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Rudy Umans

Photographers who influenced you the most

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31 minutes ago, R Scott James said:

Alfred Stieglitz, I recall years ago in college finding a book of Stieglitz work and being blown away. When I fist started I spent time looking at images, thousands of images, hours at the library thumbing through book after book and Stieglitz's work was just different, it made me say "wow". 

Also the work of the f/64 group impressive.

He is on top of my list too. Stieglitz was a powerhouse and with his on/off relationship with Georgia O' Keeffe, they were a true power couple.

Sieglitz also did a lot outside photography for the art world  like his introduction of Picasso, Cezanne and Matisse to the American art world

Stieglitz "came from money" so he had the connections and didn't have to worry about making an income/living, which helped I am sure.

Having said that, you should check out Leonard Misonne (Belgian Pictorialist)  https://monovisions.com/leonard-misonne-biography-pictorial-photographer/

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15 hours ago, Rudy Umans said:

f/64 (glad you wrote that the proper way and not like F64 or something). For people who don't know, f/64 was a club of west coast photographers who practiced and promoted "Straight Photography"  (Straight as in straight forward or "pure") in the first half of the 20th century. Straight Photography was the answer of Paul Strand somewhere between 1915-1920 to the then still popular "Pictorialism" movement, which was very painterly. Paul Stand showed his images to Alfred Stieglitz and he told Paul Strand that he started something new....and so it began. In Stieglitz and Steichen's Gallery 291 in NY City to be exact. From there it went to Edward Weston, Dorothea Lange, Imogene Cunningham, and others and became an actual "movement". Contrary to what some might believe, Ansel Adams wasn't all that involved until 1930 or so. Also thanks to Paul Strand btw . Edward Weston came up with that small aperture notion  way before the f/64 club. As a matter of fact, Edward Weston was known to modify his lenses with masks with a smaller aperture like f/135 or f/233 even so he could get his whole tabletop subjects into focus. The bell pepper series was done this way and since Weston only made 8 x 10 contact prints, diffraction problems with those small apertures were not much of an issue.

f/64 was in principle a gallery club and  the west coast answer to those "art snobs" in New York. ("We show them" was their attitude). 

Weston btw., also came up with this whole previsualization concept thing way before Adams.  Weston was the one who told Ansel Adams about it.  Adams did come up with the Zone System though as far as I know.

It is funny in a way that Pictorialism has made a somewhat of a comeback now in digital with all the lighting, glowing and vignetting effects that are so popular now. (As some examples in this thread). Film has made a comeback too, but as Straight or Pure photography. (except for pinhole of course, which is by default painterly)

 

so Pete... you HAD to bring up f/64 and get me going. Sorry about my long winding pointless expression of narcissism. :) Sometimes I can't help myself

I enjoyed that? 👍

While I repeat I'm no purist, I did like the concepts and views of the group and later the zone system. More of a philosophical view of the whole art of photography. And I'm no "artist" type. More interested in recording documentary or news or history.

Let me quote a bit, from Amazon about a collection of images:  Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) was a visionary far ahead of his time. Around the turn of the 20th century, he founded the Photo-Secession, a progressive movement concerned with advancing the creative possibilities of photography, and by 1903 began publishing Camera Work, an avant-garde magazine devoted to voicing the ideas, both in images and words, of the Photo-Secession. Camera Work was the first photo journal whose focus was visual, rather than technical, and its illustrations were of the highest quality hand-pulled photogravure printed on Japanese tissue.

Part of the Stieglitz legacy is, photography was not considered art back then. He was out to prove that the medium was just as true of an art as painting or drawing. 1889 by the first “plastic” film was made by Kodak.

Ansel Adams born 1902. Part of his legacy is very good promotion. He was barely making money, shooting the National Parks and selling photos to tourists from a stand. Someone with marketing smarts, saw his work and changed the way Adams photos were sold and distributed. Not taking away from his art or style, just that, he wasn't always well known, until the promotional efforts took effect.

