View Full Version : Contemporary Influences

01-01-2008, 12:49 PM
That last thread may have drifted away from a component I was hoping to discuss ( my fault ) so I'll spin it here. Contemporary influences. Let's forget this feeling that we perhaps should keep up with changes, do any of you actually feel strongly a pull from any of them? Most new works that attract me are still in a rather classic traditional bent. The last innovators to literally change my way of thinking came from the New Topographics, way back, of Robert Adams, Joe Deal, etc. I have not since been influenced by anyone, and I feel this is not good. Have any new works really set you to thinking differently?

01-01-2008, 01:08 PM

These are a few of my favourite things!

01-01-2008, 02:49 PM

even more from this prolific photographer

01-01-2008, 03:25 PM
I know its not a new way of thinking or a new stule of photography but I'm greatly influenced by Matt Stuart's (http://alanocu.backpackit.com/pub/1305361) Photographs. Probably because its something I aspire to do one day (overcome shyness...).

01-01-2008, 04:00 PM
Interesting question - one that I've asked myself. I've recently subscribed to Blind Spot magazine to get a better idea of what constitutes "contemporary" photography - I've only received one issue so far, and I'm not sure yet if I actually *like* any of it, but at least it's interesting to challenge oneself with - scratches in chromagenic material, but no actual image, pages of (slightly) different moire patterns, solid colours in different shapes, "drive-by" photos of a burning trailer. Definitely challenges one's perception of what photography is, or can be, and I think that's ultimately a good thing. Will I be doing anything remotely like that? Unlikely at this point, but you never know :)

So, while I'm personally not inspired by any single "contemporary" photographer, I do think looking at contemporary images and thinking "outside the box", cliche as it is, is important from time to time.

Shawn Dougherty
01-01-2008, 06:38 PM
My greatest contemporary influence is undoubtedly Mark Citret (http://www.mcitret.com/).

His essays are also well worth the time.

01-15-2008, 12:34 PM
I'm influenced by fufu:



I think there is a new aesthetic forming that I am trying not to be influenced by. (not talking about fufu) There is a slickness that reminds me of the music industry in the 80s going on. I am repulsed by most of it. But with the current quality of new lenses and films being so good I find my own work starting to look more high tech. Higher Tech.

Christopher Walrath
01-15-2008, 05:33 PM
Galen Rowell is probably my most contemporary influence. William Neill, Dewitt Jones and Clyde Butcher bear mentioning as well.

01-15-2008, 07:16 PM
Sally Mann

No matter what subject I shoot, they are with me.

01-15-2008, 07:56 PM
Certainly Mark Citret - Thanks Shawn and Keith Carter as well,

Probably greatest influence and those that are always in the back of my mind would be David Plowden (http://www.davidplowden.com/)and Tillman Crane (http://www.tillmancrane.com/)

01-15-2008, 11:31 PM
Our own Jim Galli. For years I have been able to make blurry pictures; sometimes without even trying.

The problem was never how to make 'em but to know when and why to make 'em. And even more important was the insight into how to look at soft images and distill aesthetic and emotional values from what I was seeing.

Thanks Jim for setting me on the path!

01-16-2008, 12:33 AM
In no particular order:

Marcus Doyle
Chris Gordaneer
Stephan Romer
William Huber
Frank Le Petit
Olaf Veltman
Steffen Jahn
Cosmin BumbutÁ
Michael Prince
Frank Schott
Adrian Tyler
Andreas Gursky
Edward Burtynsky
Mark Laita
William Lamson
Mats Cordt
Heidi Hartwig
Hunter Freeman
Alexey Brodovitch
Paul Bourdice
Karen Kuehn
Nick Knight
Craig McDean
John Konkal
Dana Neibert

Nearly all commercial shooters. Many of them using large format gear. Many also doing post processing, which some here may not like.

When you photograph for work, sometimes clients ask you to emulate a style of another photographer, though luckily that does not happen too often to me. Mostly I get to work as a creative partner, giving my input and interpretation towards creating compelling images. It is good to be aware of trends, but I need to maintain a distinct look to my images. Also, 99.9% of the images I do are created in-camera, and need no post processing. Currently mostly shooting large format (4x5), though sometimes medium format, and for some musicians I still use 35mm gear.


Gordon Moat Photography (http://www.gordonmoat.com)

David H. Bebbington
01-16-2008, 01:17 AM
I see a lot of work I admire, but influence #1 has to William Eggleston - "I am at war with the obvious" - with him all the way!