One of the benefits of this lockdown has been having more time to read. It seems a lot of people are catching up with a good book and I have been no exception.
And whilst I am attempting to wean myself back onto fiction, photography books (somewhat predictably!) largely dominate my reading list. With the extra time on my hands these days it has been a guilt-free pleasure to revisit some of my favourite works.
And this got me thinking more broadly about some of my favourite photographers. Those that I have learnt from. Those whose work I admire, regardless of genre. Ultimately, those who inspire me to continue picking up a camera.
So to encourage you all to explore the wider world of photography, here is a list of some of my favourite photographic inspirations and some recommended reads to introduce you to their work and style.
If I had to pick one favourite, Joel would be that person. So much of his work boils down to the simple but effective use of colour and light – the basics of photography. He is also a pleasure to listen to – as erudite and eloquent as anyone on the subject.
Recommended read: Cape Light
Ah, Galen. His love of the outdoors. His preference for carrying minimal gear. His affinity with mountain ranges. Galen’s appreciation of the wilderness is evident in his photography and speaks volumes to me personally as someone who feels most at home hiking somewhere in the Sierra Nevadas.
Recommended read: Mountain Light
Mary Ellen Mark
Mary’s portrait photography does not always make for the most comfortable viewing; her subjects tended to be somewhat distanced from “mainstream society”. But the results are deeply personal, intimate portraits and a documentary-style of portraiture that endures to this day.
Recommended read: Tiny: Streetwise Revisited
It is only in the past couple of years I have familiarised myself with Stephen Shore. His interest in the banal is not going to be to everyone’s taste but by avoiding natural beauty and not dramatising simple scenes, his work feels immediately familiar.
Recommended read: Uncommon Places
Charlie’s landscape photography is world-renowned. And whilst I particularly like his work in Italy and France, his dedication to photographing scenes in the UK continues to give me a real (and often needed) appreciation for the beauty of the landscape on our doorstep.
Recommended read: Behind The Photograph