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  1. #61
    billschwab's Avatar
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    Hi Roger,

    You are very correct in saying we agree on more than we disagree. And what you are saying about opening yourself up for criticism is a point well taken. Aesthetic yes, technical seems to be reserved for us photographers. I rarely hear much about technique in criticism of other art forms. I know it exists, but nothing like with photography as was stated earlier by Jon Callow I believe.
    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    Where we must agree to differ, as you say, is in the wisdom or otherwise of trying the difficult (ULF, alternative processes) before mastering the relatively easy: it brings to mind the old exhortation to learn to walk before you try to run.
    Now here is where I again get confused. Before you spoke of aesthetic success being a prerequisite in your mind before taking on alt process and not simply "easy" processes. I agree with the above statement, however your original statement is what I was taking issue with,

    "anyone who takes their photography seriously enough to deviate from the obvious, easy techniques should indeed have acquired in passing enough aesthetic sensibility"

    There is a very big difference. I agree it is not prudent to have your first experience with photographic chemistry be with collodion or dags. That is just common sense. None of the private practitioners of which I speak did it this way. All evolved from various experience and expertise with a chemical darkroom. What you stated here goes way beyond that and sounds, if you'll forgive the phraseology, a little high-brow for my tastes. While technical mastery is quantifiable, aesthetic is anything but. It somehow seems as if you forgive "easy" process photographers their dull photographs, but those practicing alt processes are held to a higher standard.

    As for the original generalization you made... "The percentage of alternative process users and ULF users that displays dull pictures with pride does however seem significantly higher than one might reasonably expect." ... I realize you stated you have no examples and therefore I still do not understand how you come to this conclusion. I only pursue this as you come from a position of expertise through your website and articles. Normally your posts and insights are quite balanced and this generalization without data, so to speak, seems a bit out of character.

    Bill

  2. #62
    jd callow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks
    I didn't say I COULD do it, or even that I would want to; merely that if by chance I had produced it, I should be proud of it.

    I can't wrote like Shakespeare, either, but if I could, I'd be proud of it.

    If it doesn't move me in one way or another, I'd not be proud of producing it.

    Cheers,

    Roger

    I still don't see it. I guess I might be proud if I could say I wrote this or painted that, but it is not what I would intuitively think after reading the work or viewing the painting.

    I don't have a tidy filter for determining good work from bad. For me I don't think its possible.


    next bit...
    As for judging the work of the unnamed within a group goes -- I'm not smart enough.

    *

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by VoidoidRamone
    ...I'm not sure I'm understanding your tag of "imagemaker." Basically the only step I am not doing that someone who is working with b&w doesn't do is develop the negative. I put just as much effort, if not more sometimes, into printing a color image as I ever did printing a b&w image.
    I have a contrary experience in that regard.

    By imagemaker I refer to one whose sole concern is the final image and who has little interest in the process chosen to realize that presentation of that image. An imagemaker might well be as equally satisfied with a scan of the image onscreen as they would a physical print.

    From what you wrote, my understanding is that a "printmaker" is able to do everything an "imagemaker can do, and more.
    Yes. That was my intended meaning.

    I don't understand what separates me from being a "printmaker."
    It's a continuum and you may be more towards the middle ground. I respect the fact that hand-printed C-prints or Ilfochromes can be much higher quality than those printed by a lab. But the limitations of those media restrict what can be done in the darkroom. In my opinion, color printing is pretty rote once you know what you are doing while monochrome silver and alternative processes are much more flexible and allow for a higher degree of interpretation and refinement. The more the process allows for interpretation, refinement, and manipulation, I believe the harder it is to master and the more intrinsic value the final product will have, IMO. Consequently, something like mastery of 4-color carbro edges one towards the printmaker label on the continuum in my eyes more than someone making a C-print. Its relative and subjective I suppose, but that's how I view it.

    I'm also a little confused as to how you describe "color photography" as a subject in and of itself...
    Again my opinion, but color should be emotive in an image. It should be intentional, purposeful, and integral to the image. It should not be incidental. Why use color materials if not to speak the language of color? Goethe once said "Colors are Deeds and Afflictions of Light." Colors are organic and active in that POV. They become subject.

