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Bill Brandt

Under the Influence of Bill Brandt


Hitting the wall. I don’t know about all of you, but I know some of you have been there, too. It’s the point where you just run out of mojo. When the juices are reduced from a steady flow to a trickle. Or worse yet, a full stop. String together a few fruitless Street Hunts, and the wall can be easily hit. It’s a most discouraging and frustrating time. The camera waits. Eager for you to feed the mojo into it, but it’s just not there. I get it. Bored with my work, I struggle to get out of the funk and end up more frustrated. But now that I’ve hit the wall a few times,  I’ve come to the realisation that it’s ok to put the camera down and do some research instead. Find a master and dig in. Don’t just look at their work, get in their heads. Read about them. Find out what gave them their mojo. Learn what made them tick. I’ve found this process helps to turn the focus on myself and my creative drive. At best, it may push you. The least it will do is make you more critical of yourself. Either way, you don’t lose and, you get some great history along the way.

Bill Brandt (1904-1983) came as much needed kick in the pants during a recent funk. Brandt is regarded as the most important British photographer of the twentieth century, and after viewing his work, there is good reason why. After a study of his images, I believe Brandt was equal parts magician and photographer. From his work on the streets of London, to his surrealist-influenced nudes, Bill Brandt produced images that have become timeless.