#1 Phillipe Halsman

I’m a big fan of Salvador Dalí so when I first saw Phillipe Halsman work as a kid I was blown away wondering how he was able to achieve a Dali style image in photography, So this is why he is my all time favorite photographer. plus all of his other work like President Nixon jumping. Nixon is the only President I ever met he was walking out of the Waldorf Astoria in New York City when me and my brother were walking by. He stopped to shake my hand then His secret service agents rushed him in a limo..
Phillipe Halsman
Born to a Jewish family of Morduch (Max) Halsman, a dentist, and Ita Grintuch, a grammar school principal, in Riga, Halsman studied electrical engineering in Dresden.

n 1941 Halsman met the surrealist artist Salvador Dalí and they began to collaborate in the late 1940s. The 1948 work Dali Atomicus explores the idea of suspension, depicting three cats flying, a bucket of thrown water, and Salvador Dalí in mid air. The title of the photograph is a reference to Dalí’s work Leda Atomica which can be seen in the right of the photograph behind the two cats. Halsman reported that it took 28 attempts to be satisfied with the result. Halsman and Dali eventually released a compendium of their collaborations in the 1954 book Dali’s Mustache, which features 36 different views of the artist’s distinctive mustache. Another famous collaboration between the two was In Voluptas Mors, a surrealistic portrait of Dali beside a large skull, in fact a tableau vivant composed of seven nudes. Halsman took three hours to arrange the models according to a sketch by Dali.[2] A version of In Voluptas Mors was used subtly in the poster for the film The Silence of The Lambs,[3] and recreated in a poster for the film The Descent.

His 1961 book Halsman on the Creation of Photographic Ideas, discussed ways for photographers to produce unusual pieces of work, by following three rules: “the rule of the unusual technique”, “the rule of the added unusual feature” and “the rule of the missing feature”.

The Halsman trial was dramatized in the 2007 film Jump!, in which Halsman was portrayed by Ben Silverstone.
The Trial
Trial began on December 13, 1928 at the Innsbruck state court. Many relatives and friends from the Halsman family’s hometown Riga came to support Philippe, but his position was critical right from the start. He was a stranger, he behaved arrogantly in court and made contradictory statements about how his father could have died, still claiming it an accident, which was merely impossible.[3]

Evidence against him came mostly from witnesses who found his behavior at the crime scene and at Breitlahner quite suspicious and from circumstantial evidence. A stone had been found at the crime scene, with which Morduch Max Halsman had been hit several times, the victim’s blood and hair was found on it. But the crucial point for the defense was that the prosecutor was not able to provide the jury with any motive for the crime. After four days of trial, Philippe Halsman was found guilty and sentenced to ten years of imprisonment by the jury on a 9-3 majority.

The correctness of that judgement was immediately challenged by journalists and law scholars all over Austria and Germany. The Supreme Court of Austria reversed the verdict and sent the case back to Innsbruck. At the second trial on October 19, 1929, Halsman was found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to four years of imprisonment.[4]

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#2 Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002) is one of the masters of 20th century photography.  His body of work includes portraits of statesmen, artists, musicians, authors, scientists, and men and women of accomplishment.  His extraordinary and unique portfolio presents the viewer with an intimate and compassionate view of humanity.

Yousuf Karsh's dramatic glimpses of public figures like Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway made him one of the most famous portrait photographers of the 20th century. Karsh and his family fled Armenia when he was 15 years old. He ended up in the Canadian capital of Ottawa, where he learned photography and gained access to prominent national and international figures just as World War II was beginning. He worked mostly in black and white, with a large 8×10 view camera, often catching his subjects in surprisingly intimate or pensive moments. (His famous 1941 portrait of a glowering Churchill was snapped after Karsh snatched a cigar from between the prime minister's lips.) Many of his portraits were printed in Life magazine, giving Karsh even wider exposure. Among his subjects were Albert Einstein, Andy Warhol, John F. Kennedy, Pablo Picasso and George Bernard Shaw.

#3 Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz was born January 1, 1864, the son of Edard Stieglitz, a lesser-known businessman and later painter.
Stieglitz lived a rather privileged life, living off first his father and later his wife, allowing him to pursue photography without the necessity for consistent income. He is best known as being one of the first people in America to introduce photography as an art form. He is also known for running several New York art galleries and promoting many up-and-coming artists into the public consciousness.

