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  1. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    I could probably take the position that those who produce "pretty" art for "pretty" sake are shallow and unrealized just as easily as you made your assessment of me. But I won't do that in your case because you are entitled to your own method of self expression.
    What assessment of you did she make Donald. I must have missed it. I think she is right on the point in this discussion.

    I love the Whys of the image. I started a thread not to long ago asking why photographers do not tell the story of their photography. At the time you, and many others, expressed how distastful this was. Many stated that their art should stand or fall on it's own merits without the photographer present to discuss it.Now here we are again and folks are giving their stories. SOme of the same folks, you included, who are giving the stories behind the art. Maybe Darr is right.


    I was reading Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused : Essential Concepts for Mastering the Medium by Mel Stabin the other day, for the fifth or sixth time. In it he says (paraphrased) that the artist should not concern themselves with creating the next great masterpiece. They should, instead, concentrate on enjoying what they are doing. I agree fully with his statement. He also states that people are drawn to the subject for a reason and should know exactly what drew us too it. Both aesthetically and personally.

    It seems, to me at least, that as soon as we WORK to introduce symbols and alternate meanings into our work then there may become an artificiality to our work.

    If one naturally sees in symbols and wants the art they create to convey those symbols, the artist has the responsibility to convey that to the viewer. IMO the artist wimps out when they begin to belittle the viewer for not seeing what they intended. There is a lesson taught in writing schools: If you intend to include symbols and underlying meanings it is your fault if the reader does not get it, not theirs.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  2. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    What assessment of you did she make Donald. I must have missed it. I think she is right on the point in this discussion.

    I love the Whys of the image. I started a thread not to long ago asking why photographers do not tell the story of their photography. At the time you, and many others, expressed how distastful this was. Many stated that their art should stand or fall on it's own merits without the photographer present to discuss it.Now here we are again and folks are giving their stories. SOme of the same folks, you included, who are giving the stories behind the art. Maybe Darr is right.


    I was reading Watercolor: Simple, Fast, and Focused : Essential Concepts for Mastering the Medium by Mel Stabin the other day, for the fifth or sixth time. In it he says (paraphrased) that the artist should not concern themselves with creating the next great masterpiece. They should, instead, concentrate on enjoying what they are doing. I agree fully with his statement. He also states that people are drawn to the subject for a reason and should know exactly what drew us too it. Both aesthetically and personally.

    It seems, to me at least, that as soon as we WORK to introduce symbols and alternate meanings into our work then there may become an artificiality to our work.

    If one naturally sees in symbols and wants the art they create to convey those symbols, the artist has the responsibility to convey that to the viewer. IMO the artist wimps out when they begin to belittle the viewer for not seeing what they intended. There is a lesson taught in writing schools: If you intend to include symbols and underlying meanings it is your fault if the reader does not get it, not theirs.
    Mark,

    Thank you for your response. I think that the assessment that I was mentioning had something to with psychotherapeautic meandering or some such definition.

    Now more to the point of what your concern about a disparity between what I said at one point and what I am seeming to be saying as you read things today. I don't think that it is my responsibility to convey to a viewer what considerations or meanings that were incorporated in one of my images... unless and until someone asks me what prompted me to make the exposure and what meaning I draw from it. Beyond that the viewer can draw whatever meaning, if any, that they want from it.

    My point in beginning this thread is to introduce a discussion of what creative self expression considerations we as photographers may have influencing us. Symbolic meaning can be one of those...not the only one and certainly not "the appropriate one".

    For instance I have a great inner conviction that the objective reality that I experience in my daily life is but the miniscus of my and our (collectively) existence. That means for me that there is a great deal about life that we fail to recognize, address, or allude to in our images. Thus a spiritual componant of interconnectedness within all things is a large part of my life view. It is at the core of all of my photography.

    Do I pretend to believe that I have all of the answers about this? no, not hardly. Am I influenced by it, you bet.

    Now for a dyed in the wool atheist or even some agnostics this will be a damned bitter pill to swallow. I recognize that...but still my personal orientation prevades all of my efforts. We are after all individuals and we have differing views. Does my pyschotherapeutic meandering take a subservient or an elevated position to someone who wishes to portray only beauty? No it is simply what it is...no heirarchial position needs to be assigned by you, the other poster or by me.

    I believe quite strongly my images tell me a heck of a lot more about me then they will ever tell you or anyone, for that matter, about the view and my beliefs when I made an exposure. That is as it should be for me. My photography is about self discovery, first, foremost, and never, ever what you may take away from my description of my images to you.

    My photographs, today, are about exploration of spatial relationships that exist within forms, lines, patterns, and textures, They are not intended nor are they in many cases about beauty....let's face it life isn't about beauty all of the time ...there is a hell of a lot of suffereing, pain, and sorrow interspersed in with the beauty and joy. I believe in being honest and for that reason I believe in showing reality as it exists for me.

