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  1. #21
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marcello.brussard
    Ok I'm grabbing my courage, the few word of english I know and try an give my contribution on this topic.
    Often when talking about photography the word vision comes around, it is used as if the ability of taking good photos was a gift. Something like a blessing. I've been thinking the same line for a long time and I've been about to quit taking photos. I have to admit it: I am not blessed or gifted. But I believe I have something to say, emotions to rappresent, to record, to exchange with others. That's why I keep shooting, experimenting and learning. Sometimes it appens I manage to express what I have in mind to say. It takes a great effort, often it is frustrating, but I feel it is worth it.
    Ciao,
    Marcello
    It is a gift. Life itself is a gift. Either is is part of the human being, and they are inseperable.
    The delusion is that some of us - the "Elite Ones" have - "The Gift" and the other others do not. That, in my opinion is nothing more than a poisonous lie .. and a delusion.
    Vision is there - inside - for all of us. What we have to do is shut off the internal conversation - the negative lies - and set our vision - and ourselves - free.
    Simple to say - difficult to do.

    You are not ....? You realize you "have something to say - emotions to represent, to record, to exchange with others" ...? That realization is a great part of the "gift"... The most important part.

    You are not sucessful - ALL the time? What about it, gang? Who among us IS successful ALL the time?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  2. #22

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    Of course no one is successful all the time, but when one learns to see photographically one can be successfull pretty close to it. Of his work while on his Guggenheim fellowship Weston wrote," From the two years' work I have destroyed few nagtaives because I thought my seeing was inadequate." Charis told me that Edward destroyed fewer than a dozen due to inadequate seeing.

    Except for negatives that have problems caused by technical difficulties--fogged film due to leaky bellows or bad holders, camera movement during exposure due to wind or other, faulty focus or bad lens, Paula and I finish practically all of our photographs. Once someone knows how to see photographically it is not difficult to do the same.

    The one exception is with portraits, where expression is as important as placement. With portraits the percentage is much lower.

  3. #23

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    You are not ....? You realize you "have something to say - emotions to represent, to record, to exchange with others" ...? That realization is a great part of the "gift"... The most important part.

    You are not sucessful - ALL the time? What about it, gang? Who among us IS successful ALL the time
    ?

    Very well said...that is what I was trying to say about the confusion that exists between the ability to compose (composition) and vision. Vision, in my opinion, is exactly what Ed has said here. I also think that vision needs to be realized, to be uncovered, if you will (as others have said). I think that many of us also have confusion in regard to what we are trying to accomplish through the practice of our photography. What is it that we are attempting to show and say? Who are we showing and saying it to? Are we trying to make only "pretty" images? Is photography only about beauty? Are we truly in touch with our innermost beings? Is not photography equally about learning about ourselves as it is in depicting to others?

    I think that there is a point at which the critique of photographs (others and our own) and this topic blend. Because it becomes very much a self revelation involved in the process of self realization.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  4. #24

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    Everyone has "something to say" with their photographs. Those who are so emotionally deadened that they have nothing to say are unlikely to be picking up a camera. The problem with making successful photgraphs is never with the emotional aspects, it is with the ability to see photogaphically so that all parts of the photograph cohere into a unified whole. Once one learns to do that, one's vision can reveal itself. And once a photographer reaches a mature stage in his or her visual journey, that vision will be different for each one, for we are all unique entities.

  5. #25
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
    Of course no one is successful all the time, but when one learns to see photographically one can be successfull pretty close to it. Of his work while on his Guggenheim fellowship Weston wrote," From the two years' work I have destroyed few nagtaives because I thought my seeing was inadequate." Charis told me that Edward destroyed fewer than a dozen due to inadequate seeing.
    I do not wish to be contentious here - but I think there is a distincton between "vision" and "seeing". I understand "seeing" in this sense as "pre-visalization", where there is a mental image of what the scene will look like in the future photograph - when printed in black and white, on grade 2 paper, developed in Dektol ... etc.
    That is an improtant "key" to efficiency in photography - and efficiency is a "good thing"... Nearly a necessity if one is working with Large Format or producing Platinum prints .. unless, of course, one is in the same financial realm as Croesus.

