Learn from the Masters – National Photo Month May 1, 2015 – Posted in: Photography – Tags: , , , , ,

One of my favorite things about the photography community is the universal appreciation of its history and the willingness of today’s great photographers to give back to the next generation. As an enthusiast myself, I find inspiration in the work of masters. I know that studying the work of those I admire makes me a better photographer, and starting today, the first day of National Photography Month, I plan to take time each day to simply admire the work of others.

Why look at and study the work of others? Well, for me, that lesson came from one of my favorites…

Why study the masters?

I was fortunate to be one of the lucky thousands who made the trek to New York City last October to the photography mecca that is PhotoPlus. To my delight, the meeting rooms and booths were filled with legendary photographers. Why? They certainly don’t have to be there, so what motivates them to show up?

I believe it’s a sense of passion and duty. This generation’s great photographers sincerely want to help those coming up the ranks.

For example, I was fortunate enough to be able to see Dan Winters speak. (If you don’t know Dan, I highly recommend that you spend some time on his website looking over his work.)

Dan is a true craftsman and artist.

He lives and breathes his work.

He is a very successful commercial photographer, but I get the feeling he would be doing exactly the same thing if he didn’t make a dime from it.

All of those things are impressive. However, after listening to him speak, what left the biggest impression was the notion that we should not only study and immerse ourselves in other photographers’ work, we should imitate the images that move us. And, he said, that it’s perfectly okay to do this; it’s how we learn and develop as photographers.

It changed how I look at other people’s work. It gave me a new appreciation for it, and I believe it’s helping me to improve as a photographer.

Let’s look at their work together this month and begin a dialog

In this spirit, Rocky Nook has chosen to celebrate National Photography Month by sharing the work of a list of great photographers throughout the month.

Each day we are going to share the work of a photographer we admire. And we would love to have you share some of your favorites with us, as well, by posting them in the comments below. We also may have a deal or two for you along the way to help you along your path to mastering the craft!

Let the celebration begin!-

By Scott Cowlin, Managing Director/Publisher