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  1. #41
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    Probably a mutated extension of Stieglitz's concept of 'equivalents'. The print as simulacrum of what the photographer saw and felt at the time. He sees, or 'visualizes' it, if you will, in his mind's eye before making the exposure.

    Pure baloney, in my always humble and unbiased opinion. The visualization takes place on the ground glass and only on the ground glass. What caught your eye and prompted you to set up the camera has nothing to do with the act of photographing once you're involved in finding the image on the ground glass or viewfinder.
    I still don't see how people don't get what White and AA and EW meant when they spoke of prevision. It's pretty simple, no mistery, a real phenomenon. It simply means looking on the groundglass and seeing in one's mind's eye the finished print. This is really common enough among photographers to not be such a mistery. I do know that the majority of photographers don't experience it, but just because YOU don't does not mean it is nonsense.

    If others reading the thread experience this (or even if you don't but DO understand the concept) please jump in so I can get some reassurance of the average IQ level on APUG.

    -Mike

  2. #42
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob F.
    Fair enough - as I thought, you accidently used "previsualize" instead of "prevision".

    Now you are defining "fancy" in too limited a way. Webster's again: "An image or representation of anything formed in the mind; conception; thought; idea; conceit."

    Of course context defines words! "I've had a hard day - I'm very blue at the moment" does not mean I have gone mad with a paint brush and a bucket of wode...


    Of course I do not speak for all English speaking people! Of course I do not mean "everyone" in a literal sense - it is simply a device to emphasize the "overwhelming majority of". It is simply my observation that I do not recall ever having seen, heard or read anyone use any other words when describing how they see a final print turning out. Actually, not quite true - I have seen a hyphen inserted: "pre-visualize" - but that's a whole new can of worms...

    Mike, we are obviously not going to agree on this so to avoid constant repetition, to protect driving anyone who reads this thread from terminal boredom (of course, I do not mean that they will literally die - just to be clear...) I think you should have your final say and we can agree to let this drop at that point.


    Cheers, Bob.
    Actually, I enjoy(ed) the conversation. I'll let it go and I don't need the last word. Thanks for joining in the discussion and I appreciate people who have the will to stand up for what they think. At least you didn't cop out and give some middle-of-the road compromise! Stick to your guns, man!

    Now, what do we do with the guy who thinks 'equivalence' is the same as 'previsualize'? And 'equivalence'??? Where's my OED when I need it!

    -Mike

  3. #43
    Bob F.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhi
    Actually, I enjoy(ed) the conversation. I'll let it go and I don't need the last word. Thanks for joining in the discussion and I appreciate people who have the will to stand up for what they think. At least you didn't cop out and give some middle-of-the road compromise! Stick to your guns, man!

    Now, what do we do with the guy who thinks 'equivalence' is the same as 'previsualize'? And 'equivalence'??? Where's my OED when I need it!

    -Mike
    Do not go there, just do NOT go there...

    Bob.

  4. #44

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    I think there are two different ideas going on here if I am correct. There's the person who wakes up one morning and says "Wow! I just had the most amazing idea for a photograph. It had a mountain on one side and some trees in the front... I'd better grab the Sinar and some Tri-X, cause I have some driving to do!" Then there's the person who's already set up with the mountains and the trees and says, "Hey, this is looking pretty good. I think this would look good as a photograph. If I move over there and use the 90mm SA..." You see? The first guy previsioned it (I can verb it, can't I?) and the second guy visualized it. I would think that a painter (the kind that uses small brushes and expensive paint not the guy with the roller) is one who previsions things and a photographer is one who visualizes things. Maybe I'm just tangling it all up again... What I think is kind of strange is that the more I look at something and say, "would I want to make a print of that?" the less I take pictures!

  5. #45
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    I think you, c6h603, and Tonopah Jim,

    have come closest to the answer, what if anything can we really attribute to Ansel, but rather a continuum of concepts prevelant in some circles even during the "hey day" of pictorialism.
    Who first showed the splendors of Yosemite territory.......
    "Mid-nineteenth century wet-plate photographers, C.L. Weed, Carleton Watkins, and Eadwaeard Muybridge, made the ardous journey into what was then unsurveyed territory." Watkins especially, several expeditions with mammoth plate and stereo cameras.


    "Adams himself recognized those precedents, claiming allegiance to them as a way of rejecting his immediate pictoralist inheritance."

    "Straight" photography was being discussed as early a 1901 by Charles Caffin-part of Stieglitz's early circle.

    "Adam's early silver prints, (which he called "Parmelian prints") have a small, self-consciously arty look to them; it was only in 1930, the year Paul Strand showed Adams his photographs, that Adam's pictures began to acquire the dramatic contrasts and expansive scale of his mature work. Throughout the 1930's and the 1940's he worked in close proximity to Weston, whose more abstractionist dramatic style no doubt, strengthened Adam's commitment to purist practice."

    " Pre-visualizing"

    "A similar desire for purity may lie behind his almost fetishistic concentration on craft, which in the 1930's led him to develop a systematic procedure for "pre-visualizing" the final printed image while the exposure was being made. Called the Zone System, it enabled Adams to adjust his exposure and development times to produce negatives ideally suited for enlargement--and, most important for Adams, negatives that contained within them the germ of his original "vision" of the subject."