    I'll be bad here and turn your alt process argument over and say most color photography I see is mundane and boring because color is used indiscriminantly and incidentally. Someone loads color film in their camera because they think it makes the image more "real." Not so. Color is either the subject or it is a distraction.

    And, since you asked, some of my favorite Alt. Process photographers at the moment are Lewis Carroll (which, looking at his reasoning on photography, probably seems hypocritical of me), Bellocq, I like some of Jill Enfield's work, Terry Towery (both of the latter are going to be professors of mine in the coming year), and Joel-Peter Witkin...
    I'm not familiar with Towery, but 3 out of the other 4 is a pretty good average. I'm also not sure if Carroll and Bellocq had the intention to use an "alternative process" with their work. Perhaps it was a necessity dictated by the technology of the times and their means. Again, intention enters into the equation.

    I'll close with the thought that an artist already has the image in their head. Is it even important to put it down on paper? If so, why? (Perhaps there is a bit of printmaker in all of us, hmmm?)

    Who are you doing it for?

    Bottom line: printmakers enjoy printmaking. It is important to them, perhaps as much as the image. That can be enough until you start trying to sell yourself to an audience.

    Joe

  4. #64
    naturephoto1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    I

    Snip

    It's a continuum and you may be more towards the middle ground. I respect the fact that hand-printed C-prints or Ilfochromes can be much higher quality than those printed by a lab. But the limitations of those media restrict what can be done in the darkroom. In my opinion, color printing is pretty rote once you know what you are doing while monochrome silver and alternative processes are much more flexible and allow for a higher degree of interpretation and refinement. The more the process allows for interpretation, refinement, and manipulation, I believe the harder it is to master and the more intrinsic value the final product will have, IMO. Consequently, something like mastery of 4-color carbro edges one towards the printmaker label on the continuum in my eyes more than someone making a C-print. Its relative and subjective I suppose, but that's how I view it.

    Snip

    Joe
    Joe,

    Here I have to disagree with you for those of us using a hybrid method of printing particularly from transparencies and particularly when printed on a machine like a LightJet, Chromira, or a Lambda. When doing the darkroom work in something like Photoshop, as color photographers, we finally have a way to adjust the contrast of an image to make a real improvement upon what would normally be possible in a color darkroom. Using this technique we have the ability to make the image really shine and glow. This is part of the artistic efforts and vision of the photographer and if a printer is used the collective vision or under the instruction of the photographer. Good photographs of color transparencies look like large transparencies when well lit.

    Rich
    Last edited by naturephoto1; 07-01-2006 at 08:34 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: spelling
    Richard A. Nelridge
    http://www.nelridge.com

  5. #65
    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    Again my opinion, but color should be emotive in an image. It should be intentional, purposeful, and integral to the image. It should not be incidental. Why use color materials if not to speak the language of color? Goethe once said "Colors are Deeds and Afflictions of Light." Colors are organic and active in that POV. They become subject.

    I'll be bad here and turn your alt process argument over and say most color photography I see is mundane and boring because color is used indiscriminantly and incidentally. Someone loads color film in their camera because they think it makes the image more "real." Not so. Color is either the subject or it is a distraction.
    You say that when someone is using color film, that there should be a reason as to why they are using- the color of the scene must dominate the photo in a sense. So does that mean that there needs to be a reason as to why someone would use b&w film to shoot something else? Or do you just use b&w to get rid of the "annoying color." If that is so, then it seems to me that color photography would be more difficult because then you would be adding another factor -color- to your final equation which is the final print. But you also stated that color photography, at least the printing side, is easier and not as fulfilling (in your opinion, I know). You also stated that color film is used indiscriminatly- if I were to look at the forums on apug I would have to say its the other way around. I understand that the majority of apug is b&w, and that its not a true representation of "the outside world," but I would have to disagree about the part on color photography not being disciminating.

    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    I'll close with the thought that an artist already has the image in their head. Is it even important to put it down on paper? If so, why? (Perhaps there is a bit of printmaker in all of us, hmmm?)

    Who are you doing it for?

