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  1. #11

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    It is cheating, because it limits you to things you can first take a photo of.
    If you know how to draw from life, you're much more free in your choices.

  2. #12
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    It is not cheating unless you are bound to rules that prohibit it. It does let you draw things you cannot observe from life. Consider the old question of whether a horse at a gallop gets all four feet off the ground. Photography determined that the horse did, and that most artists for millennia had drawn the legs in the wrong positions. Using photographs also permits a high degree of accuracy. I've been projecting slides and negatives and tracing the images for almost 60 years. That provides accuracy. Then the drawing or painting has to be brought to life through interpretation.

  3. #13

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    Not cheating but be aware most informed viewers will be able to tell it was drawn from a photograph. Photos restrict an image in terms of tonality and perspective. I sometimes use an enlarger tilted through 90 degrees to trace from but that is using multiple negatives and positives for a particular effect. If it's a short cut to learning perspectival drawing I'd give it a miss, if it's a visual experiment, go for it.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    It is not cheating unless you are bound to rules that prohibit it. It does let you draw things you cannot observe from life. Consider the old question of whether a horse at a gallop gets all four feet off the ground. Photography determined that the horse did, and that most artists for millennia had drawn the legs in the wrong positions. Using photographs also permits a high degree of accuracy. I've been projecting slides and negatives and tracing the images for almost 60 years. That provides accuracy. Then the drawing or painting has to be brought to life through interpretation.
    I think you've just described my feelings on the matter.

    I like the idea of being able to get the perspective "perfect" and making displayable images of my slides and negs in a non-photographic medium. I put the word perfect in quotations because I know it's possible to distort perspective in camera (obviously more so with LF), and I'm assuming I got the perspective I wanted before I pressed the shutter.

    Now that the idea has grown in my head, I've began thinking of all the possible problems:

    1) tracing a projected image in the dark
    2) making sure the paper doesnt move (tape?)
    3)Should my black and white shots stay in black and white and should my color shots be drawn (or painted) in color?


    Guess I'll figure that out later today when I get home and can attempt to do this
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

  5. #15
    Maris's Avatar
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    It is possible to go beyond tracing projected photographs at the cost of some labour. By using a soft pencil, say 6B, and filling in all the light bits of a projected negative until an even tone results the outcome is a graphite drawing.
    Photography, the word itself, invented and defined by its author Sir John.F.W.Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society, Somerset House, London. Quote "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..". unquote.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Existing Light View Post
    I take a negative or positive, project it on a sheet of drawing paper or canvas, trace it, and use the traced image as a template for a drawing or painting?
    Of course it is cheating. If you resort to things like that, you will never be better than the hacks who have done it in the past -- no account losers like Norman Rockwell.

  7. #17
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    Who says it's "cheating"!?
    Get real. Do as you please, as you please, for the result that pleases and stuff the "rules" opined by the masses. Be different and successful for yourself.
    “The photographer must determine how he wants the finished print to look before he exposes the negative.
    Before releasing the shutter, he must seek 'the flame of recognition,' a sense that the picture would reveal
    the greater mystery of things...more clearly than the eyes see."
    ~Edward Weston, 1922.

  8. #18
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    Maris: It is possible to go beyond tracing projected photographs at the cost of some labour. By using a soft pencil, say 6B, and filling in all the light bits of a projected negative until an even tone results the outcome is a graphite drawing.

    I was hoping someone would bring this up. It is a really nice technique, and not all that laborious if you are interested in a pictorial effect. A fairly contrasty negative works best, and you can rework the finished image, adding or removing details, or changing emphasis, if your skills are up to it.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by DLawson View Post
    Of course it is cheating. If you resort to things like that, you will never be better than the hacks who have done it in the past -- no account losers like Norman Rockwell.
    Looks like we have one thing in common: we're not fans of norman rockwell.
    "I have captured the light and arrested its flight! The sun itself shall draw my pictures!"

    -Louis Daguerre, 1839-

  10. #20

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    Hyper-realist enthusiasts in the 1970s exactly reproduced colour transparencies on large canvases, it turned out to be a visual dead-end. Drawings from photographs tend to lack the slight binocular distortions and visceral response to 3-dimensional objects in space that make drawing from life so compelling.

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