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  1. #71
    Sparky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    "This inspiring picture of a tree is obviously Glatcheststeinholdht telling us how the trials and tribulations of the underclass in post World War One Europe (circa 1928) encouraged the emergence of the decadent 1930 that gave birth to fascism".
    Blansky. Cease and desist! You leave Glatcheststeinholdht OUT of this!!

    bastard...!

  2. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gerald Koch
    ???
    Do we need to know what Leonardo was thinking in order to appreciate the Mona Lisa? In most cases we have no idea why the photographer felt compelled to make a particular image. We either respond to a photograph or we do not. Our response is often influenced more by our own experience than that of the photographer. Picture #4 appeals to me because it reminds me of things I saw when I first moved to Florida in the early 50's.
    I used to work for this guy, a photographer/artist (whatever you want to call it). The first time I saw his work, I was left feeling pretty nonplussed. However, as I started working with him, I saw the unbelievable amount of research and care he put into the work. It took him close to a year to make a single photograph, and we'd build elaborate sets, spend all kinds of money, etc... while that in itself is sort of an impressive thing - it's more the carefulness and thinking that went into the work that gave me a whole new understanding and respect for the work. I know that won't help the viewer who's closed off to the work, or who DOESN'T see that. But it completely changed MY perspective.

    What if you're looking at a photograph of a naked corpse - and let's say you're jewish - would it not make a difference to find out that it's a picture of a dead nazi vs. an imprisoned jew? Doesn't understanding details external to an image have some sort of meaning?

    What about the famous vietnam pic of the girl running down the road covered in napalm? If you didn't know about vietnam - then you're likely to dismiss the picture as something entirely different - yet that photograph was HUGE in shifting the tide of opinion against vietnam. Here, the photo was utterly dependent on this external referent.

    I'm not saying every photograph needs explanation. I think too, that images should generally be seductive in their own right. But then if it's actually a QUALITY image - it's got something more to say. So it's got to answer to the viewer on several more levels too. To me, the Friedlanders are pretty successful on their own, without explanation. They're not QUITE for me. Though I would really love to know his thinking behind it. I think it would be great if we allow the artist to give a statement accompanying every image. It should be a basic right - even if not necessary.

    But anyway - I think everyone's different and sees different things in an image. For me - the last two are FAR more successful images than the first two. But I'm coming from a purely aesthetic, shallow place in that assertion. I think they're the most interesting images, and are the best composed. I think they're about line, and about atmosphere on the surface.

  3. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    A lot of what is in these sentences is what bothers me about the whole "art thing. People interpreting any type of art. It always seems so highbrow, so "arty intellectual" and so vapid.

    This gobbledegoop is what completely turns me off from the "art crowds" claptrap about what they think they know about any given work of art.
    Michael - I think the guy was just trying to make a point - not impress us. If anyone's guilty of 'art talk' it's probably me. But the thing is (here's the thing) what you refer to as claptrap - is actually pretty useful language (depending specifically on what you're referring to, of course!) to talk about images. There's a crapload of concepts that are really useful in talking about photographs and we'd be a bit lost without them;

    Depth-of-field
    negative space
    frame, framing
    context
    subject/object
    narrative (between images in a series)
    line, form
    grain, blur
    tone (light vs. dark, also high and low key)
    the list goes on...

    I don't go jumping on everyone who says 'hasselblad' because I think they're name-dropping. But if there's something that you don't understand, it would probably be good to quote the offending phrase and push for clarity. I don't think that's such a horrible thing, nor do I think it's difficult.

  4. #74
    jovo's Avatar
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    viz a viz the conundrum of covering war impartially if that can even be done, is this piece from the NY Times this morning regarding journalistic photography:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/14/bu...th&oref=slogin
    John Voss

    My Blog

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    But the thing is (here's the thing) what you refer to as claptrap - is actually pretty useful language (depending specifically on what you're referring to, of course!) to talk about images. There's a crapload of concepts that are really useful in talking about photographs and we'd be a bit lost without them;

    Depth-of-field
    negative space
    frame, framing
    context
    subject/object
    narrative (between images in a series)
    line, form
    grain, blur
    tone (light vs. dark, also high and low key)
    the list goes on...
    The essence of all the above words would be to me, little more than an autopsy. You've taken a "living" creation and dissected it down to a clinical level in an attempt to
    1. impress
    2. teach
    3. copy
    4. you decide...


