There have been many who have inspired my photographic journey. Some I have met personally (I have taken their workshops or attended their lectures) and others I have not. Below is an acknowledgement of some who have been the most influential for me:

 

Most Inspirational

My Mom & Dad

My mom (Frances Alter) and dad (Samuel Alter) have been the single most important influences in my life, not only as a parents who helped set my values, attitudes, and outlook on life but also as an inspiration on how to live, love and treat others.

My mom was always vibrant and loving of life. Always willing and even excited about traveling and exploring new and exciting places. Generous and always willing to give help. Although my mom had no formal business or management training, she was instrumental in helping to build up Hadassah in both NY and Boca Raton, FL. My mom also loved playing cards (where she always played to win) and taught me that anything worth doing, was worth doing the best you can. 

My dad introduced me to photography "during the film days", with both camera and darkroom techniques. Besides being one of the founding members of Duro Dyne Corporation (a family business in the HVAC industry, where he enjoyed designing new products and running the company's operations) my dad was also an unacknowledged artist. He painted, worked with electricity, did carpentry, and was creative in so many different ways. Later in life (after retiring from the business world), my dad became a potter, working with clay and creating statues, bowls, mugs and plates.

I miss my mom & dad very much but when I work in photography, I remember them often.

 

Andreas Rentsch (http://www.andreasrentsch.com/)

Andreas Rentsch

Andreas is an internationally recognized artist/photographer who lives locally in Huntington, NY. I first met Andreas while attending one of his workshops at the Heckscher Museum (a local museum that has an unbelievable collection of art work).  I have had the opportunity of attending several workshops by Andreas where his focus is in understanding art & photography history as well as developing a bodies of work in series. Andreas has been a great inspiration as a teacher in pre-conceptual photography and in pushing my bounds to explore the "uncomfortable".

 

Douglas Beasley (http://douglasbeasley.com/)

Douglas Beasley

Douglas teaches "Zen and the Art of Photography" where he focus' his students attention on "slowing down". I attend my first workshop with Douglas at Maine Media Workshops & College (located in Rockport, MA). Some of Douglas' techniques involve mediation before shooting in an attempt to have your feeling for where you are and what you are experiencing come to the forefront. Douglas' teachings have allowed me to rediscover the joy of "shooting" and bring my "spirit" into focus.

 

Juan Pons (http://www.juanpons.org/)

Juan Pons

I met Juan while attending a workshop he gave at Maine Media Workshops & College titled "Alternative Techniques for the Digital Age". This course introduced me to various different post processing techniques such as focus stacking, astrophotography, time phased photography, HDR, light painting, and creating panoramas. Although Juan is mainly known as a wildlife photographer and nature conservationist, Juan is also extremely technical and an excellent teacher. 

 

Rick Sammon (http://ricksammon.com/)

Rick Sammon

I was first introduced to Rick when I came across his book titled "Creative Visualization For Photographers" and have since attended several lectures and workshops. Rick is more of a photographic "generalist" (rather than a specialist) and his work covers many different subjects.   I have found in Rick someone whose approach to photography is similar to mine; where "capture" is only part of the photographic journey and "post processing" techniques add the ability to create what you see and feel. Rick is nit only an excellent photographer and teacher but is also extremely accessible.

 

John Paul Caponigro (http://www.johnpaulcaponigro.com/)

John's work is mostly artistic and conceptual landscapes but he is also extremely technical (just try reading his book titled "Adobe Photoshop Master Class, The Essential Guide to Revisioning Photography").  I first came upon John Paul after having lunch with his dad; Paul Caponigro, (during a workshop with Douglas Beasley at Maine Media Workshops & College). While researching Paul's work I came across John's and immediately was drawn to it, not only as some of the most creative work I have ever seen but also because of his unique vision and techniques. Although John is a highly recognized international artist (whose work is in the collections of several museums), a lot of his efforts go towards helping others expand their own creativity. 

 

Eva Polak (http://www.evapolak.com/)

Eva's work focuses on impressionist photography (images that are more about a feeling and mood rather than on correct focus or exposure). I have never attended a workshop or class by Eva but I came across her artistry while searching the internet (and come back often to see her newly developed concepts and techniques). On a regular basis, I receive emails from Eva where she describes her work and philosophy and offers books as well as workshops.

 

Tumblr (http://www.tumblr.com)

Tumblr is a site dedicated to artists and photographers to freely post and share their work. There are a tremendous number of great inspiring images to be seen. Some of the people and groups I follow on this site are lensblr-network, manadhphotography, cosascool, windrides, littlebrickbox, dyrkwyst, redzenradish-photography, jobpeter, rlephant, pixielatedpixels, blakedietersphotography, anetteivanova, theshitedarkroom. There is not a week that goes by where I do not visit Tumblr and see what new, creative work has been posted.

 

Painters
I find inspiration not only from other photographers but also from many different forms of art. I am drawn to and fascinated by the works of many  painters. Painters, unlike photographers (who start with a full image and then look to eliminate any distracting objects from the intended subject), start with a blank canvas and every element they add (whether it be a subject or the treatment of light, shades, texture and/or color), has been specifically thought out and very intentionally placed in the resulting image.  

