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Thursday, 03 March 2016

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Easy to pick my first finalist: Daido Moriyama's demon dog sneering right at me. Inspite of the fact that my wife is afraid of dogs.

http://www.worldphoto.org/_assets/images/DaidoMoriyama_Misawa.jpg

Or... wait. Daido Moriyama's demon child looking right at me with half closed eyes.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-PCjpot778G4/UP7K1fx47xI/AAAAAAAAQB8/pC4qDRWbmeU/s1600/4040_1moriyama_child_suspenders.jpg

One of them, I think. See, easy.
The other four finalists I will have to think about. Hard.

What pooped in to my mind the moment I considered the question was "Weston pepper"

https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/39.208

I've always liked Jim Brandenburg's leaping wolf, taken (if I remember correctly) on Canada's Ellesmere Island. For me, it works on so many levels. This link may show the image:

http://jimbrandenburg.blogspot.com/2012/12/jim-brandenburgs-leaping-white-wolf.html

Dang it, Mike! This could get expensive.
You've got me thinking hard about what print I'd want hanging on the wall, and I can quickly narrow it down to about 7 photographs. Several are classics by safely dead old masters, so they're financially out of reach. But the others are by photographers who are still active, and I could probably afford an original print, seeing as how I just wrote the last tuition check for my youngest child's grad school program.
When the print arrives and my wife raises an eyebrow, I'll blame TOP.

Mike, I think it's the wrong question.
If you really love ANY artistic endeavor and do the work to know it well enough to answer the question you pose, you will also know that at that level, there is no ONE , or FIVE or TEN 'Best', or even personal favorites. Because as soon as you pick you are excluding things which no lover of the medium would want to exclude- to say nothing of the stuff you have yet to see, or hear or experience.
What is the best, or 5 best works in the Louvre?
What is the best, or 5 best pieces of music?
What is the most beautiful automobile?
All are exercises in excluding great stuff.
As you point out we are all different, all our lists will be different, and in all probability, our OWN list will change over time.

Better, I think, to expend all that energy in seeing / hearing / doing, more great stuff. Creative work is about discovering and growing and refining over time.
Maybe a more helpful question might be to ask ourselves what do we need to see or hear or do more of, in order to keep growing in our appreciation of what is out there.
I remember the first time I walked through the Louvre, -- the feeling was like breathing pure oxygen. Or seeing Bernstein conduct Copeland ..........It's the Experience that feeds us.
I'm not seeing how my making a list is helpful in any way, or why anyone would care about what I might put on it, or vice versa.
I don't mean to be flip, but it's about the experience, and we all bring / get something different. And More is, well, More.

[Michael, It's an exercise. It goes to knowing yourself. I think you should indeed from time to time answer such questions as "What is the best, or 5 best works in the Louvre? What is the best, or 5 best pieces of music? What is the most beautiful automobile?"

It doesn't mean "exclusion" at all. (How does it even imply exclusion? If you pick your five favorite things in a museum, does it suddenly render everything else in the museum invisible?) It means exploring and discovering, learning and knowing, your own mind and your own taste. --Mike]

Hi Mike,

A most interesting question to answer: I surprised myself as I barely had to think for more than a split second before deciding on Masahisa Fukase's 1997 photograph ''Nayoro" ( from his series 'Solitude of Ravens'). And without exception. I chose this photograph simply because it evokes, so deeply, the bleak desperation ( his divorce) that consumed Fukase at the time of its making.

It is not only, however, the raven as metaphor that does it for me, it is the intrinsic physical attributes of the print too which compounds this desperation: Fukase prints his negatives dark and gritty, and without any regard for so-called printing standards. These roughly-hewn prints, depicting such mysterious creatures as the raven in equally bleak settings, have a compelling beauty.

Here's a link to this photograph-

http://www.masterphotographers.org/fukase.htm

Good to see you taking a day or two off from TOP. Well deserved!

Best,

Greg

Serrano's Piss Christ.

