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Thread: HCB in Colour

  1. #31
    AndreasT's Avatar
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    I recently saw a philosophy program on TV. MDR may know it since he lives in Austria. It was on ARTE. They came to picture about the puddle jumper, and bla, bla, what they saw in that picture.
    However whenever I look at Bressons pictures I am always amazed at how good they are. At least I am always amazed, and sure I start seeing things which possible I want to see.
    As I see it there are so many photographers who find him exceptionally good. Because they find him good and they are in the know and not because of bla, blas.
    It is always difficult to say since photography is always involved with emotion and we all do see differently. My favourite colour is orange and yours may be blue.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    Both in BS spreading and spotting, you can't get a degree in an art school if you don't learn how to do the former

    The anecdote is unfortunately true and is really caused by too much talking and philosphizing and too little actual looking at the research object.
    I don't doubt the anecdote at all.
    I am amazed at what amazing insights art "experts" can come up with- quite creative, some of them. These psychics can deduce all sorts of things about the artist's state of mind, emotions, intent, etc., and they don't even have to have ever met the person! They can read into an image messages and representations which can boggle the mind- which is all just fine, if one remembers that it's just their opinion.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  3. #33
    MDR
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    Lxdude +1

    Andreas if the same image would have been made by say joe blow I bet dollar for donuts that very few photographers would care about it. That being said HCB made some exceptional photographs this isn't really one of them but that's just my opinion.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by MDR View Post
    Clive it was so perfect that it had to be cropped etc... whic doesn't bother me what bothers me is that a mediocre yes mediocre image is made into something by pseudo intellectuals and some photo historians that it isn't (I have a degree in the latter as well as in Art BS). HCB was never that good he was extremely well marketed and produced good work but that's it. I also honestly like his work but I don't parrot everything someone like Szarkowski or the Newhalls said.

    Just to tell you a funny anecdote last year I went to a lecture about Atget the lecture was held by one of the more famous photo historians in the german speaking world. He showed a few photos and said something along the lines how great and really creative Atget was, amongst other things of course, because the included the arches of the corridor he was taking the photographs from. Well to make a short story long the room was not only full of photo historians but also full of LF photographers who prombtly pointed out that these arches are not arches at all but lens vignetting caused by using a Wide Angle lens that didn't cover the format with movement. That a large amount of the photo historians was surprised about this revelation is an understatement. But what it clearly showed was that in the academic world of european photo historians there are a lot of preconceived ideas and views, very little technical understanding and way too much philosophy. A process historian like Mark Ostermann who not only has the historicalbut also the technical knowledge would have seen the vignetting for what it is. One of the reasons of the shortsightness of a lot of photo historian is caused by overreliance on texts by amongst other things the above mentioned Newhalls and Szarkowski. Both the Newhalls and Szarkowski had an agenda and were everything but objective.
    I'm sure there is a lot of truth in what you say about historians, just as there is probably the same amount of BS coming from people who are more concerned about technical perfection and little regard for aesthetics. I have heard it said that HCB is a photographer’s photographer and probably more appreciated by those of us struggling with the same media. I enjoyed the Atget anecdote, but find it difficult to believe they didn't recognise vignetting.

    “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

  5. #35

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    its important to note what sort of work is being shown there in colour. Its very different from some of his more 'personal' collections. I think some of his colour work looks darned good when you compare it to work of the same era.

  6. #36
    MDR
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    Clive them not recognizing vignetting in the upper part of the picture is easy to explain they don't know anything about the technical aspects of photography not really when I studied art history with an emphasis on photo history there were two lectures about the technical aspects of the medium both of them non compulsory so very few students attended them. Text analysis where texts about photography were dissected were compulsory lectures.
    The same thing applied to general art history a lecture by one of europe's top conservators and art historian about technique, formulas and the more technical aspects of art was non compulsory and again since it was non compulsory no students (loved the lectures). And again an art history lecture by a prof who was reading mostly philosophical hogwash from a book was compulsory. Some of the most quoted authors in photo history are philosophers not photographers not even art historians or artists but philosphers. The problem is that most of today's profs and students only have book knowledge because that's what's expected from them. I also admit that a very small percentage recognized vignetting once it was pointed out to them. This is also the reason why I think that art history should be taught both by process historians as well as classic art historians we need both.

    I am also a HCB fan except for some pictures that is. The colored ones in this thread do exactly what they are supposed to do and are not bad imo.

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