26 Weeks Photo Challenge #2 - Find Your Masters / by Simeon Smith

Find Your Masters

Hands up if you’ve seen Kill Bill? Okay, put your hand down, you look stupid with your hand up reading this in a coffee shop on a sleepy Saturday morning. 

In Kill Bill, the Bride travels to find Pai Mei, the Kung Fu master who can teach her the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique. It’s a hard journey to find Pai Mei, and a harder journey to follow his teachings. 

The last challenge asked you to think about your own personal and unique view of the world, but everyone’s vision is influenced by others. Often this influence is subconscious, but in order to progress towards your version of perfection, you need to intentionally and consciously be influenced. Choose who influences you, and make them your master. 

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My master? Daido Moriyama - his use of contrast, composition and character are a massive inspiration to me. I have his books, I study his photos all the time, I watch documentaries about him, and read what others have to say about his work. I want to know his every thought. 

This week, your challenge is to find your masters. It could be one photographer, or few. It could be a different kind of artist who you want to intentionally influence you work.  There’s no right or wrong choice. Your master of photography could be Cartier-Bresson or Kim Kardashian, don’t let other people’s opinions of your master influence your decision. Make a small collection of their work that inspires you. This collection could be a pinterest board, a physical pin board with print outs from the internet, or even just a small album of photos on your phone. 


Who did you choose as your master? Why do you want them to influence your work?

Looking at the collection of their work you’ve made, why did you choose these particular images?

Where is the biggest gap in skill between your photography and the images made by your master? What do you need to work on?