Studying famous photographers to better your own photography.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jon_k, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I'm interested in finding a website with a collection of many of the famous photographers work, so I can really start to consider why I like some photos and not others. The point is to get better at composition and understanding composition.

    I've realized photography is about the art, not the science. I need to start learning about design elements, composition, etc. by studying great and successful photographers. I'd rather not buy a book right now, but rather online gallery's featuring famous photogs work.
     
  2. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    There was a thread about this a week or so back talking about photogs who inspire people. I bookmarked a couple:

    Steve McCurry

    Chema Madoz

    Chances are if you do a search on the last one in TPF, you'll find the thread I'm on about
     
  3. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. Alpha

    Alpha Troll Extraordinaire

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    There is probably far more information to be found in books than on the internet.
     
  5. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    This is not something you can do with any real success on your own, I'm afraid. At least not to start with.
    Design elements and composition - when viewed in isolation - appear quite simple. It's when you put them together that things get complex. And they are all bound up in the meaning of the image.
    To make it even easier, the meaning is different depending on which angle you look at it from.
    You should really try starting with a class. If you can't find one specifically about photography then find one about Art or Film*. They have a lot in common.
    The right class will have someone who knows what they are talking about to guide you through the initial stages, and hold open discussions with the rest of the group. You will then begin to see the basics of how it works, be led on to further reading and finally be able to get more out of looking at pictures - which means you can put more in.


    *Or one on the History of Photography.
     
  6. Max is right. A really fabulous little collection of books is by one of the great publishing houses:

    Aperture - Masters Of Photography

    They're small books, but they collate the best images of the greatest photographers. They're $10 new, but you can pick them up used for around 5... which is one thing the internet is actually good for!
     
  7. bellavita64

    bellavita64 TPF Noob!

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    Don't you have a library card? Hint - YOU SHOULD!! I live in a fairly small city (about 30,000) and I have found tons of photography books at the local library. They are all free (as long as you get them back by the due date!). You'd be surprised what they have. I found huge thick books packed with images (fine art stuff) by all of the greats. Most of them even had some of the more avante-garde, edgy stuff too. Study them, pore over them, read all of the fine print beside them. You will learn a lot more than you will viewing them on any website. You will also be surprised how many books are available (at the library, for free) on composition and technique. And then if you find a book that truly has invaluable info in it, you can always buy a copy for reference. You might think some of the books are a little dated, but the basics of what makes a photography a great work of art are timeless.
     
  8. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  9. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    Yeah. I'm looking for some inspiration from famous photographers, so I can attempt to acquire a vision of my own.

    Many people struggle understanding the technical side of photography, but I struggle with creativity. I'm sure it'll take many years to develop a creative vision of my own. You don't learn to draw or paint overnight, and I assume nor do you create inspiring unique photographs.







    Sly looking up my city's public library. ;-)

    I suppose grabbing a library card is the answer to knowledge. I've usually purchased all the books I want to read. Something about tight spines and new smell. But, there's many books that are out of print that have great content about photography, and I could probably fill up a few bookshelves with books related on the subject.

    I'll definitely drop by the library ASAP, get a card, and start checking books out. They're building a new library as well, so that should mean more books!
     
  10. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ya see I used to feel that way about books from the library but here's the thing, I am not sure about you but I personally cannot afford to just go out and buy all the books that I want to read on a particular subject so what i do is go and take out about a million of them from my local library go through all of them figure out what I want and if I really like something I will go out and buy it. Honestly it looks like your library has a system that is very similar to the one here in Pittsburgh except my library searches everone in the surrounding 50 miles as well and I just go online find what I want request it online and within a few days it is waiting at my local library down the street from my house in my name. There is really no shame in taking advantage of a great local asset in your community. The next time you have some trepidation on going to the library ask yourself this will Amazon, Borders, Barnes and Noble, etc..... let you take home any of there books let alone stacks of them at once without shelling out one red cent.
     
  11. jon_k

    jon_k TPF Noob!

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    Yes the library seems like a wealth of information for free. I'll definitely be going by to pick some books up.

    Here's my list of things I'm trying to increase my creativity.

    * Take more pictures, of something, even if I have a hunch. I've noticed in meetups other photographers will go with that flint of an idea, and shoot it, and decide later. Me, on the otherhand, will get an idea but pass it up and keep walking because I assume it won't come out good. That hinders creativity IMO. I need to fight the urge to 'move on'.

    * Start participating in photo assignments. I believe this can encourage creativity.

    * Take more time to study the greats. This is what my intentions are for reading books.

    * Shoot with a single prime on a shoot, so I can learn the lens and learn how to work with the lens to get the composition I want. I feel people easily just camp and zoom in, and a prime forces you to think more and take your time.
     
  12. Snyder

    Snyder TPF Noob!

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    The best way I learned composition was through photography school.
     

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