If you’re lacking inspiration or just need to remind yourself of how some of the greats of photography worked (sadly all but one are now dead) here are a few YouTube videos of some of the masters of photography.
Half Past Autumn: The Life and Work of Gordon Parks. Favourite quote:
“The people in front of the camera are the most important people, not the photographer no matter how hallowed he is.”
Don McCullin In His Own Words. Favourite quote:
“Photography is the truth if it’s being handled by a truthful person.”
Duffy: The Man Who Shot the Sixties. Favourite quote:
“There is an act of pleasure in making someone look beautiful.”
AKA Norman Parkinson. Favourite quote:
“Today I’m wearing the brown hat. Now, the brown hat is not as lucky as the green hat, but I must give the brown hat a chance.”
Richard Avedon Darkness and Light. Favourite quote:
“A great photograph, with all its other characteristics, doesn’t come to any ultimate conclusion. It never closes the issue. There are always things left open, undecided, not yet dealt with. Things for later. Things for us to think about.”
“Photography is nothing more than instant drawing for me.”
“It’s mere luck photography, it’s just luck.”
These photographers are all of an era when photography was still relatively unique in that it required training and/or dedication and there was less accessibility (to cameras, locations, outlet channels and people). If you watch these videos you’re struck by some common threads that each of these photographers has one or more of:
- Luck played an important part in both getting them started and in situations that arose throughout their lives.
- They were all supremely dedicated to their art and persevered against great odds in getting their work out there.
- Many pursued other artistic endeavors as well as photography. This is particularly so with Gordon Parks who was a composer, musician and poet as well as a photographer.
And yes, I know these are all men, the women get their turn next.