, Ansel Adams pulled off some of the best imageries I have ever seen.

keithwms
10-10-2007, 09:20
This is a question that I certainly cannot answer.

I adore HCB for the importance he gave time; I adore AA for the feeling of timelessness expressed in his compositions. Two totally different approaches... but the output from both was equally seminal.

jan normandale
10-10-2007, 09:27
http://www.michellegolden.net/pdn1.html this is as close to truth as I've seen about eggelston

This is an interesting read. He sounds totally reasonable to me. Some things he said seem a little out of context in this interview and I'm surprised but not too surprised that he says he's influenced by music. Who would have thought!

BTW Ray... this is one of the most interesting threads I've seen here at RFF in months. Thanks to all here.

RayPA
10-10-2007, 09:28
Thanks RayPA. If I didn't look at this post, I wouldn't have investigated Eggleston's work. Pretty great stuff. Makes me want to carry color film in my M6 at all times.

I picked Winogrand (even though I love AA and appreciate HCB) because of his attitude. He seems like the kind of guy I'd hang out with. His photos are good too.

You're welcome, Ara. I think Eggleston has that effect on people (loading up color film). Sometimes it can be hard to transition between thinking and shooting in b&w to thinking and shooting in color, but after sitting with an Eggleston book, or perusing his images online, it all seems so clear and simple! :)


.


.

Gabriel M.A.
10-10-2007, 09:29
Rather a limited list. There are many photographers I like better than all of those on that list.
I was surprised not to see Eisenstaedt in the list, but then again, sometimes there are reasons for omissions or "focus" in the choices.

I still like HCB above Eisenstaedt, but both are on my top 5.

jan normandale
10-10-2007, 09:31
bill's house

the house is interesting but his car is more interesting ;- )

pesphoto
10-10-2007, 09:31
If we want to add names...how about Alfred Steiglitz for one. He was a primary reason why photography was accepted as art in America.

Gabriel M.A.
10-10-2007, 09:32
This is a question that I certainly cannot answer.

I adore HCB for the importance he gave time; I adore AA for the feeling of timelessness expressed in his compositions. Two totally different approaches... but the output from both was equally seminal.
I concur. But I also get that feeling of "timelessness" in many photos by HCB. The main theme in his photos is that of an elegant aesthetic, mainly on how the photo was taken, not the photo itself, if that makes any sense.

oscroft
10-10-2007, 09:51
Hi folks,

Thanks for the thoughts on Eggleston. I guess it is difficult to explain what one likes about a specific photograph (I know I find it hard), but I think I have got some feel for what people like about that one (and about others). One thing that puts me off is that some of his shots seem to be a bit "careless" to me - I can see that in the one with the bottles there's an untold story that he's bringing to our attention, and I like that - but that wonky horizon puts me off (it might be deliberate, but it still looks like a beginner error), and the vertical composition looks poor to me. Maybe it's more about capturing the subject rather than creating a carefully composed artwork, but how do I distinguish that from what my mother does with her p&s and no concept of composition?

I think I need to look at some more of Mr Eggleston's work.

Vics
10-10-2007, 10:22
I picked HCB, but I like them all for what they each do best. Ansel Adams gets special honorable mention for codifying photo technique for all the rest of us! Thanks for that, Ansel. and for your Contax portraits of Georgia O'Keefe and of Alfred Steiglitz. I wish he'd done more RF work.
Vic

RichC
10-10-2007, 10:43
Eggleston. ... One thing that puts me off is that some of his shots seem to be a bit "careless" to me ... the one with the bottles ... that wonky horizon puts me off ... and the vertical composition looks poor to me ... how do I distinguish that from what my mother does with her p&s and no concept of composition?You have to accept Eggleston's vision for what it is and ignore convention: would a straight horizon change the photo's message? If not, then perhaps it's irrelevant. The important thing is, does a photographer's photos connect with people in any way? If not, like my mum's photos (sorry mum!), perhaps they're just technically poor photos with wonky horizons that (unlike Eggleston's work) say very little.

I think that the work of some photographers needs to be considered outside of the rather limiting conventions of traditional photographic conventions, esp. composition, and perhaps has leanings towards certain goals of abstract art, to convey essence rather than fact. (That said, I hate conceptual art - to me work without craftmanship is as pointless as work without a concept: a successuful piece of art must IMHO have an powerful underlying concept or message and be created with skill.)

