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Bill Burk
02-16-2013, 12:36 AM
I find it refreshing that we do not need to be as concerned as we used to be, to specify quality as a blend of ideals of high resolution, maximum sharpness, minimum graininess. I had great fun experimenting with Dektol to achieve high graininess from Tri-X.

When I rode up with the kids Monday on the bus taking them to their week away from home, all the kids were outfitted by their parents with disposable cameras. The whole way up I could hear click, bzzzz... click, bzzzz as several kids had stuck the cameras to the windows and took pictures of the ocean, cows, horses and trees that whizzed by. I know the shots are going to be terrible quality. But I could tell each shot - at the moment of taking - was something they saw that seemed quite interesting at the time.

In a week or two when they get the pictures back, they probably will forget what the motivation was. They will likely throw out the blurry shots that they can't see anything in.

But those are the interesting shots that really deserve to be seen.

Felinik
02-16-2013, 04:30 AM
maybe whats up with the blur and the grain is
that the photographer<s> in question are tired
of making clinical looking photographs.
tired of HCB, tired of atget, tired of weston and adams
and he/<they> want to use other aspects of photography
that the hcb, atget, weston, adams &al. group might have overlooked?

at least whoever it might be who "you don't want to out" has you and others talking about aspects of photography that might not be in your comfort zone. and that is always a good thing ... i think it is laughable when people refer to people
who do things they don't understand or like as "idiots"


Yup I definitely think this is one of the keys, artists experimenting with less "normative" techniques as a reaction towards something, may it be classical photographers work, may it be the point and shoot culture with digital cameras, may it be the smartphone shooting culture, or all of the above and probably other things as well...

It's not about me and my comfort zone, I'm just trying to understand, and the artist of the sample photography or other photographs I refer to is not of any importance, I deliberately chose to leave names and more samples out of the discussion as then it would all of a sudden be a discussion about "I Like, I don't like", and that's not creating an interesting and evolving discussion.

:)

Felinik
02-16-2013, 04:30 AM
Felinik, would you show us some examples of what type of photography you like and the type of photography (not yours) that you would buy?

Read my reply above, it's not of interest for this discussions, it's not about me and what I like and not like.

markbarendt
02-16-2013, 06:20 AM
Read my reply above, it's not of interest for this discussions, it's not about me and what I like and not like.

Well actually you made a choice to start and define this discussion with an assumption, the assumption that using blur and large grain are a downgrade in quality. Trying to understand why your assumption exists seems to be reasonable and relevant.

Personally I'd suggest that your assumption is flawed, to me those characteristics are not downgrades, just choices.

Quality, from an artist's perspective, is defined by their intent for their work and what they want to express.

In commercial portrait photography one of the big problems the industry has been grappling with for well over a hundred years is that most lenses and films are way too darn good at showing every bloody wrinkle and blemish. When photos are too honest about the sitter, the sitter won't buy them. Commercial portrait photography isn't about portraying what's normal, it's generally about showing an idealized version of the sitter(s)/buyer(s).

That fact was a huge part of the motivation for the creation of soft focus lenses as was Pictorialist style photography in general. Using soft focus lenses or short DOF or lens tilts in a studio are just an artists choice in an effort to get a given result.

The f64/West Coast style simply skews the meter the other way toward hyper reality where everything in the scene is sharp and contrasty. Think "Clearing Winter Storm" or "Moonrise" by Adams. I've lived in the mountains in California and Colorado long enough and been through Yosemite and Hernandez enough to know that Adams idealized these scenes at least a little ;) . Again though, that's just a choice by the artist, it isn't intrinsically right or wrong, good or bad; it just "is".

jnanian
02-16-2013, 07:10 AM
It's not about me and my comfort zone, I'm just trying to understand, and the artist of the sample photography or other photographs I refer to is not of any importance, I deliberately chose to leave names and more samples out of the discussion as then it would all of a sudden be a discussion about "I Like, I don't like", and that's not creating an interesting and evolving discussion.

