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Your Favourite Photographers


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#1 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 01:34 AM

I have been meaning to start this thread for a long time. Simply: Who are your favourite photographers?

They need not be underwater. And you may like them for different reasons. If possible please include a link to their website.

Personally, I think the best two UW photographers at the moment are:

Laurent Ballesta - the Frenchman
(winner of the Antibes Festival last year, and 3 alternate years before that)
http://www.underwate.../diapos/or.html
http://www.nikon.fr/...ta?opendocument

Doug Perrine - Mr Wildlife
(winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year last year)
http://www.seapics.com/

I guess that it is no coincidence that I also regard these two competitions as by far the most important ones in UW photography. Others may have bigger prizes, but none can match them for prestige!

-----

But being the best isn't the only criterion. For other reasons I really respect:

David Doubilet - The Daddy
Ok, a lot of people bash his work these days and say it is passé, but that is only because he has been so inspirational - everyone has copied him and now his style is out of fashion! You have to respect his body of work, and nobody will ever again be so widely acknowledged as the best for as long as Doubilet was.
http://www.daviddoubilet.com/

Kurt Amsler - The Pro
Kurt does it all. Shoots, advertising, teaching and is very much part of the establishment. The model professional.
http://www.photosub.com/

Stephen Wong - The Unknown
Stephen does some beautiful work - but remains pretty low profile. Which is a pity.
http://www.stephenwong.com/

Steve Frink and Michael Aw - the Workaholics
I don't like every image they take. But I certainly respect how productive these two are. They both know how to shoot images that sell.
http://www.stephenfrink.com/
http://www.michaelaw.com/

Norbert Wu the Planner
Norbert Wu takes amazing photos. But even more impressive is he pulls together quality funded projects that get him access to places and creatures that few other photographers have seen. And then when he gets there he produces the goods. Respect!
http://www.norbertwu.com/

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I have left some obvious gaps for others to chip in. I have not mentionned many of the Europeans who dominate the World Championships, nor I have mentionned many of the Californians who tend to dominate N. American UW Photography. There are also some amazing Asian photographers, who often have distinctive styles from N. American and Europeans. And finally I have not mentionned any ladies - and there are some fantastique femme fotografique! I look forward to seeing your suggestions.

Alex

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#2 acroporas

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 01:50 AM

This is by no means an exhaustive list. I have left some obvious gaps for others to chip in.

Alex

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Obvious gaps....Ohh yea, you left out yourself and several other wetpixel-ians. Or is this supposed to be the best of non-wetpixel photographers?
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#3 MikeVeitch

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 01:54 AM

Pretty good list you have there.

Can't say i have entered either of those two competitions....is it just me or is Antibes hugely overpriced for entries?

Anyhoo, back to the topic

Masa Ushioda: Mr Big and Blue- http://www.coolwaterphoto.com
He takes the most amazing shots of pelagic species and must have the utmost patience

Ron and Valerie Taylor: The Shark People- more known for their documentaries, but have some fantastic stills as well (Valerie that is) and she is a great artist as well. And on top of that they are the ones who inspired me to dive in the first place and are just great people to boot!

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#4 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 01:56 AM

Ha ha. William. It is supposed to be about the very best. Of course you can mention people here, but when you read what most of these guys have achieved most people here don't measure up (yet).

Actually, I think it is probably best to mention not Wetpixel people! Even though I have mentionned Frinky. It is supposed to be an inspirational, rather than self congratulatory discussion.

Alex

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#5 MikeVeitch

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:04 AM

Oh and Alex, i think you should mention Takako Uno in the same breath as Stephen Wong as that is photographic partner and his wife and she is responsible for a lot of the images in their collection.

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#6 cor

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 02:29 AM

You didnt say they needed to be alive. Jim Church can ofcourse not be forgotten. Probably all of us have read his books. His ex wife Cathy Church is fun to be around. You learn a lot on trips with her. And they have embraced digital. On the last trip with her she was using a D2X for the first time, to see if the images will hold up as large prints. She said she'd let me know, and I'll definately report that here.

I like Chris Newbert's images. He has an uncanny way to have creatures do something unexpected. I know, patience patience patience. He's not so keen on digital though.

I was impressed with Tony Wu and Willam Tan's book "Silent Symphony", which also won a prize at Antibes.

And ofcourse most of the ones Alex mentioned already.

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#7 Pedda

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 04:37 AM

I was on reception duty when an ”old” gentlemen came in asking for the manger and about the current diving conditions. After the normal welcome phrases I gave him a divers checking paper and looked while he filled it in. When he came to the part where he filled out the number of dives he done and he wrote 35000 then I realised that it was Herwart Voightmann standing in front of me. My manager had told me about him the previous week.

During his week long staying he gave me a lot of useful tips. It was amazing to see this 74 year old guy walking down to the sea three times a day wearing only his pink shorts and scuba gear. The rest of us dived in minimum 5mm semi-dry. It was a long time since I meet a photographer with the same knowledge and experience that he gladly shared with others.

The manager of Colona dive center in Hurghada Kimmo Hagman is also a big inspiration for me. Now he uses mainly digital cameras except when he goes deep tech diving looking for new wreck in the Red Sea.

http://www.kimmohagman.com
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#8 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 07:03 AM

My contribution to this list is Amos Nachoum especially for his Orcas.
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#9 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 07:41 AM

Only one photographer (and for that matter, only one photograph) has managed to get a place on my walls at home, "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico", Ansel Adams.

