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  1. #21
    blansky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague
    Photography is about art, art is about beauty, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    This statement probably says more about you than it does about photography.

    The are many disciplines of photography that really have nothing to do with art. Some is utilitarian, some is frivilous and some is by people copying others to try to get to a level of expertise so they can "blossom" on their own.

    Also what one thing is today may be considered "art" at a later date.

    Donald ,it seems is in a place, as he admits where he is pretty well bored with many aspects of photography and is looking for a higher level. He admires a few people for that "transcendence" but I wonder if he just tried to achieve that in his own, if he would be happier. Tried for the duality of pretty pictures and the metaphorical encompassed in one shot.

    I think that most people take pictures of what interests them and if unconsciously, they produce something transcendent they are happy. Conscious transcendence my be a self conscious, or overbearing manipulation that in the end says nothing.

    I will say that I often find that when someone tries to find illumination in someone elses work, they are often adding things that were not necessarily thought of, or perhaps even meant by the author of the work.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    But how many photographers today have the recognition or the ability to express the inner being of their lives in a meaningful and original way that resonates with others? Not many I find.

    (And you also said this; )

    In my experience there are too many lemmings going over the cliff.
    Donald, it sounds like you're at a crossroads, about to embark on a seminal change in the way you work. It also sounds like you've become numb to the work of many of your peers. Might I suggest a good old cleansing?

    Take all those burdensome, dead lemming negatives of yours from your "pretty picture - objective observational" period and burn them. Why anchor yourself to a meaningless past? Start afresh. Be reborn. There's nothing like going for it without a safety net to get the motivational juices surging!

    Murray

  3. #23
    Daniel Lawton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    But how many photographers today have the recognition or the ability to express the inner being of their lives in a meaningful and original way that resonates with others? Not many I find.
    When I look at a photograph I'm not trying to read into the artists mind nor am I trying to understand the inner being which drives him/her. Besides, unless the artist has lead an exceptional life, it would be pretentious to assume anyone would find these things interesting anyway. I'm more concerned with what connection I as a viewer make with the image. That's what photography is all about for me. If one so desires to convey the inner workings of their psyche why not just put a pen to paper and write them down? IMHO photography is very inadequate as a form of communication. To me a good photograph does one thing, it catches the viewers eye and allows them to draw their own conclusions.

  4. #24
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    This statement probably says more about you than it does about photography.

    The are many disciplines of photography that really have nothing to do with art. Some is utilitarian, some is frivilous and some is by people copying others to try to get to a level of expertise so they can "blossom" on their own.
    True, but the statement was only meant to be viewed in the context of the tread. I think that many photographers, including myself, take photographs that we don't consider art. I have a Canon Powershot A-510 digi camera that I use to take pictures of signs, pictures of friends (for my desktop), etc - I don't consider those images as "art".

    Most of us learn from photograhers in one way or another. I hope that when you look at my images, you will see my view of the world, but with the realization that I learned many of the techniques through the masters of the art - people like Jack Dykinga, Joe Cornish, Tom Till, John Fielder and others.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague
    Photography is about art, art is about beauty, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I can find nothing more meaningful in my photography than the expression of the master artist, through my lens, through my own unique vision and way of looking at the world.
    Your statement may be true in your experience. I have no argument with what you say, but I wonder if it goes far enough. For instance, there is nothing particular beautiful about "Migrant Mother" or about the Vietnamese officer who was assasinated, about the child that was burned with napalm, or the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima (I forget the names if the latter three images) yet they do touch most people who see them.

    The Iwo Jima flag raising is far more a symbolic image then it is about objective reality, in my opinion. Migrant Mother imparts the defeat and despair and the Vietnam era images impart horror for most of us.

    I think photography can be about art (which I would define more about ideas and concepts then beauty) and it also may be simply illustration. Art may be beautiful and it may be unbelievably ugly. I think art is primarily capable of evoking an emotional response in someone whereas illustration will not normally have that as it's primary aspect.

