Every art owes a great deal to its heroes for they were the masters that crafted out a path for inspiration. This is indeed the approach we take in our intermediate classes. Composition and style are very personal and it is important to follow a path that resonates most with you. For this reason, we decided to cover as many of the Masters and their works as possible.
As you move through each of the artists, we hope that you will be inspired by their efforts and endeavours as well as learn something about photography. While this is a formal exercise for our classes, we will allow you to go through the process yourselves. You may use the critiquing guide to help you study each of the images.
Lets go do a small exercise here by comparing different images taken by different photographers. Your job is to figure out whether each of them have a particular style and then compare them to one another. Of course, the contents of each photographs are very different and in some cases, they are from different times. For example, Steve McCurry, the photographer that snapped the iconic picture of the Afghan girl, is still a very active photographer as is James Nachtwey, last set of photographs here. Noticing their style though, you can see that Nachtwey was more focused on black and white photography and is a war photographer, whilst McCurry's images typically leave you with a sense that the world has so much beauty and colour and much to offer.
Each have their purpose of course and as photographers, it's important to find inspiration in a particular style. Alfred Eisenstaedt and Doisneau photographed in similar periods (first and second respectively), as did Vivian Maier (fourth), but there are distinct difference between each of them. Eisenstaedt captures a documentation of events and people and while is quite particular on composition, his approach is quite different to Robert Doisneau who always tried to capture humour and a story of a sort in his images.
Maier, as you will notice, centers all her photographs, but in many ways, Maier simply photographed for herself as she only became famous after her death. She was never a practising photographer but rather a passionate hobbyist that wasn't confined by any pressures to search for style. Still, her images are wonderfully exposed and she captures a certain intimacy that begs the question of why she never became a professional photographer, especially at the time.
Scott Stullberg, although seemingly a travel photographer in the cases here, is quite a textbook photographer. His images are simply stunning and many a times, he represent the sort of imagery that many photographers wish to emulate, especially when they start out in photography.
As you move through the images, we hope that you will, somewhere along the way, find yourself.