Wayne Bremser's take on 10 Photographers You Should Ignore:
You should study the great masters of the past. But you should only do so with disdain for the often-repeated cliches of these famous oeuvres. Here are some suggestions:
Ansel Adams — Only study AA photographs that include some element of human involvement. There are hundreds if not thousands of urban scenes and portraits. Study anything he shot with Polaroid.
Henri Cartier Bresson — He shot color for Life magazine on a few occasions. Only study that.
Robert Frank — Study the photos he took that could be by Ansel Adams. No humans, only nature and landscapes. Traditional focus and low-contrast a plus. Find 10 photos that are an example of RF using the Zone system.
Stephen Shore — Opposite of Cartier-Bresson. Only study the b/w work (trees? Italy?), nothing obviously “American”. Ignore the 1970s. Only study recent decades.
Nan Goldin — Only study images that can be used on a contemporary greeting card (and no, not a “get well soon with that black eye” card).
William Eggleston — Similar to Shore, no photographs taken in the South. Look only at the early black and white book and stuff from the 90s & 2000s (the projects in Europe).
Ryan McGinley —Only the images that look as if they could be taken by Alec Soth.
Winogrand — Study the Kodachromes. Look for photos which are static, no people, show no movement, or have “well-aligned” horizon.
Alec Soth — Only the images that look as if they could've been taken by Ryan McGinley.
Arbus — Only the commercial work (Marcello Mastroianni on a bed). And the photos without people.