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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Fromm View Post
    Um, I hang prints on my wall, not processes.
    But I would never hang an inkjet print on my wall; the object itself and how it was made matters to me as much as (but not more than) the image, so in a way I do hang processes on my wall. But what the print is made of is about as much as I want to know. I don't want to know what camera or film was used, except in the case of some unconventional camera type that has its own particular image style like pinhole or holga; or how the picture was composed, nor do I want to know all the thought processes that went into the image.

    Some collectors who bought a series of my gum prints asked me to write something for them about the thought processes that went into the work, to be delivered to them along with the pictures when the show ended. I keep notebooks with notes to myself about things I'm working on, or thinking about working on, and I pulled out everything related to that series and typed it up; it came to 15 pages. I thought, "They'll never want to read all this" and I am sorry to say I never did send them anything. Maybe they would have enjoyed reading the whole thing; I don't know, after all, they did ask for it; they must have wanted something more in detail than an artist statement, because there was already an artist statement that accompanied the show. At any rate, even though this remembrance is filling me with a sense of guilt about never fulfilling that request, I offer the anecdote as an example to show that there are collectors who do want to know something about process beyond just the basic information of understanding what the print is made of.

    Katharine

  2. #22
    gr82bart's Avatar
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    Hmmm ...

    To some photographers, the process matters (I dare say most people on APUG), to others it doesn't (most people with a digital P&S camera would be my initial generalization).

    To some in the viewing audience, the process does matter (again, I think to most people on APUG), to others it doesn't.

    So maybe the question is WHY does it matter to some and not to others?

    I think those that feel the process matters have a more Socratic approach to photography, I would even say feel a bit of stewardship about the art and science behind all photographic processes.

    The rest are merely users and posers. Purely instant gratification and utilitarian approach to photography.

    Regards, Art.
    Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com
    or my online portfolios at APUG and ModelMayhem

  3. #23

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    I completely agree with Art. The process matters to me because I love the process. The physical product is merely a representation of that process in my mind. Some of these representations may or may not please others. If they like them, they may or may not care how I made them.

    Does the process actually matter? It matters to me, that's why I have spend thousands of dollars to make ugly photographs in my basement.
    Russell

  4. #24
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    You can get your ass coddled up Everest by a high priced guide and a couple Sherpa's, or you can climb it solo without supplemental oxygen. You can jummar all the way to the top of El Capitan behind a guide, or you can climb it rope solo. You can take a beautiful photograph and 'ink-zap' as many copies as you want, or you can make every subsequent print in the darkroom, each exhibiting (hopefully) your mastering the many hurdles in the path towards a fine print.

    Therefore, process matters.

    Then again, the photograph has to be strong enough to stand alone, to make someone stop and ponder it without your holding its hand or explaining anything.

    Therefore, process means nothing if they don't care to become engaded.

    To add yet another twist, it may become important if the viewer chooses. For example; if I saw two identical photographs, one being 'ink-zapped' and another made by hand, I'll always prefer the one born wet because it has the hand of the artist in it.

    Pretty clear eh?

    Murray
    Last edited by MurrayMinchin; 09-13-2007 at 06:32 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  5. #25
    Saganich's Avatar
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    Of course it matters. There is a multiple audience. Science is a good analogy, page through a professional peer review journal like Cell and try to understand the papers. The audence is other PhD's in cell biology who are deeply in the paradigm and follow every developement with details they care about, others only want to know the meaning in 10 words or less. On the other hand after seeing the falling man photo again I still didn't wonder what camera or lens was used but I know it couldn't have been made with an 8x10, or a 35mm lens. In your case then the other photographers within your paradigm (who invent reality for the image) should be deeply interested in your methods. It sounds like your professor isn't one of them.
    Chris Saganich
    http://www.imagebrooklyn.com

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparky View Post
    Intention matters ABSOULUTELY.
    Are you so sure?

