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  1. #1

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    Discuss a Matt Miller Photograph (APUG member!)

    During the recent discussion of a Lee Fiedlander photograph, Aaron Siskind was brought up in the conversation. Siskind did a lot of photography of totally non-representational subjects, pure abstracts, more about form and tonality than anything else. I was going to post one of his when I saw Matt's recent post of Metal Abstract in the galleries and thought it would make just as worthy a subject.

    Matt kindly gave permission for the use of the image in this forum and hopefully he will join in at some point.

    As discussed in the sticky thread to this forum, images by APUG members are very welcome, but you must get permission from the member to post it here.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails metal-abstract-s.jpg  
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #2
    copake_ham's Avatar
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    Just my 2 centavos, but wouldn't it be more appropriate to comment on an APUGer's photos in the Critique Gallery?

  3. #3
    KenM's Avatar
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    If the photograph is placed here, than anyone (not just subscribers) can see the full image, and better participate. However, I do agree with you - let's make sure we keep the member critiques in the Critique gallery - after all, that's what it's for.
    Cheers!

    -klm.

  4. #4
    Bill Hahn's Avatar
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    I'm a sucker for texture, I like the Siskind abstracts, and I am never happier than when photographing rusty hinges - so I like this image.

    But if you break it into quadrants, the top two quadrants and bottom left quadrant are much more interesting to me than the bottom right. The lighter tones and more complicated patterns draw my eye to the top left, so much so that I wonder what was present just above the top left corner of the picture; I'd be interested hearing from Matt why he framed it the way he did.

    And while the abstract patterns please my eye, the image doesn't have (for me) the emotional impact of the Levitt photo, for example.

    It sounds like I'm carping, but I do like the image. (But us texture junkies have lots of photos of
    tree bark, peeling paint, crumpled papers bags, etc.....)
    "I bought a new camera. It's so advanced you don't even need it." - Steven Wright

  5. #5

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    I think there are quite a few images that have been posted to the APUG galleries that have qualities just as good or better then those of well known photographers. Photographs well worthy of discussion in this venue.

    (As discussed in the sticky thread to this fourm, you must get the APUG member/photographers permission, otherwise the thread will be deleted)

    One issue that has become apparent in other threads is that a lot of "baggage" comes with knowing about the photographer in question as well as being familiar with copious amounts of writing regarding that photographers supposed intentions.

    With this image we have no pre-conceived ideas or notions as to the author's intentions. I selected it for that reason and because it is an excellent example of one extreme that can be achieved with a camera. The factual rendering of an abstract form. Except for the clue given by Matt in the title this is simply about light, dark and shape. The title allows one to recognize areas that appear to be folds in the metal, but we have no other clue as to size, depth, and surface.

    One could say such an image is to simple because a facsimile could be made with canvas and paint. Yet the ability of the photographer to find the subject, see it and frame it is just as important a skill. That may be why someone such as Aaron Siskind was considered a peer among the great Ab Ex and Action Painters of the late 40s and 50s. He shared some of the same ideas and vision, just used a different tool, no less valid in producing art.

    Like Blansky discussed in other posts, one can dissect the image and talk about the cropping or tonality that may or may not be present in the actual silver gelatin print. Some of those may be valid. I find a fascinating set of shapes, various weighting of tones, and areas of positive and negative space.

    Then again, maybe this is simply to far a departure from what might be considered real photography for some. Love to hear some thoughts.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  6. #6

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    i really enjoy this photograph a lot.
    the midtones have a nice translucent feel to them and the
    "peppered" darkness gives me a feeling that i am looking at the heavens.

    a lot of people have trouble looking at abstract imagery. they forget that it really isn't "what it is" but something else. it's hard to say what that something else might be, can be different things to different people. in the thumbnail, i see a profile/face that looks like a charcoal drawing or etching.

    it really has a nice 3-d feel to it.

    john
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
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    PM me for details

  7. #7
    Will S's Avatar
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    This reminds me of some of Meatyard's work where he would freeze various items in tubs of water and then photograph them. Neat stuff.

    Best,

    Will
    "I am an anarchist." - HCB
    "I wanna be anarchist." - JR

  8. #8

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    it is also somewhat reminiscent of a couple Brett Weston images of patterns in ice. A couple of the details I like are some of the white patterns in the darker area at the bttom right quarter. Reminds me of hieroglyphics.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  9. #9

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    If you flip the image it has a different feel. It makes for an interesting comparison.

    I can flip it in windows but can't seem to be able to then save it to repost. Can someone possibly post the image again but rotate it 180 degrees?
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  10. #10
    Shmoo's Avatar
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    It reminds me of a Jackson Pollock painting (in a complimentary sense). Normally a photograph easily lets me grasp onto something concrete. This image forces me to look more abstractly and let go of reality. Very effective.
    Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate.

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