Whos Your Favorite Photographer & Why?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by george_jonathan, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. I love Richard Avedon. Although in my humble opinion Ansel Adams is the greatest of all time, my personal favorite is Avedon. The way he was able to transcend each genre of photography. With his imagery in fashion, he was able to elevate and change the whole way somebody photographs fashion now.
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  2. Avedon is certainly as influential as you say, and I admire his work. There are many many photographers in whose work I find something to admire, I could not pick just one, but my list would include Edward Weston for his groundbreaking abstract work (and also his very inspirational writings in his Daybooks), Minor White for the truly transcendental spiritual quality of his work, and William Eggleston for his personal use of color and the way he demonstrates there's much more to the mundane than there might at first seem to be. Cartier-Bresson was the guy who made me want to pick up a camera as a teenager, he had an extraordinary personal vision. I could go on for ever ...
  3. Wynn Bullock, because he was a better photographer than I am (or am likely to ever be).
  4. it


    Irving Penn
  5. Ruth Bernard, Ansel Adams, Eugene Smith and Edward Weston. Especially when you get a chance to see their actual prints.
  6. So many to choose from, and so many listed, but a couple more... Karsh, Arnold Newman, Pete Turner, Leibovitz for
    constructing scenes to portray her vision, and a whole slew of painters.
  7. Avedon, Eugene Smith, Walter Ioss Jr.
    who may have been there and done
    that for damn near everything.
    Nachtwey. Those are the names I
    always think of first.

    Rick H.
  8. If I could choose only one it'd be Brassaï. As a kid I was already enamored of Weegee's nighttime urban photography but Brassaï's comprehensive vision of a city at night and how all of its people interacted with the city grabbed me in a way Weegee's didn't.
  9. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Moriyama. The harsh realities of post-Hiroshima Japan.
  10. Probably Edward Weston. I like Warhol a lot too, but obviously for different reasons. He was sort of an anti-photographer, but that eye of his wouldn't let him take a bad portrait, even w/ those consumer cameras he liked to use. He was by far the greater artist though, as he changed the art world forever. Like it or hate it, it's a post Warhol world.
  11. Duane Michels - for his humanity, his open mindedness, his poetical way of photographing and , most of all, for his humour
  12. Jimmy Forsyth (Newcastle upon Tyne, England). Struggling against disability, illnes and poverty, he produced one of the greatest bodies of social documentary photography of late 20th century Britain.
  13. Dead: Eugene Smith, because of his soul. I find him much more affecting than HCB. Horst was great, as was of course Beaton.
    Alive: very few photographers are impressive but I like Sally Mann (her photos of her children are beautiful), and love Bill Henson (very haunting, dreamy images). Also, I think Thorsten Overgaard is excellent on account of his sense of composition - and he loves shooting into the light! I only discovered him a couple of months ago.
  14. George Brassaï and Henri Cartier-Bresson are both constantly with me, wherever I go and whatever I see, accompanied by Josef Sudek.
    Leibovitz certainly, but not that much his early street photos, and Daido Moriyama too, surely, as mentioned already by Jeff. But also a mix of American photographers like: Gregory Crewdson; Minor White; Steve McCurrry; and even Walead Besty.
  15. My favorite photographer on PN is Billy K.
    I chose a PN photographer because he's not out of reach and is not already established in the world at large as great.
    I chose Billy K. in particular because his photos have a sense of mood and atmosphere, a sense of being deeply personal yet also universal, he doesn't overreach and thinks and sees for himself, and most of all there is passion and intimacy in his work. He is not a dispassionate observer. He puts himself right in the thick of his work.
  16. kts


  17. Paolo Roversi - his images haunt me.

    Ansel Adams - taught me everything I know via the Trilogy. Along the way, his images grew on me a lot.

    Sally Mann - her images haunt me even more than Roversi's.

    Edward Weston - he made me look deeply at the print, as opposed to just the negative. Hard to explain.

