What Photo's got you into Photography?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by digitalandfilm, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I think back and remember the LIFE magazine and Nat Geo magazines that I loved to read, because the Photo's were compelling.

    So, I thought.. what were some of the favorites that drew me into photography?

    With google, it's easy to click "images" and see the "old school" shots.

    Here are the ones that stuck with me:
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  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I can't remember a time in my life when I wasn't aware of and awed by Ansel's Yosemite shots. But I think the single photo that just turned my head around on a swivel was Edward Weston's incredible still life of a bell pepper that somehow looked human, almost like a sensuous shot of a nude human back. Just absolutely floored me and made me think about the activity of "seeing" and that there's a whole world of beautiful images out there in everyday stuff, if you just open yourself to seeing the images and the beauty instead of just the everyday THING. I've probably never gotten over it...

    I don't know how to post it without either loading it into flickr or my gallery here, which I'm pretty sure isn't kosher on any number of levels, but here's a link to several of his images, and its the most prominent one on the page...

    edward weston bell pepper - Google Search

  3. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    I wish the image I could claim to have encouraged me were as noble but … When I was a young man I raced a TR2 I was competitive but not the fastest in the world. When not driving or working on my car I read all the sporty car mags. In one of them was an ad for Pentax Spotmatic with a super shot of a sports car but more than that the Pentax ad also had a contact strip of all six stunning racing images. I bought a Pentax and soon learned the camera was only part of the equation and I had tones to learn.

    I got better at taking image than I was at racing and I soon became a very cocky photographer.

    One day my girl friend (now my wife) and I got caught in a down pour and we took refuge in a door way. It turned out it was a Dutch Consulate and a gentleman inside invites us in to hide from the rain. When he saw I had a camera we were invited into one of the meeting rooms. Along the walls were photographs after photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson. At that time, I had no idea who Henri Cartier-Bresson was or why his pictures were there but I knew these were something very special something way beyond what I could do. That day I became very humble and I started a journey along the path of serious photography.
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  4. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    Ray funny you mention that image, Pepper #30, as it was one that saved my photographic life. Once I was feeling very down from not being able to do what I wanted and felt like chucking photography. I looked at that picture and realize Weston took 29 image before he got the right one. I figured if someone as good as him had to work hard at it so did I. Photography doesn't come easy.
  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    None. I actually never cared much about photos, to be perfectly honest. I appreciate them of course, and understand the appeal of a good photo that stays with you and all that. I care more now than I used to, but that's mostly a result of getting into photography than a cause.

    Professionally, I'm a software engineer specializing in video games and related tech -- particularly 3D graphics rendering. It's not taking images that got me interested, it's making them. I felt that it was important to understand photography and cinematography, which is what we're actually emulating in software graphics work. I've taken a lot of good lessons in both directions from photo, though I haven't gotten to cinema yet. For example, HDR has been a standard technique in 3D graphics for years. It was a pretty big surprise to find that photographers rarely use it and most don't even LIKE it. Another case, depth-of-field techniques have appeared in graphics fairly recently but I didn't understand exactly why. Working with photography gave me a much clearer sense for depth of field, bokeh quality, subject isolation, etc.

    I imagine that makes me fairly unique around here...
  6. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    I've been developing and printing since grade school. I worked my way through college as a photo journalist. I majored in Biology (marine) and Communications (journalism) ... this photograph was used to convinced me to choose journalism as a career.


  7. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Grant, he was counting backwards ... he started at #30 ...

  8. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    The photos I took of stuff I was selling on Ebay got me into doing photography.
  9. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    Evil man breaking my bubble :confused:
  10. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    1. Herb Ritts - Jack Nicholson

    2. Annie Leibovitz's - Queen's Portrait

    3. Afgan and Napalm Girls


    4. Peter Lik (1st time I saw his exhibit in Maui I was just blown with landscape photography)


    5. Most recently: Nathaniel Reinhart


    I always captivated with photography but it was until walking through a Peter Lik exhibit that I was like.. I really want to be able to capture moments like that of my travels etc.
  11. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    As a Tasmanian and a bushwalker, it's a pretty obvious choice really...

