Who inspires me - an open thread

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Garry
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Just recently I found yet another photographer who inspires me. So I thought I'd start an open thread. Who inspires you? Who makes you want to pick up your camera? Or makes you want to fire up your post-processing software to try a new or different style? Or who is it that just inspires you to spend an hour or two looking at and savouring their work? Who inspires you enough to make you want to share them with others?

My first example is a street photographer, as that's my preferred style, though I'll shoot anything that moves. Or doesn't. But I welcome seeing inspirational photographers' work in any genre, and I think other people would, so how about joining in?

Name: Paola Franqui, also known as Monaris
Style:
Street photography
Website: https://www.monaris.me
YouTube interview:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ3y0b94K4I

YouTube processing overview:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp_Y5meEDh8


Paola's photos are of the kind of street photography subjects that I often tend to miss seeing, mostly because of my own biases as to what makes a good subject. Her cinematic processing is a bonus and, I think, is fairly easily reproducible. Her website gives a lot of static examples of her work, but in the interview video she brings them alive by telling us who she is and what drives her. And, as a bonus, she gives a step-by-step guide in the other video showing how she gets her particular cinematic style.
 
I've been following a guy on Flickr that takes some amazing photos just using an iPhone, he also links to a very good blog that he has created about his technique and what he uses etc. I've listed who he is below in case you might like to take a look.

iPhone Fotograaf
 
I've been following a guy on Flickr that takes some amazing photos just using an iPhone, he also links to a very good blog that he has created about his technique and what he uses etc. I've listed who he is below in case you might like to take a look.

iPhone Fotograaf

Thanks, George. An interesting mix of street, landscape, waterways, and windmills.
 
Can't say any photographer inspires me. To me it is all about the actual photograph.
 
Can't say any photographer inspires me. To me it is all about the actual photograph.
Same here. I'd rather do my own thinking than copy what others have done.
 
Same here. I'd rather do my own thinking than copy what others have done.

It's an interesting point of view and one that I've thought about recently. A musician will still have their favorite musicians and be inspired by them - they probably learn to play or write songs based on what has been done before.. and then add to it. You could say the same about other creatives.. actors, directors, writers, etc..
But I only ever hear about photographers not having a interest in or being inspired by other successful photographers because there is a fear of copying what has been done before.. but of course if you don't know what has been done / or can be done.. how do you know what you're doing is new? Sorry.. that's probably waffle!

Who inspires me?
Alex Webb - I'm a big fan of his use of light, colour, and complex/busy compositions
View: https://www.youtube.com/embed/F4SfiGdybgo
 
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The sole photographer I can point to that has really influenced me is someone you have probably never heard of: Cyril Bernard.

I bought the second issue of a magazine called "SLR Camera" in July 1967. There was a four page article about the man, who specialised in pictures about education. Across those four pages were four pictures and those have had an abiding effect on the way I try to compose my own pictures...

Cyril Bernard article SLR Camera July 1967 TZ70 TZ70 P1030587.JPG

Cyril Bernard article SLR Camera July 1967 TZ70 TZ70 P1030588.JPG
 
how do you know what you're doing is new?

Why does it matter if what you're doing is new? Is 'your' shot of a particular scene of no value because someone has previously created a similar image?

I'm very glad doctors, engineers, scientists etc don't have the same attitude as you.

You can always learn as a photographer, and some of the best ways to learn is to look at what others are doing.

Almost every human endeavour is iterative, built on the work of others.
 
Same here. I'd rather do my own thinking than copy what others have done.
Not sure anyone mentioned copying. It’s possible to be inspired to try something new without copying.

To answer the original question, there are a few photographers that I like, that have inspired me over the last year especially. I’ve only relatively recently started taking landscape photography more seriously, and ive enjoyed watching Tom Heaton, Henry Turner, Adam Gibbs, Nick Page and a couple of others.
 
Re: Not copying: I could very likely make a Yorkshire pudding from scratch but it would take me a LOT of trial and error to get there. My Yorkshires are now a blend of Delia's, my gran's, Hugh F-W and my mum's. I took [what I thought were] the bits I liked from all of them to make something I really liked (no complaints from the family either!).