    Anonymous - anyone who can take really good cat photos, from domestic kitties to the big maneaters. Good wildlife photographers in general. Wild animal portraits show a side of life that is refreshing when you live in the city.
    edit: I forgot Anne Geddes, I love her old work.
  18. Wright Morris. I have one of his prints on my desk. I read "The Home Place" in college and was moved by the combination of photos and text. His printing is extraordinary.
  19. Sebastião Salgado
  20. Anonymous​
    Anonymous is (or was) a very creative person indeed -- and a brilliant poet. That person's creativity is only surpassed by the renowned inventor, Pat Pending, to whom we can attribute multitudes of clever, labor-saving gizmos. In the sciences, I think Al has been an important collaborator in more ground breaking studies than I can count. He even collaborated with me a couple of times on some more obscure work (Fox et al.). Funny, though; I don't recall him ever being first author on anything (e.g. Al et Fox).
  21. Without hesitation I vote for O.W. Link. He was the "Ansel Adams" of RR photography. Specializing in night photographs of (black) steam locomotives. He and his assistant would string sometimes miles of wires to many dozens of flash bulbs to allow his photos to be taken. His technical mastery of the medium and his artistry are just amazing to me.
    Using what we now would consider primitive equipment. Graflex 4x5 cameras, slow 1950's B&W film and flash bulbs. He recorded the end of stream RR'ing in the US in VA / WV in the 1950's.

    Also an honorable mention goes out to Matthew Brady and his assistants. These guys had real primitive gear, and they had to invent photojournalism as they went along.
  22. Sarah...huh? Are you gonna make me Google all of this or were you having a James Joyce moment? You collaborated
    with Albert Einstein to make an obscure, and therefore anonymous, fox? Wouldn't Darwin or Mendel have been a better
    choice than that? I mean, Einstein if he made a fox, it would glow! Not very discreet...
  23. LOL! Please ignore! Nuttin' serious! ;-)
    A colleague to Marie Curie when she became pregnant: "Why Marie! You're glowing!"
    I suppose I should offer a serious answer: My favorite photogs (perhaps in part because of the subject matter I find most compelling) were some of the documentary photogs of the Great Depression, including especially Dorothea Lange and Jack Delano. It's a period of time that's both familiar (from my parents' stories) and alien, and I view it with great fascination. I very much appreciate that there were a few photographers who took the time to show me their world, at least as they saw it.
  24. Yes, D Lange, amen. I try to steer clear of painful photography because photography is my way to find happiness. Nan
    Goldin comes to mind, ironically since the entire 90s happened by way of her. Skinny girls, drugs, the supermodel. She
    unwittingly made it all popular, when all she was doing was living her life.

    The woman who originally photographed Kate Moss died lately, I forget her name. I wonder what was going through her
    head, to strip down a child and sell it to the world? I'm not Christian and I have no issue with nudity, but I do worry about
    Walt Disney these days. That's too young and you've indoctrinated young people to make millions selling your body. I
    wonder what their screening process is....
  25. Ansel Adams - taught me everything I know via the Trilogy.​
    Ansel Adams is my number one choice. Some of that choice is due to ignorance about other people's work, but a big chunk of my admiration for his work is the dedication and artistry that went into his images. With today's modern DSLRs and film cameras and emulsions it is stupidly easy to take a competent picture, even with medium format. But one really needs a deep understanding of materials and processes to produce what Adams produced. Adams to me was like a sculptor. He was not a lomographer or a Vivian Maier. He didn't just take a hammer and bang away randomly at a piece of rock thousands of times. He first learned his materials and then he previsulaized what he wanted to create. The he executed either a careful plan or made a well informed instinctual decision. I think we should separate the spray and pray crew from the true masters.
  26. I've always been an admirer of Henri Cartier-Bresson.
  27. Bresson- simply because his photography for me is the purest extension of a man and camera there will ever be.
    Ralph Eugene Meatyard and Diane Arbus- Their photos move me, scare me, make me cry and make me dream. Someone has to keep the macabre alive.
    And I absolutely hate, with a powerful passion, the photography of Ansel Adams. Ok, I get it. You liked mountains...
    Sorry, a quick edit. I am not saying that about Ansel to spite anyone here who admires his work. I just feel that we are as motivated by what we detest and want to destroy as much as we are by what we find beautiful and want to create.
  28. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Ralph Eugene Meatyard and Diane Arbus

