Photography – Who Inspires Me?

This is the Week Seven Module for JRNL102.

I love a good photo. But more often than not, the person behind the camera is one who noone knows. I set out to see how took some of the photos I think work really well and just how they inspire me to become a better photographer.

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) is one who innovated photography in order to provide sharp looking photos that are majestic in nature. By pioneering the Zone System, Adams showed that color and lighting is something that needs to be considered in any good photo and displaying a great contrast between the two allows for a unique image to stand out.

What I enjoy the most about Adams’ photos is the sheer majesty of them, with many of his photos being ones that would not be out of place in 2015 as outstanding photos. But the mere fact that these look near perfect and were taken some 70 years earlier while the technology was still being developed speaks wonders to the style that Adams crafted.

David Lynch (1946-Present) is predominately known as a film director, with films like Mulholland Drive and the TV series Twin Peaks being among his most well known works. But his photography is something I admire for its ability to create a high feeling of tension and unease from rather simple shots. Lynch works in the surrealness of the world, and his photos are a great way to examine that.

While the images themselves are not anything spectacular, it is the way Lynch uses framing and angles to increase the feelings that he aims to portray. While I feel he works better as a director, there is no doubt that his photos inspire me to work more on what I should be portraying rather than how.

Arthur Fellig (Better known as Weegee, 1899-1968) was one photographer who I found out about after watching the superb 2014 film Nightcrawler, which was partly inspired by his experiences. Weegee used realism to his advantage by taking photos of crime scenes and the immediate aftermath, often following Cop Cars and Ambulances to the scenes to get there as soon as possible. His signature style was in his subject matter, and his work was groundbreaking in readying the mass media for today’s culture of violence being more prevalent.

However Weegee also used Realism to show a different side of life. While mostly showing crime and its consequences, Weegee also showed the often brutal conditions of urban life and how they affect the average person. While technically his photos are not spectacular, his self taught motivation and subject matter made him one that inspires one to go out and find the truth, no matter how bad it may look.


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