:)


hi felinik ...


strange ... you don't say it is about what you like, but you go on and on for 15 posts
how you think it is just trick to get galleries to show work and publish a book,

if you have questions about why someone does something, why bring it up to a room full of strangers?
why not contact the person whose work is in question and ask them directly, or email their gallery and see
what the galleryist-handler might have to say ....

i do that kind of work all the time ... mostly because i am very bored ....

Felinik
02-16-2013, 07:37 AM
.... to me those characteristics are not downgrades, just choices.

Quality, from an artist's perspective, is defined by their intent for their work and what they want to express.


Indeed, and Jnanian states, based on personal experience, that bore is one motivation for these choices, and we have in this discussion reasoned around the idea that another motivation can have something to do with reactions on perfection, and based on how I interpret your thoughts around this you seem to be thinking in this direction too. Then you brought up another interesting point concerning portrait photography, which was then extracted to pictorialism and f64 which in a way confirms this reasoning, so all of the above sounds like a reasonable conclusion of the discussion so far.

Felinik
02-16-2013, 07:38 AM
hi felinik ...


strange ... you don't say it is about what you like, but you go on and on for 15 posts
how you think it is just trick to get galleries to show work and publish a book,

if you have questions about why someone does something, why bring it up to a room full of strangers?
why not contact the person whose work is in question and ask them directly, or email their gallery and see
what the galleryist-handler might have to say ....

i do that kind of work all the time ... mostly because i am very bored ....

As I am not interested in a straight answer, I am here for the discussion, and to get the perspectives on the subject from a group of people with the same interest in debating it.

BrianShaw
02-16-2013, 11:06 AM
Okay, with the risk of starting a flame war and make myself look like a complete bore.


:whistling:

jnanian
02-16-2013, 11:52 AM
Indeed, and Jnanian states, based on personal experience, that bore is one motivation for these choices, and we have in this discussion reasoned around the idea that another motivation can have something to do with reactions on perfection, and based on how I interpret your thoughts around this you seem to be thinking in this direction too. Then you brought up another interesting point concerning portrait photography, which was then extracted to pictorialism and f64 which in a way confirms this reasoning, so all of the above sounds like a reasonable conclusion of the discussion so far.

its easy to generalize and say one size fits all.
its obvious to me that everyone who picks up a camera has different reasons for doing it.
in addition to boredom, i find images with blur and grainyness and distress to be more interesting
more challenging to do than "straight" photography ..

after viewing your work ( your signature ), why do you chose to shoot in such a rigid sort of way ?

Bill Burk
02-16-2013, 12:56 PM
its easy to generalize and say one size fits all.
its obvious to me that everyone who picks up a camera has different reasons for doing it.
in addition to boredom, i find images with blur and grainyness and distress to be more interesting
more challenging to do than "straight" photography ..

after viewing your work ( your signature ), why do you chose to shoot in such a rigid sort of way ?

Felinik, I quite like your work... by rigid, jnanian must mean that every shot is "perfect", you show consistent high quality and strong compositions.

So literally not an insult but asking why do you feel each image must be perfect? Consistent high quality is a good thing. In a high-stakes world, your reputation may depend on the fact that your work always represents the highest standards.

jnanian has taught me that imperfection is a quality. Also that sometimes it is better to "relax" "let your hair down" "bare your soul" and "lay it on the line". Share what you've done, rather than show nothing because little failures don't live up to your expectations.

An old friend once told me that the key to success is to never show anything that you aren't 100% happy with. I used to take that to mean each image had to be perfect. Now I am exploring photography in ways that would get my f/64 card revoked... I'm deciding that fine grain isn't the ultimate, sharpness isn't the ultimate. They remain my first loves, but sometimes the better picture isn't the sharpest one.

My grayscale cat's an example. In my collection of photographs, I believe it is the ONLY image of a grayscale and a cat that I have. It's not that sharp. The next frame is a really cute, really sharp photograph of the same cat. But not nearly as interesting a picture.

