Is it or not?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by mark, Jun 27, 2005.

  1. mark

    mark Member

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    I have heard this a lot lately:

    "It is the final image that matters, not the process that created it."

    I have a hard time accepting this but I do not know why? Maybe it is because I am too close to the process. Maybe it is a part of my nature. I don't know.

    I know there are some who feel the same as I do and others who do not. I am curious as to your reasons why.

    Maybe I should post this on a predominently digital site and see what they have to say too
     
  2. Aggie

    Aggie Member

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    I have heard this time and time again. Last Fall, I was lucky enough to show a Gallery owner from New Zealand around the many galleries of the SF area. We went up to Napa Valley one of my favorite places. At the Mumm Winery they have a very good photography gallery. Half of the space is taken up by a rotating display of around 40 or more of Ansel Adams photographs. When we were there they had argueably one of the better digital printers/photographers side by side with Ansels pictures. If any had seen the comparison we were fortunate to see, the final image would have been obvious. the digital was a poor distant representation of a photograph compared to what Ansel had accomplished. Yet until you saw them side by side, you would have thought the digital were great and the man had done an excellent job. You might have even started to consider digital, they were that good. Poor man suffered when the side by side prints hung there as testament to the fact that digital is not as good as analog photography. The digital came off as poster art.
     
  3. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    It's not clear to me exactly what you are asking. Since a lot of people here are hobbiests, then the image matters, but the "process" of getting out and taking pictures as well as the darkroom process, is what they enjoy probably more.

    As a pro, the "process" of how we got the final print is secondary to delivering a great print. Meaning using the best possible methods (including archival). Obviously the "process" of doing the work must be enjoyable or we would do something else. People here have said if you want to ruin a great hobby, do it for a living. For me that is not the case.


    If you are talking digital vs analog, as a hobbiest, do what you enjoy. If it's for sale you probably owe your clients the best possible process ( including archival) that is available. IF you are a graphic arts type of photographer then I would guess that you need to be digital.

    Michael
     
  4. shyguy

    shyguy Member

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    Relative to the B&W traditional (wet) process; I would say that the end result is all that maters. I think many of the "masters" would agree. Most negatives require some manipulation to get the print you want. A.A. did lots of this. If you take the stand that you can’t manipulate the negative, you will not produce the finest work you and the negative are capable of. It may be honest, but it is also crap.

    Just my 2 cents.

    S.
     
  5. mark

    mark Member

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    It is the statement that bugs me.

    Definately not an analogue versus traditional thing, or a manipulate don't manipulate thing.

    As a hobbiest I go through the process that will give me the image I envisioned from the start. the two, image and process, are inseperable for me, the creator. So it is not just about the final image. It is the journey that makes the final image that much sweeter. As a buyer of images I find that I am first drawn to the subject of the image. From there my connection is deepened by knowing the process. Probably just my nature but I feel more involved with the image because I feel I better understand the journey the creator undertook. Things might be different if I did not take photographs.

    I hope that makes sense. Maybe the reason the statement bugs me is because of my love of the journey.

    I thought about posting it on a digital oriented site just to see if the answers would be different or similar.
     
  6. modafoto

    modafoto Subscriber

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    I am interested in the content, not the form.

    My favorite, non-photography artist is 100% digital image maker Ray Caesar.
     
  7. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I use whichever process I am capable of that will give me the end result I require for each particular piece of work, so to me the end result is the only important thing. I do it as well as I can, but hope that the content is always more interesting (not quite the right word, but the best I can think of right now) to the viewer than the craft.

    Oddly enough people get sidetracked by the technical quality of my inkjet work more than they do about my traditional work - probably because they see a lot of bad inkjet prints while most traditional work is so good.

    Oh, I've just thought of the one thing that is more important than the image (let's be honest, I just take snapshots) and that is the glazing. I'm obsessive about the glazing. Only anti-reflective. Not plain and most definitely not 'non-glare'. If you ever see my work you'd better say how much you like the glazing...

    Best,
    Helen
     
  8. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Mumm Winery, mmmmmmm...... Great place.

    I just had one of my images printed for a poster on an Epson 9000 (high end ink jet). When I compare the poster with the same image made on Fuji Crystal Archive it is obvious that the ink jet falls way short; the depth just isn't there.
     
  9. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I work only in analog form. I only wish to work in analog form.. that being said one factor, in my mind, above and beyond the appearance of the end product is "how long will it last"?
     
