With Henri gone, who is the greatest living photography icon?

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by summitar, Aug 15, 2004.

  1. My vote goes to David Douglas Duncan, not only a great photographer
    but an authentic hero.
  2. Eugene Richards.
  3. My vote to Eugene Richards.
  4. no such thing
  5. Another vote for E. Richards in the doc/street realm. Robert
    Frank would be first though he's not into stills anymore.
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Noboyushi Araki
  7. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I think Richards is a good photographer, but he's hardly an icon. I don't think he's really do much to be in that category. Was he named because he uses a Leica?
  8. No Jeff, He uses Olympus.
  9. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    done much. I have to learn to read before I post.

    I think Moriyama, Avedon, Goldin, Klein, and a few others hit that category long before Richards.
  10. Hmm, I don't keep track of photographers really, but I haven't even heard of Eugene Richard. A quick google on his name resultet in less than 4K hits. Someone like James Nachtwey got 18K hits and Bruce Weber got over 30K. Perhaps that is some indications (even if I'm sure I'll get hammered for that methodology...)
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    No Jeff, He uses Olympus.
    So Olympus is the reason the Leica Gallery in New York City featured him as a Leica photographer?
  12. Richards doesn't even use a rf Jeff. I agree, I wouldn't call
    Eugene an icon since he's not even that well known but his
    photos kicks especially his wides. He's as good with the
    21mm as Henri is good with the 50mm.
  13. eugene richards got 235,000 hits on google...
  14. George Bush, although he's still trying to figure out the film loading thing, give him time.
  15. grant: no such thing.
  16. echo echo echo
  17. >>>>>Martin Parr is currently the most "Henri-like"

    Mind explaining yourself?
  18. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Results 1 - 10 of about 3,860 for "Eugene Richards". (try it in quotes man)
  19. Andreas Gursky.
  20. >>>>>So Olympus is the reason the Leica Gallery in New York
    City featured him as a Leica photographer?<<<<<

    Perhaps he uses the R though he used the olympus M and
    nikon later on but does it matter? As you said thousands of time
    in these forums, it's only a tool.
  21. photography icon? Keith Richards?
  22. Don't have a greatest, but Avedon is up there.
  23. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    As you said thousands of time in these forums, it's only a tool.
    Right. But it's odd that he came up. He's hardly an "icon" by the standards of the people who are regarded as icons, people who change the way photography is seen and eventually become seen as representative of photography. Richards has some great photographs but he's far more known to photographers than anyone else and hardly has the iconic status of the people I named above, let alone HCB.
  24. Master Eric, didn't know that you had it in you to teach Grant/others about internet search technologies and how they work ;-)

  25. commercial photogs def get more hits....so far we've learned that much.....
  26. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    hey, don't put me in the middle of anything gasshopper! just trying to be helpful...
  27. hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.............my vote is for NASA

  28. The answer is....nobody.

    We've got to wait a while before someone like that comes along. It's not just in the talent, it's also in the (historical) timing.
  29. Avedon.
  30. Irving Penn.
  31. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

  32. It is rare these days to see someone who does editorial assignments with the degree of
    integrity that you saw from HCB. Having said that, the world has changed and I would say
    David Burnett comes as close as anyone, in terms of being published in mainstream
    publications while maintaining a high degree of personal vision and visual integrity.
    Burnett has also been on top of virtually every major world event from Vietnam onward,
    and has managed to maintain a freshness of approach that must be very difficult. In that
    respect, he echos HCB. Personally, I love the way Burnett is using a Speed Graphic and a
    Rolleiflex on this year's political campaign to get a different kind of image than the rest of
    the pack with their Canon 10Ds and their resulting cookie-cutter pictures.

    Of course, Sebastiao Salgado also comes to mind, but he is highly focused on
    commissioned NGO projects and one rarely sees his work published, except in books, so I
    feel he is less analogous to HCB in that respect, but maybe closer in terms of pure visual
  33. awahlster

    awahlster Moderator

    WOW of the fourteen or fifteen real photographers mentioned in this post up until now. I have only before this thread heard mention of one. David Douglas Duncan The others I may have read their names somewhere but not in any context to register. I have been a very very active photographer for the last 28-29 years and on the net for the last 4. So I guess none of them would hit on my scale.

    Funny I guess I don't need an icon to be able to take photographs weither they be snapshots, art, paid commisions, or just stuff.
  34. Well it is fairly obvious to me, our one and only, the ever present and hugely talented,
    Mr. Al Kaplan, why he even is revered on T-shirts bearing his likeness. I have NEVER
    seen a Cartier-Bresson T-shirt !
  35. As one who has just purchased her book "I'll Be Your Mirror", I'm with Nan Goldin, both as photographer and as icon. Her subject matter is not as wholesome and palatable to many people, but the imagery is brilliant (and if the public can accept the gender bending of David Bowie, and Melissa Etheridge (who is on my TV tonight singing a diet with Dolly Parton, maybe the world is ready for The Ballad of Sexual Dependency).

