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  1. #91

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    I wasn't thinking so much of technical goings-on of a shoot, so much as the artist's intention in making an image - lest that intention be somewhat hard to read. If it really helps the image be successful - then why not?
    I'm not quite sure how you thought I was talking about technical goings-on and not artist's intention, unless it was something to do with me making the post late at night and rambling a bit

    Of course, it was the intention I was talking about, but I was making a wider point about how information can change perception of an image, in not necessarily the most predictable ways.

    If by technical goings-on you mean my description of Lange's approach to her (ultimately iconic) image I don't see that as 'technical goings-on' but a more fundamental aspect of the photographer's relationship with their subject. Though I'm not making judgements about Lange here, simply illustrating the point that language and information can work in diverse ways.
    Cate

  2. #92

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    Wow, bjorke! We agree on something! Sticks and Stones was pretty overwhelming to me. I think the book could have been edited better because the sheer volume of photographs lessened the value of each one. I already knew he was a prolific photographer.

    The recent book Friedlander, I think it's published by the Museum of Modern Art, gives a good deal of insight into his work and a good overview of his projects through the years.

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer
    I'm not quite sure how you thought I was talking about technical goings-on and not artist's intention, unless it was something to do with me making the post late at night and rambling a bit
    Hi Cate - I re-read your post - and what I was referring to was the fact of her getting shots that were progressively closer - and your suggestion that (am I projecting?) it might seem mildly disappointing to know. About that - I would say it's silly to let it bother us. I think all photographers work that way. I think when we're shooting, we're gathering promising but informed source material.

    When we shoot, we're editing possible shots from the environment around us. And in reviewing our contact sheets - it's like another photography in a way. We're choosing from a reduced set of possibilites.

    A good friend of mine met an old coot in Montreal once who was a friend of Cartier-Bresson's who mentioned that all that decisive moment business was complete claptrap. Apparently the guy (Bresson) had LOADS of contacts of the same shot from a thousand different angles...!

  4. #94
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    I think any photographer who's ever photographed people will tell you that you don't really know what you got until you're in the darkroom. I'm sure this is the same for landscapers too but they aren't dealing with the nuances of facial expression that can make a photograph soar.

    So it's just like Christmas morning, sometimes it's magic and other times you get that damned ole lump of coal.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  5. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    Hi Cate - I re-read your post - and what I was referring to was the fact of her getting shots that were progressively closer - and your suggestion that (am I projecting?) it might seem mildly disappointing to know. About that - I would say it's silly to let it bother us. I think all photographers work that way. I think when we're shooting, we're gathering promising but informed source material.
    Hi Sparky,
    Not exactly that it's disappointing to know. More that it gives a different perspective on her expression and on the childrens' body-language (possibly). I agree it doesn't matter ultimately, which is what I meant by the photograph showing on one level at least a 'wider truth' (in any case I don't know whether the woman did feel any annoyance, I was only raising it as a possibility).

    I think the point I was trying to make is that the full meaning and implications of a photograph can be deeper and more complicated than it seems at first, certainly not as straighforward as a photographer's explanation of intent might lead us to believe.
    Cate

  6. #96
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    I suppose - in retrospect, I can eat my words about intent, at least in one sense. I think that a lot of artists don't really understand what it is they're trying to do until it's been post-rationalized. Even then, maybe not. I think Schopenhauer had it down. IF I understood his beliefs correctly - he thought that people just do things according to desire and self-interest, unwitting and unthinking. Everything 'conscious' is post-rationalization.

  7. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    ... dealing with the nuances of facial expression that can make a photograph soar.

    So it's just like Christmas morning, sometimes it's magic and other times you get that damned ole lump of coal.


    Michael
    It strikes me that the business of people photography is extraordinarily complex. Whether it's a sitting in a studio under the most possible control of the photographer - or at the other end Salgado asking a fireman being doused in Kuwait if he could just "hold that thought" a moment.



    For some reason viewers of people images seem to be much more sensitive to anything that doesn't look right in the picture.

    Where as landscapes etc can be interpreted at printing in a miriad of different ways, even entirely differently from how the photographer envisaged when they hit the shutter. The challenge of complexity comes with the lighting of the landscape in the first place.
    But the photographer, if they print their own can play with the image until it turns into something that looks good. So where is accuracy and truth here?

    Incidentally, in my experience it's rare when a printer can really turn a sows ear into a wow picture.

    Cate makes a great point. I think some artists are particularly prone to giving meaning to something to justify their image after the event. It may have been even less complex or serendipitous than the "statement of intent" might suggest.

  8. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by John McCallum
    Cate makes a great point. I think some artists are particularly prone to giving meaning to something to justify their image after the event. It may have been even less complex or serendipitous than the "statement of intent" might suggest.
    actually, I think the worst offenders or those who justify their photogrpah by a whole commentary of "I had to carry 150lbs of camera gear by mule train to my base camp, then hike through disease infested swamps and make the climb to the snowline, then camp there for three days with my camera kept warm by my own body heat while I waited for just the right light to fall across these particular peaks - possible on only one day of the year... etc etc" - (or words to that effect) - when all they are showing is another boring sunrise/sunset or whatever

    I can't recall how many of these I've heard from supposedly "world class" photographers at one talk or discussion or lecture or another

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    I think any photographer who's ever photographed people will tell you that you don't really know what you got until you're in the darkroom. I'm sure this is the same for landscapers too but they aren't dealing with the nuances of facial expression that can make a photograph soar.

    So it's just like Christmas morning, sometimes it's magic and other times you get that damned ole lump of coal.


    Michael
    This I think is one of those rare instances where the kind of camera you use has major creative repercussions. I do portraits only occasionally, but when I do I try to use a twin-lens reflex every time. This kind of camera allows you to view the subject AT the moment of exposure, with this I always know when I have got the result I want, with any SLR this is much harder, and with an SLR without an instant-return mirror (such as the Mamiya RB/RZ67, which so many pros use for portraiture) you cannot know what the hell you've got and will feel you need to burn 100 frames of film as insurance!

  10. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by tim atherton
    actually, I think the worst offenders or those who justify their photogrpah by a whole commentary of "I had to carry 150lbs of camera gear by mule train to my base camp ...
    I suspect most of those offenders mearly give commentary to how they took the image. They do this because the people listening want to hear it. It lets them feel involved.

    This isn't as offensive as spin that is contrived to give an image meaning where there was none.

    The difference is. In the first case the audience probably already like (or loved) the image to start with. They didn't have to be talked into it. They didn't need some guru (or guru wannabee more likely) massaging their intellectual egos in an attempt to instill more meaning in their world.

    I don't include the images that I've seen of Greenfield or Freidlander in this btw.

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