Who Inspires You?

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Who Inspires You?

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:24 am

Dean's "Bucket List" Post prompted me to post this:

In my photography, there are two groups of folks who inspire me: A group of teachers and pros to whom I aspire to someday be able to emulate, and a group of my "friends" who push, cajole, critique and otherwise inspire me to improve my photography. I wonder who inspires you and why?

I'll start:


Bryan Peterson, who I have never met, but who has written so many clear, simple books on photography and has been able to put things in a way I can understand and apply (hope to one day meet him and perhaps even attend a workshop)

James Moore, Pennsylvania professional, teacher, workshop leader, mentor and friend (can be seen at http://www.transient-light.com/ )

Ray Laskowitz, working professional photographer and friend; Ray's vision always inspires, and his real-world comments and observation always help me adjust perspective. When I think I have done something really creative, I go look at Ray's images to see how far I have to go yet :-) (http://www.laskowitzpictures.com/)

Arnold John Kaplan; professional photographer, teach and friend, famed for his pioneering images of Vermont. At 90 plus, Arnold is still speaking, writing and doing projects about photography. How can that NOT inspire anyone?

Friends and Colleagues (some you know, some you don't :-

In the second category, there are so many. Many of you here like Al, Carol, Dean, George, Brandt and others I am sure I have left out, but not purposely and so many others I have known over the years.

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

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Re: Who Inspires You?

Postby ctyanky » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:13 pm

Dear Andy: This is a really good question for a post. So I feel "inspired" to answer.

I would say that you, Carol and Al have been inspirations for me. Granted, I'm still using a point and shoot and no, I'll probably not get a better camera in the near future, but you all have still inspired me in many ways.

Over the past few years we all have become friends, I have been impressed by the passion of your photography through your blogs, photography sites and comments on the forum. I have personally watched Carol and Al as they shot photos of places in Vermont as I stood by the wayside. All this time, I was watching and observing and taking my own personal notes. If it were not for your thoughts on "thirds", "lighting", not centering my subject, the critiques I have submitted to the photog forum, I would not have "my own" little passion for photography, albeit amateurish.

When I go out with my little P&S, I am always saying to myself, "What would Andy, Al or Carol say to me if they were here" or "Ooops, get the misc. crap out of the picture before you take the shot" or "It's the wrong time of day to take this photo!". When I go home and look at what I have taken, I review it and say, yep, they were right, I should have done this or that.

So yes, I am not on the road to being a pro or anything, but little things you all have offered to me through various means, i.e. Andy's tutorial, being with Carol for a week in Vermont and stopping every few miles for a photo op, the critiques of other on the forum, etc. have been an inspiration to me, the novice. And for that, I thank you all.

Your passions are inspiring to me. I think that speaks for itself.

Utah Baker
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Re: Who Inspires You?

Postby Utah Baker » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:27 am

Ditto for me!

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Re: Who Inspires You?

Postby Andy » Sun Jun 17, 2012 11:07 am

Ct: Your response is very humbling. I appreciate the friendships I have gained on this board. It was here that I first met Al, who I have now spent some time shooting with both in Vermont and in his home stomping grounds and hopefully will join in other venues in the future. He has become a true friend in every sense of the word.

I also met Carol here and began a Mentor/mentee relationship with her (as did Al) as she progressed from an enthusiastic Point and Shooter, to a talented and award-winning photographer in her own right. Many of us have had the pleasure of meeting her and and (long suffering :mrgreen: ) Mr. S at their Barton, palacial mansion (not really; really its a comfortable, homey and real Vermont Home).

And CT - What do you say about CT? Gregarious, enthusiastic, caring and funny all in one package!

So, while my thread was really more of a who inspires you photographically and creatively, I probably missed the boat by not immediately pointing out that it is my friends who inspire me most :-).

On a more "artsy" note, I would love to hear from some of the other photographers, here. I asked this same question on a photographer site I frequent, and I got some really good links and references to go learn about other professionals, writers, and shooters, etc.

If it sounds too good to be true, its probably . . . .

