Who's your favorite photographer, and why?

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Sean

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Ansel Adams

I just can't imagine the medium without his collection of work. I think he was the ultimate combination of dedication and artistic execution. I look to the man, and his work as an inspiration. Whether people admire him or not, one thing can not be argued- That is he completely achieved his photographic vision. Think about that. It's hard to imagine I could ever come close to such an accomplishment, but knowing someone else has gives me added confidence in my own work.
 
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I think it's very interesting that you mention Tom Till. I first saw his images a long time ago, but never expected him to be listed as somebody's favorite photographer, because he isn't as well-known as many others are.
 
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Based on my interest in lifestyle (magazine) photography, I'd say that Sang An is one of my current favorites. This is so because he regularly bases his exposures on the shadows (more so than other photographers do), and because his compositions are more abstract than those of some other photographers. I think that these things create images that are more idyllic than those of other photographers.
 
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I just took a look at Tom Tills website. I'm not familiar with the locations he has covered, with the exception of the tulips from Holland. Are those colors real? or are they exaggerated?

I cannot image a place on earth with such intense natural colors....
 

b.e.wilson

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Most of Tom Till's stuff looks very real, and shot on Velvia film, and caught at a great moment of light. I don't know about the flowers, but I've got many examples of Velvia's high contrast bringing up the luminosity of the bright petals by darkening the green foliage. Some of his stuff looks like a warming filter was used, but the colors don't appear pumped-up beyond what Velvia did.
 
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Hi Ed,

Thank you for that link to Don Worth. Beautiful stuff! His trees and fog shot has such a "liquid, dream like quality" to it, it's a shot I would like to own! I read that his first love was music, and not surprising at that. His work has a musical quality to it. Rhythms, repeating phrases etc. Wonderful.
 

Eric Rose

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In the beginning I was devoted to AA, but then I found that what I was enamored with was more the technical aspect of his photography (my engineering background coming out) than the "art". Once I seriously started looking at the images as visual statements I found the ones I enjoyed the most were taken during a very short time window 1936 to 42.

After that I found his pictures uninspiring for the most part. Technically outstanding, but uninspiring. His color stuff really missed the mark. There is a discussion of B&W photographers trying to cross-over to color on photo.net under the LF forum if your interested. I must have committed hearsay by saying AA's color sucked as my post was deleted by the moderator. Must be a major AA fan.

For the long haul my favorite LF photograhers are Edward Weston and Bruce Barnbaum. I have favorites in 35mm and medium format as well as I find that the format used seems to influence the style of photograhy.

Other fav's are Penn, Ritts, Arbus, and Newton for people.

Eric
 

lee

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My favorite photographer is Jay Dusard. He is an Arizona guy that has devoted his life to the western way of life. I think he lives way down on the border now. His book about the North American Cowboy is a classic and commands very big bucks on the used book market. He has done some landscapes and I believe he is the one that ingnited the 4x10 format.

lee
 
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My work is very influenced by Keith Carter (He does alot of selective focus work by using tilt/shift cameras). I also Like Mary Ellen Mark (not only do I love her work, but admire her for using a 4x5 for her style of photography), Irving Haberman (simmilar stuff to WeeGee).
 

Mark in SD

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There are many who I admire, but I'll pick out 2:

1. Ansel Adams. I grew up in California and his photographs were the first that were imprinted in my mind and what first instilled in me the love for both photography and the outdoors. Although I have since discovered photographers whose work I like every bit as much, you never quite lose the special place you have in your heart for your "first".

2. Harold Edgerton. As an engineer, I have always wanted to explore what could be learned through photography. Edgerton really pioneered the world of technical photography. Although he didn't really create art the way Adams did, he created some incredible images and pioneered techniques that help to shape parts of our craft today.
 

David Hall

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Avedon. I become aware of LF photography in the first place because I happened by In The American West in a bookstore years ago and my breath was taken away by how *lensless* the photographs looked. Like there was just no glass between me and the subject whatsoever.

Also, I admire how he's been an 8x10 user for decades and yet it's just not about the equipment. It's always about the eyes, period.

Also, I am becoming a fan of Mark Tucker, from Nashville. He does such a great job of selective focus.

dgh
 

Les McLean

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Paul Caponigro, whose ability to transform the mundane into a deeply thought provoking image always astonishes me. His Stonehenge images are an exquisite example of vision and arrangement and are the most beautiful silver prints that I have ever seen.

Don McCullin, whose war photographs are made with care and sensitivity, and illustrate the futility of conflict.
 

Donald Miller

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Brett Weston...which is actually quite interesting to me in that my first impression of his work was that I could not understand why anyone would print some areas of the print with such low value. Today I find his work quite compelling in the fact that he was able to abstract the image in such a compelling way. He was apparently able to get past the egotistical way of thinking that something had to be represented in a conventionally acceptable way. This seems to have been a quality of his work from his earliest years.
 

fparnold

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Edward Weston, for his landscape detail pictures, still-lifes, and luminous shadows and smoothly graded greys. I had the pleasure of hanging an exhibition of his prints in undergrad, which gave me time to study them off the wall and without being crowded. Inspiring in his elevation of quiet subject matter, and excellent technique with minimalist tools.

I would add, of course, St. Ansel, though while impressed with his perfect landscapes the monumental nature puts me off a bit. This is probably similar to a difference in taste between 18th century baroque chamber music and 19th century orchestral drama. He had an image in the recent show of moon over some rounded rocks in Joshua Tree Nat'l Monument which was very dark, but the tonality and detail in the blacks drew me back repeatedly to the image, though it was less monumental than the Yosemite Valley ones. Wynn Bullock's images, and their use of time and decay, beautifully printed with lots of detailed dark are also appreciated.

In Portriature, I would say Halsman and Arbus, with the observation that different subjects deserve different photographers. Many a wedding album would be enlivened by a disciple of Arbus.
 

Brian

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Garry Winogrand - it may be through sheer volume, but some of his photos have left indelible marks on me. Can't remember the titles, but my favorites are:

Photographer in Central Park
Couple with Chimps
Black deliveryman juxtaposed against white businessman
The one where all the men are looking at the girls

and many others...

Clyde Butcher - for being a master of the landscape. Absolutely amazing images.

Dorathea Lange, Ian MacEachern, Emil Schildt, Dan Burkholder are other favs.
 

4oto.m8

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I will vote for Helmut Newton for the way he seems able to portay women in a life force way......To me anyway.
 

Ed Sukach

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At the moment - and this can, and probably will, change in a few minutes ... I'll vote for Alfred Cheney Johnston (1885-1971). Flo Ziegfield hired him as the official photographer of his show dancers, the Ziegfield girls. Breathtaking photographs of women.

"Johnston perfected a wonderfully titillating skill of making his dressed women look nude."

from: 20th Century Photography - Museum Ludwig Cologne.
 

docholliday

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Mine?

AA for landscapes. Monte Zucker for portraiture. Sarah Silver (something about the way she uses color) but mostly her style.
 
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