Being online and interested in photography, inevitably as we wade daily through oceans of mediocrity, we occasionally stumble across a photographer whose work just sings to us, and excites us at the possibilities of the medium all over again.
I wanted to write a short post to share with you three photographers I’ve found in my travels whose pictures delight, encourage and inspire me.
Why? On his blog, JT (in Seoul) much of the time uses fairly simple humble compact cameras like the Ricoh GRs, and an 8MP Sony DSC-W100. From these machines he eeks out gritty, grainy, emotive and intimate photographs that many couldn’t make with the most expensive kit in the world.
I think what I like about JT is his underdog kind of approach. Whilst there are hundreds, thousands of people chasing the latest technology and ever increasing MegaPixel count and lens sharpness, JT just hunkered down and got to know the basics of his craft and his relatively primitive cameras first, and makes them work beyond what virtually every other user could.
Who? Hin Chua.
Why? I don’t think I’ve ever come across photography that seems so ordinary and so special at the same time. I discovered Hin’s After The Fall series initially, and photographs like this are somehow simple enough to encourage you to gaze into them, yet deep enough to reap reward when you do.
Images like the burnt out apartment in the selection from After The Fall featured here, are amongst my favourite images I’ve seen in the last few years. Also, though Hin mostly shoots in colour, I don’t think about the colour, as I do with most colour images, wondering what camera/lens/film/preset combination was used to create it. I just think about the overall photograph. This is a huge compliment, that the colour has almost become invisible, and the overall composition is king.
Who? Wouter Brandsma.
Why? In common with the other two, Wouter just gets on with making pictures without, it seems, obsessing over and using the latest kit. Another Ricoh lover (it was his review of (and photographs made with) the GR Digital III that made me feel I had to have one), Wouter favours the user experience of a camera (everything is where you need it, nothing gets in the way) over bells and whistles.
Wouter mostly seems to shoot black and white, and his shots (often just of his daily commute) are wonderful. But his colour ones are possibly even better, and I just adore sets like these, especially that last photo with the red B boxes. Or this set – just look at the colours on the main picture with washing blowing on the boat. This is how I would like my colour digital photographs to look, and it’s reignited my interest in finding and tweaking LightRoom presets that might get me somewhere close.
Writing this I’ve been thinking about what these photographers have in common, why they inspire me, and why I wanted to share them with you.
In short, I think because I’ve spent the last few years gorging on vintage photography kit, and reached saturation point, I’m now trying to strip down, simplify, and find just a small handful of cameras I love using and that give me results I like without hours of processing.
JT, Hin and Wouter all just seem to get on with photographing what they find beautiful around them, everyday, without caring much about the spec of the equipment they use, or having dozens of options.
More important to them is using the stuff that just works, then using it extensively enough to get to know it so well it becomes almost invisible, an extension of their hand/eye/mind.
This, I believe, is my next aim in photography.
Using the few cameras I’ve chosen (and mostly my Pentax K10D and Ricoh GRDIII) to get to know them and their capabilities inside out, and create the best work I can, as I continue to hunt for the beauty I find around me.
I hope you gain something from these three photographers.
Who are your most inspiring photographic influences? Please let us know in the comments below.
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