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  1. #11
    blansky's Avatar
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    I believe all photographers that are any good, manipulate the subject, otherwise they are just taking snapshots. This is where the "make a photograph, rather than take a photograph" comes from.

    Even simple things like cropping, lens choice, depth of field etc manipulate a scene. After that burning and dodging take it farther. Controlling all the elements in a photograph is manipulation and the creative photographer is in charge of all of it.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  2. #12
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    I think that Frith's word, improve, is used in relationship to expression of an idea, art.

    Art does not necessarily need to "tell the whole truth". In my mind neither does photography, that expectation is artificial. That expectation may be of value for a news organization but for the rest of us it is more a choice about our style than something that is right or wrong.

    Even the f64 crowd can't be said to be representing "the whole truth". Compare the straight versus the final prints of Ansel's Moonrise and it becomes hard to think hat Ansel was telling "the whole truth" rather than expressing an idea. http://www.jimalinder.com/portfolios...onrise.psd.jpg

    One of the big drivers of soft focus photography was that through improvements in technology, resolution had gotten "too good". The lines and imperfections in a sitter's face had become a real problem for portraitists, just as they are today. Soft focus helped keep studios in business because, as sexist as this may sound, women don't generally buy portraits that make them look fully their age or portray their children with a bunch of zits. Right or wrong, Portraitists ignore social norms at their own commercial peril.
    Last edited by markbarendt; 01-20-2013 at 10:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    ...Also, thinking of airbrushing on magazine covers - is this 'improving upon nature, through control and arrangement'? It's a dangerous word.
    If the cover were a photo realistic illustration would you have the same objection?

    Why?

    https://www.google.com/search?q=photorealistic+drawing
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    One of the big drivers of soft focus photography was that through improvements in technology, resolution had gotten "too good". The lines and imperfections in a sitter's face had become a real problem for portraitists, just as they are today. Soft focus helped keep studios in business because, as sexist as this may sound, women don't generally buy portraits that make them look fully their age or portray their children with a bunch of zits. Right or wrong, Portraitists ignore social norms at their own commercial peril.
    People don't hire portrait photographers for reality. Never have and never will.

    Besides what is reality?
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    If the cover were a photo realistic illustration would you have the same objection?

    Why?

    https://www.google.com/search?q=photorealistic+drawing
    We've strayed into the difficult area of context. The statement we're discussing is specifically about photography as art, so I shouldn't have mentioned magazines really.

    However...
    You wouldn't see a photo-realistic drawing on the cover of anything but an arts magazine, because ultimately, the viewer needs 'the big reveal' (that it's a drawing) for the image to have its full effect.
    With the cover of a fashion magazine, the viewer needs to believe the photo presents a flawless reality for the image to have its full effect.

    In the context of style and fashion magazines, the 'control and arrangement' of the images seeks to literally 'improve' the subject - which dangerously alters our expectations of reality.
    In the context of an art gallery, we would be conscious of these images as 'alternative truths', which seek to alter the way we perceive reality.

    I understand the writer wanted to keep it pithy, but for me, it would make better sense written as; 'to influence our perception of nature, by control and arrangement'.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    I believe all photographers that are any good, manipulate the subject, otherwise they are just taking snapshots. This is where the "make a photograph, rather than take a photograph" comes from.

    Even simple things like cropping, lens choice, depth of field etc manipulate a scene. After that burning and dodging take it farther. Controlling all the elements in a photograph is manipulation and the creative photographer is in charge of all of it.
    Quote Originally Posted by blansky View Post
    People don't hire portrait photographers for reality. Never have and never will.

    Besides what is reality?
    +1
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    We've strayed into the difficult area of context. The statement we're discussing is specifically about photography as art, so I shouldn't have mentioned magazines really.

    However...
    You wouldn't see a photo-realistic drawing on the cover of anything but an arts magazine, because ultimately, the viewer needs 'the big reveal' (that it's a drawing) for the image to have its full effect.
    With the cover of a fashion magazine, the viewer needs to believe the photo presents a flawless reality for the image to have its full effect.

    In the context of style and fashion magazines, the 'control and arrangement' of the images seeks to literally 'improve' the subject - which dangerously alters our expectations of reality.
    In the context of an art gallery, we would be conscious of these images as 'alternative truths', which seek to alter the way we perceive reality.

    I understand the writer wanted to keep it pithy, but for me, it would make better sense written as; 'to influence our perception of nature, by control and arrangement'.
    Actually Frith was a painter and was trying to show photography's limits in relation to art, such as painting.

    The magazine cover issue is well inbounds in this thread. The premise you brought up with the cover question is directly related to whether photography should be considered primarily a record or if it can be considered art.

    Edit, Frith did transition into being a photographer.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

  8. #18
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    +1
    X2
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Ana´s Nin

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