In terms of inspiration, for me, Elliot Erwitt is probably top of the pile. His ability to "notice" and frame the human condition in an often humorous way is something I identify with when I'm trying to do my own photography. Martin Parr & Phillipe Halsman's humour too. Landscape wise, Fay Godwin, Ansel Adams... In fact most of the big names from the past that have made a lifelong career from photography in a non-digital age (when it was likely much harder) inspire me. I really like Vivian Maier's work too as a photographer who [I think] never wanted popularity or acclaim for her work. That gives me confidence to "do my own thing" without thinking about likes.

I enjoy the work of the movie industry as well, as I feel there are similarities in the medium. The photography of Jeff Bridges, Jason Lee & Roger Deakins interest me to the point of buying books of their work (or waiting for a sensible price in the case of Jason Lee). And cinematic photographers like Gregory Crewdson, Cindy Sherman and the noir work of Cecil Beaton & Yousuf Karsh.

The list just goes on and on...

[Edit to add: I find it's getting harder and harder to find good photographers these days as there are an awful lot of ordinary ones with excellent marketing skills to wade through! And many are only interested in telling you what their version of good is. Channels like The Photographic Eye and T. Hopper are trying, but the dichotomy of monetising & getting subscribers vs straight unbiased content does get in the way.]
 
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I'm very glad doctors, engineers, scientists etc don't have the same attitude as you.

You can always learn as a photographer, and some of the best ways to learn is to look at what others are doing.
This is rubbish. Doctors engineers etc generally follow a principle. having worked with a lot of engineers I can't think of any of them who say I take inspiration from X or Y they follow engineering principles. My ex-boss has a good reputation for designing complex concrete mixes, but he follows basic principles. (sometimes they need an explanation to those who do not understand the complexities)

And that is the big difference, A doctor, engineer, etc has to have a defined outcome that suits not only them but their clients and it has to be done safely and within the law(be that criminal, physical or biological etc) A photograph only has to satisfy the creator or those that have commissioned the work, how that is achieved is up to the individual.

Of course, we can learn from what others have done, but does that mean If I like a certain photograph I must follow what that photographer does to understand how he got it?
 
This is rubbish. Doctors engineers etc generally follow a principle. having worked with a lot of engineers I can't think of any of them who say I take inspiration from X or Y they follow engineering principles. My ex-boss has a good reputation for designing complex concrete mixes, but he follows basic principles. (sometimes they need an explanation to those who do not understand the complexities)

And that is the big difference, A doctor, engineer, etc has to have a defined outcome that suits not only them but their clients and it has to be done safely and within the law(be that criminal, physical or biological etc) A photograph only has to satisfy the creator or those that have commissioned the work, how that is achieved is up to the individual.

Of course, we can learn from what others have done, but does that mean If I like a certain photograph I must follow what that photographer does to understand how he got it?
Calm down dear it's not like it's a matter of life and death!
 
Just recently I found yet another photographer who inspires me. So I thought I'd start an open thread. Who inspires you? Who makes you want to pick up your camera? Or makes you want to fire up your post-processing software to try a new or different style? Or who is it that just inspires you to spend an hour or two looking at and savouring their work? Who inspires you enough to make you want to share them with others?

My first example is a street photographer, as that's my preferred style, though I'll shoot anything that moves. Or doesn't. But I welcome seeing inspirational photographers' work in any genre, and I think other people would, so how about joining in?

Name: Paola Franqui, also known as Monaris
Style:
Street photography
Website: https://www.monaris.me
YouTube interview:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ3y0b94K4I

YouTube processing overview:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp_Y5meEDh8


Paola's photos are of the kind of street photography subjects that I often tend to miss seeing, mostly because of my own biases as to what makes a good subject. Her cinematic processing is a bonus and, I think, is fairly easily reproducible. Her website gives a lot of static examples of her work, but in the interview video she brings them alive by telling us who she is and what drives her. And, as a bonus, she gives a step-by-step guide in the other video showing how she gets her particular cinematic style.

