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  1. #1
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    At the risk of beating a dead horse please read.

    This article has several interesting points. The first being the development technique of expose for the highlights and develop for the shadows, and then the old argument on whether photography is really art. He makes some valid points, many of which I personally agree with.

    What do you think? The only problem I have with some of his logic is that I think he may be intimating that to be a real photo artist you must also be a trained fine art painter. While we have several photographers on this forum who are infact excellent painters as well, I question whether it a necessity.

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  2. #2

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    I like this statement a lot "For photography to have its place in the world of Art, it must have within it that quality of having been achieved by the hand of a competent Artist, along with the hand of a technically competent photographer."

    I think it is the artist quality that gives some photographs that certain something that takes them past the technical and brings out the emotion. Your shot of the inside of a church did this for me. I am not sure I agree that the person needs to be a trained painter though.

    When looking at his portraits I do not really see anything special about them, though he feels they are.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  3. #3
    jd callow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    When looking at his portraits I do not really see anything special about them, though he feels they are.
    I don't want to be too harsh, but his portraits are derivative to the point of being comically cliché.

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  4. #4
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Now Mr. Callow, I know you have strong feeling about the issues at hand. So please share your insight and wit with your fellow photogs and aspiring artists.
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  5. #5

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    Here's my 2c:

    The main point of the article is to discuss photography's merit as "Art," but at no point does the author define "Art" anymore than to be art "it must have within it that quality of having been achieved by the hand of a competent Artist." So, what makes some one an "Artist"? I'll slap the first one who says "the ability to create art."

    The author hints at composition as being the key artistic element of a photograph, but hisses at the F/64 group for not allowing manipulations. If you can't manipulate a photograph, what are you left with? Composition! The author's point is then invalid.

    As for his exposure methods, it's one way to do it. I'm sure it will lead to bullet proof negatives, but what do I know? Really, I don't know much, no sarcasm here. Well, maybe a little.

    His portraits look a lot like old oil paintings... as for their merits: It's his work, and he seems to adore it, so they are successful. Are they "Art"? How should I know? No one has defined art yet...

    By the way, whoever defines it, could you please define "beauty" and "justice" as well? I'd really appreciate it. I'm sure it could stop a lot of killing.

    Please forgive the sarcasm,

    André Rosenbaum de Avillez

  6. #6
    jd callow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EricR
    Now Mr. Callow, I know you have strong feeling about the issues at hand. So please share your insight and wit with your fellow photogs and aspiring artists.
    It is only my 1/2 wit opinion, but...
    In a manner, I DO think art can be shit thrown on the wall. Tools are meaningless message is ultimately the thing. There has to be quality to the message, both in content as well as as delivery, for it to be successful, but the tool doesn't determine that as much as the artist. To question whether the camera or photography can be art has been answered time and again. In the last 100years the same questions were asked of watercolour, guauche, ceramics and glass. It is not the medium that determines whether something has artistic value (at least not by my definition of art). Although, a good/great artist will utilize the uniqueness of a given medium to augment his/her message. I would doubt that there are many here on this forum who would argue that photography is not a unique, if not transcendent way to communicate.

    I am speaking of Fine Art not the art of craft.

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  7. #7
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Mortenson vs. f/64--that horse really is dead.

    Personally, I don't think it's really worth worrying too much about whether something is "art." Better to ask whether it's meaningful (does it make me think? does it make me feel?), and let the generations to come decide whether it's "art".

    As for "fine art"--that's just a technical term, something to put on your tax forms if you produce visual work for display only, as opposed to "applied art" (commercial, illustration, journalism, etc.).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcallow
    It is only my 1/2 wit opinion, but...
    In a manner, I DO think art can be shit thrown on the wall. ....
    I am speaking of Fine Art not the art of craft.
    I can agree with this 100%..would I like this type of art? no!

    Take a look at what is considered ART! The auto designs of the 50's are considered art by some, the Hood ornamantes of some cars are collected as art, heck some perfume bottles are considered art. Will they be in another 50-100 years, don't know and don't really care. Work today could be accepted as Art Today..but in a hundered years will be considered craft. Some buildings are considered Art, but not everyone see's them that way..unless of course someone tells them.

    So what is ART, Heck I don't know..is there more than one way for photography to be viewed as ART? You bit your sweet bippy (by the way what is a bippy?) For all I konw, Art is just a guy at work..if someones work moves you, and you like it enough to want to hang it on your wall, place it in your study or view it on the lawn..well it may be a 'visual' art object..and then again, maybe you just like it and said the heck with what anyone else thinks...

    shit on the walls? My cat can do that, did not know he was an artist...
    Mike C

    Rambles

  9. #9

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    Recognizing of course that his portraits as presented via electronic means are probably not the truest representation, I do personally think that he has succeeded in presenting work that is apart from a lot of the "cookie cutter" images that are derivative of the F64 group's influence. The heavy retouching, interpositive, and enlarged paper negative process does produce something very different in my opinion.

    At first glance, his technical approach seems to be so foreign as to be unworkable...yet I have used the same approach in my proportional exposure approach to high inherent contrast objects/scenes. So yes, it does work and pretty darned well at that.

    I would agree that training/talent in any of the visual arts is a definite aid to departure from the aforementioned "cookie cutter" duplication that has in many cases been done ad nauseum.

    Thank you for sharing this article. A wonderful departure.

  10. #10
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Donald has grasped ahold of the main argument. Do you need to be an accomplished or trained artist in the medium of painting to be able to create "art" with a camera? That is the main issue here, not the old saw about whether photography is art or not.

    It seems to me at least that the writer holds the opinion, right or wrong, that you can not be considered a photographic artist unless you are successful at painting or some other traditional art form as well. Personally I think this is hog wash, but I have noticed that the art produced by our members who I know to be artists in other media definitely have a different slant on things. Thomas's nudes are a good case in point.

    The f64 mentality while creating many wonderful landscapes I think has cobbled many a photographer. These aspiring Ansel's are pumping out wonderful "cookie cutter" images and never progress beyond that. People like Weston and Barnbaum both initially and still do in Bruce's case to a small degree produced magical landscapes. In both cases these photographers recognized the limitations of this framework and quickly departed on their own creative paths. To the best of my knowledge I do not believe either Bruce or Weston are painters or sculptures etc. Can anyone deny they produce art? I think not.

    I find that the snobbery presented in the writers article to be prevalent in the art community. Especially at the gallery end of things.
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