Books, and photography, and Art
Being an amateur photographer isn't always easy: for inspiration I need to look around hard, for experience I have to work hard, and for results I have to try hard. I think I'm blessed with at least a smattering of "The Eye" and I don't find it too difficult to see photo opportunities but it's hard to keep coming up with new and fresh ideas. I feel most comfortable with street photography, a bit of (urban) landscape photography and with shooting abstract themes.
Every now and then I need some new input from other sources. Obviously, other photographers are one such source. My favourite source is Rangefinderforum.com. I spend quite some time there, enjoy the atmosphere, enjoy the talk and chatter and discussion, and enjoy seeing other people's work and styles.
But it's not enough!
In the past few months I have turned an eye to Art. I have a weak spot for Impressionist painters, especially Pierre-Auguste Renoir. I simply love his work. It's vibrant, it's lively and simply wonderful but I'm not a portrait photographer so I find little I can use in Renoir's paintings that I can use in my photography.
I can't remember when I first saw the renoir.org.yu website; it must have been at least some 5 or 6 years ago. All I can remember is that it was, and still is, by far the nicest and best-organised website on Renoir I had ever run into. The creator, Milan Jaukovic, did an excellent job. This website deserves much more attention, as does the work of the great Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Anyway, when my eye fell on The Impressionist and the city: Pissaro's Series paintings by Richard Brettell and Joachim Pissarro, I just had to read it. It's a very interesting book, showing how the same (urban) scene was painted and interpreted in different ways by the same painter. This is something that a (urban) landscape photographer can work with!
The Impressionist and the city: Pissaro's Series paintings
I like abstract and Dada and Surrealism, and I was pleasantly surprised when I found the softcover edition of Magritte and photography by Rene Magritte and Patrick Roegiers. This book talks about Magritte's use of photography but also about Magritte himself. I had never read anything about Magritte, so the biographical parts contained lots of interesting information. And reading how this famous Surrealist used photography in creating his Art, and how his Art influenced his photography, is as interesting as it is inspirational.
Magritte and photography