BrianShaw
02-16-2013, 01:01 PM
IIn a week or two when they get the pictures back, they probably will forget what the motivation was. They will likely throw out the blurry shots that they can't see anything in.

But those are the interesting shots that really deserve to be seen.

... because some of those terrible shots will have real meaning. I'm continually amazed at how many of my (insert any relations hip here - wife, mother, child)'s crappy photographes get copied and distributed, and are received with genuine glee by the recipient. A huge part of photography is memory saving and memory sharing... neither of which need to be of photographic high quality. Another huge part of photography is being individually expressive... however that may be done. Live and let live!

hoffy
02-16-2013, 04:50 PM
Felinik, I quite like your work...

I have to admit, I do too (actually, they are very good) but by my comment a page or so ago, I didn't want to use your work as specific examples. I wanted to use photographs that you would consider worthy of purchasing as a fine piece of art.

Felinik
02-16-2013, 06:00 PM
its easy to generalize and say one size fits all.
its obvious to me that everyone who picks up a camera has different reasons for doing it.
in addition to boredom, i find images with blur and grainyness and distress to be more interesting
more challenging to do than "straight" photography ..


In line with what's been concluded so far then, some kind of reaction towards a norm.

Felinik
02-16-2013, 06:03 PM
... jnanian has taught me that imperfection is a quality. Also that sometimes it is better to "relax" "let your hair down" "bare your soul" and "lay it on the line". Share what you've done, rather than show nothing because little failures don't live up to your expectations.


Another interesting point indeed!

markbarendt
02-16-2013, 06:22 PM
As I am not interested in a straight answer, I am here for the discussion, and to get the perspectives on the subject from a group of people with the same interest in debating it.

I'm not here for your amusement.

Mainecoonmaniac
02-16-2013, 06:28 PM
But as a group, aren't we supposed to have discourse and amuse each other?

jnanian
02-16-2013, 06:52 PM
In line with what's been concluded so far then, some kind of reaction towards a norm.

i don't think i am doing it as a reaction to the norm, more like a creative outlet.


i hope you don't think i was being negative about your work
i enjoy your decisive moments ( well seen, well framed, well presented ),
but sometimes its ok to wear pants that have ripped knees.

ludwig mies van der rohe once said less is more ... he was speaking of romanesque, richardsonian and 19th century early 20th century
art nouveau nearly baroque architectural ornamentation ... but the way i see it, sometimes less can be something other than ornament
it could be contrast, focus, grainlessness, pure blacks and whites ... you can also read it the other way, less fuzz more focus ;)

Felinik
02-17-2013, 04:30 AM
I'm not here for your amusement.

There's probably loads of other threads you can participate in instead.

Felinik
02-17-2013, 04:37 AM
i don't think i am doing it as a reaction to the norm, more like a creative outlet.


i hope you don't think i was being negative about your work
i enjoy your decisive moments ( well seen, well framed, well presented ),
but sometimes its ok to wear pants that have ripped knees.

ludwig mies van der rohe once said less is more ... he was speaking of romanesque, richardsonian and 19th century early 20th century
art nouveau nearly baroque architectural ornamentation ... but the way i see it, sometimes less can be something other than ornament
it could be contrast, focus, grainlessness, pure blacks and whites ... you can also read it the other way, less fuzz more focus ;)

No worries Jnanian, I don't perceive any comments in this thread regarding my work negative, au contraire, thanks for the heads up!

I appreciate your posts about your work and how you experience doing it and why etc. and find it to be a valuable contribution to the discussion!

:)

Felinik
02-17-2013, 04:54 AM
But as a group, aren't we supposed to have discourse and amuse each other?

Agreed! There's many of us around here, all of us with different needs and wants, if some are amused by discussing a certain subject and some don't, it's a free world (part of it) and there's threads enough for all of us, if not, there's a "New topic" button as well..

:)