When you begin a photography project or take a photo what do you think about? Aspiration or Inspiration? When I was a novice I studied other photographers' images and I aspired to be like them. I loved the street photography of Vivian Maier, and the haunting stills by Sebastião Salgado. Their black and white images are technically strong, and excels in composition.
I recently bought the photographic autobiography Snowden about Antony Armstrong-Jones, the Earl of Snowdon a renowned photographer who was married to Princess Margaret. With all the news about the coronation of King Charles I became curious about his work. He had enviable access to the rich and famous, as well as royalty, and yet I wasn't impressed by his images. I kept comparing his portraits to Irving Penn and Richard Avedon master photographers working in the same era.
Today when I work it's primarily inspiration. I always want to be engaging and I push myself to learn and to try new cameras, films, and techniques. I no longer aspire to be like anyone I aspire to personal bests. Click to view larger; galleries and slide shows are cropped.