Admired photographers and their work

Citysnaps

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Anyone here have a few well-known photographers whose work (of any genre) they admire? Perhaps some discussion of photographers and their work could follow after a few posts.

Some of mine: Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Daido Moriyama, William Egggleston.
 

Eric

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Anyone here have a few well-known photographers whose work (of any genre) they admire? Perhaps some discussion of photographers and their work could follow after a few posts.

Some of mine: Dorothea Lange, Richard Avedon, Diane Arbus, Daido Moriyama, William Egggleston.
Great idea for a thread! Of course I like the work of some of the bigger names like Ansel Adams but I've become a huge fan of a Fred Lyon, a photographer in the San Francisco area whose main body of work was done through the 50s and 60s that consists of cityscapes and street photography.

In fact, he's such an influence on me that I've attempted to get his same shots from similar locations in the city and even with my latest and greatest digital equipment I still cannot capture what he did with manual cameras decades ago. Goes to show that a good photographer is a good photographer no matter when it was, regardless of gear.

Just a few examples of what has really moved me about his work, you can see more here. I also have one of his books, sometimes viewing things in print feels more real.

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Citysnaps

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Great idea for a thread! Of course I like the work of some of the bigger names like Ansel Adams but I've become a huge fan of a Fred Lyon, a photographer in the San Francisco area whose main body of work was done through the 50s and 60s that consists of cityscapes and street photography.

In fact, he's such an influence on me that I've attempted to get his same shots from similar locations in the city and even with my latest and greatest digital equipment I still cannot capture what he did with manual cameras decades ago. Goes to show that a good photographer is a good photographer no matter when it was, regardless of gear.

Just a few examples of what has really moved me about his work, you can see more here. I also have one of his books, sometimes viewing things in print feels more real.

Great choice!

Fred's a gem and a San Francisco treasure. And a true gentleman, knowing him. Fred's photographs and manner have inspired me and my photography. So much that I have one of his prints you posted on my office wall.

Fred's photo in office.jpg
 

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Great choice!

Fred's a gem and a San Francisco treasure. And a true gentleman, knowing him. Fred's photographs and manner have inspired me and my photography. So much that I have one of his prints you posted on my office wall.

View attachment 9710
Awesome! Did you get to meet him? I would have loved the chance but he's up there in years now and sounds like he's no longer doing that but yeah, he's left us with a lot of great photos. I definitely need to get some of his work on my walls as well.
 

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Awesome! Did you get to meet him? I would have loved the chance but he's up there in years now and sounds like he's no longer doing that but yeah, he's left us with a lot of great photos. I definitely need to get some of his work on my walls as well.

Yes, starting around a dozen+ years ago when Modern Book Gallery was representing him in Palo Alto, and then at 49 Geary in SF. I think he took a liking to a photo project a friend of mine and I were doing in SF's Tenderloin neighborhood awhile back and invited us to his studio in the Marina, and then lunch nearby. He's such a nice guy. Below is a photo I made of him signing books at Modern Book Gallery (in SF) before an opening reception for one of his exhibitions.

Fred.jpg
 

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One of my favorite photographers has always been Andre Kertesz. There is something about the simplicity in which he presents his subjects -- often ordinary, everyday objects -- and the way he artfully shows us only segments of something, the parts rather than the whole, and one immediately grasps the whole anyway...... As a lifelong reader and a retired librarian I also am rather fond of his collection of photographs called "On Reading." :)

Another, more contemporary photographer whose work I enjoy has been William Wegman -- even though I normally don't like seeing animals dressed up, there is something quite intriguing about the way Wegman poses his dogs, and the fact that he used an 8x10 Polaroid camera is astonishing in and of itself as well.

Sally Mann and Diane Arbus are two female photographers whose work which has long fascinated me, especially Diane Arbus' slightly off-kilter images. Margaret Bourke-White is another who truly captivated me because of her daring and adventurous approach to photography, many images of which of course were featured on the cover of LIFE Magazine.

