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The 50 best photographers ever


Willie Garvin
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Of all the billions of people who have picked up a camera of some kind, who is the best photographer of all time? 

https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/features/the-best-photographers-ever

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  1. Cartier Bresson.  No explanation needed, he is the only photographer with the quality and breadth to make it.
  2. Alfred Eisenstaedt.  Beautiful work.  Darker than HCB.
  3. Fan Ho
  4. Bill Brandt. Despite his German heritage, a very British talent. Stands above the genre.
  5. Edward Steichen.  Links photography with abstraction
  6. Robert Capa. The greatest war photographer.
  7. Cecil Beaton.  Deeply underrated.
  8. Man Ray.  Like Brandt, stands above genre.
  9. Diane Arbus.  Extraordinary depth of quality. I went to an exhibition of her work and there were rooms and rooms of photographs that were of the quality that many achieve only once in their life.
  10. Julia Margaret Cameron
  11. Don McCullin.  Second greatest war photographer but defined the memories of my generation.
  12. Inge Morath.  Greater talent than her husband.
  13. Leni Riefenstahl
  14. Weegee.  Original and unrepeatable.
  15. Horst P Horst.  Amazing fashion photography.

I’d go with this for my top fifteen. I can’t do fifty. 

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On 28/09/2019 at 22:06, Willie Garvin said:

Of all the billions of people who have picked up a camera of some kind, who is the best photographer of all time? 

https://www.digitalcameraworld.com/features/the-best-photographers-ever

The pic by Joel Meyerowitz is astonishing.  It might sound simplistic but it shows the significance and beauty of red.

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14 hours ago, HectorHughMunro said:
  1. Cartier Bresson.  No explanation needed, he is the only photographer with the quality and breadth to make it.
  2. Alfred Eisenstaedt.  Beautiful work.  Darker than HCB.
  3. Fan Ho
  4. Bill Brandt. Despite his German heritage, a very British talent. Stands above the genre.
  5. Edward Steichen.  Links photography with abstraction
  6. Robert Capa. The greatest war photographer.
  7. Cecil Beaton.  Deeply underrated.
  8. Man Ray.  Like Brandt, stands above genre.
  9. Diane Arbus.  Extraordinary depth of quality. I went to an exhibition of her work and there were rooms and rooms of photographs that were of the quality that many achieve only once in their life.
  10. Julia Margaret Cameron
  11. Don McCullin.  Second greatest war photographer but defined the memories of my generation.
  12. Inge Morath.  Greater talent than her husband.
  13. Leni Riefenstahl
  14. Weegee.  Original and unrepeatable.
  15. Horst P Horst.  Amazing fashion photography.

I’d go with this for my top fifteen. I can’t do fifty. 

Enjoying Hector's list, a couple there that I'm unfamiliar with.

But I'd certainly add these names:

(interesting that many seminal names are often from the US)

Sebastião Salgado

Ansel Adams

Irving Penn

Alfred Stieglitz

Yousuf Karsh

Nick Knight

John Heartfield

Arnold Newman

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5 hours ago, Scarlet Pimpernel said:

Enjoying Hector's list, a couple there that I'm unfamiliar with.

But I'd certainly add these names:

(interesting that many seminal names are often from the US)

Sebastião Salgado

Ansel Adams

Irving Penn

Alfred Stieglitz

Yousuf Karsh

Nick Knight

John Heartfield

Arnold Newman

Stieglitz is an interesting one.  He’s my biggest photographic influence but I think his greatness is as a critic and an editor.  It’s why I went for Steichen instead. 

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What about one of my favourite photographers, albeit she was an amateur, Vivian Maier!

There are names on these other two lists that I hadn't heard of, so thanks to both of you, I will now look them up.

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Hmmm, I'll have to do some research about Steichen then... Thanks for the tip

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5 hours ago, Willie Garvin said:

What about one of my favourite photographers, albeit she was an amateur, Vivian Maier!

There are names on these other two lists that I hadn't heard of, so thanks to both of you, I will now look them up.

She should definitely make a 50. My list was a very cut down 15.  
 

Amateurism is fine. Hardly anyone other than wedding photographers are making a profit these days. 

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I suppose if one must have a list then Edward Weston must be included; subtle, intense and leaving something for the senses of the viewer to participate in. Ansel Adams, on the other hand wouldn’t make my shortlist; by comparison with Weston he is simply too obvious. It is as if he hands his viewers the subject in a plate leaving little to be imagined. As Weston said, if you could explain a Bach Fugue you would explain away the very reason for its existence.

As for photojournalists Don McCullin is the greatest war and people photographer I have ever been aware of. His humanity always seems to find a way through the darkness. When I look at his pictures I am always aware that the people he portrays are as real as though they were next to me. Perhaps because of that, his photographs are so intensely disturbing.

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  • 2 months later...
On 30/09/2019 at 15:47, Scarlet Pimpernel said:

Enjoying Hector's list, a couple there that I'm unfamiliar with.

But I'd certainly add these names:

(interesting that many seminal names are often from the US)

Sebastião Salgado

Ansel Adams

Irving Penn

Alfred Stieglitz

Yousuf Karsh

Nick Knight

John Heartfield

Arnold Newman

I agree about Sebastião Salgado, he is has some interesting work, saw his exhibition in Bangkok a few years ago, his Brazilian mining images are worth a look, meant to be a compassionate person. Also saw Steve McCurry exhibition also. 

I would include Michael Kenna  also. 

Edited by BeeRay
missing words
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  • 4 weeks later...

I don't know many photographers but I can list a few of my favourites... I've just realised that most are French.

.

André Kertész

Bruno Barbey

Edouard Boubat

Edward Weston

Henry Cartier-Bresson

Manuel Álvarez Bravo

Raghubir Singh

Robert Doisneau

.

Mario Cravo Neto

Ralph Eugene Meatyard (whose initials apparently were inspiration for the name of a famous Athens band)

Robert Frank

.

Paolo Roversi

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is one of my favourite photos (I just copied my facebook page for ease of posting) by Edward Steichen. It's so simple and elegant I find it impossible not to like.

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