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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ethylphenethylamine View Post
    one of the major things that influence me are the current state of building and production of the things all around us. plastic, fake, build to break. in minneapolis newer condos (which are all over the place and are part of destroying many of the older industrial landscapes) are either rather modern or build to look like they were 100 years old. everything is so empty, devoid of life. older industrial complexes in contrast are so beautiful and seem to be disappearing at a rapid rate.
    That's the way it is everywhere; that's the way it's been for a long time now, but the construction/housing boom of the last few years has ratcheted up the pace of destruction to amazing levels; personally I find it hard not to respond in some way in my photography, even if it's not much more than, better get a picture of that now, because next year it isn't going to be there.

    Another way that I think of it is that an artifact that has weathered and decayed, an old building abandoned after years of use, etc., has more of an story. It may not be "life" but life has happened to it. With the slick and the new, nothing has happened to it yet; there is no story. Indeed, one sometimes feels they are constructed so that no story can happen, which is a different sort of message and one that I am not sure how to capture in my pictures yet.

    Richar Boutwell: "If they are attempting exhibit the typologies of all the things (industrial parks, shopping malls, row houses, tract houses, McMansions, construction sites etc.) then they are succeeding. If they are making statements about the homogeny of our modern society then they are succeeding. But isn't the work itself is also becoming a part of that homogeny? To me though, it is just beginning to be boring, and not at all beautiful."

    Perhaps being beautiful is not the goal. This is the environment many of us live in now; when I walk around town that is what there is to see, frequently. Guess what? It's getting to be kind of a boring world out there. I try to make my photos graphically interesting, but if I am taking a picture of something I don't think is beautiful, I don't try to show it as such.

  2. #12
    bjorke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Boutwell View Post
    ..younger photographers--Mid 20's-early 30's-- basically people that are out of school and trying to make a place...
    This is not new.

    It's really such a set of tinkertoy relationships. Students at art schools excel by creating work that reinforces the artistic ideologies of their instructors. Those instructors are an important conduit for those young artists to exhibit at school, in print, and in the local (or broader, depending on the prestige of the school) gallery market.

    In 1973 we had boxcars stuffed with Minor White & Avedon wannabes.

    Now we have no shortage of people paddling in the wake of the Bechers and Gursky and Loretta Lux.

    How is that different? I don't see it.

    What I do see is a changed environment, with a far larger saturation in corporate marketing, where the art world's desperate grabs at being notorious have bled-over into the world at large, so that people idolize 50 Cent and Paris H and Mike Tyson and so forth. There was scandal before but it wasn't as openly considered as a career move a la Lindsay Lohan. I am a bit disturbed at photography's complicit role in all this (before photography there were famous persons, but no celebrities).

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Boutwell View Post

    Or, is the difference inherent in it being a black and white silver print? Could it be that the realism of color photography doesn't allow for the individualized interpretation of tones that black and white photography does? Or that the fact that being in black and white takes the subject one step into the abstract-- separating it one step further from our experience of the real world?
    I agree with this notion.

    I recall a comment from AA where he mentioned that he could control color to a certain point until it became "obviously not real"------therefore less creative to him.........or the effort at personal expression at that point begins to get stiffled (my enterpretation of his point).

    Fine art B&W photography is not bound by the realism of color and so, perhaps, it is irrelevant when the tones of the image are obviously not real. It takes on a different quality altogether, open to a more free interpretation of the subject matter.

    Whereas subjects photographed in color would take on a quality that might approach strange or weird if it were subjected to the degree of contrast control(s) or manipulation that is the hallmark of the B&W process. Therefore, not so forgiving of such a free interpretation of the subject matter.

    This is probably not contributing much but it was just what came to my mind.