This on one wall

http://www.magnumphotos.com/Asset/-2S5RYDWJ1WCS.html

My kids at disney on the others:) That's serious - i love seeing my monkeys at play more than most other art in the world - and why not? I helped make 'em!:) And she'll never be this little again(https://flic.kr/p/pAw8Su)...

I knew the answer instantly possibly because I've not seen a lot of photographs -- I'm not one to sit and leaf through books of photos. The answer is almost visceral. It's a photo that I instantly loved and, even though art isn't rational, over the years I've come up with reasons why.

But, a harder and more interesting question for me is which of my own photographs is my favorite? That would take some thinking.

For me it would be Gene Smith's photo of Maude Callen (A Nurse Midwife photo story) with her hand on the old man's head. It's a beautiful photo but more than that it's of a wonderful person and having her as an example to see every day would be good.

The question must have a limited audience, how many people can mentally call up a large selection of photographs from which to choose.
Given the photos I am aware of, my choice is hanging on my wall. A photograph of my three canine friends sitting and waiting for a cue from me. I love it.
It is even cooler when I get them to sit under it.

Without question, something by Ansel Adams. Almost anything of his would do.

Cartier-Bresson, Madrid 1933, with the boys in front of the wall, and the fat man.

Saul Leiter, Snow (the one with the misted up window and the man on the other side)

André Kertesz, Chez Mondrian

Julia Margaret Cameron, The Mountain Nymph Sweet Liberty

Edward Chambré Hardman: Birth of the Ark Royal

Not so hard!

Wow... tough question. The first one that popped into my mind was this one :

But that's probably because it's somewhat famous and bold. Maybe it wouldn't be a good choice after all. I'll have to think about this.

Mike:

Read the blog this AM in bed on the phone. First thoughts were of Weston's. A pepper, maybe, or Tina Reading.

And despite the 'money no object', one of Brett's later prints would suit me fine. Sacrelidge, I know, but I actually prefer the prints on more modern (relatively) papers.

Go get coffee now...

I immediately thought: Irving Penn
...but don't know which one...

If I could only hang one photograph, it would have to be one of mine. It would be a photo of my family. No question. No subject holds my interest or could be more pleasing to look at than a family photo. At what stage would be a challenge. To include those that have died and those that were just born, maybe making a composite would be nice. But since you said I would have to choose a photo from history, I guess I would choose my last family portrait.

As a friend said about tattoos: "I don't care if it's a Modigliani, I'd be sick of looking at it on the first day."

Or did you mean that looking at it was optional, and that I could rotate it off the wall whenever I want? That's completely different.

I thought this would be hard, but realized in only a few minutes that there is an obvious answer for me. It's this by Harry Callahan:

https://a.1stdibscdn.com/archivesE/art/upload/115/4638/callahan_the_cross.jpg

But I'd want to cheat a bit and frame it with this other Callahan beside it in the same frame:

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/419JQWGREML.jpg

No one except one of my own. Although I have purchased photographs from others in the past (including from your TOP print sales), I am not really a collector. The famous photographs that I like best are all mostly in books in my photography library.

I think wanting to pick the best five of anything IS an aspect of yourself. It's the need to choose that defines you.

Thanks for asking this question. A (too) quick answer: there are two photos that spring to mind immediately. They are ones I have coveted ever since I first saw them. They are Ansel Adams' Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1941, and Lee Friedlander's Albuquerque, New Mexico 1972.

Interesting to think why they have stuck with me, and why I want to see them again and again. Hmmmm ... Here goes:

They are each a miracle of the moment. How miraculous that Adams was just there, at that time, with those skills, and that equipment. Snap! And Friedlander's photo is made by the dog, just there, behind that post, looking that way, just then, among all the other street furniture. Snap! You couldn't make it up, but you could find it. A tremendous effect of Reality staring you in the face.

And, now that I think of it, the photos' respective titles tell a lot. I imagine that the titles' similarity asks us to look at the one (Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941) and then the other (Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1972), and then back to the first. It all happened in New Mexico! They would need to be hung side by side, with their titles printed below (but probably not in the frame -- no blasphemy, please).

