Blake Ayub My Icons of photography project

Alfred Eisenstaedt


Ansel Adams


Margaret Bourke-White


Alfred Eisenstaedt

This German-born American photographer has taken some of the most recognized photographs in American history. His style favors a more journalistic and candid photographic feeling, landing him a career changing position as a photojournalist for LIFE Magazine.

His most famous photograph was V-J Day at Time Square. Which shows the euphoric feeling of post-war success. Eisenstaedt was "renowned for his ability to capture memorable images of important people in the news, including statesmen, movie stars and artists." Having him a spot in photographic history as one of the best/original innovators of candid photography.

Personally, I find him to be one of my favorite photographers of the 20th century. His work is not only crisp, clear and appealing, but each image has a story buried behind the surface. Which is why he's the grandfather of "candid". Creating images only he could of done during his time. I mean come on, he photographed the meeting between Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini!

Alfred Eisenstaedt

I chose these three photographs because of the more historical reasons. John F. Kennedy is one of the most famous presidents of our modern day. Having a photograph of him, during his presidency, is a rare commodity as it is. Nevertheless, Eisenstaedt was lucky enough to capture a peaceful moment of our president during that time.

The meeting of Hitler and Mussolini speaks for itself. This was the most horrific time of the 20th century, and these two men were at the head of it all.

Last but not least, V-J at Times Square is the most famous photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt. The iconic image that represents the end of World War 2.

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams's style is a creation of his very own. Having the most beautifully historic landscape shots of the American West. His use of depth, contrast, processing and patients is unlike anything seen before. His most renowned work, revolving around Yosemite National Park has been massively marketed into books, calendars and posters. Making his work nearly impossible to miss.

His photography is not only influential to his fans/viewers, but historically changed the perception of landscape artistry. Adams's black-and-white photographs became the foremost record of what many of the National Parks were like before tourism, and his persistent advocacy helped establish/expand the National Park system in the American West. He used his works to promote the goals of the Sierra Club and of the Nascent Environmental Movement.

As for my opinion, I find Ansel Adams to be the best landscape photographer in the world. His work is artistically and visually perfect. The way he uses depth, contrast, framing and natural light to bring out the magic of nature is astonishing. The three images below prove just that.

Ansel Adams

I chose his black and white image of Antelope Valley because his use of light is so unbelievably fascinating. How as if the light is showing you the way out, and the walls look soft as skin. The vertical angel seems to fit everything just right.

The historically famous Yosemite Valley photograph is one of the most perfect images he had created. The immaculate size doesn't seem to be so intimidating with his use of depth and exposure. Having the soft fog roll-in, the waterfall pour and the snow fall, truly captured the beauty of Northern California. Adams used only what nature provided to show the perfection of the untouched West.

I chose Adams's photograph of The Grand Tetons and the Snake River because most people only know his work of Yosemite Valley in California instead of the The Grand Tetons National Park, Wyoming. He travelled all over the western United States to help improve and secure the National Park system. This image is the perfect persuasion to leave nature as it should be; untouched.

Margaret Bourke-White

Margaret Bourke-White's style is instinctual, capturing truth, emotion, love, peace and hardship. Photojournalists have one of the hardest jobs in photography, and Margaret Bourke-White is the best. She has the ability to freeze time with a camera while putting the viewer in the room with her. Producing images of not only historical figures, but brutal reality. Making people feel the harsh truth of what this world was built on.

Margaret Bourke-White supplies us, strictly, with photojournalistic perception. She was able to capture some of the most heart-aching times in American History. Not only that, but she is best known as the first foreign photographer permitted to take pictures of the Soviet five-year plan. White, along with Alfred Eisenstaedt and many other's, played a huge role in the publication of LIFE Magazine. In fact, she was the first American female war photojournalist, and to have her photograph on the cover of the first issue of LIFE magazine.

What intrigued me most about her photojournalism was that she had images that I have not seen before. Photographs that touched me and related to modern day history. She broke gender, war and photojournalist barriers all at one time. Comparing her work to other photographers throughout the history of photography, I find her's to be the most compelling and true.

Margaret Bourke-White

The first image (left) is one of the most famous post-WW2 photos, showing a group of German refugees crowding every square inch of a train leaving Berlin. I love this photograph because of the pure bliss on all of the passengers faces. She truly captured a beautiful moment.

In my opinion, the most recognizable photo taken by Margaret Bourke-White is of Ghandi. This image leaves me with so many questions; How did she get the chance to be with him? How was he as a person? Is he truly a person of pure peace? I find it incredibly fascinating to see a female photographer of this time have the chance to take such a flawless and peaceful picture of man that changed the world.

I cannot believe I have never seen this picture. Living in southern California I don't get to see racism or discrimination as often as other places in the United States. So having this photograph as an example of unjust and inequality makes me sick. It's so unbelievable that this was only 70 years ago. I hope people realize that although we are going through a rough, unjust time, the United States has improved a substantial amount; in case they forgot, look at this photograph.

Created By
Blake Ayub


Created with images by Twinblaze - "Ansel Adams (Mat)"

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