This week’s update is focused on photography. It all started with my friend Joan Dooley, who asked me to help teach a photography class to high school students. She’s a wonderful photographer in addition to being a great teacher. More about her here:
I came to photography early in life, my grandfather gave me an unused, hand-me-down fixed lens film camera. This was way before digital technology, I’m afraid. In addition to taking pictures, I spent time in the darkroom (you know, a real dark room with chemicals and such ;’). It taught me a lot about contrast and the beauty of the spectrum between white and black. More recently I had to explain to my teenaged daughter how modern photography came into being and I thought that’s a great place to start for this post too. There are many photographers that were influential at the outset of the 20th century, so I’m going to pick just a few that I think stand out:
The list could go on and on. What’s also interesting is that at that time – and not just at the Bauhaus – artists in other media tried photography, the celebrated cubist painter Fernand Leger is one such example. Another is Herbert Bayer, a prolific artist, who defined not only photography, but also modern typography. Quite an achievement.
As we fast forward to the late 20th century, we find that – of course – the avant-gardes have died away, we’re now in the time of anything goes. And in a separate vein, photography has become not only common place, but has become a highly collectable art form in itself. Given all of that, I’ll give you just a smattering of photographers who I admire:
You’ll go ‘oh come on’, but he has always been an amazing source of inspiration for me, particularly since he took defining photos of Yosemite, an area I love very much. If you like his work, also check out Edward Weston, a man deeply linked to Los Angeles.
A gentleman foremost and a spectacular photographer who defined the way we look at architecture for a good part of the 20th century up to now. I had to good fortune of meeting him a couple of times. You’ll find a ton of books by him in print. A lot of them cover his beloved Los Angeles.
And then there’s Iwan Baan, who’s from a new generation of photographers. He is looking at the world with a fresh set of eyes. It’s really interesting to compare his shots of Le Corbusier’s Chandigarh
One more shot from Iwan Baan you should not miss:
This amazing house is by Swiss architect Christian Mueller in collaboration with SeARCH
I hope you’ll get the chance to look at and enjoy some of these photos and maybe get inspired yourself!