    Maybe it's because I have lived and photographed in places similar to those that Ansel Adams, Howard Bond, John Sexton, Bruce Barnbaum and others of the "found objects" genre have photographed, but I am really burned out on those images. I realize that this is mine to resolve...maybe it is time to have a massive bonfire as someone suggested.,

  6. #26
    roteague's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Maybe it's because I have lived and photographed in places similar to those that Ansel Adams, Howard Bond, John Sexton, Bruce Barnbaum and others of the "found objects" genre have photographed, but I am really burned out on those images. I realize that this is mine to resolve...maybe it is time to have a massive bonfire as someone suggested.,
    Perhaps, you just need a bit of a break. We all do at times. Right now, I'm pretty burned out on photographing Oahu; I haven't touched my camera in about a month. I recognize this, but realize that after I get back from New Zealand, I'll probably feel different. Try going someplace new. If I remember right, British Airways used to have pretty reasonable flights from Phoenix to London - better to take a trip, then to burn everything.

    I wish you the best.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  7. #27
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roteague
    - better to take a trip, then to burn everything.
    Actually, I'd rather run with something like that too. I brought up the cleansing bit as a Blanskyesque, tough love, slap in the face way to get you to see the images from your past mean too much for you to burn. They may be "pretty pictures", but if they have meaning to you, chances are they'll have meaning for someone else...making them art in their eyes.

    Want to shift gears? Why not take a foundation first year at a Fine Arts school? I was accepted to one years ago with only 4x5 contact prints in my entrance portfolio. There you'll be surrounded by others asking much the same questions in a volatile atmosphere of creativity...no photography, just drawing, painting, pottery, sculpture, design and art history. I believe the experience was vital to the way I now photograph.

    To question everthing means you aren't stagnant, and if you're stagnant, you're dead in the water as an artist.

    Murray

    (added later) Many years ago I tossed out a bunch of very lame early work. It felt great. I wouldn't do that now...I have too much invested in the images since then.
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 09-25-2005 at 11:12 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    Well then, I'd really, really like to have a bibliographical reference to what you are claiming. What researches are you referring to?
    Thanks for asking. The original source of my statement is long since forgotten, but I googled "pitch intervals and universal meaning" and chose the following: www.lotpublications.nl/ publish/articles/001163/bookpart.pdf

    It seems to relate well to my point, but is much more recent than what I was citing. In any case, it does seem to maintain, though with many equivocations, what I said. (I am by no means a scholar, rather, I'm a practicing cellist and teacher.)

    Were such elemental 'cues' present in visual matters, then Donald's point might have some empirical validity beyond being a hoped for notion.
    John Voss

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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Maybe it's because I have lived and photographed in places similar to those that Ansel Adams, Howard Bond, John Sexton, Bruce Barnbaum and others of the "found objects" genre have photographed, but I am really burned out on those images. I realize that this is mine to resolve...maybe it is time to have a massive bonfire as someone suggested.,
    I used to wish I lived near enough to those iconic subjects to have a crack at them, but now I'm actually grateful that I live in the east where black and white interpretations of what's found in nature are less ubiquitous. (There's plenty of color work here, but it's not particularly interesting to me beyond its obvious 'prettiness') I feel like I can explore what's here to photograph without copying anyone's work I can recall seeing (even though I doubt it hasn't been covered anyway.) The only trouble is that I have to be rather self-validating for that very reason. Sometimes it's scary. When you take a familiar path, you know what you're doing has already been 'approved'. Carving out your own 'way' forces one to confront the very real possibility that your vision is mundane and the results are mediocre crap. I'm often frustrated, but rarely if ever bored.
    John Voss

    My Blog

  10. #30

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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    But how many photographers today have the recognition or the ability to express the inner being of their lives in a meaningful and original way that resonates with others? Not many I find.



    Not everyone who does photography is necessarily trying to "express the inner being of their lives" and maybe that is why you don't find that many who do. While it is true that photography is a form of self expression, there are many degrees to which a person can expose themselves through their work. I think if a person has the ability to express their deepest feelings verbally to others, they may have less need to bare their soul through their work.

    I am the only photographer whose work I can speak of with a deep understanding. I can tell you that I am not trying to express my inner soul through my photographs, I am merely trying to interpret scene that I found interesting or moving in a way that I also find visually interesting. I'm producing photographs for myself, I guess to some extent they are also reminders to me of having been in a place that I had an emotional response to. It is very satisfying to me that some people can elicit that same emotional response from my work never having been to that location. But that also brings up a difference between people. Some people are capable of having an emotional response to an object or place, others may only be capable of having an emotional response to other people. And still others can find an emotional response in both. Maybe that's why some people gravitate towards portrait and others towards still life or landscape. It's what they find interesting, can relate to or find moving.

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