    Her work is snapshot based which I would say is one step removed from HCB, yet her composition sense is original and stunning, and her colours are not to be believed. Studio people who use assistants to help them with colour don't come up with the pallettes she does.

    Plus she uses Leica, has done an ad for them, in fact.
  36. Me...my good friends like what I do, and friendship is more important than fame!
  37. Rick Solomon
  38. David Burnette.
  39. Richard Avedon / Irving Penn.
  40. Willi Ronis/Joseph Koudelka
  41. I don't believe there is a one single name. Of the names mentioned, Richard
    Avedon would come the closest. His work is outstanding and he's still working
    hard at it. He reached "fame" in his 20's like HCB and has had many beautiful
    books and museum shows. HCB, following in the footsteps of Kertesz, broke
    new ground in photo reportage, making it into an art form. Avedon did the
    same with his "new" portraiture.

    I love the work of Koudelka and Klein (and Richards) but they have not gotten
    close to an icon status.

    One last note. When I think of Avedon a virtual slide show of his images go off
    in my head. I can't say the same for the others.
  42. William Eggleston is the greatest living photographer. His influence on photography is on par with Cartier-Bresson. It's surprising he's not been mentioned on this forum. He's even a "Leica man". Perhaps you meant who is the greatest living photography icon doing journalistic type photography in the style of HCB?

    I just read a recent article about David Burnett where he mentions that his "hybrid" approach also includes a digital camera, a 10D I think. That was omitted from the mention of his speed graphic and Rollei, above.
  43. H C-B positively hated Martin Parr, Parr's cynical & snide view of people and how that is
    expressed in his photographic work.
  44. That makes me like Martin Parr much more than I do already!
  45. I've loved David Burnett's work for years. But "icon"? c'mon. In the vein of "photojournalism , James Nachtwey are the current active standards to aspire to.
    ... than the rest of the pack with their Canon 10Ds and their resulting cookie-cutter pictures..
    Burnett isn't the first photographer to take a different technical approach from most political campaign photographers. For instance, Arthur Grace used a twin lens Rollei back in either 1988 or 1992. There are other photographers using a panoramic cameras. No matterthe camera, what distinguishes a photographer is his or her "eye' which is to say their view on life.
    And as for the cookie cutter comment: the camera has nothing to do with that. The guilty parties are mostly the photo editors and in a distant second place in the guilt sweepstakes, (unfortunately) the photographers who don't think, and don't care.
  46. "Personally, I love the way Burnett is using a Speed Graphic and a Rolleiflex on this year's political campaign to get a different kind of image than the rest of the pack with their Canon 10Ds and their resulting cookie-cutter pictures." - Rolfe Tessem
    Using a certain kind of equipment to get a different kind of image may be briefly interesting, but has little lasting value compared to getting a different kind of image because of a unique sense of vision.
    To answer the original question, definitely James Nachtwey.
  47. A. Kaplan without a doubt. Is he still alive?
  48. Oops, was still composing when Ellis posted. Sorry for the echo.
  49. In the 13+ hours this thread has been active, nobody mentions Bruce Davidson?
  50. Hi

    Without a doubt on my part my vote would go to James Natchwey (both a documentary photographer as well as a photojournalist) as the most iconic photographer of our times, though my heart goes out to Elliot Erwitt as the photographer that is wittier than HCB in his compositions, and to Sebastio Salgado as one of the most important documentary photographer in current times.
  51. Define "iconic photographer" someone? Simon Ushakov did icons but, he's not living. And wasn't a photographer, or B&W.. so I guess he's out. If not Eggleson, how about Lee Friedlander? This greatest icon thing is pretty weird don't you think? Define "greatest". HCB was a wonderful photographer, everyone knows that, but only one of many. I can't figure out the point of this.
  52. So, who thinks HCB was a "nice " guy?
    Most of the people who actually knew him. The photographers he mentored when he was at Magnum, and his friends. I'm working on an article about him for a photo magazine, so I'm talking with different people who either knew orencountered him. the general consensus is that he didn't suffer fools lightly , was very focused but was generally good company. of course of of this may be respectful but he is gone but in earlier books like Russell Miller's biography of the Magnum Photo agency, this is also the picture I get of his personality. He seems to have encouraged the reclusive "S.O.B.' perception to keep people who were interested in him because he was famous at a distance.
  53. We are all our own personal icons or at least we can strive to be. Others peoples stuff remains a matter of taste, we may or may not like.
  54. Who knows? That's like asking who would win in a fair fight, Spider Man or Batman.

