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  1. #21
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChristopherCoy View Post
    Believe it or not, I'm trying to do 'artsy' stuff.
    Haaaa, me too.

    I want to do something with artistic merit.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrosk View Post
    What is so amazing about his portraits other than the people he photographed?
    If you have the opportunity, see for yourself sometime. I knew of him, but was not a fan, till there was a karsh exhibit nearby last year, and my affinity for B&W photography drew me.

    In all aspects, Karsh "had it together" to produce exceedingly masterful portraits on silver gelatin paper. He was stupid expensive in his day, but we've sort of lost appreciation for his aesthetic in the past two generations.

    His work is far different than the pop-celebrity-fashion-photo culture that someone growing up in the 1980's or 1990's would imagine. More museum quality dutch painting inspired than rolling stone inspired.


    Back to the original topic. I'm always up for challenges. And I like to excel at what I'm working on at that time. I'm still working on things that have lots of potential left to develop. I like to go beyond what other people have done, rather than strictly emulate something that's already been done, [before moving on to emulate again]. When I get done with those projects, I'd be up for trying some people photography with people I don't know quite so well.

    What hasn't been mentioned, and is challenging, is trying techniques or processes outside of your comfort zone. If you've never done alt process variations, that's a good skill to develop that can expand what you see when you photograph; thinking about how the image will translate to various final mediums. Some photos that are kinda dull on silver can make a really special van dyke or cyanotype, and the inverse is true as well. The soft focus and/or old lens aesthetic is another good challenge. Going from crisp "safe" sharp realistic images such as in architecture or grand landscape, to blobs of light and dark and lenses that actually change focus when you stop down is getting outside of your comfort zone; sort of changing of religion from mainstream ansel adams to something more obscure and misunderstood.

  3. #23
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrosk View Post
    What is so amazing about his portraits other than the people he photographed?
    What about his portraiture is not amazing?

    Like Ralph, I'll keep trying too...
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Landscape...takes mostly time, dedication, and enough money to pull off.
    3 good reasons why my own landscape photographs are not better...!

    And, back to the thread. Polymer photogravure - I've always wanted to try this, and have just taken a brave pill, ignored the under-confident voice in my head and completed a course. Daunting but worth it. Am currently trying to master the basics, and really enjoying it. Have discovered that intaglio ink is a real b*gger to remove from hands though - think you must need the pee from a nervous beagle...
    Last edited by coigach; 03-08-2012 at 12:29 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    hi stavrosk ..
    my take on karsh might be a little different than others but ...
    he transformed portrait photography from lots of light
    to theatrical lighting ( rembrandt style lighting ) ..
    he in some ways merged dutch painting and modern photography
    because technically it wasn't possible before he was around.
    films ( and plates ) were slow there had to be lots of light &c ...
    his portraits really show more of personality/character of his subjects
    than a deadpan-portrait, or a bathtub filled with milk.

    but all that said, i can see why someone would look at them and not be impressed ...
    ( i only know the effort of what goes into portraits like that because i apprenticed with someone who did similar work
    and for her it was nearly effortless work, probably like karsh )

    john
    Yes, someone had to make the things that today seem simple, and I totaly respect that.

    I said that however because someone said that he thinks that you are a good portrait photographer today if you reach this type of photoghraphy.
    That is where I disagree.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    What about his portraiture is not amazing?

    Like Ralph, I'll keep trying too...
    What about just sitting an amazing personality before a wall and taking a picture is not amazing?

  7. #27
    hoffy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrosk View Post
    Yes, someone had to make the things that today seem simple, and I totaly respect that.

    I said that however because someone said that he thinks that you are a good portrait photographer today if you reach this type of photoghraphy.
    That is where I disagree.
    But would it make you a bad photographer. The more I get into photography, the more I find this kind of work appealing. Apart from Pinup, the Mumtographers don't do this kind of work, which is a shame.

  8. #28
    RalphLambrecht's Avatar
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    his mastery of lighting is breath taking.
    Regards

    Ralph W. Lambrecht
    www.darkroomagic.comrorrlambrec@ymail.com[/URL]
    www.waybeyondmonochrome.com

  9. #29
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrosk View Post
    What about just sitting an amazing personality before a wall and taking a picture is not amazing?
    The amazing public faces of those amazing personalities, aren't always "on" and the owners of those faces may want, be in the mood for, something different portrayed than the photographer wants.

    Regardless of the trend today to take a fly-on-the-wall/candid style photos, sometimes we as photographers actually want to portray something very specific, something we see in them, as Karsh did.

    People like Churchill aren't necessarily going to do what we photographers ask, remember in his day job he was generally in charge. Some times we may even need to tick them off to get it.

    As to walls (actually to all backgrounds), they have character, they tell us where the subject is and what they might be up to. I wouldn't portray say Japan's PM with the same wall Karsh chose for Churchill, it wouldn't make sense.

    We can when we please apply many principles from painting. Every element of a portrait can be chosen.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

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

  10. #30
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stavrosk View Post
    What about just sitting an amazing personality before a wall and taking a picture is not amazing?
    I fear you're simplifying what he did. Look up Yousuf Karsh's foundation web site, and read about him a little bit.
    To me he refined the lighting of photography, and was able to get a very distinctive level of communication going with his sitters. It's a very rare quality I see in most photography. I don't even know who a lot of the people that he photographed are; for all I know they could be strangers. Does it really matter that much that they are celebrities?

    In addition, the portraits are beautifully lit for an appearance suiting the sitter. They are beautifully crafted prints with tons of visual impact. I mean, look at those prints!

    Finally I have a lot of respect for how he returned the favor of being taught, by being a teacher, offering apprenticeships to young photographers.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

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