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  1. #11

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    Albumen, Van Dykes, POP, and all the what is now called the alternative processes had all kinds of color in them, straight b&W came later.

    It's all good, as to the f64 folks, closing the lens way down, was supposed to be a rationale for a rejection of pictoralism, to me, these folks were simply shooting the same landscapes/pictorials as the pictorialists with a lot of depth of field.

    I don't know why anybody would have a 'cut-off'/time frame for significant work, seeing the work of Andre Kertex, W. Eugene Smith, Weston, Steichen, Alvin Langdon Coburn, in person is/was/always will be a wonderous experience for me. The first time I saw the Kertez shot of dancers in mid-leap, suspended there for all time, the expression, the framing, the timing, on a shot he CAUGHT, as opposed to setting up, made the hairs on the back of my head stand up.

    Take a look at Alvin Langdon Coburn's portrait of Ezra Pound, how do you classify it? I don't think you can, how many people today including some of the other 'dead legends' could pull that shot off? I'd like to see someone try that shot, anybody, without photoshop, and if you pull it off, I will get out pencil and paper and take notes.

    Some folks dismiss the work that came before the sixties/seventies, and it still work they'd have a hard time matching/anybody would have a hard time matching today.
    Jonathan Brewer

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  2. #12
    jd callow's Avatar
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    I've seen a huge diversity in colour work as well as black and white. What I don't see much of at the galleries I visit are nature landscapes in colour or black and white. I have seen the over saturated and under saturated colour images, but my take is a bit different than what is stated here. Much of this work is trying to utilize the colour to reinforce an often allegorical, metaphoric, iconic and or ironic message. Which is to say the object depicted is not always the subject of the photograph. The fact that these images show things we see in our physical world is one of the sad limitations of the medium.

    There are, of course, those who use the medium to dipict something new. These can be straight up abstracts or abstractions to invented scenes. These may be somewhat fewer, due to the fact that invention of this type is often more easily done with pen and ink, paint or computers. These images often suffer from the same tendencies of the colour photography in that these images tend to use the imagrey to push a message, opposed to the image being the message.

    The schism may be that some think of landscape photography as decorative and the pursuit of a craft by those trying to stuff *something extra* in to their images and those who look at landscape photography as art can't see any craft or decorative value in de-saturated images of bland suburban housing.
    Last edited by jd callow; 02-13-2007 at 11:38 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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  3. #13

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    Yes, folks tend to dismiss the work of folks, who work differently, if they don't like it, it's no good/passe', here's a link to the Alvin Langdon Coburn shot I was talking about http://web.ncf.ca/ek867/coburn.pound.jpg it amazes me to no end, done pre-photoshop, it isn't a fuzzy dreamy photograph, and like any multiple exposure shot as anybody knows whose tried one, you can do it a million times, doing everything right, and it can still look like a MESS.
    Jonathan Brewer

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  4. #14
    jd callow's Avatar
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    There is also misha gordin who combines multiple negs in the darkroom. I doubt his work would work as well in colour.

    I have always felt and approached colour as being something that more readily speaks to one's emotions and b&w as something that more readily engages the intellect. This doesn't appear to be how others see it so I could be dead wrong.

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  5. #15
    Curt's Avatar
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    I was just going through my Art history books trying to find out when easel paintings went from black and white to color.

    I just picked up a copy of Focus magazine and on page 39 is an article titled "Speaking of Trends..." , one author said "The biggest trend I see is the disappearance of black-and-white photography. Of all the new work I look at, I see very little good new work being produced in black-and-white. He goes on to say that he thinks there is a continuing push towards larger and larger-sized prints made feasible by technology and the buoyancy of the art market and there is a great deal of interest in work from the '60's and '70's.

    The big complaint is that nothing new is being done and it is all just boring. Thirty years ago in college we were told "if you can't make it good, make it big". It was a standing joke. It appears that it may have come true.

    Moon and rocks on mountains at sunset in color or back and white large or small, it might be fun to try to do it again and again but don't expect the audience to sit through it again and again. There is no growth in repeating the past just to say you can do it as good as it was done the first time.
    Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by copake_ham View Post
    Basically, it really comes down to the fact that all film photographers are Luddites.

    However, that distiction is not fine enough. So within this grouping there are the uber-Luddites and the neo-Luddites. The former group solely uses monochrome photograhy because until around the mid-1930's the entire world was monochrome.

