Caponigro archives/View Camera Magazine

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by michael_r, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I'll probably get blasted for photographic heresy, but is anyone else unimpressed with the portfolio of images in the latest issue of View Camera devoted entirely to Paul Caponigro?
     
  2. lns

    lns Member

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    He's never been my cup of tea. Why would that be heresy? It's just personal taste.

    -Laura
     
  3. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    Everyone to their own taste but if you have seen some of his actual prints up close and personal they are beautiful. They should be viewed with the perspective of when they were made and what was considered the "style" of the time.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/
     
  4. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    I haven't seen it. I like his books for woods/shore photos, but I've never been too impressed (personal taste) with what he's been famous for (chief among them images like the herd of deer running).
     
  5. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I've never been a fan of his work in general, but I've been able to appreciate some of it, or at least recognize what is good about it even if it's not my taste. However when looking at the images in this issue of View Camera (I think most or all of them have not been published before), I'm having trouble even appreciating them in any context. I'm not just talking about the more abstract or experimental impages. Even the landscapes seem thoroughly ordinary. There were only one or two out of 50+ pictures I thought were interesting at all.

    Michael
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I thought of it more as heresy because for me this went beyond taste. Whenever I look at artwork by people who are generally regarded as masters (regardless of medium), I try to react in two different ways. First, do I like it (my taste), second, can I appreciate it as something special, important etc on a more objective level regardless of my own taste, even if it is just something great about the skill or craft involved (for example, being able to see how to someone interested in the particular subject matter or style, it would be a great piece). Sometimes I can reconcile it, but there are other times I think to myself "even if I liked this type of thing I can't see what is particularly well done or special about it". That's how I felt when going through the Caponigro images.
     
  7. Tom Kershaw

    Tom Kershaw Subscriber

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    I've not had a chance to look through the magazine properly yet but would agree that there is a difference between taste and various more objective considerations.

    Tom
     
  8. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I purchased the magazine the other day and I am still working my way through the pictures. I thoroughly enjoy some, others not as much. Some I find inspirational.

    If nothing else, the text editing in this issue cannot be faulted!
     
  9. flash26c

    flash26c Member

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    I wasn't too impressed with the print quality - looked like bad copies from a Xerox.
     
  10. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    After a lifetime of taking and making photos does anyone here think that the world is going to like all or the mass of your creations...art is subjective..
    Paul Caponigro is a recognized master of the craft...go and see his work in person and it might change your opinion
    artists do what they do because they believe in it...Paul has been doing it for what? maybe 50 years now?
    Best, Peter
     
  11. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    His work is more subtle than some may like - few iconic images. His still lifes feel somewhat contrived, and they contradict the intuitive nature of his other work. But I would gladly trade many of my books of better known photographers for a couple of his works. Even his outtakes as in View Camera surpass most of what I've seen by many other master photographers. His printing skills are outstanding, and his best work grabs me just as it must have grabbed him. I also like his attitude towards photography (see, for example, the interview at his son's website).
     
  12. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    Wow, is the the same issue currently out? The special issue?

    The folks over at Large Format photography Forum were raving about this issue. Some were thinking of asking Mr. Simmons back into the forum. I haven't seen the issue. I do like some work from Mr Caponigro. I've seen prints when there was a show in San Francisco.
    I'll have to walk over to my local bookstore and buy a copy and see why the difference of opinions between Apug members and the LF forum.
     
  13. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    :D
     
  14. Merg Ross

    Merg Ross Member

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    I believe only one person suggested inviting Steve back to the LFPF, and I answered that on the forum.

    I first met and photographed with Paul during a visit to Boston in 1959. We were both early in our careers and I sensed at the time that he was on his way to great acceptance in the world of photography. We traded prints, and his Hartford Wall, 1959, print still graces my entry hall.

    There is no doubt that Paul has always been an excellent printer, certainly contributing to his success, and has the ability to speak to a large audience with his vision. We all have our personal tastes and mine is more in the abstract vein. This is the reason I gave the current View Camera portfolio a thumbs up, as it included his early work from the 1950's and 1960's which supported his fresh and somewhat abstract vision.

    It would be unlikely to appreciate all of the work done by a photographer over a sixty-year career. Paul is no exception, and from a personal perspective, I am a fan of a small percentage of his total production. However, in saying that, there are images that only Paul Caponigro could have made. The same can be said of other photgraphic masters that we admire; only they could have done it.

    So, like his work or not, that is what art appreciation is about.

    Good health Paul, and thank you Steve Simmons for publishing, and Eleanor Caponigro for designing this little gem of a portfolio.

    www.mergross.com
     
  15. André E.C.

    André E.C. Member

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    Paul Caponigro is one of my favourite artists, can't understand how is quality is questioned, maybe based on a different selection of his work not so widely known?:confused:

    Get some of his books and then maybe your perception about his work changes radically.:munch:

    Caponigro has trully master caliber work.
     
  16. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I used to have a tough time even finding Caponigro's work beyond the running deer image, until I bought a book of his photographs. I really like a good many of them, especially because he photographed where he lived, and what he knew well...no majestic western icons or the like. What I liked less well are the still lifes that just seem to be a set of enjoyable photographs he made when schlepping the camera around outside wasn't a good idea for whatever reason. I've not yet seen VC, (the most recent edition I've come across was at a Borders in NYC last weekend, and that was the July August edition), but I look forward to finding it eventually.
     
  17. Tomf2468

    Tomf2468 Member

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    Paul Caponigro is one of my favorites, enough so that I've paid big $$$ to buy a couple of his prints. His work tends toward quiet and soft, not big and bold. I haven't seen that issue of the magazine, but if you can see some real prints. Personal taste (should!) always be a big part of art (I've never really enjoyed Diane Arbus), but seeing a real Paul Caponigro print will bring a big smile to most fine art photography lover's faces.
     
  18. sly

    sly Subscriber

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    Decades ago I signed up for a photography course. "Easy credit", I thought. I came across an Apeture monograph of Paul Caponigro's work. I wept over the photos and went back and studied them many times. I spent so much time hanging around the darkroom, that I flunked half my courses. Photography has waned and waxed over the decades, as I raised a family, and explored other passions, but I'd say those images of Caponigro's remain hugely influential for me.
    I'd love to see his work in the flesh and I'll keep an eye out for the magazine.
     
  19. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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    It is unfortunate that we all can't see more actual prints. Reproductions, no matter how good, are not really the same. I was not that familiar with Caponigro, but when in London a few years ago, Les McLean (no slouch as a printer himself) all but insisted I go to the Victoria and Albert and ask to see his (Caponigro's) Stonehenge portfolio. Les was of the opinion that they would be among the best B&W prints I would ever see. Les was correct! Just one man's experience.