Before I go info showing you (my favorite) work, I want to answer the question from the previous page: Is Film dead?

For the fine art photographers I'll show you -- my favorites -- all of them remain film photographers. Why? If you are producing photographs for the web, even simple digital cameras are fine -- because screen resolutions generally do not exceed 72 dots per inch - DPI. Although imho, 300DPI pictures look better. If you have a business that requires fast results, for example, Newspapers, then digital cameras are terrific. If you do long exposure shots of Planets, moons and the deep sky, again, Digital Photography (and Videography), offer great advantages.

However, for printed photographs, the digital cameras that are the most expensive today (Leaf, Phase 1 and Hasselblad for example) cost between $20,000 to $40,000 plus lenses. These have image resolutions that approach medium format film cameras that cost under $2000. When you move to photographers who work with large format cameras, there is no digital equivalent, outside of NASA, and most of us have some sort of limit.

But money is not the real issue. The real issue is the art form itself. Once you get to medium format film cameras (I'll go into formats), your work changes. Instead of just looking at scenes and holding your finger down on a digital trigger, hoping that one shot will work out; Film photographers know about light and shadows. They know the best time to shoot, they carefully wait for the moment to set up the shot and take it.

Shooting is one of the three or four processes in photography today. It is the only one that has a digital equivalent.

Debbie Sear's Darkroom (London)
Film photographers, after long shoots, then retreat to darkrooms. First to develop the film; then to make contact sheets, then to make "work prints", and finally finished art. At each of these steps, the artist is working with chemical systems, light systems and trade-offs. Developing the film can be chemically modified depending on how you shot the film. Work prints (usually 9 x 9" to 9 x 12") are analyzed for tonal range, for artifact that are not wanted in the finished print, and these parameters are resolved back in the darkroom using hand-held techniques with names like "dodging" and "burning", "bleaching" and "toning".

It is a physically rigorous exercise at every step. But the results are stunning.

A better analogy is painting. Would you tell a painter to use a computer program (Adobe Illustrator?), instead of brush and paint? Why not? Because the texture, the light, and the soul of the result is at stake.



Ansel Adams
If you have the rigorous sense of discipline, and a desire to learn more, there is no place better to begin to read than Ansel Adams' book series: The Camera (how to shoot), The Negative (how to develop film), and The Print. I have tried to summarize here in a couple of paragraphs, what fills volumes in text books. But the truth is, for fine art Photographic artists, seeing a print emerge from the developer chemical holds an absolute childlike magic. Their art is a special passion that is hard to describe. You just know it when you see it.

So here are some of my favorite photographers. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. (Writers do not say this). Please don't sue me..


MARGARET BOURKE-WHITE

"I feel that utter truth is essential," Bourke-White said of her work, "and to get that truth may take a lot of searching and long hours." In practice, this attitude resulted in pictures of starkness.

Kentucky Food Line - 1937

Food line following Kentucky Flood - 1937



DC-4 Flying Over NYC - 1939

SEBASTIĂO SALGADO

Workers in Gold Mine

Workers in Gold Mine - Ladders 1997




Ethiopia - 1984





Carrying Dirt - Brazil 1986

ALFRED STIEGLITZ

The Terminal

The Terminal, New York - 1892


ΤΑΚΗΣ ΤΛΟΥΠΑΣ (TAKIS TLOUPAS)




The Shepherd


BILL BRANDT


Minors Returning

Minors Returning -1931-35


IMOGEN CUNNINGHAM

Agave Design 2

Agave Designs 2


YOUSEF KARSH

Churchill Annoyed (No Cigar)

Churchill Annoyed (No Cigar) - 1941


CINDY SHERMAN

Cindy Sherman - 1978

Untitled Film Still #16 - 1978


PAUL STRAND

Paul Strand --Fifth Avenue

Fifth Avenue - 1915


GARRY WINOGRAND

Couple at Zoo

Couple at Zoo


W. EUGENE SMITH

The Walk to Paradise Garden

The Walk to Paradise Garden - 1946

DOROTHEA LANGE

Riverside Gas Station

Riverside Gas Station - 1940


ANDRE KERTESZ

Displaced People

Displaced People - 1916

EDWARD WESTON

Nahui Olin

Nahui Olin - 1924



MINOR WHITE

White Barn and Clouds

Barn and Clouds, in the Vicinity of Naples and Dansville, New York - 1955


ANSEL ADAMS

Monolith

Monolith, The Face of Half Dome,
Yosemite Valley, California 1927



ANDRE BRESSAI (Gyula Halasz)

Chez Suzy

Chez Suzy

JULIA MARGARET CAMERON

The Echo

Julia Jackson - 1867



Beatrice - 1866

ROBERT CAPA

Death of a Loyalist Soldier

Death of a Loyalist Solder -- Spain 1936

ROBERT FRANK


JOHN SEXTON


MARY ELLEN MARK


MICHAEL KENNA

Pytranid

Pyramids


BEATRICE HAMBLETT

Sudden Shadow

Sudden Shadow - 2006