DougK
10-10-2007, 11:21
I like them all, but I went with Eggleston. I'm a big fan of color photography and something in the way he uses color really appeals to me, plus I like the character of his portraits.

d_ross
10-10-2007, 11:54
oscroft, just like any other photographer I don't think you can judge Eggleston's work by this or any other single image, and I personally don't see this as one of his best pieces. All of these photographers have standout single images, including Eggleston, but perhaps he more than the others should be judged on his body of work.

here is a quote from John Szarkowski on eggleston

These pictures are fascinating partly because they contradict our expectations. We have been told so often of the bland, synthetic smoothness of exemplary American life, of its comfortable, vacant insentience, its extruded, stamped, and molded sameness, in a word its irredeemable dullness, that we have come half to believe it, and thus are startled and perhaps exhilarated to see these pictures of prototypically normal types on their familiar ground, grandchildren of Penrod, who seem to live surrounded by spirits, not all of them benign. The suggestible viewer might sense that these are subjects capable not only of the familiar modern vices (self-loathing, adaptability, dissembling, sanctimony, and license), but of the ancient ones (pride, parochial stubbornness, irrationality, selfishness, and lust). This could not be called progress, but it is interesting. Such speculations, however, even if not simple nonsense, presumably relate only to Eggleston's pictures - patterns of random facts in the service of one imagination - not to the real world. A picture is after all only a picture, a concrete kind of fiction, not to be admitted as hard evidence or as the quantifiable data of social scientists

As pictures, however, these seem to me perfect: irreducible surrogates for the experience they pretend to record, visual analogues for the quality of one life, collectively a paradigm of a private view, a view one would have thought ineffable, described here with clarity, fullness, and elegance.

d_ross
10-10-2007, 11:55
go here to see his work

http://www.egglestontrust.com/portfolios.html

andrew rhea
10-10-2007, 13:32
William Eggleston is THE American photographer in my mind, His photos aren't just documents of common place American scenes, they capture the essence of them. I love so many of his photographs because they give me the feeling of hey Ive been here, Ive experienced this, but never quite like this.

The idea that your mother could have taken these pictures, well that’s somewhat the point, Eggleston challenges us to look at those "boring" things and think what do they all mean, this is a picture of milk bottles or a ceiling fan, or an oven, but yet it seems so much more wonderful than how I usually experience these things. In the end you walk away from an Eggleston photograph a richer person, because you are going to look at that banal piece of Americana around you with renewed appreciation.

d_ross
10-10-2007, 14:12
Jeff Brouws is another american photogrpaher doing this Andrew.

http://www.jeffbrouws.com/series/main.html

well worth a look

RayPA
10-10-2007, 14:43
Jeff Brouws is another american photogrpaher doing this Andrew.

http://www.jeffbrouws.com/series/main.html

well worth a look

I think Egglestone created a whole genre or branch in the photographic tree. Back before this fellow (?) there's Stephen Shore (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/S/shore/shore.html).

:)

d_ross
10-10-2007, 14:56
exactly, and the likes of Brouws continue the genre Eggleston created, and in doing so showing america now, through similar eyes. The visual referencing to WE in Brouws images is obvious. that is one of the things that makes Eggleston great.

J. Borger
10-11-2007, 06:36
I have to admit Eggleston is an artist who has to grow on you.
A lot of his pictures look uninteresting if seen isolated but get a lot of meaning shown in the context of a whole series ........ the consistency in his work and the way each and every picture has the Eggleston signature all over it is truly unique.

Another point about Eggleston worth noting is that the technical quality of his pictures and especially the quality of his prints is truly outstanding .... all wall- hangers (if you like the content of courese;) )!
It realy shows that his pictures are meant for the wall where HCB pictures were meant for magazines and papers .... a lot of HCB pictures realy disapointed mee seeing them framed on a wall at an exhibition. (Felt the same about Elliot Erwit pictures btw).

keithwms
10-11-2007, 07:17
I concur. But I also get that feeling of "timelessness" in many photos by HCB. The main theme in his photos is that of an elegant aesthetic, mainly on how the photo was taken, not the photo itself, if that makes any sense.

Ah I didn't mean to imply that HCB's work isn't "timeless." Rather, I simply think that HCB's and AA's treatment of the role of time in their compositions is very different- even opposite. Of course, HCB's work usually reminds us of "the decisive moment." In the case of AA, on the contrary, there are very few compositions in which the timing is critical at the level of a split second- I can only name two or three offhand.