Just played both of those vid's Garry, very impressive stuff, particularly the tutorial and must admit it's a style of presentation I like very much. I don't actually use lightroom but I can't see any reason why that sort of thing can't be done in Affinity which is the main software I use for most of my PP. Thanks for posting.
 
This is rubbish. Doctors engineers etc generally follow a principle. having worked with a lot of engineers I can't think of any of them who say I take inspiration from X or Y they follow engineering principles. My ex-boss has a good reputation for designing complex concrete mixes, but he follows basic principles. (sometimes they need an explanation to those who do not understand the complexities)

And that is the big difference, A doctor, engineer, etc has to have a defined outcome that suits not only them but their clients and it has to be done safely and within the law(be that criminal, physical or biological etc) A photograph only has to satisfy the creator or those that have commissioned the work, how that is achieved is up to the individual.

Of course, we can learn from what others have done, but does that mean If I like a certain photograph I must follow what that photographer does to understand how he got it?
If you think doctors and engineers don't take inspiration from others, I'm lost for words.

Also try and discuss without resorting to saying something is rubbish. You may disagree but that doesn't mean it is rubbish.
 
It can be easy to get caught up in a discussion on 2 people's interpretation of a word. The dictionary I checked states that "inspiration" is defined as "the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative."

As an engineer, I was fascinated by Bell. I thought it was really cool how 2 people could talk to each other over long distances without flags, smoke or shouting.
As a musician, I was inspired by punk - moreso the attitude that all it really took to make a good song was determination and working with the two or three chords in a young kid's limited knowledge.
As a terrible writer, I am inspired by a ton of writers who all make me want to go and write my own stories.
As a scientist, my daughter was inspired into biochem and research because she wants to cure cancer.

In my mind, inspiration isn't about copying. It's not even about emulating. It's about something that makes you want to get-up-and-go with your creative thing.

The OPs video doesn't inspire me one bit, but the idea behind the post completely does. In this thread is the possibility that I might find someone I didn't know about that can kindle another creative spark. There is another post here about just inspirational videos (to which those above can be added if their posters want to)
 
If you think doctors and engineers don't take inspiration from others, I'm lost for words.

Also try and discuss without resorting to saying something is rubbish. You may disagree but that doesn't mean it is rubbish.
In the context of how you originally replied and in the context of this thread I do say it is rubbish. Photography is totally subjective, you can do whatever you feel, you can follow a particular photographer's style/technique if you choose, but you don't have to. Even a pioneering engineer/doctor can't get totally away from "basic" principles. Of course, they take inspirations ideas from others but it is a lot more about the idea than the person. Besides in this day and age, it is a lot more to do with the company, institution than the individual.
 
Not a big name in the grand scheme of things, I really enjoy that work of Sam Ferris - An Australian based street photographer.

I recently bought his self published photobook and think it’s great.

I’m inspired by his use of light, reflections and complex / busy scenes (similar to Alex Webb that I mentioned earlier in this thread.)


https://flickr.com/photos/93535876@N02
 
I'm getting on a bit and my tastes (like my pics) have changed somewhat over time. I've always been inspired by the work and ethos of Fay Godwin. I have books by Paul Hart and I really like the work of Jem Southam, Robert Adam and Alec Soth to name but a few.

I enjoy looking at images made by others whether they are familiar names or the talented individuals that post on here.

I've learned a lot from looking at other peoples work and will continue to do so. If my work reflects their influences, then that's no bad thing and it certainly isn't copying.
 
To my mind, looking at the work of other photographers for inspiration isn’t copying, it’s about seeing what’s possible. I use the work of others as a starting point for my own - I’ve been inspired by how other people have composed their work and years later have used a similar composition in a different context or location, or visited places I’ve seen photographs of and photographed it in a completely different way.
 
Q. What's your best photo?

A. I don't know. I haven't taken it yet.

anon.

