sometimes there is not intent, or a hidden meaning
behind what happened as you make the photographs.
having a reason, an agenda, and a plan is important
in explaning to oneself ( and others ) the who, what, where, when how, and WHY
of your images, but in the end, there may be no intent,
and the images just happen and you witness with your camera
the magic of the moment/s.
i often times have to explain my intent, and sometimes i am
at a loss for words, because my camera ran amok, my processing
made not sense, and my prints were the result of happenstance.
this doesn't occur all the time, but when it does ..
i just shrug my shoulders
Last edited by jnanian; 09-12-2007 at 02:10 AM. Click to view previous post history.
The picture is all there is. It either says something or doesn't -- to the particular person looking at it. How you made it doesn't matter at all, whether it came about by chance or intention. Of course, if the viewer wants to know how it was made and you happen to be in the gallery, you can tell him. Just make sure that your explanation doesn't undermine his appreciation of the picture!
Process matters only WHILE you are making an image and matters only to the person making the image. After that, it's what you have to say that counts. The only exception is really gallery sales, where potential buyers will probably be looking for a reassurance that you have used high-quality materials which will last. Aside from that, no one but other photographers will be interested to hear that you used format x, lens y, film z, etc.
Of course, different cameras, particularly ones of different size, have their own personality - you will inevitably get a different feeling to a picture (quite apart from considerations of grain, sharpness, etc.) as the result of your choice of format (35 mm, MF, LF).
Clouding the issue is the fact that photography, unlike almost all other media, is heavily influenced by amateur practitioners to whom process is everything (and emotion nothing!). Just remember to listen long enough to gain technical tips and then tune them out!
Process matters to the artist, final print matters to both the artist and the audience.
It's much like music - no one but the musician cares how many times he had to practice a certain complex phrase, but everyone cares how he plays it in a performance.
The process is a tool to develop a result the artist wants. I think when the process has to much influence on the end result you are on the wrong path.
my fast thought
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How much is TOO much influence? When the process BECOMES the end product? I don't think you can say the process has too much influence on the final result until you only have process and don't produce an end result. Otherwise, the process has total influence on the end result.
Originally Posted by ijsbeer
I think we also need to define "process". When I'm saying process here, I mean all the decisionmaking that leads up to the execution of a finished image. Everything from what subject to which camera and which film to chemistry, paper, size, and presentation. All too often, once we develop our working process, we easily forget what the process entails - some steps become so second nature that we lump them together, and other steps, because they present challenges, get overemphasized.
"He's not really a photography teacher, he's really just is the head of my high school and does photography on the side."
Sounds like this person is a 'teacher' first, who knows how to ask the right questions to get his students thinking. A quality teacher doesn't have to be an expert in 'photography' to teach photography well. A quality teacher needs only to inspire the students to excellence. There are many very accomplished photographers who earn their living doing many things other than photography. They simply 'do photography on the side.'
So don't judge or denigrate the person who heads your high school by saying he's not "really a photography teacher" and "does photography on the side." Sounds like he did a great job to get you thinking about photography. What you do with his question is up to you.
I had a high school English teacher who did photography on the side. He was brilliant with a camera.
Perhaps one of the things your teacher is trying to have you consider is the subject of "authenticity." Everything in our physical reality is staged in some way or form--whether by design or natural process. Consider the facade of a building, the interaction of people and their manner of dress in an environment, or the interplay of naturally changing environmental elements.
There is concern amongst academics over the dynamics of authenticity and how something is interpreted subjectively by the viewer. If you totally choreograph the content to reflect some process or intent, a viewer may not be able to determine whether the event was staged or a part of another process that the photographer merely observed. In some cases, the staged reality can become part and parcel of historic narrative--the flag raising at Iwo Jima is a perfect example. The initial consideration here is how a photographer wishes to be stylistically known--what "message" they are attempting to impart.
It's far too easy to become enveloped in the aspects of the process--yet it is the process that sets the mood and impact of the image. Consider for a moment what Adam's work would be if he had shot everything in 35mm, on Plus-X, developed in D-76, and printed on Polycontrast RC paper...
Although there are many who will vehemently disagree with me, process is nothing more than a set of tools to arrive at an approximation of how the image was visualized at the onset. Ultimately it is the final product, and not the details of the process that the viewer interprets. These intricacies are important to the artist and the scholar--meaningless to the observer once the image is removed from relation to the photographer and circumstance. At that time, the result becomes the interpretive "property" of the observer. Vision and process merely attempt to guide the individual along a path of seeing and interpretation. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
Keep questioning and thinking, for it is only through this process that your unique individual vision can develop. Failing to critically think through how and why we create images does not develop discipline or style--just as rote process makes little more than a chain portrait photographer.
something witty and profound needs to be inserted here...
Um, I hang prints on my wall, not processes.
So, everything is allowed to reach final result?
So, why should I work for living, try to show to woman why she should be with me? I can steal, rape her, and as final result to have material things/money and have sex.
For me it does matter the way how I get final result, and what others think... I don't care!
Bosnia... You don't have to be crazy to live here, but it helps...
No things in life should be left unfinis