a random thought
so i was thinking today about when photography first came about.did artists of the time feel that what they were doing(painting,sketching,etc)was going to pass just as we feel digital is slowly killing film.i dont want this to be a film vs digital discussion.i was just thinking that maybe painters etc of the time may have felt they were a dying breed as we feel we are now.in a hundred years or so when a 500 megapixel camera in a cell device implanted in your wrist is all the rage will people still be enjoying film as much as people can still enjoy paintings.something to think about.i hope so.even if people have to create there own emulsion.....it sure would be nice to know.we can only do our part in keeping film alive and fun.what are your thoughts.
Photography still relies on reality to an extent to create our art. A painting can be created straight from the imagination. I think they are two separate art forms.
But I do believe that painters, especially for commercial purposes did feel threatened by photography, and the later did replace painting for that purpose, just as ariel photography did away with "birds eye" artists.
I certainly hope film stays alive! I know I and everyone in this forum will do their part to make sure this great medium survives well into the future.
Photography is in NO DANGER of dying out. Rather it is the silver-based film style of photography that is diminishing as a consumer and professional activity.
it was thought that landscape painting and portrait painting were killed when photography arrived. And it is pretty much true. Painting sort of reinvented itself at the time and painters became more involved in the quality of the paint itself as subject. Realism in painting certainly has made its way back though. I think that the difference between digital and film is less than the difference between photography and painting. Now that you can paint with computer programs is painting with a brush on canvas dead? When you can put a lump of clay in a 3d laser cutter and design a sculpture digitally then have the laser make it for you I think hand built sculpture will continue. As long as I am alive and have a freezer, film photography will continue.
The reaction of French painter Paul Delaroche (1797-1859) to the Daguerreotype in 1839 was 'from today, painting is dead' -- but he seemed curiously unworried about it.
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Take a look at David Hockney's book "Secret Knowledge" from 2001.
Painting as a money-making profession wasn't all that much affected, I believe, by the advent of photography at least when it comes to portraits -- a painted family portrait was too expensive for the vast majority of people anyway. With regard to landscape painting, yes, I think photography hurt many run-of-the-mill landscape genre painters: photographers were making better landscape pictures, cheaper. When it comes to "art", well, photography wasn't taken seriously at all until very recently and it's still a marginal artform in terms of the prices paid for pictures. (Rightly so.) I think the effect of photography on the important painters of the 1880s and 1890s is still greatly underestimated. Some critics have written a little about how photographic composition affected painterly composition but not nearly enough. In the history of painting, I think there was clearly a "before photography" and "after photography". It's no coincidence that the first truly modern painters broke free of the prevailing academic classicism just when photography became prevalent. I think the founding members of the impressionist movement were turned on to painting in "plein air" and a new way of representing light by photography. In photographs, they saw new seeing and it set their minds racing. Also, they were obligated as artists to take painting further than the correct representation of reality, which photography could achieve so effortlessly. And so they did, sparking the explosion of modern painting that continues to this day. Photography didn't hurt painting, always the preserve of the moneyed classes. It gave personal pictures to people who never had them before -- family portraits, wedding pictures, business association pictures, etc. And photography put painters on the right track again: exploring the outermost limits of pure creativity and expression. What a blessing!
Queen Victoria asked the court painter if he was worried about photography displacing him. His reply was something like, "No, the camera doesn't flatter."
Reading the following from the photographic history web site of Robert Leggatt it would seem that photographers and painters were quite happy to coexist. I wonder whether pointillism was a painting style derived from looking at how b+W images were made up of grain?
b. 5 April 1820; d. 1910
His real name was Gaspard-Felix Tournachon. He was a colourful French caricaturist, writer, portrait photographer and balloonist, and flamboyant showman. Nadar was derived from his nickname ("tourne a dard") meaning "bitter sting", which he earned for his caricatures. He owned a portrait studio with his brother Adrien, from 1853, in the Rue St. Lazare, Paris.
Combining his interest in balloon flying, in 1858 he received a patent for this, and became the first to take pictures from the air. His balloon was enormous, had a two-story gondola, capable of carrying up to fifty men. The balloon had its own darkroom, the process at the time requiring exposure and development whilst the plate was still wet. Two years later capped this by photographing the Paris sewers, using electric light.
He photographed many famous people, including Liszt, Balzac, Delacroix, Emile Zola and Rossini. One of his pictures is that of Victor Hugo, whom he had known for many years, on his death bed, 1885. Though he photographed many women, it is said that he preferred not to, saying that "the images are too true to Nature to please the sitters, even the most beautiful".
His studio became the meeting place for great artists of the day, and in 1874 it housed the first Impressionist exhibition.
In 1857, when establishing his right before a tribunal to use the name "Nadar" he made the following observation:
"The theory of photography can be taught in an hour; the first ideas of how to go about it in a day. What can't be taught... is the feeling for light - the artistic appreciation of effects produced by different...sources; it's the understanding of this or that effect following the lines of the features which required your artistic perception.
What is taught even less, is the immediate understanding of your subject - it's this immediate contact which can put you in sympathy with the sitter, helps you to sum them up, follow their normal attitudes, their ideas, according to their personality, and enables you to make not just a chancy, dreary cardboard copy typical of the merest hack in the darkroom, but a likeness of the most intimate and happy kind...."
I think film-chemical photography will definitely survive.
It is not merely for the technical reasons. I had a convert to d*****l try to convert me. His argument was that "d**... is SO much easier." I told him I was not interested in "easy" ... that I was happy in my struggle to produce "art" - and that, no matter what the media, I would expend the necessary effort.
The recent Black-and-White, Film ONLY, show at the Brush Gallery reinforced my faith in film photography ... not that it is impossible to do "good" work using d**..., but that, on the whole, the QUALITY of film based work IS superior, now, and probably in the will be in the future. I am still astounded by the work that was on the walls there... far more than I have been with any d**... - included show.
More and more, I seem to sense a greater dedication to art among the surviving film photographers. I would assume the same happened when colored pigments were introduced during the charcoal/ silverpoint era. It will take more dedication to survive, but I am sure the sheer overall quality will increase, because of it, and with it, the appreciation of our "analog" work.
Ed Sukach, FFP.