    You might find this to be hard to believe, but if you look at the historical record. there are no true color images prior to the development of Kodachrome.

    With the development of Kodachrome - people suddenly realized that there was really color in the world - we know this because it could now be documented on film!*

    This was a startling discovery because people understood that film images were ultimate determinant of reality. If it couldn't be captured on film - it didn't exist. So the world was definitely monochrome until Kodachrome proved it could be viewed otherwise!

    If you do a careful study, you will find that the world remained in B&W through the Great Depression, the rise of Fascism and the onset of the Second World War. But contemporaneously, the early discoveries that there really was color in the world was slowly seeping into human conciousness.

    Certainly by the end of World War II most of the world had become colorful! This is proven by the fact that many more color photographs began to appear - thus documenting the "coloring" of the world.

    Consonant with this discovery of color - certain photographers, the neo-Luddites began to use film to record this changed "colorized" world. Obvioulsy, since it is mankind's plight to become tribal, these neo-Luddites found themselves at odds with the uber-Luddites who reject the concept of color and believe it is an illusion and not reality.

    This rift within the film photography world continues to this day.

    *BTW: Some of the earliest studies in the evolution of the the world from monochrome to color took place, ironically, in Kansas! One time secret film studies exist that show that sometime during the 1930's, perhaps fostered by a then young lady's singing and the presence of small, humanoid creatures, (possibly color bearing aliens?), there was a paradigm shift. This unique footage of film actually records the shift from monochrome to color as occurred in a part of Kansas, known as Oz, on that day!
    I know a woman, the mother of a friend and she's a textile artist. She raises rabbits for angora fibers, she spins yarn, she weaves her own cloth. She isn't a luddite. She doesn't do any of this because smashing the commercial looms was a failure. She didn't take up her practices because the available textiles are unsatisfactory to her. She wears clothing produced by automated procedures.

    I practices "wet" photography and I am not a luddite either. Nothing about what I do is motivated by rebellion against technology. I have and use digital cameras, imaging software and inkjet printers. That's like a shirt from a department store to me. They function well for certain purposes and I don't demonize them. When I "spin"and "weave" my own it's for entirely different purposes and not a rejection of anything.

    Greetings from Kansas.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  7. #17
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt View Post
    I just picked up a copy of Focus magazine and on page 39 is an article titled "Speaking of Trends..." , one author said "The biggest trend I see is the disappearance of black-and-white photography. Of all the new work I look at, I see very little good new work being produced in black-and-white. He goes on to say that he thinks there is a continuing push towards larger and larger-sized prints made feasible by technology and the buoyancy of the art market and there is a great deal of interest in work from the '60's and '70's.
    I think my former roomate is onto something then, because he does huge B&W prints on high-end inkjet, stitching together scanned 4x5. And he exposes in art galleries as well. But he's got to be one of the few I've seen.
    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

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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jstraw View Post
    I know a woman, the mother of a friend and she's a textile artist. She raises rabbits for angora fibers, she spins yarn, she weaves her own cloth. She isn't a luddite. She doesn't do any of this because smashing the commercial looms was a failure. She didn't take up her practices because the available textiles are unsatisfactory to her. She wears clothing produced by automated procedures.

    I practices "wet" photography and I am not a luddite either. Nothing about what I do is motivated by rebellion against technology. I have and use digital cameras, imaging software and inkjet printers. That's like a shirt from a department store to me. They function well for certain purposes and I don't demonize them. When I "spin"and "weave" my own it's for entirely different purposes and not a rejection of anything.

    Greetings from Kansas.
    My posts were mean to be amusing - sorry if you thought otherwise.

    BTW: I think many of us here wear the "Luddite" label proudly. IIRC correctly, isn't it even in Ole's signature "tag line"?

  9. #19
    jstraw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copake_ham View Post
    My posts were mean to be amusing - sorry if you thought otherwise.

    BTW: I think many of us here wear the "Luddite" label proudly. IIRC correctly, isn't it even in Ole's signature "tag line"?
    I'm just presenting a point of view. Whether in jest or in earnest, the term "luddite" is used frequently and I just thought I'd share that for me and perhaps others, it misses the mark a bit. I'm not going to war over it. I think there *are* some luddites around here.
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  10. #20
    michaelsalomon's Avatar
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    Curt, where does the growth in photography come from? Cant we say that repeating the moon and rocks photographs could be or is as stale as repeating any particular type of style?

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