Masters of photography

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Senior Member
Jan 17, 2002
I don't know, man.

I was just browsing through some of the works of the supposed "Masters of Photography", and I'm, like, just not terribly impressed.

I mean, yeah, they had to meter manually, and did not have 45-point autofocus, but they were supposed to have had great composition, right? Most of the shots I saw hardly merited a second look. Certainly no "Wow!" factor there. I daresay most of the stuff on is miles ahead of what these photographic pioneers produced.

Sure, what they produced was technically amazing for their time, and I'm sure I would have been amazed too, if I was living then. But that's not what GREAT photography is about, is it? It's about composition, telling a story, perhaps documentation. Most of what I saw falls into the last category, I suppose.

So what made them "Masters"? The fact that no one else was doing what they were doing? I mean, Henri Cartier Bresson's pictures of India just showed that, well, he had been to India, and taken a few snapshots. No truly striking images (or have I been severely jaded by National Geographic?). Was what he produced "masterly" only because of NOVELTY VALUE? ie nobody had ever seen photographs of life in India, so what he had done was fantastic?

I suppose when the first computer-manipulated images came out, or even the first CGI movie, it was amazing, but now it's *yawn... ho hum - what's next?*.

My point? Not sure, really, except maybe that having all the technology we do at our command, we have no excuse to be lousy photographers (but that never stopped any of us before).

Especially in this age of digital photography, expect to see more and more pictures of food on the table just before being eaten, or pictures of people's feet (taken by themselves), or pictures of the bathroom wall facing the toilet bowl (I'll let you figure that one out). Been there, done that.

Oh, not all of them are bad. This one's good:

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