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  1. #61
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    'Fine art' photography and the 'fine print' are two terms I've grown very tired of, relatively quickly. I like to think that's because my appreciation of photogaphy lies with the image - that thing that stays in our mind once our eyes have been averted - which many, many, many people here constantly skirt around in pursuit of nuance, which because of a tradition delusion, is linked to image value, but actually quickly forgotten by the viewer. What's left is a completely *unmemorable photograph with a memorable price tag.

    There's something inherently defeatist about the traditional 'fine art' photographer, almost a dissasociative personality disorder. They know full well their work, because of its label, has been restricted in its universalities and impact, but the label brings them comfort for their shortcomings, a tradition to blindly follow and a small audience. I'm offering some provocative outside thinking with that estimation, as I'm young enough to have broken the 'fine art' habit before it defined my photography and open minded enough to have a broader appreciation of photography as art. As much as I favor traditional materials, my value judgment isn't restricted to their use and my image making isn't restricted to the tradition of its use in representation (and presentation), which because of associated literature, has become blinkered. I want my work to have value outside of this cult of tradition and won't deny myself the possibility.*

    I think by adhering to an aesthetic that sells the work has only attained an illusion of value. That's 'fine art' photography and that's all that's being discussed here unfortunately.*
    *
    Who mentioned 'fine art' photography? That's a term I'm deadly sick of too. It's just 'photography'.
    Last edited by Thomas Bertilsson; 02-28-2012 at 10:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    "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

  2. #62
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    To illustrate the value of seeing a print in person, a print that does not come across on the web is...

    Edward Weston, William Edmonson, Sculptor, Nashville.

    http://www.artsconnected.org/resourc...ptor-nashville

    When I saw this print in person, I was drawn to the textures of the earth, toes, the drapery. These come across ok on the web. But his eyes are awry. It setup an odd tension that I felt and that made me remember this print. You can't see his eyes clearly in this depiction. In the print it feels like a hot dry day. The print does not feel dark like the online presentation.
    I once had the opportunity to sit, on my own, accompanied by the entire collection of Kertesz prints of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. For as long as I wanted. What drew me to seek out this opportunity, were experiences of seeing his pictures in books, in catalogs, on the internet, and the odd museum exhibition where one or two of his works had been included.
    To sit with the actual prints, with nothing but air separating myself from them, as close as I wanted. That was six years ago, and I'm still in awe. While I was 'reeled in' by copies of his work, I was completely arrested by the actual originals, their presence, their 'weight' both to my eyes and my carefully washed hands, and their subtle beauty.
    Me and my eyes only, met what Kertesz and his eyes created. Does it get any more pure than that?
    "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

  3. #63
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    No. I don't think we understand each other. A print is enhanced by someone who prints very well. But of course you have to start with a good negative. One does not exclude the other.
    Neg = important
    Print = important
    Vision, content, subject matter = all is important. But, and this is my point, that good picture really comes alive in a great print. I really don't see how anybody could disagree. How does a great print of an already interesting picture detract from it? Could it?
    I think we pretty much agree that a great print enhances a great subject matter but a less than great print or some other medium can still be great BECAUSE of the subject matter alone.

    And a great print of a mediocre subject matter is just a great printing job but the picture is still mediocre.

    The reason I chimed in on this is because everyone was talking about great prints but nobody said anything about the importance of content.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  4. #64
    eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    ... a less than great print or some other medium can still be great BECAUSE of the subject matter alone.
    I think, even if the subject matter is superb, a less than excellent print wouldn't convey the creator's vision of the subject matter (as great as that subject matter may be). The subject matter, and technical expertise, are intrinsically linked. Failure in one is failure in the other.

  5. #65
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    I think we pretty much agree that a great print enhances a great subject matter but a less than great print or some other medium can still be great BECAUSE of the subject matter alone.

    And a great print of a mediocre subject matter is just a great printing job but the picture is still mediocre.

    The reason I chimed in on this is because everyone was talking about great prints but nobody said anything about the importance of content.
    I apologize if I wasn't clear, but I sort of took that for granted, that content was important regardless.

    I agree that a photographs that are merely an exercise in printing skill are not very exciting. I'm guilty of making those myself, but try to consciously steer away from that. What's interesting to one person content wise, though, can be lackluster to someone else, so there's a fair bit of subjective interpretation involved as well, which makes almost any philosophical discussion about photography about opinion, and we all know how hard it is to agree, or even to agree to disagree about those types of things.

    Good printing = enhances the viewing. Shitty printing = detracts from the viewing. In my opinion. Either way, subject matter is important.
    "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

  6. #66
    MattKing's Avatar
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    A great print is itself an artifact worth examining.

    It may not approach the value of the combination of great subject + great print, but it does have its own 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

  7. #67
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    Who mentioned 'fine art' photography? That's a term I'm deadly sick of too. It's just 'photography'.
    I have to admit that I am not tired or sick of the term. It is just an adjective added in front of "photography" to delineate it from commercial, wedding, product, architectural, sport, and other types of photography.

    Are you also against other adjectives on general principles, such a a beautiful woman, yellow taxi, etc? Just joking about that, of course.

    I suppose it could just be art photography, but there can be an element of art in any type of photography. Fine art photography just means that the photograph was taken and made as a end in itself.

    Vaughn
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  8. #68
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    Are you also against other adjectives on general principles, such a a beautiful woman, yellow taxi, etc? Just joking about that, of course.
    I just think the term 'fine art' is abused, to the point where everybody who has a photography web site is a fine art photographer, so it stopped having a meaning equating to any value to me. But other than that, yeah I hate adjectives...
    "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

  9. #69
    ishutteratthethought's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    I just think the term 'fine art' is abused, to the point where everybody who has a photography web site is a fine art photographer, so it stopped having a meaning equating to any value to me. But other than that, yeah I hate adjectives...
    I prefer a fine fart over fine art, it is cheaper and more rewarding to me personally.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by zsas View Post
    Clive what do you think of the Straight Print (2) vs the Fine Print (8) at the below?
    http://www.rangeoflightphotography.c...fine-art-print

    Do you really believe your quote below to be true after seeing the steps (ie time) involved to get from step 1 to step 8?
    I can see that print 8 is obviosly a better depiction of tonal and density values. However, the content and composition remain the same, which is what I meant by image value.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon



 

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