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.
Young Boy Fishing
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!
Irving Penn does it for me...
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.
Yes, they do. I think also it's interesting how the word "inspiration" itself seems to have fallen out of use in the arts - as if it's a bit old-fashioned or touchy-feely, for today's market, or as if it suggests over-nfluence. I think this holds for writers I know as well as photographers (of course, it's not a blanket rule).
Originally Posted by DannL
Maybe I should say what "inspiration" means to me, as I started the thread. It is not about emulation, or wanting-to-be, (though that can be a part of it) but literally about 'drawing in breath' - about seeing some sort of connection (of course this will vary from individual to individual) that makes me think - that's what it's all about, and that's what makes it all worthwhile. I can very definitely get this feeling, and appreciation, from a very wide range of photographic styles (and genres) including ones that I could never see myself following. Visiting the work of photographers who have this connection to me, or for me, can and does definitely serve to revitalise my own creative spirit when it becomes low.
My choices for this thread would be very wide - and I'm enjoying all those posted so far.. So please do continue posting all different styles - this could become a real "treasure trove".
I'm thinking Julia Margaret Cameron should be here - our (the U.K.'s ) Grande Dame of Portrait photography. I always find her "inspiring" not least because she took her first photograph at the age of 48. don - or anyone - how do you post complete images into links rather than thumbnail attachments? Will come back later and post some of her work, unless anyone beats me to it.
Is there any chance of this thread becoming a sticky ? :)
edit: have just seen Curt's 'Images in Posts' thread - will try later!
a portraitist who has inspired me quite a bit is the Scot Robin Gillanders, whose book "The Photographic Portrait" was a real eye opener for me in its demonstration that the boundaries for portraiture are very wide indeed. Good blend of formal and more informal portraits, and I can't recommend this book enough. Strangely, Gillanders does not seem to be very well represented on www.
Cate: Thanks for starting this thread. Much needed :-)
I have been trying to think of colour examples which are not paintings or drawings.
I have a soft spot for Eggelston's woman on a swing. There is now a whole industry of derived contemporary portrature by adolescents of all ages (I photograph my friends and my grandmother, but - eeeeewww - not my parents).
Madame Yevonde's more theatrical portraits leave me cold, but some of her private commissions have hit home with a strenght that surprises me. See here, here and here for examples. I don't *think* it's just the colour palette.