Cleveland Nighthawks

Cleveland Nighthawks

Whether we photographers want to admit it or not, we are all influenced by images we see throughout our lives.  We usually want to be original in our photos but many times we see a scene which brings to mind an image that we have seen before.  This photo, shot in downtown Cleveland on a beautiful summer night in 2010, brought to mind one of my favorite paintings, “Nighthawks” by Edward Hopper.

"Nighthawks" by Edward Hopper

For a number of years now, I’ve been trying to capture photos through windows of restaurants, bars and stores which capture candid scenes of people in the midst of their normal everyday lives.  Hopper’s painting pops into my mind whenever I see and shoot that type of photo.

About Kolman Rosenberg

My interest in photography began as a college newspaper and yearbook photographer during the stormy 1960s and 1970s. I was influenced by many of the great photojournalists and documentary photographers such as W. Eugene Smith, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Margaret Bourke-White and other black and white photographers of Life Magazine and the earlier Farm Security Administration. Though many of these photographers documented the horrors of war and the plight of poverty, they also showed me the dignity and adaptability of human beings in their desire to prevail.
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6 Responses to Influences

  1. What a terrific rendition of Hopper’s painting. Yours feels close and friendly. Thank you for sharing it.



  2. John Earl Brown says:

    I can see the influence, but I think the similarities are superficial. Once you get beyond the obvious composition and subject matter, the details of your image is more like a Gary Winogrand street photo. Great pic Kolman!! Tableau vivant!

    John Earl


    • I think everything you see and like has an influence on your shooting. Photos, paintings, etc. that move you give you ideas and may stay in your conscious or even unconscious mind and draw you to certain shots and subjects, while at the same time as a photographer you try (or at least I do) to do something original.


  3. Kolman, I caught your comments on Leanne Cole’s site and thought I’d drop by and check your reference out. What a wonderful shot you got! I can see what you mean by the Hopper influence, at least in the lighting and the contextual setting. But beyond that it’s all Rosenberg and very well framed and captured. Hopper was never big on detail – yours are quite rich. Love it!


    • Thank you Richard! Interesting comparison you made and you are right in your comparison of my work with Hopper. Usually I do look for detail I think! Where I live, when I get stuck for subjects to shoot, I often turn to small details of things that are commonplace but are often overlooked or just unseen. I find interesting subject to shoot in ordinary things and places.
      Thank you again for your comment!


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