Examining the Work of Famous Photographers

Good reading

I often search for what I would consider outstanding photography and I came across this article by the editors of Digital Camera World, “The 55 best photographers of all time.”

http://www.digitalcameraworld.com/2012/07/17/famous-photographers-the-55-best-photographers-of-all-time/

The editors begin, “We’re not afraid of courting controversy here at Digital Camera World…Over the years we’ve interviewed a number of famous photographers and have been inspired by each of them, but one thing we often hear from readers, social media followers, and others, is…. “Who are the best photographers of all time?” It’s a good question! We put on our thinking caps and took a stab it.”

I think the list provided is interesting and is a worthwhile read. It also includes Digital Camera’s 33 myths of the Professional Photographer and Famous Photographer’s tips for being the best.

Another website entitled, Picture Correct, also has a list of who they think are the top ten most famous photographers, http://www.picturecorrect.com/tips/top-10-most-famous-photographers-of-all-time/

They write, “If you want to take truly memorable and moving photographs, you can learn something by studying the pictures of famous photographers. Some of the most beloved artists are deceased, but some are still delighting us with their photographs. The list includes some of the more famous photographers that still impact our lives today.”

I liked what the editors of Picture Correct wrote about how famous photographers are, “impacting our lives today”.  Personally, I believe a good photograph is timeless and speaks to every generation.

I enjoy studying those that excel in the medium of photography and I concur with their statement that, as they wrote, “Can learn something by studying the pictures of famous photographers,” and that photographers can advance their personal work by examining the work of others.

Many of the photographers I come in contact with are content with viewing only the photography of their circle of friends, or those they exchange photos with on FaceBook. I expect, and regularly get blank stares when I talk about some photography book I have just purchased or when I excitedly discuss my observations about some Blogger/photographer I have recently discovered.

Photography is a medium that almost everybody within our contemporary culture has a personal familiarity with, and an opinion on, whatever photos they see.

John Kippin, the chairman of the, Association for photography in higher education,discusses photography and writes, “It is, after all, probably one of the only forms of communication that is truly universal, crossing social and cultural boundaries and interweaving itself seamlessly with so many aspects of our lives. On a global scale, relatively few of the world’s citizens are unaware of photography (either as practitioners, consumers, or subjects, suitable for photography). It not only reflects and offers commentary on our lives, but in many ways, shapes them too. Our desire and need for photography reflects our need for representation within a vast spectrum that runs from the personal use of the image within our domestic lives to the security and military requirements of an age blighted by terrorism. Many of the uses of photography are not benign – they frequently contribute nothing to celebrate or enhance the human condition. Photography as technology is mute and without mercy. It has no morality and its subject is invisible until we choose to make it otherwise.”

I suspect it is probably that familiarity with photography that drives many modern photographers to think that they will excel in spite of their lack of awareness of what is being done, and what has been done by other photographers, and that as long as they keep up with the latest technology their photography will be applauded by their peers.

I am of the belief that looking and examining the work of other photographers famous or otherwise will make positive and, I think, creative changes in one’s personal photography.

Those two lists are only the opinion of the authors and as I perused the comments that readers posted, many felt their favorite photographers had been excluded and others were unhappy with some included on the lists. In my opinion that just doesn’t matter who made or didn’t make the lists, I enjoyed reading about them and their personal perspectives on photography.

As always, I look forward to your comments.

My updated website is at www.enmanscamera.com

2 responses to “Examining the Work of Famous Photographers

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