B R A N DE N B U R G ’ S HE R OE S
Jim Brandenburg is a hero to many photographers and not just to those who specialise in nature and wildlife. Documentary photographers and students of photojournalism often cite his name as a major influence. So who are the photographers that inspire Brandenburg?
Who are your heroes?
Ernst Haas is my god. Eugene Smith in black and white and Ernst Haas in colour. Those two without question, no-one else. They were both totally crazy people. I met Ernst. Ernst was an incredible pioneer, experimental with emulsion and colour and Kodachrome and 35mm. Eugene Smith, of course, was certifiably nuts and drank a lot but, no excuses, he was totally committed. He was using Photoshop before there were computers, he got into trouble for manipulating his images, double printing, double negatives, burning and dodging. But it was his vision. I don’t fault him for that at all. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Not many people today know of Ernst Haas and Eugene Smith. I talk to many people and in America you’d think they would know who Eugene Smith was. Ernst Haas lived in America, he was Austrian. Those two are the photographers I admire the most. They are giants, but young photographers today have never heard of them.