    What we destroyed... Olegas Truchanas' children playing in Lake Pedder in Tasmania's Southwest in 1971. Less that 12 months later it was flooded. In 1974 the head of the Lake Pedder Committee of Enquiry, Edward St John QC would famously claim "The day will come when our children will undo what we so foolishly have done."

    What we spared... Peter Dombrovskis image of Rock Island Bend in 1979. This was used as a full-page colour add in The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers as part of the Wilderness Society's campaign to stop the damming of the Franklin River - accompanied by the slogan "Could you vote for a party that would destroy this?", in reference to the then Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser, who was in favour of the dam. The campaign worked and Fraser was ousted by Bob Hawke, who took the Tasmanian State Government to the High Court in order to stop the dam.

    The whole Southwest is now part of Tasmania's World Heritage Area.

  12. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord

    Nov 4, 2010
    Real Name:


    a lot of Daido Moriyama photos and Tony Remington's Manilatown folio also gave me a lot of perspective, aside from being a great a photography inspiration he's also a great friend of mine.

    i almost purely like local photographers as i have the thinking i can always find a way to come in contact with them, and sure enough, i've met some of the greatest influences in my photographic career such as Luis Liwanag, Alex Baluyut
  13. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Apologies if it is graphic, but we're all grown up here...

    It had such a huge impact for me because my family barely escaped this war.

    It reminds me that every moment in life is fleeting and that...
    "Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world... "
    -Eddie Adams

    Nguyen Ngoc Loan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (Mods please remove if too graphic or political)
  14. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    Lot of powerful images in this thread. I'm almost ashamed to admit that my driving force to learn photography was the realization that the pictures I took (snapshots) were utter crap. I had recently had a baby and wanted the documentation of our family life to look better. Joined Flickr as a place to store images and got sucked in by the groups. So most of my inspiration has been from fellow contemporary photographers I've met/seen on Flickr.
  15. Spuff

    Spuff Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    Berkshire, UK.
    The camera that took the naplam attack victims (Leica M2, 35mm Summicron lens) can be seen in the Science Museum in London:
    Untitled Document
    (and you can see the uncropped photo in that)
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    Its' funny but I was fairly young during the Vietnam era (born in 1958) and I remember being mostly upset by those images. It never made me say "I want to take pictures like that" because I never had desires to be a journalist. The pictures I actually liked and associated with being a photographer were the portraits of Richard Avedon. It may be a bit trite in these street-oriented times, but I still find his ability to capture a person on film amazing.
  17. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    I can't remember a time I was not looking at pictures. It was a lot easier than reading after all. We had National Geographic in the family for as long as I can remember.

    The first image that struck me for the transformative power of photography was Ansel Adams' Moonrise over Hernandez. The idea that you could do more than just copy the world was quite a revelation. I was in my teens at the time. That is when I started looking at what other photographers had done. Ansel was fine, but my inspiration was with documentary and portrait photographers. Disturbing pictures of violence are easy, what I found amazing was the subtly of emotion that could be achieved with seemingly mundane subjects. How photographs could impart a richness to a scene.
  18. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    For me, it was Ansel Adams and Paul Strand. I grew up with Adams prints in the house. It wasn't until college that I discovered Paul Strand...and bought an OM-1.

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS27Qy5X6TB6aSm75jAMGOpulOo2FegbIQHmW9vEJqvYw5AHOu8j4gL3WCQ. h2_33.43.334.
  19. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Shakespeare notwithstanding, For me, photographers have different levels of acquired abilities, that of skill and experience.

    For "subtly of emotion that could be achieved with seemingly mundane subjects" requires extreme skill, to manipulate the camera to see the light and make the necessary adjustments to lift the mundane into extraordinary.

    For "Disturbing pictures of violence..." extreme experience is needed to maintain one's composure in order to manipulate the camera and successfully capture the violence. For photo journalists the difficultly is compounded because not only does one have to capture the violence ... photo journalists also have to report the who, what, where, when and why of the photo(s).


    PS- There is also vision, but to me that is more of an innate ability than an acquire ability.
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