    Bottom line: printmakers enjoy printmaking. It is important to them, perhaps as much as the image. That can be enough until you start trying to sell yourself to an audience.
    I would add on to your statement that an artist might have the image in their head and they might also have the concept in their head. Some photographers (ie documentary photographers) might not have the image in their head, they might only have the concept in their head. I think its important to put your thoughts down onto paper or through some form of an outlet- I do this because I enjoy it. I would say the initial reason why I started doing photography and the reason I shoot most of my photography is to please myself. It is something I enjoy. And, if I can make money doing it, why not? I would consider myself a "printmaker" because I enjoy printing my work and nothing beats the look of a handcrafter c-print, fiber print, or platinum print.
    -Grant

  6. #66

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    First off, one has made this topic extremely personal. I'm not surprised that one cannot look at things from an objective stand point, so let me be subjective, or rather, feel free to continue the bashing.

    To put it simply,

    I do not think I've heard so much pseudo-intellectual bullshit in my entire life.

    I feel that many of you "magical" ULF/alt. process photographers have proved Grant's point. I think it's terribly funny that Grant makes a rather general statement about ULF/alt. process photographs, and everyone takes it extremely personal.

    I think one has beautifully proved Grant's point--by not only talking down to Grant because he's worked in color, and assuming that's he's only worked in color--but by putting themselves on a pedestal and talking down to him because one is a ULF/alt. process photographer.

    cheers. I'm off to go ride over a rainbow on my flying penguin.

  7. #67
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acelii
    First off, one has made this topic extremely personal. I'm not surprised that one cannot look at things from an objective stand point, so let me be subjective, or rather, feel free to continue the bashing.

    To put it simply,

    I do not think I've heard so much pseudo-intellectual bullshit in my entire life.

    I feel that many of you "magical" ULF/alt. process photographers have proved Grant's point. I think it's terribly funny that Grant makes a rather general statement about ULF/alt. process photographs, and everyone takes it extremely personal.

    I think one has beautifully proved Grant's point--by not only talking down to Grant because he's worked in color, and assuming that's he's only worked in color--but by putting themselves on a pedestal and talking down to him because one is a ULF/alt. process photographer.

    cheers. I'm off to go ride over a rainbow on my flying penguin.

    Well I guess you are talking about me here since I'm the one asking for info on Grant's background and mentioning color. I did so just to find out if he's had similar experience to those he's alluded to. If you reread my reply to Grant you'll see I actually praised some of his color work. Where have I talked down to anyone? Because I think handcraftsmanship adds value to an artwork? Because I've had similar experiences and have moved onto other things I find more rewarding? C'mon.

    This thread started on a very negative, very general, and very erroneous premise IMO.

    My ultimate point is that process is rewarding in itself to many of us. Some processes are more rewarding than others and I value them accordingly. Sorry if you don't agree and want to equalize everything. In the end it really only matters to the individual.

    If we seek an audience for our works, well then we leave ourselves open to criticism. But that criticism should be specific. What has come down in this thread from the start is just bad stereotyping without reference to specific works or themes. At this point the "boring subject matter" has not even been identified. In that regard this thread is pointless and especially with input like yours, not worth continuing.

    I'm not the one slamming people here. You're doing a fine job of it though. Since you've just joined today and have made such a negative and critical initial post, I wonder about your motives.

    Joe

  8. #68
    VoidoidRamone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    What has come down in this thread from the start is just bad stereotyping without reference to specific works or themes. At this point the "boring subject matter" has not even been identified.
    I am not identifying the "boring subject matter" because I don't feel it is necessary to point fingers at individuals. I think it should be somewhat obvious, though. It was stated previously, there aren't a lot of things being photographed with ULF or Alt. process... and basically that is what I would like to see is more people stepping out of the general and stereotypical ULF and Alt. process box.
    -Grant

  9. #69

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    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    You're doing a fine job of it though.
    I would hope so. Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by smieglitz
    Since you've just joined today and have made such a negative and critical initial post, I wonder about your motives.

    Joe
    Once again, pointing out your superiority. This time because you've been a member of APUG longer than I have. Bravo! You're really good at that.

    There's really no need to get your panties in a bunch. I should hold my tongue and know my place considering I'm the lowest of the low in the APUG hierarchy: the hour long member.

  10. #70
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Welcome to the sandbox.

    Joe



 

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