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  1. #1
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Discuss a Mark Citret Photograph

    This particular photograph, Bathroom, Kings Inn (1994 in Lee Vining) is simultaniously simple and complex. It is simple in it's straightforward (though well organized) angle and presentation yet complex in it's lighting and ability to arouse feelings of comfort, warmth, quiet ...peace. I've found it hard to verbalize what makes this image so provacative... maybe it's best that way, left to feeling instead of intelect.

    If you are not familiar with Mark's work I suggest checking it out at www.mcitret.com I have a copy of his monograph, Along the Way, and highly recomend it. Shawn
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bathroom, King_s Inn, 1994.jpg  

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    g'day Shawn
    yes it is a simple though emotive image, beautifully composed, the discarded towel on the floor hints at a human presence and makes the whole scene more real and imperfect

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    Marks describes his photographs as "vellum Prints". He uses a long discontinued Kodak paper that he stocked up on years ago. His paper, developer and toning combination produces a very beautiful print. Mark is able create beautiful compositions and prints from everyday subjects that most people overlook. If you want to see more of his work his book "Along The Way" is fanstastic. Well worth the money.

    Regards,
    John

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    jovo's Avatar
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    I've taken a workshop with him, viewed scores of his photographs firsthand, purchased and enjoyed "Along the Way", and visited his website often. He is masterful at making gold from lead, which is to say that he makes the quotidian exceptional by framing it and making it appear significant using what is there in a way that is revealing. Read his essay on "where to put the edges" which offers a frontal address to the challenge of modernist art photography. In my own synthesis of his ideas, the subject is subordinate to the arrangement.

    Painters and photoshoppers get to reconstruct reality to suit their tastes. Modernist photographers need to sort out what's actually there until it suits theirs.
    John Voss

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    billschwab's Avatar
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    Mark's a pretty great guy too for what that is worth.

    Bill

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    jovo's Avatar
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    (This is the second time today that I have posted at the exact same moment that another poster has...weird?)
    John Voss

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    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    His essays are rather insightful, and they are available for free on his site. The above mentioned "Where to stand and where to put the edges" is truly an excellent read. I also enjoyed his take on the use of a 35mm camera, it helped to play a part in my own explorations with a small camera from time to time.

    It really is amazing, the simple things we take for granted. If I'm most gratefull for any one thing photography has given me it's the ability to view the world with fresh eyes and to appreciate the visual spledor we're constantly surroded by... I think Mark's photographs exemplify that as much as anyones.

  8. #8
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty View Post
    It really is amazing, the simple things we take for granted.
    Shawn, I agree with your assessment of the photo. Simple yet complex which is a quality I enjoy.

    I have not seen any of Citret's work in person, nor any of his books. However, reading his essays and website a few years ago was an inspiration for me. As John Voss said, making gold out of lead, closely noticing the things that are taken for granted. This caused me to strive for the same qualities.
    Semper Fi & God Bless America
    My Photography Blog

  9. #9

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    In review of this photograph, and the web portfolio, I don't really enjoy his work except for some of the natural landscape images. It mostly seems excessively cerebral and at the same time visually boring -- like the Peggy Lee song, "Is That All There Is?" But thanks for posting it, and exposing me to his work.

  10. #10
    Shawn Dougherty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell View Post
    In review of this photograph, and the web portfolio, I don't really enjoy his work except for some of the natural landscape images. It mostly seems excessively cerebral and at the same time visually boring -- like the Peggy Lee song, "Is That All There Is?" But thanks for posting it, and exposing me to his work.
    Wow, I'm not about to argue with you about your opinion, thats the one thing none of us can be wrong about. Though initially, I was almost shocked to read this. It seems we have almost exactly opposite views of Mark's work. I find I enjoy it most when I let go and try not to overthink it, but allow my visual excitement and emotional response to guide me through the work.

    It's really refreshing in a way for me to hear this opinion about someone's work I hold in such high esteam. It makes me realize more acutely how subjective art really is. I think it hearing differing opinions about the work of photographers like Mark can make it easier to take AND reject criticism of your own work. Thanks Bill.

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