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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwross View Post
    robopro: I think you have expressed yourself very well and I agree. I want to believe that it is a big, exciting, diverse world and that there is enough room for us all to be the artist we become.
    I do miss the days when a photograph was implicitly believable. You may have known that Yosemite wasn't really on a black and white planet, but you also knew that Half Dome hadn't been imported from some other national park. I don't think we can go back to the "purity" of pre-Photoshop, but I would like to see a more vigorous defense of the unmanipulated image - especially in photojournalism or even landscapes.
    We actually can go back to the 'purity' of pre-Photoshop. Masters like Ansel Adams showed the way, just continue to follow the path. Right now I'm building a 16X20 pinhole camera for use with albumen glass plate negatives, to be contact printed on glass plates. My point was that Photoshop doesn't necessarily 'dirty' the art, it just 'changes' the art. Good art will always be good, and bad art will always be bad.
    The ultimate question is, when does photography cease to be photograhy?
    I personally like my son's definition. If you have to make more than one 'conceptual' change in Photoshop, then it aint photography, it's digital art. Whether it's good or not is up to you. But then again you have to remember that he grew up with me, and I believe if it aint on the negative then it just aint there.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole View Post
    The difficult thing is seeing the picture in the first place.
    Yes Ole! Every single day we all go by picture after picture we ourselves would die for because we are simply not creatively aware, because we think our chosen photo-graphic process will make a silk purse out of any handy sow's ear.

    Bruce

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by robopro View Post
    .
    The ultimate question is, when does photography cease to be photography?
    Pretty much never. When does writing cease to be writing? When it's calligraphy? When it's a post-it note saying 'Your dinner is in the oven'? When it's visual poetry relying on mechanical typesetting? When it's a shopping list covered in doodles?

    When does writing become literature, or poetry, or art? These are different questions. Similar considerations apply to photography.

    Or to take another line of argument, were the cut-and-paste photomontages of the 1920s and 1930s 'not photography'? Or the true photomontages of the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Are bromoils 'not photography'? How much do any of these differ, conceptually, from Photoshop? Any can be well or badly done, i.e. successful or unsuccessful, but that is hardly a 'not photography' argument.

    Those of us who greatly prefer silver halide may be unimpressed with digital for all manner of reasons, but it is still worth remembering Sturgeon's Law: 90 per cent of ANYTHING is rubbish. The percentage of good digital photography may be even smaller than the percentage of good silver halide photography, though I can think of no way to test that assertion, but how much does it matter?

    Cheers,

    R.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by robopro View Post
    We actually can go back to the 'purity' of pre-Photoshop. Masters like Ansel Adams showed the way, just continue to follow the path. Right now I'm building a 16X20 pinhole camera for use with albumen glass plate negatives, to be contact printed on glass plates. My point was that Photoshop doesn't necessarily 'dirty' the art, it just 'changes' the art. Good art will always be good, and bad art will always be bad.
    The ultimate question is, when does photography cease to be photograhy?
    I personally like my son's definition. If you have to make more than one 'conceptual' change in Photoshop, then it aint photography, it's digital art. Whether it's good or not is up to you. But then again you have to remember that he grew up with me, and I believe if it aint on the negative then it just aint there.
    hi robopro:

    i think i know what you mean, but i am not really sure what a conceptual change is ...

    i have taken many negatives that i have printed by hand, and strayed - printed with other things, changed the tonality by varying contrast burning / dodgingand intruded onto the negative with leads and abrasions and other "stuffs" ... these things changed what the actual scene was but did these make a conceptual change ?

    is there a difference between impure photography without a computer ?

    -john

  5. #15

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    The real "work" is probably something not so visible to non-photographer audiences, but we all know it's there just like anything else we create.

  6. #16
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwross View Post
    robopro: I think you have expressed yourself very well and I agree. I want to believe that it is a big, exciting, diverse world and that there is enough room for us all to be the artist we become.
    I do miss the days when a photograph was implicitly believable. You may have known that Yosemite wasn't really on a black and white planet, but you also knew that Half Dome hadn't been imported from some other national park. I don't think we can go back to the "purity" of pre-Photoshop, but I would like to see a more vigorous defense of the unmanipulated image - especially in photojournalism or even landscapes.
    That was a mythic time which never existed. Even in the earliest days of the 20th century, people were doing pasteups of giant corncobs on wagons, monster grasshoppers crawling over houses, etc...

    Take a look at Jack Wilgus' collection of antique Exaggerations - while they are so exaggerated that they're not believable, it proves a point that people have been doing this kind of stuff long before computers ever existed...

    http://brightbytes.com/collection/postcards.html

    (Check out Vintage Exaggerations).

    The only truth in photography is the one we choose to see.

  7. #17
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheFlyingCamera View Post
    That was a mythic time which never existed. Even in the earliest days of the 20th century, people were doing pasteups of giant corncobs on wagons, monster grasshoppers crawling over houses, etc...
    And Frank Hurley, War photographer and official photographer on Shackleton's Antarctic expedition would quite often make composites from several wartime images or add a more interesting sky to a bland icy landscape.

    http://www.greatwar.nl/frames/default-hurley.html


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  8. #18
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    And don't forget folks like Jerry Uelsmann (sp?) who did photo composites in the not-so-distant past, but well before the days of photoshop. I can't imagine trying to do what he did without Photoshop.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mhv View Post
    So do you call these skills outside medium manipulations "photographic skills" ? In your own work, what are the types of efforts that you make you consider essential to your picture practice?
    To me, the most fun part of taking photos of people is having brief conversations with strangers. So, I usually throw a couple of jokes in a conversation, entertain them for a moment, and I snap a few photos if I can.

    I would like to consider this more as a magic than a skill, but it's still something that's needed, and I put my energy to it.

  10. #20
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    From Flying Camera: "That was a mythic time which never existed. Even in the earliest days of the 20th century, people were doing pasteups of giant corncobs on wagons, monster grasshoppers crawling over houses, etc...

    Take a look at Jack Wilgus' collection of antique Exaggerations - while they are so exaggerated that they're not believable, it proves a point that people have been doing this kind of stuff long before computers ever existed..."


    You have stated the point that is the nexis of the problem."...they're not believable..." Implicit believablity is the issue today. My father-in-law made wonderful Christmas cards of his kids flying about on everything imagineable. They probably wouldn't have been considered evidence in a court of law.

    This is a bit of a long read, but a very good overview of the current legal issues.
    http://www.thirdamendment.com/digital.html

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