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Old March 25th, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Who's the best photographer alive today ?

For me the top two are National Geographics Steve McCurry, and nature photographer Jim Brandenburg. In McCurry's case I think its almost inarguable when one looks at the number of iconic shots he's taken over his Long career. Jim Brandenburg on the other hand has taken some of the most amazing shots of nature I've ever seen. One in particular I saw many years ago was of a distant mountain range, shot at sunset, with the golden light falling in streams onto the mountains. That was already a great shot, but then I noticed a small, almost imperceptible mountain goat staring back from across the valley right into the camera lens. It was almost unbelievable, and something I almost missed in the shot. Have you ever seen his shots of Arctic wolves.

Have you all seen Steve McCurry's Afghan Girl shot, incredible. Anyway, who do you all think is the best? Take a stand, and don't give me some mealy mouthed It's subjective BS, OK?pith
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Old March 25th, 2012, 07:52 PM
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Re: Who's the best photographer alive today ?

I vote for Pith..........

And yes this is a subjective topic. While I cannot argue that those you mentioned have some great shots to their names, do they have shots of dogs, dogs and people dog sport, any sports photography for that matter? Not saying they would not do a great job, but without seeing work in each area of photography I would hesitate calling anyone the best.

Heck today at a dog trail someone called me the best dog photographer, and while I do think I do a decent job, there are those who inspire me to try and do better, so clearly I am not the best.

I think you would want to categorize this in the best living landscape photographer, best portrait photographer, best street photographer etc... each of these requires diiferent skill sets and different eyes.

This was most evident to me when on a local club groupshoot there was an agility trial in progress. Several of the members who take very good photos tried their hand and realized how much work I have to put into shooting a trial. (One of the reasons I love our groupshoots is it forces me out of my box to expand my tool set and way of looking at a scene).
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Old March 25th, 2012, 09:13 PM
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Re: Who's the best photographer alive today ?

my favorite is Walter Ioose Jr. Best sports photographer.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 06:13 AM
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Re: Who's the best photographer alive today ?

Get with the program dogspith
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Old March 26th, 2012, 06:36 AM
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Re: Who's the best photographer alive today ?

Thats easy Pith, I AM!, and my wife says so!
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Old March 26th, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Re: Who's the best photographer alive today ?

I'm familiar with the NG shot of the young Afghan girl but didn't recognize the photog's name until you correlated the 2. I agree that it's a stunning photo. Did you read the follow-up story years (decades?) later?

Re the topic of best photographer, do we consider photographer of best SINGLE photo or of an entire body of work?.....there's a difference! I assume the latter. I doubt there is a photog that does it all, ie street scenes, sports, landscapes, macro, wildlife, etc such that inevitably some of his work in lesser areas can be "trumped" by specialists in that area. The whole topic of what constitutes best and therefore who is best is so highly subjective. I think there are subjects that themselves readily elicit an emotional connection (ie starving kids in Bangladesh, fuzzy pets, etc) vs others that are more inanimate and/or emotionless UNLESS captured in uniquely intriguing ways.....how do you compare the results and thus the producers?

I'm very unfamiliar with lots of the "classical" photogs that I see bantied about occasionally (exception being Ansel Adams). While I may view and appreciate the occasional works of what others call "greats", I tend to study more the landscape photogs. Ones that come to mind include David Muench, John Shaw, PNW based photogs Art Wolfe (although he does worldwide subjects), and the late Ray Atkeson and Lee Mann.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 03:43 PM
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Re: Who's the best photographer alive today ?

Well here I'm really looking for personal opinions on who's the best. I mean by that, an entire body of work. Interestingly enough the two people I chose have many shots of equally high caliber. Afghan girl for example is just one of many images Steve McCurry has of equal quality, but the others are not as well known. Jim Brandenburg likewise has several images that put him above anyone else I've seen in nature photography.

Absolutely this is only my opinion, which is why I'd like to see some other opinions beyond the "its subjective" comments. If its subjective choose the "Best" in your subjective opinion.pith
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Old March 26th, 2012, 04:37 PM
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Re: Who's the best photographer alive today ?

I never knew of Jim Brandenburg until catching a PBS showing of his impressive project of 1 and ONLY 1 shot/day for 90 days over the autumnal equinox to winter solstice to be published as a book Chased by the Light....an incredible challenge when you think about it. He is definitely considered excellent, even AMONGST the best, but I'd withhold on THE best even in his genre.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 05:38 PM
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Re: Who's the best photographer alive today ?

Pith, not sure where you are going with this but I'll try and play along.......

There are many photographers who I admire greatly, who's works I am often times in awe of and who I would love to emulate.

So to me, one of those would be Joe McNally. His works in numerous different genres IMO are almost second to none. While I'm not familiar with his entire resume' I do know he's also shot for National Geographic, Sports Illustrated as well as countless others. His portraits just make me stare at them for what seems to be an eternity. The faces of Ground Zero shots he showed recently were spectacular evoking all kinds of emotions.

But even with an extensive body of work such as this I still find it difficult to bestow the title of "Best" even here. And having had the privilege of actually meeting Joe and talking to him for a short time I have the impression that Joe would even agree with me here.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Re: Who's the best photographer alive today ?

Well, where I've been trying to go with all this is to simulate some conversation on who's work we individually most admire. Its not a trick question, and we all know there are many great photographers alive today, so choose one, and say why.

If this were a classroom assignment you'd all be in detention by now. Don't break my chopspith
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