Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
Re: earlier comments in this thread about looking at other artists' work.

My recommendation is to let other artists INSPIRE you to do great things. If their work does not inspire you, then perhaps you should continue your research, but remember anyway, because the work that doesn't set off your creative juices can teach you something too!

To draw a social parallel - how do you form opinions of things? How do you learn in school? You talk to other people, read books they wrote, or listen to them speak, and then you combine those thoughts with what's in your own experience. Sometimes other people tell you something so profound that it alters the way you think. Other times not so much, but it still helps you gain perspective into other people's lives and develop empathy.

Now apply that to photography, or any other art form - I'm sure it could only be good to look at the work of others, whether it inspires you or not. But the idea is to learn from others, learn how to see things you perhaps otherwise would have missed, and you shouldn't be worried about 'copying' because it's all filtered through your mind and your process anyway. Even if you tried to recreate the work of someone else, you could not, so relax, enjoy the view, and learn as much as you can about seeing, printing, presentation, framing, gesture, etc.

- Thomas
I think we'll have to disagree here. I can honestly say that when i look at photography that doesn't interest me, i take nothing from it. I have a very short attention span so something has to grab me, if it doesn't i don't bother wasting my time going back to it. Take Shane Lynam for example, he started following me on tumblr, i followed back, i looked at his site and his flickr and there hasn't been a day go by since that i haven't looked at his work. Something has to grab me like that.

As for copying other's work, i never even attempt that anymore. Shirley Baker once said that everytime she attempted to copy another photographer's style, she failed. I've been there and done that and learned my lesson long ago. I just love to sit and look at photographs that interest and inspire me.