Eliot Porter

Dec 6, 1901 - Nov 2, 1990


Eliot Porter's Inspiration

Subtle style. Vision.

About Eliot Porter

Eliot Porter was an American photographer best known for his intimate color photographs of Nature. Though fascinated with nature photography since his childhood, he would earn degrees in Medicine and Chemical Engineering from Harvard University(1929). Porter worked as a biochemical researcher until 1938 when Alfred Stieglitz presented an exhibition of his black and white photography at his New York Gallery. The success of the exhibition prompted Porter to pursue photography full time. Soon wanting to publish a book of his photographs of birds, he was motivated to transition to color photography when his publishers demanded that the photographs be in color in order to better differentiate the bird species. Frustrated by the slow speed of Kodachrome, a color film only recently introduced in 1935, he utilized his chemical engineering background to experiment until the results he desired could be achieved. Despite the high cost of publishing color books of photography at that time, his books enjoyed considerable success and pioneered the genre of the nature photography “coffee table” book. Porter was the first to bring credibility to the medium of color photography as fine art and is recognized as the pioneer of the “intimate landscape” style of photography.

A perfect example of Porter's subtle ingenious work.

The more you photograph, the more you realize what can and what can't be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.

- Eliot Porter