What turns me on about photography? Nearly everything. Which photographers do it for me? Nearly all of them. I lived in San Diego in my twenties. It was a great place to live in the 80's - West Coast beaches, perfect weather and oh! The Museum of Photographic Arts.
I loved that place, both the city and the museum. As the name implies, MoPA was (and is) solely dedicated to the photographic arts. I knew about photography, of course. Well, I knew who Ansel Adams was so yeah, I knew what was going on - until I visited MoPA for the first time. That's when you know you don't know. You could get an education just browsing the books in the bookstore.
It was definitely something I was looking for. It was something that had a hold on me and influenced my vision of the world, though at the time I didn't know to what degree.
I was introduced to the work of Roy DeCarava, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank, Keith Carter and numerous other photographers. I wanted to learn more about Pictorialism, documentary photography, abstract photography, street photography. I was quiet then about my excitement because I was surrounded by people that were so knowledgeable in my eyes. I met people who were bona fide photographers. I couldn't see myself achieving anything in comparison to these people or even knowing as much about this art form.
In hindsight, what I was seeing was a collective of knowledge by many people who chose to make photography a part of their lives. I was taking all of the art and combining it together in a mountainous collection made by one person: the photographer. I've learned since and what may be obvious to others, is that there is no one vision, there is no one person that is adept at creating everything that I was awed by. Years later I've learned that there is room for me. It was sort of unbelievable that I had a voice that was just as important as anyone else.
I have a voice and I still have heroes. I will never stop being awed by photography (or any other form of creative expression, for that matter) and I will never stop learning. I'd love to share some of what informs my photography with you. So let me start with a Gregory Crewdson video from Nowness.