the great unwashed already decide our worth ...
but i'm trying not to buy into the system
and try to bake my own bread.
I think the biggest threat to our sense of quality is simply bad archiving.
I find the Internet as a whole to be one of the worst "windbags" of doom and gloom I have ever seen. When I significantly limit my time on it, get and shoot and talk to people in person, there is a much more balanced and nuanced perception going on in terms of nearly every topic, including photography and the art world.
I just don't even care anymore what the buzz is, I do things my way, keep showing clients images they have never seen before and it just plain works. This is especially true of my fine art work that never sees the use of a computer. I am seeing uncharted territory in my future and as long as that is what is on the horizon, I know what my market is and how to keep it fresh...
Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.....the Internet is most certainly one of those distractions...
I prefer to be harshly judged by my peers than rewarded by the naive.
well said John and Ian...!
I think the bigger problem - which I did try to address (and is falling on deaf ears) is that - AS the digital medium and the ubiquity of cheap equipment informs the pool of photographic imagery inhabiting the galleries - our set of requirements for 'quality' will slowly shift to accomodate this new work and new kinds of quality that we cannot yet imagine perhaps. What WE consider high quality will become nearly invisible to others (and even to ourselves) as this happens. It's happening now in fact. For example - people seem totally nonplussed by an excellent execution of a large color print coming from 8x10 film - to most people it's indistinguishable from an 8 megapixel print - perhaps due to the fact that most people are spending all their time evaluating images on computer screens. I know that may seem absurd to most - but if you actually investigate this phenomenon I think you will find it to be true and real.
But, increasingly with art photography, the book is becoming almost more important than seeing original prints. It helps that people are fetishising them - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt7HhRMUUxY - I've actually played with the idea of selling a few books to buy this. There isn't really an equivalent to the book presentation in music (vinyl is an underground on/off trend and the CD is almost obsolete). I'd say photography is becoming more diverse in presentation, while the images flood in. If there's one thing you can say about modern culture, it's that we want EVERYTHING. I think eventually, all the 'media' used will find its rightful place in presentation.
I'm not sure that anyone, even vaguely interested in photography, would fail to be bowled over by a great image, that happens to be made on 8x10. And that's the point.Quote:
For example - people seem totally nonplussed by an excellent execution of a large color print coming from 8x10 film - to most people it's indistinguishable from an 8 megapixel print - perhaps due to the fact that most people are spending all their time evaluating images on computer screens. I know that may seem absurd to most - but if you actually investigate this phenomenon I think you will find it to be true and real.
The viewer has needs above and beyond your need for validation in your media choice. Most people don't care that Burtynsky's images are made on 8x10 either - because it's not the point of his work.
I absolutely understand this reactionary need to impose our use of film on 'the ignorant' - to 'wake them up' to quality - but it's ALWAYS at the cost of real concerns in photography, and isn't worth it. It becomes the drive to photograph in itself and I'm not wasting my time being a crusader. My movement would begin and end with making straight photographs on film with visual immediacy - shock and awe. Naturally, an interesting image eventually leads to questions about how, why and what - this includes format and process.
Your bemusement about people not being interested in the format choice leads me to think that you expect the viewer to see it and comment on it? Why? Validation. Why do you want validation about your materials? Because they cost. Are you uncomfortable with the cost? Yes. Is that the viewer's problem? No. What is the viewer's problem? Lack of visual stimulation and enlightenment about the world, which you're not interested in showing them in front of the lens.