    Chuck

  4. #14

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    Enormous colour prints that "hold the wall" are the current fashion in museum photography, that's for sure (3 m x 1.5 m, anyone?). This has been so for quite a few years and there's no sign the fashion is running out of steam. Photography is also dominating modern art museum walls, and video is always there too. The current wave of "photographic artists" adhering to this norm are in the 30-40 age bracket, it would seem. I'm sure they would argue that they have to work on a scale that "fits the context" -- of course, the prints are made for the museums in question, so maybe that argument flies. I think it's a response to painting, which has also been getting bigger and bigger. A bit of an inferiority complex, photography's acceptance and even dominance notwithstanding. I don't know... size is immaterial, it's what's in the picture that counts. And here photography has fallen on hard times. The big name museum photographers often try to work with ideas, something that is incredibly hard to do with photography given its many limitations (vs painting). I'm almost afraid to look at these big photographs ("Oh no, it's an 'idea' ", "strike one!", "strike two!", "youuuuuuu're out!"). It's much better when they're just nice nudes, nice landscapes, nice pictures made abstract by the framing so that there is pleasure in puzzling over what the context has been. These photographers often seem to have a big chip on their shoulders with regard to painting. A big-name Finnish photographer has a show that I think is still touring Europe. It showed in Helsinki a short time ago under the title "The New Painting". In the catalogue intro, much was made of this photographer's study of paintings in the Louvre and how she drew inspiration from them. Well, good! And the pictures? Nice self-portrait nudes, sitting on a rock at the seashore, standing in a river, standing on a hill, etc. As straight-forward and pure as large-format colour photography can get, absolutely nothing to do with painting except that they're illusions of three-dimensionality on a two-dimensional plane. The most interesting and revealing thing about the show was what it wanted to be, rather than what it was.

  5. #15
    davetravis's Avatar
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    I suppose it also has something to do with what the final goal is of the photographer.
    Most that shoot color, don't make their own prints.
    The only artistic flexibility they have is in the PS "processing."
    One reason I make Ilfochromes is I don't want "realistic" color. I want that extra punch and contrast they deliver.
    To me, and cheerfully my buyers, they don't look like what everyone else is doing in color.
    I just wish more folks would take the time and money to learn how to do them, then maybe they wouldn't go under...
    DT

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke View Post
    This is not new.

    It's really such a set of tinkertoy relationships. Students at art schools excel by creating work that reinforces the artistic ideologies of their instructors. Those instructors are an important conduit for those young artists to exhibit at school, in print, and in the local (or broader, depending on the prestige of the school) gallery market.

    In 1973 we had boxcars stuffed with Minor White & Avedon wannabes.

    Now we have no shortage of people paddling in the wake of the Bechers and Gursky and Loretta Lux.

    How is that different? I don't see it.

    What I do see is a changed environment, with a far larger saturation in corporate marketing, where the art world's desperate grabs at being notorious have bled-over into the world at large, so that people idolize 50 Cent and Paris H and Mike Tyson and so forth. There was scandal before but it wasn't as openly considered as a career move a la Lindsay Lohan. I am a bit disturbed at photography's complicit role in all this (before photography there were famous persons, but no celebrities).
    I agree. But at least the box cars of Avedon clones were trying to copy something good. In my experience the popular thing seems to be to copy nothingness. Then again, Godot never shows up for his appointments.

    I don't have any problem with the Bechers. The work that I have seen appeals to me. On the other hand I do have a problem with what I term the "30x40 12MP blurred cprints of nothing." Prints like that make me long for the large Chuck Close 2 sheet self-portraits. Heck they make me long for anything that's in focus.

    Mike

  7. #17
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Boutwell View Post
    After looking at several websites and blogs over the last few days I have noticed that vary many new color photographs, by several different photographers, look very much the same.
    Really, then try Joe Cornish, Jack Dykinga and Ken Duncan for example. They don't look anywhere near the same.
    Robert M. Teague
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    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague View Post
    Really, then try Joe Cornish, Jack Dykinga and Ken Duncan for example. They don't look anywhere near the same.
    Yeah, their work all looks the same too. All David Muench clones - want-a-bes.
    Don Bryant

  9. #19
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by donbga View Post
    Yeah, their work all looks the same too. All David Muench clones - want-a-bes.
    ??? How so??

    Joe Cornish shoots the traditional short/long, but primarily in a portrait format. Jack Dykinga shoots short/long, but in landscape format. Ken Duncan shoots exclusively 6x17 panoramic. Jack's use of lighting is dynamic, Joe's more subdued. Ken's work is very dynamic in lighting. The only thing these three have in common is they all use Fuji Velvia, and they all shoot landscapes. I picked these three because their work is so different from one another, and none look remotely like David Muench.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  10. #20
    donbga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague View Post
    ??? How so??

    Joe Cornish shoots the traditional short/long, but primarily in a portrait format. Jack Dykinga shoots short/long, but in landscape format. Ken Duncan shoots exclusively 6x17 panoramic. Jack's use of lighting is dynamic, Joe's more subdued. Ken's work is very dynamic in lighting. The only thing these three have in common is they all use Fuji Velvia, and they all shoot landscapes. I picked these three because their work is so different from one another, and none look remotely like David Muench.
    Their formats may all be different but all of their approaches is formulaic.

    Polished but formulaic. Their compositions repeatedly rely on similar constructs. My 2 cents.
    Don Bryant

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