    There's a good reason Bruce Davidson hasn't been mentioned, Michael. He's a stiff. There are two other NY photographers, Robert Frank and Helen Levitt, who are and were astronomically better. Dunno if any of them are icons, though.
  55. I'm not sure I really understand the use of the word "icon" in this context, but if you go by this definition:

    "...the people who are regarded as icons, people who change the way photography is seen and eventually become seen as representative of photography...."

    ...then Robert Frank wins hands down. His book "The Americans" was seminal, in that it did more to change perceptions about photography than anything done by any still-living photographer.

    However, if you want to talk about who is the greatest living photographer without reference to such a nebulous term as icon, my vote goes to Elliott Erwitt.
  56. Elliot Erwitt, Elliot Erwitt, and Elliot Erwitt, in that order.
  57. oops, forgot to mention Elliott Erwitt with the double double t's
  58. Only serious challenger so far to Richard Avedon is Robert Frank. There are
    alot of "great" photographers........the issue about being the "greatest living" is
    to be a legend. It's also about age. I doubt anybody under 70 could qualify
    because you need to show 'greatness' over many years. Avedon has done
    that since the early 1950's. Don't get me wrong. Avedon is not my favorite
    photographer. I much prefer Frank, Koudelka, Harbutt, Davidson,
    Harvey.....but as far as being the greatest living.......it's Avedon. (So far--keep
    the nominations rolling in.)
  59. "It's also about age."

    Part of the difficulty is that people tend to slow down in their photography when they start hitting old age, so you hear more about their past work, and not about them personally. I had no idea HCB was still alive until when he died recently. And of the well-known photographers whose names I recognize, I couldn't tell you for sure which ones were still alive (although maybe inactive) and which have passed on.

    Part of the problem with being an Icon is that many of the people looked upon as great photographers became famous when printed publications were the primary means of picture distribution. When most of our news comes from TV or the computer, still photographers just don't achieve the same level of recognition they once did.
  60. I'm not into icons. I do quite like Avedon's photos, though.
  61. There are lots of great photogs to choose from, no one alone gets my vote.
  62. If part of what made HCB so inconoclastically appealing was that he quit photographing at what seemed the height of his powers, then I'd have to say Robert Frank, since he did the same thing. And man, the power of those images that got published. I'd also add to my faves list Friedlander and Eggleston. From the lists I've read in this thread so far, I see some groups forming, and the Frank/Eggleston/Friedlander group seems to have its adherents. Glad to be in that group, for sure.
  63. Jim---Believe me, I agree that Frank/Friedlander/Egglestone are great
    photographers. Frank most, Friedlander second and Egglestone a distant
    third. However, they haven't reached icon status that Avedon has. Especially
    Egglestone. He's no where near Frank or Friedlander. Like I said in an earlier
    post I think Frank is right up there with Avedon. It would be interesting to see
    who Avedon thinks is the greatest living photographer. I suspect his answer
    would be a surprise.
  64. Sorry---Eggleston. My apologies for the "e".
  65. Walter Ioss Jr.
  66. There is a big difference between "greatest living photographer," and "Greatest living photography ikon." I've already listed Avedon for my choice of ikon. For G. L. Photographer I'd say Larry Clark (who has gone on to film, like Robert Frank, only successfully).
  67. Is there really such a person in existence today? There are so many photographers alive that the critical mass associated with a HCB (or Adams) type of person just doesn't seem to be there any more, it's spread too thin. Given the varied (and polarized) opinions on this thread, one would think that the era of "iconhood" is long gone. No one person seems to stand head and shoulders above the others any more.
  68. No one person seems to stand head and shoulders above the others any more.
    There would be quite a few people that would not put Cartier-Bresson on that pedestal in the first place.
  69. Vic's got a good point. The greats we've been discussing started practicing long before photography was easy or cool to do. Now there are zillions of us standing on their shoulders making gazillions of images that are built on what they've taught us. Spread thin for sure. But there will always be those who see something that no one has seen before and astonish us with their vision. They'll probably be more rare than before though.
  70. There would be quite a few people that would not put Cartier-Bresson on that pedestal in the first place.
    I don't think anybody considers him the "greatest living photographer".
  71. mjd


    Lou Reed.
  72. Salgado.
  73. "H C-B positively hated Martin Parr"

    Ellis, where did you read this? Any quotes to support it?


  74. IMO Greatest living photographer: Koudelka
    Greatest living photographer icon: Salgado could be
  75. Well, up until this thread came up, Google thought that I was Now I've been bumped down to #5. Thanks a lot....

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