As I've mentioned many times, I like a wide range of photography, and like to flatter myself that I can be "convinced" (in the sense of persuaded or won over) by outstanding accomplishments even in genres I don't usually find immediately rewarding. However, I can't deny that there are some kinds of photography that are central to why I like the medium in the first place. Probably the core of my "likes" in this respect might be street photography in the classic Leica M tradition, favoring prime lenses, black-and-white images, and an approach to the world that is without preconceptions.
Those words are appropriated from Aaron C. Greenman's description of himself.
Here's the trailer to a film called AcuityColorGrain currently in production for 2015 release, about Aaron's work.
He's also an interesting combination of traditional methods and contemporary marketing—his books, for instance, are available for the iPad and Mac. Here's his website. He's perhaps a bit too closely identified with the Leica fan community, but hey, whatever works; people need support, moral support too.
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Dennis: "Hmm...maybe I'm cynical after reading that Ursula Le Guin quote, but he strikes me as a photographer trying to turn himself into a brand; trying to create an image of himself. The photos seem calculated—not like a Stephen Shore composition, but with an audience in mind. He breaks his photos up into three 'themes' that share his initials (ACG). It also bugs me when a photographer shares the same photograph in monochrome and in color. There's no denying he's talented and he has some excellent photos taken in places and of people that many of us would be too shy to shoot. But the whole thing seems a little bit fabricated to me."
Kenneth Tanaka replies to Dennis: "Dennis, Absolutely. But is that really bad or wrong? The type of work this fellow shows is fine but it's been almost entirely the domain of the amateur/hobbyist world for 30 years. And while ACG's work is in the upper quartile of skill, that's still an awfully large field of competition, and growing daily. Building one's 'brand' is a perfectly legitimate—actually an essential—strategy for distinguishing oneself in an extremely noisy marketplace of snappers. Waiting for spontaneous internet worship of this type of work would be delusional. Peter Turnley has certainly built his 'brand' on excellent sentimental and romantic B&W street photography, no? Nothing wrong with that, wouldn't you say? Yes, his background in photojournalism certainly served as his leverage but it wouldn't be keeping the wind in his sails without constant bellows work (workshops, books, print sales, personal appearances at Leica stores). High Energy + Good Products = Success. So I wish 'ACG' well. My only advice to him: Lose the smirky portrait."
Mike adds: I tend to agree with Ken. I've worked with photographers who are very talented but who refuse to promote themselves on principle, for whatever reason (it would be wrong of me to speculate). What happens? They end up working in obscurity or going off to do something else for a living. Color view camera film photography is well established by many practitioners right now, heavily supported by galleries; I'd like it if we had more people, not fewer, working to promote a high profile for their "classic 35mm" -style photography. It deserves a place at the table too.
John Sarsgard: "There are many reasons it is more and more difficult to make a living as a photographer. I applaud ACG's marketing efforts as taking responsibility for making a living at what he obviously loves. I don't mind a person trying to sell me something. I can pay attention or not; I can buy or not. And I like his work very much. Trying to imitate HC-B with fresh new work is just fine with me. Many young photographers today seem to think must be different from the masters to the point of being contrived. I remind them that after abstract art has been accepted for many years there are still respected representational painters."