Photographers we aspire to??

bapp

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Hi guys, I'm new to the forum and I was just noticing that there seems to be little discussion about photographers and their work.

I feel as an aspiring photographer that this is central to improving our work. Ideas make great photographs and for ideas we need inspiration.

The forum would be a great place to post information for all to learn more about the non technical side of photography.

Excuse me if this is already the case and I have missed it on the forum, if so could someone point me there.
 

Trenton Romulox

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I don't know what really inspires me, I guess simply seeing something cool is what drives me to take photographs. Either seeing something cool, or being really bored and trying to make something that looks uncool, look cool. I use 'cool' to much. Damned teenage mindset.
 
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bapp

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It may be because I am studying photography at the minute but I feel if we want to be truly successful at making great images we need to research great photographers.

Inspiration can be found we should not rely on stumbling across it.

Just as a question, what sort of photography are we into? There is so much more than just things that look nice!

I'll ask you in specific Trenton as you so far are the only one who as replied but the question is to everyone.
 

Trenton Romulox

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To me, I like taking landscapes and macro type shots. I like shooting macro using very selective lighting, to really bring out the edges of items. I hate traditional flower shots, but I love shooting flowers. You mention that we should look at great photographers' work, but, really, what makes a great photographer? The thing about photography is that everything is subjective. What you think is good, I might think is awful, and vice versa. It's just the way it is. That's one of the great appeals to photography, or any form of art really, it's all in the eye of the beholder. I guess you could pose that great photographers are the people that take the photos that the most people enjoy, or think are good. And about inspiration, yeah, it can be found. But sometimes the best inspiration is what we stumble upon, and perhaps as we develop as photographers, as artists, we start to look at things differently and suddenly we stumble upon more and more.
 

dpolston

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I actually have a lot of people I look up to but they're for reasons too wide for this forum to handle. It just depends on the photograph or frankly, the situation I'm trying to emulate. I have seen work from some photographers that I would given anything to get that particular shot (Andrzej Dragan's Marta (1/6) and perhaps anything Annie Leibovitz ever shot). I've also seen other photographs that because of being shot at that exact time and place... magic happened (the coverage of World Trade Centers tragedy comes to mind or the shot by Eddie Adams photographing the Vietnamese man being shot in the head by the soldier).

I think if I had to name one person, I'd be cheating myself. I believe that if I try to be that one mirror image of that photographer, I would be blinding myself to thousands of others out there and I can't let myself become pigeonholed. That's a big, big question to answer.
 
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bapp

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To me, I like taking landscapes and macro type shots. I like shooting macro using very selective lighting, to really bring out the edges of items. I hate traditional flower shots, but I love shooting flowers. You mention that we should look at great photographers' work, but, really, what makes a great photographer? The thing about photography is that everything is subjective. What you think is good, I might think is awful, and vice versa. It's just the way it is. That's one of the great appeals to photography, or any form of art really, it's all in the eye of the beholder. I guess you could pose that great photographers are the people that take the photos that the most people enjoy, or think are good. And about inspiration, yeah, it can be found. But sometimes the best inspiration is what we stumble upon, and perhaps as we develop as photographers, as artists, we start to look at things differently and suddenly we stumble upon more and more.

Thats cool, man I enjoy the odd landscape shot myself.

When I say great photographers I am taking about the groups of people that are regarded as masters of photography. I absolutely agree that the medium is subjective however, I am not a huge fan of Van Gogh (for example) however I can appreciate his unbelievable ability to create new paintings that nobody had even thought of producing before. Truly Avant Gard. Therefore we need to research these masters and all photography that appeals to us.

It will allow us to critically asses what and why a good photograph is so.

If you want to see the sort of work I am talking about have a look at this link. Fine art photography at its best.

CLICK

If you like your landscapes I assume you have looked at probably the greatest of all time Ansel Adams???

I dont mean to push my thoughts and beliefs on anybody but I do feel passionate about this and I really think It will help everyone.
 
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bapp

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I actually have a lot of people I look up to but they're for reasons too wide for this forum to handle. It just depends on the photograph or frankly, the situation I'm trying to emulate. I have seen work from some photographers that I would given anything to get that particular shot (Andrzej Dragan's Marta (1/6) and perhaps anything Annie Leibovitz ever shot). I've also seen other photographs that because of being shot at that exact time and place... magic happened (the coverage of World Trade Centers tragedy comes to mind or the shot by Eddie Adams photographing the Vietnamese man being shot in the head by the soldier).

