Camera Position 24 : Looking & Looking Back – Stieglitz & “The Steerage”

Palazzo, Modica, Sicilia, 2006 - Photograph by Jeff Curto

The Steerage, 1907 - Photograph by Alfred Stieglitz

As I’ve worked with one of my newest photographs, I’ve noted a loose relationship Alfred Stieglitz’ “The Steerage” from 1907. It reminded me that photographers need to be aware of the image makers who have gone before them and helped them see. Now, I’m not saying that my photograph is the same as Stieglitz’ masterpiece, but I do want to suggest that it’s important to build a visual sensibility based on awareness of other photographers’ work. If you’re not looking at images, you’re not growing as an image maker.

If you’re not familiar with Stieglitz, here are a couple sites that can help you out:
American Masters – Alfred Stieglitz
Masters of Photography – Alfred Stieglitz

3 thoughts on “Camera Position 24 : Looking & Looking Back – Stieglitz & “The Steerage””

  1. Hi Jeff,
    Here’s a regular listener from Trier in Germany. I just wanted to let you know, that I love your podcast. First and foremost because it is not about equipment at all, but about the essence of photography, which for someone like me with no artistic background whatsoever, contains a lot of eye openers. And second because I share your love for Italy, which I have inherited from my parents who took me to Tuscany and other parts of Italy so many times in my childhood.
    I have left a review on iTunes, but I’m not sure, if you will be able to see it, since I think the way how iTunes works is, that it displays comments only in the stores of the appropriate countries (in my case iTunes Music Store Germany).
    Keep up the excellent work, I need it 😉

  2. Thanks, Adrian! Great to know who all is out there, especially when they’re from outside the US. It’s nice to know what the “reach” of Camera Position is! It’s hard not to love Tuscany, isn’t it? As soon as you arrive, you understand that the great painters of the Renaissance didn’t “make up” that light… they just painted what was there.
    All the best and thanks for listening!

  3. Jeff,
    Another excellent analysis of some of the things that go into making a photograph into a masterpiece; in particular, the importance that the edges of a picture play in creating a successful composition. For me, it’s the shapes defined along the edges that really makes your “turning left” photo.

    For those who might want to explore this idea further, I can recommend an occasional column by Ben Lifson, “Making Pictures”, that is published at Articles 8 and 9, entitled, “The Frame, or The Functions of A Picture’s Edges” deal at great length with this idea.

    Here’s the link to article 8. The others are also available from here.

    Thanks again for all the effort you’re putting into producing this superb podcast.

Comments are closed.