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  1. #21
    naaldvoerder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outofoptions
    Personally, I am in a position that I don't care ANYTHING about what others think of my work. I attend meetings where they 'judge' photo's. I purposely have never taken in one that conforms to the guidelines so they can never be entered into a contest. So, perhaps this gives you more insight into why I said what I did. I did not mean to be rude or offensive, but at some point, you must assert yourself if you want to be your own person.

    Well, well, what brave statements you make, here and at your club, and all that just to assert yourself of being independent of other's opinions. THAT is sad. Personaly, i'm getting in a position that I don't really care about your statements. Please go to another forum and let others discuss printmaking. That is what this forum is for.....

  2. #22

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    This is a great topic of dicussion and by far NOT a "BS Thread". If people could discuss things in a logical matter without getting upset, offensive or rude....we could have a great conversation here.

  3. #23
    naaldvoerder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McPhotoX
    This is a great topic of dicussion and by far NOT a "BS Thread". If people could discuss things in a logical matter without getting upset, offensive or rude....we could have a great conversation here.
    You're right. I'm sorry.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by McPhotoX
    This is a great topic of dicussion and by far NOT a "BS Thread". If people could discuss things in a logical matter without getting upset, offensive or rude....we could have a great conversation here.
    The biggest problem Ryan,

    Is most don't be able to discuss it in a logical manner without getting offensive or rude..

    Hence my statement of it again becomming BS

    Dave

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by outofoptions
    J To call a print wrong because you made it the way YOU like it? Often in these forums the old argument comes up that "I'm the professional and you are the hobbiest".
    True that but this is apug...its a little different. Just because people on this list do weird and obscure things, doesn't mean they are professional or amateurs. Just dang good photographers and printers. And if you can make a decent living paying bills, soccer balls, dance shoes, car payments, mortage, a steak once in while doing this kind of work more power to you!
    The local company was directed by a former Joffery dancer. We had a great working relationship, when he left town they got in some one way less talented and 'subject matter' dissappeared, so I know what it feels like.
    My old friend, as I recall (dang, this was back in the mid 80's), was one of the official photographers when the Joffery was in NY. His show was a huge collection of years back. I learned a sh**load of studio stuff from him.
    [/quote]
    Well, I would say that depends on the purpose of the print. In the original post it sounded like you were giving up on YOUR vision and that is what disturbed me. In stage lighting
    I think I was thinking about the Barry Thorton book. He recalls, in his childhood, that he wasn't a too shabby artists. His art teacher told him to do ABC and he did XYZ cause he thought that was the right thing to do. And then, the rest of the book, he becomes just like that old teacher. He's telling me and you that "you need to print like this, you need to shoot like this, you this this and that".
    Perhaps too much contrast has a 'wow' factor, but does it last? Since you are making the
    Perhaps, perhaps. That pop and snap gets boring after a while. I always go back in that gallery to look at the prints that have less of it. But that won't stop me form seeing any real Ralph Gibson stuff if it was showing nearby.

    Folks here in Apug are artists. And being artists, that they are (gee, I hope I not generalizing but please tell me if I am), me, being a part of it, are sometimes a little insecure and we want to be reassured about some of our thought process. That's what makes agug a little different. Its not a techinical forum, its not an art forum, its not a my camera is better than your forum (mine really is and don't anyone tell me it isn't), its a loose combination of all of this. That's why we post pictures and hopefully, someone will say "I like this, or I don't like this". Once in a while, comments are technical but that doesn't make sense cause its computers and it looks different on my machine and your machine or someone else's machine. So sometimes someone would say, you need to burn it a little more here but it would look fine in my monitor.

    So everybody chill. This ain't usenet and its really easy to stop reading and go on and read something else. Go on, nothing to see here, stop milling around, go about your business, come on, come on.

  6. #26

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    I've always heard the print will tell you when it's right.

  7. #27
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    Every year I look back and see a huge improvement in my work. Usually it is due to an incrimental improvement in mastery of my process and materials. It always involvles trying something new and failing or succeding.

    My latest improvement in mastery has been the deliberate control of negative density and targeting a particular papers response as the goal. I could not have taken this leap without step wedges or a densitometer. As my technology grows, my image capturing skills also grow by trying new things and better defining old things. By going back and reshooting old successes and by exploring new ideas in subject matter. Most of them are not great art - but I learn every time and discover and re-discover my vision.

    The right print was seen before the shutter was released. It took a while to see the print, walking around - looking at angles - choosing a lens and format and perspective - judging the contrast and lighting - imagining it in different lighting - choosing a film that will spread the contrast over the paper range. Considering which developer to use - do I need more accutance? - highlight control? - do I under-rate the film to use the developer I want to use? When I am done, the negative should make the paper sing. It should not require odd paper grades - grade 2 should be dead on with grade 3 if I can afford the drama in the highlights. The negative should make a crisp clear image with the right tonality and density range. -

    Was the paper the first choice? I guess it was - everything in the process was to make the negative that the paper would love.
    My photos are always without all that distracting color ...