So it would be a matter of putting the deeply serious spacious simplicity of the one (Moonrise) beside the comedy of the other, and (I suppose just now) the two hanging together would invite us to see the seriousness of our predicament, and its inescapable humor.

Must be the coffee talking. Thanks again for making me think.

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. Always wanted it. Always will (unless I win the lottery). Until then, I will have to settle for a small print of Jeffry Pine, Sentinel Dome that I bought about 40 years ago.

The moment I read the question, an early Robert Frank image popped in my mind. The window of a hearses' open cargo door frames a trash collector, while a child runs down the sidewalk. Its receding lines won't take you to infinity as the symbolism will stop you dead in you tracks. No matter the quantity of my "dream" collection, that photograph would always be the first.

[Here it is. —Ed.]

http://41.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l36zsrgofi1qzfye6o1_1280.jpg

#1 Frederick Summer's "Arizona Landscape "(1946?)#2 Minor White "Capital Reef Utah " (bullet hole stars in rock wall)#3 "Apple" Paul Caponigro. #4 "Tide Pool " Wynn Bullock #5 "Shell at Point Lobos " Edward Weston.......And I have been lucky enough to have seen original prints of all of these.....

For me picking one is easy: Pepper No. 30. It may seem like an easy or obvious choice, but this was the first photo that spoke to me as art, and it still holds up.

Rounding out five would be harder. Something from Mapplethorpe, one of the flower photos, and a Ruth Bernhard nude. Beyond that, I'm not sure.

The only photo I have hanging in my home (other than a couple of my own) is a poster print of Eugene Smith's Dream Street.

Currently:

http://tenyearsofpics.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/elliott-erwitts-russian-wedding-couple.html?m=1

I'm afraid there's no way I could name a favorite photograph. I'm like you, in that I find it impossible to name my favorite book/song/movie etc. Too many things I like for too many different reasons at different times in my life.

Still, I found it interesting that when I read your question one photograph popped instantly to mind, and it's one I haven't seen in many years. When I was in college, I was browsing through a book of Civil War era photos, and came across a formal portrait of Ulysses Grant (by Matthew Brady perhaps) from his time as commanding general of the Union Army. There was something about that image that haunted me then and still does. I knew that at the time the portrait was made, Grant had witnessed (and been largely responsible for) some of the worst human carnage in history to that time. The memory of that photo later motivated me to learn more about Grant's life, and the reading journey was very worthwhile.

The photo also brought home to me how close in time we still are to the Civil War. The war ended just two longish human lifetimes ago - when you and I were born there were still a few CW veterans and ex-slaves alive. A weird thing to think about perhaps, and not what you were looking for, but maybe it speaks to the various levels on which images can leave a lasting impression.

Best,
Dan

I'm glad you answered Michael P., because I was also thinking along the line of "one photo on an island", when that's not what your question asked.

I'd have to choose some photo of either Half Dome or El Capitan by Adams (and printed by Ansel) because of the amazing density range. The Tetons and the Snake River would be close, but Moonrise over Hernandez, New Mexico (as brilliant as it is) just doesn't match those from my point of view. I could find new details in the print that I haven't seen in web photos.

I like Harrison's list of considerations especially the part "It will remain unrecognised by all but the most discerning visitors." The work I like best is not that made by "working photographers" but by what I would call a "photographer's photographer". Someone whose work transcends popular imagery, but speaks to those who spend their lives "seeing".

View From the Window at Le Gras, by Nicéphore Niépce; because the more things change, the more they remain the same.

I guess my Universe is bimodal, for I'd go f.64 but also Friedlander, Bresson, Hurn...

I can answer this with some confidence, because I chose 3 images for my bedroom a couple of years ago - even if they are copies rather than originals. They are very beautiful in different ways.

Julia Margaret Cameron, 'Pomona' (1872), full face portrait of Alice Liddell as a young woman - she was the Alice who had previously inspired Lewis Carroll.

F H Evans, 'Sea of Steps' (1903), architectural study of Wells Cathedral.

