The four greatest photographers?

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by tim atherton, Jul 29, 2006.

  1. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    So, who are the four Greatest photographers? (or maybe even the four most important photographers)

    Who are the four that you think anyone who calls themselves a photographer must have looked at... (so generally aesthetic rather than technical - though there are some who embody both)

    If you want to be humble (hmmm - this is apug) you could maybe go for the four most important to you (but not to many uncle Fred or auntie Ethel picks please). Or be as grandiose as you want and name the four greatest of all time - every other photographer is a mere mortals by comparison.

    But be prepare to defend your choices - in a duel if necessary!
     
  2. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    I'll kick off with - the four greatest photographers of all time...:

    Atget

    Walker Evans

    Andre Kertesz

    Wm. Eggleston
     
  3. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    Jut the ones who matter to me in 2006.

    Koudelka
    Penn
    Parr
    Gene Smith

    all old, tsk

    heavy on the journalism but that's a big deal numbers-wise

    Never liked Atget much
    Evans has some great stuff (early Penn was totally about aping Evans)
    Egg great but I think commercial guys out-styled him
    Kertesz I'll give you
     
  4. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Smith, Weston, Emerson, Cameron
     
  5. Gatsby1923

    Gatsby1923 Member

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    Hmm just 4? Well in no order and pretty much the first 4 to pop into my mind….

    Joseph Sudek: The Poet of Prague and shot a lot of large format with only one arm.
    WeeGee: Can any one not like Weegee?
    Lewis W. Hine: His photography of the working class speaks for itself.
    Edward Weston: Day Books and no light meter… Amazing
     
  6. HerrBremerhaven

    HerrBremerhaven Member

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    The four most Important:

    Nicéphore Niépce
    Louis Dauguerre
    William Fox Talbot
    George Eastman

    They basically enabled the start and early continuance of all photography as we have it today. I think it is tougher to pick out the greatest photographers, since that all too often involves personal tastes and perceptions of individuals. However, the one name I could come up with that even non-photographers can state as representing photography is Ansel Adams. I really only like a few of his images, so he would not make it onto my personal list of whom I consider the greatest.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
     
  7. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    Hey - some cool choices so far - all of them on my own longer list and bookshelf... but interestingly, only a couple of crossovers
    (BWT Gordon, I just started reading the novel The Mercury Visions of Louis Duguerre - we'll see if if it's any good)
     
  8. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

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    My fav's:

    Gene Smith
    Edward Weston
    Imogene Cunningham
    Ansel Adams
     
  9. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Jack Dykinga
    David Muench
    Joe Cornish
    Ken Duncan
     
  10. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    Are you asking for only photography? Or photography/printers?
    Tremendous difference.
     
  11. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Good point - I consider Christopher Burkett probably the greatest Ilfochrome printer around, although not one of the greats in terms of photography.
     
  12. mark

    mark Member

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    I'll second that but in a different order

    Adams



    Cunningham
    smith
    Weston
     
  13. bill schwab

    bill schwab Advertiser Advertiser

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    why four?

    off the top of my head...

    Walker Evans
    Alfred Stieglitz (for impact more than work, but I love the work too)
    Robert Capa
    Charles Sheeler

    B.
     
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  15. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Off the top of my head
    Ray Manning
    Livinia Hanachuic
    D F Cardwell
    Bill Schwab
    and
    Robert Kangus

    Sorry thats five and I am not a fan of admiring those who I don't know -- otherwise how do I know they're great. Sometimes there is a tendency to replace big/popular/successful with great. These folks I know and I think they are great.

    Oddly, if you had asked about painters I would have listed those who were big/popular/successful -- all except Max Beckmen.
     
  16. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Mathew Brady -- The birth of photojournalism
    Edward S Curtis -- Classical composition
    Jacques-Henri Lartigue -- Photography as whimsical art
    Dorthea Lang -- Social Commentary as art

    Unfair! Only 4?

    Henri Cartier-Bresson -- Distillation of the experience to a moment
     
  17. Lee Shively

    Lee Shively Member

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    Edward Weston, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander, Sally Mann. I'm fifth.
     
  18. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    Hey,
    In chronological order:

    Watkins
    Atget
    Cartier-Bresson
    B + H Becher

    Ok, glove down, I'm right and you're wrong. What is your rationale?
    Celac.
     
  19. pelerin

    pelerin Member

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    I was going to jump in here with enough witty palaver to surely earn the ire of Mr. Callow but, I will try to stay on topic. John, isn't it the work one ought to consider and not the biography. This is certainly true of many writers I admire. I love to read them, but I certainly wouldn't want to live with, or like them.
    Celac.
     
  20. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    Whoever you want (but not just printers) - bear in mind a photographer is a person who takes a photograph. Some print their own work, others don't. It really matters little either way.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 29, 2006
  21. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    well - him and Roger Fenton...
     
  22. Kino

    Kino Member

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    Hey, I didn't set the limit on names! :wink:
     
  23. tim atherton

    tim atherton Inactive

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    Yeah - but the Brits claim Fenton was the father of photojournalism while the USAians claim Brady... :smile:
     
  24. Markok765

    Markok765 Member

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    Marko Kovacevic
    Milomir Kovacevic
    Les Mclean
    Robert Capa
     
  25. davetravis

    davetravis Member

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    I really matters little either way
    Well Tim,
    I guess you meant to say "It really matters little either way."
    So, to you capturing the image is all that matters?
    That's all there is to being a photographer?
    All of the time, effort, skill, successes and failures that go into learning how to print don't matter to you?
    Are you sure? Why?
     
  26. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    Weston, Edward and Brett.
    Alfred Stieglitz
    Cunningham
    and Elliot Porter
    Speak to me as photographers and muses. I know I cheated by naming two.