In 1918, he left his wife for Georgia O’Keeffe and the two lived a rather passionate Bohemian life. The two married soon after his divorce was finalized and over the years, the couple had a sometimes passionate, sometimes working relationship as husband and wife

Stieglitz was known as being a consummate perfectionist. He was known to labor over the same shot for hours taking multiple exposures of the same scene and selecting only his one favorite to mount. Stieglitz was also known for being creative and pushing the boundaries of photography. He was one of the first to attempt to use portable cameras to capture everyday scenes and poses in an artistic manner. Through his work, his writing, and his support of fellow artists, it is fair to say that no other single individual has had as great impact on modern photography as Alfred Stieglitz.

Alfred Stieglitz who was one of the most influential figures in photography as well as art in the 20th century. Steiglitz in the 1890s was active in the camera club movement which was only for very accomplished and serious amateurs. He edited Camera Notes which eventually became so lavish that it outshone other club activities. He broke away to form the Photo Secession, initially an outgrowth of the Pictorial movement, and published Camera Work, illustrated with deluxe gravures. He was a constant promoter, campaigning to have photography recognized as an independent art. He may be overrated as a photographer but he cannot be underestimated for the impact and influence he had on the course of photography for more than half a century.


Georgia O’Keeffe, Hands by Stieglitz

#4 MARY ELLEN MARK

American photographer. Born in Philadelphia and educated at the University of Pennsylvania and the Annenberg School of Communications, she realized early on that photographing people was to be her life. From 1965 to 1966 she was a Fulbright Scholar in Turkey and over the years has received assignments from Life, Ms, Paris-Match, and other news and photography magazines. Like W. Eugene Smith, whose work she admired, Mark has always displayed a strong independence as a social documentary photographer and is renowned for the intense concentration she brings to her projects. For Ward 81 (1979), for example, she lived in a ward at the Oregon State Mental Hospital for months in order to develop a rapport with staff and patients. Mark’s many projects have included photographic essays on drug addicts in England, homeless youth in Seattle, the lives of women in Northern Ireland, Mother Teresa’s work with the dying in Calcutta, prostitutes in Bombay, and itinerant street performers throughout India, a country to which she has repeatedly returned. Her books include Passport (1974), Falkland Road (1981), Streetwise (1985), Mother Teresa: Her Missions in Calcutta (1985), and American Odyssey, 1963-1999 (2000).

#5 Anton Corbijn

Born 20 May 1955 He is a Dutch photographer, music video and film director. He is the creative director behind the visual output of Depeche Mode and U2, having handled the principal promotion and sleeve photography for both for more than a decade. Some of his works include music videos for Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” (1990) and Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” (1993), as well as the Ian Curtis biopic Control, George Clooney’s The American and the A Most Wanted Man based on John le Carré’s 2008 novel of the same name (announced 2011

Corbijn has photographed Joy Division, Depeche Mode, U2, David Bowie, Peter Hammill, Miles Davis, Björk, Captain Beefheart, Kim Wilde, Robert de Niro, Stephen Hawking, Elvis Costello, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Morrissey, Clint Eastwood, Roxette and Herbert Grönemeyer, amongst others. He is famous for his work in black and white. In May 1989, he began taking pictures in color using filters : his first try was done for Siouxsie Sioux.[5]

Corbijn has designed album covers for U2, Peter Hammill, Depeche Mode, The Creatures (the second band of Siouxsie Sioux), Nick Cave, Bryan Adams, Metallica, Therapy?, The Rolling Stones, R.E.M., The Bee Gees, Saybia and Moke.

Corbijn began his music video directing career when Palais Schaumburg asked him to direct a video. After seeing the resulting video for Hockey, the band Propaganda had Corbijn direct Dr. Mabuse. After that he directed videos for David Sylvian, Simple Minds, Echo & the Bunnymen, Golden Earring, Front 242, Depeche Mode, Roxette and U2.

His first video in color was made for Depeche Mode in early 1990 for their single “Enjoy The Silence”.

#6 Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams, (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American photographer best known for his black and white photographs of the American west. He would take photos of landmarks, nature, and landscapes. Often at the same time. He with Fred Archer developed the Zone system, as a way to determine proper exposure and adjust the contrast of the final print. Also, he along with fellow photographers founded the group f/64, which in turn created the museum of modern art’s department of photography.

