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    • When i was doing my photography degree in England way back when! There was one photgrpaher that really caught my attention.

      His name Bill Brand, he was a British photographer and photojournalist. Although born in Germany, Brandt moved to England, where he became known for his images of British society, good and bad for such magazines as Lilliput and Picture Post, later he distorted nudes, portraits of famous artists and landscapes.

      To me his documentary series on miners and their lives was an inspiration and an eye look into an era that I was glad I wasn't part of. Also his Shadow of Light series is excellent.

      When i ask most American photographers who is an inspiration the normal answer is Ansel Adams, I think that is a given, is there anyone else more obsure who's work you repect from any era?

      Coal-searcher Going Home to Jarrow, photograph by Bill Brandt, 1937

    • When I worked at NeXT, Steve Jobs' company after Apple, all furniture was black leather, all walls were glass, and all photos on the walls were by Ansel Adams. He was the only photographer good enough for Steve.

      For me it's the astonishingly unknown photojournalist Carol Guzy, winner of 4 Pulitzer Prizes, the only journalist to ever win 4. I'm fairly obsessed with her and how she does it so I reached out to ask her for an interview on Cake. She said yes, but we haven't been able to schedule it yet because everytime we do she gets called away to some assignment.

    • I don't have a single photographer who inspired me, because I changed through the years and was inspired into different facets of photography during that time, with several different inspirational mentors through the years.

      I can identify my first serious photographic mentor; my father.

      My dad was the one who bought both my brother and myself our first cameras; a Kodak Bakelite Baby Brownie. I shot that thing until the shutter broke, and then I took it apart, converting the shutter from instantaneous to bulb operation. At least I could use it for long exposures then, and really long exposures if I loaded it with B&W photographic paper for one-shot use. (Skip ahead over this next section if you wish.)


      My dad got his first serious camera when he enlisted into the Air Force during the Korean Conflict. By then he was married and my mother became pregnant with my older brother just before they moved to San Antonio, Texas. (Lackland AFB) With a family he couldn't really live on base so he and my mother got a small apartment. They couldn't do with just an airman's salary, so he bought a used Rollei Twin-lens and started shooting weddings and events on the weekends. (I think he had his mother sell his Harley 74 Flathead and send the money via wire so he could buy the camera and afford rent and food for the small family.)

      The wedding business worked out and soon a friend of my dad's was helping out, because he and his wife were in a similar predicament. They remained life-long friends after the Air Force and until his friend died relatively young.

      After my father got his discharge and they moved back home he got a job with Frantz Manufacturing Co., Overhead Garage Door Division. He started as a general helper in the office, but was recognized early on for his talents. Before too long he was working in the Advertising Department, and a few years later became the head of that department. (There's more but I'm condensing for brevity [believe it or not].)

      One responsibility he had was to acquire advertising images of their products. Normally that would require contracting a local photographer, which could get expensive with a large advertising campaign. He used his Rollei camera to demonstrate how to get the photos in-house, but it soon became clear that a 4" x 5" view camera was a much better tool for entire garage door installations and displays.

      Fortunately, my father was already friends with a local professional photographer who had done work for Frantz, and who was willing to show my father some of the controls on the camera. Fortunate too, my dad could be a quick learner, when he wanted or needed to be. My father also took a mail course in photography from the New York Institute of Photography. (I later used those same books to learn, as well as a number of other books in my father's study/library.)


      Being immersed in the same house as my father and his photographic interests, along with the fact that I was a sickly kid growing up and didn't go outside as much as my siblings, provided an impetus for my own interest in photography. I attended some of the Photography Club meetings in our area, and my dad started that club. Much later, I helped my father when he taught at the local Jr College, and a contact at one of those classes led to my own 31-year career in photography as a Commercial Product Photographer.

      So heck yes, my dad was my first photographic inspiration, mentor, antagonist, protagonist and critic.

    • That is a great story and to me way more impressive that if you had just said 'a name'. There are so many unsung heroes of the photography world, you must be very proud.

    • Two of the photographers that inspired me were Yousuf Karsh and Leni Riefenstahl

      Riefenstahl who lived with tribes people in Sudan and Kenya for many years while photographing them and learned to scuba dive at the age of 70 so she could photograph the undersea world. I have a few of her books and take pleasure in flipping through them from time to time.

      She was not so popular and shunned by the western media due to her films for the Nazi's during WW2, she fell in love with Africa and spent many years there.

      Karsh, was a master of B&W and his pictures have a life of their own, just brilliant work.

      I have his books as well.