Black And White Photographers To Follow For Inspiration
A lot of time, effort and practice go into mastering the art of black and white photography. Believe me, it is no easy task. But there are many people who did this and provoked the world with their art. With their work, they showed the others, how beautiful black and white photography could be.
Their astonishing and evoking photographs in black and white are still considered as stunning pieces of art. So, in this journey we will learn about the black and white photographers, those helped in making the black and white photography popular and their exemplary work in the field of photography is remarkable.
1- Ansel Adams
In the field of black and white photography, the first name you always listen is Ansel Adams. Ansel is known as the world’s famous artist for black and white landscape photography. He was also a great environmentalist. Adams’s works in capturing the American landscape especially the old west is something everyone still remembers and cherishes.
The pioneering work that Adams did in black and white photography was the development of the technique of the zone system. A zoning system is a printing procedure, in which high-quality black and white print are produced by analyzing the exposure.
He also improved and transformed the Dodging and burning technique from the darkroom to a beautiful form of art. The most famous photograph of Ansel Adams is the Moonrise in the Hernandez photo. His photography of national parks of America, particularly, the Yosemite national park promoted tourism very much.
2- Diane Arbus
Diane Arbus was not only a writer but a famous photographer as well. Diane’s work was unique because of her photography subjects. She photographed the people living on the edges of society. People who defy the norms of the society so-called freaks such as circus performers, dwarves, giants, etc.
She learned her famous method and photography style after studying with Lisette Model. In 1993, she was given the Guggenheim Fellowship. She was the first American to display her photographs in Venice Biennale. Through the traveling exhibition millions of people saw her work and enjoyed it. Diane’s most popular creation in black and white photographs is named as Identical Twins and Child with Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park.
3- Dorothea Lange
Dorothea Lange was the photojournalist, famous for her work during the depression era of the Americans. Dorothea belonged to the family of the German immigrants living in New Jersey. She studied photography at Columbia University and she trained as an internee in many famous New York studios. She moved to Berkeley, San Francisco to open her studio but in a great depression, she worked for Farm Security Administration.
She left out to document the lives of people who suffered from depression and got noticed by FSA. Farm Security Administration hired her to continue her work but also included capturing migrant laborers, poverty in rural areas and share-croppers. This sort of work gave her national recognition and she was awarded Guggenheim Fellowship for excellence in black and white photography. In 1941, she gave up the Guggenheim Fellowship to record the war of Japanese American war at Pearl Harbor.
4- Robert Capa
Robert Capa is the Jewish photographer and he is famous for his combat pictures. He was born in Budapest, Hungary but emerged as an American black and white photographer. Because in Hungary Nazis made his life difficult to live there. Robert specialized in capturing the people and their real-life shots at the time of crisis.
With the help of his camera, he documented the progression of five separate wars. During the Indochina War, he accidentally set foot on the landmine and died. The essay named Capturing the Truth was his most famous work. The “term Generation X” which is defined as the young people turning into the adults after WWII is credited to him and published in a photo essay.
5- James Nachtwey
James Nachtwey came from Massachusetts and got a degree in Political Science and Art History. He was the famous War photojournalist. He covered the great variety in his work capturing the conflicts in places like the Middle East, Latin America, Russia and South Africa. He documented the illustrative aspects of war, famine, and other sociopolitical disputes.
He was awarded Robert Capa Gold Medal from the Overseas Press Club for remarkable overseas photography. In 1994, he won the World Press Award and Oscar-nominated for War Photography. He had an exhibition called ‘Struggle for life’ in Paris at Le Laboratoire. This exhibition was about the issues of TB and AIDS in the third world.
6- Robert Frank
The famous book titled ‘The Americans’ is written by Robert Frank. He is known as one of the best Street/black and white photographers. He was also a documentary filmmaker. The Americans changed the shape of photography and probably the most influential book in photography.
7- Henri Cartier-Bresson
Henri Cartier is known as the father of modern photojournalism. He is a world-famous black and white photographer and author of The Decisive Moment. He was the pioneer in using the new 35 mm format and he was master of candid photography. As a journalist and photographer, he saw and witnessed many great historical moments.
8- Joe Rosenthal
The famous photographer known for producing the best war photographs is Joe Rosenthal. He won the Pulitzer Prize for ‘Raising the Flag’ on Iwo Jima. He belonged to Jewish Russian immigrants family and born in Washington DC. He was converted to Catholicism. He followed the US marines as associated press and to photograph war events. He was awarded the Distinguished Public Service Medal by the US Marine Corps. He was played by Ned Eisenberg in Hollywood movies made after his famous photograph of solider in 2006.
9- Alfred Stieglitz
One of the groundbreaking photographers in the field of art photography is known as Alfred Stieglitz. He was the first person to be deliberately produced abstract photographs. He photographed the clouds, made the collections of hundreds of photographs and called this ‘Equivalents’
These are some of the best known black and white photographers who inspired the world with their exceptional work.