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Monday, 29 July 2019


Eugene Tan
Carla Coulson
Josef Koudelka
Rennie Ellis

Also Max and Rex Dupain, Helmut Newton, Gina Lollobrigida...

Pete Turner
Jay Maisel
Arnold Newman
Co Rentmeester
Monty Zucker - He made portrait / wedding photography what it is today.

For me it is the photographers I go back to for creative inspiration:

Edward Weston
Ernst Haas
George Zimbel
Vivian Maier
Clarence John Laughlin

Having read through the posts so far, many of which feel indecisive about their top five (to the extent, like mine, of trying to squeeze in extras or alternates), I'm wondering about a negative form of Mike's question: who would you never consider for the top five, despite their importance in the history of photography? I wonder whether I'd learn more about myself (as a photographer or as a person) from my list of photographers "everyone interested in photography should be familiar with" or from the fact that I prefer Fan Ho's photographs to Henri Cartier-Bresson's or Brett Weston's to his father's?

Is it an ‘other side of the pond’ thing that no-one seems to mention Willy Ronis ?

just some names ..
Nobuyoshi Araki
Tina Modotti
Man Ray
August Sander
Herbert List

the others coming to my mind have been mentioned already, most of them several times.

Cartier Bresson because he changed photography forever, Edouard Boubat for his sensuality, Willie Ronis for his humanity and Pentti Sammallahti because no-one photographs like him. My sixth would be Jane Bown. Notice that they all used black and white film.

1.Toughness - Frank Hurley. Shackleton's photographer on the Endurance
2.Dream life - J-H.Lartigue, the Saint Exupery of photography
3.Mastery - Albert Watson, Cyclops and Maroc are the best photo books
4.Mastery - Sally Mann - the battlefields
5.Mastery - Abelardo Morell - He lives in a wonderful Universe Next Door

Beyond talent if it were not for Lartigue on the list I would say hard work is the secret to photographic success but it seems plain luck is also a part of it.

Lee Friedlander ceratinly, Garry Winogard, HCB,Ralp Gibson and Trent Parke to make the five.

Andre Kertesz
Saul Leiter
Julia Margaret Cameron
Harry Gruyaert
E. Chambré Hardman

(and HCB goes without saying).

Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Lee Trevino...oh wait a minute...we're doing photographers. Sorry, what a screwup!

Bill Brandt*
Edward Weston
Ansel Adams
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Don McCullin

* Why has no-one else mentioned Brandt? He was a true artist and was held in high esteem by Ansel Adams among others. The Museum of Modern Art has 90 of his images online (click to see larger; click again to see even larger). Just look at the photos at Barbary Castle, or of the Policeman in Bermondsey (yes, I know that there are claims that it was a set-up, but the same has been said of HCB), or those at Top Withens with the grass flattened horizontal by the wind (the territory of Heathcliff's cottage, from Wuthering Heights, as this is the area where the Brontës grew up), or Stonehenge under snow, or Halifax, or the coal-searcher in Jarrow during the Great Depression, or the terrifying image of the Sitwells, or the portrait of Harold Pinter. There are very many missing from this collection, such as the portraits of Francis Bacon and of Robert Graves,and most especially René Magritte, together with photos of London taken by moonlight during the Blitz, when the blackout was in force; the advisability of a German scrambling over bomb-produced rubble in order to take photographs of the UK capital when no distractions were present was, well, questionable. I know that he considered himself to be British, but with these sort of activities, the authorities might question that.

You might like Bill Brandt's work, or you might despise it, but please don't ignore it, and please express your views (after you have trawled the web for more of his photos)*. Thank you.

*Mike: Sorry. I'm usurping your editorial role in requesting comments, and for that I apologise.

We should do this again, but in another post, with the stipulation that all choices must be current and or contemporary. (Since there were so many comments to that effect and because it was so much fun.)

My first nomination would be Marina Sersale:

I've only discovered this blog today but feel compelled to give my opinion! My five, probably in the order I discovered them and thus the order I've been influenced/inspired by their work:
1. Jane Bown (I read the Observer from an early age)
2. John Blakemore(BBC TV series on photography in the late 70s)
3. Bill Brandt (same BBC series)
4. Man Ray (Ilford calendar c.1980)
5. Ansel Adams (and Weston too...thanks to Leo Stable - anyone else remember the original staircase gallery at Southampton University, pre-John Hansard Gallery, and the evening photography classes?)

I have another five, from more recent times but they'll have to wait.

I'd buy your "100 photographers" book.

+ Ansel Adams
+ Alfred Eisenstadt
+ Henri Cartier-Bresson
+ Andreas Feininger
+ David Beckerman

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