line and form

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jnanian, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i seem to have wandered into territory that i did not realize i was going to be in.
    typically over the years i have had a specific subject - person, place or thing.
    if it was an "abstract" image i was always taught move a little closer
    ( or farther away ) to stop it short in its tracks or let the subject breathe
    --- let the line and form of the subject become the subject of the photograph itself
    ( like grain of wood, or stark images of a fence in the snow &C ).

    it seems over the past few months
    i have abandoned a this formal way of seeing for something else.
    the shape, tonality and grain work together to give me something
    other than what i photographed.
    black / white, vivid or muted color, images of flowers,
    grass, bits of hardware, clothesline-stuff,
    cable-guides on a telephone pole, close ups,
    farther back, it doesn't matter anymore what it is,
    it all becomes something else.


    has anyone else fallen into the abyss?
    where does it lead?
     
  2. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    My perception of the world changes - at random velocities. What I 'see" today is not necessarily what I "see" tomorrow, although composed of the same forms, and relationships. Therefore what I photograph often is different from what I "see", after a lapse of time, in my photographs. I guess one might label that "instability" but life would be grim as hell without it.

    An "abyss"? Nah! It is an ADVENTURE!!!
     
  3. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    "when you stare into an abyss - the abyss stares back into you" - Friedrich Nietzche.

    I always loved that. I think it's wonderfully creepy.
     
  4. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    It leads to madness and halucinating that there was once something called GAF Universal Developer.

    I know - I've had this madness.
    juan
     
  5. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Which also points out that you should never discard your old negatives. You may notice something new in them.
     
  6. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I've always felt that way, despite the seemingly large number of people that feel otherwise. I've found the most intriguing images on old rolls of film - I can't imagine throwing them away. For them to exist, I must have seen something of value in the in the first place, even if I can't see it right now.

    And no, you are not alone in this matter. My vision has changed dramaticaly over the years. Right now I am captivated by abstractions in plants, something I've never done in my life before now. Welcome the change - it is an indication that your ability to see is expanding.

    - Randy
     
  7. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Have I ever fallen into an exciting, free flowing 'abyss' where I wasn't concentrating on nailing exposure-development combinations, or being hyper aware of composition? Sadly, nope, not me.

    Where will it lead? I figure once you've scratched this creative itch, what ever you've learned will be incorporated into your new work...which will be a treat for me to see because I think you are a creative force of nature already!!!!

    My theory is you're in the navel-gazing stage of creative development, which is mandatory before any meaningful growth.

    Murray
     
  8. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Exactly! I don't discard them. It is great to re-visit them after a few years and discover so much that I overlooked at the time.

    In this case, time is a great cure for nearsightedness.

    It is much like the one and two minute poses in Life Class - once extreme self-criticism (no time for that with a one minute pose!) is eliminated, it is surprising - wonderfully - to find how good your work really is!
     
  9. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Next thing ya know, you'll be posting absract nudes! :cool:

    Even with conventional subject matter, I think line and form play a big part in how we see things. So, concentrating on just the line and form can't be all bad. It's bound to lead to some new area of creativity.

    On the other hand, if all you're seeing is line and form, you may want to have someone else drive you to the optometrist. :wink:
     
  10. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    thank you all for your input and personal experiences!
    juan, i have a feeling i'll be zoning out and seeing that big red can :smile:

    thanks murray for your kind words :wink:

    stay tuned,

    john
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    John,

    I think that you have indeed wandered into the hinterlands so far as most photographers are concerned.

    I think that a lot of us get seduced by photography....seduced by the apparent ease with which it can be done. (you take pictures of "things", right?)...to which, today I say no...because "things" are what everyone else is accustomed to seeing, photographer and non-photographer alike. Thus photography of "known objects" becomes rather mundane and boring after awhile. That is where the seduction of photography either ends or we move beyond what seemed to be easy.

    So welcome to the new language of photography...the land where questions that are posed are of more interest then tales told ad nauseum.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    John:

    I am always glad to see that you have posted a new image, because they always interest me.

    What occurs to me now is, however, that as I read your posts here, your style of posting fits very well with your photography. I don't know whether I have the right words to express it, but it is no surprise to me that the photographer you seem to be writes the words you post here.

    Somehow, the "line and form" of your visual work, fits well with the "line and form" of what you write.

    How do you do that???

    Matt
     
  13. Shmoo

    Shmoo Member

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    John - we should all be so lucky as to find the same abyss that you have found. :smile:
     
  14. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have the recipe for that developer. No kidding.
     
  15. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    To yourself.

    "Knowing where to stop" is the classic abstractionist problem. For me, the answer is to trust my gut so that at the very least my photographs retain a personal connection. Otherwise you end up at a place where there is no discernment, only acceptance.

    A creed:

    Empathy over sympathy
    Truth before sincerity
    Perception, not sensation.
     
  16. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    John, I really love your work. thingamabob and flower in your gallery are 2 of the finest in the series. Where's it leading?? We're all just tagging along to find out.
     
  17. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    jnanian and I have been looking for the formula for GAF Universal for years. If you have it, we'd love to know what it is.
    juan
     
  18. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Magic mushrooms are wonderful John, aren't they?
     
  19. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Does it have to lead somewhere, John? The journey is the real thing.
     
  20. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Ok, for a more serious answer, inspired by Mr.Whitey, here is the greek poet Constantine Cavafy's poem Ithaca:


    When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,
    pray that the road is long,
    full of adventure, full of knowledge.
    The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
    the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:
    You will never find such as these on your path,
    if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine
    emotion touches your spirit and your body.
    The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,
    the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,
    if you do not carry them within your soul,
    if your soul does not set them up before you.

    Pray that the road is long.
    That the summer mornings are many, when,
    with such pleasure, with such joy
    you will enter ports seen for the first time;
    stop at Phoenician markets,
    and purchase fine merchandise,
    mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,
    and sensual perfumes of all kinds,
    as many sensual perfumes as you can;
    visit many Egyptian cities,
    to learn and learn from scholars.

    Always keep Ithaca in your mind.
    To arrive there is your ultimate goal.
    But do not hurry the voyage at all.
    It is better to let it last for many years;
    and to anchor at the island when you are old,
    rich with all you have gained on the way,
    not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

    Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.
    Without her you would have never set out on the road.
    She has nothing more to give you.

    And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.
    Wise as you have become, with so much experience,
    you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.
     
  21. Struan Gray

    Struan Gray Member

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    If we're doing poems.

    I was forced to read Eliot in school, combing him for obscure nits and dried crusts of wit, and hated him as a result. I discovered his Four Quartets while writing up my PhD, and they have been a guide to my personal creativity ever since. Some quotes:

    [...]
    In the knowledge derived from experience.
    The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies,
    For the pattern is new in every moment
    And every moment is a new and shocking
    Valuation of all we have been.
    [...]

    [...]
    So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years—
    Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres
    Trying to use words, and every attempt
    Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
    Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
    For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
    One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
    Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
    With shabby equipment always deteriorating
    In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
    Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
    By strength and submission, has already been discovered
    Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
    To emulate—but there is no competition—
    There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
    And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
    That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
    For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
    [...]

    [...]
    We shall not cease from exploration
    And the end of all our exploring
    Will be to arrive where we started
    And know the place for the first time.
    [...]

    Poetry is even easier to rip off than photography, so you can read the whole thing here .
     
  22. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Mr Whitey is honored
     
  23. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    maybe i should have put it into the philosophy area, not the lounge :wink: i appreciate the poems and the suggestions that sometimes it isn't where you go, but getting there ( and there may not even be a "there" ) ...

    thanks for the experiences, suggestions and encouragement!

    john