Houston is a hotbed for photography. Between the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, the University of Houston and Rice University art programs, support programs like Project Rowhouses and the Houston Center for Photography, learning about photography, breaking into the art scene and being successful are much more likely here than in New York. So here's our look at our favorite photographers. We excluded regular photographers for the Houston Press regular photographers, in an effort not to seem unduly influenced by the fact we love and respect them all. (Sorry guys and gals, we'll have to make a different list for you some other time.)
The winner of the Photo of the Year in the Houston Press 2013 Web Awards for his image of the Space Shuttle leaving Houston, Myers is an Apple app developer, with an undergraduate degree in physics from McGill University, a masters in nanoscale physics at Rice University, where he also studied for a Ph.D. in applied physics.
Winner of the Best Photo of the Year in the Houston Press 2011 Web Awards, Vest explores a unique landscape - the waterways of the Houston Ship Channel. An on-board pilot for incoming and outgoing ships, Vest takes very little equipment on his shoots (since he has to carry everything up and down a rope ladder. See more of his work on Flickr.
David Brown, an artist activist as well as a photographer, shot a 2011 series of photographs which seemed to show both the outside and inside of public spaces.
Now a curator for the Houston Center for Photography, Masterson often shoots low-light landscapes.
Salinas works at a camera store and is often amused by customers' obsession with megapixels and resolution. A past curator at the El Rincón Social's gallery ("RATIO" and "Hello Everything") Salinas recalls hearing something strange at work: "How many mega pixels is the human eye"? His response: "Hahaha, who gives a fuck?"
Rathbun is most interested in alternative lifestyle photography, from artists making art to non-conformists. Though he's done gallery shows before, Rathbun finds them to be a pain in the ass, and he's waiting until he has a definite progressive body of work before attempting another one. 4. Ben Tecumseh DeSoto
The elder statesman of Houston's photojournalism scene, DeSoto worked with the Houston Chronicle. His work was sometimes deemed too provocative for use in the newspaper and he eventually began shooting for exhibition rather than publication. DeSoto is a past winner of Houston Press Best of Award.
3. Linarejos Moreno
A Fullbright scholar, Moreno came to Houston from Spain. She studied photography at Rice University and quickly settled into the local photography scene, making a name for herself working in alternative materials (printing oversized images on burlap and adding found string or fabric to the display).
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2. Lynn Lane
Photographer Lynn Lane has recently been working in a new medium - watercolors - but Houston's performing arts community hopes he won't leave photography altogether. He's well known for his inspired portraits of dancers, singers and actors.
Benitez won the Houston Press Best Photographer of the Year award two years ago. After graduating from Notre Dame, Benitez earned his master's degree from the University of Houston. A show at Project Row Houses while he was still in school first brought him to our attention. An active photographer, Benitez is also a full time photography teacher and on the board of the Houston Center for Photography.