Andre Kertesz, known as the “poet”, is a Hungarian photographer who is credited with being the originator of modern photojournalism. A failed war photographer, he liked to capture heartfelt, candid moments. However, he also made a lot of still lives and interior shots. This image is often described as being the first great Modernist photo. It is purely photographic with a broad tonal range and contemporary design characteristics.
Michael Kenna is a British photographer best known for his breathtaking black and white landscapes. The quality of light and atmosphere of his images is his strongest suit. He tends to shoot during the morning and evening hours and has taken exposures of up to ten hours! He has photographed all over the world from this gorgeous image taken in Switzerland to right here in Georgia. Kenna’s work goes to show that you can find beauty anywhere.
Dara Scully is a young photographer from Spain that has a lot of images of creepy children on her website which is what immediately drew me to her work. In her current series called “A Child is Playing”, one thinks that the children in the photographs are involved in innocent games. However, the story takes a dark turn as scissors become involved and cut hair turns into a rope. “If we aren’t careful, they’ll hang us with it.”
Daniel Beltra is a photographer who makes beautiful aerial shots concerning the human impact on the environment. He has focused on forests and nations like Greenland and Iceland. My favorite series of his is on the North and South Poles because that is where the most human impact can be seen. His work has been shown around the world and he has also worked for environmentalist group, Greenpeace.
Bill Brandt is a Surrealist photographer who started out more in the Modernist movement. Pre WWII, he made a book called “English at Home” which documented the help for the upper class in England. Post WWII, he created a series called “Perspective of Nudes”. They are pinhole, extreme wide angle, high contrast shots, with print distortions. He would often place the camera onto his subjects’ stomachs, ears, heads, etc to create very interesting compositions and nudes that are not typical at all.
August Sander was a German photographer known to be the first great environmental portraitist. He used a dispassionate, non judgmental, direct style to capture the different German classes in the early 1900s. He created the book of images called “Citizens of the 21st Century” to show this. It was an entirely democratic series showing everyone from the homeless to the business class. However, he was only able to make one volume of this work because Hitler came into power and banned it from continuing.
John Baldessari was a photographer during the conceptual art movement in the 1960s and 1970s. The artist’s primary goal at this point was to create a concept and the manner and matter of materials was not as important. Baldessari would use text and images to prove points. In this series, he criticizes what some people describe as “wrong” ways to take photographs and he breaks all of the rules, like taking a picture of a person so it looks like a palm tree is growing out of their head.
Edward Weston has been called “one of the most innovative and influential American photographers” and was the first to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1937. He has shot everything from still lives to landscapes to nudes and does all of it very well. My personal favorite of his are his landscapes because I love the tonal range and the design qualities to them. In this image, I feel that the sand dunes are dancing in the breeze and creating some sort of rhythm.
Paul Strand was an American photographer and filmmaker who helped establish photography as a fine art during the Modernist movement of the 1920s. He was featured in the last two issues of Stieglitz’s art magazine “Camera Work” to demonstrate the transition from Pictorialist art to Modernist. He was considered to be the most pure photographer of his time and worked in the New Objectivity style. Strand shot a lot of portraits with north light, or non directional light, to cast a softness on his subjects.
Martin Munkacsi was the highest paid commercial sports and fashion photographer of his day in the 1930s. An icon, he was the first photographer to have action shots incorporated with fashion ads that would lead an example into the modern day. From Paris to NYC, he influenced many photographers from Bresson to Avedon.