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  1. #31
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
    Why do you have to look down on us...you provoke this kind of reaction...
    Actually I have to believe that Donald has just been to see "Art School Confidential" and is pulling all our legs. I think I get it now Donald. Hilarious!



    Bill

  2. #32

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    Bill, You can, of course, assign any definition that you want on things. But I assure you that I am sincere in initiating this discussion. What is so amazing to me is that those of us who are intending to be creative artists have such a reluctance to discuss the very thing that we claim to be engaged in. Do you understand why that would happen?
    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. #33

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    Hello Donald and APUG,

    I think one of the issues you might run into on internet forums is that most participants will be more technically oriented, and most discussions are more technically oriented. Nothing wrong with that, just that artist expression is rarely discussed. I think some of that is evident in so-called photography magazines, especially those that list what gear and settings were used to capture which images. Quite likely there is a group that would be completely immune to any mention of technical details, or quite happy to plug along with the Flower, Person, Mountain, or other Program setting.

    Techniques and technical details can become important when a particular result does not happen, then the search is on to find a solution. You might also find many engineers, scientists, or technically oriented individuals taking up photography as an enthusiastic endeavor. Such people might find a better connection to their own ways of expression through emphasis of technical prowess.

    Another group will enjoy the difficulties expressed in their prints. Consider that it is easier to drop off film at a lab, and have them do the work, though some will see that as less genuine. Of course, I do my own oil paintings, but I would not consider making my own brushes; I have mixed my own paints from raw materials, but that was mostly just to see if I could do that. My feeling is that if an image is strong and connects with a viewer, then it could have been printed in B/W, as Platinum or Palladium, or even offset press into book format. However, some will see the Platinum print as the best or true expression, despite that many might enjoy the same image in a coffee table book.

    Some people will look down upon certain technical aspects: people doing oil paintings might criticize those who use acrylics, people doing Platinum prints might look down upon those who do B/W prints, others might criticize anyone who just takes the photos and lets the lab print them. This is more of the idea of validation of endeavor, an idea that the more difficult or time consuming paths to the end works are somehow more valid or genuine. Luckily, I think this is rare. (Note: I have stretched my own canvases for my oil painting, I have made Platinum prints, and I have made my own B/W (silver) prints in the darkroom, but I have never looked down upon anyone who chose to do things differently, even if they took an even more difficult route).

    Symbolism also reflects the perceptions of the artist/photographer. It has been stated that the camera points both directions. Our technical choices might reflect a bit of ourselves, though sometimes that can be a factor of economics (case in point: I would enjoy using an ALPA 12). My own choices reflect how I see, more than what I see. Most of my artistic/symbolic choices come from my desire to tell stories or spur the imagination in others. It does not matter to me if someone sees exactly what I thought, nor if they know why I chose a particular way to express my creative visions.

    So for your questions, I feel that our cultures greatly influence our choices, and our lives. They also affect our perceptions of the world around us. Many are so busy that they miss things, so I sometimes work to show things people don't realize. That might be a bit of William Eggelston to some, images that some will not find of interest.

    My short and quick approach to fine art is stated in the header description of my website provoke thought, invent the future, discover you true self, which is about as condensed as I can state it. I still think there needs to be some connection to the viewer, which is the reason I state discover your true self. An example, many enjoy hiking, the outdoors, remote locations, etc; those people might find landscape images much more interesting; that is their connection to the images. With provoke thought, I think that is sort of self explanatory, though that does go back to what I mentioned about story telling. The phrase invent the future might also be expressed as a question: where are we headed?

    Anyway, APUG can be an unnecessarily harsh group at times, so I expect some to dismiss what I wrote entirely. I don't think you can exhibit fine art, nor do creative work, without getting a thick skin towards criticism. Don't get me wrong, there are some great people here, I just wish they would be more noticeable at times. You posted some intriguing questions, and I hope this becomes a big Hot Topic.

    I express myself better visually than I do in writing, so if what I wrote did not make sense, then please feel free to ask more questions. I don't expect agreement to what I wrote, and I respect the views of others. I wish technical barriers were less of a hindrance than they seem, since I feel some of the feeling of needing technical skills might be keeping some away from photography. A painter friend of mine has recently gained an interest in photography, but she is wary of the technical skills needed to express what she wants . . . maybe in this thread I can find ways to convince her to take up photography.

    Ciao!

    Gordon

  4. #34
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Well now, it has been a while since I've attended those two fine art schools with all that art history & stuff, and quite a while too since that college photography course with the instructor who's major was in psychology...but I'm really trying here!

