Originally Posted by mrcallow
Aren't we always breaking new ground? Breaking new ground is an evolutionary process that's not always obvious right away. FWIW, this international community of like minded folks, called APUG, is a rather new concept in the grand scheme of things. Isn't that breaking new ground in a way?
I think at times we do too much navel gazing.
We aren't partying enough.
Enjoy what you do.
Try to throw off the yoke of those that went before.
Take some pictures.
Before you know it you're dead.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
Ground breaking is not all its cracked up to be. When most of the greats were breaking new ground their work was not widely accepted. Only later, when the work had an audience was it really considered ground breaking.
Why is it so important to break new ground?
I think its more important to stay fresh in your own vision, allowing that to evolve, grow and mature as you do.
Don't worry so much about how the work ranks on the "photography ground breaking scale," that is for others to add or not add that classification to your work. Just keep working and growing..
I can only add that after an early introduction to photography, I did not photograph for 20 years, mostly because of the reasons you stated. I felt, maybe correctly, that although I showed a modicum of "talent", I had nothing new to offer in the area of photography that I enjoyed. A few years ago, during a "lull" in my "career" I reintroduced myself to photography again and reignited a long latent passion. It was clear that the wet prints (negatives) and chromes I was making - some from 20 year old negatives, but mostly new, were at a much higher level than the facility I used could support academically or aesthetically. It was "suggested" (i.e., I was literally forced - not nicely) every week or two over the period of a year that I was there that I should go elsewhere. Upon leaving, I evaluated the work of others who were making or had made photographs during my hiatus inferior to what I felt I could make. In other words, it hadn't bothered my "peers" that they weren't breaking any new ground - and they were making livings off of something they loved to do. I committed part of my house to my passion recently and will be having my first show in July (PhotoSF).
With regards to Ansel Adams, I would suggest reading his autobiography (Ansel Adams - An Autobiography), The Elegant Light (Nancy Newhall), or any number of tomes written of him. You might discover, among other things, that much of Adams work was self-admittedly "derivative", his "PR guy" was former student William Turnage, and he felt that the only reason to make photographs is because you truly (and realistically) know you can do it better than anyone else.
Michael, as we say in my part of the world... You hit the nail right on the head. Its not about shovels, its about cameras, film, and the chemicals to do them. Take pictures! have fun!
Originally Posted by blansky
"Nobody is perfect! But even among those that are perfect, some are more perfect than others." Walt Sewell 1947
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That should be The Eloquent Light by Newhall. Must be the Plavix.
Originally Posted by f64'ed-up
Digital tecknology breaks new ground every week. Does that make the images cutting edge or new ground as you put it? I think Blansky's got it. Just have fun. Don't quit, stay in focus then let it deal with itself. Whatever "it" is.
Stop trying to get into my mind, There is nothing there!
my quote says it all for me...
Matt's Photo Site
"I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin
Great thread, and when I read it I immediately thought of the Lomo camera and many people returning to try the old processes. I think in a way that digital puts a spin on things opening new possibilites in exploration thru manipulation and incorporating graphic arts, which reminds me of modern art in some ways.... Outside of that, I got nuthin.
An excellent thread. I came to the same impasse some time ago. I think that, for me this a pivotal point that some of us reach. We will either bridge the gap or fall by the wayside.
What I think, again for myself, is that photography very often is limited more by the photographer his/her self then any other factor.
For myself, this impasse is the point of departure from the world external into the world internal. By that I mean that most photographers whether they want to admit it or not are involved in producing illustration as opposed to art.
Illustration is the depiction of the external world...art departs from this and brings the internal experiences, understanding, and awareness into physical representation.
How many more waterfalls, trees, darkened passageways, slot canyons and cathedral interiors do we need to photograph? No matter how technically proficiently those may be produced they are still purely and simply illustration.
When I take a look at the work of Jerry Uelesmann or of Misha Gordin I see art being produced because their work is conceptual and sometimes deeply symbolic. It is about an idea or an ideal. It may not have anything to do with external reality but it does represent those individuals' view from their internal orientation.
I am sorry but when I look at the work of Ansel Adams today I am left cold...technically beautiful photographs that might as well have been produced for someone's advertising campaign.
Edward Weston...had more artistic ability then Ansel Adams because he knew more about composition from the standpoint of lines, shapes, and patterns. Brett Weston was again better then his father, in my opinion.
So do we keep replowing old soil? For many of us that is the greatest heights to which we will aspire...for others there will be a new quest, a new vision, and new art produced.
If all that I will do is to copy what has been done before in some new and slick way then I might as well throw my Deardorff into the fireplace because at least there it will produce some heat. Heat that I refuse to produce in an artistic sense when I simply re-photograph that which has already been done ad nauseum.