Head on over to Flickr, Tumblr, or Instagram and the photography is amazing. It is now said that the cell phone replaces the DSLR for most people. Cameras have gotten so good they can virtually see in the dark. The tech companies find it harder to entice prosumers and eager hobbyists with more megapixels and a faster burst rate so they have turned to making cameras that can fly; lifted by the four propellors of a drone and cameras that can hook to your sporting gear to bring an audience with you on your surf or snow board.
With all of these amazing capabilities available to me and every photographer everywhere, I have returned to capturing images on film. I have not found a lot of photography today as expressive, immersive, or desirable as that of the pre-digital era. I decided the best way to move forward with creating art, is to look back.
Bill Brandt: The first photographer I followed closely and that deeply influenced what I want to create, Bill Brandt first rose to prominence documenting England during World War II for the government.
Whether it was British citizens sleeping sheltered from German air raids underground along the subway tracks,
or Orthodox Jewish men studying the Talmud in prayer in a wine cellar,
Brandt not only accurately documented the times, but did it in such a way as to transport the viewer into this horrible moment in human history. Still, the light of English perseverance shone through.
It is said, in many various ways, that a craftsman can depict a perfect likeness of a subject, but a true artist depicts the subject's soul.
He photographed many famous performers and artists of his time.
His photography is famous for its rich blacks
Bill Brandt opened my eyes to the fact that the act of creating a photograph was not meant to be crammed into a Zone System, or run through a digital sensor and reinterpreted into gray-card perfection.
Instead, not unlike his portraits, he strove to depict the soul of the landscape he was photographing.
Bill Brandt was the first one to teach me that rules of photography I held so dear when I was first learning, are meant to be broken.
There is a story of him harassing his printer to have blacker blacks in his published books later in his life. He was excited to see his printer finally got it right, but it was actually a printing error. The printer had to explain that, with ink that thick, the pages of the volume would stick together.
I can not talk about Bill Brandt without bringing up his work creating fine art nudes.
Like the rest of his work they are amazing. He was a true pioneer in the art form.
Though Bill Brandt thought he would most be remembered for his fine art nudes, and many art historians far more knowledgeable than me argue that it is the culmination of his work, that's not my Bill Brandt. That's not what inspired Real Florida Photo.
The reason I study Bill Brandt is his depiction of England.
A quote that drives my work:
Bill Brandt's work embodies this quote to me. He depicted London so thoroughly, and not without a sense of humor. From the very wealthy...
It was not just the middle class.
Or even the hardworking coal minors. The backbone of English industry.
It is the tapestry that his entire body of work creates.
...taking the ordinariness of everyday English life...
See you next week right here at the Real Florida Photo Blog.