Great photographers and their compact cameras

pictor

All-Pro
Jul 14, 2010
124
There have been some very interesting threads, which introduced photographers who use compact cameras. I am very interested in such information and thought, there should be a thread about this. Please feel free to participate and introduce great photographers, who use compact cameras in a serious way.

I want to start with Alex Majoli, whose biography can be found here. Alex Majoli was named Magazine Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association and received the Overseas Press Club's Feature Photography Award for his images of the war in Iraq and in the Congo. He used an Olympus C-5050 for the submitted photographs he got both awards for.

An extremely interesting article about him is this: Alex Majoli points and shoots. This is one of the most interesting articles about point and shoot cameras I have read. There was an interview on The F Blog some time ago (Part 1, Part 2). There was a very short, but interesting interview in the magazine Professional Photographer.
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
123
Down Under
Mark
Great topic Pictor. Very interesting. It's a shame that Alex is the only real pro with sustained success from a compact that I could have named - so I'll not be able to contribute I'm afraid. However, I watch this thread keenly and look forward to other serious compact pros unearthed here.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Christian, thanks so much for beginning this excellent thread. Here we are on Serious Compacts, it seems we should have had this topic as one of our major ones a long time ago. Between the Articles and Opinions forum and the Spotlight forum, I think we do have some examples of great photographers who using compact cameras - however you have done us all a great service by starting this dedicated thread.

Do we want this to cover great photographers from the past who've used them, such as Cartier-Bresson, and the photographers who photographed during various wars, such as Robert Capa...or do we want this to be about current, living photographers? Either way is fine. When I think back to some of the greats they used Leica film cameras...which I consider compact, but I think maybe you're driving more after compact digital photographers of today, if I am right?

I'll be reading your linked articles and Will's later on after I deal with some more of the pile of papers that are about to cover me. :wink:

So would you say we're talking about current digital compact camera photographers?
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Christian, I've just scratched the surface on the article about Alex Majoli. I can see that I am going to be spending a great deal of time look at the the photographs and reading. From there, I will continue to make my way. I also very briefly looked at Thomas Dworzak's site. Neither of these two have images that one is going to glance at for a few seconds. Thank you and thank you, Will, too. I need more time to contemplate.
 

pictor

All-Pro
Jul 14, 2010
124
So would you say we're talking about current digital compact camera photographers?
Although I think, that we should put our emphasis on more current compact cameras, setting too many restrictions may not be helpful. But perhaps we should indeed define, what we are talking about in this thread.

When 135mm film was introduced in photography, the cameras using this format were regarded as compact cameras, because the dominating professional gear was much heavier and bigger. But when the new film format became the default professional format, cameras got very heavy and complicated tools again, which could not be called compact anymore. For the same or similar reasons as before this resulted in new types of cameras again.

I want to say, that I consider such cameras as compact cameras, which are rather small, light and accessible cameras compared to the dominating cameras for semiprofessional or professional photographers. This is the type of camera I had in mind, when I opened this thread.
 

pictor

All-Pro
Jul 14, 2010
124
Darwin Wiggett, whose blog I love to read, has shown a lot of great pictures taken with his Canon PowerShot G11. He always carries a compact camera with him and he sells pictures taken with the G11, too (at least he made several of the prints he sells on his homepage with the G11).

On November 7, 2010, he wrote:

One of my favorite activities is to go for a walk in the woods with my point-n-shoot camera (currently a Canon G11) and look for intimate scenes to snap photos of. I love being unencumbered by loads of photo gear. And I like the challenge of making order from chaos in the busy forest environment. During my walks all of the ‘business’ of photography fades away (what deadlines?) and I feel centered and at peace. Even if the weather is difficult, and the light ‘flat’, there is always something to shoot.
Source: The Daily Snap – November 7

His series The Daily Snap, which he posted on his blog for one year, is really great. On December 5, 2010, Darwin Wiggett wrote about his series:

I started the Daily Snap exactly one year ago (December 5). I wanted to show that it wasn’t the gear that mattered but rather the ability to see. And there is no better way to learn to see than to force yourself to practice daily by making photos. And by using small point-n-shoot cameras I could practice making photos anywhere (around the house, at the pub, on walks with the dog, or while on photo tours). The Daily Snap was my personal exercise to do photography regularly to keep my eye in tune–visual scales for the visual artist if you will.
Source: The Daily Snap – The End

Don't miss the collection of his articles, some of them are about compact cameras.
 

BBW

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 7, 2010
123
betwixt and between
BB
Aww, don't feel badly Will - 1. they don't know what they're missing and 2. the Panasonic LX5 is now shown, either - just its clone, umm, I mean more Leica relative.:biggrin:
 

stillshunter

Super Moderator Emeritus
Nov 5, 2010
123
Down Under
Mark
Yeah Will, well if it's any consolation mate, I didn't see a Foveon sensor among them! :doh: Maybe better luck of me becoming a pro with an S95? :blush:
 

Archiver

Top Veteran
Jul 11, 2010
103
Melbourne, Australia
In Japan I saw an exhibition of photographs taken with the Ricoh GXR 24-70 and 50mm modules. The photos were definitely of 'pro' quality, taken by Izumi Hirota. They were of many scenes around Japan, from wizened old women in fishmarket garb to the ubiquitous schoolgirs in sailor suits walking home. The theme was of a railway line, I think.

Here is an article about him from the Tamron website. It does not mention his use of the GXR here, obviously, but the exhibition was all GXR.

http://www.tamron.co.jp/en/zoom/gallery/03/index.html
 

Bruce

Rookie
Apr 3, 2011
3
PA
Really, really interesting topic. Most times when a comparison is made between compacts and the larger sensor cameras invariably the discussion turns to DOF or a lack thereof. And while I would never say that DOF is not important there are also those images in situations that are made more viable by the inherent DOF of the compact. Different horses for different courses really.
Bruce
 

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