Man Ray, profile portrait of Lee Miller (ca 1929), using the Sabattier effect (usually miscalled solarisation).

If I had the chance, I would add W Eugene Smith's profile portrait of Thelonious Monk leaning back with cigarette (ca 1965) from the Loft rehearsal sessions. It shows the beauty of the creative process.

Finally, for inspiration from the ultimate photograph of creation, the eXtreme Deep Field image from the Hubble telescope, (2012). The effective exposure was around 2 million seconds (23 days) so the faintest objects are over 13 billion light years away, in other words they appear as they were shortly after the Big Bang. It's beautiful, it's mysterious and it makes your head hurt if you think about it for too long. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hubble_eXtreme_Deep_Field

I actually feel kinda uneasy about how simple this is for me. Something about this fact makes me feel like I'm a limited simpleton...
(It would be Audrey Hepburn portrait by Karsh by the way)

What I'm missing is seeing others' lists. For example, I hate Lee Friedlander's Albuquerque, New Mexico 1972, but I only even saw it due to being listed here. (Why hate? Because it looks like my daily surroundings: cemented, unfinished, unthought, irreflective,lazy, sloppy mess. Inelegant. It may be a great photograph, but it's not a subject I want to look at.)

It certainly made me think about it though!

Easy. Lee Miller, Portrait of Space. Basically, it is the photograph all of my photographs would like to be when they grow up.

http://designobserver.com/feature/exposure-portrait-of-space-by-lee-miller/39101/

Avenue Simon-Bolivar, Paris, 1950 by Willy Ronis.
It's on the wall in my dining room.
You look down a stepped alleyway on to a Parisian street, sunlit but wintry. A woman holding a toddler is caught in mid-step at the bottom of the staircase. A man driving a horse and cart is in the street. Behind the cart on the pavement there are passers-by walking along, and a shopkeeper having a conversation. A man is up a ladder fixing a set of traffic lights. It's both entirely about an instant in a specific place and time, and also transcendent of all the conditions of its making. I will never love a photograph more than this one.

Mike,
I did get that it was an exercise, and I do understand that it is not without merit, and that teachers use such thought experiments all the time. It is not at all bad to think about what you like and why you like it. But I don't find the idea of picking one or five helpful.
Lists have to be finite, you must include or exclude by definition.
It doesn't mean the the excluded items vanish from the universe, but if the exercise requires getting down to 5 or 1 , MY drawing distinctions between monumental works to make or not make my list seems to be putting too fine a point on things.
I don't see where that level of specificity is helpful.
To spend time looking at pictures, and learning from them, and discovering which groups of them move me more than others and perhaps trying to understand why that is --IS probably helpful.
But even looking thoughtfully at pictures we don't like can be instructive.

But IF I was to take a stab at such a list, it would have to include a Berenice Abbott scientific illustration picture, Pete Turner's Stoplight in the snow (I have a friend who owns it and I never tire of seeing it). Wright Morris's Silverware in the drawer picture. Moonrise (because I like it and I owned it for 8 minutes before I got cold feet spending 2 months rent way back when... ) Ruth Orkin's American girl in Italy, and Nick Utt's Napalm Girl (though I'm not sure I could display it) And A Penn, still life.
Now I love all of those but can't help thinking about what I've 'excluded'
Oh S*** I excluded, Avedon's Dovima and the Elephants, and Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother, And that Walker Evans picture with the signs, and Walter Rosenblum's picture of the kid in Haarlem in front of the black car........
....and those Bill Brandt soot and chalk girl with the arm....
see, lists are bad.
But you made me think so I guess you win ???
m.

@ David Bostedo: That's a great picture. It may be famous, but I'm not familiar with it. Who is it by?

@ Bill Langford: Another picture I hadn't seen before. And it's wonderful. Thanks for drawing it to my attention.

@ Mike Johnston: Thanks for finding the Frank picture and posting the link.

As for my own choices, I can come up with my top 5 very easily. In reverse order, they would be:

4 & 5: Two pictures that I took of my wife.

3: A picture that I took of one of my daughters.