Photographer, conservationist; born in San Francisco. A commercial photographer for 30 years, he made visionary photos of western landscapes that were inspired by a boyhood trip to Yosemite. He won three Guggenheim grants to photograph the national parks (1944–58). He served on the Sierra Club Board (1934–71).

I’am not one who does a lot of landscape photography but I do love Black and White photos. So I study the zone system because as a Photographer I feel the zone system is an essential tool that every Photographer should know.

In 1941 the National Park Service commissioned noted photographer Ansel Adams to create a photo mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the U.S. National Parks. The project was halted because of World War II and never resumed.
The holdings of the National Archives Still Picture Branch include 226 photographs taken for this project, most of them signed and captioned by Adams. They were taken at the Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Kings Canyon, Mesa Verde, Rocky Mountain, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Carlsbad Caverns, Glacier, and Zion National Parks; Death Valley, Saguaro, and Canyon de Chelly National Monuments. Other pictures were taken at the Boulder Dam; Acoma Pueblo, NM; San Idelfonso, NM; Taos Pueblo, NM; Tuba City, AZ; Walpi, AZ; and Owens Valley, CA. Many of the latter locations show Navajo and Pueblo Indians, their homes and activities.

#7 DOROTHEA LANGE

What I love about Dorothea Lange is the natural grit that she displays in her approach to her imiages. She looked into the life around her and could find beauty in some of the simplest things. A Migrant Mother and her kids. Or just a pair of hands. Or a car on the side of the road.

My all time favorite quote is by her.
The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera

This is my favorite photo by Dorothea Lange

She studied photography and opened a portrait studio in San Francisco in 1919. During the Great Depression, her photos of homeless men led to her employment by a federal agency to bring the plight of the poor to public attention. Her photographs were so effective that the government established camps for migrants. Her Migrant Mother (1936) was the most widely reproduced of all Farm Security Administration pictures. She produced several other photo essays, including one documenting the World War II internment of Japanese-Americans.

Born May 26, 1895, Hoboken, N.J., U.S. — died Oct. 11, 1965, San Francisco, Calif.

#8 Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry, recognized universally as one of today’s finest image-makers, is best known for his evocative color photography. In the finest documentary tradition, McCurry captures the essence of human struggle and joy.

Born in Philadelphia, McCurry graduated cum laude from the College of Arts and Architecture at the Pennsylvania State University. After working at a newspaper for two years, he left for India to freelance. It was in India that McCurry learned to watch and wait on life. “If you wait,” he realized, “people will forget your camera and the soul will drift up into view.”

His career was launched when, disguised in native garb, he crossed the Pakistan border into rebel-controlled Afghanistan just before the Russian invasion. When he emerged, he had rolls of film sewn into his clothes and images that would be published around the world as among the first to show the conflict there. His coverage won the Robert Capa Gold Medal for Best Photographic Reporting from Abroad, an award dedicated to photographers exhibiting exceptional courage and enterprise.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, including Magazine Photographer of the Year, awarded by the National Press Photographers Association. This was the same year in which he won an unprecedented four first prizes in the World Press Photo contest. He has won the Olivier Rebbot Award twice.

McCurry has covered many areas of international and civil conflict, including Beirut, Cambodia, the Philippines, the Gulf War, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and Tibet. He focuses on the human consequences of war, not only showing what war impresses on the landscape, but rather, on the human face.

McCurry’s work has been featured in every major magazine in the world and frequently appears in National Geographic, with recent articles on Tibet, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, and the temples of Angkor Wat, Cambodia.

A high point in McCurry’s career was the rediscovery of the previously unidentified Afghan refugee girl that many have described as the most recognizable photograph in the world today.

McCurry has published books including The Imperial Way (1985), Monsoon (1988), Portraits (1999), South Southeast (2000), Sanctuary (2002), The Path to Buddha: A Tibetan Pilgrimage (2003), Steve McCurry (2005), and Looking East (2006).

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#9 Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 in Floral Park, Queens. Of his childhood he said, “I come from suburban America. It was a very safe environment and it was a good place to come from in that it was a good place to leave.”

In 1963, Mapplethorpe enrolled at Pratt Institute in nearby Brooklyn, where he studied drawing, painting, and sculpture. Influenced by artists such as Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp, he also experimented with various materials in mixed-media collages, including images cut from books and magazines. He acquired a Polaroid camera in 1970 and began producing his own photographs to incorporate into the collages, saying he felt “it was more honest.” That same year he and Patti Smith, whom he had met three years earlier, moved into the Chelsea Hotel.

