Top 7 Most Inspiring Photography TED Talks

Whether you’re a professional, an amateur, or are interested in photography, we all need a little inspiration sometimes. Here are our Top 7 Most Inspiring TED Talks about Photography!

1. Life is Art | David Alan Harvey

Witty, smart and thought-provoking speech by an amazing Photographer, David Alan Harvey. He captivates you within the first few seconds of coming on stage. Harvey shares his personal story of growing up in a small town, leaving him to only photograph his family and everyday people – whose photos, ended up in the various Museums around the world.

’’I think photography is now the world’s only common language. Mathematics of course can be considered an international language, but not everyone is a mathematician. Music – of course, is international but not everybody can perform. We can all listen to music, in that sense. Photography is the only language now that the entire world can speak.’’

2. The Past and Future of Photography | Leif Norman

An amazing comparison of how taking the hard road can be more satisfying and more creative. Watch Leif Norman explore the roots of what started it all.

”So this anachronistic photography where up is down, and black is white and left is right and the past is the future. At least for me anyway, I think this is possibly the future of photography and the way that we’re taking a bit of power back, you know, we can do it ourselves. And I can make better images than Nikon can even make!”

3. Jimmy Nelson: Gorgeous portraits of the world’s vanishing people

A very entertaining TED Talk of photo-journalist, Jimmy Nelson – probably the most charismatic photographer that has ever spoken on the TED stage.

When speaking about his experiences of travelling around the world to photograph tribes, Jimmy Nelson said : ”An extremely important part of this project was how I photograph these extraordinary people. And it’s basically beauty – I think beauty matters. We spend the whole of our existence revolving around beauty – beautiful places, beautiful things and ultimately beautiful people.”

4. Impossible photography | Erik Johansson

The TED Talk dedicated to photo editing fanatics. Take a listen to Johansson as he explores the art of what happens after the photo is taken.

”When you take a photograph with a camera, it’s just… the process ends when you press the trigger. So, to me it felt like photography was more about being at a right place at the right time. I felt like anyone can do that. So I wanted to create something different. Something where the process starts when you press the trigger.”

5. The passing of time, caught in a single photo | Stephen Wilkes

It all started with LIFE Magazine asking Stephen Wilkes to photograph the cast of Romeo and Juliet, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes. The only way to shoot a panoramic was to create a collage.

”Photography can be described as the recording of a single moment, frozen within a fraction of time. Each moment or photograph represents a tangible piece of our memories as time passes. But what if you could capture more than one moment in a photograph? What if a photograph could actually collapse time, compressing the best moments of the day and the night, seamlessly into one single image?”

6. Gratitude | Louie Schwartzberg

A beautiful presentation of work by Louie Schwartzberg, showcasing his stunning nature and time-lapse photography. A very poetic TED Talk.

”I’ve been shooting time-lapse photography flowers continuously, non-stop, 24hs a day, 7 days a week, for over 30 years. And to see them move, is a dance I’ll never get tired of.”

7. Two Views in Documentary Photography | Billy Weeks

The story of finding a voice through photography and how one photo-journalist wanted to bring awareness to social issues.

”I learned something that day. I learned that I had a voice and it was probably gonna come in the way of photographs.”

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