Modern and extant photographers whose work I admire include

Jim Brandenburg

for his intimate nature work

John Shaw

Shaw's stuff is perhaps a little "workman like" where Brandenburg is lyrical, but Shaw is absolutely superb at explaining the mechanics of exposure, and his books on the business and practice of nature photography are excellent.

Dave Black

Bressonian "definitive moment" captures in vibrant colors. And I'm not even a sports fan!

Alain Briot

A fine art educated fine art photographer. I'm a sucker for the American southwest landscape.


Most of the big name UW photographers I actually find a tad uninspiring. I'll look at the sites already mentioned by others, that I don't personally know, with interest.
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
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#10 fdog

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 09:42 AM

Of course, we're all creatures of our backgrounds...so I look to these giants of telling the story in a single frame.

W. Eugene Smith

and

Henri Cartier-Bresson


All the best, James

#11 CeeDave

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:06 AM

I'd also nominate Jeff Rotman, for his unusual close ups ( see http://www.jeffrotman.com/ ). I got to watch him work on the UH 5 yrs ago; he focused on a single strobe and Nikonos at that time, and his results speak for themselve, I think.
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#12 MDB

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 10:55 AM

Phillip Colla http://www.oceanlight.com his shots are great

#13 Arnon_Ayal

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 11:20 AM

Craig & fdog, the names you mentions are well known but with all the respect you cannot call them a real photographers, after all they took pictures only from the wrong side of the surface. B)
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#14 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 11:55 AM

Craig & fdog, the names you mentions are well known but with all the respect you cannot call them a real photographers, after all they took pictures only from the wrong side of the surface.  B)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



True, but as Alex indicated at the start of the thread, he was asking about favourite photographers from a global perspective, rather than favourite underwater photographer... I learnt a lot about fundamentals of composition from John Shaw's work, for instance, and applied that to underwater shooting. I've read Church's book on composition (own it, actually), and with all due respect, found it less useful than just looking at Shaw's work.

Sadly, also,I have not had a camera (or myself, for that matter) underwater for seven months, so I'm currently grooving to topside landscapes.
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
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#15 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 12:01 PM

Yeah - all comers here. Just post a link so that we can all see why too.

Craig's suggestions were some of the sites I enjoyed looking at the most.

Alex

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#16 Rocha

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 12:07 PM

Oh man, with all those great names here it is hard to find any that hasn't been mentioned, but here it is:

Frans Lanting

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#17 Paul Kay

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 12:19 PM

As an inspiration I'd nominate Dr D P Wilson of the Marine Biological Association. He's not well known in photographic circles, but if you get to look at "The Seashore" by C M Yonge (Collins 1949), one volume in the New Naturalist Series, you will see that it was superbly illustrated by Wilson. He didn't dive (as far as I am aware) and shot amazing natural history photos of British marine life in aquaria using what we would consider to be incredibly unweildy cameras (large format). What fascinates me is how realistic some shots look - I'd rate him as a first class photographer and a real pioneer of marine life photography.
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#18 Craig Ruaux

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 12:43 PM

I need to mention Galen and Barbara Rowell as well, before George gets a chance ;) .

The Rowells are the photographers who convinced me personally to give up large format and be "light on my feet" (36 pound camera bag not withstanding :P )
Why would I take a perfectly good camera underwater??
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#19 manatee19

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 12:57 PM

I would add Louis Boutan... he took the first recognizable images in 1873 I guess.

I agree with Alex on Laurent, Doug, David and the others. What fascinates me is how someone learns from the work of others, imitate and eventually grows his/her own style.

We are all influenced and a few are trailblazers.

Louis Marden and Bates Littlehales along with Ron Church paved the way here in North America in the 50's and the 60's, and, looking at what they produced with the equipment they had, those were pretty amazing images. As late as the early 80's, Doubilet was using the Oceaneye housing developped with the help of Littlehales.

In the 70's, Doubilet blossomed along with others at Nat Geo like Bill Curtsinger (cold water guy) and Jonathan Blair (the wreck guy).

Flip Nicklin does also exceptionnal work with marine mammals and cold waters.

Newbert's first book set a new standard and style that, if you study carefully, has influenced many others.

I would also respectfully submit that so far, a very important name is missing in the list.

This gentleman, in the most comprehensive sense of the word, is a true Master. Someone that has been working for more almost 40 years, with the same camera/lens and film type combination. Someone who has a sense for light, composition and darkroom work that sets him apart: Ernest Brooks II.

Japan's Koji Nakamura has also produced some darn good material.

And those are the names we know about. There are probably equally or more talented people who have never put their work on display in magazines and yet are incredibly gifted. I remember a German man living in Chicago who shot only with a Hasselblad and his portfolio would put many "brand" names to shame.

My $0,02

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#20 Alex_Mustard

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Posted 16 June 2005 - 01:11 PM

Good to have your contributions and insight, Michel.

I'll try and find some links to some of the guys you mention.

Alex

p.s. Just looking on Mr Doubilet's site and I see it has been recently improved with one of my images! :P
http://www.daviddoub...om/articles.asp
I guess he needs the help! ;)

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