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  1. #1
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    Truth stranger than fiction...

    From my own personal standpoint, the truth has always been more interesting than fiction. Both in concept and in photography. That is one reason why I enjoy non-computer photography, and have no interest in computer generated/manipulated imagery.

    In keeping with "truth stranger than fiction" I wonder how others feel about the incredible social irony that 99 Cent II Diptychon (a representation of the interior of a '99-cent' store) and Untitled (Cowboy) (a photograph of a cigarette ad) are two of the highest selling photographic images at auction.

    I could not have come up with that!

  2. #2

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    I am familiar with the 99 cent image, and more recently familiar with the other, but I have always been partial to Stiechen's 'Pond Moonlight.' Also in the vein of most expensive and manipulated imagery, Gustave Le Gray's 'The Great Wave' is a manipulated multi-print. No adobe, but still in the pre-photoshop spirit. :-D

    And I agree, I would not have pegged those two for being in the top three if I didnt already know they were.
    M. David Farrell, Jr.

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    ~Everybody has a photographic memory, but not everybody has film!

  3. #3

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    i guess everything is manipulated in one way or another ...

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    I sorta like the "99 Cent" image, but I don't think I like it US$3.3M worth! (The cowboy series I don't get much out of at all---it seems like a one-trick pony to me. But obviously someone with a lot of money felt otherwise.)

    But fine-art auctions are a weird world anyway. It's not at all clear to me how much those prices are driven by aesthetic interest vs. intellectual interest vs. speculation vs. one-upmanship.

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    Nathan Tenny
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    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
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  5. #5
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    I firmly reject the idea that truth means lack of manipulation.

    I spend a lot of care (well, sometimes) to manipulate the image to reflect what I felt as true when spotting the subject. Admittedly I do most of the manipulation during exposure, and it's no fancy stuff either (focal length, choice of film, filters and so forth), but:

    to me it makes no difference at what stage and how much I manipulate an image. If it looks too artificial, I usually don't like it. But that might be just me...
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  6. #6
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    To continue on the lines of what 'truth' in photography means to me; when I see an B&W image on a wall or magazine, I am unconsciously drawn toward it. As I view the image my interest level rises or falls depending on the content. If I sense content is fictitious, I totally lose interest (this is not something I can say I have control over). I can first like an image then I find I like it less if I find it was manipulated. For example I don't like some of Arthur Rothstein's work as much as when I first saw them. He is still high on my list of all-time favorites, but not as near the top.

  7. #7
    hec
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    I think that the most powerful manipulation in photography is CAMERA POSITION.

  8. #8
    kossi008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hec View Post
    I think that the most powerful manipulation in photography is CAMERA POSITION.
    There, I couldn't have said it better.

    There is *always* manipulation in photography. It's just a matter of taste how much is too much.
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  9. #9
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    Of course, the copied cowboy pic (Richard Prince lifted Sam Abell's work) has been copied by someone else (Greg Allen copying Prince??) and has been offered for sale...

    http://www.20x200.com/art/2010/06/un...300-x-404.html

    Fools and their money... (frankly, I think the Marlboro cigarette company spent their money well with a great photographer, and probably got their money's worth.) Everyone else who buys these prints kinda make me scratch my head.

    And agreed... the photographers presence is a manipulation. It's a very subjective medium.
    Last edited by SuzanneR; 06-12-2010 at 04:58 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: Trying to stay on topic!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by ic-racer View Post
    To continue on the lines of what 'truth' in photography means to me; when I see an B&W image on a wall or magazine, I am unconsciously drawn toward it. As I view the image my interest level rises or falls depending on the content. If I sense content is fictitious, I totally lose interest (this is not something I can say I have control over). I can first like an image then I find I like it less if I find it was manipulated.
    That's totally subjective, and I respect your opinion.

    But in general, I don't really care if the photos look truthful to my eye or not, because I believe what communicates with the audience is something deeper than that.

    I mean, I like movies that are based on novels, and some novels are based on real stories, you know "true stories." And I really think sometimes instead of making a documentary, it is more effective to make a feature and have all the factual elements in it and let actors play the roles and create the story...

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