By the way, one other detail, these folks, guys and gals, most used 8x10 view cameras, and made contact prints. Adams did the same, but made his own project "enlarger" so he could crop, dodge and make his super refined prints. Dorthea Lange used a Graflex 4x5 camera.

PHOT-dorothea-lange-10.jpg

 

An 8 x 10 negative, scanned at 1200 dpi would be 115.2 megapixels, 4x5 about 58MP.  I'm not sure of the resolution of film grain on those old films. It wasn't that special that I recall, but film grain would be equivalent to pixel pitch in digital.

So that's why my answer isn't one person or a few, it's all of the people in the "dark ages" before 35mm. 😎

Stieglitz was a powerhouse and with his on/off relationship with Georgia O' Keeffe, they were a true power couple.

Getting old here, I thought that was Adams, even though he was married? Oh I looked, I guess it was both. 😮

 

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Yes Stieglitz was in an unhappy Marriage. To my knowledge, Ansel Adams never had anything romantically with Georgia O'Keeffe. They were friends and roamed around in the same circles. (Edward Weston on the other hand, had probably more girlfriends over the years than all of the others combined)

That camera Dorothea Lange is holding is a 5 x7 Graflex series B, not a 4 x 5. I have, and use, a later Graflex RB (Revolving Back), which is virtually the same as hers, smaller, but the same design, an SLR with a chimney and a huge cloth vertical curtain shutter, She also used Zeiss Ikon 9 x 12 plate cameras (that I also use-with a 6 x 9  Suydan roll film back) This is one of my favorite cameras because the Zeiss lens is very very good and sharp. The kodak Ektar lens on the Graflex is also very good and sharp and was designed to compete with the Zeiss lenses (that were/are still better) You can still get  9 x 12 film, but is expensive

btw, 35mm has been around since the early 1900dreds, but became practical and more popular in the 1920ties

 

Quote

Part of the Stieglitz legacy is, photography was not considered art back then. He was out to prove that the medium was just as true of an art as painting or drawing.

That was the reason of the Pictorialism movement, to be more artsy so that photography would get recognition as art and could compete with painters. This movement started around 1865-1870 in England and became popular shortly after that in western Europe and France in particular. Paris was Stieglitz's Art Mecca at the time. He discovered pictorialism there and brought it to the US. Back in the US, he became friends with Edward Steichen and started Gallery 291 at the initiative of Steichen who lived across the hall of the empty apartment, what would become the Gallery.  Photo- Secession was started later and was basically a select group of Photographers handpicked by Stieglitz. Kind of like what Magnum is today. One of those photographers was Clarence H. White who started later the first professional full time photography school in the US Maybe even world wide, not sure

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On 3/13/2020 at 9:18 AM, Rudy Umans said:

Yes Stieglitz was in an unhappy Marriage. To my knowledge, Ansel Adams never had anything romantically with Georgia O'Keeffe. They were friends and roamed around in the same circles. (Edward Weston on the other hand, had probably more girlfriends over the years than all of the others combined)

That camera Dorothea Lange is holding is a 5 x7 Graflex series B, not a 4 x 5. I have, and use, a later Graflex RB (Revolving Back), which is virtually the same as hers, smaller, but the same design, an SLR with a chimney and a huge cloth vertical curtain shutter, She also used Zeiss Ikon 9 x 12 plate cameras (that I also use-with a 6 x 9  Suydan roll film back) This is one of my favorite cameras because the Zeiss lens is very very good and sharp. The kodak Ektar lens on the Graflex is also very good and sharp and was designed to compete with the Zeiss lenses (that were/are still better) You can still get  9 x 12 film, but is expensive

btw, 35mm has been around since the early 1900dreds, but became practical and more popular in the 1920ties

 

