I will bet a couple of beers every great photographer was influenced by someone else and used them as a starting reference point.
Not a doubt in my mind. I would see nothing wrong in using another's work as a springboard for your own work. The key is getting beyond that, something many don't achieve. Certainly not a task that is very easy to be sure, but what kind of self expression can come from looking through someone else's eyes?
Certainly you get your eyes opened to technical possibilities looking at other work. I didn't really understand image quality until I looked at real Edward Weston prints in the 70s. I didn't know what was possible with platinum printing until I looked at an Irving Penn print in the 80s. I wouldn't know I don't like the look of humongous digital prints if I didn't look at them. Everything you know and think in art you picked up somewhere even if you don't know where. I am guessing Bob Dylan would never have played guitar if he hadn't heard someone else do it and he wouldn't have switched to electric if he hadn't been impressed with someone else doing it.
I was impressed with the Kenna show for several reasons. One that I had no knowledge of him, also that he was showing 8x8" silver prints when I keep getting told that isn't special enough, also that he has incredible image quality and infinity sharpness with a 6x6 neg, and also that he had color in his prints I don't know how to achieve. His vision is great no doubt but I have my own I am working on. I didn't invent photography and I don't think anyone else here did either.
How exciting! Pretty amazing too as I thought he was a household name among photographers. He's an extremely prolific photographer and you've got a lot to discover. Like Dinesh says, the Rouge stuff is fantastic. There is so much more as well.
I couldn't or wouldn't afford a 1500 print but I did pick up a signed Mont Michel book.. printed in china, it is a very nice book with weird varnish. I went to a very large book store later (Powells) with a very large photography section and didn't have anything at all by Kenna.
I went to a very large book store later (Powells) with a very large photography section and didn't have anything at all by Kenna.
Probably because most of them sell out... I don't think Nazraeli deals with regular book stores either. I heard the new one is beautiful and that only 2000 of the first editions were made. They'll be gone soon. Good snag.
.....that he was showing 8x8" silver prints when I keep getting told that isn't special enough,s
Well, you're right about that in a prominent NYC gallery. Here's a link to some work that I actually like (as opposed to the countless desaturated, enormous, color 'graphs that frequent these gallery walls by exceedingly boring photographers). Check out the sizes of these puppies.....who has an easel or a wet sink that'll make this kind of stuff?
Check out the sizes of these puppies.....who has an easel or a wet sink that'll make this kind of stuff?
Our Intermeadiate Photo Class always has a mural project -- 3'x5' prints from 4"x5" negatives. I turn a couple D-5XL's around to project onto the floor, and we use troughs to develop and fix. We wash is a 6' long sink (about 24" wide and 12" deep). It works, though the students usually get a dimple or two or three in their prints (RC paper). But at that size and for their first attempt a few dimples don't matter!
It is actually a self-portrait assignment, also, and they create some pretty amazing images!