So my point was that the compositional role of time is different for these two. And I wouldn't want to pick one over the other because they both paved the way for so much subsequent work by others.

andrew rhea
10-11-2007, 10:37
I think Egglestone created a whole genre or branch in the photographic tree. Back before this fellow (?) there's Stephen Shore (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/S/shore/shore.html).

:)

I would say that Stephen shore though having a similar subject matter as eggleston,has a completely different approach. His Compositions are very formal, and give things an air of importance. Eggleston seems to be saying, to me at least, these things are small and boring so what they are interesting, Shore seems to say no these things are not small and not boring they are important.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1201/528659175_af91ebfebb_o.jpg
this image reminds me of allot of classic architecture, just applied to something we see everyday and take for granted. and that is shore's trick in my oppinion, making you look at something as grander than you ever have before.

HuubL
10-11-2007, 11:14
I voted AA, but after I checked the links I now rather opt for HCB.

RayPA
10-11-2007, 11:56
I would say that Stephen shore though having a similar subject matter as eggleston,has a completely different approach. His Compositions are very formal, and give things an air of importance. Eggleston seems to be saying, to me at least, these things are small and boring so what they are interesting, Shore seems to say no these things are not small and not boring they are important.

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1201/528659175_af91ebfebb_o.jpg
this image reminds me of allot of classic architecture, just applied to something we see everyday and take for granted. and that is shore's trick in my oppinion, making you look at something as grander than you ever have before.

That's a good read. Obviously, the two are different that can't help but be so. They are as much different as HCB and Wnogrand, however as much as HCB and Winogrand are different, they have their similarities, and the broadest and most obvious is that they are both street photographers. They are as undeniably from the same branch, as AA is undeniably from an entirely different branch.
And that's my point.
The work of WE and Shore to me are similar, and important, both content-wise and with regard to photographic history. I see something like American Surfaces and I see an artist working very similar territory to WE, and I see work that in the end achieved the purpose of allowing us to see the art of the color photograph, but can you place Shore's place in photographic history without mentioning Eggleston? The color photograph as art begins with WE, no?


:)

Tuolumne
10-11-2007, 12:10
Yes you should, Jan! Here are some samples to jumpstart your trip to the library: :)

AA (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/A/adams/adams.html)
HCB (http://www.afterimagegallery.com/bresson.htm)
GW (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/W/winogrand/winogrand.html)
WE (http://www.masters-of-photography.com/E/eggleston/eggleston.html)

I followed your link to WE's work. I know the name but never saw the photos. Um, I hate to say this, but I shoot stuff like that everyday. And throw it away. Perhaps I should start exhibiting more? ;)

/T

Tuolumne
10-11-2007, 12:14
oscroft, just like any other photographer I don't think you can judge Eggleston's work by this or any other single image, and I personally don't see this as one of his best pieces. All of these photographers have standout single images, including Eggleston, but perhaps he more than the others should be judged on his body of work.

here is a quote from John Szarkowski on eggleston

These pictures are fascinating partly because they contradict our expectations. We have been told so often of the bland, synthetic smoothness of exemplary American life, of its comfortable, vacant insentience, its extruded, stamped, and molded sameness, in a word its irredeemable dullness, that we have come half to believe it, and thus are startled and perhaps exhilarated to see these pictures of prototypically normal types on their familiar ground, grandchildren of Penrod, who seem to live surrounded by spirits, not all of them benign. The suggestible viewer might sense that these are subjects capable not only of the familiar modern vices (self-loathing, adaptability, dissembling, sanctimony, and license), but of the ancient ones (pride, parochial stubbornness, irrationality, selfishness, and lust). This could not be called progress, but it is interesting. Such speculations, however, even if not simple nonsense, presumably relate only to Eggleston's pictures - patterns of random facts in the service of one imagination - not to the real world. A picture is after all only a picture, a concrete kind of fiction, not to be admitted as hard evidence or as the quantifiable data of social scientists

As pictures, however, these seem to me perfect: irreducible surrogates for the experience they pretend to record, visual analogues for the quality of one life, collectively a paradigm of a private view, a view one would have thought ineffable, described here with clarity, fullness, and elegance.

