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  1. #41
    SilkAngel's Avatar
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    I retired so I no longer had to work to please someone else. What I photograph is in my style to please me.

    When I am taking a class, there are certain parameters that I must meet but the work, the ideas, must be my own. I want to know that when I walk out of the darkroom I have produced the best possible work that I can. I am looking for my WOW factor.

  2. #42

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    Since Eric Hoffer was quoted earlier in this thread, I thought the following might provide comfort to those among us who have at some point considered ourselves failures:


    "The difficult and risky task of meeting and mastering the new—whether it be the settlement of new lands or the initiation of new ways of life—is not undertaken by the vanguard of society but by its rear. It is the misfits, failures, fugitives, outcasts and their like who are among the first to grapple with the new."

    Eric Hoffer

  3. #43
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    If it does not please me first then, I don't care if it pleases somebody else "anyway", and if they want it, they will get it only after it pleases me; and second, as long as I like it, I don't care if anyone else doesn't.

    It should be clear from that, that I don't make a living from my photography. It must always please me first.

  4. #44
    Charles Webb's Avatar
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    Wow, some great input here, it shows where I have made some (according to the thread) major errors in my photographic decision making. For the record, I have never made photograph that totally pleased me! I have never thought of myself to be an artist, though I have several degrees to proove I have the background, knowledge and skills to be one. I maintain I am not an artist, my work has always been of a documentary nature. For more than fifty years I have photographed (mostly in largemat) what was there. My only job
    during this period was making images that pleased other people. Art directors fought me tooth and nail trying to tell me where they wanted the camera to be and where the lights were placed. If they were wrong in my mind I fought just as hard as they did to make my point. Sometimes I won somestimes I lost but I still ended up with an image they all loved. In my mind it was a document of what the client wanted, not an pleasing expression of my own.

    I was heavily influenced by A. Adams, even attended a couple of his workshops, learned a lot but did not become an artist from his exposure. There have been many others that have influenced me, but I still remain a picture maker, not an artist. While many of my images/photographs hang on museum walls, others
    illustrate magazines and books, I simply documented what I saw, not create art of the subjects.

    I think it is amazing that so many spend their time, money etc. to persue becoming an artist to simply please themself. I never could have followed this path, I simply could not afford to attempt it. From my earliest days opportrating a big box, I prostituted myself heart and soul to making pictures that would feed myself and family
    put my kids through school. To have a house and a few pleasures to enjoy. However the bottom line is/was
    I was making photographs that pleased others, not myself. I have never made a photograph that had all of the elements in their proper position, the best composition possible. I have given it my best effort to do these all of these things, many times I come very close, but in the end it is still a document of what was there, not Art.

    Charlie........................................... ..
    PS, I do not wannabe an artist, I am happy whith who I am!

  5. #45
    SilkAngel's Avatar
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    Charlie, I don't think you made any major errors in your photographic decision. You made the decision to produce your best work for your client. You say you are happy with who your are. Be happy and proud of the accomplishments you have made and the life you provided for your family.

  6. #46
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    [QUOTE=Charles Webb;567527]Wow, some great input here, it shows where I have made some (according to the thread) major errors in my photographic decision making. .

    Not at all. In fact I sometimes feel embarrassed when the workingman chimes in. You've been in the trenches, bringing home the bacon. I'm a product of the sixties. Self expression etc. etc. you know, hippies, left over beats. What we've got here is purely generational. The 80's finally, after many many years of art talk by leading historical figures in photography, and of course some inroads, began to take photographs seriously as an art form. Most likely this was due to the likes of Getty out in California picking up collections and people got word of it. Prices started up. Now they're insane. Anyway, long story short, this art bug has really hit. People are taking masters degrees and discussing whether a pile of dust is significant. Some of it is nonsense, some of it is gold. Take for instance Ansel Adams. He had to be usurped by people you might think are demeaning his grand style, but Robert Adams took a look at Denver's sprawl in the 70's and thought the real west was not so grand. This is an art movement of significance. There are alot of them today, and the really interesting thing for you might be how in photography, unlike most arts before it, the line between art and commerce is often non-existent. Everything, even craft and quality are all in question today. And they are all seen as fair game material. Don't let the notion of art, or artist, who is or what is, trip you up. I only bother with it because it's my idea of the bacon even though I don't make a dime from it. Figure that one out.

  7. #47

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    Hi Charlie,
    I don't think prostituted. I'd say you worked damn hard for great reasons. Feeding my kids and putting them through school is hands down the most important thing I'll ever do. Hmm, then again, maybe I'm a happy hooker
    Rory

  8. #48
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    As to pleasing myself, not in the self gratification way. But definitely in being true to who I am. My wife and friends try to persuade me back into pretty postcard calendar art but my heart isn't there. I won't even do it for folks willing to pay. Too little time on this earth to do what everyone else wants. I figure my chances are about the same as Mike Disfarmer. 50 or 60 years after I'm gone someone will find oak flat drawers of 8X10 negatives and add the bull shit quotient that I never will have, and voila, it'll be art.
    He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep..to gain that which he cannot lose. Jim Elliot, 1949

    http://tonopahpictures.0catch.com

  9. #49
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    Certainly there is a need for commercial art and working to specifications or at the service of an art director and then you should be paid well by the agency that is very pleased with itself for having chosen you. And if the product sells or they get a crush on your receptionist they will use you again. I think it is difficult for a lot of people but I was fortunate to be able to work in a commercial studio for years and keep my own mind and art seperate and know when I was pleasing myself.. other than in the bathroom.

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Leake View Post
    I believe that Cy DeCosse (http://www.johnstevenson-gallery.com...e_2007_tn.html) was in his eighties when he was discovered.
    Ian,

    Cy has just celebrated his 78th birthday and has been represented by various galleries for the past 18 years; the past 10 with John Stevenson.

    Keith.
    Keith Taylor
    Platinum, Photogravure and Historic Process Editions
    Website | Weblog | Google+ | Facebook
    2011 Minnesota Center for Book Arts/Jerome Foundation Mentorship Program recipient

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