There's a quote that goes something like that, a woman from the 60s, not sure.

But the words inspire me .... (forget what you have done, think about what might be done).
 
leaving aside the contentious parts; I'll give five names: one photographer (Edward Weston), two artists using other media (Kazimir Malevich and Marcel Duchamp) and two theologians (Martin Luther and John Owen). Despite the wide apparent differences, they all have one thing in common - they stimulate thought and clarity of vision, whether in the introspective world of ideas or the visual. All have made me think, which to me is the first step.

If you haven't previously done so, read the first two lines in my signature.
 
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Cameras don't take pictures, people do.

don't know who said that either, but worth remembering when out on the street.
 
The OPs video doesn't inspire me one bit, but the idea behind the post completely does. In this thread is the possibility that I might find someone I didn't know about that can kindle another creative spark.

This is it. This is the process I wanted to start, for others to join in and create that possibility. Thanks, Ian.
 
I've had a think and I'm not sure I have a photographic hero. To be honest I'm not steeped in photographic folklore, and if I'm being particularly brutal, even know a great deal about it. I've learnt bits here and there from some of the people I've watched on YT, but I'm not sure that is quite the same. The closest I might come, at the moment, is Steve O'Nions and his love of film.
 
In the context of how you originally replied and in the context of this thread I do say it is rubbish. Photography is totally subjective, you can do whatever you feel, you can follow a particular photographer's style/technique if you choose, but you don't have to. Even a pioneering engineer/doctor can't get totally away from "basic" principles. Of course, they take inspirations ideas from others but it is a lot more about the idea than the person. Besides in this day and age, it is a lot more to do with the company, institution than the individual.
I really don’t see your point at all.

Just because photography is subjective doesn’t mean you can’t take inspiration. I would also disagree on your principles argument as they do exist in photography too. Even if you are deliberately making a photo out of focus, for example, it’s still being done to convey something. The moment you press that button, you are trying to capture something; principle number one.

Basically I don’t know why you are trying to argue the point that people can and should take inspiration from others and that pretty much everything we do in photography is built upon work that has gone before. It’s called learning and developing.
 
I never said you couldn't or shouldn't take inspiration from others. My point is to do that you do not need a person to emulate. You can look at previous photographs.
Or are you saying the only way to improve your photographs is to know about the person that took them. (Bearing in mind the title of this thread)

As for the doctor/engineer comparison I still don't see where that has any relevance to photography.
 
I never said you couldn't or shouldn't take inspiration from others. My point is to do that you do not need a person to emulate. You can look at previous photographs.
Or are you saying the only way to improve your photographs is to know about the person that took them. (Bearing in mind the title of this thread)

As for the doctor/engineer comparison I still don't see where that has any relevance to photography.
My original reply was concerning copying other photographers. You have then gone on a rant about principles, inspiration etc and seeing to claim that doctors and engineers don't get inspiration from anyone.

I think it's probably best we just leave it as you appear to be making a total non point.
 
Just recently I found yet another photographer who inspires me. So I thought I'd start an open thread. Who inspires you? Who makes you want to pick up your camera? Or makes you want to fire up your post-processing software to try a new or different style? Or who is it that just inspires you to spend an hour or two looking at and savouring their work? Who inspires you enough to make you want to share them with others?

My first example is a street photographer, as that's my preferred style, though I'll shoot anything that moves. Or doesn't. But I welcome seeing inspirational photographers' work in any genre, and I think other people would, so how about joining in?

Name: Paola Franqui, also known as Monaris
Style:
Street photography
Website: https://www.monaris.me
YouTube interview:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ3y0b94K4I

YouTube processing overview:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lp_Y5meEDh8


Paola's photos are of the kind of street photography subjects that I often tend to miss seeing, mostly because of my own biases as to what makes a good subject. Her cinematic processing is a bonus and, I think, is fairly easily reproducible. Her website gives a lot of static examples of her work, but in the interview video she brings them alive by telling us who she is and what drives her. And, as a bonus, she gives a step-by-step guide in the other video showing how she gets her particular cinematic style.