    *"Adams was not the first photographer to place a high value on visualizing the final image in advance,any more than he was the first to swear allegiance to sharply focused and finely detailed prints (his friend Edward Weston, for one, preceded him on both counts), but he was the first to combine the science on sensitometry with the aesthetic of the expressive photograph.........."

    "Adams drew upon the already existing aesthetic of the Equivalent, as conceived by Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz held that photographs, besides being documents of what they are of, are expressions of something else-that something else being the vision or feeling of the photographer."

    The true question is, what then is the meaning of Adam's vision of the natural world--or "for that matter, any clue as to what his unmatched technical brilliance allowed him to express."

    "Throughout his life Adam's refused to speak about the meaning of his pictures--preferring, presumably, to let them speak for themselves. But if Adam's pictures are expressive, as he made clear he intended them to be, the criticism of modernist photography has yet to describe what they are expressive of.

    If they are equivalents of the artist's deepest feelings, what are those feelings? As the photographer Robert Adams has written in regard to Minor White's imagery, "Sooner or later, one has to ask of all pictures what kind of life they promote."

    "Today these efforts at getting to Adam's importance seem not unlike the kind of evasions ambivalent critics sometimes undertake..... One can search all the panegyrical commentary on the photographer's work and not find a single description of the meaning of Adam's vision of the natural world--or for that matter, any clue as to what his unmatched technical brilliance allowed him to express."

    "The silence, coupled with the absence of any body of criticism that takes issue with the work, is what has left Adam's place in the art of this century suprisingly unsettled."

    A book recommended on Apug forum several months ago in another post on what good books on photography one should read contains the above quotes.

    The book, Crisis of the Real-Writings on photography since 1974 by Andy Grunberg" (see pages 34 and 35)

    C6h6o3, I actually agree with your humble and unbiased pure baloney opinion and also with Tonopah Jim's B.S. opinion. Minor also got into the "equivalents" lets not go there.

    As always thanks to all apugers, and Oh what fun.

    Dave in Vegas

  6. #46
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    Oh I myself almost forgot the original question, it was,

    Any comment out there on where Ansel came up with the concept of Pre-visualization?

    I don't think he did. He can be accredited with using the "science of sensitometry with the aesthetic of the expressive photograph." He was not the first photographer to place a high value on visualizing the final image in advance.... Andy Grundberg-New York Times.

  7. #47
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Baker
    I think there are two different ideas going on here if I am correct. There's the person who wakes up one morning and says "Wow! I just had the most amazing idea for a photograph. It had a mountain on one side and some trees in the front... I'd better grab the Sinar and some Tri-X, cause I have some driving to do!" Then there's the person who's already set up with the mountains and the trees and says, "Hey, this is looking pretty good. I think this would look good as a photograph. If I move over there and use the 90mm SA..." You see? The first guy previsioned it (I can verb it, can't I?) and the second guy visualized it. <snip>
    The first example you give is actually 'visualization', not prevision. The second, reading what you wrote, is neither visaualized or previsioned.

    In the first instance, it is not prevision because it is not a foreknowing or foreseeing of something to come. Driving around in your car looking for something to match what you saw in your head is not prevision. What this person did was to visualize a fanciful image. It was conjured up out his\her imagination, which is the definition of visualization. They may or may not be able to find something that looks like it, but that would be chance.

    In the second example, you never state that the photographer 'saw' anything in his\her mind. Certainly, the photographer did not see a finished print in his\her mind as they were composing the image - at least that part isn't described. If you had extened your second story to say: "Then the photographer looked on the groundglass and as he\she looked at the projected image, he\she could see it in thier minds' eye as a finished b&w imaged complete in every detail and tone". That would have been prevision and would accurately describe what AA or White mean by 'previsualization'.

    It must be stressed that dreaming up images that don't exist is not prevision. It would more accurately describe the work of Bruce Barnbaum<g>.

    -Mike

  8. #48
    c6h6o3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhi
    I still don't see how people don't get what White and AA and EW meant when they spoke of prevision. It's pretty simple, no mistery, a real phenomenon.
    Weston, yes. I know what he meant and that's the way I photograph.

    But AA and White were different. They talked about 'previsualizing' the print with their eyes, just looking at the scene through a framing card or viewing filter. Then they would decide what lens to use and set up the camera to try and capture what they had envisioned in their mind's eye. And I believe you can't do it. If you can, more power to ya.

  9. #49
    clay's Avatar
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    One can practice extensively, and eventually hit the target consistently with the arrow. Or one can just take a bucket of paint and paint the target around the place where the arrow lands.

  10. #50
    mikewhi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    Weston, yes. I know what he meant and that's the way I photograph.

    But AA and White were different. They talked about 'previsualizing' the print with their eyes, just looking at the scene through a framing card or viewing filter. Then they would decide what lens to use and set up the camera to try and capture what they had envisioned in their mind's eye. And I believe you can't do it. If you can, more power to ya.
    I'm not sure of the difference between how you understand what EW did and how you understand how AA and MW worked. Can you describe the differences? I think of them as the same mental proces of 'prevision'. Are you saying that EW saw the image on the gg first and then imaged in his mind and that AA and MW previsioned first and then went thru setting up the camera to make he image they saw in their minds? Is the only difference seeing on the gg first?

    Thanks.

    -Mike

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