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Thread: Edward Hopper

  1. #11

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    It's amazing all the different artists that have been named in this one and also that so many of us look to other mediums for our inspiration. I think I'm going to have to look some of them up as a few are new names to me

  2. #12
    roy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Shively
    The painter who inspired me early on was Georgia O'Keefe.
    I love her work, especially her florals.
    Roy Groombridge.

    Cogito, ergo sum.
    (Descartes)

  3. #13
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Another vote for Mark Rothko from me. I aspire to making statements in color like his which are so simple but yet so effective.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TPPhotog
    For the first time it occured to me that the style and feel of many of his pictures would work beautifully as black and white photographs.
    I don't understand how you can come to that conclusion. Hopper's work was obviously very symbolic and his use of color is key to making the psychological implications of loneliness and isolation in modern life in his paintings work. It's not clear how the absence of color, i.e. black and white photographs, could be used effectively in this same sense as he depicted the characters and places that many of us identify with.

    The work of Ray Metzker does come to mind when thinking of Hopper, his photographs of people isolated in darkly rendered scenarios are vaguely familiar to Hopper's worlds. Simplifying the image elements as Hopper did may be one of the biggest challenges to surmount, just as Metzker has.

    Hopper's stark landscapes are another story; they are wholly dependent on color to give key emotional emphasis to the feeling of isolation in the American country side.

    What I can see using a black and white photo for (in the same way that Hopper painted), is as the basic framework or cartoon for hand tinting allowing a more interpretive depiction of an image. Executing a vision that transcends an idealized reality into a symbolic one requires very strong vision and not just technique alone.

    My 2 cents,

    Don Bryant

  5. #15

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    Don,

    Sorry my original post wasn't clear as my point isn't to duplicate Hoppers work and it's the paintings involving people that mostly interest me from the photographic point of view.

    I agree the colours are one of the main elements of his paintings. However I feel that many of the psychological statements can be made by his compositions including the use of space and scenes within scenes such as a landscape through a window as a backdrop to an interior portraiture. Some of the subtleties such as the female wearing red lipstick, with red flowers in the background in one of his works will of course be lost, but as I say my thoughts are not to replicate his work with black and white photography but gain inspiration through his pictures.

    Landscapes are another matter as although I love his work I'm by no means a landscape photographer as I have neither the patience or the talents to capture landscapes as many others here do every day.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TPPhotog
    Don,

    but as I say my thoughts are not to replicate his work with black and white photography but gain inspiration through his pictures.
    Gotcha! His work can inspire some thought about our own work.

    One of the things that impressed me most when I had my portfolio (all black and white) critiqued by Michael Smith and Paula Chamlee is the need to abstract my photographs rather than taking photos of "things". I had some solice when they recognized that in some of my work but not all of it.

    That doesn't necessarily mean it has to be moody but instead thoughtful in subject selection, composition, and execution (the print). Interestingly M&P down play the importance of waiting for great light and emphasize the importance of strong vision aided by discovery through the camera.

    Don

  7. #17

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    Don,

    Waiting for the "right light" is another failure I have. So as I prefer to use natural light as much as possible I do unspeakable things like pulling HP5+ to 200 and pushing it as far as 1600. For me film is there to be used and abused in order to get the results I'm after

    Like you I have seen some abstract and psychological undertones in my work. But I still have much practising to do before I can feel reasonably happy that I am succeeding. I think looking at the works of Hopper and now some of the others mentioned here may help me along that road.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
    Another vote for Mark Rothko from me. I aspire to making statements in color like his which are so simple but yet so effective.
    David,
    You may be ineterested in a book my wife gave me, "The Artist's Reality Philosophies of Art" Rothko's notes and a partially completed book eventually found by his son and published.
    "Digital circuits are made from analogue parts"
    Fourtune Cookie-Brooklyn May 2006

    Website: www.lesmcleanphotography.com

  9. #19
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    I'll cast another vote for Andrew Wyeth and throw J.W. Waterhouse, Rene Magritte and Frida Kahlo into the mix as inspirations for kind of surreal, angst-ridden figurative work. I haven't photographed many of those images yet, but they are in my head. I also think Goethe & Johannes Itten have been infuences in terms of color theory.

    Joe

  10. #20
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    Inspirations

    I share the feelings that many have expressed here. I recently decided that if I really want to get serious about studying composition and light, then I will have to start sketching. I have never been the kind of person who could draw so the whole experience is new to me. It has been like walking into the light for the first time. I am still not much of a "draw-er" but I am learning new things every day. Studying Wyeth is certainly a huge inspiration.
    But my biggest influence in general is the Canadian "Group of Seven". Since my photographic work is concentrated mainly on Canadian Landscape, their works are all great examples.

    Tim R

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