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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinCrabtree View Post
    Do you really want the great unwashed deciding your worth?
    hi martin,

    the great unwashed already decide our worth ...
    but i'm trying not to buy into the system
    and try to bake my own bread.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinCrabtree View Post
    The sheer number of people and the easy exposure to them is diluting "quality."
    Quality can't be 'diluted' - it can't itself be weakened, which was my point. It can only be ignored for a while. Quality is constant, so long as we still have a set of values in place to judge historical work - which we never forsake, because it holds 'information' about our humanity and a gateway to the past - you measure the virtue (or what matters) of contemporary work to this. Lineage. It's the only way historians can determine quality - looking for references and measuring up. Most photographers are historians to some extent; if they have a certain type of photography they know intimately, they don't, for instance, buy a terrible book of work by a 'pretender' in that genre/style, because it doesn't stand up. It only stands up if there's a connection with the other work you know.

    I think the biggest threat to our sense of quality is simply bad archiving.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

  3. #13

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    I find the Internet as a whole to be one of the worst "windbags" of doom and gloom I have ever seen. When I significantly limit my time on it, get and shoot and talk to people in person, there is a much more balanced and nuanced perception going on in terms of nearly every topic, including photography and the art world.

    I just don't even care anymore what the buzz is, I do things my way, keep showing clients images they have never seen before and it just plain works. This is especially true of my fine art work that never sees the use of a computer. I am seeing uncharted territory in my future and as long as that is what is on the horizon, I know what my market is and how to keep it fresh...

    Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal.....the Internet is most certainly one of those distractions...

  4. #14
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    I prefer to be harshly judged by my peers than rewarded by the naive.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    You do realize that this "too many photographers, too many pictures" stuff has been going on since dry plates were introduced, right?
    +1

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    When ever I'm out in public taking photos and I see hoards of people taking pictures with iPhones and digicams it makes me try even harder when shooting on film.

    I know that there are a thousand "idiots" out there, shooting willy-nilly with their digicams, making millions of ho-hum picutres, 90% of which will be deleted before the day is done. I want my pictures to be better than that.

    I have told the story before about the day when I shot the picture of the tall ship, Niagara, while standing next to a guy who was "machine gunning" with an expensive digital setup when all I had was my little, old Yashicamat loaded with Tri-X. I have sold that picture three times and won first prize with that photo. ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/5877475532 ) I wonder if that guy even still has the pictures he shot that day. He probably deleted 90% of them.

    I don't think my picture of that boat is the Great American Photograph, nor do I claim to be the next Ansel Adams. Maybe you think my pictures are junk. That's not my point.

    I know that I have to swim a little faster to stay ahead of all the other fish in the sea and when I see more people snapping digitals I know I have to swim even faster.
    Beautiful shot

  7. #17
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    well said John and Ian...!

  8. #18
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    I think the bigger problem - which I did try to address (and is falling on deaf ears) is that - AS the digital medium and the ubiquity of cheap equipment informs the pool of photographic imagery inhabiting the galleries - our set of requirements for 'quality' will slowly shift to accomodate this new work and new kinds of quality that we cannot yet imagine perhaps. What WE consider high quality will become nearly invisible to others (and even to ourselves) as this happens. It's happening now in fact. For example - people seem totally nonplussed by an excellent execution of a large color print coming from 8x10 film - to most people it's indistinguishable from an 8 megapixel print - perhaps due to the fact that most people are spending all their time evaluating images on computer screens. I know that may seem absurd to most - but if you actually investigate this phenomenon I think you will find it to be true and real.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    I think the bigger problem - which I did try to address (and is falling on deaf ears) is that - AS the digital medium and the ubiquity of cheap equipment informs the pool of photographic imagery inhabiting the galleries - our set of requirements for 'quality' will slowly shift to accomodate this new work and new kinds of quality that we cannot yet imagine perhaps. What WE consider high quality will become nearly invisible to others (and even to ourselves) as this happens. It's happening now in fact.
    This is an irrational fear too I think; of inferior presentation becoming acceptable at such a post-apocalyptic, zombie land extreme. Yes, we have mp3s, but live performance is still as popular as ever - which is the equivalent to seeing original prints... oh no! I've unintentionally used the Ansel analogy.

    But, increasingly with art photography, the book is becoming almost more important than seeing original prints. It helps that people are fetishising them - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt7HhRMUUxY - I've actually played with the idea of selling a few books to buy this. There isn't really an equivalent to the book presentation in music (vinyl is an underground on/off trend and the CD is almost obsolete). I'd say photography is becoming more diverse in presentation, while the images flood in. If there's one thing you can say about modern culture, it's that we want EVERYTHING. I think eventually, all the 'media' used will find its rightful place in presentation.

    For example - people seem totally nonplussed by an excellent execution of a large color print coming from 8x10 film - to most people it's indistinguishable from an 8 megapixel print - perhaps due to the fact that most people are spending all their time evaluating images on computer screens. I know that may seem absurd to most - but if you actually investigate this phenomenon I think you will find it to be true and real.
    I'm not sure that anyone, even vaguely interested in photography, would fail to be bowled over by a great image, that happens to be made on 8x10. And that's the point.
    The viewer has needs above and beyond your need for validation in your media choice. Most people don't care that Burtynsky's images are made on 8x10 either - because it's not the point of his work.

    I absolutely understand this reactionary need to impose our use of film on 'the ignorant' - to 'wake them up' to quality - but it's ALWAYS at the cost of real concerns in photography, and isn't worth it. It becomes the drive to photograph in itself and I'm not wasting my time being a crusader. My movement would begin and end with making straight photographs on film with visual immediacy - shock and awe. Naturally, an interesting image eventually leads to questions about how, why and what - this includes format and process.

    Your bemusement about people not being interested in the format choice leads me to think that you expect the viewer to see it and comment on it? Why? Validation. Why do you want validation about your materials? Because they cost. Are you uncomfortable with the cost? Yes. Is that the viewer's problem? No. What is the viewer's problem? Lack of visual stimulation and enlightenment about the world, which you're not interested in showing them in front of the lens.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
    Your bemusement about people not being interested in the format choice leads me to think that you expect the viewer to see it and comment on it? Why? Validation. Why do you want validation about your materials? Because they cost. Are you uncomfortable with the cost? Yes. Is that the viewer's problem? No. What is the viewer's problem? Lack of visual stimulation and enlightenment about the world, which you're not interested in showing them in front of the lens.

    not at all. it was actually a burtynsky that elicited the non reaction! anything beyond the resolution of an ipad gets automatically downsampled in peoples' brains it seems.

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