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Thread: 10 photographers you should ignore

  1. #1
    500+ Posts Ric J's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

    10 photographers you should ignore

    And interesting article from Wired concerning photographers, but not a pinholer mentioned.

  2. #2
    500+ Posts jon.oman's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    Summerville, SC, USA

    10 photographers you should ignore

    That was an interesting read.

  3. #3

    10 photographers you should ignore

    Hmmm, I stopped after reading that we should ignore Ansel Adams, the first photographer he mentioned. Let's just say that that poisons my opinion of the author.

    Cheers -


  4. #4

    10 photographers you should ignore

    Not sure what to make of this. I noticed that one of the Categories was "Humor," and so maybe the author's tongue is firmly planted in his cheek? Then again.....if he's serious, then I'm with George: anyone who says we should ignore Ansel Adams is not worth listening to about photography.

  5. #5

    10 photographers you should ignore

    Better than the list of photographers to be ignored would be a list of lists to be ignored.

  6. #6

    10 photographers you should ignore

    hey guys

    I read each one and thought they were quite well done.

    Each photographer is praised and we who've come later are critised for not following or developing our own concepts and ideas.

    In the first offering were asked to consider how many large format/AA wannabees does the world need?

  7. #7

    10 photographers you should ignore

    I'm the kind of person that, if you tell me to do something I question why. If you tell me not to do something I generally give it a lot of consideration before I go ahead and do it any way.

    I must admit there were a couple of photographers there I haven't heard I need to look at thier work and draw my own conclusions on thier worth.

    As to the assumption that pioneers (innovators, educators, masters ets) such as Adams and Bresson have done more to harm photography than help.....well.....BS can come wrapped in some pretty packages but it is still BS......

  8. #8

    10 photographers you should ignore

    Quote Originally Posted by 1253
    .....BS can come wrapped in some pretty packages but it is still BS......
    Well put, Marv. I always encourage students to learn the rules, then break 'em.

    As a wise person said many times, "just see."

  9. #9
    500+ Posts dvoracek's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA

    10 photographers you should ignore

    I'm getting a bit of an "A Modest Proposal" vibe from this, although I still disagree with his premise. He seems to be citing photographers with a unique personal vision and counseling youngsters to beware imitating them and to seek instead their own original personal vision.

    The author's attitude was a toxic theme in the Art Dept. where I was an undergraduate (the only course I took from them was Art History Survey.) Every thing was expected to be completely original. "Derivative!" was a common epithet.

    There is nothing original. Everything you're doing has sorta been done by someone before. In Newton's memorable put-down of Hooke "If I see farther, it's because I'm standing on the shoulders of giants." I see some of all these photographers in my photographs, not to mention a few painters, film makers and writers.

    I think as you develop mastery of your medium, a style, maybe unique, is going to emerge whether you like it or not. I used to assign my students to pick a picture by Weston and be inspired by it. Very rarely could anyone fail to distinguish between the Weston and the student (I had a couple who made it pretty tough though.)

    I'm not saying to blatantly have the goal of imitating someone, but studying the greats is only going to give you a richer foundation for your personal vision.

  10. #10

    10 photographers you should ignore

    I think Ray has a good bead on this... if you can get past the sarcasm and snotty tone of the article, the author's aren't really saying anything like Adams or Bresson have done harm, as much as the lion's share of art-historical attention paid them makes them apparent targets for young artists who want to imitate in a semester what took a lifetime of devotion/practice to achieve and/or be recognized. The Gary Winnogrand section was especially revealing of this, and I believe it represents a legitimate issue.

    Ray's other question (how many snow-capped peaks pictures do we need?) is equally valid, and I agree they are the heart of what the authors are calling into question: what is the value of essentially repeating Adams' (anybody's) work/what have I added to that image or idea by doing it myself/is there value to simply aping others/what is that value/what does that say about us as a culture? These are tricky widgets in what some refer to as a postmodern era, where many people embrace and/or are resigned to the idea that there's nowhere left to go but the past to plumb for ideas, imagery, and sounds suitable for copying and remixing.

    As an aside, I also agree with Nick that anybody can/should observe, mimic, and grow from what we see and from those that have gone before us. It seems an essential part of the creative equation. Any art department calling for "completely original" work, or throwing the derivative book at students engaged in anything but the most egregious cases of plagiarism, sounds like dinosaurs fighting the future. Maybe it was the dying breaths of the rear-guard of that era of faculty?

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