2: A picture of my Italian father-in-law as a young boy. It is an absolutely lovely picture -- his is wearing a rather formal short with an enormous bow in front that lends the picture a slightly androgynous feel. What makes it perfect is that he is the absolutely spitting image of my daughter at the same age. In fact, people who visit us often think it is a portrait of my daughter. That sort of visual reminder of the ties across generations is priceless. And in one picture, I have a reminder of both my father-in-law and my daughter.

1. A picture I already have, namely "Kahili Wild Ginger" by...Ctein. [See here: http://ctein.com/Wild_Ginger.htm] It's funny, because I generally find landscape and botanical photography leaves me as cold as can be. Yet I literally look at this picture daily and marvel at it every time. The light and color are so soft and beautiful, it is uncanny. And the [leaves?] of the fronds are each so perfect and distinct it seems impossible to imagine such a thing exists in nature. It feels as though it must be a painting. BTW, given my other choices, you might think it odd that my #1 picture is NOT of my family. But actually, a picture of any one member of my family feels like it would by implication exclude the others. Ctein's picture holds the #1 spot not only because it is a wonderful picture in and of itself, but because it doesn't come with any emotional connections -- I am able to simply focus on the picture itself.

There are plenty of more famous and valuable pictures I would love to own. But I don't know whether they would hold my interest over the long term. Each of the pictures listed above has already stood the test of time and I am confident their power to mesmerize me will not fade.

Best regards,
Adam

Probably one of (NGS) Sam Abells. A couple to pick from, but they have a gentleness that, even after years of seeing then, still sit well with me.
Probably out of the Kremlin/Lemons, the canoe/bag shot or one of the western ones.

Easy for me. It'll be and always will be Ansel Adams' Moonrise, Hernandez.

For me, it would be one that would inspire me to go out and be in the world, whether I was going to make art or not. Henri Cartier-Bresson's picture of Indian women at sunrise would do it. I don't know why this one in particular; somehow the simplicity of this scene reaches across cultural barriers. I'm left awe-struck and open.

Wow, what a great question. My initial response was Churchill by Karsh, for a several reasons. But upon reflection I dismissed it because I know that as much as I admire it (and I have seen an original print at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, where Karsh had his studio,) my gut told me it is too immediate and forceful to be THE ONE.

I will need time to reflect, but I'm pretty sure it will be something by either W. Eugene Smith or Minor White. Yes, very different.

My visual memory immediately insisted on André Kertész's Satiric Dancer, 1926:

http://www.icp.org/browse/archive/objects/satiric-dancer-paris
It also appears to elegantly fulfil the demands of Harrison Cronbi's satisfaction certainty requirements list.
Mentally straining further produced more and more photo options but none surpassed Kertész's transcendent wonder.
Ok, ok. Just about any of Avedon's In the American West would make my shortlist.

The centre of my photographic universe is actually a painter, or two 19th century Australian painters:

Arthur Streeton & Eugene von Guerard.

In fact, I would say that landscape photography really contains nothing new and is an extension of the landscape painting tradition.

I can't paint.

I mentioned in my earlier post that this would be a task that I'd have to do over time. But there is one photo that, every time I look at it, makes me wish I had a print of it. I'm not even sure it would make it into my top 5, but it's the one that comes to mind right now. It's by Jay Maisel:
http://www.jaymaisel.com/v2/wp-content/gallery/recent-work/20090118_dp833_0178.jpg

I have a print of what I might choose: A Great Day in Harlem, by Art Kane. (http://www.a-great-day-in-harlem.com/) I think it's the content I value more than anything else. All those great musicians.

I've got the DVD around somewhere, too.

So the correct answer is "White Fence" by Paul Strand, right?

[You didn't used to read "Darkroom Photography" by any chance, did you? --Mike]

Forrester's Child by August Sander:

http://40.media.tumblr.com/06355983a7c1d7b551aa4ad4923d343c/tumblr_m51ucrCzUh1rpri2zo1_r3_540.jpg

A couple years ago I bought the book covering the Kodak panoramic images they displayed at the New York train station. I fell in love with the Ansel Adams color picture of the couple standing on a hill in a field of yellow flowers. In the dreary dull months of winter, THAT is the image I would like to see everyday as I sit at the computer.