    I'm not talking about you personally at all. But as Mr Cardwell stated in another thread, I think, when he observed the spiral in the picture, he then attached, mystery and a bunch of other attributes that to me, clearly weren't there.

    I'm not impressed by images that don't engage me on any number of levels but can be touted as having "great line and form" or wonderful "spacial arrangement" but are essentially dissected cadavers.

    An image should be judged by its life, not by photographic archeologists or people wishing to engage in "organ" transplants into their own photographs.


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

  6. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    The essence of all the above words would be to me, little more than an autopsy. You've taken a "living" creation and dissected it down to a clinical level in an attempt to
    1. impress
    2. teach
    3. copy
    4. you decide...


    I'm not talking about you personally at all. But as Mr Cardwell stated in another thread, I think, when he observed the spiral in the picture, he then attached, mystery and a bunch of other attributes that to me, clearly weren't there.

    I'm not impressed by images that don't engage me on any number of levels but can be touted as having "great line and form" or wonderful "spacial arrangement" but are essentially dissected cadavers.

    An image should be judged by its life, not by photographic archeologists or people wishing to engage in "organ" transplants into their own photographs.

    Michael
    Michael - I DO, generally speaking, agree with you. I DO think that pictures should create their own merit in a way - but - all I'm trying to SAY - is that I don't see any harm whatsoever in talking about them. Surely nothing but good could come from that. Are you suggesting that this whole 'discuss a photograph' thing should be dropped? I generally enjoy your posts - and are probably one of the most centered individuals here - I appreciate that, to be sure. Just know that I'm NOT trying to jump down your throat or attack you... (and I know you're probably not taking it that way - just wanted to disclaim) I'm just trying to have some lively dialogue.

    That being said - are you suggesting that 'dissecting' an image in such a way is damaging?

    Or is it that only 'dissecting' images that you don't like is fruitless - and is an attempt to give merit to an image which otherwise wouldn't deserve it (making a sow's ear into a silk purse, as it were)?

    inquiring minds want to know.

  7. #77
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    Not at all. I love these threads.

    I do have problems with Mr Cardwell, Tim and Artur's critiques at times. But I do love to hear them. As I stated in another thread, I'm totally uneducated. I also stated I love the Zen Mind Beginner Mind approach partly because I have no education. I just drink in the image and respond. I have no background to draw from. But is an art history background necessary to enjoy or dismiss a print. I won't say artist because I don't judge artists. Only individual prints.

    I do think that dissecting is a great way to learn. But it also can take the life away from a print. As someone who has photographed many hundreds of people I will say that beauty can be dissected. Great eyes, great bones, great lips but that dissection produces a portrait of anatomical features. But someone without those features is often far more beautiful. There are intangibles, auras, life forces, etc that cannot be identified by autopsy. Only as a whole living portrait are they visible.

    As a pretty much self taught photographer that pursued his interests, I at one time tried to emulate fashion photographers "poses" of women. Many had that tried and true, hand on the hair (side of the head) look. I pretty much got it down with a few models and I showed one of my pictures to my dear old mother. She responded " it's quite nice dear, but they all look like they have a splitting headache".

    So my point is, I guess, that sometimes we get too close, to drawn in the the conventions and too arty for our own good.

    So lets keep the debate going, this is the most fun I've had with my clothes on in a long time.

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

  8. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    So my point is, I guess, that sometimes we get too close, to drawn in the the conventions and too arty for our own good.
    well - I got no problem with trying to keep the lingo as 'street' as possible. I think that would be a good exercise in forcing one to say what one means in as plain a way as possible...

  9. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by david b
    Hey Sparky....is there someplace we can see some images you made?
    David - I tried to e-mail you - but I guess your e-mail is private. So I couldn't. But I just wanted you to know - that I took up the challenge, scanned some images, and put them in storage on the web. If you want to see 'em - just go here;

    http://www.arcfoto.com/vintage/

    Though I'm not at all convinced you'll ever get this.

  10. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky
    Blansky. Cease and desist! You leave Glatcheststeinholdht OUT of this!!

    bastard...!
    I agree - no one in this world suffered like Glatcheststeinholdht - not least because of his severe stammer - he could never say his name!

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