I think if I had to name one person, I'd be cheating myself. I believe that if I try to be that one mirror image of that photographer, I would be blinding myself to thousands of others out there and I can't let myself become pigeonholed. That's a big, big question to answer.

I totally agree my favorite photographers change almost weekly haha! With the WTC coverage and the like of the Eddie Adams image you talked of we have a case for the subject matter over powering the image.

Certainly being in the right place at the right time can be crucial to creating great iconic image. In my opinion it is not a requisite. If you have a look at the work of Guy Bourdin. He shot many images for french vogue with huge budgets but it was his Ideas that made them not the money.

His personal work is some of the most original going which would have cost next to nothing and didnt require being in a particular place at a particular time. This is one of my favorite images.

bourdin.jpg


Truly original. Awe inspiring
 

dpolston

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I'm going to have to use my "Art is Subjective Card" on this one. Well shot by all accounts but to me it's not awe inspiring. Frankly to me it's "Ohh" inspiring (as in "Ohh my god... he got paid for that?!?).

I suppose this is why this question is so difficult for me to wrap my brain around. And my views in "high art" probably aren't the views you're talking about. I am freakishly passionate about photography as an art and communication medium, but some things are just lost on me.
 
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bapp

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I'm going to have to use my "Art is Subjective Card" on this one. Well shot by all accounts but to me it's not awe inspiring. Frankly to me it's "Ohh" inspiring (as in "Ohh my god... he got paid for that?!?).

I suppose this is why this question is so difficult for me to wrap my brain around. And my views in "high art" probably aren't the views you're talking about. I am freakishly passionate about photography as an art and communication medium, but some things are just lost on me.

Haha fair enough, Bourdin is a little out there, I suppose. I am surprised you dont like this shot though... I wont go into it, but I love it hah!

Would you be more a fan of the Magnum "crew"? I am. I bet you like Robert Capa also??
 

antoine

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Im really not an expert in terms of photography, but I do love taking pictures especially on lanscapes and beautiful sceneries. What inspires me to do so is the fact that, the world is so much beautiful that we cant just sit there and do nothing. Its better to capture it and show it to those who really care and appreciate. :wink:
 

Trenton Romulox

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I think maybe the idea of being able to make something that everyone sees as normal or maybe even ugly, and making it look beautiful, I think that inspires me. I'm not sure if I've ever made something ugly into something beautiful, but I really think most of what I do is centered around trying to do just that. For example, my power plant photos. Bad example, my sunrise photos. Being able to turn something bad or normal into something amazing is definitely an attractive prospect to me.
 
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I agree, there is way too little discussion of photographer's work in our community. I'm glad you're here.

My work in no way reflects this, but the work that holds my attention the most these days is Gursky and Burtynski.

The other school of work that really impresses me is the work of Ruud Van Empel, and Simen Johan. They compose, it's almost a form of collage.

As far as street/documentary/hand-held work goes, I admire a lot of the "older masters", but have a huge recent crush on Josef Koudelka.
 
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Iron Flatline

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... and not that my little list of names above in any way actually constitutes a discussion... I just wanted to let you know that some of us pay attention, that it's not always about the gear.

More later, time to feed the kids.
 

Hertz van Rental

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The forum would be a great place to post information for all to learn more about the non technical side of photography.

This was the main reason I set this forum up.
Once you get past the anal stage of being obsessed by equipment and exposure you find that there is a vast area of Photography to be explored. Sadly most people shy away from this because there are no absolutes here: you can quantify technical aspects but you can't quantify things like meaning and mood. These latter, as they can't be measured, depend entirely on personal interpretation so there is no right and wrong - which terrifies the crap out of a lot of people*.
Also, whilst the majority are happy to learn about f-stops and such, they appear to have no interest in the history and current practice of the subject. The majority of people who like to call themselves 'photographers' are for the most part unacquainted with the work of Eugene, Steichen, Annan, Brassai and the rest of the 'greats' who have pushed forward the boundaries. Once you have mentioned Weston and Adams their historical knowledge dries up, except for possibly a few of the trendier contemporary photographers.
What really depresses me though is their lack of interest in learning about them once they have been made aware that there are a large number for them to discover. And so it becomes virtually impossible to discuss Photography in any meaningful way if you have nothing to use as reference points. If you don't know where something has come from you can't explain or understand how it got here, or where it might be headed.
And you sure as Hell can't put your own work into any kind of context.
It would at least be nice to have a few new people in here who are willing to make the effort. It might cause me to once more look forward to coming back in here every day ;)


*Largely because they are afraid of embarrassing themselves with 'wrong' answers.
 

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