Doisneau, the photo of the woman holding a bumper of a car in a field.

To me it would be a photo from Salgado. Because I like the way he links humanity, dignity and Nature, all wrapped up in poetic light.

Bill Mitchell - did you know you can download any NASA photo and use it for free, for non-commercial purposes? I have an A3 print of the famous 'earth from the moon' photo on my wall.
As for the answer to the question - I'm still thinking.

Why should they be by "famous" photographers? My favourite photographs are from my own.

Choosing just five would be hard. I think I might do a blog post about it. I'm in Bali at the moment and don't have all my images with me. Later.

Let's just answer the question...

Hats in the Garment District, New York, 1930 by Margaret Bourke White

Fiendish, fiendish... But, if it's got to be one, then it's Emmet Gowin's "Ice Fish, Danville, Virginia, 1971". It's all there, the mystery, the beauty, the transience...

I reluctantly had to reject Josef Koudelka's portrait of three gipsies in Slovenia -- two young men, one with a fiddle, one with a jacket draped over his shoulders, and one small child, where the painted floral frieze on the grimy wall passes from the fiddle, through the second young man, and curves down to the child's head, like an inspirational heritage of music -- on the grounds that its gritty "soot'n'whitewash" technical shortcomings would, in the long run, overpower its pictorial sublimity and drive me crazy.

Close, though.

Mike

That expensive potato picture, of course!

On a more serious note, I think it should be a picture that talks to me, and keeps bringing me back to looking at it, or just thinking of it. Several 20th Century B/W photographs do that to me, but I that seems to be even more the case with (Chilean Magnum photographer) Sergio Larraín's portfolio. It might be that he's a fellow countryman and that he photographed people and places that I know and to which I can more closely relate to, even though they represent a completely different place in time.

If I had to choose a single picture, it would definitively "Pasaje Bavestrello, Valparaíso, 1952". Here's a link:

http://www.magnumphotos.com/Asset/-2S5RYDZOHBMO.html

Valparaíso is certainly a city of unlikely corners, streets, alleys, stairs and views. But there's something about this particular photograph that gets to me. Larraín himself called this picture "the first magical photograph ever presented". Indeed, Writer Marcelo Simonetti wrote about this image: "(...) time had stopped, because it gave the impression that both teenagers were the same girl, with slightly different ages, the one walking in front being a little older. They had the same haircut, almost the same dress, and I'm tempted to affirm that had it been taken on a steeper angle, the photograph would have shown an older woman, maybe an elder, walking in front of them."

Add to that the fact that it was taken less thank a block away from where my grandmother used to live as a child, and you'll understand why I'm thrown into daydreaming each time I see it again. The dates don't match, but still I can't shake off my head the notion that this IS indeed my grandmother, skipping down those very stairs.

Not a single doubt for me, it's Joseph Nicéphore Niépces "Point de vue du Gras": https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5c/View_from_the_Window_at_Le_Gras%2C_Joseph_Nic%C3%A9phore_Ni%C3%A9pce.jpg
There are better photos than this, but not one that makes me think more about photography.

Well, I guess I'd have to answer this with the somewhat famous photo of two of my musical heroes, Lou Reed and Robert Quine, by Bobby Grossman, because Bobby was kind enough to sell me a print at a price I could afford. Here it is, in my living room:

Photo Of Lou Reed And Robert Quine By Bobby Grossman February 12, 2015

That said, I'd love André Kertész's original version of this:

Satiric Dancer, February 26, 2012

Sorry if it's not in the nature of the question but I have a small "rotation" my own photographs hanging in my humble home. I'm not "great" or recognized beyond a small circle of local friends and never will be.

But the personal satisfaction I feel "in my marrow" about them and the moments of their capture when I hit the shutter and "knew" I had something.. well.. it just makes them more special to me than than almost any of the genuine and deserving celebrated greats.

