View Full Version : Your visual influences

David R Munson
11-Jan-2004, 12:38
I have a running list of things and people that have in some way affected my photography, the way I work, or just the way I think about visual arts in general. These influences can be just about anything, including things that are in themselves non-visual, like literature an music. I know everybody else has their influences, too, whether or not they actually try to keep track of the more notable ones. I'm wondering what some of the other forum members count among their influences.

Here's a few of mine...

Photographers: James Fee, Sally Mann, Nobuyoshi Araki, Danny Clinch, Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mark Seliger, Patrick Demarchelier.

Painters: John Rogers Cox, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Keiffer, Carvaggio.

Films: Amelie, Delicatessen, Gladiator, Monday, American Beauty, Hero

Anime: Akira, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Studio GAINAX, Satoshi Urushihara, The Animatrix

Music: Rob Dougan, Bach, Björk, Massive Attack, Nine Inch Nails, Aaron Copland, Radiohead, Portishead, Aphex Twin, MUM

Literature: Snow Crash, Neuromancer, Lolita, The Trial, On The Road, anything by Ginsberg, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

So, what are yours?

matthew blais
11-Jan-2004, 13:53
Good post David...

Here's mine...(some)

Photographers: I think I learn/am influenced by all photographers/artist's work-good or bad. So "everyone", including my own.

Painters: Mark Rothko, Helen Frankenthaller, Arthur Dove, Edward Hopper, Van Gogh (both his art & his life), Rembrandt's light, some of Julian Schnabel's work, Warhol's audacity.

Films: Rear Window & most Hitchkock films, Cider House Rules, Fried Green Tomatoes, Shawshank Redemption, Save the Tiger, and many more, and I have to include Lord of the Rings.

Anime: Never seen an example

Music: In general & specific, Sting, Crowded House, Old Fleetwood Mac, Old Elton John, Ten Thousand Maniacs -"Unplugged", Most "live" jazz, Clapton's -"Pilgrim", K.Loggins' "Leap of Faith", Led Zepelin II & IV, Pink Floyd - "dark side of the moon". Neil Young's "after the Goldrush" and "Harvest". And I was a "Cat man" too.

Literature: "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand, Carlos Castenada's (Don Juan) trilogy, Tolkeins "Lord of the Rings", C.S. Lewis's "That Hideous Strength", "The Shape of Content" by Ben Shahn,"The Artist's Way" by Julie Cameron, Tao Te Ching by Man-Ho Kwok et al.

Jay DeFehr
11-Jan-2004, 14:19
I think it's important to distinguish between influence and inspiration. I think that everything I'm exposed to influences my work in some small way. I believe that the photos we make are representations of ourselves at the moment of exposure, and ourselves are amalgamations of our accumulated experiences, as they combine and recombine constantly. Wether our experiences influence us consciously or unconsciously may or may not affect the magnitude of their influence. That may be a reason that it's so hard for me to understand why I make the choices that I do, and what draws me to one approach and repels me from another. Inspiration is much more direct and undiluted. It excites a reaction that leads directly to my work, without being "digested" or assimilated to any significant degree. So, with appologies, I'll list a few inspirations.

Quantum physics

My family

Women and children

Phorographers I admire:

Judith Joy Ross

Nicholas Nixon

August Sander

Peter Lindbergh

Paolo Roversi

John Kasaian
11-Jan-2004, 14:37
Intrigueing thread, but I confess I'm lost. In my dictionary,Webster' New Collegiate circa 1953, anime is defined as any resin or oleoresin---obviously not the same term. What is this "anime?"

David R Munson
11-Jan-2004, 15:12
Jay - you make an interesting distinction that I quite agree with. If I had listed my inspirations, the list would have been about five times as long! Both influence and inspiration are very important to me, though as you point out they serve very different functions.

John - anime is a general term used for Japanese animation. Unfortuantely, a lot of people automatically connect the term "anime" with such low-end kiddy-fodder as Pokemon. The high-end stuff is really more akin to high-quality filmmaking than anything else, and in most cases is far more advanced that traditional American animation, which is really more of a direct outgrowth of 19th -century English storybook illustration (more recent deveopments from the likes of Pixar, etc are a definite exception to this). Urbandictionary.com has a good set of explanations of the term and what it refers to here (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=anime&f=1). If you or anyone else is interested in seeing any anime for the sake of reference, a good starting point are things like Spirited Away and Princes Mononoke as directed by Hayao Miyazaki, Grave of the Fireflies by Isao Takahata for something on the more depressing end, Perfect Blue for a good psycho-thriller, or Akira or Ghost in the Shell for sci-fi.

tim atherton
11-Jan-2004, 16:06
Nice one David.