    Anybody else see the symbolism specific to Donald?

    http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com/transitions.htm

    You poked me in the eye first

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

  5. #35

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    Gordon,

    Thank you for your contribution and for your well thought out and expressed comments. I agree with all that you have stated.

    I do hope, too, that those who are skeptical of new directions and new agendas would be open to discussing and exploring these with all of us together.

    Positive sharing of our own thoughts and experiences benefit all of us. For those who have not considered this aspect then there is no need for negativity and critical comments. Contempt prior to investigation benefits no one.

    Thanks once again and I look forward to further contributions.
    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

  6. #36

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    I think a lot of the time people try to hard to put meaning and feeling into their photographs. Maybe we sometimes we fall back on the crutch of newer and better technique and tools to try to put something into an image that just is not there.

    There is a Taoist ideal of Wu wei (?). IIRC it is the idea that one can only turly achieve something by first letting it go. I can't really describe it but I know it when I see it in a photograph or any work of art. It is the difference between an image or work that is common place and one that truly moves me.

    Think of a favorite image. If you look at it and think about the concept of Wu wei it is almost as if the subject has sought out the photographer and said "here I am, take my picture". Of course it is the knowledge and experience of the photographer that produces the final result. But sometimes the greatest knowledge is to know not to try to hard.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  7. #37
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    What is so amazing to me is that those of us who are intending to be creative artists have such a reluctance to discuss the very thing that we claim to be engaged in. Do you understand why that would happen?
    Donald, I can only respond from my own personal perspective as I know not what others may be thinking. For me, too much talk about the subject of creativity and my feelings of my own work simply kill the process. It is that simple for me. The same as too much talk and thought of technical prowess kills my spirit and creativity. If this places me on a lower intellectual level than you and others, so be it. I've heard it many times before from those who rode this crazy train far less a distance than I have yet traveled. I think it is wonderful that others can talk a blue streak about their creative process. More power to them. But I would never consider someone who has made that choice to have less intellectual capacity than I.

    I do not disagree with your initial discussion and I in no way feel it is invalid. But truthfully, it is nothing new. I am surprised that you appear to feel that it is. For you, there is apparently great symbolism in your work. Are others to be patronized and belittled because they see nothing different than they have seen in literally thousands of images? I'm serious Donald. The way your discussion was framed seems to assume that you have some better grasp on the creative process than anyone else reading your post. That your pictures of walls and peeling paint somehow have more validity than anyone else here making those same well-seasoned and often photographed subjects. I'm not saying they are not beautiful and technically perfect, but am I to feel less of a human because they say nothing to me, but do to you?

    Look, I can be all for creative discussion on this site. I think we can both agree that there is perhaps too little of this on APUG. I think what got my hackles up as well as some others posting is the perhaps wrongly perceived holier than thou attitude you projected. As was said more eloquently than I could possibly have said it in a private message that just came to me, your "... call for discussion would go over much better if it had been made from lower ground."

    Peace, Bill

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Positive sharing of our own thoughts and experiences benefit all of us. For those who have not considered this aspect then there is no need for negativity and critical comments. Contempt prior to investigation benefits no one.
    Positive Thoughts, by Donald;

    "I observe lots of work that is copies of something that has been done before. That in my estimation is flattering to some but it has the smell of mediocrity all over it."

    "Perhaps if you will observe with an open mind you may learn something of benefit to you."

    "Do you have the ability or knowledge to intelligently discuss this matter apart from trying to subtley diminish it?"

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

    Sigh...

    Donald, I don't have a problem with the central idea in your original post. I do have a problem with your condescending tone and the lack of photographic evidence. Just like in the film and chemistry forums, where if somebody makes claim to a new film / exposure / development combination discovery, there's an expectation for the demonstration of proof - I don't think the Ethics and Philosophy forum should be any different.

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

  9. #39
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
    Well now, it has been a while since I've attended those two fine art schools with all that art history & stuff, and quite a while too since that college photography course with the instructor who's major was in psychology...but I'm really trying here!

    Anybody else see the symbolism specific to Donald?

    http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com/transitions.htm

    You poked me in the eye first

    Murray
    Murray, I have looked at the images (as you challenged some one to) and see in them choices and decisions. Doors and paths that are potentialy open and/or closed, windows that ask you to look through them. I think, and this may be because I have been working a lot on similar ideas in my art, that there is a religous symbolisim in them. Nice photos but a little to modernist for my taste.

    I think that the problem is that to a lot of the people who post here the word art is a word that is loded with emotional baggage.
    David Boyce

    When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss art. When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money. Oscar Wilde Blog fp4.blogspot.com

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