Dale Leifeste – Personal Photographic Projects 

Here is a very incomplete alphabetical list of some photographers, 

and other artists, who have inspired me. 

Ruth Bernhard: beautiful nudes, still life, Michael Kenna printed for her.
Nick Brandt: majestic portraits of elephants and large cats.

Wynn Bullock: west coast photographer, landscapes, nudes, abstracts. 

Clyde Butcher: the Ansel Adams of Florida, large format b&w landscapes. 

Paul Caponigro: large format, b&w, often focuses on the details.

Henri Cartier-Bresson: a master of composition, The Decisive Moment

Elliott Erwitt: photojournalist, Magnum, finding the humor in the world, dogs.

Walker Evans:I recently developed a deeper appreciation of his 1936 MOMA exhibition and book, American Photographs. I’m now old enough and experienced enough to “get it”.

Ralph Gibson: Leica, deliberately grainy dreamlike images, nudes. 

Lois Greenfield: magical dance photographs, done in her studio.

Ernst Haas :master of color, abstraction, motion.

Fred Herzog (Modern Color book): street photographer in Vancouver in the 40s and early 50s. A pioneer in color photography.

Fan Ho: Chinese working in Hong Kong 1940-60s. Master of composition, and back-lighting.

Michael Kenna: uses film, Hasselblad, stark, graphic b&w landscapes.

Josef Koudelka: Gypsies, Exiles, b&w panoramas of Eastern Europe..

Masatomo Kuriya: stunning flower photography in color.

Saul Leiter: pioneering color street photography in Manhattan, 50s-60s. 

Robert Mapplethorpe: for his exquisite lighting, beautiful flowers, still life.

Mary Ellen Mark: wonderful documentary photographer, Seattle street kids, Indian circuses.

Freeman Patterson: Canadian landscape photographer, color, focusing on the small details.  

Pentti Sammallahti: Finnish photographer, panoramas of rural Finnish landscapes, often with dogs.

John Sexton: was Ansel Adams’ technical assistant, and, like him, is a traditional, film-based, view camera using, west coast landscape photographer, making stunning, but quiet landscapes in b&w. 

Toshio Shibata :finding beauty in dams and other man-made structures in nature.

Aaron Siskind: Abstract Expressionist photographer, beauty in a torn poster.

 I discovered his road mark images after I had been doing them myself.

Maggie Taylor: creates beautiful, spooky, photo-based digital collages.

Pete Turner: in the 60’s did with film and a slide copier what we now take for granted with   Photoshop. Very graphic, vivid color - an important early influence 

Jerry Uelsmann: dreamy, surreal black & white composites done in the wet darkroom

Minor White: Zen photo teacher, photographing “what else it is.” 

Technical/Craft Influences

Dean Collins: changed the way photographers thought about lighting with his numerous seminars, videos, and writings in the 80s and 90s.

David duChemin, author of many books including In the Frame: the Journey of Photographic Vision (2nd  Edition), The Visual Toolbox, Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images.  

Michael Freeman: British photographer and writer, author of many books on photographic  technique and vision, and also many books on Asian architecture and interior design. 

Harald Mante: German photographer and teacher whose books on composition and color theory, translated into English in the 1970s, had a great influence on me. Most of his writing is available only in German, but recently the photographic publisher Rocky Nook has been issuing English versions of his more recent books.

Jeff Schewe: technical wizard, and expert on digital printing.The Digital Negative,

The Digital Print

Guy Tal: photographer, lives in Utah. The Landscape Photographer’s Guide to Photoshop

Books about creativity

David Bayles & Ted Orland: Art and Fear

David duChemin: A Beautiful Anarchy

David duChemin: The Soul of the Camera

Steven Pressfield & Shawn Coyne: The War of Art

Guy Tal: More than a Rock

David Ulrich: The Widening Stream: the Seven Stages of Creativity

Brooks Jensen’s Lenswork magazine, workshops, and Seeing in Sixes competition

Other visual influences:

Sculptors like Noguchi, Brancusi and Henry Moore 

James Turrell’s light installations

The architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, Tadao Ando and others

Japanese prints and design 

Scandinavian art and design 

The Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi

The old comic strip Krazy Kat

The graphic design of the ECM record label

And on and on…