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  1. #11

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    Hmm...
    Visit a Salgado exhibition, and you'll notice that it's best not to look at the photos from too near. Obviously a photographer who decided that control of grain, sharpness etc. isn't the most important thing to spend time on.


    I agree though.
    It's a very old thing, i know, but they say that rules are best mastered, and then forgotten.
    As long as you keep focussing on technique, you'll never get round to doing the things you need that technique for.

  2. #12
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    Hmm...
    Visit a Salgado exhibition, and you'll notice that it's best not to look at the photos from too near. Obviously a photographer who decided that control of grain, sharpness etc. isn't the most important thing to spend time on.


    I agree though.
    It's a very old thing, i know, but they say that rules are best mastered, and then forgotten.
    As long as you keep focussing on technique, you'll never get round to doing the things you need that technique for.

    Salgado's work suffers because it's often printed too large, it is 35mm after all, and I think Tri-X. The images I've seen are close to the max quality you can expect under those circumstances. I've seen worse from 100 ISO films.

    I'd add I saw an Ansel Adams exhibition 2 years ago in Oxford and the quality wasn't the best, it was work from his daughters collection, later prints were far higher quality.

    But your second paragraph sums it up, you master the craft, it becomes second nature, it isn't exactly forgotten, it's become subconscious, intuitive, then you have greater creative freedom knowing your images will work, and pushing your boundaries further.

    Every now and again you have to take stock of your own work, be harsh, critical and rfealistic in analysing your images asking yourself how you could do better, that way you grow.

    Ian

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    Every now and again you have to take stock of your own work, be harsh, critical and rfealistic in analysing your images asking yourself how you could do better, that way you grow.
    It happens, at least for me, all by itself.
    Whenever i see things i've done a (short) while ago, i can't help but think " what a load of c*@&".
    I'm not sure that is because i do grow, or because i can't master anything yet fail to acknowledge that at the time, when 'in the groove'.
    I expect the latter.

  4. #14
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    It happens, at least for me, all by itself.
    Whenever i see things i've done a (short) while ago, i can't help but think " what a load of c*@&".
    I'm not sure that is because i do grow, or because i can't master anything yet fail to acknowledge that at the time, when 'in the groove'.
    I expect the latter.
    This is where workshops are useful, getting critical feedback about your work.

    Also just meeting up with like minded people who's work you respect and showing work, discussing ideas etc.

    Ian

  5. #15

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    What? More people to tell me what i do is no good?
    I'm not sure i need that...

  6. #16
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    While I agree with pushing 35 mm one will stress the possibilities of making a good print.
    If the body of work is strong it will over come any obstacles.

    I visited the George Eastman House where there was a major Salgado show and yes you are right the prints may have been too large, but it was very easy to get past this fact and view a wonderful body of work.

    That day I saw some people standing in front of photographs and crying with emotion over what they were viewing.

    The moment you stop fretting about making a perfect print and start telling a story that you can tell with your camera is a turning point.
    I know many technicians with tens of thousands of hours practicing who cannot create great art with a camera, I in fact am probably one of them.
    I also know photographers who have never made a print but have a wonderful story to tell and have work in Museum's.


    Rock , Paper Scissors

    A good story trumps technical excellence.




    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    Hmm...
    Visit a Salgado exhibition, and you'll notice that it's best not to look at the photos from too near. Obviously a photographer who decided that control of grain, sharpness etc. isn't the most important thing to spend time on.


    I agree though.
    It's a very old thing, i know, but they say that rules are best mastered, and then forgotten.
    As long as you keep focussing on technique, you'll never get round to doing the things you need that technique for.

  7. #17
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Yes, it is quite a step too.

    One of the things that becomes a struggle is that many of the critics around you (mostly other photographers) will be looking at your application of technical skills and rules. Most are studying your craftsmanship/technique, not your art. They will no longer be your audience.

    Sharpness, lack of grain, perfect exposure, rule of thirds, blah, blah, blah...

    Even in this thread you can see it in Salgado getting picked on for grain and sharpness.

    The feedback you get will change markedly when you cross the line and start breaking rules.

    Just remember Salgado is a success regardless of what we think of his style or choices.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    It happens, at least for me, all by itself.
    Whenever i see things i've done a (short) while ago, i can't help but think " what a load of c*@&".
    I'm not sure that is because i do grow, or because i can't master anything yet fail to acknowledge that at the time, when 'in the groove'.
    I expect the latter.
    I agree with you QG. I think I am getting this the way my mind's eye see them and then when I look at the results I always feel I have come up short...
    When I look at a lot of other work, here on this forum, and in other venues I think my stuff is as good as some of what I see but it doesn't have that?????whatever it is that makes it standout from the rest.
    Mediocrity is easy to achieve....
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
    Flicker http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradibarrius
    website: http://www.dudleyviolins.com
    Barry
    Monroe, GA

  9. #19
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Yes, it is quite a step too.

    One of the things that becomes a struggle is that many of the critics around you (mostly other photographers) will be looking at your application of technical skills and rules. Most are studying your craftsmanship/technique, not your art. They will no longer be your audience.

    Sharpness, lack of grain, perfect exposure, rule of thirds, blah, blah, blah...

    Even in this thread you can see it in Salgado getting picked on for grain and sharpness.

    The feedback you get will change markedly when you cross the line and start breaking rules.

    Just remember Salgado is a success regardless of what we think of his style or choices.
    Excellent point!!! In many of the things we do we compare our results with peers of the same discipline where most everyone is striving for the same "thing"???? When a non-photographer looks at your work and thinks it is wonderful we tend to think "what do they know they don't really understand", but if we are trying to create something that bring enjoyment to those who see it, hear it, taste it, then this can be considered successful.
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
    Flicker http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradibarrius
    website: http://www.dudleyviolins.com
    Barry
    Monroe, GA

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by stradibarrius View Post
    Mediocrity is easy to achieve....
    Indeed it is.
    But it's not, i think, that you're results are mediocre. It's more like (a bit 'over-dramatized') you moving on, and not being the person that liked the thing you did yesterday anymore.


    For me, it's an eternal "what is it that would justify that this photograph even exists?"
    And i apply that to all photographs i see, not only my own.

    And believe me, there are very few that i would like to exist, even though i still am not sure why they should.
    Sounds harsh (but, i'm sure, also recognizable), but the vast majority of photographs exist despite being extremely boring, ill-conceived bits of nothingness, without even an inkling of hope that there may be some reason why they should exist, lurking in some extremely remote, yet undiscovered place.

    Don't get me wrong: i appreciate the honest attempts to do something worthwhile that lay at the root of most. I add to the heap of failed attempts myself (that's basically what i said earlier in this thread). We must keep trying.


    Mark, i don't see anyone picking on Salgado for the unsharpness and graininess of his prints. Salgado was put forward as someone making great photos, because (at least that's how i read it) he mastered the craft.
    I wouldn't agree with such a suggestion. He doesn't. He makes great photos. Period.
    The point that was made (or at least i was trying to bring across) was that you do not need to be the Absolute Master of Craft to change over to the other side, the side where you stop worrying about the "how-to" and just get on with having a go at the "what". The change over from process-geek and equipment-geek to someone actually making photos.

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