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Thread: Inspiration from other Media

  1. #1

    Inspiration from other Media


    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!

  2. #2
    IanG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Aegean (Turkey & UK)

    Re: Inspiration from other Media

    Never heard of Roy Anderson, however a Google search indicates natural lighting probably a WA lens, 90mm on a 5x4.


  3. #3
    jp's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Re: Inspiration from other Media


    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

  4. #4
    Indiana, USA chassis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Indiana, USA

    Re: Inspiration from other Media

    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.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    San Joaquin Valley, California

    Re: Inspiration from other Media

    For film makers, Fritz Lang and Howard Hawks.
    For painters (and this rather recently) Impressionist Cameron Smith.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2010

    Re: Inspiration from other Media

    Any mention of film making would be amiss if not mentioning Wes Anderson:

    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.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Re: Inspiration from other Media

    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.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    now in Tucson, AZ

    Re: Inspiration from other Media

    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.

  9. #9
    austin granger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Portland, Oregon

    Re: Inspiration from other Media

    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.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Montreal, Canada

    Re: Inspiration from other Media

    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.

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