    To me, though, that is a technique - and can be learned. "Vision" is something else.

    It is certainly possible to produce technially *excellent* photographs that are nearly devoid of emotion, and a sense of - not necessarily conscious communication - more like "connection" and rapport with a fellow human being.

    One is certainly free to choose their "path"... my choice is the "Induced Emotional" one. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be a highly efficient way.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #26

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    No, Ed, I'm afraid you have misunderstood entirely. By photographic seeing I mean nothing technical in any way and certainly nothing in the way of "previsualization" the way you describe it--knowing exactly what the print will look like. If I ever knew exactly what the print would look like I would not make the picture because it would be a boring experience. Why do something that you know exactly how it will turn out? The sense of discovery throughout the process would not be there. I never know what a negative will look like until it is printed--it is always a surprise, and I certainly never know when I am under the dark cloth.

    Photographic seeing involves taking into consideration, visually, every part of the picture so that what one sees is a unified whole, spatially and tonally, not a bunch of parts. The point is to make a photograph the way a composer writes a piece of music--no extra notes (and none too few either).

    Michael A. Smith

  7. #27

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    In this instance I agree with Ed's perspective on this matter. It appears to me that "seeing photographically" involves composition. Or perhaps more precisely composition is the means by which we can produce the cohesiveness of our "seeing". That I agree would be a skill capable of being taught.

    Vision, it would appear to me, is an entirely different matter...it is personal with no two people sharing exactly the same vision.

    Which is the primary of the two? I would think that without vision there would be no desire, hence no interest in seeing.

    As an example, if I had a sibling who had died of AIDS, I may possibly have a very strong interest in and desire to portray the suffering and death of AIDS victims. I would have a vision about that matter. My sensitivity to the plight of those victims would allow me to see. If on the other hand I had no sibling so afflicted and in fact had a strong prejudice against homosexuals I might very well have an entirely different vision, then in the first example, and my seeing would be supportive of that second vision. In both of these instance, the images I made would most probably not portray much in the way of readily recognizable "conventional beauty". In fact no matter what those images which supported my vision were, there would be a group of people that would be strongly affected by my images. Perhaps the effect would be one of sympathy, or anger, or disgust. Is this not photography as well as images that I create of "rocks, trees, and manifestations of this world" that I compose in carefully construed fashion so as to portray "beauty"?
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  8. #28

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    Don: "I would think that without vision there would be no desire, hence no interest in seeing."

    Yes, that would be true.

    No one istalking about conventional ideas about beauty or about rocks, trees, etc. Gene Smith's Minamata picture is a great one. Nothing about "conventional" beauty in it at least as most photographers understand the term. but it is beautiful and it is through that beauty that the vision is able to communicate. As I said earlier, there are as manyways of seeing as there are individuals. My idea of what is beautiful may not be yours and vice-versa, but there must be complete seeing or the work will fail IN ITS OWN TERMS.

    As I have ssaid before, "It is how one sees not what ones sees that makes any photograph interesting." No matter how one sees, and no two mature artists will see alike, the seeing must be complete.

    Michael A. Smith

  9. #29
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
    No, Ed, I'm afraid you have misunderstood entirely. By photographic seeing I mean nothing technical in any way and certainly nothing in the way of "previsualization" the way you describe it--knowing exactly what the print will look like.

    Photographic seeing involves taking into consideration, visually, every part of the picture so that what one sees is a unified whole, spatially and tonally, not a bunch of parts. The point is to make a photograph the way a composer writes a piece of music--no extra notes (and none too few either).

    Michael A. Smith
    Then I stand corrected.

    That approach could be descibed as "Holistic" as opposed to "Deconstructionist". I am totally comminted to a "Holistic" approach.

    However, I still see this - "no extra, nor insufficient, notes", as striving towrds the goal of "efficiency."

    This is interesting - Is there a good example of a photograph that satisfies the criteria of "just enough elements" here in the galleries - or do you know of a muscal composition that does?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #30
    Ole
    Ole is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Haydn

    Far too many notes, my dear Beethoven!
    Tastes change - not only over time, but from person to person. Personally, I prefer diversity to consensus.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

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