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  1. #211

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    Quote Originally Posted by horacekenneth View Post
    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.
    Tradition is a double-edged sword. It can stunt progress as easily as it can aid it.

  2. #212
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    Quote Originally Posted by moose10101 View Post
    Tradition is a double-edged sword. It can stunt progress as easily as it can aid it.
    I don't think it is quite double edged. Obviously it can be wielded about by people who don't like progress, but besides them I think it's only stunting if you have bad tradition.

  3. #213

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    Quote Originally Posted by ntenny View Post
    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 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.)

    -NT
    Ansel and O'Sulivan are very definitely the forebears of two different lineages in photography. Many would argue that Ansel and his subsequent pupils have ultimately created a very precious and accessible strand of photography, which strangely, appeals to those not as well versed in the visual arts (or interested in it). This is strange because Ansel's best known work was more firmly rooted in the pictorial tradition, whereas O'Sullvans was straight, mechanical and arguably, more purely photographic.

    O'Sullivan's strand of landscape representation has led to the more dispassionate, politically motivated and art savvy colour work of the natural scene today - which takes a great deal from painterly convention, as well as photographic history. The Ansel lineage, made up of people like Sexton, Barnbaum, Rowell, Muench, is a very insular photographic world, which still insists, "thou shalt not not take from other visual arts". The reason those guys won't be listed in the history books along with their American contemporaries like Misrach, Burtynsky and Klett is because their work fervently and stubbornly denies art tradition, for a kind of 'photography meets Thoreau' utopia. In my mind, it's like the 'fantasy' genre of photography.

    I say this by the way as someone who loves Ansel and others of that lineage, in small doses. But I believe the kind of 'tradition' the OP alludes to is a 'vacuum tradition' or put more directly, photographic naive art - a world unto itself. When photography is already a niche, too much of this work makes me feel claustrophobic. Which is why I gave up on making romantic landscape pictures.

    The Ansel lineage is sneaky in a way, for standing on the shoulders of giants (painters) - in terms of its subjective representation - without acknowledgement or reference.
    Last edited by batwister; 03-18-2013 at 06:07 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

  4. #214
    StoneNYC's Avatar
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    Loss of fine art photography tradition

    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian View Post
    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. ...



    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 ...
    John I gotta call you on this one...

    Ansel WAS contracted by the government to make photos that's how he got funded to go to these places, he just made an agreement that on his off days / time he could shoot and keep negatives for himself.

    I venture to guess that he simply kept the good stuff and sent the government all the less artistic stuff.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  5. #215
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    Loss of fine art photography tradition

    PS, is it bad that YOU GUYS are my modern masters? or maybe I should say my "old matters" hehe...


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk
    ~Stone | "...of course, that's just my opinion. I could be wrong." ~Dennis Miller

  6. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by horacekenneth View Post
    Unfortunately for those people who don't care about the past, tradition is the very groundwork and foundation for progress & invention.
    Actually what I don't care about is myth, spin, and maintaining old patterns.

    Tradition is IMO the antithesis to progress & innovation, it is built on myth, faith, marketing, and nostalgia. Tradition is social and political, it is all about staying inside the lines, about maintaining the way things are.

    History, not tradition, is important in education and it is a subject near and dear to my heart.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

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

  7. #217

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    Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
    John I gotta call you on this one...

    Ansel WAS contracted by the government to make photos that's how he got funded to go to these places, he just made an agreement that on his off days / time he could shoot and keep negatives for himself.

    I venture to guess that he simply kept the good stuff and sent the government all the less artistic stuff.


    ~Stone

    Mamiya: 7 II, RZ67 Pro II / Canon: 1V, AE-1, 5DmkII / Kodak: No 1 Pocket Autographic, No 1A Pocket Autographic | Sent w/ iPhone using Tapatalk


    huh

    i never knew he was contracted by the government to document the park system, thanks !
    there you go, he WAS the incarnation, the modern version of osullivan then.
    he just was able to exploit the art of photography more then the documentary nature of photography.
    i wouldn't be surprised if he gave the government agency the same exact stuff that he gave the sierra club ...

  8. #218
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Bertilsson View Post
    A great friend of mine gave his teenage daughter a camera, ...
    I have seen versions of this story over and over and over.

    The important part of art, IMO, is the inspiration and attempt at expression.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

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

  9. #219

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    Since the thread has evolved a little, and meaning no slight on the past masters mentioned; Who are the comtemporary masters?

  10. #220
    Greg Davis's Avatar
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    I argue that it would be the photographers who work is influencing artists now. Two names that come to mind are Alec Soth and Andreas Gursky. While I am not trying to start an argument about the validity or popularity of their images, they are very influential in their aesthetics and concepts as it relates to contemporary photographic art.
    www.gregorytdavis.com

    Did millions of people suddenly disappear? This may have an answer.

    "No one knows that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father." -Matthew 24:36



 

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