This goes to show that a good critic is as much the artist in his critiques as the artist is in his own medium. There is no way in hell you can get this out of Eagleston's work unless you "make it up", just like an artist.

/T

mtbbrian
10-11-2007, 12:40
I like them all for very different reasons.
Brian

jan normandale
10-11-2007, 12:42
That's a good read. ......... The color photograph as art begins with WE, no?:)

Ray, that's the one thing about the "mythology" of Eggleston I have a problem with after reading his interview with Michelle Golden further back in this thread. I didn’t want to get into it. In my opinion his assertion of his contribution to photography based on the use of colour film was a “stretch”. Colour film was "around". It's like an artist claiming to have ownership of a "colour" or having discovered colour. Hard to believe. All artists use what ever they decide as a medium. To use colour film when it was available and then suggest that he was 'first' is disingenuous.

“.. when he was asked once and for all whether or not he thought it was accurate to call him the "father of color photography" as he has been described so many times before,
Without hesitation, he replied, "yes, I think that's fair."
Source : Michelle Golden .. http://www.michellegolden.net/pdn1.html

We have discussions here at RFF.. digital vs film, colour vs BW, SLR vs RF, inkjet vs wet print, and on. All these are indications of the breadth of options to make a photograph. Using colour film when it is introduced does not permit one to validly claim the “father of colour photography” as a first. What about the father of digital photography? An equally curious claim.

I think Eggleston is a fantastic photographer. I also think the claim damages his credibility by deflecting attention away from what he did and instead directing it toward the equipment he was using.

d_ross
10-11-2007, 13:01
Art goes way beyond the surface of the print, you cant ever talk about someone like Eggleston soley with a purist photographers eye.

popstar
10-11-2007, 18:46
A few people have been praising WE here, but I honestly just don't get his stuff at all. I wonder if anyone who likes him would be kind enough to tell us what they think is so good about the photo in the link above? (I'm asking out of genuine interest - I'm really fascinated by other people's views on art).

Alan - You ask legitimate questions which I think Rich does a good job of answering above. I would concur with Rich in that WE's photos may not look like much on the surface, but in some cases (as with the linked photo) the questions raised are interesting.

The setting of the photo is generic - a dirt lot in some sort of scrubland setting - but the subject is not generic. How often do you come across 14 plastic jugs of the same size and seemingly same contents strewn about in a dirt lot? Can't say it's ever happened to me. Did they come from the nearby cardboard boxes, or somewhere else? If somewhere else, why are the boxes there? Who left them there? Why? Laziness, haste, negligence, or something else? What about the wooden structure to the right? What is it? Were the jugs stored there? There are a lot of questions arising from a 'mundane' photo.

Perhaps I've spent too much time looking at this, but I find myself wanting answers sometimes when studying WE's work. I admit, there are photos of his I don't 'get', but there are many others that have interesting context or irony presented that may take a bit of studying to understand. Hope this helps a little bit. :)

AshenLight
10-12-2007, 06:07
I chose HCB, no disrespect intended to the other photographers in the poll. Adding A. Aubrey Bodine to the poll would have made it a very difficult choice for me. I view his work as the American equivalent of HCB. His work can be seen at http://www.aaubreybodine.com/

Ash

jan normandale
10-12-2007, 06:36
Ash, I don't think Ray was actually conducting a formal poll. He's been around RFF long enough to see these threads diverge and become forums too. It has been interesting to see others discuss these photograpers. I've picked up a lot of new names that are interesting in themselves in this thread. Bodine will get a deeper look from me now I have a link.

AshenLight
10-12-2007, 06:44
Ash, I don't think Ray was actually conducting a formal poll. He's been around RFF long enough to see these threads diverge and become forums too. It has been interesting to see others discuss these photograpers. I've picked up a lot of new names that are interesting in themselves in this thread. Bodine will get a deeper look from me now I have a link.

Hi Jan,

I didn't think it was a formal poll, I guess I just wanted to put Bodine's name out there since he doesn't seem to be too well known outside of his photojournalistic work for the Baltimore Sun. I hope you enjoy the website.

Ash

RayPA
10-12-2007, 07:22
Ray, that's the one thing about the "mythology" of Eggleston I have a problem with after reading his interview with Michelle Golden further back in this thread. I didn’t want to get into it. In my opinion his assertion of his contribution to photography based on the use of colour film was a “stretch”. Colour film was "around". It's like an artist claiming to have ownership of a "colour" or having discovered colour. Hard to believe. All artists use what ever they decide as a medium. To use colour film when it was available and then suggest that he was 'first' is disingenuous.

