View Full Version : Inspiration from other Media

21-Mar-2017, 09:59

I have been lurking around on this site for a while, learning a tonne of information that has helped me with my large format photography and I thought this might be an interesting question.

Personally I get a lot of inspiration for my photography from watching movies, analyzing their compositions, style, light, color etc. to create ideas for my own projects. So I'm wondering if any of you have any directors or films that inspire your creative endeavors and why? I also draw inspiration from painters for the same reasons.

Recently I've taken to the films directed by Roy Andersson, his "Living" trilogy specifically. His use of ambitiously constructed set pieces, his characteristically flat and soft lighting style, his choices for composition, his color schemes, and his use of deep depth of field all combine to create imagery that seems more akin to painting than film.

I'm also wondering if anyone here might have any advice on how to translate this look to still photography, specifically how one would manage to get such a deep depth of field on something like a 4x5 camera. (I'm just starting with large format and learning what combinations of movements can accomplish)

Looking forward to your thoughts and would love to know what alternative media people here draw inspiration from!

21-Mar-2017, 11:27
Never heard of Roy Anderson, however a Google search (https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=roy+anderson+living+trilogy&client=firefox-b&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiGzMy2m-jSAhXPFsAKHUY4DR0Q_AUICigD&biw=1024&bih=627) indicates natural lighting probably a WA lens, 90mm on a 5x4.


21-Mar-2017, 11:53

I like older styles of artistic LF photography, so for painters, Whistler was massively influential around the turn of the last century to LF photographers.

For older films..
Ralph Steiner's H2O and Mechanical Principals for abstract B&W style

21-Mar-2017, 13:50
I am inspired by, and learn from, other media, specifically other photographers and early Netherlandish painters. Namely, Annie Leibovitz, Philippe Halsman, Christopher Broadbent, Robert Campin and Rogier van der Weyden. The list of names changes and evolves over time.

Btw where is Christopher Broadbent? Haven't seen him on this site and his website seems a bit dormant.

John Kasaian
22-Mar-2017, 20:24
For film makers, Fritz Lang and Howard Hawks.
For painters (and this rather recently) Impressionist Cameron Smith.

23-Mar-2017, 06:15
Any mention of film making would be amiss if not mentioning Wes Anderson: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0027572/

Particularly stuff like The Grand Budapest Hotel - you could pause that movie at any point, and the resulting still image looks like a nice formal large-format composition.


23-Mar-2017, 07:33
Anything by Terrence Malick or Stanley Kubric does it for me.

I did stop photography completely for several years to study Canadian landscape painting, when I switched from animal photography to whatever it is I'm doing now.

Mark Sampson
23-Mar-2017, 08:06
I work part-time for the Phillips Collection, "America's first museum of modern art". Being surrounded by masterworks of painting and sculpture (not to mention a growing collection of photography) certainly keeps me inspired, or at least gives me food for thought.

austin granger
24-Mar-2017, 10:28
Ed above beat me to it, but Wes Anderson definitely springs to mind. It seems to me that he thinks like a photographer, by which I mean that every frame in his films is consciously and meticulously composed.

Michael R
24-Mar-2017, 11:29
I've been inspired by miscellaneous shots from all sorts of movies, and work by certain film makers - in particular Stanley Kubrick. I've also been inspired a great deal by a variety of painters/paintings. Christopher Pratt, for example, but lots of others. I steal bits and pieces from anything I like to look at.

Mark Sawyer
24-Mar-2017, 11:41
Probably the most beautiful classic b/w cinematography would be Woody Allen's Manhattan, shot by Gordon Willis. Stanley Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (cinematography by John Alcott) is another you should see. And, of course, we can all agree that the most inspiring movie of all time is Walt Disney's Peter Pan... :rolleyes:

That said, I tend to be more inspired by thoughts of an old girlfriend, something I've read, or a song on the radio. If anyone's photography is inspired only by other people's photography, (even be it cinematography), wider horizons are needed...

John Kasaian
27-Mar-2017, 06:27
Memory, oddly enough. Recollecting what has been seen and remembered in the past kind of tweaks my imagination and let's me contemplate what is to become.
Also music, as Mark Sawyer attests. The two tend to go together for me.