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  1. #131
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    itoo many haters, too many snobs not enough art ...
    Yep
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #132

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    I think the question of whether youngsters study art history enough or whether they study it more than their ancestors is ultimately a subjective one based on anecdotal evidence at best, for any one of us.

    I feel the best approach to art is an openness to any vision, any process, any material, any subject matter that will give you what you're after. That openness sometimes looks like willful ignorance of history, but there's just so much time in a day and sometimes you spend it shooting crappy photos with your camera rather than read or look at art. As someone else said, the serious artist or student of art usually resorts to history at some point, when she has the time, especially when he runs out of material . . .

    And I'm also getting a lot out of this discussion, at least about 80% of it.

    The discussions here lean pretty heavily towards emphasizing process. Over content, form, art history, meaning. Which is to be expected at APUG, that's what it is.

    I would love to find more discussion of aesthetic, art history, compositional, social engagement issues as they bear on photography, but have not found a website for that type of discussion , except occasionally here, on a few blogs (Conscientious is one) or in books. Any sites like that?
    Jeff Glass

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  3. #133
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post

    Thing about "art history" is that we are post-Dada. Since most of it has come down to pretentious BS, I can really understand why people don't bother reading about every last photographer out there. When there is an admonishment to stand upon the shoulders of giants, how many giants are lauded? I have seen many people here castigate Adams and others. Why? So everyone gets reduced to the stature of a pygmy. Now, where are the giants whose shoulders will give us new sights?

    Non-photographers might have heard of Ansel Adams, and they certainly haven't heard of anybody else. If a person fits the "I have an expensive camera and therefore I'm a photographer" category, of course they will go, photograph babies and brown dogs, and then go to a gallery and expect to be lauded.
    I can't speak for anyone else's motivations for critiquing the Adams fan base, but to me, it's not about tearing down a giant to a pygmy, but rather puncturing the shadow others have set him up to cast so that there is room for others to shine. The f64 school is NOT the only way to make a photograph. By all means learn the technique because it's good foundational technique - it gives you the baseline from which to make highly controlled photographs, and to deviate from that in a repeatable, predictable way. But it is tiresome to the nth degree to hear people shouting that if it doesn't look like St. Ansel shot and printed it between 1940 and 1970, then it isn't a valid photograph.

  4. #134

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    At the end of AD Coleman's lecture (video link in a previous post), he's asked about the difference between digital and traditional.He makes the interesting point that digital photographers really aren't that interested in a physical print. Those of us raised on the giants of the past (including Pictorialists) have a reverence for the print. Today's generation is more thrilled with some digital multi-media display. Asking them to look at prints from the past (even the recent post-modernist past) is boring. Can you imagine them sitting thru a Minor White class? Maybe they are practicing the much vaunted paperless revolution;-)
    Last edited by doughowk; 03-15-2013 at 08:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  5. #135

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidkachel View Post
    My concern is this: since new photographers have no need of seeking knowledge concerning analog materials and techniques from older photographers, they are therefore no longer immersed in an atmosphere conducive to acquiring knowledge of other aspects of photography from those same people. They do not learn the history, aesthetics, the various schools or even familiarize themselves with any of the work of the past. It is as if, for these new photographers, all the greats and what they had to teach us have simply vanished from the Earth.
    Innovation rarely comes from those who stare in the rear-view mirror.

    Avant garde may rarely stand the test of time and although sometimes interesting, rarely produce the greatest pieces of art no matter what art form. Most of it ultimately turns out to be dead ends. That doesn't make it less important, though.

    While true innovation and advancement of the arts most often come from those who have a certain understanding of the history, the contemporary and the avant garde, some ideas can only come from those who don't know or care about traditions.

  6. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by mannbro View Post
    some ideas can only come from those who don't know or care about traditions.
    Agreed, but good ideas can only come from those who learn from the people that came before them, and I think that is true of all the greats.

  7. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by horacekenneth View Post
    Agreed, but good ideas can only come from those who learn from the people that came before them, and I think that is true of all the greats.
    Horse feathers.

    Surely there are things to be learned about the craft involved and ways to do business but there is absolutely no requirement to know history or follow tradition to make good art/photos.

    I would actually suggest that tradition hinders art.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #138

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    for hundreds of years people died because they ate the leaves of the tomato plant.
    tradition told them not to eat the large red berries. eventually someone broke tradition
    ate the fruit from the plant and it is a popular fruit turned vegetable most people take for granted.

    while one may say that some ideas come from people who don't know or care for traditions,
    one might also say that some people come up with new ideas, not because they don't know or care
    about traditions, but because they know all to well the traditions, they are bored with them and they feel like doing something else.

  9. #139

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    Quote Originally Posted by horacekenneth View Post
    Agreed, but good ideas can only come from those who learn from the people that came before them, and I think that is true of all the greats.
    Well, we have all learned from the people that came before us, so in some sense that is true. That, however, doesn't mean that you need to study the early history of toaster design in detail to design a cool, innovative, cutting-edge toaster.

  10. #140
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    Some of the greatest breakers of tradition in art were highly schooled in the traditions of art before they decided to break them - look at early Picasso paintings for example. Or early Renoirs, or early Caravaggios. Salvador Dali could paint "straight" if he wanted to, and so could Yves Tanguy. In photography, look at Edward Weston's work from the 1910s-1930- he was a Pictorialist! Same with Ansel Adams. His really early work consisted of contact prints of whole-plate glass negatives in platinum/palladium. You've got to know the rules and conventions before you can break them successfully - otherwise you're just floundering around.



 

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