That was the reason of the Pictorialism movement, to be more artsy so that photography would get recognition as art and could compete with painters. This movement started around 1865-1870 in England and became popular shortly after that in western Europe and France in particular. Paris was Stieglitz's Art Mecca at the time. He discovered pictorialism there and brought it to the US. Back in the US, he became friends with Edward Steichen and started Gallery 291 at the initiative of Steichen who lived across the hall of the empty apartment, what would become the Gallery.  Photo- Secession was started later and was basically a select group of Photographers handpicked by Stieglitz. Kind of like what Magnum is today. One of those photographers was Clarence H. White who started later the first professional full time photography school in the US Maybe even world wide, not sure

Interesting, I didn't think the 5x7 had been made yet, when that photo was taken. But even better, nice 5x7 negatives. 😎 Wrong camera model, wrong dates, or both. Yes it was a SLR. COOL!

As for 35mm it may have been around, but wasn't used. It was the war and being able to carry a small efficient camera, that journalism finally accepted the shots in that format. It wasn't until the late 60s that some newspapers would consider accepting a 35mm film shot. They were upholding the quality and standards. (at least in their way of seeing it?)

Yes a good compact camera using movie film for still photos. Seems a natural fit? Sure is better than carrying a box camera or bellows camera. Maybe became useful in the 20s or 30s, but the twin lens with 120 or 620 was still more common well into the 40s and 50s.

Milestones (in my opinion, maybe not the rest of the world) There could be more or less, but these kind of mark points.

Kodak released the first preloaded 35mm cassettes in 1934. Argus 35mm "Brick" C3 1939 to 1966, for the general public. Nikon F in 1959 for professionals, with interchangeable lenses and high quality images.

I still had two 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 sheet film cameras in the 60s. I used a Graflex Speed Graphic back then as well. But for sports, the Canon FT was the hot camera for me. I had a TL also. One loaded with black and white, the other with color. Or one with slow film and one with fast film. Sure is nice today to have all those different ISOs and choices built in.

Oh going off topic. There are so many old timers, I couldn't just pick one or two. So I return to the concepts of light and shadows, black blacks to pure white whites, and the pioneers as a group. No one modern, that's more about star power, personal marketing, or novelty in the art market.

 

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On 3/13/2020 at 5:36 PM, HodagMedia said:

Stieglitz was a powerhouse and with his on/off relationship with Georgia O' Keeffe, they were a true power couple.

Now that's a powerhouse I can get behind. All we have in our times is Tony & Chelsea Northrup doing "youtube content" 😕

That said, what a fantastic thread this is. Probably my favorite in all of SS. Learned so much.

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http://www.jr-art.net/projects

The French Photographer and Artist “JR” inspired me when he did the ‘Inside out project’ and the pictures he made in Israel, of the Rabbi, the Priest and The Imam all laughing. 

When he started his social awareness journey, anyone could send a portrait of him or herself and would receive a large print to be put up for display on buildings or outside walls, free of charge. 

He is very famous now, all around the world. 

8AEFA9F0-E56D-4847-A1E7-35E3B561308E.png

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On 8/11/2020 at 3:49 PM, stockphotofan1 said:

myself

That reminds me of R. Kelly!

...

If anybody asks you who I am, just stand up tall, look 'em in the face and say

I'm that star up in the sky
I'm that mountain peak up high
Hey I made it, hmm
I'm the worlds greatest
 
...
 
And the world will notice a king (oh, yeah)
When all is darkness,
I'll shine a light (shine a light)
And the mirrors of sucesss reflect in me (Me)
I'm that star up in the sky
I'm that mountain peak up high
Hey I made it
I'm the worlds greatest

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On 8/15/2020 at 3:09 AM, Studio 2 said:

I went to the Helmut Newton exhibition in Petworth yesterday. Inevitably loved it partly because of the house it is set in. HN's photos wouldn't have passed Sstock's 'high' acceptance standards but that's 'Art' for you 😊 Link below to videos

https://m.facebook.com/pg/newlandshouse.gallery/videos/

 

He surely was one of the greats. (and who gives a flying rat's @$$ about SS's "high standards" nowadays?) 

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