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50 Master Photographers
31-40: Moholy-Nagy to Sexton

By Mason Resnick

Who are the most influential photographers of the (mostly) black-and-white film photography era? Here's my very subjective list. Yes, you'll have your turn to add your faves in the comments, below. Here's Part IV.
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31: Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

A member of the avante-garde Bauhaus movement, this artist/photographer/ theoretician's images anticipate the deconstructivist and post-modernist art movements of toady. If you're a fan of photograms, Moholy-Nagy was one of the first artists to use this method as a serious creative technique.

Recommended reading:

32: Helmut Newton

From big nudes to portraits of Elizabeth Taylor and Salvador Dali, Newton has been on the cutting edge of fashion and glamour.

Recommended reading:

33: Nicholas Nixon

His early work showed a remarkable mastery of large format photography in situations where one would expect to see 35mm cameras; his portrait work includes a series on four sisters taken over a 15-year period and images of people with AIDS.

Recommended reading:

34: Martin Parr

With humor, color and wit, Martin Parr pokes fun at British on holiday at the beach, tourism, as well as the decline of traditional life in the UK. His keen eye for the absurd has endeared him to a generation of photography fans.

Recommended reading:

35: Man Ray

During the first half of the 20th century, Man Ray (1890-1976) repeatedly set the international Dada and Surrealist movements afire with his photographs, paintings, and objects. His images broke all the rules--and helped establish new ones.

Recommended reading:

36: Tony Ray-Jones

Tony Ray Jones' A Day Off, while expensive and no longer in print, is worth seeking out because his work has influenced a generation of photographers, most notably folks like Bruce Gilden and Martin Parr. He died young but left a body of work focusing on the British upper crust and lower classes in their leisure time and revealing layers of irony and humor. What would he have produced had he lived past his 30s? Look at Martin Parr's work and you may get an inkling.

Recommended reading:

37: Herb Ritts

From Madonna to Jack Nicholson to William Burroughs, Herb Ritts has photographed the most famours--and notorious--faces of our time. His Notorious collection showcases his best celebrity shots, while Africa offers a bold departure: photos of the people and landscape of the African continent that will be a revelation to his fans.

Recommended reading:

38: Galen Rowell

Master nature photographer and teacher Galen Rowell's work presents the splendor of the world's natural beauty. As a columnist for Outdoor Photographer, Rowell has produced a prolific output of writing and images that will help a new generation of photographers to create the kind of interperative, adventure-filled images that Rowell is famous for.

Recommended reading:

39: Sebastiao Salgado

A photojournalist in the best sense of the word, Sebasiao Salgado is fascinated with people who work hard in all parts of the world. From landless workers trying to claim property for themselves in Brazil to Oil workers putting out fires in Kuwait, Salgado's lens captures the beauty in his subjects' gritty reality.

Recommended reading:

40: John Sexton

A consumate craftsman and teacher, John Sexton offers tactile fine black and white nature imagery that utilizes the Zone System and large format for crisp, beautiful work. Sexton focuses the Desert Southwest US, using creative printing techniques to create uniquely expressive results. Sexton runs numerous workshops to share his knowledge with up-and-coming photographers.

Recommended reading:

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Agree? Disagree? Who would you put on your list? Leave a comment!

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