    Both worth mentioning more than once.
    And I absolutely hate, with a powerful passion, the photography of Ansel Adams. Ok, I get it. You liked mountains...​

    Boy do I agree with this. It's not just it's mountains, it's the dryness of the photos.
  29. It's not just it's mountains, it's the dryness of the photos.​
    Yeah, you nailed that Jeff. His photos have always been dead to me. To the point of angering me that his work is lauded so highly.
    On a more personal and daily note, this thread got me thinking about my favorite photographers other then just the established masters. But rather about the ones who influence me and effect me on a daily basis. With that in mind, please view these links to two flickr photographers that simply humble me. I will post up some photos thinking to myself "Wow Dave, you've got some good ones there". And then I will see some of the recent posts from {no rest for the wicked} or Aëla Labbé and I am shamed that I consider my photos to be art.
    {no rest for the wicked}
    Aëla Labbé
  30. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

  31. Yeah, you nailed that Jeff. His photos have always been dead to me. To the point of angering me that his work is lauded so highly.​
    Lol. You get angry because a piece of art with the highest level of craftsmanship from an avant-garde artist is praised?! I can understand if it's not your thing but anger?! I understand now why you went back and did your "quick edit." Don't worry we Ansel Adams fans are not going to get "angry" just because some doesn't agree with our opinion. FYI Adams did shoot things other than mountains. He shot forests, deserts, architecture, and portraits. If I recall correctly he shot the first official White House photograph portrait. I can't think of any photographer who did more to elevate the art of photography. And the work he did for conservation... Sure I would have loved to have seen more portraiture from the guy but I also understand that he left behind the single best collection documenting national parks anywhere on the planet. His art served so many purposes. It had it's own intrinsic value (which is totally okay for you not to care for). It elevated photography in the eyes of the general public. And it documented an unspoiled landscape before it was developed.
    I can understand someone having the subjective opinion that they don't like it. But to say someone else really liking it makes you angry?! Really? There's a lot of irrational fanboism on the internet but I don't think the Ansel Adams crowd is a good example.
  32. Sorry multiple post
  33. I recently went to the Ansel Adams exhibition in
    London and would second Alex's comment. Having
    admired Ansels work via books etc. for many years I
    was blown away by the actual prints. The difference
    in quality between the real thing and any other
    poster or book reproduction was amazing. There was
    also a video display running with interviews with
    the photographer discussing his printing methods. He
    was very specific about starting with as perfect as
    possible negatives but still reckoned 60% in camera
    40% in darkroom.
  34. Trigger happy finger!
  35. And I absolutely hate, with a powerful passion, the photography of Ansel Adams. Ok, I get it. You liked mountains...
    Try thinking of Adams this way, as an
    1) outstanding technician and printmaker
    2) respected and successful teacher and
    3) outstanding ADVERTISING photographer.
    Unlike many landscape photographers, AA did not go into the landscape and ask "What is the landscape saying to me?" Instead he unashamedly promoted an idealised romanticised presentation of landscape for what he regarded as a good cause (conservation, Sierra Club, National Parks, etc.). It is entirely possible that this approach may not appeal to you - you have a perfect right to dislike it!
  36. David, good advice. That's very much how I think of Adams, and respect him for what he offers and what I can gain from looking at his work, which is considerable. I don't "like" his work but, in the end, that doesn't count for as much as what it does have to offer.
  37. >>> FYI Adams did shoot things other than mountains. He shot forests, deserts, architecture, and
    portraits. If I recall correctly he shot the first official White House photograph portrait. I can't think of any
    photographer who did more to elevate the art of photography.

    Using his camera, Adams also documented the internment of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and Japanese nationals at the Manzanar War
    "Relocation Center" (also referred to by many less euphemistically as an internment or concentration
    camp) during WWII.

