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  1. #11
    Roger Cole's Avatar
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    Lots of people feel that way. I don't. They don't make those distinctions but I do. Shrug. I'm a film photographer. At most I make digital snapshots. It's really the process I enjoy - the artifact can be nice, but the process IS the point to me. If I couldn't get analog materials I'd quit, and just roll the money and time and effort into one of my other hobbies that's still rewarding.

  2. #12
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    Worrying about whether Group f/64 would take away my card for some of my fuzzy pictures got me to thinking about how their manifesto fits in with what I do.

    Also I started to think that the group might have embraced digital. This is asinine you say? But hear me out - digital isn't the main point.

    They wanted photography to stand on its own, as photographs being all they can be. Not trying to be painting or drawing. So they rejected the pictorialists (who wanted to emulate other forms of art).

    Great so far, and this is something I can subscribe to.

    Now we have digital trying to be like photography. Here is where I would say the digital photographers should craft a manifesto of their own. Their work should stand on its own, taking best advantage of what the technology offers.

    The new group should reject the work of photographers who, in an echo of the pictorialists before, try to make digital prints that "look like" Platinum, Toned Silver Gelatin or other analog photographic media.

    The new group should strive to be all that digital photography can be, standing on its own, without trying to look like traditional photography. They should be breaking new ground.

    Now I turn to my own work. I try to make black and white prints that look as good as I can make them with the tools I have chosen, and what I have at hand. I'm not going to go out and buy a Red Dot Artar believing it will make me better fit the original manifesto. And this had me worried, that by accepting less than perfection, I may be somehow missing the point.

    Now I believe by doing my best, I am actually in-tune with Group f/64, except for the fuzzy stuff.

    Maybe the new group could call themselves Group 64G, and strive to make the highest quality HDR images that they can. Digital photographers should do the best they can to get the most they can of the new media. And they don't have to reject the analog photographers. We didn't reject the painters. But they could reject the cell-phone gang.
    I think that Group f/64 would say something like:

    "What the hell is a camera phone?"

    or possibly:

    "Why can't I get any shallow depth of field out of this thing?"

    The members of Group f/64 were essentially people of their time - including the equipment and materials available then. It is awfully difficult to put ourselves completely in their metaphorical "shoes".
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  3. #13

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    Often materials and techniques used in a piece mean only something to fellow artists. Joseph Albers square paintings are generally dismissed by the public as bad or that their 8 year could paint that. However, they are significant to the art world because of color theory and simultaneous contrast. It is the same with the work of Pollock and the Abstract Expressionists. The same goes for photography, the only people who care about the materials and philosophy behind the image are other artists, curators and art historians.
    Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014

    Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa

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  4. #14

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    I think that it's hard to differentiate between "movements" and "groups." f64 had a battle to fight, so they wrote a manifesto. They were also the underdogs, the revolutionaries. But they were a group. When Magnum formed, it was largely an economic venture, but there were photographic rules. I understand that Cartier-Bresson was adamant about acceptable focal lengths. Both had great impact on photography, and I think both could be considered movements in hindsight. Plus, Magnum fought the economic battle for all photographers, and now we own our photos. There are a lot of groups like Magnum now, might they also be movements? They usually gather around shared principles or styles. Even publisher groups sometimes constitute a movement, like LIGHT & LAND, or CRAFT & VISION. And analog is itself a movement! I think we're pretty well organized and connected - but I wouldn't want a manifesto. Or it could be a one-word manifesto - film. And - prepare to throw things at me now - the lomography crowd actually has a manifesto! Love 'em or hate 'em, they stand for something.

    Also, Ansel seemed like a "manifesto" kind of guy, a product of his time. Everyone was writing manifestos about everything back then.

    I'm sure that my dip into this pool is pretty shallow, but I think there are movements, but some time is going to pass before we recognize them as such.

  5. #15
    Muihlinn's Avatar
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    f64 was almost a century ago, it's dead. Everyone who was in it is dead, the things they defended settled and photography as a whole moved on; at least in part. Trying to bring it back to nowaday's world is like getting back to a XIX's romanticism; we have the gothics for that.

    Learn from it, admire them, follow your path and like Weston said dare to do what you want to do. The ones who -try to- produce art shouldn't overthink about what they are producing.

    my 2C
    Luis Miguel Castañeda Navas
    http://imaginarymagnitude.net/

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    I always thought both traditional and digital would have been better served if the word "photography" was reserved for film and something else, like the original "imaging" was used for digital.
    I like this. I'm going to begin referring to all digital as imaging.
    juan

  7. #17

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    Interesting thread.

    I think each of us needs to find the type of photography/art that pleases us. It's a constantly moving target. Many of the best known f64 artists started as pictorialists and became disenchanted.

    In my case, I'm still looking. I love it all: pin hole-zone plate-lith printing-texture screen fuzzyness to 8x10-f64 super detailed.

    Is one required to pick a favorite technique/style/art form in order to be a "real" artist?

  8. #18

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    Althoug I think it is true that when you are shooting with digital you have to take advantage of the possibilities it has and have a different mindset when shooting, I don't think they should totally start over on their own.
    I like to think that analog photography has not only progressed in the direction that technical downsides has pushed it, but also in the direction that photographers wanted it to go in the last century.
    Aesthetics don't totally change because technology has changed. It is a nice opportunity to try out a new language, but you can't fault someone for shooting the analog way on digital.

  9. #19
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by whowantstoast View Post
    When Magnum formed, it was largely an economic venture, but there were photographic rules. I understand that Cartier-Bresson was adamant about acceptable focal lengths. Both had great impact on photography, and I think both could be considered movements in hindsight. Plus, Magnum fought the economic battle for all photographers, and now we own our photos.
    Good point bringing in the idea that Magnum also was a movement which defined the qualities expected from its members.

  10. #20
    georg16nik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Cole View Post
    Lots of people feel that way. I don't. They don't make those distinctions but I do. Shrug. I'm a film photographer...
    Reminds me of what Wally Pfister said in Side by Side.. "I'm not going to trade my oil paints for a set of crayons"

    I intent to leave the delusional digital imaging to the silicone valley fan groups.

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