In a matter of minutes, Sean Tucker once again had me reevaluating what constitutes exceptional photography and how it can be achieved. He referenced several artists who inspire him through their own work, and I took it upon myself to peruse their work as well.
In the past, I've looked at other artists, but not with the same level of perception that I gave these artists. In the past, I looked at other photographers out of awe and admiration. These artists, every bit as worthy as any others I have looked at, were viewed with a critical eye. I didn't have the same admiration as I did other artists, and so I was able to be more subjective, to remain aloof and yet still appreciative.
This practice of looking at others' work with a careful and yet discerning appreciation rather than through the rose-colored glasses that can come with admiration is an important one.
Because of Sean's video, and the subsequent perusal of his referenced artists, I went in search of a different style for my photography. I went in search of shapes, shadows, textures, and abstract art forms that exist in everyday life. It was an eye-opening experience.
In large part, my photography up to this point has been about specific subjects photographed in the best lighting possible with technically correct framing. This has allowed me to become a decent photographer with a fair amount of skill, but I desire more. I wish to learn more, to remain ever hungry for knowledge and new levels of mastery.
I did not, in one foray, break new ground with photography as a whole, but I did break new ground with a new understanding of art in general and an appreciation for other forms of photography previously discounted, and for any photographer, I feel that is a step in the right direction.
For Sean's video, visit this webpage. For a shortlist of photographers that inspire me in their own way, check out these Instagram feeds:
Matthew Clark - balances a rich color palette that is at once vibrant and yet subdued while also working in some spectacular framing. He also crafts several digital images that are at once surreal and wonderful.
Alex Wides - Much like Matthew, Alex manages a beautiful palette, though he often pulls more shadows in his images than I feel Matthew does.
Dr. Irene Henderson - Is a real treat. She works primarily in black and white and uses shadows and highlights to accentuate her subjects.
Thomas Heaton - I've spoken of Thomas Heaton before. He has a great YouTube channel, and he has many magnificent landscapes. When I first took up photography, I often came to his channel to be inspired.
There are many great artists out there to be aware of, these are just a few that I've been blessed to come across. As always, there is more to be learned, and there are still many new ways to look at things. This latest foray into the abstract is just one such step in my journey as a photographer.