Influential Past and Contemporary Photographers
I am currently reading about the passions and motivations of famous photographers and photography writers – namely Weston, Steiglitz, Doisneau, Atget, Arbus, Cartier-Bresson, Sonstag, Adams, Lange, and Cunningham. The beliefs, personal interests, life motivations and works of these photographers are often quoted, as well as misquoted, by club and workshop presenters. If you want to become a better photographer, there is plenty to learn from these masters that made photography what it is today. There are also plenty of other influential photographers to pick from in many other photography domains. I resisted the work of Ansel Adams, but after seeing some of his more famous prints made from original negatives, I have reversed my thinking and try to emulate his work when I prepare my digital B&W images. The contemporary photographers and workshop leaders such as Barr, Briot, duChemin, Gallant, Hilz, Patterson, Plant, Rossbach, and Sweet should not be overlooked.
At 65 +, almost a late bloomer of photography, I have lots to do and learn. I am currently taking stock of the past 6+ years to determine if any theme or style is developing, if my photography has progressed, and where it could be leading. Ayman Lotfy, gave a presentation at the Albuquerque, NM, PSA Conference in Sept. 2014. He is the very first person that was able to show his progression in developing his own style, the kind of meticulous attention to being different and appealing to others, the efforts it took for him to create a style, stay pure to it and find it within himself to continue to niche his product. The galleries on his website does a great job in showing his progression from 1998 to today. A differentiating style is not something that automatically comes with taking pictures but is something that has to be conscientiously worked at. I think I will die without one…
After reading the works of great photographers and seeing where I am at, it is finally sinking in me that personal greatness lies mostly in following one’s vision and in the belief that day-to-day committment and sustained efforts will achieve it.