Light , Gesture, & Color

In Books, Influences, Study the Masters by David15 Comments

   The first, and only time, I met Jay Maisel, he asked what kind of photography I did. At the time I was busy with humanitarian assignments and I told him so. He looked me in the eye, having just met me, and said, “You mean people pay you to do that? You’re an evil man.” And then he laughed. …

Study the Masters: W. Eugene Smith

In Influences, Study the Masters by DavidLeave a Comment

W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978) was an American photojournalist with an uncanny sense of timing and humanity. Often credited as the father of the photo-essay, Smith began his career making photographs for papers in Wichita, Kansas, before eventually moving on to Newsweek, then Life, which he eventually left over an argument about how they used his images of Albert Schweitzer, after …

Study the Masters: Arnold Newman

In Influences, Study the Masters by David4 Comments

Last week I introduced you to Yousuf Karsh. American-born Arnold Newman (1918-2006) was his contemporary and the studying the two together is an interesting study in voice. Both photographed largely in black and white, both photographed celebrities, artists, and luminaries of their generation, and both used simple composition. To my eye, Newman is more graphic, though he leans no less …

Study the Masters: Yousuf Karsh

In Influences, Study the Masters by David10 Comments

Yousuf Karsh was one of my earliest influences. His portraits, much of his work in black and white, were simple, elegant, and deeply human. An Armenian-Canadian, Karsh was born in Turkey in 1908, worked most of his life in Ottawa, and died in 2002, leaving behind a lifetime of beautiful portraits of the leaders of his generation. I think what …

Study the Masters: Fred Herzog

In Influences, Study the Masters by David6 Comments

Over the last two weeks I introduced you to Saul Leiter and Ernst Haas, two of the great colour pioneers, and this week I want you to meet another – Fred Herzog (1930 – present). You can see his stuff quickly here in a Google Image search, but there’s no substitute for having it on paper and his book –  …

Study the Masters: Ernst Haas

In Influences, Study the Masters by David7 Comments

Born in 1921 in Austria, Ernst Haas (1921-1986), like Saul Leiter born two years later, became known for his early work with Kodachrome. His photography was strongly graphic, emphasizing colour as a compositional elements and often using motion and reflections. Haas was a member of Magnum and a colleague of contemporaries Robert Capa and Henri Cartier Bresson. You can see …

Study The Masters: Saul Leiter

In Influences, Study the Masters by David20 Comments

I’m starting a new series called Study the Masters. Short and sweet, it’s my chance to put you on to photographers from the past that have made our art what it is. Hands down, the best photographic education, once you know how to use a camera, is to study the work of others. This is my way of suggesting who …

On Luck & Trenches

In Influences, Pep Talks, Rants and Sermons, The Craft by David12 Comments

There’s a terrific recording of an excerpt from an interview with photographer Robert Capa (1913-1954) making the rounds right now. In it he describes the making of one of his most iconic photographs (above) and the role of luck in its creation. Capa says he raised the camera as the soldiers were climbing out of the trench to storm the …

Studying Masters

In Books, Images, Influences, The Craft by David46 Comments

In my Created Image video, one of the things I strongly advocate is studying the masters. I think finding those masters, the ones with whom you truly resonate, and finding them yourself, is part of the fun. I’m always hesitant to tell people to study this person or this person, because the list of photographers I myself don’t know, photographers …