David Galenson, an economist at the University of Chicago, once proposed that there were two types of artistic greatness: Young Geniuses and Old Masters. Young Geniuses are described as “conceptual innovators” who make “sudden breakthroughs” of their new ideas, usually at a young age. Artists such as Van Gogh and Picasso, as well as the voice that is owning this age’s pop world, Adele, come to mind.
Old Masters, on the other hand, brew their work throughout their lives, and through trial and error, arrive at their major contributions late in life. These “experimental innovators” include English author Virginia Woolf, abstract expressionist Jackson Pollock, and Alfred Hitchcock, director extraordinaire.
What about photographers? Some say taking high-quality photos only comes with practice, as well as a mastery of technique and composition throughout the years. Cartier Bresson, for example, the father of street photography, published his most revered work ‘The Decisive Moment’ at the age of 44.
But there are also many who proclaim that it is during youth when a photographer produces their most creative works. Judging by the Instagram accounts of the student photographers found below, this proclamation rings true from the boldness and standard of their work.
Here are our five favourite shutterbugs whom we think are performing their greatest magic behind the lens:
1. Arjun Yadav @arjsun
2. Amy Berbert @stainsonthesidewalk
Capturing the lost dreams of Baltimore city is Amy Berbert, a senior at University of Maryland Baltimore County who is on a mission to shoot the location of each homicide that happened in her city a year ago. Titled “Stains on the Sidewalk”, her Instagram account is described as “An Exploration of Homicide in Baltimore City. Same Day. Same Time. Same Place. One Year Later.”
3. Henry Nathan @henry.nathan
This 20-year-old Leeds University student won Calumet’s 2016 Student Photographer of the Year award with his image of a man and a dog taken in a cave in Oregon, U.S., titled “Sunlight”. Calumet is a prestigious competition in search for UK’s number one student photographer, in partnership with major brands such as Canon and Epson, as well as leading industry magazine Professional Photography.
4. Paul Hands, @paul_._hands
Hands, who studies photography at Leicester’s De Montfort University, claimed runners-up spot in Calumet’s 2016 Student Photographer of the Year with his “timely and thoughtful” shot of an old man in Paris. While pursuing his degree, he runs his own photography business and manages “Hinckley Photographed”, a photographic social documentary about the people and the changing landscape, of the local area and wider community.
5. Benjamin Powell @bpiiv
Powell graduated with an associate degree in photography from Odessa College in 2015, and is currently enrolled in the photography program at Texas State University in San Marcos. On photographing his campus, Powell said: “I don’t know whether I see the campus as a canvas, I think I see it more as an opportunity. There are a lot of people here from varying background, belief systems and mental states. I think it’s a good petri dish, a good sample of people to photograph, that are just constantly changing every day.”