When I first learned how to work the camera as a teenager, I only shot with 35mm b&w film. Thirsty for knowledge and history, I combed my high school library (there was no internet as we know it back then!) for books on the masters of photography who also worked in black and white. I loved reading about their lives, the current history and what inspired their eyes. And if I stared long enough at their photographs, perhaps by some strange form of osmosis I could absorb their genius.
These masters of photography respectfully used the camera as an art medium. Working without the ease and instant benefits of digital, they carefully composed their images – film was not to be wasted on mediocre visions.
The video combination of moving images and narration/sound can often teach us more than books. With this in mind, here’s a list of my top 5 masters of photography videos on YouTube – enjoy!
1. Gordon Parks
4. Roy Decarava
5. Tina Modotti (Note: YouTube requires users to sign in to view this video)
PHOTO: Tina Modotti, Mexican sombrero with hammer and sickle, 1927
© The Estate of Tina Modotti