If it is created with a camera is it "Photography"

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by ic-racer, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I was looking at the work of J Beever and was curious how he made the drawings.

    Without knowing how he did it, I figured he used a projector at night and drew from that, but he states that he uses a camera on a tripod to mark out these drawings as they are created.
     
  2. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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  3. PBrooks

    PBrooks Member

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    The simple answer is no.
     
  4. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Maybe he's using a camera obscura (??) to make traces.
     
  5. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    It is a contemporary use of anamorphic perspective drawing similar to Hans Holbein the Younger's The Ambassadors.
     
  6. dwdmguy

    dwdmguy Member

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    Go to Michaels Craft store on line and check out the Photo to wall projector and you will then see.
     
  7. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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    Great video! Loved to see this.

    From the video, it just seems he uses the camera to do quick checks from a fixed point, so as to have the perspective completely right from a single point.

    For the rest, I just think he has great skills and experience and a great feeling for perspective. Yes, some people do use projectors to make drawings, but like this guy, there are others who can do without.

    In this very short video of the Italian artist Luciano Ventrone, who makes photo realistic oil painting, you can at the end in a very short shot, see him tracing from a projection on his canvas, based on pictures of still lifes he made before. The last sentence he speaks reads: The picture is the starting point, to go elsewhere...

    http://www.galleriaforni.it/trailerventrone.htm

    This drawing is by myself and I made it just sitting in front of the scene with nothing but a pencil and paper:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Is tracing a photo (with pencil on paper) photography?
     
  9. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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  10. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    I actually think that Vermeer's work with a camera obscura is one of the earliest forms of photography. If the scene has been put through a lens, and thus has lensing effects... an apertured perspective, in/out-of-focus elements or overall pinhole diffraction softening etc., then it is a photograph.

    So, yes, I do think this is a form of photography. But it's not worth debating, really- I can imagine plenty of valid arguments contrary to mine.
     
  11. Marco B

    Marco B Member

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  12. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    But the anamorphic skull could have been (and almost certainly was) done without a lens or camera obscura....
     
  13. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    The only reason the chalk artist uses a camera is to get a consistent point of view and then record the work when finished from that same point. Holbein the Younger did not use a camera obscura, just imagination.
     
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  15. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    If it is created with a camera is it "Photography"

    If it is created without camera is it a photograph ?

    Precedent is on the side of photographic process, not the camera.
    So, if it is made with a camera, it is not necessarily a photograph.

    Below, a photogenic drawing by William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 1800–1877)
     

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  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Welcome back, df!
     
  17. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    No. If it is created with a pencil or ink, does that make it a drawing? No. Plenty of other things are done with pencil and ink besides drawing. Cameras need not have anything to do with photographs. They existed and were used for various purposes long before photographs could be made with them, and then even longer before fixed photographs could be made with them.

    As for the drawings mentioned in the OP, of course they are not photographs. They are drawings. A camera was used as a tool to draw the pictures. That is all.
     
  18. PBrooks

    PBrooks Member

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    I answered shortly earlier but will expand:

    I answered no and here is why. In the old days I made serigraphs and used a process camera in the process but in the end it was a serigraph not a photograph. Here is something to think about, where I think the hybrid people are confused. If you take your negative and scan it into a computer then print it out on inkjet, it is not a photograph. Just because you use a photographic process does not make the final product a photograph. Now, if you print it on a light jet then it is a photograph. The point being that the final product must be made with light. There is no way to argue this point. By this a d... capture printed on silver halide paper is a photograph. Where a 7x17 neg, carefully composed and developed then scanned in, inkjeted out is not a photograph.
     
  19. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    After reading the posts I would say that camera obscura drawings are not photographs. Basically he is doing the camera obscura thing and just drawing on the other side of the lens.

    Another point; Due to the ephemeral nature of the drawings (chalk) and the requirement of a specified viewpoint, one could argue he is as much a photographer as John Pfhal (Altered Landscapes, 1974-78). That is, if we interpret his photographs as the final product (though the artist may or may not agree with that).
     
  20. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Nice, Marco, I forgot about that one.
     
  21. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Subscriber

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    Doesn't really match the original question. If it is made with a camera (recording light) then by definition it is photography. The examples proferred could be considered photography in some circles, denounced in others.
     
  22. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I can't fault your answer and I agree that it is a very logical assesment of the situation. FWIW it tends to be used that way in scientific circles, where rarely do I hear people call digital images "photographs", and astonomers tend to refer to "imaging" rather than photography.

    But there's no doubt that the term "photography" itself has been co-opted by the masses and now colloquially refers to both chemical processes and digital processes. Exactly what "photography" means now is pointless to debate I think; the term is approaching meaninglessness. That's why we need to embrace more specific words to describe our processes; "digital photography" and "analog photography" work for me, or "digital art" and "traditional photography" or anything else. These terms will settle out eventually. In the meantime, it's entirely unproductive to insist that the word "photography" means what it did 20 years ago. "Photography" departments are just as likely to teach digital, and "photographers" are just as or even more likely to be digital artists than "old-photography" ones. You can blame it on kodak and the other big companies for selling digital as "photography" from the very beginning.
     
  23. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    Exactly what "photography" means now is pointless to debate I think; the term is approaching meaninglessness

    How can you be more specific than "photography" ? Meaningless ?

    PBrooks gave a pretty concise description of photography,
    which would be good for any time over the past 160 years,
    and as long as we can image with light, anytime into the future.

    "Analogue Photography", however, is a term which is not much more than a cry for help,
    and not descriptive of anything. It does not inform, yet PBrooks' description does.

    The terms settled out a long time ago, and have nothing to do with computers, film, CCD sensors or, God Save Us, art schools.

    We photographers shaped our craft, and our art, and despite the efforts of marketing firms and MFA programs administered by painters, an image made by light is still a photograph. Made by pencil, a drawing; and by a burrito, a BFA project that has run out of time.

    .
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2009
  24. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    How precise. Is there any image which is not made by light?
     
  25. Q.G.

    Q.G. Inactive

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    Lots and lots.
     
  26. juanito

    juanito Member

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    inkjets... and there are others