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11 Modern Classic Photographs to Own

The art of exceptional photography is not a thing of the silver gelatin past. We’ve chosen a collection of affordable photographers that stack up against history’s greatest masters of the lens.

By Lori Zimmer | 19 Dec 2016

In the age of Instagram and camera phones, it seems everyone thinks of themselves as a photographer these days. Yet, the art of exceptional photography is not a thing of the silver gelatin past. Contemporary photographers with expert eyes continue to make beautiful, timeless photographs that uphold the morals of traditional photography - and are comparable to classic photographers whose work is coveted at the vintage photography departments of leading auction houses. We’ve chosen a collection of affordable photographers that stack up against history’s greatest masters of the lens.


1 Watch Strap, Louisa Seton


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Seton’s gorgeous portraiture of the indigenous peoples of her native Kenya capture the mesh of tradition and modernity of the nomadic Dassanech tribe. Here, the beautiful subject surprises the viewer by incorporating an element of recycling into her dress - using a found watch strap in her delicate head piece.


2 Nude and Amphora, Adam Butler


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Following in the foot steps of the iconic imagery of Man Ray and Horst P. Horst, Butler focuses on the subtle sensuality of the female form, which is echoed with the hourglass shaped amphora next to her.


3 Black Parrot Tulip I, Paul Coghlin


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The beauty of nature is accentuated with expert lighting in the photographic studio. While Irving Penn and Robert Mapplethorpe’s black and white photographs of flowers may be financially out of reach, Coghlin’s exude the same delicate detail and beauty of form.


Deco StairsIan Hoskin


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The swirl of a spiral staircase becomes an organic form in classic black and white, emulating the curvature of a snail, while paying tribute to Art Deco architecture.


Sunset, Kimmeridge, Jurassic Coast,  Adriaan van Heerden


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Van Heerden’s photographs transport viewers to incredible vistas around the globe. Here, the sky and water are reflected and intersected by the rocky Jurassic Coast in Southern England.


St Tropez BeachTommy Clarke 


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Like famed photographer Andreas Gursky, Clarke creates an otherworldly perspective - allowing viewers to discover the expansive details of a scene bit by bit, with new surprises revealed each time the photograph is viewed. The packed beach of St Tropez becomes an abstract field of colourful patterns and dots, obscuring context and redefining the typical beach day with his elevated aerial view.


7 Flood NarrativeGeoffrey Ansel Agrons


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Edward Burtynsky’s popular “Shipbreaking” series is called to mind in this beautiful image of a derelict boat in California by emerging - and far more affordable - photographer Agrons.


In Your FacePedro Correa


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Classic street photography, popularized by historical photographers like Eugene Atget and Bernice Abbott, relied on the decisive moment and in-camera framing to create enigmatic images that capture chance encounters and random incidents that celebrate city life. Here, Correa continues this photography tradition, using reflections and movement to make his captured moments somewhat surreal.


QuattroGina Soden


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Soden travels to the far edges of Europe, exploring architecture forgotten by time. Her photographs show the timeless beauty of decay, acting as both a documentation of once beautiful buildings, and her own adventure - in subtle hues that are likened to painting.


10 HigashishinbashiRiccardo Magherini


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Magherini evokes the vibrance and energy of Tokyo by digitally collaging various moments captured in one location. The buzzing effect depicts the hectic city life he loves.


11 Teatro EmpireClaudio Larrea


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Fans of Hiroshi Sugimoto’s Theaters series can indulge themselves in Larrea’s image of the deco interior of a historic theater in Buenos Aires. The piece is also great for the architecture lover, as an exquisite example of design during the golden age.


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