  8. #28
    SchwinnParamount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by outofoptions
    Because it sounds to me as if he is letting others determine what his vision should be. That is why I find it sad. He is questioning his very RIGHT to his opinion. That is sad. Of course I guess it depends on why you take photos. Personally, I am in a position that I don't care ANYTHING about what others think of my work. I attend meetings where they 'judge' photo's. I purposely have never taken in one that conforms to the guidelines so they can never be entered into a contest. So, perhaps this gives you more insight into why I said what I did. I did not mean to be rude or offensive, but at some point, you must assert yourself if you want to be your own person.
    Perhaps you are reading too much into eric's question. His is not any sort of deep philosophical question. As I know eric fairly well and am familiar with his analytical mind, he was very likely asking for what is considered a 'normal' range of luminosity in a print. If anyone is capable of making their own artistic decisions, its eric. In other words, he's not asking for the range in order to bind himself to it. Rather, he may be more interested in where the lines are so that he may move his crayon point outside of them.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by SchwinnParamount
    Perhaps you are reading too much into eric's question. His is not any sort of deep philosophical question. As I know eric fairly well and am familiar with his analytical mind, he was very likely asking for what is considered a 'normal' range of luminosity in a print. If anyone is capable of making their own artistic decisions, its eric. In other words, he's not asking for the range in order to bind himself to it. Rather, he may be more interested in where the lines are so that he may move his crayon point outside of them.
    Thanks for clarifying this...I have hesitated to respond prior to this explanation.

    I will begin by saying that the first time that I saw a Brett Weston 11X14 contact print, I was dismayed at the empty blacks contained in the print. In the twenty plus years since then I have come to a firm appreciation of his work expressing form and void, texture, light and shadow at the expense of full information that others were presenting in their prints.

    Conversely, about the same time, I had the opportunity to see actual Ansel Adams and Howard Bond prints. I was struck by the full range of detail, the dramatic presentation (in the case of Adams). I was enamored and I sought to replicate their technique. Today I have far less appreciation of these same photographers then I once did.

    Now, what is all of that about? For me, I think that my vision has changed, obviously...but beyond that I have come to a point that what is important to me is that my prints are consistent with my expression as it unfolds over time. I pray that it never stops changing.

    I look at it this way...there are 95% of photographers (in existence today) who are copiers of other's work...there are perhaps 5% (I believe that this is very generous) who are genuinely creative and who stretch the boundaries of what has gone before.

    How does one become a part of the 5% , should one desire that? Judging from my experience it must begin by emulating the 95% at the outset and then developing enough angst to not settle for that...to reach a point of "self expression".

  10. #30
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SchwinnParamount
    In other words, he's not asking for the range in order to bind himself to it. Rather, he may be more interested in where the lines are so that he may move his crayon point outside of them.
    If that's all he wants, this should be easy. To find the lines, go look at original prints of the masters. Go see prints by Edward and Brett Weston, AA, Paul Strand and a host of others that just about everyone would have to concede are great prints. Then go look at prints at the local high school to see the other end of the spectrum (if those are all great, too, then you have no taste - I'd recommed going digital). Then look at prints by people who have gone outside the line, both technically and visually. Go see prints that are hand-painted, toned, lith, alternative processes, bizarre paper surfaces (like matte<g>). See what floats your boat and go for it. Just don't be surprised when the world does not beat a path to your doorstep to see your work.

    After 15 years and all that, you'll end up with an 8x10 contact printing on AZO (or it's replacement).

    Drawing outside the lines is fun, but only when you're 4. If you're really good, you'll re-define where the 'line' is but that happens once in a century or so.
    As soon as you see yourself going down the path that ends up with you being a lone hermit in a log cabin in Maine, embittered because the world did not recognize your genius, go buy an 8x10, photograph landscapes, print on AZO and go for full tonal range prints. Checks will start showing up in the mail and you'll be able to afford new socks again.

    Oh yes, I can't sign off without at least one shot across the bow of the 'relativistic' crowd. You'll get nowhere by thinking there is no such thing as 'good' or 'bad' - just look at where they ended up. Frankly, there is a lot of prints out there that do suck and I don't care if that print expressed what they felt at the time they took the picture or not. If the print sucks, it sucks.
    BTW, you don't have to experience a 'feeling' at the time you took the picture and then have that constrain you when you make the print. A lot of people (including the greats) discover images afterwards in the darkroom as they go thru a pile of un-printed negatives. It is possible to plan out an image when you make the exposure so that you end up with a negative that will print a certain way and make a specific image when printed (prevision\previsualize), but you don't have to actually feel anything (except the dreaded fear that overcomes you on the drive home when you realize that you opened up 2 stops instead of closing down 2 stops on that great shot of the <fill in the blank here> on your last day after an expensive trip to <fill in the blank here>).

    "
    When I print, I usually like it just a little less constrast than most people. Is that too weird? I see a lot of great photos and I think the contrast is right on. But when I print and I'll make one that I *THINK* is constrasty for most tastes, but then I wind up making one less constrasty for my taste.
    "

    My answer is, make up your own mind for goodness sake. Try making several prints with differing contrast, hang them on the wall and eventually you'll decide which you like most and then print that way. If you photograph for yourself, who cares what others think. If you care about popular opinion and want to end up on the cover of <fill in the blank>, then you'll have to worry about feedback and adjust accordingly to satisfy other people's taste.

    If I were to offer one word about printing, I'd say don't let the printing process get in the way of displaying the image. When people look at your prints, you don't want them to say 'hey, it's a lith print' or 'hey, that was too contrasty'. You want them to say, 'hey, nice image'. If all they come away with is thinking you did a cool job of some process - that ain't good. It isn't about the printing, it's about the image. You need to get good enough at printing so that the technique does not show up, but rather the image shines thru the technique.

    -Mike

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