Tag Archives: Herb Ritts

Favorite Lenses of Famous Photographers

As much as photographers distance themselves from their cameras, saying that it is merely a tool, photography as a whole is much more intertwined with technology than traditional art. Our cameras and our lenses set the boundaries of our perspectives. This is why, we’d thought it’d be interesting to look at some famous photographer’s favorite lenses.

We’ve compiled a list of 7 famous photographers. We wanted to see if there is a trend. Are 85mm lenses really the preferred portrait focal length or is it more marketing? Is the 24-70mm  zoom really the industry workhorse? We wanted to see if there is reason behind the madness.

Henri Cartier-Bresson (50mm)

Genre: Street and Photojournalism

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One of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s most famous photographs, a man jumping over a puddle taken at the right moment.

The father of photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson is a master of candid street photography and an early adopter of the 35mm format. He helped develop street photography back in the 1940s and 50s with  his Leica rangefinder and a 50mm prime.

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In an interview with the NY Times, he said:

“[The 50] corresponds to a certain vision and at the same time has enough depth of focus, a thing you don’t have in longer lenses. I worked with a 90. It cuts much of the foreground if you take a landscape, but if people are running at you, there is no depth of focus. The 35 is splendid when needed, but extremely difficult to use if you want precision in composition. There are too many elements, and something is always in the wrong place. It is a beautiful lens at times when needed by what you see.”

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My 7 All-Time Favorite Fashion & Celebrity Photographers

Most of my professional career has been spent working in the fashion industry. Fashion Design is what I went to school for and what I have always had an immense passion for. I remember buying fashion magazines such as: Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Marie Claire, etc. when I entered middle school. I would tear out all the images that caught my eye and would cover my whole bedroom wall until it resembled high-fashion wallpaper.

Many of the images I would stare at day in and day out were taken by some of the photographers who inspired me to pursue a career in fashion.

Here are some of my all time favorites in no particular order:

Herb Ritts

Herb Ritts, born in August 13, 1952, passed away in December 26, 2002 at the young age of 50.  With no formal training in photography, Ritts and Richard Gere, an aspiring actor at the time, shot some images together. That image later gained some attention and helped jumped start both their professional careers.

Taken by Herb Ritts | Featuring supermodel's Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi in Hollywood, California for Rolling Stone Magazine |
Taken by Herb Ritts | Featuring supermodel’s Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, and Naomi in Hollywood, California for Rolling Stone Magazine |

By 1981, Ritts gained instant stardom when he shot Brooke Shields for the cover of Vogue and the same year photographed Olivia Newton John for her Physical album cover. He continued to have the opportunity to work with celebrities such as: Elton John, Michael Jackson, Tom Cruise, Elizabeth Taylor, Dalai Lama and many, many more.

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