A thousand years ago when I took a course in the History of Photography, which I loved, we had to write a term paper on a photographer from the past and note how he or she may have influenced the photographers who came along years later. I chose Julia Margaret Cameron, and that was fun to research her, study her work and pull together how she influenced later women photographers such as Margaret Bourke-White.

From what I've seen here of Fred Lyon's work, I like it very much and indeed I will explore it further..... Thanks!
 
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Yes, starting around a dozen+ years ago when Modern Book Gallery was representing him in Palo Alto, and then at 49 Geary in SF. I think he took a liking to a photo project a friend of mine and I were doing in SF's Tenderloin neighborhood awhile back and invited us to his studio in the Marina, and then lunch nearby. He's such a nice guy. Below is a photo I made of him signing books at Modern Book Gallery (in SF) before an opening reception for one of his exhibitions.

View attachment 9712
Wow, great that you got that opportunity, I rented a special of his from Amazon that told his story and gave quite a bit of information on him.

Here's my actual gallery, hopefully you'll be able to see some of his influence in some of the city shots.

 

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Wow, great that you got that opportunity, I rented a special of his from Amazon that told his story and gave quite a bit of information on him.

Here's my actual gallery, hopefully you'll be able to see some of his influence in some of the city shots.


Beautiful work and gorgeous light! I see the influence on your urban pix!
 

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Beautiful work and gorgeous light! I see the influence on your urban pix!
Thanks! As is yours.

Was wondering how you do by yourself in the city with a camera? I worry about it quite a bit, especially when I have big lenses on because I know it puts a target on your back, especially when I am setting up on a tripod and dialing things in so there's little situational awareness.

I have started hosting a Meetup group with predetermined locations in the city because there's safety in numbers, so far it's off to a great start and we all learn a little something from each other.
 

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Thanks! As is yours.

Was wondering how you do by yourself in the city with a camera? I worry about it quite a bit, especially when I have big lenses on because I know it puts a target on your back, especially when I am setting up on a tripod and dialing things in so there's little situational awareness.

I have started hosting a Meetup group with predetermined locations in the city because there's safety in numbers, so far it's off to a great start and we all learn a little something from each other.
That's a deep subject. So I'll ramble a little bit. Also my views have changed over the years in San Francisco - see below.

I'll speak to making photos of people, rather than getting your gear jacked. Gear jacking is a relatively new thing in SF, related to what I wrote in the last paragraph. Also... I haven't shot in SF in a couple of years due to the pandemic.

For the most part, for shooting candids (meaning unposed, rather than not trying to be seen by others) of people on the street, say in the downtown, is don't be sneaky with your camera. People on the street, especially those that kind of hang around a lot, are incredibly perceptive. People react to suspicious behavior - it makes no difference how big or small your camera/lens is - people respond to behavior that appears suspicious or threatening to them.

For example, taking hip shots, fiddling with your camera while sneaking a shot, looking one direction and taking a shoot in another direction, etc will often be noticed with a challenge. Followed by a "Hey, why'd you take my picture?" Then you have an issue to resolve. Best to not get in that situation to begin with. But if you do, be honest and have a good reason already worked out in your head. If you lie, which many can detect, then your hole just got a lot deeper. I usually say something like, it's for my blog (when I had one), or I'm documenting the City, can I make a couple portraits of you? Many people (perhaps feeling a bit flattered) will say yes, and then you can make a street portrait and get to know the person.

If you offer honesty, trust, and respect, you'll often get it back. Making street portraits of people from the start is different and I'll address that in another post.

What I'm getting to is I always raise the camera to my eye so people know exactly what I'm doing. And for me, that's usually with a 35mm (full frame equiv) or less. There's too much compression making street photos with a telephoto.

So...what I wrote above is what worked for me up until say five years ago. One of my cop friends (I've made a lot of street portraits of SFPD cops over the years) told me street dynamics are very different now with rampant addictions to meth and more recently fentanyl driving up crime up substantially in SF. My cop friend, who is also a photographer, said it would be a lot more difficult making photos today, than in the past. That could be true, I just haven't been up to SF to see that for myself.
 