Good thread, garry. I saw an interview a few weeks ago with Monaris on a YouTube channel street photography channel called Framelines. I'll enjoy watching those videos you linked. Her work is beautiful.

Many street photographers inspire me and in particular I get excited about compositions to do with juxtaposition and serendipity, such as interaction with billboards and surroundings. Matt Stuart and Jonathan Higbee are my favourites for that, they've created some incredible photos. Also street photography involving layering. As mentioned by Ben, Alex Webb is a great inspiration for that.


 
There's a vast world of photographers out there, past & present, whose work is inspiring. They did it! They are doing it. The list is huge.

If I thought that I could produce something a tenth of their worth, I'd be satisfied enough. But I wouldn't want to emulate anyone - that wouldn't be authentic. The basic aim must be to be true to yourself, no matter how clumsy or inept you are at it.

Names from a hat. One 'classical', one 'modern', but who could tell the difference? Bill Brandt. Matilda Temperley.

But there are thousands. Who's heard of Caroline Forbes? Not many.

Some photographers inspire, and others are just mechanical - robotic, in a word, whilst incapable of recognising the fact. Most photographs are junk!

So let's treasure the true visionaries. But I think you have to find your own. The discovery is personal.
 
My main thing is macro, insects as well as other animals especially big cats
I was originally inspired by a friend and other people’s work including here and on Fred Miranda , an an American site
I now try to do my own thing , mainly natural light macro without flash
I don’t think anyone can say that they haven’t been influenced by anyone else you are even if you don’t realise it
 
In terms of being inspired to try new photography things, I wouldn't say I was inspired by other photographers, more likely to not do something because have seen it already done.

Have found myself on the other side of that with two other local photographers copying stuff down to the finest detail and found it quite annoying.

There are however some other photographers that have inspired me from a business point of view, how they market themselves etc.
 
To continue on from my earlier post, there are plenty of photographers that I like, but they’ve not necessarily inspired me. As Isaac newton stated - albeit in a somewhat different field - "If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants" and while I won’t claim to have advanced the field in which I work, I’ve certainly stood on the shoulder of giants.

But it’s not necessarily about visual inspiration. In the microscopically small niche of monochrome industrial landscapes that I inhabit, seeing that one or two other people have done work in this niche has been inspiring to me, and it’s shown that I’m not a complete weirdo ploughing my own lonely furrow.

In terms of actual names, for those who are interested:
Michael Kenna, Leigh Preston, Michal Cala, John Davies have all done projects and even bodies of work on industrial landscapes, all whose work has served as inspiration for me to show that this subject can be taken beyond mere record shots.
From the perspective of black and white, Sebastio Salgado even though he's only done bits in my genre (Workers), in urban exploration its Henk van Rensbergen who was running round old coking plants and abandoned steelworks years before I was.
Ian Beesley's many years of industrial documentary in factories before closure has given me loads of ideas for similar work that I've done.
The exhibition by John Davies I went to in Manchester about 15 years ago showed me that people are interested in pictures of industrial landscapes on the wall, and served as inspiration for my own exhibitions.

Finally, Brooks Jenson, the editor of Lenswork magazine, has provided years of ideas and inspiration as to what photography can be. I’ve been listening to his Lenswork podcasts since about 2007 and while I’m not overly interested in his photographs, but I am inspired by what he has to say about photography.
 
A YouTube channel - The Beauty Of - is an interesting source of ideas and inspiration from various genres of cinema, TV shows and video games. While I'm not going to say that cinematography on its own is a measure of a good film, it certainly adds to the visual and story-telling experience and has some thought-provoking ideas on colour and composition for photography.

It's also one of those sources of information on films that you may have seen but didn't necessarily catch the subtleties of what you were watching at the time.
 
I've been following the work of this person recently on Flickr, I particularly like the work as most of it is street styled and in high contrast mono which is a style that I'm trying to work with at the moment. I personally think the work is well worth a look if you're into street snapping.

MK - Fotografie​

 
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