Thursday, March 19, 2009

Inspirations #4

Brett Weston has been a strong influence in my work, especially my early work. His strong graphic compositions are a pleasure to view. His use of high contrast is also apparent throughout his life's work. You haven't seen black in a photograph until you have seen a Brett Weston print.

Mendenhall Glacier, AK, 1973, Brett Weston

Torn Poster, Montreal, Canada, 1985, Richard M. Coda

I was on a weekend trip to Montreal in 1985 and we were walking around sightseeing. I passed this poster that had most likely been through a Montreal winter or two. It was torn up pretty badly. I only had my 35mm with me on this trip so I stopped and took a few frames. In reality, the image should be rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise, but when I originally previsualized this image I rotated it to a horizontal image. I was struck by the contrast and the lines and it did remind me of Brett Weston's Mendenhall Glacier.

If any students are out there reading this series I guess what I am trying to say is that by studying photographic history and seeing as many photographs (or paintings) as you can, be it in books, galleries or museums, is a great way to cultivate your eye and develop a style of your own. While these two images have absolutely nothing in common subject-wise, they do share many traits on several other levels.

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