Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Heroic Photography

Popular Photography online recently ran a feature called "Heros of Photography" about 10 photographers that push the photographic envelope with their creative style. From that list of the ten great ones, the photographs of Brent Stirton, a South African really stood out. He has perfected the photojournalistic technique, having traveled all throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East. His body of images is one that is similar to what I would like to strive for in my future endeavers. The Pop Photo article about Brent says,

"If Brent Stirton is a hero, the word must be synonymous with "enigma." Under no circumstance could Brent be called a small man, yet he manages to be invisible. He blends into the scenery or, perhaps, becomes a part of it in a way that he clearly captures in his images. There is nothing voyeuristic about Brent's work. In contrast, something very unusual happens when you look at Brent's photos. You don't feel as if you are examining his subjects but, rather, that they are examining you. "I see you," his subjects seem to say, "and I know you can change the world, so you had better get to work."

That description too is what I would identify as a similar vision to my own. The idea of immersing yourelf in another culture and capturing striking images representative of that culture without exploiting, or destroying it.

Its nice to know that someone has successfully been able to go places similar to those I would like to go, but at the same time it puts the pressure on the next generation of photographers like myself to be extra creative and extrordinarily prolific. With that, take in the splendor of Brent's work and please visit his website and the Pop Photo article for more of his work and the work of the other so-called heroes.

Pop Photo's Heroes of Photography
Brent Stirton Website
Listen to Brent Speak about a few of his images, many of them dealing with AIDS, as part of AOL's Behind the Lens series.
AOL's Behind the Lens

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