Recently, unsure of a new direction to take my own work, I decided to review the work of some famous photographers to hopefully get some inspiration. Flipping through the pages of my little book on 20th Century photographers (that features the names, brief bios, and examples of work from dozens, if not hundreds, of photographers) I compiled a list of photographers that I hadn’t already known whose work caught my attention in some way.
My list primarily seems to focus on photographers like Hugo and Karl Schmolz, whose highly stylized approach to architectural photography truly showcases the decorative and sleek nature of mid-century architecture, but also wavers into the territory of Ger Dekkers. Dekkers, one of the few photographers featured in the little encyclopedia whose work was more often in color than not, used a somewhat formulaic approach to nature and landscape photography that calls to mind the work of Bernd and Hilla Becher, albeit in a way that almost accents a sequence of events rather than being precisely documentary. In addition I also investigated the work of Lucia Moholy, the former wife of one of my favorite photographers, Laszlo Moholy Nagy, who took a decidedly more straightforward, but no less interesting, approach to taking photos. Her work was generally more architectural as well but emphasized an interesting use of composition in many cases.
As far as my own work goes, I definitely discovered some things that will be interesting to consider in my own approach. I also identified with many of these photographers because of their use of line, something that I’ve generally grown fond of using in my own photos (albeit not as well as any of them).