I would say Alec Soth is my favorite contemporary photographer. He did a series called Sleeping by the Mississippi that is so good it makes me want to quit everything else in my life, buy an 8x10 camera, and never look back. Also, it makes me want to curl in a ball under my desk and never touch a camera again. So what I'm saying is that I have an incredibly strong reaction to his work.
What's good to know is that he self-published the Sleeping series and only after that got acclaim. And that he's still really awkward and sweaty around his subjects. There is hope!
Anyway, why I bring him up is a.) that I love him and you should too, and b.) he is doing an incredible video series about America for The New York Times. Here's the link. But if you find yourself under your desk later, don't say I didn't warn you.
Low fives are the new high fives,