Monday, 21 September 2009

. . . a few more creative crumbs

The other night I went on a virtual trip which went 'all over the place and time', starting by googling Andreas Gursky one of several contemporary photographers my tutor recommended I look at as part of my search and interest in contemporary landscapes. Gursky who is a master in producing large-scale images depicts the impact of globalisation and capitalism on contemporary life (, looking less at the aesthetics and more about the high-tech industry and global markets. As a young photographer one major influence on his work, was Bernd and Hilla Becher ( Industrial Germany was their interest. Composition was key in their photography; low skylines so as not to distract from the machinary they were photographing. How to frame the shot making sure there were no white bits top or bottom. They tried to remain objective in their photography.

I can't quite recall how I reached the next photographer Stephen Shore and American Beauty (, however this successful photographer in the 1970s concentrated on colour photography and how to organise the space rather than crop his pictures unlike Walker Evans a key influence in his photography. Another inspiration of his was Andy Warhol. He believes successful photographers are one of two types:
a. either a powerful overriding vision that propells for decades
b. and the other is those who reinvent themselves rather than repeating himself either subject matter and tools.

Andy Warhol ( transformed contemporary art ridding the boundaries between fine art and modern culture.

John Coltrane believed you need to adapt yourself to each person and that people aren't meant to be perfect.

Hiroshi Sugimoto ( believed in minimalism and 'dead' people. He has photographed waxworks from Henry viii to Princess Diana. His seascape are minimalist and much to my liking.

J.M. Bustamente ( a french photographer worked on the production processes of photographs and how they were printed i.e. printing on a silk screen of a photograph in a frame. He did a 'walk through the world' taking objects and scenes with no visible links only known to him. His aim was to demonstrate the fragility of this as it doesn't demonstrate 'anything'.

William Klein ( made a very interesting quote. Even the best photographers may have 100 masterpieces in a lifetime. If each one has a shutter speed of 1/125 sec the actual time the photographer has captured in his life time is no more than 2 seconds!! Astounding!

Like Hanzel and Gretal I'm not sure where the crumbs of inspiration will take me. But for tonight anyway, my final creative inspiration comes from Nan Goldin. Her troubled life mixed with drugs, sex, transvestites and the underground has ( been followed through her own photography, it is candid and frank. Tracking her own life and experiences.

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