Following the first blog entry, which is originally an introduction to what this is all about, I started the second post. I did not want it to start on photo gear. software or workflow-related topics. I instead chose to present you a photographer I like : Tom Stoddart.
Just in case you have not heard from him yet, here is a sample of his most renowned works:
Tom Stoddart was born in Morpeth, United Kingdom in 1953. Since 1978, he followed information and reported for newspapers such as Time Magazine and the Sunday Times, regardless of the danger (he got badly injured in Sarajevo in 1992 during the Yugoslavia Wars) and the location (AIDS issues around Africa, Tchernobyl’s consequences, famine in Sudan, Tony Blair’s campaign in UK, tsunami in South East Asia, 9/11 in the U.S.A., etc. ,etc., etc.)
Self-taught, he cites Henri Cartier-Bresson, Don McCullin, Eugene Smith. 3 masters of photography from whom he picked their respective and so particular traits : the sense of instant from Cartier-Bresson (see the Sarajevo War picture above: a moment later the capture was gone), the loyalty to information of McCullin and the humanism of Smith.
Stoddart also cultivates paradoxes. In a way, there is an irony for a photographer who did so much to give a face to the victims of AIDS in Africa to come up with an editorial work titled “Porn in the U.S.A.”, coming up as an AIDS scandal was hitting the San Fernando Valley ‘s industry. Further, he spent years documenting war, yet he eventually glorified the US Women Marines (and was once commissioned by the British Royal Marines).
A witness of our times, is probably the most suitable title we can give him. Not a witness in terms of “been there, shot that”, but a witness sharing intensely his experiences. Stoddart’s pictures are suing with his own feelings and contradictions. He shows us how squarish the big sphere we live on is turning, because humans, at the center of his photography, made it this way. And the strength of his work is here.
- Tom Stoddart on gettyimages.com : http://www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?assettype=image&artist=Tom%20Stoddart%20Archive
- Official (?) Website: http://www.tomstoddart.com
- “AIDS in Africa” (above), commented by its author : http://blog.gettyimages.com/author/tom-stoddart/
- Tom Stoddard’s best picture (“Sarajevo War”, above), chosen and commented by himself (interesting behind-the-scene and epilogue) : http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2008/oct/02/photography
- “iWitness” by Tom Stroddart : http://www.trolleynet.com/books.php?book=10
- Tom Stoddard on Iconic Photos: http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/2011/10/18/tom-stoddart-sarajevo/