Culture Magazine

Photography in 10 Points by Stephen Shore

By Planet Fotorimo
Photography in 10 points by Stephen ShoreStephen Shore became one of the most important photographers of our time by photographing everyday objects like swimming pools, street signs, shop windows or food. Sounds familiar? Read on for the 10 things we can learn from him about our own photography.
Stephen Shore is one of the most iconic American photographers of our time. Born in New York City in 1947, he started photographing at an early age and, after undertaking a roadtrip through the US at age 25, dove into color photography. His work not only proved that beauty can be created out of seemingly mundane scenes and objects, but also that color photographs can be considered as fine art, which, until the 1970s, was reserved for B&W photography only.
Shore influenced a whole generation of photographers such as Nan Goldin, Andreas Gursky, Martin Parr, Joel Sternfeld, and Thomas Struth. You can find out more about him on his website.
Here are 10 things we can learn from Stephen Shore:
1. Beauty is everywhere
More than anybody else, Stephen Shore proves that you don’t have to travel far to capture something special. It’s right here, where you are, waiting to be put into a picture.
2. Understand color
Colors are not just “there,” they are compositional elements just like lines, geometry or framing. Look out for interesting patterns and see how your photographs will change.
3. Use different formats
Don’t restrict yourself to just one format: different formats enable you distinctive ways of seeing. Shore switched formats often for various projects that he worked on, sometimes using heavy large format cameras and sometimes handheld 35mm snapshot cameras.
4. Travel
Some of Shore’s most iconic photographs came from a 1972 road trip from NYC to Texas. He just took a car and drove through the country, capturing whatever inspired him: from strangers at truck stops to women’s hats in a shop window.
5. Make yourself part of the picture
While in recent years selfies have taken on a whole new character, including parts of yourself in a picture adds a very personal touch to it. Just go beyond the odd “me in the mirror” snap and rather explore different perspectives on documenting yourself and your life.
6. Be a keen observer
Shore’s photographs wouldn’t have the same power if he didn’t observe his surroundings closely. Walk around, look and listen to understand where you are – then shoot.
7. Print your images
Looking at Stephen Shore’s images as large high quality prints is an eye-opening experience. Print out your own images in a large format and you’ll see what really works.
8. Keep a photographic diary
This may seem self-evident, but taking photos of your daily life and the things that inspire you creates a beautifully rich history of your unique life. Don’t be afraid to capture the mundane; looking at it later often reveals narratives you weren’t aware of before.
9. Believe in yourself
Stephen Shore was, and still is, highly controversial. Many don’t see anything special in his photographs. But despite the criticism, he kept on doing what he did – and eventually became one of the most important photographers of our time who inspired a whole new generation.
10. Always have your camera with you
The best photographs happen when you aren’t prepared. Make photography part of your life and you’ll always be ready.
What do you think? Any tips or insights you would add? Let us know in the comments below.

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