Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Inspirational Photographers.

Since I've been doing the Project 365, I've been researching other photographers.  There are a few that I've come across that I may have seen a picture or two before but now am delving deep into their work and being inspired greatly!  Here are just a few of those photographers and some of my favorite photos:

Sally Mann:

My favorite are her "Immediate Family" work.  There are a number of them I've seen before - and am drawn to the grittiness, rawness of the photos.
From Wikipedia: 
Mann is perhaps best known for Immediate Family, her third collection, published in 1992. The NY Times said, “Probably no photographer in history has enjoyed such a burst of success in the art world.” The book consists of 65 black-and-white photographs of her three children, all under the age of 10. Many of the pictures were taken at the family's remote summer cabin along the river, where the children played and swam in the nude. Many explore typical childhood themes (skinny dipping, reading the funnies, dressing up, vamping, napping, playing board games) but others touch on darker themes such as insecurity, loneliness, injury, sexuality and death. The controversy on its release was intense, including accusations of child pornography (both in America and abroad) and of contrived fiction with constructed tableaux. One image of her 4-year-old daughter (Virginia at 4) was censored by the Wall Street Journal with black bars over her eyes, nipples and pubic area. Mann herself considered these photographs to be “natural through the eyes of a mother, since she has seen her children in every state: happy, sad, playful, sick, bloodied, angry and even naked.” Critics agreed, saying her “vision in large measure [is] accurate, and a welcome corrective to familiar notions of youth as a time of unalloyed sweetness and innocence,” and that the book “created a place that looked like Eden, then cast upon it the subdued and shifting light of nostalgia, sexuality and death." When Time magazine named her “America’s Best Photographer” in 2001, it wrote:
Mann recorded a combination of spontaneous and carefully arranged moments of childhood repose and revealingly — sometimes unnervingly — imaginative play. What the outraged critics of her child nudes failed to grant was the patent devotion involved throughout the project and the delighted complicity of her son and daughters in so many of the solemn or playful events. No other collection of family photographs is remotely like it, in both its naked candor and the fervor of its maternal curiosity and care.

Gregory Crewdson:

Gregory Crewdson's photographs usually take place in small town America, but are dramatic and cinematic. They feature often disturbing, surreal events. The photographs are shot using a large crew, and are elaborately staged and lighted.  Something that I don't have the ability to do but the colors and unusual subject are greatly inspirational.

Annie Leibovitz:

Annie Leibovitz is most well known for her photos of famous people.  I started reading Vanity Fair a few years ago just because she is generally their photographer and her photos were so complelling that I would pick up a copy based on the cover photo alone.  She recently (in the last few years) teamed up with Disney to do a photo series for them, which capivates me since these were all my favorites as a child.  I could have very well picked any other photos and just been as pleased with the selections.  She is an amazing artist.

There are, of course, tons of other photographers that I look at frequently.  Some are landscape masters, some are struggling to get noticed by someone other than myself, all are amazing.

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