Of the ones that come to mind right now (and will probably change tomorrow) -influence? Inspiration? maybe a bit of both:

Photographers: Atget, Evans, Basilico, Parr, McCullin, Eggleston, Struth, Sternfeld, James, Sugimoto, Callahan, Peress, Sudek, Killip, Mann (among many others)

Painters: Klee, Kandinsky, Rembrandt, Caravaggio, Richter, Hockney, van Eyck, Cezanne, Turner and goodness knows who else...

Architects: Corbusier (despite his chromophobia), Calatrava, Koolhaas, Neutra et al, + the Bauhaus

Films: Beau Travail, Cal, Wings of Desire, To Have and Have Not, Crash, Red Bllue and White, Zerkalo/The Stalker/Nostalghia/Ofret, Caro Diario,

Anime.... no

Music; Bach, Holly Cole, Django, Billie Holliday, Rodrigo, Carla Bruni

Literature; Kundera, Hughes, Heaney, Hemingway, Sebald, Yeats, Berger, Ondaatje, Marquez, Blake

Kevin M Bourque
11-Jan-2004, 16:13
The (very) short list -

painters - Hopper

photographers - Strand, Bullock

composers - Mozart, Chopin, Ives

It might be a different list tomorrow (except maybe for Chopin).

Mike Troxell
11-Jan-2004, 18:03
Photographers: Edward Weston, Wynn Bullock

Literature: "The Daybooks of Edward Weston", Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings", Robert A.Heinlein's "Stranger In A Strange Land" (from which I learned how to truly grok a photograph), C.S. Lewis (The Abolition of Man, Mere Christianity, The Weight of Glory, etc.)

Films: "To Have and Have Not", Key Largo, The Big Sleep (is anyone seeing a pattern here?)

Music: early to mid-career Heart, Harry Chapin, Joe Williams, Billie Holliday, James Taylor

Michael Pry
11-Jan-2004, 18:35
While printing a massive project recently I got caught up in Johnny Cash's last CD. It kinda sucked me in to a mental state that had a very positive effect on the way I worked and evaluated my prints as they came up.

11-Jan-2004, 21:02
Heres the short list: Photographers: Mark klett, Dahmane, avedon Music: Modest Mouse, arab strap, the microphones

Nigel Sutton
12-Jan-2004, 05:19
One of each; Photographer - Colin Prior Painter - J.M.W.Turner Film - Koyannisqatsi Music (poet) - Roy Harper Literature - Stephen Donaldson (Chronicle of Thomas Covenant)

Bruce Wehman
12-Jan-2004, 08:33
A very short list:
Emmert Lawson - my portraiture instructor at Brooks institute - for his respect for craft. Edgar Degas - how to fill a frame. Ansel Adams - vision, persistence and love of the natural world. John Cage - space and proportion. Eugene Smith - Idealism. Tom Wolfe - significant detail.

Daniel Grenier
12-Jan-2004, 09:38
No one and everyone. Nothing and everything.

Steve J Murray
12-Jan-2004, 11:05
Photographers: Adams, Weston, Jim Marshall, Scavullo

Music: Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix, Beatles, Led Zepplin, Miles Davis

Film: 8 1/2 (Fellini)

Haven't seen any anime, don't read much either-Hemmingway perhaps

domenico Foschi
12-Jan-2004, 11:39
Photographers : Kertesz , coburn , Avedon, Penn , Mann , and many , many others , films: Shindler's list , almost all of Kubrick's work , hitckock's , , Orson Welle's , yes, yes, Amelie of course , and many others Writers : Kafka , Orwell , Mann , Wilde , and others ... Music : shumann cello concerto in A MInor , Cello suites by J.S. Bach , Lila Downs , Velvet Underground , Bowie , 10.000 maniacs " unplugged' ( i have played the damn thing for 3 years repeatedly in my darkroom ) , Everything but the girl , and more . What puts me in the mood to work : a clean darkroom , the knowledge that all the bills have been paid .......

Gene M
12-Jan-2004, 18:18
Music - Procol Harum

tim atherton
14-Jan-2004, 17:34
"Photographers: Adams, Weston, Jim Marshall, Scavullo"

Sad to hear of Scavullo's passing last week