  10. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    As Mr Blansky very aptly pointed out above, it all depends. I'm not even good enough to call my self a hobbiest (despite having been at it for more than twenty years now) so for me, it is almost all about the process. Going out in the field with the 4x5 and spending an hour to set up a shot...waiting for the clouds to move or the wind to settle down a little...that's therapeutic for me. Most times the image is mediocre at best but, I'm thrilled anyway.


    I remember former president Nixon saying something about "The end justifies the means"...seems like it was said in reference to his secret bombing of Cambodia or something equally insidious. This generation has forgotten all about that. We're right back at it. No, I don't think the end justifies the means. Never did, never will.
     
  11. cnmne

    cnmne Subscriber

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    If one does photography to please a client or customer, the end result is all that matters. If one does photography to please oneself, the entire process matters.
     
  12. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    AMEN.

    joe :smile:
     
  13. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    ditto
     
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  15. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    What happens if you look on yourself as your own client? You work for your client as if you were working for yourself? You work for yourself as if you were working for a client?
     
  16. George Losse

    George Losse Member

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    "It is the final image that matters, not the process that created it."

    Mark,
    I know you asked this question with the thought of digital vs analog....

    But what if you turn it to two analog processes instead, say a silver contact print vs. a Pt/PD print? does that change your answer?

    That is a question that has haunted me for a long time.
    And MY answer (for now) is the final image is all that matters. That's why I contact print from in camera negatives. Others see the world differently, thankfully.

    and that may explain why there are so many flavors of ice cream.
    Different people will think different things are best.
     
  17. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    I like a music analogy on this one. If you listen to a work written for a particular solo instrument by Bach, the music is so secure in its' essence that it can be rendered quite well on almost any other instrument. But if it matters to you that one of his cello suites needs the sound of a cello, performance on saxophone just ain't gonna cut it. But you have to have experienced a performance (preferably a live one) on cello in the first place for it to matter.

    People will continue to photograph rocks, roots, trees, dunes and people for instance, as long as there is light to make it worthwhile. How acceptable the end result is to the viewer depends, I think, on his previous experience with various mediums. Let's be sure we continue to make our traditional photographs so appealing that it WILL matter how it was produced because it will have a 'look' that cannot be truly replicated any other way.
     
  18. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    It would not change my opinion. I think one should choose the process that when the totallity of the print is considered (both content and process) it is an integral part of the photograph. Since I have done both, I know my pt/pd prints do not look the same in silver and they dont have the same feel and look. In fact I dont like them in silver.

    Some people's style and vision are better suited for silver, some are better suited for pt/pd, like a painter that chooses oil, or acrylic or water color, one should choose what makes the print "speak" better.

    I have no doubt in my mind the process does matter, at least to me or I would not be doing what I do....
     
  19. Daniel Lawton

    Daniel Lawton Member

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    Lets say you have 2 identical wooden figurines. On was handcrafted over a period of hours if not days by a craftsman who spent a good deal of his life mastering the art. The other was processed formed in China by some assembly line worker making 15 cents an hour. Assuming the method of production is known, which do you think commands a higher price? Obviously value is determined not only by the final result. If I told you that I recently traveled 600 miles I think your impression would vary greatly depending on whether it was by plane, automobile or foot.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2005
  20. k_jupiter

    k_jupiter Member

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    No no no no no...

    The image is important. And the image might be able to be rendered in various medium with differing moods, different timber, subtle changes in overall texture and feel for an image. But...

    As a amature, the process is where it's at. I won't cut any corners, knowing that everytime I look at that image, I'll feel cheated that I didn't do it right. It certainly won't ever become an image that warms my heart. As such, why bother?

    tim in san jose
     
  21. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    it all depends on your definition of "final"

    • some people say it's the piece of paper (or metal, whatever).
    • some people say it's the symbolically-presented meaning of the marks on the paper
    • some people say it's the idea of holding a piece of paper that represents some symbolic chain of events
     
  22. Leonidas

    Leonidas Member

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    Is digital painting better than oil painting?
     
  23. mark

    mark Member

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    Actually that was not my intention at all. As I said I might post to see if their answers were any different. No matter what the process or the final image is, it is, for me, the journey that matters. Digital, Pt/Pd, Silver Chloride, or Silver geletin, or dye carbon what ever. So, no, the answer would not change.

    I admit to having a bias towards analogue methods but I do make posters when I feel like it. I like cnmne's answer.
     
  24. mark

    mark Member

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    I guess that would depend on the image
     
  25. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Is digital sex better than analog sex?
    Are we seeing the light yet?

    Digital mavens can sit on their ass making pictures.
    Photographers have to Be There.

    The differences are myriad.
     
  26. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Well, how would you hang the process on the wall?