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  1. #201
    viridari's Avatar
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    There are still modern masters. Sebastião Salgado, anyone? (Just one prominent example)

  2. #202

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soeren View Post
    I don't get why modern young aspiring photographers should care about Capa, Adams, Stieglitz or whoever ruled in the last century or even care about how a darkroom works and how to make archival FB silverprints. They learn the trade, use of digital cameras and PS techniques from modern "photographers" who themselves only barely know the traditional techniques. when talking HDR this and that, strobism and multilayering (or what ever these all sharp insect shots are called) there is not much sence in refering to historic masters and how they squezed a 7stop ranging subject into a 4stop paper without loosing the slightest tonality. They learn from Hobby and Mcnally and other masters of this current era. They look at images posted on the web where they are readily available and why should they care what us old farts think.
    Best regards
    I'm not sure how much this post was tongue-in-cheek, but to the extent that it's serious, I think you're conflating technique (which of course is often highly specific to materials and workflow) with artistic concerns (which mostly aren't). The OP and most of this thread were, I think, talking mainly about the latter.

    That said, I think if I were going to send an aspiring photographer forth to learn about the artistic uses of lighting, the first name I pulled out wouldn't be a photographer, it'd be Goya. Apart from techniques, I'm not sure there's any special reason why photographers should be privileged over painters in the *artistic* education of an aspiring photographer; composition is composition whether it's rendered in silver or oil or pixels, right? But you never hear photographic educators complaining that their students have never seen a Renoir.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  3. #203

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    i wouldn't have said "ain't nature grande' but i would have considered adam's work to be more like the grand landscape ..
    aside from massive manipulations, at the taking and printing stage, i would suggest that the survey work osullivan did
    for the federal government, if printed in the same "full scale" way ... if osullivan had film and enlarging paper / instead of
    a tent filled with ether fumes, glass plates and cyanide ... ( to me at least ) maybe they would look pretty much the same.
    You think? I've just been looking with some attention at O'Sullivan (I bought _Framing The West_, prompted by a recent thread on him), and I feel like the narrative of his photos is fundamentally different from Adams's. O'Sullivan's landscapes are rougher, more dangerous, and more inhabited---the whole storyline of Adams's grand-landscape work is about the *pristine* landscape, which I submit was not a primary concern for a guy who kept putting his developing tent in the photo!

    AND if osullivan
    was shooting dry plates instead of wet plates, he probably would have been using the system a lot of people used to manipulate
    a negative at the taking stage to get a full scale negative, which adams renamed the zone system, and people mistakenly think he invented.
    Yeah, I'd agree with that, and in general he might well have gravitated to most of the same techniques as Adams if he'd had the materials. I still get very different artistic voices from them, and I tend to think Adams deserves credit for the cultural birth of that pristine-grand-landscape gestalt in photography, even if he *did* reuse O'Sullivan's tripod holes to do it. (Indeed I think it speaks quite well of both of them that they could tell two different stories about the same raw material.)

    getting back to the questions though, neither adams nor osullivan were shooting in a vacuum. they were both professionals, and well connected ....
    and would have easily known what others were up to, whether those others were dead or alive ...
    Agreed. I think we got here from someone's suggestion that St Ansel sprang fully formed from the brow of an activated silver-halide grain, or something, which might be a *tiny* bit exaggerated.

    I don't think anyone learns in a vacuum, but I do think canons tend to be overrated.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  4. #204

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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    You think? I've just been looking with some attention at O'Sullivan (I bought _Framing The West_, prompted by a recent thread on him), and I feel like the narrative of his photos is fundamentally different from Adams's. O'Sullivan's landscapes are rougher, more dangerous, and more inhabited---the whole storyline of Adams's grand-landscape work is about the *pristine* landscape, which I submit was not a primary concern for a guy who kept putting his developing tent in the photo!
    i think you are right ... ansel adam's work was made to be "art" or "fine art" or "a sierra club calender" and
    o'sullivan made the photographs for the federal government to record the property they had just "bought" ... surveys so they could make maps.
    definitely different "genres" but sort of the same. ...

    Yeah, I'd agree with that, and in general he might well have gravitated to most of the same techniques as Adams if he'd had the materials. I still get very different artistic voices from them, and I tend to think Adams deserves credit for the cultural birth of that pristine-grand-landscape gestalt in photography, even if he *did* reuse O'Sullivan's tripod holes to do it. (Indeed I think it speaks quite well of both of them that they could tell two different stories about the same raw material.)
    who knows what would have happened if their places in history were swapped. if ansel adams was the government contractor and osullivan was the "artist" ...
    i think adam's work might have looked like osullivan's ( except for the tent )
    and osullivan would have had 20 shades of grey because his materials would have allowed it.

    we are lucky to live in a time where we can easily see work of a bizillion different photographers or painters or ... just a keystroke away
    it wasn't too long ago that traveling shows that presented magic lantern slides + stereoscopic views &c were common ...
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  5. #205

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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. IMO traditions simply promote the status quo.
    I don't disagree there! Traditions do promote a kind of status quo. Traditions promote what we've learned in the past, which is a good thing to know. As someone else pointed out, if we didn't have tradition they would never have figured out that you could eat tomato fruit because they would've kept dying from the leaves.

