Hmmm . . . Beyond Ansel. Well for what little color work I do, Eliot Porter and especially the late Galen Rowell are inspiring. However, my passion is large format, black and white images. I most admire the Group f/64 artists and their pupils.
I have a wide collection of books and enjoy looking at images by the Westons (Edward and Brett), Paul Strand, Minor White, Imogen Cunningham, as well as modern photographers such as John Sexton, Alan Ross, and Bruce Barnbaum. While I appreciate the talent and images of photographers such as Dorthea Lange, Walker Evans, and Henri Cartier Bresson, at exploring the human condition, these are not the type of images I choose to make. I prefer historic architecture and intimate landscapes (although my attempts to emulate Ansel's "grandscapes" have always fallen flat).
Photography is a wonderful medium of communication and I find the Group f/64 photographers have a special clarity that does not detract from their message. I guess I also sympathize with a quote attributed to Ansel that indicated his art was intimately related to the concept of "beauty" and his purpose was the "elevation of the human spirit."
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