Chief amongst the painters and work I am drawn to is from the Hudson River School of Artists. Being more of a group of artists (rather than a real school), the Hudson River painters' work focuses on natural scenes of the American landscape in a pastoral setting. Romanticism comes to mind when viewing much of this work, where humans and nature coexist in beautiful imagery. https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/hurs/hd_hurs.htm

Another artist I am drawn to is Norman Rockwell. Known more as an illustrator than a painter, Norman's work usually defines a message reflecting life during his time; simple in composition but in a manner that makes the viewer think. Probably one of the best known American artists, Norman's work captures our heart and soul with scenes that could be familiar to most but with a hint of deeper meanings. https://www.nrm.org/ 

 

Others Whose Work Have Been An Inspiration (mostly from afar) Are:


Alan Shulik
Photographer
Landscapes & Nature (Prints on Gampi, an ultra thin paper made in Japan and used primarily by fine-art print makers)
http://alanshulikphotography.com/


Alfred Stieglitz
Photographer
Portraits & Pictorialism (Photographs as Art)
https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/stgp/hd_stgp.htm
 
Alfred Thompson Bricher
Painter
Landscapes & Seascapes, Hudson River School (I also first saw his work at the Heckscher Museum in Huntington)
 
Andre Gallant
Photographer
Landscapes & Abstracts
http://www.andregallant.com/
 
Ansel Adams
Photographer
Landscapes
http://www.anseladams.com/
 
Any Golub 
Painter
Body Painting
http://andygolub.com/

Asher Brown Durand
Painter
Landscapes & Seascapes, Hudson River School (I also first saw his work at the Heckscher Museum in Huntington)
 

Bill Brandt
British Photographer and Photojournalist
Raw B&W Images Documentary, Nudes, Landscapes
http://www.billbrandt.com/

 
Bruce Cohen
Painter
Contemporary Realism
http://www.brucecohenstudio.com/
 
Chris Kogut
Photographer
Travel Photography
http://www.chriskogut.com/
 
Clarence Skip Measelle
Painter
Abstract Art 
http://www.measelleart.com/
 
Diego Rivera
Painter
Portraits & Life 
http://www.diegorivera.org/
 
Edward Weston
Photographer
Landscapes
http://edward-weston.com/
 
Frank Dituri
Photographer
Images about uncertainty and mystery
http://www.frankdituri.com/
 
Freeman Patterson
Photographer
Nature & Abstracts
http://www.freemanpatterson.com/

Helmut Newton
Photographer
Portrait, Fashion, Nudes & Lifestyle
http://www.helmut-newton.com/
 
Henri Cartier-Bresson
Street Photography
http://www.henricartierbresson.org/en/
 
Imogen Cunningham
Photographer
Portraits, Nudes, Urban Landscapes
https://www.imogencunningham.com/
 
Jerry Uelesman
Photographer Artist
Surreal & Spiritual
http://www.uelsmann.net/
 
Joel Meyeroitz
Photographer
Street & Landscape 
http://www.joelmeyerowitz.com/

Julia Margaret Cameron
Photographer
Portraits

Julianne Kost
Photographer
Digital Imaging Evangelist At Adobe Systems
http://www.jkost.com/
 
Ken Sklute
Photographer
Landscapes
http://serendipityvisuals.com/
 
Maggie Taylor
Digital Image Artist / Photographer
Flat Bed Scanning & Composites
http://maggietaylor.com/
 
Mark S Johnson
Adobe Photoshop Luminary, Photographer, & Author
Fantasy Photography
http://www.msjphotography.com/
 
Minor White
Photographer
Nature, Landscapes, Abstracts

Robert Frank
Photographer & Filmmaker
Street Photography
 
Sandi Daniel
Photography
Still Life, Nature
http://sandidanielphotography.com/
 
Sonya Noskowiak 
Photographer
Portraits, Landscapes, 
 

Thomas Cole
Painter, Writer
Landscapes, Hudson River School (I also first saw his work at the Heckscher Museum in Huntington)
https://thomascole.org/
 

Thomas Moran
Painter & Printmaker
Landscapes, Hudson River School (I also first saw his work at the Heckscher Museum in Huntington)
http://www.thomas-moran.org/
 
Tim Fitzharris
Photographer
Wildlife & Landscape
http://www.timfitzharris.com/
 
Todd Kawasaki
Photographer
Hawaiian Landscapes
http://www.kawasakiphotography.com/
 
Vincent Laforet
Director & Photographer
Urban Landscapes
http://fineart.laforetvisuals.com/
 
William Mortenson
Photographer
Hollywood Portrait & Grotesque, Erotic, Mystical Images

Willard Van Dyke
Filmmaker, Photographer
Landscapes
 
Frank Zappa
Musician, Songwriter, Composer, Record Producer, Actor, Filmmaker
Just to see if you are paying attention. I do love Frank's work, especially as it brings to mind the absurd and unexpected.
http://www.zappa.com/