    What I think you don't like Mark is stodgy people who are afraid of new things. Unfortunately, stodgy people who are afraid of new things tend to love tradition above all else, so tradition gets conflated with the dislike of advancing and newness.

    If you take a look at advances in any field, they advance not by casting away tradition but by building on it. (i.e., calculus from basic mathematics; fried tomatoes from learning about not eating the leaves; science always begins with learning what the people that came before us observed and studied and believed. They were not always right, but imagine a science course trying to discover the Higgs Boson which did away with everything we had studied about atoms and chemicals and physics and started fresh with reinventing mathematics and trying to build a theory about thermodynamics?)

    Unfortunately for those people who don't care about the past, tradition is the very groundwork and foundation for progress & invention.
    Last edited by horacekenneth; 03-18-2013 at 01:28 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: I sounded kind've snobby

  6. #206

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    Quote Originally Posted by horacekenneth View Post
    If you take a look at advances in any field, they advance not by casting away tradition but by building on it. (i.e., calculus from basic mathematics; fried tomatoes from learning about not eating the leaves; science always begins with learning what the people that came before us observed and studied and believed. They were not always right, but imagine a science course trying to discover the Higgs Boson which did away with everything we had studied about atoms and chemicals and physics and started fresh with reinventing mathematics and trying to build a theory about thermodynamics?)

    Unfortunately for those people who don't care about the past, tradition is the very groundwork and foundation for progress & invention.
    Are you trying to equate "traditional knowledge" with "scientific knowledge"? It seems so. We don't use the laws of thermodynamics because "the old guys used them and we should know what they did"; we use them because they accurately describe the universe. No one's talking about reinventing mathematics.

    Self-expression through photography isn't science.

  7. #207

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    Quote Originally Posted by moose10101 View Post
    Are you trying to equate "traditional knowledge" with "scientific knowledge"? It seems so. We don't use the laws of thermodynamics because "the old guys used them and we should know what they did"; we use them because they accurately describe the universe. No one's talking about reinventing mathematics.

    Self-expression through photography isn't science.

    My point is simply that tradition is important. Obviously that looks different in different fields. The law of thermodynamics works. We don't start new everytime. Ideas in art work or don't work. Successful artists know about them and build on them.

  8. #208
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Where did David Kachel go?

    I think the reason why more stuff floods to places like museums and galleries, is that it really doesn't take much to make a print anymore. But if you weed through all of the mediocrity, (something modern day society seems good at producing), you will find little glimmers of hope. As David Little says, curator of photography at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts - "The cream tends to float to the top". It's just that there's a lot more noise to filter out.

    A great friend of mine gave his teenage daughter a camera, a 35mm SLR, because she was interested. Having studied only whatever art history and photography school imposed on her, she took pictures. After developing the film, a contact sheet was made, and then my master printer friend took a couple of shots and made darkroom prints from them. Beautiful work, that we all admired.
    With no formal training, she took pictures and had fun. But without the guidance of her more experienced father those pictures would have amounted to exactly nothing. Instead something wonderful was created.
    In a small and isolated event, I am trying to describe how an 'untrained' eye, and an experienced one, coexist and draw from each other to make good art.

    Fresh vision can come from minds that have not yet been too cluttered with other people's thoughts, too many social norms, and what the art world expects. There's a purity to it that's undeniable.
    Experience, history, and knowledge can help realize this vision, and make amazing works of art.

    Isn't the ideal state of creating art to maintain a fresh vision of the world around us, but at the same time learn from others how to realize our vision?

    Basically: We can't talk about one thing without mentioning the other, and it's our duty to help guide those that come after us, to learn how to materialize their dreams and their ideas, but doing so without destroying the innocence, clarity, and purity.
    Last edited by Thomas Bertilsson; 03-18-2013 at 02:52 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

  9. #209
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    "standing on the shoulders of giants"

    “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

  10. #210
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    When I first started my sabattier solarization project , I found inspiration in Man Rays body of work and the work of Ed Buffaloe.
    I have tried to keep my work as distinctly different as possible. It is fun to look at their work, now after about 10 years of making my own prints and see we indeed have the same black and white maki lines and from that point the work is completely different.



 

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