Quote Originally Posted by bdial View Post
Since the thread has evolved a little, and meaning no slight on the past masters mentioned; Who are the comtemporary masters?
I think the new topographics photographers continue to be influential. I had the good fortune to take a workshop with Mark Klett. He was delighted when he saw what he thought was a paper cup on the ground in what was otherwise a pristine landscape. I told him it wasn't, rather it was a large leaf that looked like a white cup in the monochrome print. He was disappointed, but amused. The point is that that was my first exposure to the contemporary demand for irony which seems to have permeated contemporary photography to an inordinate degree.

In color work, bland overhead lighting, deadpan human subjects, utterly banal landscapes and seemingly random compositions are our contemporary influences...deliberately antithetical to the positive regard for all those imperatives that are the legacy of the 20th century modernists.

Another significant contemporary influence is the minimalism of Michael Kenna and so many of us who pay him homage with our minimalist, sepia toned images. Sticks in the water, the lone tree in the field, long exposure water with a single coi, etc. continue to be very popular.

A very well known symphony conductor and teacher of conductors calls tradition, "the memory of the last bad performance." In other words, he insists that things not continue to be done just because they already have been done and accepted, and we are used to them. But, it takes singular vision, and a huge amount of courage to make photographs that haven't been made (and approved!!) before. Maybe, for the sake of such originality, too much exposure to photographic history is not a good thing!