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!
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.
~Buying a Nikon doesn not make you a photographer. It makes you a Nikon owner!
~Everybody has a photographic memory, but not everybody has film!
i guess everything is manipulated in one way or another ...
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.
San Diego, CA, USA
The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
-The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_
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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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.
I think that the most powerful manipulation in photography is CAMERA POSITION.
There, I couldn't have said it better.
Originally Posted by hec
There is *always* manipulation in photography. It's just a matter of taste how much is too much.
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...
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!
That's totally subjective, and I respect your opinion.
Originally Posted by ic-racer
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...