"They mistake grain, guts, and verve with substance. Sorry folks, but hitting three out of four doesn’t count. I know it took cajones to shoot that cowboy bar at 1 am pushing your film to 3200, but that doesn’t keep your photo from being boring. Time to shoot something you care about, and don’t try to convince me it’s flags or the underclass."
- Blake Andrews
I love the article this quote is from. Check out the whole story here at LPV Magazine. You have likely heard of all 10 of the photographers on the list and many of you may have found yourself inspired by their work. I know many of these photographers were great inspirations to me and still are. I often imagined myself shooting grand landscapes like Ansel Adams or catching the Decisive Moment like Carier-Bresson. And I have tried to be like them in many ways. I still love pouring over images of the masters and learning from them.
The irony is that Blake and Bryan are so very right about ignoring them. Well . . . maybe partially right. I understand their point. Respect those who came before you and recognize their great contributions to photography, but at some point you have to create your own unique vision. Imitate to learn new things, but eventually, define your own path. Shoot what you want to shoot. Do it in a way that feels natural to you. Don't force it and ignore the status quo.