    I hope that I have given you some idea of where I am with this subject and the basis of my considerations in initiating this discussion.

    Thank you for your contribution. I look forward to hearing any further thoughts that you may have as they apply to your personal experience.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  3. #123
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian
    i agree with you wholeheartedly, but the thing is that people with cameras are trapped in reality, and unless they do something drastic, photography will always be based in reality. i don't know what creative or artistic expression is. i do straight documentary photography ( most of the time ). i just use my camera as a tool to record what is around me. sometimes i see reality a little different than others, but we all see the world around us differently.

    - -john
    I understand what you mean by "trapped in reality"; what I believe is that the question of meaning is something evacuated out of the critical assessment of photography, and much visual arts as well.

    Of course you can't be as pictorially radical as Cubism with photog, because it would probably involve collage or heavily pictorial technique that may take you out of the specificity of the photo medium. But it's a bit disheartening to stick to merely technically perfect rocks, barns, or shafts of light, which is what I meant by the invasive Stieglitz. Let's not forget also that abstract art and straight photography were once revolutionary, but also that they have been eventually coopted into the equivalent of musak.

    I'm not better either, judging from what I posted in my own gallery, so I don't pretend to be a great artist. My "holy Grail," to borrow another recent thread's name, would be to make photography that is meaningful, and that uses adroitly form to structure its meaning.

    I find that photographers who are good at taking people pictures seem to be able to create far more poignant content than those who stick to nature mortes. There are exceptions in either cases, but we react in fundamentally different ways to living and inanimate objects. In literature, you can't make much without a persona (in poetry) or a character (in prose).
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

    My APUG Portfolio

  4. #124
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    I don't know if this will work as I'm new to both scanning and posting images, but here goes...

    http://www.apug.org/gallery/showphot...00&ppuser=4292

    What am I saying with this image? I could be saying - the dark tree symbolizes youth, aged before it's time, cloaked in the hanging moss of despair over it's struggle to gain the light, or success, through the surrounding mature forest giants.

    Or I could be saying - cool...I've been hiking past this tree for years and it's never looked like that before. I'll take a photograph of it and share my luck of seeing it this day with others.

    At some point a photograph has to stand on its own, and the photographer has to be strong enough to let it go. Everybodies interpretation is just as valid as the photographer's, because they're seeing it through their own eyes and influenced by their own life experience.

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

  5. #125

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    I find that photographers who are good at taking people pictures seem to be able to create far more poignant content than those who stick to nature mortes. There are exceptions in either cases, but we react in fundamentally different ways to living and inanimate objects.
    Couldn't that be reversed? Maybe some nature photographers do an outstanding performance on taking the pictures of people, but they don't put them in their business portfolios.

    Or the line is so blurry that there's no distinction on the photographers' part, but maybe the audience's.

    The photographs of people could be easier for the viewers to comprehend because we all interact with each other on a daily baisis even if we do minimumly.

    But the nature subjects are different: Not everyone (the viewer) lives in the environment with plenty of green and non-human live creatures to experience them regularly enough. Therefore when they see the nature in the photographs, they will have different reactions.

    Maybe they just don't understand the nature of the nature!

  6. #126
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    WOW, this one has gone on for a while!


  7. #127
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by firecracker
    Couldn't that be reversed? Maybe some nature photographers do an outstanding performance on taking the pictures of people, but they don't put them in their business portfolios.
    MHV was referring to "nature morte," which is French for "still life," not nature photography (which is not to say your point isn't still valid--just clearing things up).
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  8. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by David A. Goldfarb
    MHV was referring to "nature morte," which is French for "still life," not nature photography (which is not to say your point isn't still valid--just clearing things up).
    Thank you for the collection. I was not aware of that specific reference.

    But I was more on the "inanimated objects" in a way. I should've mentioned about the examples of all the concrete and metal constructions that are merging into the pure "nature", like ivy on a brickwall or car wreckage in the middle of field or something.

  9. #129

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv
    I understand what you mean by "trapped in reality"; what I believe is that the question of meaning is something evacuated out of the critical assessment of photography, and much visual arts as well.

    Of course you can't be as pictorially radical as Cubism with photog, because it would probably involve collage or heavily pictorial technique that may take you out of the specificity of the photo medium.
    i don't know michel ...

    one could make the equiv, of a cubist painting using a camera ... it would take a little bit of experimenting to make a negative with multiple exposures from different perspectives, but ... at the same time no matter how good it is, it would be a hard sell--- and even harder for the viewer to connect with it, unless they were heavily (self)medicated or were somehow familiar with the italian futurists and cubists.

    ---john

  10. #130
    bill schwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian
    one could make the equiv, of a cubist painting using a camera ...
    Look at Sheeler's work with a camera. It is the photographic equivalent to what the cubists were doing. His work from the Rouge Plant here in Dearborn in particular. Truly amazing work.

    Bill



 

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