Lesson 2 – Inspiration

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    There isn’t one photographer or artist that has had an impact on me, but rather several photographers and individual photos that have motivated me. The first would have to be Ansel Adams. The landscapes that he was able to produce in his era still cannot be duplicated today. The photograph that has inspired me the most from Adams is the Moon and Half-Dome. This photograph has amazing detail in highlights, shadows and contrast. The composition is also perfect with the position of the moon in relation to the half-dome. This was the first piece I had ever seen from Ansel Adams, which started my interest in landscape photography.

    Two other photographers that have impacted me are Ken Rockwell and Darlene Hildebrandt. Both are probably not as well known as Ansel Adams, but I have learned a lot about photography from their work and the knowledge they have shared on their own websites. What has inspired me from Ken Rockwell’s work with landscapes is the deep, vibrant colors that he is able to create in his photographs. What I have gained from Darlene Hildebrandt is to not be afraid to try new and different techniques to creating photos.

    Lastly, Matt Cohen, a photographer that is probably unknown to many but is a close family friend. Matt Cohen is a photographer based in New Mexico. His work consists mainly of photos made with a medium format TLR camera. When I was 15 years old, Matt took a photo of my grandfather and I which captured not only our images but the essence of who we were at that time in our lives. I still have the print hanging in my living room.

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hi John,

    Thanks for submitting your assignment. I was not familiar with all the photographers mentioned in your piece but I did know most of them.

    What I like about what you’ve written here is that you’ve taken various bits from different photographers and learned from them.

    Obviously Ansel Adams is a legendary photographer and there is a great deal that can be learned from him. Take a look at this documentary about Ansel Adams if you want to learn more about him.

    In fact if you’d like here is page with more information about the masters of photography.

    The photograph you mentioned is Moon and Half-Dome (attached) It is unquestionably one of his great works. Here is the story behind the photo.

    I’m not familiar with Ken Rockwell’s photography but I do know that he has an absolutely fantastic website. His website is full of great photography resources.

    I like your personal story about how Matt Cohen took a photograph that impacted your life. Never underestimate the power of a photograph. It reminded of this story by John Free.

    This goal of this assignment is really just to get you thinking about what inspires you in photography. That way you can keep that in your back pocket when you’re on your journey of learning.

    One thing is for sure you can learn from the masters, you can learn from hard practice, and you can learn through online resources. Just make sure you’re always learning from one or the other. There is always more to learn…

    If you have any questions please just write back here or email office@photographyicon.com

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