other than light, travel, and life in general one of my biggest sources of inspiration is the works of other photographers... alfred eisenstaedt and henri cartier bresson were both pretty influential to me when i first got interested in photography. i shot all black and white and all film. here's a scanned photograph that i took almost ten years ago in south africa... it's probably a favorite of my earliest images... but it's definitely a by-product of my influencers. one of the most common things said in photography when one is first starting out, is to find your own voice... your own unique look... your niche. it's also one of the hardest things to actually do. for a long time i towed the line between being inspired by photography, and trying to mimic those i admired. it took me some time, some errors, and a ton of shooting to find my own voice... and it's still something i'm still tweaking with... but i've come an enormous distance in my journey. i watched a national geographic documentary the other night entitled :the photographers. it was released in 1998... such a short time ago, but enormous in the digital revolution. these photographers were sharing their stories about photographs, how they captured images, before and after anecdotes etc... but what i was most struck by was how much higher the bar was back then... when everyone only shot film. no sneak peaks to see if your focus was spot on, or exposure was correct... or lighting was perfect... those guys were really good at what they did! i shoot all digital, but can't part with ways with my canon ae-1, polaroid sx-70, or mamiya 645... i've got some mixed feelings about the direction digital is taking us. i feel like the photo pool is so much bigger and the bar is so much lower...thousands of people buy preconceived photo actions, and suddenly everyone's photos are looking more and more the same. i've even known some people to blatantly rip off my own looks, ideas, subjects... guess that's why they say "imitation is the purest form of flattery"... anyways, i'm getting away from the point which is i suppose: finding the balance of being inspired by photography, while maintaining the integrity to staying true to yourself and your own innovative vision. that being said, i thought i'd post a couple of links of photographers i admire... or where i go for a little photo inspiration.... enjoy...
Caroline tran (weddings, kids, babies, families photographer extraordinaire...)
Jason Lowe (pretty much my favorite food photographer of all time...)
frederic lagrange (travel, editorial photographer and self taught just like me)
amanda marsalis (i've loved this girl's for years. she photographs travel and people and light in amazing ways...)
maria vettese (a reminder that sometimes the most everyday things can make for beautiful images)
anthony kurtz (india has got to be one of the most photographed places on earth,
but having been there this guy captures the spirit of that place like few others...
the grit, the beauty, the poverty, the color, the strength... it's all in there.)
todd richardson (again, the smallest things in the smallest places, thank god someone sees them)
there's more of course... hundreds. but for today that's a good taste i think.