But if I HAD to choose one... it would be Clyde Butcher, Big Talbot 6 because it's a place I know so well and photographed so often yet failed utterly to even approach his artistry... shrug..

Oh, golly. So great so see everyone's picks. For me, I also knew my answer immediately, although it may not even be my most favorite photo ever. But I have adored "Lella, Bretagne" by Boubat since I first saw it. To me this photo contains all of the mystery many people see in the Mona Lisa.

https://onlineonly.christies.com/s/april-in-paris-photographs/lella-bretagne-france-1948-48/5128

Bruce Davidson's 'Girl with Kitten' or August Sander's 'Young Farmer's'.

Way too many centers in my universe. Offhand, my first choices would be among the color works of:
- Ernst Haas
- Saul Leiter
- Constantine Manos
- Harry Gruyaert
- Irving Penn
- Laszlo Maholy-Nagy
- and Arthur Siegel

My b&w choices would be from:
- Andre Kertesz,
- Roy DeCarava,
- Harry Callahan,
- Ray Metzker,
- Man Ray,
- and, yes, Vivian Maier

More important than picking favorite images, however, is understanding what characteristics motivate your selections. For me, images that feature ambiguity, irony, or mystery take top honors. All the better if the image effectively integrates the 3rd-dimension of color into its job.

The magical Wynn Bullock's Child in Forest.

http://www.wynnbullockphotography.com/shop_posters_folder/child1_fullsize.jpg

Hmm.

Ansel Adams
Edward Weston
Weegee
David Burnett, especially his Speed Graphic work.
But probably most of all David Plowden. Would that one of his books was in that museum book store pile ... ;)

What!? You run out of coffee so you take it out on us!?

Actually, for me this one is easy. There are literally hundreds of photographic artists whose work I adore and love looking at.

But there is one print that knocked me to my knees when I first spotted it and I would never tire of looking at it in my home. In fact, though it is not an original, I do have a print in my office.

- Migrant Mother -

Dorothea Lange was a genius but this photograph is what happens when a genius steps into a puddle of good fortune and does not turn away. She was absolutely correct when she said that this photograph no longer actually belonged to her.

It would be the Cartier Bresson man over the puddle photo. I remember when I was a lot younger looking over his work for the first time in a magazine as a complete beginner and this photo was maybe the 5th or 6th of his in a series.

I just thought to myself: "Wow. That's art because there was nothing lucky about that at all."

Pak

Some of the Carl Goodpasture "Compost" series would fit the criteria very well. I don't see any numbers or names to the series but the one with the bone white fish spine and ribs is the sort of .. oh I love the color. Then stop. Go back. Look again. Sort of shot I love.

Something by Atget. Likely one of his street photographs featuring people - but it might take me quite a while to pick (30 days?) & it could end up being people-less.

Atget, Eugene Smith, Walker Evans, Sudek, Hmmm. One of my favorite prints that I currently have on the wall is the platinum palladium print of the Pike Drive-In by Carl Weese.

When I first read this, I thought "it would be easy if he asked for paintings". (Rembrandt's self-portrait as St. Paul.) Photos, though? I love street photography, but it would be hard to choose just one or even just five.

But when I closed my eyes, what came up in my vision was Weston's photo of Tina Modotti reciting. Cartier-Bresson's portrait of the Joliet-Curies. Arnold Newman's Krupp, though that's too intense to have in front of me every day. That Disfarmer with the young men drinking.

Maybe I should be thinking more about portraiture and less about shooting street.

Frankly, whatever it is, after hanging on the wall a while it will become just so much "wallpaper" and I would no longer notice it, unless it's downright horrific. (I have a painting hanging in the garage that my wife won't let into the house.)

Taking this opportunity to be egocentric, I would love to have the first print that I ever made in the darkroom, in 1962. It's irretrievably lost, however. So, my second choice is anything I have recently printed. The works we display change in time as I commit to newer subjects, while prints get moved around as my wife and I compete for wall space, all hung salon style.

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