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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
    Donald, I went to your personal gallery and saw things, or portions of things, pretty much photographed as such things are usually photographed. The Formative - Reactive - Evolved triptych was about the only evidence I saw that you're putting your photographs where your mouth is. In one comment you recently called the galleries a "desert of illustration"...have you being doing new work in a new way and not posting it?

    Murray
    Murray to examine and to render judgement from a few photographs apart from the context in which they existed at the time of exposure is a very limited viewpoint, I think that you will agree.

    Perhaps if you will observe with an open mind you may learn something of benefit to you. Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing?
    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

  2. #12
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Technique to me is the ability to communicate ideas. Conversely, lack of technique is the inability to communicate ideas. Obviously, if a photographer has no ideas (and is not open-minded enough to develop any), no communication will take place, no matter how much technique the photographer has, and any work produced is likely to be an empty display of technical virtuosity.

    The concept that I am very much against is the idea that you can be EITHER creative OR technically competent but not both. I feel this it totally wrong.

    Consider this if you will. Among friends who go drinking together, there is usually one who is the comedian in the group. He/she is proficient at getting laughs within the group. If, however, one group member does not get a joke and asks for it to be repeated, the "comedian" will not be able to tell it the same way a second time, his/her delivery will be exasperated and flat, and if the person who didn't get the joke the first time still doesn't get it, the "comedian" will give up and may say "You just can't explain humor!" Furthermore, if the group comedian is ever persuaded to take the microphone and address the whole room, suddenly they're not funny any more!

    Contrast this with a professional comedian or comic actor appearing in a TV sitcom. Each line that he/she says will have been worked over a dozen times by the writers, rehearsed numerous times and repeated in numerous live takes. Yet the professional comedian has the ability to deliver the line with energy and conviction each time, and when take #17 or whatever is finally broadcast, it seems spontaneous and fresh. This to me is the true relationship between technique and creativity, and one that non-professionals very often misunderstand.

    In my own work, of which I have posted many examples in the gallery, I aim to go way beyond technical exercises, penetrate beneath the surface of things and conjure up all kinds of abstract relationships and meanings. But I regard the constant challenge facing me as one of technique - I have the greatest ideas in the world in my head but it takes me a hell of a lot of effort before the concrete images I place on paper come anywhere near these ideas.

    Regards,

    David

  3. #13
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Ahhh. the old "which came first. the chicken or the egg?" discussion. Although well stated, the question is as old as the hills. And while I mean no disrespect whatsoever, such questions produce a whiff of the same mental masturbation that can be equally as paralyzing to creative expression as getting lost in technical proficiency. Personally I believe both are necessary if you are going to be able to express anything to anyone in your chosen medium. However, conscious thought of either will never allow the heart to shine through. In my opinion, you need to be good enough at both to be able to forget them, move on and get down to some serious self-expression. The technical tools I need to create the images I feel the need to create are now second nature to me. I feel the same abut the more cerebral aspects of creativity and self-expression. I would rather listen to my gut that my head anytime. It knows far more than my conscious mind ever will.

    Bill

  4. #14

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    David, If you will reread what I have written I have not diminished technique. I have not said that technical knowledge is undesireable..nor have I meant to convey that creative expression should exist at the opposition of technical expertise.

    What I have sought to convey is that technical knowledge is not the same as creative expression. I believe that technical ability is a tool used in creative expression and to make it something else is akin to saying the stove on which we cook our meals is what we should be eating.

    I think, quite strongly, that it is long past time to speak of creative expression as the primary necessity to the process. Let us, those of us, with an open mind to something beyond and apart from Zone VIII densities discuss the matter of creative expression.
    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

  5. #15
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Artists ang (the verb form of angst?) and philosophers philos. The combination is something akin to verbal LSD. Trippy, man.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  6. #16
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    ... I have not heard a single photographer in over thirty years explain or address symbolism. Yet it is openly acknowledged in other fields of creative expression. Why is that? Do you wonder? I do...
    I would decline to do so, myself. I'd just refer the questioner to Jung: "Man and His Symbols".

    All I could hope to do is to repeat what Jung has written there.

    Come to think of it ... I HAVE been in (actually trapped in) those "arty" discussions before. I can't think of one that was coherent, never mind, made any sense.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  7. #17
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Murray to examine and to render judgement from a few photographs apart from the context in which they existed at the time of exposure is a very limited viewpoint, I think that you will agree.

    Perhaps if you will observe with an open mind you may learn something of benefit to you. Wouldn't that be a wonderful thing?
    Are you saying you have a grasp on the Holy Grail Donald?

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by billschwab
    Ahhh. the old "which came first. the chicken or the egg?" discussion. Although well stated, the question is as old as the hills. And while I mean no disrespect whatsoever, such questions produce a whiff of the same mental masturbation that can be equally as paralyzing to creative expression as getting lost in technical proficiency. Personally I believe both are necessary if you are going to be able to express anything to anyone in your chosen medium. However, conscious thought of either will never allow the heart to shine through. In my opinion, you need to be good enough at both to be able to forget them, move on and get down to some serious self-expression. The technical tools I need to create the images I feel the need to create are now second nature to me. I feel the same abut the more cerebral aspects of creativity and self-expression. I would rather listen to my gut that my head anytime. It knows far more than my conscious mind ever will.

    Bill
    Bill,

    I wonder in your quickly arrived at judgement, have you ever sat and seriously discussed the creative process? Or do you jump to conclusions so rapidly in each and every matter in your life? Do you have the ability or the knowledge to intelligently discuss this matter apart from trying to subtley diminish it? Do you have knowledge of symbolic meaning? If so I welcome your presence...I welcome all positive input.
    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

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by billschwab
    Are you saying you have a grasp on the Holy Grail Donald?

    Bill I think that I have the intellectual capacity to intelligently discuss things which you apparently have no grasp of...
    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

  10. #20
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Bill I think that I have the intellectual capacity to intelligently discuss things which you apparently have no grasp of...
    I'm listening Master. Please tell me more about my lack of "intellectual capacity". I'm listening.

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