It is one of my greatest joys to be a photography professor. I have the privilege of nurturing creative voices... stoking the fires that my students start within themselves.
The Arts matter... just ask the National Endowment of the Arts staff. These people devote their careers to preserving and promoting creative expression, and in this article (linked here) you can hear from multiple perspectives on what the Arts mean to humanity. Here is one such perspective that rings especially true to me:
“The arts matter because without them our strong emotions, our vital voices, our move-to-the-groove energy and necessary empathy and life-affirming connectedness and tendency toward complexity might all wither from disuse, maybe even destroy us through misuse. The arts matter because with them, we matter.” – Amy Stolls
We often take a look at the Masters of photography throughout my classes, but there are so many incredibly fresh perspectives that knock my socks off. I interweave those contemporary examples into class discussions and social media whenever possible. However, I realized that I don't do the same with the Masters on my blog, so here goes...
As an artist myself, my joy comes from the process of making. When I am brainstorming a piece, attempting to execute it, fumbling, starting over, and eventually getting there... uuuuff! I am in my happy place. It is a prolonged and soft adrenaline rush.
The soulmate to my joy of making, is the absolute marvel I feel for the finished work of others. Photographers, dancers, actors, musicians... I just seem to find myself in a constant state of wonder at the genius among us. I will always be discovering new work, and will share what I find. But if you want a little intro to the Masters, here is a handful of some makers that will rock your world.
The magic about the Masters is that we get to look at their work through a lens of nostalgia for something we never lived. If you click|tap on the photographer's name, you will be taken to a site for more information and images. If you click|tap on the image itself, you will be taken to the image source.
With only the gray scale to convey meaning and emotional charge, the origins of fine art photography took root, and intrepid magicians experimented with the tools they had, and we enjoy the fruit of their passionate labor.
If they wanted to capture anything, they had to do it on film. Your talking about caustic chemistry, light sensitive materials, and often with heavy (and I mean heavy) 8x10 cameras and tripods, which are those old-timey cameras where the photographers had to put a blanket over the heads to take the picture. Not only that, they intuitively grew to know what to set their exposure to... whew!
I feel like taking a moment to consider even just a fraction of the context within which these photographers existed, enriches the experience of the work. I hope you find something that speaks to your heart within the links I shared. And as always, if there is anything you want to share, please do!