Before going off to do the Christmas thing I wanted to put a post out there that is sort of a "note to self" and an introduction to a series of posts that I will be putting up in the coming year. I have had countless conversations with readers on just about all things photographic. A lot of Apple Aperture stuff, Some Abobe LightRoom things, a PS question or two, cameras, film, lighting, you name it.
The thing that struck me today is that during those conversations we almost inevitably also discuss other photographers, and their photographs as sources of inspiration or aspiration. I am extremely opinionated on this - in terms of my favorites. I respect the work of other photographers as long as it is clear that there was a lot of work put into the work and some degree of competency in their handling of the medium - even if I don't find it my cup of tea aesthetically.
That brings me to the new series of posts. I have studied the medium and some of it's rock stars, long time artists, lesser know practitioners, for a long time. Since the early 70's. Although I have no formal historical education in the subject I can tell you that I have been absorbed and captivated by work throughout the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. I voraciously consumed everything I could get my hands on. I studied it intently. I have lived with it. Bought countless books of work. Visited museums that allowed access to the actual prints.I thought I might share a couple of photographers that I have really found lasting inspiration from.
There is no strict criteria that I am basing this on. No point system. The genre, treatment, style, and time period may be all over the map. I will present them in no particular order or historical relationship or relevance. Just random bits to be enjoyed, admired, or not. Hey some people are into sports - they like to discuss and debate various games and players throughout history. I am a photography nut so consider this a conversation on the greatest of all time. It is an open discussion so feel free to comment. The nice thing about being a photography nut rather than an avid sports fan is you and I can actually learn something to apply to our craft a little more directly than a discussion on Rocky Marciano's right hand technique.
If I at first seem to only talk about old fashioned fuddy-duddy photographers fear not. I like a lot of modern photographers work as well. I will tell you that the one and only criteria that I will apply is that it has to last. So I probably won't talk a lot about work done by anyone in the last 5 years. I think 5 years is a good criteria to even be able to guess if I will feel the same way about it forever - or at least a long time. I can say this with my own photographs so I do not feel too bad about applying it to other photographers as well.
To kick this off I will present a photographer that doesn't get a lot of air time like some of the cliche household name photographers but certainly deserves a look see. If you shoot people you can learn a lot from this guy's photographs. I stumbled across a book that I have containing his photographs while looking for a print that I made on a specific Agfa paper to compare to my new paper discovery of the month.
In all his glory - this guy even has his own website so I have to do not much to point you to his work. Take a look at Patrick Demarchelier's stuff. Don't be to quick when you go through it - take some time. I know that is really hard to do on the web. If you like it look for a used book on Amazon for a couple of bucks. The ones I have are very nicely printed and will give you are really good feel for how good his work is (unlike the web).
RB Ps. I did pick someone relatively current so when I pick some others you won't think I am just an old fuddy duddy stuck in in the 20th century