My Photographic Heros no 11: Joel Sternfeld

My Photographic Heros no 11: Joel Sternfeld

Joel Sternfeld

The American photographer Joel Sternfeld, makes colour images and is known for this large format camera colour photography, he has since turned to digital, recently I had a brief email exchange with Joel after his talk at the Photographers Gallery in London, as of January 2017, he was using a Nikon D800, a shift & tilt lens and a tripod. So his working method would not be that different to that he used with his large format photography, it is still slow and considered.

He lectures at Sarah Lawrence College in the USA.

One of his early projects made between 1979 and 1983, which became American Prospects was the result of a series of road trips across America. Another of his projects photographed the high line in New York city.

YouTube videos with and about Joel Sternfeld

Joel Sternfeld talk at The Photographer Gallery

What I learnt from Joel Sternfeld

I learnt that is okay to have heroes, but you have to make your own work that is not derivative of your inspirations. You need to find your own working methods that are yours and that come from you. Yes we are all influenced by someone and things around us, but you need to find your aesthetic for the work that you will make for it to truly be your own work.

I also like that because meanings for images are not fixed it is important to let the viewer question what the image is, without you prescribing what the image is about, when captioning your images.

Links to articles on his work.

Do Not Trust This Joel Sternfeld Photograph by Jonathon Keats at Forbes Magazine

6 Lessons Joel Sternfeld Has Taught Me About Street Photography by Eric Kim

Put a frame to the world: Joel Sternfeld on Faded & Blurred.


Books by/on Joel Sternfeld

Joel Sternfeld: American Prospects (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Joel Sternfeld: On this Site (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Joel Sternfeld: Walking the High Line (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)



Joel Sternfeld: Stranger Passing (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Joel Sternfeld: First Pictures (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Joel Sternfeld: Sweet Earth – Experimental Utopias in America (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)

Joel Sternfeld: Oxbow Archive (Amazon US link), (Amazon UK link)


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