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As a woman alone I will definitely not venture into DC to do street shooting these days, nor would I have done so even two or three years ago. Things are just too rough out there now, too much uncertainty about people and how they are likely to respond to an action, however innocently meant, too much unpredictability and often mistrust surrounds them in their day-to-day situations, and if drugs and alcohol are part of their scene that adds another layer of stress for them as they struggle on a daily basis just to survive.

I feel much safer shooting the ducks and the geese out here in the suburbs.....
 

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That's a deep subject. So I'll ramble a little bit. Also my views have changed over the years in San Francisco - see below.

I'll speak to making photos of people, rather than getting your gear jacked. Gear jacking is a relatively new thing in SF, related to what I wrote in the last paragraph. Also... I haven't shot in SF in a couple of years due to the pandemic.

For the most part, for shooting candids (meaning unposed, rather than not trying to be seen by others) of people on the street, say in the downtown, is don't be sneaky with your camera. People on the street, especially those that kind of hang around a lot, are incredibly perceptive. People react to suspicious behavior - it makes no difference how big or small your camera/lens is - people respond to behavior that appears suspicious or threatening to them.

For example, taking hip shots, fiddling with your camera while sneaking a shot, looking one direction and taking a shoot in another direction, etc will often be noticed with a challenge. Followed by a "Hey, why'd you take my picture?" Then you have an issue to resolve. Best to not get in that situation to begin with. But if you do, be honest and have a good reason already worked out in your head. If you lie, which many can detect, then your hole just got a lot deeper. I usually say something like, it's for my blog (when I had one), or I'm documenting the City, can I make a couple portraits of you? Many people (perhaps feeling a bit flattered) will say yes, and then you can make a street portrait and get to know the person.

If you offer honesty, trust, and respect, you'll often get it back. Making street portraits of people from the start is different and I'll address that in another post.

What I'm getting to is I always raise the camera to my eye so people know exactly what I'm doing. And for me, that's usually with a 35mm (full frame equiv) or less. There's too much compression making street photos with a telephoto.

So...what I wrote above is what worked for me up until say five years ago. One of my cop friends (I've made a lot of street portraits of SFPD cops over the years) told me street dynamics are very different now with rampant addictions to meth and more recently fentanyl driving up crime up substantially in SF. My cop friend, who is also a photographer, said it would be a lot more difficult making photos today, than in the past. That could be true, I just haven't been up to SF to see that for myself.
Interesting perspective and great tips here, seems obvious you are comfortable around other people and likely come off as non-threatening which can be disarming, you can see that in their expressions. I don't know that I would have that gift but transparency goes a long way when it comes to trust. You have a real Humans of New York vibe going on with your photos.

I like to take photos of the city from yerba buena island quite a bit and the police spotted me one time and explained that they see muggings/gear thefts happen there all the time and warned me against being there. They said the thieves will typically just rob you of all your gear in a drive-by fashion. This is my biggest concern and if you're taking photos from popular locations during sunsets you're basically an easy target.

However, I try to make my golden/blue hour shots in the morning hours when there are little to no people out, it's just safer that way unless I'm bringing someone along.
 
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Interesting perspective and great tips here, seems obvious you are comfortable around other people and likely come of as non-threatening which can be disarming, you can see that in their expressions. I don't know that I would have that gift but transparency goes a long way when it comes to trust. You have a real Humans of New York vibe going on with your photos.

I like to take photos of the city from yerba buena island quite a bit and the police spotted me one time and explained that they see muggings/gear thefts happen there all the time and warned me against being there. They said the thieves will typically just rob you of all your gear in a drive-by fashion. This is my biggest concern and if you're taking photos from popular locations during sunsets you're basically an easy target.

However, I try to make my golden/blue hour shots in the morning hours when there are little to no people out, it's just safer that way unless I'm bringing someone along.

Thanks!

Not so much a gift, but rather developed and honed chatting up a lot of strangers on the street, eventually making a pitch to make a street portrait. This is where offering honesty and respect helps.