“.. when he was asked once and for all whether or not he thought it was accurate to call him the "father of color photography" as he has been described so many times before,
Without hesitation, he replied, "yes, I think that's fair."
Source : Michelle Golden .. http://www.michellegolden.net/pdn1.html

We have discussions here at RFF.. digital vs film, colour vs BW, SLR vs RF, inkjet vs wet print, and on. All these are indications of the breadth of options to make a photograph. Using colour film when it is introduced does not permit one to validly claim the “father of colour photography” as a first. What about the father of digital photography? An equally curious claim.

I haven't read the interview, but it seems to me you're more put off by his arrogance at accepting the moniker. :) :) I think my statement is fairly accurate and accepted. No he didn't invent color photography, and yes it was already "around." It seems unthinkable/impossible now, but it really wasn't until Eggleston that the color photograph was considered "Art," or looked upon as art (and this was early 1970s!). I'm trying to remember a color photographer who predates Eggleston, or someone who has had the impact and influence of Eggleston, but I can't.

WE had an impact on me, because I go back that far, and I remember the first time I saw The Red Ceiling (for me THE signature WE photo) and the first time I saw it hanging on a wall. We yawn at it now, but his work was revolutionary, and as controversial as it is today.

Part of Eggleston's success had to do with his process. He used dye transfer which really emphasized color. For me, WE's photographs are about color first and foremost. I look at an Eggleston photo and I'm immediately struck by the color. They're not just color photographs, they're photographs about color, whether the subtle colors of Memphis at dusk or the garish vividness of a red ceiling. To put it in perspective, I thnk Eggleston is to color what AA is to b&w. The difference is where WE pointed his camera. He didn't point toward the heavens and the majesty of nature. He pointed it toward an icebox, a livingroom sofa, a tricycle, a southerner. For that reason alone WE is a hero to me. It's telling, if you download WE's PDF bio from his trust site. he makes one entry for the year 1959: the first time he saw both HCB's Decisive Moments and Walker Evans' American Pictures. (now if I had added Walker Evans to the poll that's where my vote would have gone).

dcsang
10-12-2007, 07:31
Personally..

I Like FrankS

Just Sayin'
Dave :D

IGMeanwell
10-12-2007, 07:35
Out of those 4 I guess I would say Winograd

mostly because I like his style and I like his philosophy behind photography

but

honestly I my favorite photographer is W. Eugene Smith

irq506
10-12-2007, 08:00
Hory Clap!
Unttil just now I never heard of William Eggelstein and forgot entirely about Garrrrry literally for fifteen years. I should do some research here on Eggelstien and see what hes all about, bto from the google image search looks astounding.
I actually shoot much like Winogrand, in that I shoot alot maybe not as much as he did, but approaching. Its that methodology that works for me. Can you imagein Garrry Winogrand with a small digital and a 16gb card?
...ohh god Im getting dizzy...

IGMeanwell
10-12-2007, 08:20
Hory Clap!
Unttil just now I never heard of William Eggelstein and forgot entirely about Garrrrry literally for fifteen years. I should do some research here on Eggelstien and see what hes all about, bto from the google image search looks astounding.
I actually shoot much like Winogrand, in that I shoot alot maybe not as much as he did, but approaching. Its that methodology that works for me. Can you imagein Garrry Winogrand with a small digital and a 16gb card?
...ohh god Im getting dizzy...

I can ....

I can imagine his harddrive banks of 2,000,000 unprocessed RAW files not to mentioned the already accumulated negatives

other than the M8; I could imagine him being a GRD user with the voightlander 28mm mini viewfinder

wlewisiii
10-12-2007, 10:16
I'm 2 out of three person. I chose Adams for all the reasons above and give more credit as a person after reading[URL="http://www.amazon.com/Ansel-Adams-American-Landscape-Biography/dp/0520089928/ref=pd_bbs_3/104-7602855-7923962?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192212758&sr=8-3Ansel Adams and the American Landscape: A Biography (Hardcover) by Jonathan Spaulding[/URL] which makes it clear to me that much of the marketing personna was driven by his fear of being broke.

