I don't want to focus too much on definitions because I know how they have waylaid us in the past...
But I am intrigued by the feeling of validation and mutual admiration, rather than divisiveness, that washes across me when I think of "them" and "us" as members of different groups with different manifestos.
Let each group come up with their own manifesto.
The time they have changed
Wow, what a great thread, I hardly know where to start. First, I think f64 formed as a later result of two diverse reactions to the invention of photography. First there was, ''That's end of painting, painting is dead,'' and there was, ''Photography will never replace painting. It's monochrome and lifeless.'' Baudelaire referred to photography as ''The humble servant of the arts.'' But for many pursuing photography, it gave them a chance to produce images as well defined and rendered than those produced by drawing, panting, etc, and they emulated the art forms they saw, which by the way, in the 1850s onward werepretty corny and pretentious by later standards, the impressionists not withstanding. The F64 group was right, I think to call for more integrity in using photography in a way that imitates no other art forms.
Today art movements are not so popular, I think, because everything goes. I teach in Brooklyn College and we have a vibrant MFA program, where one sees everything from straight painting to strange video techniques and conceptual installations and performance art. And of course digital photography.
And here we have the paradox, that digital photography, in conjunction with Photoshop and other software, is more like painting than ever, and that's what a lot of us have always been taught was undesirable. I do believe anything goes and I have the wonderful human trait of accepting some things and rejecting others. And I respectfully disagree that digital photography is not a medium. Color slides had to be projected to be fully appreciated and digital photo files look great when projected. And while the image may exist in a latent state before being projected or printed, that is very much true of analogue photographs until they are developed. And in case of negatives, while we photographers can read them, they are not usually the final medium, but, like a digital file, an end to a means.
I one time said that I take pictures so that I will have something to print. That's how much I like the analogue medium. I do use digital photography, and I teach it. I know that Ansel was interested in what was then thought of as electronic photography, and one of his students told me that Ansel said, had he been born in later times he would have pursued video. That is apocryphal, but I believe it.
Just out of curiosity. Not trying to make a point. How would you classify this?
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
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
You've got an excellent point. With technology like the lytro still in it's infancy (change focus points after the fact and from what I hear now perspective to some degree) it will be interesting to see where digital can go.
Originally Posted by JeRuFo
It is an exciting time in photography, not only because many of us are about to witness the adolescence of a significant new medium of expression, that digital is going to evolve into. What excites me even more, is the freeing of film-based, print-oriented photography, from the chores it had to perform for over a century, perhaps as painting had to do two centuries ago. As a film photographer, who prints, I am now free. My darkroom, and what I do in it, can more easily stand on its feet, no longer having to defend itself from the constant confusion with commercial photography, or a fun way of avoiding 1-hour photo labs. The more digital evolves and perfects itself, the stronger, and less popular, analogue photography, as an artistic pursuit, becomes.
Adams was clearly thinking what electronic means could obtain from his negatives. In his wonderfully direct, and honest autobiography, in chapter 23, 'Resolutions', he wrote, while referencing his archives about to be housed at the Center for Creative Photography in Carmel:
Originally Posted by artonpaper
"In the electronic age, I am sure that scanning techniques will be developed to achieve prints of extraordinary subtlety from the original negative scores. If I could return in twenty years or so I would hope to see astounding interpretations of my most expressive images. It is true no one could print my negatives as I did, but they might well get more out of them by electronic means. Image quality is not the product of a machine, but of the person who directs the machine, and there are no limits to imagination and expression."
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He seems to have been a much more open-minded man than many are now
Digital pictures do not replace photographs made out of light sensitive materials.
There is a deep and somewhat abstract philosophical reason for deliberately choosing not to look at digital pictures but rather actively to seek out genuine photographs. It is precisely the same reason for preferring photographs over paintings, drawings, and digital print-outs of one kind or another. All those non-photographs (paintings, drawings, digi-pix) have the identical property that they are assembled piecemeal by a mark maker device working according to coded instructions. The coded instructions may be entirely or partially synthetic and their relationship to the subject matter of the picture is in the nature of description or testimony. We believe the picture only if we believe the picture maker.
There is a very small set of alternative image making processes that do not use coded instructions. These include life casts, death masks, brass rubbings, coal peels, wax impressions, and photographs made of light sensitive materials. In every case the relationship between image and subject is direct and physical and has the nature of evidence rather than testimony.
I believe photographs, the real ones, the ones generated by light altering a sensitive surface, because I believe that the laws of laws of chemistry and physics run their course reliably when no hand or mind intervenes. Testimony doesn’t come into it because a photograph has a genuine indexical relationship to its subject. In consequence of this a photograph constitutes an existence proof of the thing photographed. Not so with digital...or painting, or drawing.
Importantly, none of this well founded belief in the indexical qualities of original photographs grants me leave to be foolish or simple minded about what I think I see when looking at them.
Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.
Originally Posted by pdeeh
How true, but would hope that he would still prefer the smell of fixer on his hands............
Originally Posted by Maris
I do more than a little interpreting in my darkroom. Basically, if you believe my photographs you'd be wrong, as they usually bear only passing resemblance to the actual scene. My world is more moody. How do you think that fits in?
Yes! Now it no longer "must" be used to provide the illustrations for the times... Now we are free to use it to provide for images of leisure and emotion. (to badly paraphrase Moholy Nagy).
Originally Posted by Rafal Lukawiecki