Mapplethorpe quickly found satisfaction taking Polaroid photographs in their own right and indeed few Polaroids actually appear in his mixed-media works. In 1973, the Light Gallery in New York City mounted his first solo gallery exhibition, “Polaroids.” Two years later he acquired a Hasselblad medium-format camera and began shooting his circle of friends and acquaintances—artists, musicians, socialites, pornographic film stars, and members of the S & M underground. He also worked on commercial projects, creating album cover art for Patti Smith and Television and a series of portraits and party pictures for Interview Magazine.

In the late 70s, Mapplethorpe grew increasingly interested in documenting the New York S & M scene. The resulting photographs are shocking for their content and remarkable for their technical and formal mastery. Mapplethorpe told ARTnews in late 1988, “I don’t like that particular word ‘shocking.’ I’m looking for the unexpected. I’m looking for things I’ve never seen before … I was in a position to take those pictures. I felt an obligation to do them.” Meanwhile his career continued to flourish. In 1977, he participated in Documenta 6 in Kassel, West Germany and in 1978, the Robert Miller Gallery in New York City became his exclusive dealer.

Mapplethorpe met Lisa Lyon, the first World Women’s Bodybuilding Champion, in 1980. Over the next several years they collaborated on a series of portraits and figure studies, a film, and the book, Lady, Lisa Lyon. Throughout the 80s, Mapplethorpe produced a bevy of images that simultaneously challenge and adhere to classical aesthetic standards: stylized compositions of male and female nudes, delicate flower still lifes, and studio portraits of artists and celebrities, to name a few of his preferred genres. He introduced and refined different techniques and formats, including color 20″ x 24″ Polaroids, photogravures, platinum prints on paper and linen, Cibachrome and dye transfer color prints. In 1986, he designed sets for Lucinda Childs’ dance performance, Portraits in Reflection, created a photogravure series for Arthur Rimbaud’s A Season in Hell, and was commissioned by curator Richard Marshall to take portraits of New York artists for the series and book, 50 New York Artists.

That same year, in 1986, he was diagnosed with AIDS. Despite his illness, he accelerated his creative efforts, broadened the scope of his photographic inquiry, and accepted increasingly challenging commissions. The Whitney Museum of American Art mounted his first major American museum retrospective in 1988, one year before his death in 1989.

His vast, provocative, and powerful body of work has established him as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. Today Mapplethorpe is represented by galleries in North and South America and Europe and his work can be found in the collections of major museums around the world. Beyond the art historical and social significance of his work, his legacy lives on through the work of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. He established the Foundation in 1988 to promote photography, support museums that exhibit photographic art, and to fund medical research in the fight against AIDS and HIV-related infection.


Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis, 1987


Deborah Harry, 1978


Ken Moody and Robert Sherman, 1984


Isabella Rosellini, 1988


William Burroughs, 1979

#10 Dennis Hopper

I am a big fan of Dennis Hopper’s photography and have been for years it still amazes me when I talk to people about his photography I get the same response ” who Dennis Hopper the actor” Ya that Dennis Hopper.. During the 1960s, Dennis Hopper carried a camera everywhere—on film sets and locations, at parties, in diners, bars and galleries, driving on freeways and walking on political marches. He photographed movie idols, pop stars, writers, artists, girlfriends, and complete strangers. Along the way he captured some of the most intriguing moments of his generation with a keen and intuitive eye. He was known for bring his camera to many of the film sets on which he was working and captured images of his fellow actors and musicians of the time.
When he was only 28, he traveled to Alabama to take part in and document the now famous civil-rights march from Selma to Montgomery led by Martin Luther King Jr.

The film critic Matthew Hays wrote of him: “No other persona better signifies the lost idealism of the Sixties than that of Dennis Hopper”

If you would like to see more of his photography pick up his book, Dennis Hopper – Photographs 1961-1967


Self Portrait


Tuesday Weld, 1965 © Dennis Hopper


Biker Couple, 1961 © Dennis Hopper


Maria McKee, 1993 © Dennis Hopper


MLK 1965 © Dennis Hopper


Paul Newman, 1964 © Dennis Hopper


Ike and Tina Turner, 1965© Dennis Hopper


Irving Blum and Peggy Moffitt, 1964 © Dennis Hopper