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Re: Who Inspires You?

Postby abby » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:24 pm

You do. :mrgreen:
Well, you do. :wink: So doesn't Al. :wink: But you both already know this I'm sure. I'm just staing the obvious in case you forgot. :lol: I have learned and have been inspired by both of you for so long now, I can't even remember how many years it's been. Has to be at least 5 or 6 I would imagine.
I love to visit other peoples photography websites. I get inspired by seeing great images. Images that make me want to be a better photographer. I sometimes visit websites and study the images that speak to me. I ask myself, what is it about this image that grabs my attention or invokes an emotional response? I love to be able to see the exif info if it's available and hopefully learn from what exposure the photographer used to make this great image I am looking at.
I have some sites saved in my favorite places, and I frequently visit them to look for any new postings. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:
I can spend hours looking through this first one. It is made up of a group of talented photographers from around New England. There are links to their websites, and there is also a blog which they each participate in writing. It's a very fun site to navigate through and I am always inspired each time I visit.

This next site is also one of my favorites. It's a blg written by 3 photographers and you can also click the links to their websites. They amaze me.

Another blog with some inspiring images:

Another great one:

Don Toothacher was a guest speaker at my camera club last year. I love his work.
And here is his blog:
http://nephotoworkshops.com/blog/?subsc ... cription-3

This next one might be kind of "girly" for some of you, but I like her work and some of her processing is fun.

I frequently visit David Middleton's blog:

Another favorite blog:

And another:

And finally my good friend Greg Lessard's site is one of my favorite places to find inspiration. In fact, tomorrow night I am attending one of his workshops. Should be good!
http://greglessardphotography.com/-/gre ... efault.asp

I hope you get a chance to visit these sites for yourself.
Good topic Andy. Thank you.

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Re: Who Inspires You?

Postby deaner1971 » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:52 am

Obviously I am inspied by the folks on this board. Andy and Al take magnificent photos but they do so out of passion, not because it is their vocation. That is special. If you saw a guy playing basketball with his buddies and he was as good as an NBA player, that would be stunning. Not because you haven't seen someone as good before but because this is someone elevatibng his/her game from passion, not the pursuit of a paycheck. Getting that good, when money isn't the object, is exceptional. And it is not just the kind tutoring from Andy, Al and all of you that inspires me but the passion that all of you possess and rekindle in myself in others.

Passion is so often equated with fire from a negative perspective but passion, like fire, is something that others can reignite when yours is waning or extinguished and once they do so, you now act as a resource to reignite their passion or the ability to light that passion in others.

I have to say that the land itself is my greatest inspiration. There was a photo I took of a house that overlooks tha Battenkill Valley and is a few hundred yards from Equinox Pond. I realized that, if I lived there, I might photograph only people and city scapes or seascapes or cats (ok, probably not cats...). How could my photos improve or even adequately capture what I can see, smell and feel each day in a place like that? But, alas, I do not. So I am inspired to try and capture it and hold it captive within a frame or a screen. I have this need to possess it. To feel that it is mine and that I can go to it whenever I choose.

That feeling was first created by another inspiration: the photos of National Geographic to which, as a kid, my parents subscribed. This was before Travel Channel and Discovery so, aside from Wild Kingdom, this was my portal to the great world outside my experience. That a photo could do that for someone has never left me and that spark is ever the genesis for the passion I will always have for capturing the parts of the world in which I can all too briefly dwell but in which I can always live, as long as I have my photos.

Aside from you folks, Ansel Adams is probably the only other photographer who individually so inspires me as to warrant singular notice. How many artists can say that hundreds of thousands are inspried to make a pilgrimage because of their work? I knew Half Dome and the Merced before I ever entered Yosemite Valley. Most impressively, even after being awed by the real thing, his photos lose nothing in the comparison. That is so hard to do. I have been to so many places and been awe struck but, once I saw it in person, even the best artists efforts fail to awe in comparison to being there. I feel that his photos still stand up because he did not just capture the sights he made them his own. My phrase "idealized reality" is best exampled by his work.

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