William

d_ross
10-12-2007, 12:52
Tuolumne, "but I shoot stuff like that everyday. And throw it away"

if this is the case, then why do you shoot these shots in the first place ? is it perhaps that subconsciously your attracted to the scene the way WE may have been, but then when you see the prints you throw them away ?

Thea
10-12-2007, 13:04
Out of the limited choice given, I chose Eggleston. However it was difficult to choose between him and HCB, for completely different reasons.

I really began to appreciate Eggleston because of Martin Parr, and saw a small series of his work last year at the Brighton Bi-Annual (UK) from his "Graceland" series, they were so powerful and yet incredibly subtle. For that all too short time, (viewing his work) I glimpsed how it must be to have such a creative genius.


I have to add, I am really into Stephen Shore's work at the current time.

The list of choice was criminally short with no female photographers, and 3 American nominees to only one European...!! :)

jan normandale
10-12-2007, 13:21
@ Ray .. just to be clear I am impressed by Eggleston and I do know about the other WE. I like them both.

Re.. Eggleston's arrogance... no I'm not put off by it and I agree that I'm personifying. I wouldn't want a descriptive like that attached to my name. I'd be quite comfortable hearing him described as "a photographer who changed (photographic) perception". In my opinion the “father of colour photography” is a derisive accolade, but it’s not as bad as Columbus “discovered” the New World.

I'm loving your thread, thanks for starting it.

Cale Arthur
10-12-2007, 15:15
exactly, and the likes of Brouws continue the genre Eggleston created, and in doing so showing america now, through similar eyes. The visual referencing to WE in Brouws images is obvious. that is one of the things that makes Eggleston great.
I'm not sure i understand this. While i'm always very happy to find another Brouws fan, i'm a little uncomfy with the notion that Eggleston is somehow made greater by Brouws referencing his work, which i don't necessarily agree that he does. I guess, in some way, i can see a line connecting these two photographers insofar as they both have portrayed certain kinds of American vernacular, but to me, Brouws (who, by the way, doesn't always shoot color) owes a greater debt to the typological work of Ed Ruscha than to WE. Either way, both of your assertions seem to paint Brouws as 'unoriginal by proxy'.

--c--

d_ross
10-12-2007, 15:42
I based that on the assumtion that if WE was the "father of colour photography" which I don't really agree with, then those that follow a similar genre of work must add to the substance of those they follow. therefore making Eggleston greater in an art historical reference. I most definately would not call Brouws unoriginal in any way.

RayPA
10-12-2007, 19:38
... both of your assertions seem to paint Brouws as 'unoriginal by proxy'.

--c--

no one made that assertation. I've never heard of the photographer until this thread. your liking Brouws doesn't make you unoriginal, nor does attempts within this thread to place Brouws in relation to Eggleston make him unoriginal. I can attempt to place Winogrand in relation to Walker Evans and others who were instrumental in what we now refer to as street photography, that doesn't make Winogrand unoriginal because he wasn't the first, or the "father" or whatever.
.

RayPA
10-12-2007, 20:18
Out of the limited choice given, I chose Eggleston. However it was difficult to choose between him and HCB, for completely different reasons.

I really began to appreciate Eggleston because of Martin Parr, and saw a small series of his work last year at the Brighton Bi-Annual (UK) from his "Graceland" series, they were so powerful and yet incredibly subtle. For that all too short time, (viewing his work) I glimpsed how it must be to have such a creative genius.


I have to add, I am really into Stephen Shore's work at the current time.
me too.

The list of choice was criminally short with no female photographers, and 3 American nominees to only one European...!! :)

criminally? impossibly short. intentionally short. honestly, it guess it would be lots of fun to do something like Rich Silfver did with rangefinder cameras, and go through several weeks of polling and playoffs, twelve choices per thread, 10 threads, etc. to determine everyone's favorite or "the best" (we'd get to the end and HCB would still reign supreme!) :) But it would be sad to see Lisette Model (one of my favs) go down in the first round without a mention! With a smaller list we get to hear several opinions about each choice. Maybe it's time for an all Euro photographers poll (I vote Koudelka!) or an all women photographer poll...Thea? :)


:)

