I believe I have already written about the nature of influence on this site. I do not have the time to do it again and to do it too quickly might lead to distorted interpretations. Participants in our workshop are never encouraged to see like we do, although in some cases our influence can readily be seen. Rather they are given the tools to have their own vision manifest itself. One must be careful here and not "try" to be unique. To quote Picasso, "The artist who tries to be unique deceives himself. If he creates anything at all it will only be an imitation of what he likes."

Bottom line: with work over time (depending on the individual, a greater or lesser time, as Jim has pointed out) one's unique vision will emerge as a natural function--if--one has the visual tools (not the technical tools) and the understanding of what a photograph is really all about--visually. Of the many photographers who have taken our workshops (some quite accomplished with books to their credit) none were able to articulate what that is, although certainly some understand it intuitively. Recently a curator at a major museum asked us about our work and we started explaining our visual concerns. He responded, "I have never heard this expressed so clearly. You must write a book about it." And I will, but two other books must come first--one with Sandy King on making fine prints and negatives and the other, based on my experience as a publisher, on how to make a photography book. All this while I do my own work, conduct occasional workshops, publish photography, not technical, books (www.lodimapress.com--two new series in the works as well as other books), sell Azo, and have a new silver chloride paper made. Anyone want a full-time job as administrative assistant?