I remember seeing an interview with Martin Scorsese where he said that he always did the same shot over and over in his films. It was like his go to shot.
I guess when I started being a photographer, I knew had to have some kind of ace in the hole when I got into trouble and I couldn’t get the image that I wanted.
The other thing is that when you start being a photographer, you copy. I mean all artists (I’m not calling myself one) copy when they start making art. As do photographers. When I learned about Alfred Stieglitz, his early work copied another photographer. I would go out on a limb and say that a lot of the work of Robert Mapplethorpe copies or is “significantly influenced” by Edward Weston.
When I saw this image for the first time, it was life changing. No, I’m serious. It was exactly the type of photography I wanted to do. I wanted to take ordinary thing and make them look artistic. The building looks like a Mondrian but it is just a regular building.
For a long time I tried to photograph skylines, but they always looked the same. Too many wide angles but when I saw the Gursky photo, I unlocked the secret of taking a good photo of a skyline. Stick to clean parallel lines.
The Santiago sky line had plenty of those and they were somewhat reminiscent of the Gursky shot even in their contents. Let’s check them out:
Good artists copy. Great artists steal…