The Inspiration Thread

Discussion in 'Portraiture' started by catem, May 21, 2008.

  1. catem

    catem Member

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    I thought it might be an idea to have a thread for portrait photographers who inspire us. As wide (or not) a definition of what a portrait is as you like :smile:
    A place to dip in and out of from time to time.

    I'll start it with one of my all time favourites - Jane Bown, a photojournalist who has taken more formally styled portraits as well as those in a documentary style. There's a good selection on this site if you go to photographs (sorry, can't link directly to individual pictures).
    http://arts.guardian.co.uk/flash/page/0,,2176315,00.html

    Also take a look at year 1954, "gypsy child" - maybe not a 'conventional' portrait, but to me a tremendously powerful portrayal of a small person, one that I've held in my memory for a long time.
     
  2. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day cate

    you've got to admire photojournalists

    the ability to quickly see, capture and inform

    my all time favourite, W. Eugene Smith, c.1955

    Ray
     
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  3. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Don Normark, Chavez Ravine, 1949

    Being an equipment junkie of sorts it is a further inspiration that Don did this body of work with a little Ciro-Flex TLR camera that will hardly fetch $12 on Ebay. A constant reminder that the next silver bullet isn't gonna make me any better (i just like 'em).

    I look at these over and over.
     

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  4. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day Cate & Jim

    i can't believe their are so few posts here

    this one from the American/Australian Bill Bachman

    Ray
     
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  5. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Halsman

    [​IMG]
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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  7. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    [​IMG]
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  8. ajmiller

    ajmiller Subscriber

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  9. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    E.O. Hoppe as far as studio portraiture goes...but I mostly admire his other types of pix.

    I would say August Sander, but those aren't really portraits when you get down to it.

    Most of my favorite portrait photographers were mainly photojournalists and/or documentarians, but I do like Hoppe's work in studio, so that's what I put here. He did much typology as well, and did it all over the world.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2008
  10. Ray Heath

    Ray Heath Member

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    g'day all

    why not post an image?

    how is Sander's work not portraiture? because he was trying document a race rather than an individual?

    how does one insert rather than attach an image?

    this one by Arno Rafael Minkkinen, he calls it a self-portrait

    Ray
     
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  11. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    I think Australian Marco Bok has a wonderful body of work. Those obsessed with labelling might say it is street photography but to me it is very powerful portraiture. He does not appear to have a strong web presence but a few images at the URL below. This do not represent his best and most gritty work in my opinion, due to the commercial nature of the site, but a bit of a taste nonetheless.
    http://www.artloversinvestments.com/MB2lifesaverspage.html
     
  12. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    My inspiration is fluid, and frequently changes. So, I recently got a Dorothea Lange book, and was quite taken by this...
     

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  13. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    I know Marco & he is an excellent photographer. He was included in the Sydney Now exhibition so his photos will be in the book, which I haven't seen yet. He's been working for a couple of years documenting the alternative kids who hang out around the Town Hall steps & Hyde Park. He could definitely do with more of a web presence. He did have a site that wasn't updated for years & now seems to have vanished.
     
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  15. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Ray,

    [​IMG]
    Ezra Pound by Hoppe

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    Benny Mussolini

    I say Sander's work was more typology than portraiture. Typology is more documentary. He was trying to document a society at a particular time rather than to tell us about an individual or group. A "portrait" of a society, some might say, but I would say it's closer to a "study" of all the types that made up that society. In doing this at first, he inadvertently made a social statement that he soon realized would get him in big trouble. Later he realized that his documentary project ran deeper than the straight documentation he had originally set out to do. It was a big deal at that time to show people from all classes of society in the same manner, on the same level, without placing one over or under the other, without ignoring certain classes, and to do it as objectively as possible. Soldiers, farmers, homosexuals, factory workers, tradespeople, gypsies, homeless people, you name it, presented alongside the higher-class folks. Just cuz the subject is a person doesn't necessarily mean it is portraiture, IMO. The work is genius, but I don't hold it as inspiration for "portraiture". Definitely for other things, though.

    To insert an image, you can type in the HTML, I believe. There is also a "mountain" icon above the text cell. You click it and then are prompted to paste the location of the pic...but copy the address of the pic first, because once that pop-up window comes up, you can't do anything else.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2008
  16. vdonovan

    vdonovan Subscriber

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    August Sander DEFINITELY inspires me. I think his work is portraiture to the core. In looking at his work I don't feel like he was just recording faces. In most of his images I feel he has established a personal relationship with the subject which extends, through the photograph, to me.
     
  17. catem

    catem Member

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    Think it's O.K. to have more than one go!

    Lee Miller


    self-portrait

    her site

    below- (look better on the website) Nusch Eluard; Henry Moore in London Underground; Collette; Dylan Thomas
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: May 22, 2008
  18. John Bragg

    John Bragg Member

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  19. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Suzanne that is a wonderful portrait by Dorothea Lange. I've admired her work for some time. I have so many books it's very difficult to give just on or two images to as examples. I'll have to come back to this when I have some free time.
     
  20. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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  21. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    P.H. Emerson photographed the Norfolk Broads in the late 19th century,
    documenting the changing way of life, and the individuals who lived there.

    He was a pre-Modernist if for no other reason
    than he didn't take pictures of his friends dressed up as peasants,
    he photographed real people, like this young boy,
    with empathy and understanding.

    Henry Peach Robinson and the art establishment despised him
    because he didn't play by the social rules.

    [​IMG]

    Young Boy Fishing
     
  22. Louis Nargi

    Louis Nargi Member

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    great post
     
  23. DannL

    DannL Member

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    I find it quite interesting how my inspiration comes from portrait photographers who's craftsmanship differs vastly from many of those photographers previously mentioned. That being the case, I find it all the more necessary to provide several samples of portraits from my personal collection. I'm sure the scanned images will speak for themselves.

    The first is a scan from an original portrait by the famous photographer James E. Purdy of Boston Mass, or one of his skilled employees. If there was a famous person living at the turn of the century, J. E. Purdy's studio most likely made a portrait of that person. This portrait is that of Dorothy Stanley Emmons 1910, daughter of Chansonetta Stanley Emmons who was sister to the Stanley Steamer Brothers. Chansonetta was a famous photographer in her own right, and her brothers owned and sold their dry plate business to Kodak in order to finance the building of automobiles.

    The second scan is of a portrait by H. T. Koshiba or possibly by an assistant named Oki Seizo, circa 1900. H. T. Koshiba was the family photographer to John D. Rockefeller & family for nearly a half century. Japanese-American, he maintained the Koshiba Studio, 546 Fifth Avenue, New York.

    Published article on J. E. Purdy of Boston
    Published article on H. T. Koshiba - Japanese Photographer
    H. T. Koshiba in The Rockfeller Archive Center Newsletter - see page 5
    Published article on Oki Seizo

    These images represent the skills of portraiture and printing I hope to achieve. Enjoy!
     
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  24. PVia

    PVia Member

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    Irving Penn does it for me...
     
  25. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Also of note is that Hoppe was one of the very first, if not the THE first high-end portrait photographer to use the Leica. The year after the camera was released, he used it to photograph King George and Queen Mary of England. He shot them in natural light using the camera. Very odd for the time, and most portrait photographers would have called it crazy.

    www.eohoppe.com has some biographical info and lots of pix.