Cale Arthur
10-12-2007, 20:39
I can attempt to place Winogrand in relation to Walker Evans and others who were instrumental in what we now refer to as street photography, that doesn't make Winogrand unoriginal because he wasn't the first, or the "father" or whatever.
.
Ray, i understand what you're saying, and with that i agree. However, my point had less to do with 'who was there first' (i also wasn't trying to defend anyone), than it did with the latter two sentences that i quoted from d_ross above, in which it seems to say that WE's work is made better by a perceived visual similarity to another artist's work. I'm open to the fact that i've missed the point entirely, but i do think that the notion of an artist's oeuvre gaining some kind of historical momentum through (the perception of) imitation by others is a strange one, when it seems to me that they're both quite original in their own way(s). But perhaps i read too much into a post that i now realize was somewhat removed (by me) from it's original context. Regardless, my apologies to both of you for any misunderstanding - i didn't mean to take your thread for a ride. :)

--c--

d_ross
10-13-2007, 13:13
no need to apologise to me :) I clearly see where your coming from and I didn't really phrase my original statement that well either.

dll927
10-13-2007, 14:16
A lot of this type of discussion focuses on what the critics/museums/curators go for. (The late John Szarkowski was the 'curator of photography' at MOMA for a couple of dozen years or so.) As a result, it's largely the same pantheon of names that we hear about all the time. Why? Because the critics and curators play them up. And every once in a while they make a new 'discovery'.

I enjoy looking through the galleries right here on these forums, and there are some talented people posting their pictures, whether they be pros or amateurs. For right now, I won't name any names, but there are opportunities here and on other sites to comment on posted pictures, and maybe we should make more use of that.

Does that speak for all of us? I doubt it. But the same phonomenon goes on in most of the art world.

Thea
10-15-2007, 12:02
Ray,
"criminally? impossibly short. intentionally short. honestly, it guess it would be lots of fun to do something like Rich Silfver did with rangefinder cameras, and go through several weeks of polling and playoffs, twelve choices per thread, 10 threads, etc. to determine everyone's favorite or "the best" (we'd get to the end and HCB would still reign supreme!) :) But it would be sad to see Lisette Model (one of my favs) go down in the first round without a mention! With a smaller list we get to hear several opinions about each choice. Maybe it's time for an all Euro photographers poll (I vote Koudelka!) or an all women photographer poll...Thea? :)"


I see you point(s),
and will consider the idea of an all women photographer poll...maybe I could have some suggestions? I dont want to be too narrow..

Lisette Model, I just bought the re-release of her Aperture Monograph, wow fantastic.

RayPA
10-15-2007, 12:55
Ray,
...

Lisette Model, I just bought the re-release of her Aperture Monograph, wow fantastic.

I just picked this up too. I was "suffering" with my little Phaidon 55 release with its little images, and then this re-release comes along...WOW is right!


.

gb hill
12-20-2007, 19:00
I like all of them but picked Winogrand. I saw a documentary on Eggleston on the Sundance channel a few months ago. His color work is fantastic. MOF it was viewing his photos that excited me about shooting color film again. RFF has some good photographers that shoot color.

Brennotdan
12-20-2007, 19:57
I love Ansel Adams, but it is Eggleston for me. I am only really starting to discover HCB, and am only familiar with a few Garry Winogrand images.

As for Egglestons composition, I can see how one might view it as sloppy esspecially if that is the only image seen. In context with his other work, you see it is very deliberate, whether on exposure or editing.. who knows? I have seen H.C.B. contact sheets as well in an article meant to challenge "the decisive moment". The point was to show that the decisive moment was actually him choosing between 3 or 4 different compositions. I don't see anything wrong with that. At any rate, the posted Eggleston image with an even horizon would be boring. It is the same kind of tension Bill Frisell or David Lynch (who was influenced by W.E.) use. I love the unwarranted apprehension that is evoked with many of his photographs.

Thank you for the Jeff Brouws link! good stuff. I might have chosen Walker Evans as well.

thomasw_
12-20-2007, 22:25
voted for HCB, but Kertesz in numero 1 for me

I did the same and I agree with this quote. Also what Telenous wrote about GW echoes with me.

visiondr
12-21-2007, 10:37
Mary Ann or Ginger? :D

They're both great for different reasons ;) . So are all the above artists.

al1966
12-22-2007, 06:16
I voted for William Eggleston 2 main reasons colour and his images for me are along the lines of if one thing matters everything matters (title by Wolfgang Tillmans), its a line of photography I find very interesting and am going down. But there all good photographers and I could have voted for any. There are however a plethora of great photographers that could be listed and voted on or compared and I would bet that a lot of us would still end up saying what about? Well Im going to make some photographs
Peace

jlw
01-01-2008, 08:49
Adams was a hypocrite and Cartier-Bresson was a manipulative jerk. I don't know anything about the other two.

