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  1. #131

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    Quote Originally Posted by horacekenneth View Post
    Honestly this doesn't make sense to me. You believe there are many valid reasons for appreciating art, and then you say reasons are irrelevant. If they're irrelevant, then how are they valid?

    Are there good reasons for appreciating one work for art and not another, or is what you put up in a gallery just a crap shoot, or the results of a democracy of meaningless opinions?
    Horace - I'm not saying the reasons are irrelevant. I'm saying standards are irrelevant. The reasons people like or don't like things (discounting marketing influence etc) are highly subjective, personal things and are greatly varied.

    What is fabulous to one person might suck to another person. How do you reconcile that?

  2. #132

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    What is fabulous to one person might suck to another person. How do you reconcile that?
    One way seems to be starting a conversation by asserting that what others think is fabulous really sucks.

  3. #133

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    So apparently one of the important prerequisites for this discussion to move along is the formulation of "perfect".

    As for Bill Burk who's about to challenge "perfect" in his work and stretch the limits towards blur and grain, ( #117 ) his observations will be interesting, with Bill coming from a kind of "conservative" (like me) definition of perfect.

    Thomas's notes about the Magnum printers, ( #121 ) particularly the great example of the James Dean print ( Link ) put a big smile on my face here, talking about perfection... Could this be an important key to the reference of perfection many of us here have? As Thomas also expressed, something about "express myself to the best of my ability", I am sure this is something that is pretty close to the problems with the definition of "perfect", and then, is perfect the right definition if "my ability" is going in the direction as Bill Burk are, to make the prints LESS "perfect", event though his ability sure is way beyond what probably some people will experience in the work coming out from the experiment in the end...

    And of course this leads us to the question that many of you have touched, artistic expression, and the feel or perception of a photograph, no matter if there's grain and blurry focus, or not.

    I stumbled over a photograph today, where I find the circumstances makes blur and grain feel natural, in contrast to the "truck" sample shot:

    https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.n...61414943_n.jpg

    More here: http://www.philsternarchives.com/hol...s/rita-moreno/

    Is this maybe one of the keys too, as canuhead expressed ( #119 ) that part of the perfection in the moment, is of course not always only sharp non blurry shots, but compare the shot above with the truck, to me the blur in the truck shot feels less like a "true" representation of the actual moment (as it's not just the truck that is blurry etc.), while the shot mentioned above, makes full sense with the motion blur.

    And for both of the shots, how would they have looked if the Magnum printers had got their hands on the negatives....

    Last edited by Felinik; 02-19-2013 at 04:34 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    http://street-photos.net/ | http://felinik.com/ | http://www.facebook.com/jf.felinik

    "The one with the most stuff when he dies wins"

  4. #134
    horacekenneth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    What is fabulous to one person might suck to another person. How do you reconcile that?
    I don't need to reconcile it precisely because there are standards. In just about every other field we understand that disagreement doesn't equal subjectivity. Imagine one person saying the earth is flat and another saying it is round and having to reconcile the two because there are no standards around the issue. Thankfully, science is simple compared to art. But just because art is so dang complex and there are so many things going on at one time, that doesn't mean, oh well, give up, it's subjective.

  5. #135
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Can you look at a work of art and prove to someone else that something is correct or incorrect about it?
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  6. #136

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    Quote Originally Posted by Felinik View Post
    to me the blur in the truck shot feels less like a "true" representation of the actual moment

    After the perfection, the 'true" representation... Is it what attract you in a picture, being a "true" representation (assuming it can exist which I doubt. did you ever heard of a "false" representation?)?

    Sorry but I am bit lost in what you mean...

    Take care.
    "The problem with photography is that it only deals with appearances." Duane Michals

    "A photograph is a secret of a secret. The more it tells you the less you know." Diane Arbus

  7. #137

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    Horace:

    It's tough for me to argue your points because in actuality my photography is about as straight as it gets, and I am obsessive about print quality. But in the end, yes, I gave up trying to define good art. I can only define it for myself based on what I like and don't like. And even then, I might occasionally come across something that unexpectedly grabs me even though I would have never expected it to.

    I've been surrounded by the arts as long as I can remember and the more experienced I became the more I realized there is no actual good/bad or correct/incorrect the way there is in Mathematics, nor does anyone have to be able to explain why they are drawn to something for it to be a valid appreciation. You can pull your hair out trying to see what others see, or you can have enough confidence in your own knowledge, vision and artisitic maturity to judge for yourself.

    When I look at art, I like it or not. If I don't like it, I then ask myself if I can at least appreciate it on a more objective level and recognize the greatness others see in it. But the older I get the less emphasis I place on the second question. Since my own personal standards are extremely high, I don't need external standards. This very often puts me at odds with people, but that's fine.
    Last edited by Michael R 1974; 02-19-2013 at 01:27 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #138
    horacekenneth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Can you look at a work of art and prove to someone else that something is correct or incorrect about it?
    But we can have a conversation about whether it does something well or poorly which is where the analogy lies. There is a standard.

    Michael, I firmly believe that there is a standard for these things. I don't think it exists within us or comes from us, but I think we are naturally aware of it. Both of these I think can, basically, be demonstrated. The first point, that it does not exist within us or by us is clear because we're not sure what the standard is, see discussions like the one we're having. The second, that it exists, I think is equally apparent, eyeless lobular deep-sea fish are not beautiful, song birds are beautiful. We automatically know this. Sometimes we're not sure why and so we question it and fight it, but it's a natural feeling.
    These two points explain why we can look at a child's drawing and at Claude Monet (I'm stuck on Monet for some reason) and tell the difference but why we have such a hard time comparing Claude Monet and Edward Degas. We know there is a standard and it's obvious at extremes, but because we don't know the standard well there is a huge gray area. Will the gray area ever go away? We can study and improve our understanding, certainly, but the standard won't ever be fully knowable because its source is not fully knowable.

    The fact is, though, that there is a standard. It's multi-faceted and complex, but Ansel Adams and Sebastio Salgado are not good artists because they randomly and subjectively triggered someone's gut feeling (though they may be popular for that reason), they are good artists because they make good art. Without a standard that doesn't make any sense.

  9. #139

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    Quote Originally Posted by horacekenneth View Post
    But we can have a conversation about whether it does something well or poorly which is where the analogy lies. There is a standard.
    nope, there is YOUR standard which is not a universal standard.

    someone could easily say that cy twombly or franz kline or aaron siskind, or picasso or miro's or man ray's works are crap, easily.
    they could say their use of materials, is not what one would expect from a so called master &c, comparing it all to
    a 5 year old prodigy...
    it's all opinion, world view, personal experience and a judgement call, but it isn't because of any sort of standard.

  10. #140

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    Well, instead of standard, I would call it culture. It then explains why some artists were rejected and now admired (the opposite is sometimes true) . It would also explain what you call "good art"...
    "The problem with photography is that it only deals with appearances." Duane Michals

    "A photograph is a secret of a secret. The more it tells you the less you know." Diane Arbus



 

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