I started with SFPD cops on foot beats patrol in the downtown. I'd offer to make them a print; either physical or email a file. Pretty soon I had a dozen prints I could show other SFPD prospects, which opened doors for making more street portraits. I also used that approach for hitting up regular strangers on the street, having prints in my bag of previous subjects or on my phone. After seeing those they figured I was ok. It just kept getting easier and easier.

What's interesting is that helped my candid street photography as I felt more comfortable being close to people making candid photos, camera up to my eye.

I'd be a lot more cautious today making photos like that with the uncertainties now and fentanyl being plentiful.

190477970_10222888214448622_6480458391531400741_n.jpg
 

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I have a ton of respect and admiration for documentary photographer Dorothea Lange and her body of work.

I think most people think of Lange as the photographer who made the portrait of Florence Owens, popularly known as “Migrant Mother,” during the US depression while working for the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s.

What I most admire and respect Lange for was her work documenting a portion of the forced “relocation” of Japanese-Americans living in the western US, 2/3rds of which were United States citizens, to prison camps scattered around the western United States during World War 2. She created a large body of work in both San Francisco and the East Bay, as people were rounded up and shipped out to the Tanforan horserace track in San Bruno, and then to the Manzanar prison camp in the Eastern Foothills of California, and others in western states.

What’s telling, is her photographs were censored by the United States government until 2006, apparently deemed too politically sensitive for general viewing.

Here’s one of her photos of a family being shipped out, made in Hayward, California - in the San Francisco Bay Area.

image-asset.jpeg



And here's a link with more of Lange's photos.
 

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Wonderful photo and recording such an appallingly sad time in the history of the US -- the whole situation of the Internment camps, essentially, yes, putting Japanese people, those of Japanese descent and their families into prison should NEVER have happened. Manzanar in particular....a huge and major blot on the history of the US because somewhere along the line people forgot about the basics of humanity, care and regard for and to other people, other humans.
 

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Wonderful photo and recording such an appallingly sad time in the history of the US -- the whole situation of the Internment camps, essentially, yes, putting Japanese people, those of Japanese descent and their families into prison should NEVER have happened. Manzanar in particular....a huge and major blot on the history of the US because somewhere along the line people forgot about the basics of humanity, care and regard for and to other people, other humans.

Well said. 2/3rd of those imprisoned were United States citizens and denied due process supposedly guaranteed under the US Constitution. Sadly my wife's parents (US citizens) were subjected to that.
 

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I have a ton of respect and admiration for documentary photographer Dorothea Lange and her body of work.

I think most people think of Lange as the photographer who made the portrait of Florence Owens, popularly known as “Migrant Mother,” during the US depression while working for the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s.

What I most admire and respect Lange for was her work documenting a portion of the forced “relocation” of Japanese-Americans living in the western US, 2/3rds of which were United States citizens, to prison camps scattered around the western United States during World War 2. She created a large body of work in both San Francisco and the East Bay, as people were rounded up and shipped out to the Tanforan horserace track in San Bruno, and then to the Manzanar prison camp in the Eastern Foothills of California, and others in western states.

What’s telling, is her photographs were censored by the United States government until 2006, apparently deemed too politically sensitive for general viewing.

Here’s one of her photos of a family being shipped out, made in Hayward, California - in the San Francisco Bay Area.

View attachment 9749


And here's a link with more of Lange's photos.
Not exactly our finest hour and an important piece of our history to remember so we don't repeat such a human atrocity. Thank you for sharing this.
 

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This photo by Niko Tavernise on the set of the Joker caught my eye. I love the perspective, framing and detail.

View attachment 9785
This is an excellent perspective shot, showing the towering gerth of those buildings while he stands at the top of the stairs looking on.
 

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I admire Jay Maisel and Fan Ho for their work, their approaches to photography and even life. These interviews are my favourites.

Creative Longevity - Doug Menuez interviewing Douglas Kirkland, Duane Michals, Jay Maisel and Mary Ellen Mark (click to play on Vimeo)

An Evening With Fan Ho
 
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