I do not believe what I have read...

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by baachitraka, Jan 6, 2012.

  1. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Henri Cartier-Bresson

    He disliked developing or making his own prints. He said: "I've never been interested in the process of photography, never, never. Right from the beginning. For me, photography with a small camera like the Leica is an instant drawing." -Wikipedia.

    If you give a birth to a child and you are not interested to raise them up, how can they be such a master piece.
     
  2. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Finally... I learn something about HCB that makes me think that we could be friends. To be an artist, or a reporter, does not mean that one needs to personally labor over every mechanical facet of their chosen process. One can conceive the image and manage others to perform the mechanical aspects and still be an artist... or a mother/father.
     
  3. largely

    largely Member

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    So printing is only a mechanical process and no artistic talent is required huh?
    I know of a number of very talented printers ( Adams, Rudman,Thornton, Carnie ) to name a few. They might disagree with this kind of nonsense.
     
  4. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    No, that's not my point. My point is that an artist can work with (manage) another artist (master printer, for example) to get the image that the original artist envisioned.
     
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  5. CGW

    CGW Member

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    Who printed Avedon's work? Avedon? No.

    Nothing's really changed in this regard with digital. Current fashion photography would be lost without Pascal Dangin and The Box Studio.
     
  6. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    OK, Largely... I see what you were mostly reacting too in my earlier post. The choice of words, "mechanical processes" was a bad choice. Sorry. I didn't mean to imply purely mechanical with no artistic judgement involved.
     
  7. Rob Skeoch

    Rob Skeoch Advertiser Advertiser

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    A lot of the best photographers didn't print their own work. Karsh had a great printer on staff, while other's used custom printers at labs. They still had a lot of interest and input in how the printing was done.

    A few of the great photographers did print their own work, and were not the best at it. If you see prints by Eisenstaedt you'll see a great image, but an average print and many of them went un-spotted. I still love his work by the way, it's just the prints that were wanting.

    -Rob Skeoch
     
  8. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I have to come in on this thread, as to me capture is everything, even in a still life subject. Printing and process can be done in an infinite different ways by an infinite number of people, but only with the original negative. I regard HCB as the greatest photographer of the 20th Century, if not of all time.
     
  9. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Rob, I just wonder how easy it will be for a master photographer(in this case) to reflect his artistic impression on someone who can show it on prints.
     
  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Nah that's the wrong way to think about it. The analogy is no good, sorry :wink: In fact it's perhaps even a bit insulting to those of us who spend more time and energy on the conceptual side of photography than on finishing and selling prints.

    I totally understand ... and mostly agree with... HCB's feeling on the subject of printing. I could care less about finished prints for most of my stuff, I get 99% of my satisfaction from composing and putting an idea on film, that's it. The rest of my satisfaction is from helping others do that. I don't get any kind of kick whatsoever out of developing film or getting a perfect, matted print. And I sincerely couldn't care less if somebody else "gets it" or buys it.... I don't buy my own ideas half the time :smile: This is about creativity and enjoyment and I don't need to sell a thing for either.

    And HCB obviously didn't see printmaking as the best nor the only way to make visual art, something else I strongly agree with. I really enjoy quick drawings and sketches and certainly don't feel like every idea has to lead to a finished silver print.

    As for Adams et al vs. HCB on the art of printing, I will just include one of my favorite HCB quotes, which I think sums it up quite well: "The world is going to pieces and people like Adams and Weston are photographing rocks!" If you understand that quote then you understand much of what HCB was about... being in the moment. Not making prints of the moment you were in, previously, or aspiring to timeless images from rapidly changing scenes.
     
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  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    I don't see what is odd about it, personally. Being there and getting shots is what matters most IMO. The rest interests me very little. I have learned all about it, but I don't necessarily enjoy it. It is just a necessity. If I could have someone else do it all for me, I would. I like being a photographer, not a darkroom technician. I may like being in the darkroom sometimes, but it is not an "artistically necessary" part of the process for me.
     
  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Interesting that you say that, and that I was immediately drawn to your clever image that I just purchased from you... which reminded me more than a bit of HCB's quick wit and knack of timing.

    Here's the print that I speak of, soon to be on my wall:

    http://www.apug.org/gallery1/showimage.php?i=64193&catid=favorites

    I think I have good taste :wink:
     
  13. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    If a scorpion stung me I only know the pain(or pleasure), but how it is possible to bring this emotion through a print which was done by somebody else.
     
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  15. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    I've never cared much for HCB, and I think printing is an extremely important part of the art. So there you go, a totally different opinion :smile:
     
  16. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Indeed Micheal, but what is so intrigues me is how can HCB achieved such a Master Piece even though he is not printing those(hope, I do not mistake anything).
     
  17. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Well why would you need to do a print in the first place? I think you're assuming that being motivated to make visual art equals wanting to make refined prints. They are totally different motivations.

    I don't understand why you think HCB would need to say any words at all to a printmaker!!! Why isn't the image enough?? What exactly do you think HCB would have needed to tell the printer?! Dodge and burn, straighten, crop? Guess what, HCB hardly ever did any of those things with his images, a lot of his work was, in modern parlance, "Straight out of the camera."
     
  18. largely

    largely Member

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    And the same subject can be photographed by an infinite number of people in an infinite number of ways.
    A crappy print of a great negative is IMHO no more appealing than a screechy performance (think Roseanne Barr singing the national anthem) of a great piece of music.
    In my opinion a truely great piece of photographic art happens when a person with vision makes a great negative and it's printed by a master printer (who may be the photographer him or herself).
    As far as HCB goes, I just don't get it. It looks to me like glorified street work and I've seen lots better street work. No offense to anyone is intended.
    Obviously YMMV.
     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    I don't know what it feels like to be stung by a scorpion, but I know how I get prints printed: have my darkroom tech make a "straight print", then mark it up with crop, dodge, burn instructions, iterate until happy. Quite often the darkroom tech tries something as a suggestion. If it works it works. One could quibble about whos print it is - his vision or mine. I don't care to quibble.
     
  20. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Mapplethorpe didn't print his pictures either I personaly don't really care for HCB I much prefer Werner Bischof but in HCB case the image works because of the decisive moment or image content and not because of the print quality. Mapplethorpe on the other hand knew how to light and his printer kne how to create the best print possible one wouldn't have worked without the other.

    Dominik
     
  21. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Mr. keith,

    Its not about technique(presumably in dark room), I only care about those feelings(Unfortunately, I only trained in engineer I do not have words to describe).

    I personally think, it is not so easy to imprint your emotions on someone...my 2c..
     
  22. baachitraka

    baachitraka Subscriber

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    Its painful(Some Yogis in India said death is better than pain)...its painful.
     
  23. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    Each approaches photography as best suits them. For me, wandering about the landscape studying the light, composing an image on the GG, exposing, developing, printing and presentation are all spokes on the same wheel. And when I keep the wheel turning, it is always surprising how far I travel.
     
  24. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    I read from in a forum (can't remember if it is in here or LFPF) that you could say that some Photographers are "Hunters" and some are "Cooks". Some can be both while others choose to be only one. :smile:
     
  25. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    Scorpions in the Tropics are not that painful, their pinch is worse than their sting. :smile:
     
  26. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Yes it is. At one time I had a really good printer who could do what I want in 2 or 3 iterations. Now I'm not that lucky.