Oh, wait, you probably meant "whose photographs do you like most?"...

Bob Michaels
01-01-2008, 14:15
Since Dianne Arbus was not on the list, I voted for Garry Winogrand.

HCB was certainly in the running though.

I'd also would have voted for Lee Friedlander, Duane Michals, or Walker Evans.

Then there is Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, and Sally Mann.

Wait, there are about fifty more...............

Marc-A.
01-02-2008, 17:27
HCB +1 (though Winogrand is pretty close)

But on top:
Koudelka, Salgado, Dorothea Lange, Doisneau and Willy Ronis ... then HCB, Winogrand, Weegee ... etc.

MikeCassidy
02-07-2008, 13:22
Though my list: Evans, Freidlander, Lang, Dater, Arbus, and the Hocks

MikeCassidy
02-07-2008, 13:36
and there is also Uelsmann
and Weston, especially Point Lobos oh yeh Weegie


BTW I saw my first Walker Evans and Friedlander *Prints* last month in SF; I was very impressed; I had only seen them in books. I also saw some images and video by Dijskra, really very nice.

le vrai rdu
04-02-2008, 16:47
obiwan kenobi

sreeja
04-04-2008, 02:14
I like Ansel Adams more.Because it is more beautiful than the others

Nh3
04-04-2008, 07:44
Winogrand is hyped.

He worked in the classic street photography style and was inspired by Robert Frank like all the other New York street photographers. But he took so many shots that his batting average is horrible. Anyone who takes so many pictures would definitely get a few good ones as he did. He was also turned on by photographing women and his photos of attractive women get tiresome... He clearly had an OCD for the act of photography and photographing women which puts me off from his work... I don't know why he is so popular, i guess it was his eccentricity more than anything else which has made him famous.

The only photographers worth hero worship are:

Eugene Atget
Ansel Adams
HCB
Robert Frank
Sebastiao Salgado

shg005
04-04-2008, 19:44
1- Salgado
2- Kudelka
3 - Robert Cappa, Erwitt
4- HCB (but in this list he is first)

George Bonanno
04-05-2008, 22:15
But he took so many shots that his batting average is horrible. Anyone who takes so many pictures would definitely get a few good ones as he did.

And... may I ask... how does that differ from any of the others mentioned in this thread ?

Harry S.
04-06-2008, 03:59
They are all hyped on that list but I like Winogrand's work the best so he got my vote. However;

Richard Kalvar
Trent Parke
Daido Moriyama
Jeff Mermelstein
Robert Frank

swoop
04-06-2008, 04:54
If Walker Evans was on the list he'd get my vote.

dof
04-15-2008, 18:39
I like Andre Kertesz more than any of them.

benlees
04-16-2008, 15:05
I just took out HCB's The Impassioned Eye and William Eggleston In the Real World out of the library. Quite a contrast between the two films. I voted for Eggleston before I watched the movie about him; watching it just confirms my choice. I preferred the Eggleston movie because we get to see him work; to see how he goes about his business, and his life, for that matter. Very interesting. He is very earnest and is obviously just as commited to creating meaningful images as other photographers. His 'at war with the obvious' theme holds appeal for me.

The HCB film was amazing simply because the man was at so many key events at the right time while creating even more memorable images. A true giant.

robbeiflex
06-01-2010, 12:36
HCB in the lead by far at this point, and I voted for him from this list, but for me Brassaï (Gyula Halász) is missing.

jsrockit
06-01-2010, 12:46
I like all 4 of them... but Eggleston is my favorite of all of them.

jsrockit
06-01-2010, 12:57
The idea that your mother could have taken these pictures, well that’s somewhat the point, Eggleston challenges us to look at those "boring" things and think what do they all mean, this is a picture of milk bottles or a ceiling fan, or an oven, but yet it seems so much more wonderful than how I usually experience these things. In the end you walk away from an Eggleston photograph a richer person, because you are going to look at that banal piece of Americana around you with renewed appreciation.

To me, the objects may be banal, but the photographs are anything but (for the most part). Many people take pictures of things they like and try to make a good photograph of the thing (the subject)...but Eggleston just uses whatevers around to make a photograph and the photograph is the subject.