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  1. #1

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    Technique is no art

    Often in photography we speak more of the instruments than of the works. The photographer is foremost an intellectual and then a technician. The work of art comes from an idea full of cultural references. "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" was born from the idea of the fourth dimension and not only from the Picasso painting technique.

  2. #2
    Worker 11811's Avatar
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    A person paints a painting.

    A person sketches a drawing.

    A person sculpts a sculpture.

    A person designs and builds a building.

    But I merely TAKE a photograph. All the others use verbs that describe constructing or creating something but I must passively "take" or "accept" what is already there. Even if you use the verbs "shoot" or "capture" you are still not describing the creation of something. It almost describes the destruction, not the construction.

    Besides than "make" or "create," what are other verbs that can be used to describe the process of creating a photograph which are constructive or creative?
    Randy S.

    In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni.

    -----

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/randystankey/

  3. #3
    Willie Jan's Avatar
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    I first create a sculpture by using parts of plants/flowers/etc...
    After that I shoot a photo.
    After that I create an artwork by using a ancient technique which can not be reproduced a second time.

    Photography is for me a way of showing my idea onto paper.
    I also could have done this by painting,sculpturing or drawing. But I didn't.

    For me the negative is the first step in

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    I may "take" a photo, but then I "make" a print to show others what I saw in my minds eye.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum

  5. #5

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    I visualize a photograph. I craft the light falling onto the subject. I measure the light. I perfect (or try to) exposure. I cut off the extraneous object from the frame. I include important details. I adjust the element of the print. I enhance parts of the print. I expose the print, I develop the print, then I make the print.

    True, the part where I push the shutter and the film is exposed often takes fraction of a second. But, the part that leads to and follows exposure takes hours - sometimes days or weeks. This is a century old argument. The part the artist spends the most time is a little different from most other forms of art but it is still true, it's the artist that makes the art, not the equipment.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  6. #6
    ath
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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    A person paints a painting.

    A person sketches a drawing.

    A person sculpts a sculpture.

    A person designs and builds a building.

    But I merely TAKE a photograph.
    I guess we are lucky here in Germany. We photograph, you take pictures. OTOH we use a Sucher ("searcher", search for an image), the english speakers use a finder.

    It's only language but sometimes quite interesting...
    Regards,
    Andreas

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    ...and when we go into the darkroom, we BLOW IT UP!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Worker 11811 View Post
    A person paints a painting. A person sketches a drawing. A person sculpts a sculpture. A person designs and builds a building.

    But I merely TAKE a photograph. All the others use verbs that describe constructing or creating something but I must passively "take" or "accept" what is already there. Even if you use the verbs "shoot" or "capture" you are still not describing the creation of something. It almost describes the destruction, not the construction.

    Besides than "make" or "create," what are other verbs that can be used to describe the process of creating a photograph which are constructive or creative?
    You can speak for yourself and your way of doing things if you "merely take a photograph". Others, myself included at times, make photos. I research times and places and choose what weather to shoot in for landscapes. I build the composition by putting one lens or another on the camera and trying different positions. For work with models, I conceive of an image appropriate for a model, select clothing, arrange backgrounds, control many aspects of lighting, direct the model's poses, and sometimes post-process and retouch the image.

    Verbs? Make, create, photograph, produce, envisage, manipulate, arrange, combine, light, compose, .... That's without getting into verbs like print, dodge, burn, mask, reduce, tone, retouch, mount, frame, ....

    While a sculptor sculpts, a photographer photographs.

    It's bad enough when the public thinks out loud that "oh, anybody can take a good photo these days" without having practicing members of the {art, craft, profession} running it down as well in forums like this site.

  9. #9
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    In line with some of the preceding comments:
    - see, envision, compose and capture your photographs (those are each separate elements);
    -develop (in a tailored fashion) and preserve your negatives; and
    - craft, refine, preserve and present your prints.

    There's nothing "taken" or "given" about good photography as far as I'm concerned. A fine print is conceived and realized with thoughtfulness and purpose throughout.

    I also feel there is some art to be found in technique and tools. It is their marriage with your knowledge, vision and dexterity that produces art. Deficiency in any one of these elements weakens our art as a whole.
    "There is a time and place for all things, the difficulty is to use them only in their proper time and places." -- Robert Henri

  10. #10

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    "Technique is no art", but there is no art without technique. Just like the architect who uses technology and materials science and civil engineering to make great art, photography is a very technical art.

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