    Intention matters only insofar as it can be executed. Who cares what you intended at the beginning if your end product is not what you intended??
    Paul

  7. #27
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrPablo View Post
    Are you so sure?

    Intention matters only insofar as it can be executed. Who cares what you intended at the beginning if your end product is not what you intended??
    Or, then again, what if you attain what you intended yet nobody cares? In this case the process didn't matter at all, except maybe for satisfying some personal end.

    Are we chasing our tails????

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

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin View Post
    You can get your ass coddled up Everest by a high priced guide and a couple Sherpa's, or you can climb it solo without supplemental oxygen. You can jummar all the way to the top of El Capitan behind a guide, or you can climb it rope solo. You can take a beautiful photograph and 'ink-zap' as many copies as you want, or you can make every subsequent print in the darkroom, each exhibiting (hopefully) your mastering the many hurdles in the path towards a fine print.

    Therefore, process matters.
    I think your climbing metaphors don't really apply, because the end result of the activities is internal (satisfaction/self mastery, whatever).

    From my perspective, photography is ultimately about visual communication: the end product, the image, works or it doesn't. As far as process or medium is concerned, there are many practitioners of a medium who have high technical ability, but at best mediocre artistic ability. Conversely, there are those with strong ideas, but poor craftsmanship, which prevents the image from succeeding. The magic happens when artistic vision and adequate technical skills merge.

    Personally, I don't care if someone spent 2 weeks in a blizzard, packing a 20X24 wet plate camera, was chewed on by a grizzly and probed by aliens, if the end result is a mediocre image. If someone skilfully uses a point-n-shoot from their back porch to create a stunning image, that's FAR more interesting.

    I also don't have a hierarchy of handcoated paper>fiber based B&W > RC B&W > traditional color > inkjet. I have been impressed and bored by prints from any of these media.

    I do think staged vs spontaneous is an issue, in that traditional photography implied a veracity that has been undermined by less than scrupulous traditional practitioners (e.g. Doisneau, who I understand maintained that his images were not staged, but eventually recanted) and folks interested in compositing who don't acknowledge their practices. Now, stunning images are often met with a bored "Did that in Photoshop?" response ......

    Of course, by its nature, APUG is populated by folks who are process-orientated, so I expect a fair bit of disagreement ....

    Jaan

  9. #29
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin View Post
    You can get your ass coddled up Everest by a high priced guide and a couple Sherpa's, or you can climb it solo without supplemental oxygen. You can jummar all the way to the top of El Capitan behind a guide, or you can climb it rope solo. You can take a beautiful photograph and 'ink-zap' as many copies as you want, or you can make every subsequent print in the darkroom, each exhibiting (hopefully) your mastering the many hurdles in the path towards a fine print.

    Therefore, process matters.

    Then again, the photograph has to be strong enough to stand alone, to make someone stop and ponder it without your holding its hand or explaining anything.

    Therefore, process means nothing if they don't care to become engaded.

    To add yet another twist, it may become important if the viewer chooses. For example; if I saw two identical photographs, one being 'ink-zapped' and another made by hand, I'll always prefer the one born wet because it has the hand of the artist in it.

    Pretty clear eh?

    Murray
    Yet again, the equation "Wet process = Real photography, Inkjet print = Facile cop-out of inferior quality." Honestly, Murray, have you ever done any high-end inkjet printing? Or maybe you know something that I, after 41 years in the business, don't know? High-end inkjet printing is just as demanding as wet-process printing, the only real difference is that you have to do the fine tuning once only, thus freeing up a considerable amount of time for things other than breathing toxic fumes in a darkroom!

  10. #30
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    Au contraire, mon frere David. There is just as much continuous fine-tuning with inkjet/digital processes as there is with wet darkroom, because monitors drift out of calibration, printers clog heads, inkset manufacture changes, and so on. It all comes down to where you'd rather spend your time- smelling fumes in a wet darkroom, or fattening your ass, turning green under fluorescent lighting, and burning out your eyes in front of a computer monitor.

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