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  1. #1
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    The Fine Print as Window or Art Object.

    This will be somewhat confused I'm sure, as I've recently started wrestling with how I want my finished prints to look, so nothing is clear in my head concerning this stuff...

    You could say I've followed the west coast (U.S.) style in that I use large format, and selenium tone my fibre based gelatin silver prints which are then drymounted onto and overmatted with white board in brushed aluminum frames. Matted and framed, my images are like windows through which viewers experience my way of seeing the world.

    Lately, I've been trying to visualize my finished prints as objects of art unto themselves. I want them to be looked at, rather than looked through.

    Anybody else wrestle with this one? How did your work change?

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  2. #2

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    Think of them as opaque. I know it's not a good answer but that's all my dumb a$$ could think of at the moment.

  3. #3
    jovo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
    . I want them to be looked at, rather than looked through.
    I think it's a matter of who's looking at your prints as much as it is the prints themselves. It's also a matter of what you've presented: a record of what you've seen or an interpretation of the same. But I confess to not really understanding what you mean by "looked at rather than looked through".
    John Voss

    My Blog

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    medform-norm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jovo
    But I confess to not really understanding what you mean by "looked at rather than looked through".
    I understood it in this way [Murray correct me if I'm wrong]:

    'looked through' - the viewer looks at the objects portrayed on the photograph, so his mind dwells with what's on the photo's rather than the photo itself .
    'looked at' - the viewer looks at the photo as an object in itself in terms of composition, color, grain, exposure, balance, etc. - what's portrayed is of less importance or comes in second place

    looking through the photo in the first sense seems to be the more intuitive one (which gets comments from viewers like 'oh what a cute doggy!').
    Looking at the photo takes a little more effort, training and awareness on the side of the viewer (which might get you comments like: I think this works better if you crop those branches out in the left upper corner as it will give more balance to the whole.)

    Both aspects are important IMHO but I can see what Murray is struggling with. If I were in his place, I'd decide for each subject what the appropriate mode of presentation would be to achieve the effect I'm looking for, and I wouldn't shun unorthodox ways of doing so. But then, Hey, I'm a freagging artist so that's what I'm supposed to be doing anyway, isn't it?

    Norm

  5. #5
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Maybe I should have waited until tomorrow and tried starting this thread after some "sober second thought"...naw...I have the day off work tomorrow and the holiday booze has to be finished sometime, right?

    I'll try again. My prints (for me) don't really exist as objects of art unto themselves. Behind plexi-glass and over matted they seem not to exist, but become like windows. They are things whose surface represents scenes from nature as I felt them to be. They are B&W, clean, crisp, full depth of field, sometimes heavily dodged, burned or masked expressions of my way of seeing. I'm now making the best prints in my life, yet there's something not quite right...

    Maybe having them behind plexi-glass and on a wall disconnects me from them. Maybe having them selenium toned on gelatin silver paper doesn't work for my images in the environment I photograph in...what worked for Ansel at over 10,000' in the dry Sierra's doesn't seem to apply to my images near sea level on BC's north coast, where it's so moist there are ferns growing in the moss on the branches of the trees.

    I'm toying with the idea of lightly sepia and normally selenium toned images (5x7 images on 8x10 paper, 8x10 on 11x114, etc.) where the border of the paper is masked to remain white after sepia toning, and they get dry mounted (or starch pasted?) back to back with another sheet of the same paper the image is printed on. This would then be mounted by photo corners and overmatted as usual...or...it could be incorporated in some sort of book or portfolio presentation where they can be held in your hands.

    What to do when the best you've ever done isn't what you feel?

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  6. #6
    bjorke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
    What to do when the best you've ever done isn't what you feel?
    Thank the Great Yellow Father, because you haven't ossified yet.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  7. #7
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke
    Thank the Great Yellow Father, because you haven't ossified yet.
    Hi bjorke...(*hic*)...clarification please

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  8. #8
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    D'oh...never mind...the dictionary seemed too far away but I eventually managed to gather enough strength and dragged my butt over to it.

    Ossify (ossified, ossifying) turns into bone; stops developing or progressing.

    Cool word - just how big is your word quiver anyway? Still though, what's Kodak (The Great Yellow Traitor) got to do with it?

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  9. #9

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    murray

    maybe you should experiment a little bit and make small folios or books that contain your prints. nothing grand (at first), maybe some stuff printed on 5x7 paper with a border so you can stitch them together and make a cover.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0830...451463-2282548

    this is a pretty good book for teaching easy book-leaflet-folio &C design.
    it doesn't take a huge amount of skill, and not a whole lot of specialized equipment.

    then ... if you get to like some of your work presented this way, you can make really big books. i've made bunches of them around 11x14(ish) and have the paper and materials to make them bigger ...

    and if you don't want your prints permanently-bound there are ways to make post-bindings, so you can remove and exchange what is between the covers.

    good luck!

    -john

  10. #10
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian
    maybe you should experiment a little bit...

    and if you don't want your prints permanently-bound there are ways to make post-bindings, so you can remove and exchange what is between the covers.
    Thanks John, you've given me something to chew on (really like your coffee series by the way!)

    Murray

    (added later) I just searched the galleries and those photographs taken for a coffee shop are gone...they were yours, right?
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 01-02-2006 at 05:20 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

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