yeah, i picked two for my #2. these are two czech-born photographers, one i found early and one i found a little later.
i found a book of Koudelka's titled 'Chaos' in a bookstore, and it's the only art book i've ever bought on impulse. i like to browse, and will occasionally see a volume i like, flip through it, put it back... and then maybe a few months later go back for it if i'm still thinking about the images i saw. but when i looked into 'Chaos' i was mesmerized. it was an over-sized book primarily of landscapes, and it was beautiful. there was rich contrast in the black and white photographs that looked lush and organic. i feel like i've always liked B&W on principal, but this was my first obsession with a person's aesthetic.
unfortunately, i couldn't find the best examples of this work to display here, so you if these aren't doing it for you, you'll simply have to take my word for it.
the second photographer i picked is josef sudek. he was a pioneer in the field of photography and image making, both in subject matter and process. one thing i found interesting about his work was the thick black borders he printed around his images. he did this to create a feeling of looking out through a window. the window was quite literally his 'eye.'
together, these two were the beginning of black & white photography for me, even though i discovered each of them long after i had started on my way.