|Which past masters of photography do you most admire?
I love pioneering female photographers like Diane Arbus, Lisette Model, Nan Goldin and Cindy Sherman - they broke a lot of boundaries with their work. For documentary stuff, Cartier-Bresson has got to be the top of the list. I also love Richard Avedon's American West series of portraits, very simple and beautifully composed.
Ansel Adams. There's no equal. He mastered both the technical and artistic parts of photography. He captured the natural world like none before or since.
For documentary it's James Nachtwey. His photography boggles the mind.
Annie Leibovitz, Platon, Ross Garrett
Gary Perweiler always immediately springs to mind - he was the master of visual design. Dean Collins - I learned so much from his FineLight series in the early '80s. Richard Sharabura. Carol Kaplan. Hedgecoe. There are so many - I have hundreds of books in my library.
Past & Present...Helmet Newton, Richard Avedon, Joel Sternfeld, Martin Parr, Nan Goldin...this could go on & on.
|I really could take all day answering this. I'm a huge fan of Luc Delahaye, particularly his book 'Winterreise' that documents a journey he made across post-Communist Russia. Quite a few people have done similar work, but in terms of atmosphere, immediacy, poetry, beauty and conveying the sheer horror of the social realities of economic collapse nothing else I've seen comes close. I'd felt like I'd hit a brick wall with my own way of working, and finding 'Winterreise' helped kick it down: I'd reached a point where I'd got complacent with the area I was living in as a source of photographic ideas, and desperately needed something to jolt me into seeing things anew. The poetic resonance in the mundane details of what Delahaye photographs in 'Winterreise' re-opened me up to the idea that ANYTHING has got the potential to become a great photograph, it's just a case of approaching a subject in the right way. This was something that to some extent I'd stopped believing- or that, at the very least, I'd forgotten- and had started heading down that dangerous dead-end that regards technical perfection alone as the key to good photography. It's absolutely not.
Lately I've been getting a lot out of Joel Meyerowitz. Now that the whole world owns a camera of some sort, documentary street photography in many ways has become very throwaway and quite easy to ignore- there's so much of it about that as a genre I think it's really suffered. Meyerowitz's colour street photography from the early 70s is just superb: funny, sad, and extremely wise. I've also been enjoying his Cape Cod view camera photographs from the mid-70s. They're a very different animal from his street photographs, much slower and more contemplative. I also love his writing, which always fires me up.
I wouldn't say I'm an unconditional fan, and a lot of his stuff leaves me cold, but Paul Graham's 'Beyond Caring' series on British unemployment in the 1980s never fails to inspire me. It's a searing piece of work, and if anyone gets sentimental when Margaret Thatcher finally dies they should have a look at 'Beyond Caring' and think again. I've recently rediscovered his work on the Great North Road from London to Scotland, which is wonderful stuff, but I do wonder how much of my enjoyment of it is based on my nostalgia for a certain pre-toll roads era of British transport, or for that barnstorming period of British photography where colour was really starting to be taken 'seriously' by the photographic world, and loads of guys were doing some truly groundbreaking documentary work.
Of the newer guys Simon Ladefoged is consistently brilliant, and Dean Rogers is someone whose work I always enjoy. I can't think of a current photographer who produces more revealing and touching portraits, and the work he does in collaboration with film actors and directors is outstanding. He's got a very clear signature style- very gentle and unobtrusive- but he seems pretty restless and experimental. His boxer portraits and series of photos taken from the perspective of dogs are fabulous.
...harry peccinotti...nan goldin...elmer batters foot fetish books...dan forbes was pretty motivating when i came across his stuff...i get more inspiration from old movies like shogun assassin, the warriors, badlands, zabriskie point....so i guess i could say terrence malik, or maybe more appropriately his DP, but either way his films are shot beautifully...james joyce inspires me....john milton....shane macgowan....screamin' jay hawkins....the misfits....vincent price....xenophon's anabasis....yep
I love comicbook artists..
None of them, get your own mood, they have had their time now you have yours. Find what your good at, that's what the masters did.
I'm a huge fan of celebrity and music photographers such as Mark Seliger, Annie Liebowitz, David LaChapelle, etc. I also have deep admiration for documentarians like James Nachtway and others like him. A lot of my influences are from lesser-knowns, however. There is an incredible amount of under-recognized talent in the photography industry. I regularly keep tabs on photographers such as Jeremy Cowart, Dave Hill, and dozens of other talents online.
It's nice (and quite common) to admire big names but I always go with the people I know here back at home like my friends who are photographers as well. It takes more than simply stunning photos for me to admire a photographer since they are in abundance. To know their purposes and character would win my admiration.
So many its hard to list but some key ones are: Robert Capa, Atget, Man Ray, David Bailey, Terrance Donovan, Randy St Nicholas, Nick Knight, Storm Thorgerson, Chase Jarvis, David Hobby and the list goes on
I admire the photographers who gave prominince to color film, William Eggleston, Jeff Wall, Stephen Shore, their compositions and bodies of work are brilliant.
I admire John C. Chua, personally because he gave a talk during our workshop and he was just simply impressive. I said to myself, I can be like him someday. I mentioned I was into painting and design (or did I?) so I have another -Frank Lloyd Wright and lately Herzog and de Meuron.
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