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  1. #31
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    I agree with this completely
    Quote Originally Posted by 2F/2F View Post
    I get what you are saying, but the way I see it, the amount of technique one needs to learn in order to get started with expressing concepts with the camera is minimal; much, much, much more minimal than almost any other artistic medium, IMO. The basic techniques take about a day to explain to a group of students (composing, how shutter speeds and apertures affect the picture, exposure, how light meters work and how to use them, focusing, depth of field). Then it is just a little practice, and you can start expressing concepts visually. The great (and terrible) thing about photography is that you can do a whole lot with it if you have just a little bit of very basic information.

    So, I think there is an initial technical hurdle that takes just a little bit of understanding and practice, but after that, most of the visual vocabulary is complete, and there are just bits and pieces to learn as you go on practicing.

    I believe "artistry" is mainly something that is a characteristic of a person, and has little to do with medium or technique. These things simply hone and focus ones artistry. I don't think that you can become an artist just because you start using a medium that is used for making art.

  2. #32
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    I suspect that it's harder to learn what you want to say, than it is to learn the technical skills which will enable you to say it.

  3. #33
    Ian David's Avatar
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    I too think that 2F has hit the nail on the head. Perfection of craft/technique/skill, the making of 10000 negatives, etc, may certainly aid one's ability to make a certain kind of art or even art generally. But it is clearly possible to produce powerful photographic art with a limited or narrow technical mastery.

    Often, I think, an obsession with technical mastery simply helps those of us who are not great artists to bridge the gap slightly, or at least allows us to pretend to ourselves that we are bridging the gap

    Ian

  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by iandavid View Post
    I too think that 2F has hit the nail on the head. Perfection of craft/technique/skill, the making of 10000 negatives, etc, may certainly aid one's ability to make a certain kind of art or even art generally. But it is clearly possible to produce powerful photographic art with a limited or narrow technical mastery.

    Often, I think, an obsession with technical mastery simply helps those of us who are not great artists to bridge the gap slightly, or at least allows us to pretend to ourselves that we are bridging the gap

    Ian
    I'd still say that if you try to bridge the gap (even slightly), or even pretend to do so, by obsessing about technique, you are wasting your time.

  5. #35
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    I'd still say that if you try to bridge the gap (even slightly), or even pretend to do so, by obsessing about technique, you are wasting your time.
    Well you should still strive to make the highest quality work you can. That way your technical skills will improve; and this will give you more options. But you shouldn't allow the search for technical skills to become the object of your work, which should should remain art making.

  6. #36
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Interesting discussion!!!

    For ME ... I have given up the quest for "mastery" - of anything - a long time ago. I can't define, nor can I come up with any sort of concept of "mastery". After 10,000 images, or 100,000 - or ten - does some deity materialize out of thin air and write "Master of ..." on your forehead? Or do you experience some sort of mystical epiphany where a loud voice speaks the word "Master" to you?

    Even if all this does happen - so what? Will you then be transferred into some sort of infallable... (searching here - I don't now of any beings on this earthly plane that are infallable).

    I've been at this for a while. I honestly do not consider myself anywhere nearer to "mastery" than when I started ... and (brace yourselves...) I not only do not care, but I think additional effort to that end only saps my energy - energy that can be exerted in finding the areas and circumstances where "seeing" will be effortless and - more or less - automatic.

    I remember one of the most informed people I've ever met - the Instructor in Psyche 101 - considered by his peers to be at the top of the pyramid - "I've been studying Psychology for more than thirty years. Recently I've begun to realize how little I know."

    I DO photography. Every once in a while, I get a good one. There are enough of the good ones to make the entire effort worthwhile - more than enough.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Leake View Post
    Well you should still strive to make the highest quality work you can. That way your technical skills will improve; and this will give you more options. But you shouldn't allow the search for technical skills to become the object of your work, which should should remain art making.
    It will give you more options, but do nothing to your artistic skills.
    Skill in using tools does not lead to artistry. That is drawn from something quite different entirely.

  8. #38
    wclark5179's Avatar
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    When you are talking, do you have to think about the words you use, from the standpoint of pronouncing them, formulating the words & sentences, getting your point across? Get the picture? I believe you'll find most of us speak, especially in our native language, without thinking about it. Words can flow out of the mouth because we know the underlying way to pronounce them as well as the meaning, getting our point across. Most of us pay attention to other things, like gestures, when talking.

    Same for photography. If I can get the basics down with people photography, so well it's a part of me like speaking and I see it just like we annunciate our words, then I can focus on other things, which to me, are more important. It takes a lot of work to get to that point. Are you up for it? It's not easy.

    People feel they don't need to learn the basics anymore. I hear them say, "I can do my own thing, I will get the moment and record it!" Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Fix it in PS or the darkroom! Maybe luck will get you a photograph every once in while. I've found the old adage to be true, "the harder I work the luckier I get!" I'm always sharpening, honing my basics and technical skills but I don't do it with a client. Perhaps that's a little kernal of wisdom to take in as to why I'm still very busy.

    At any rate, the basics are important, very important. How are you going to break the rules if someone doesn't know them in the first place?
    Last edited by wclark5179; 07-24-2010 at 06:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Bill Clark

  9. #39
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Technique, form, equipment - they are all means that permit you to translate what you see and feel into a result. That result may indeed be art.

    Even if the result isn't art, it certainly can be of value.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #40
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Q.G. View Post
    It will give you more options, but do nothing to your artistic skills.
    Skill in using tools does not lead to artistry. That is drawn from something quite different entirely.
    I completely agree. Your artistic skills develop from making art; and these are not the same as technical skills.



 

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