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Thread: B&W landscape photography

  1. #11

    B&W landscape photography

    Paul Caponigro. Weston. Bernd & Hilla Becher. Robert Adams.

    Their work is visually engaging, honest (i.e., not romanticized or conveying any forced emotion), and presents a strong coherent narrative.

  2. #12

    B&W landscape photography

    I was fortunate to see some very large framed Ansel Adams prints, made in his early days, that absolutely blew me away with their quality. Anything in books just does not compare. And subsequent Ansel shows I have seen displayed prints that just did not measure up to those magnificent prints from the early days. This is no reflection on whoever printed them after Ansel's death. In fact, the changes in paper alone may explain the differences.
    If at all possible, seek out some of the early, very large Ansel prints wherever they may be displayed and make your own comparisons to later Ansel prints or to other photographers
    prints.
    Without naming names there is one great photographer who has gained success in recent years. His work is technically perfect and his prints technically perfect. However, his prints do not have the "umppph" that early Ansel prints have. Since Kodak provides him all his film and paper free, or so I have been told, why don't his prints exhibit the "emotion" that early Ansel prints do? I think it must be the differences in materials, especially film and paper.
    It would be interesting to hear what those who printed with Ansel and those who printed Ansel's negatives after Ansel was gone have to say regarding current materials and the materials Ansel was privileged to work with..........

  3. #13

    B&W landscape photography

    I would agree to Ansel as a first choice. I was fortunate to have met the man and his personality matched his Art. I will never forget his greeting when I first met him and shook his hand and told him how honored I was. His comment: " my name's Ansel sonny, what's yours." He then said something to the effect that " yes I am a talented artist and you are probably just as talented at what you do."

    I enjoy John Sextons work very much. Particularly the " Quiet Light " He was Ansel's assistant at the 1980 workshop in Yosemite and was a very fine teacher with the ability to critique ones work with an understanding of what the image maker was trying to say. This sensitivity comes out in his own work

    The one who I would emulate if I could is Paul Caponegro. His best images have a darkness and mystery that just draw me into their depths. For me, they create a need to see deeper into the darkness.

  4. #14
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    B&W landscape photography

    It's hard to pick one ...

    I think Ansel had a period betwwen the mid 1930s and mid 1940s when he was an extremely good artist. very little of what he did before or after that went beyond being pretty calendar photography ... although it is very good calendar photography, and in many ways defined the genre for all who followed. As a printmaker, I consider him to be bizarrely overrated, but as a conservationist and public relations person for the environmental movement, and as a photography educator, he was at the very top.

    As a landscape photographer, he was simply not in the same league as Edward Weston, as even Ansel himself often attested. Weston's landscapes are incomparable.

    As are Paul Strand's. One of my very, very favorites. Possibly one of the two or three best printmakers who ever lived, and someone wise enough not to make a big deal about it.

    Looking back farther, it's almost a cliche now to point out how amazing Timothy O'Sullivan was. But I'll risk a cliche opinion and say I love O'Sullivan's work.

    More recently, I'll agree with everyone who mentioned Robert Adams. I consider him to be a great genius, and the godfather of contemporary landscape photography. Someone said in reference to him that landscapes don't have to be beautiful to be great: I'd like to put a different twist on that and that and say that landscapes don't have to be pretty to be beautiful. I consider Rob Adams' best work to be stunningly beautiful, even if it may be a more difficult kind of beauty than people were used to at the time his work first emerged.

    In the world of color photography, William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, though not strictly landscape photographers, blow me away whenever I see their work. Mike Smith may be in the same league, but I've only seen one body of work of his, so it's too early to say.

    Gun to my head, though, when it comes to landscape, If I have to pick one, I'll probably be boring and say Weston. After all these years, he's still the man.

  5. #15

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    B&W landscape photography

    I like my work best. Seriously - that is the beauty of B&W large format - for not very much investment and training, you can produce prints that rival Ansel Adams' finest work. It is a very democratic medium. (By not much training I mean like a year or two of serious practice.)

  6. #16

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    B&W landscape photography

    My "new" favorite is Ray Metzker. His Landscapes. Hard to put into words but I just find his work visually pleasing. Probably not for everyone.

  7. #17
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    B&W landscape photography

    " not very much investment and training, you can produce prints that rival Ansel Adams' finest work. It is a very democratic medium. (By not much training I mean like a year or two of serious practice.)"

    are you talking just about technical print quality, or are you talking about the quality of the work (depth of vision, contribution to the history of the medium, etc.)?

    i'll assume that judgement of the work will be carried out by someone besides the artist or his/her mom

  8. #18
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    B&W landscape photography

    Favourite? That changes by the week. Wynn Bullock, Minor White and Paul Caponigro have probably been at the top of my list the most over the years. I saw a show of Bullock's in 1970 at the museum in Santa Fe and it has haunted me ever since.

    Most influential is perhaps easier to define. for Vision-Weston and Strand. for Technical-Ansel and the most influential vision in the Post-Modern age-Robert Adams.

    Who has contributed most overall to the developement of b&w LF landscape photography as a genre in my lifetime? Ansel, Fred Picker, Steve Simmons. Honorable mentions to Gordon Hutchings and Dick Arentz and as a group the regular participants in this forum who I believe have had a huge positive impact on the genre.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
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    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  9. #19

    B&W landscape photography

    I dont know if he can be classified as a landscape photographer, but I am susprised nobody has mentioned George Tice. I think he does beautiful work

  10. #20

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    B&W landscape photography

    I'm completely serious when I say that a beginner can make an image everybit as good as Saint Ansel. Maybe collectors won't pay the same amount of money for it, but we're talking about the quality of the image, not the perception of value (I hope.)

    Harry Callahan and Arron Siskind taught this at RISD - after the first year of basic photo classes, they didn't accept any excuses from students for not showing world-class, exhibit quality work. Maybe you might refine your technique over a longer period of time, but I don't see anything to disagree with them about.

    What do you find so objectionable?

    BTW, my Mom doesn't get my pictures, but she loves them all the same, especially if grandchildren are in them.

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