    He was invited to document life at Manzanar by the camp director, with whom he had a close friendship. There, over a number of visits, Adams produced a body of
    work of everyday internment camp life that was very different in perspective from photos that Dorthea
    Lange made photographing the camp, and the "assembly center" at the Tanforan
    horse race track in San Bruno, California. As an FYI, after being forced to abandon homes and businesses, "detainees" were first taken to and held for up to six months at assembly centers such as Tanforan and Santa Anita race tracks before being transported to various internment camps in Western states.
  38. ""And I absolutely hate, with a powerful passion, the photography of Ansel Adams""
    I'm unable to "hate" Ansel Adam photography, because it would need some passionate relationship to it. It does not touch me much, it leaves me fairly indifferent. It only tells me two things: you find some spectacular landscapes in the US and Adams had high levels of photographical skills.
  39. Well, it's hard to discount Edward Weston (who else could make a pepper or cabbage reveal the same sensuous curves as a nude woman?)
    I love the way Minor White found so much texture, so much design in everyday things.
    But no one has mentioned Galen Rowell. The rich colour and drama of his work as well as his participation in the world he recorded have long been an inspiration to me as a nature photographer.
  40. A lot of the above are good choices, such as Eugene Smith, Weston and others. One I haven't seen mentioned whom I like is Paul Caponigro.
  41. A lot of the above are good choices, such as Eugene Smith, Edward Weston and others. One I haven't seen mentioned whom I like is Paul Caponigro.
  42. >>> I'm unable to "hate" Ansel Adam photography, ...

    Same here. But mentally I have to put an asterisk next to his name for how he went about his Manzanar
    project - the propaganda aspect of his photos, and his views about the internment camps being necessary.
  43. I wouldn't argue that he was the world's best, but one of my personal all-time favorites was Gordon Converse, life-long photographer for the Christian Science Monitor newspaper in its heyday (link).
    I felt that his association with only one paper, and one that seemed to be reluctant to allow anyone else to publish his work, meant that he was less well-known than he deserved, except to the "cognoscenti". I had some correspondence with Julia Scully when she was editing Modern Photography but difficulties with copyright with the CSM apparently prevented their doing one of their "modern masters" series on him.
  44. A recent find within the last 8 years may put Ansel Adams in his place with regard to color landscapes and I'm speaking of digital landscape photographer Derek Von Briesen.
    Stumbled across his work about 5 years ago in a Luminous Landscape thread titled "Schewe the Sharpener" where he posted one of his shots showing his sharpening technique of the Grand Canyon taken with a Canon 1Ds Mark II and I was transfixed. But when I tracked down his site all his shots were way over saturated with a bit of over cranked HDR effect. I was so disappointed.
    Forgot about him and 8 years later looked up his site again and found this and a bunch others... http://www.pbase.com/sedonamemories/image/117833507/original
    He's back in as my favorite landscape photographer. He must've came to his senses and reworked the Grand Canyon shots which I haven't found any other photographer top with regard to clarity, sharpness and color.
    Surprised he's not a Photo.net member or lurker.
  45. Me. Self-explanatory. ;-)
  46. I'm the only person who knows exactly what I want to see in a photograph. The works of others may be impressive, but in terms of interest or personal impact, their photos will hit or miss randomly. I doubt that I would appreciate their entire portfolio even if I like some of their work.
    My own photography is designed from the ground up to appeal to my own sensibilities. As long as I don't botch it completely (which happens when I'm experimenting), the result is likely to appeal to my eyes.
    I would expect that any photographer other than a novice should feel a special appreciation for their own work, not to mention a sense of accomplishment when they review it. If you don't feel this way, it might be useful to ask yourself why (or why not). Shoot what you enjoy, and you'll enjoy what you shoot.
  47. Alfred Stieglitz for:
    "My Daughter Kitty", "The Steerage", street scenes of NYC, the Flatiron Building.
    An American Place, Intimate Gallery, 291 Gallery and Journal, Camera Work and the Photo .
    Bringing contemporary European artists and sculptors to the attention of America.
    His resolve to convince the art world that photography was indeed art, not just a mechanical medium, aka Photo-Secession.
    Making me aware of his photographic contemporaries including Weston and Tina Modotti.
    Georgia O'keeffe

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