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Thread: On Technique

  1. #91
    MaximusM3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw View Post
    I think the problem appears when the photographer / journalist thinks or pretends to think that they need to have no understanding of exposure and the photographic process what-so-ever, and that somehow that ignorance will make them a more "connected" and "creative" person.

    Tom
    Tom,

    I don't think they are pretending anything. They genuinely don't know and/or don't care.
    Anyway, it is simply a choice and, if that helps them achieve their goals, so be it. It is true that some may give off that attitude of "I'm just so good that all I need to know is where the shutter release is" but hey, all artists are a little cocky and eccentric

  2. #92
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    In most cases, photojournalists work is not ideologically, spiritually pure - so its natural they would say technique/technology and such doesn't matter.
    When Ansel Adams and the folks formed Group f/64, they wanted to promote photographic style characterized by sharp-focused and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western (U.S.) viewpoint.
    Those folks possessed a high degree of environmental awareness, promoted with great success - You can feel that synergy of vision and technique/technology screaming out of their prints.
    While most PJ prints are a low-fi facts about how soulless the modern man is.
    Of course PJ wont be interested in technique - their exhausted soul whisper that the subject is not that important and that they should just click that button.. at the same time their guts are screaming - go ahead, this is ART (or whatever the name is)

  3. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kershaw View Post
    I think the problem appears when the photographer / journalist thinks or pretends to think that they need to have no understanding of exposure and the photographic process what-so-ever, and that somehow that ignorance will make them a more "connected" and "creative" person.

    Tom
    I agree that some very basic knowledge is needed but part of my photographic maturation has been falling back to "knowing nothing" (well at least thinking very little) about my material and process choices once the roll is in the camera.

    I've even gone back to simply using the manufacturer's recommendations at each step of the process getting good at following directions and classic incident meter readings to peg the mid-tones.

    Because of the path I took to get here I understand why I chose this path, but any newby can do exactly what I do from their first day by just following the directions.

    This has provided the flexibility for me to use whatever material is at hand nicely and normally get exposures that print nicely.
    Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  4. #94
    clay's Avatar
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    I can't believe I am jumping in on one of these sort of threads, but here's my two cents: If lack of technique prevents you from doing what you envision doing, then you need to acquire it. If your technique is sufficient to give you the end result you want, photographically speaking, then you're good. Make your stuff.
    I just want to feel nostalgic like I used to.


    http://www.clayharmon.net - turnip extraordinaire

  5. #95
    Toffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clay View Post
    I can't believe I am jumping in on one of these sort of threads, but here's my two cents: If lack of technique prevents you from doing what you envision doing, then you need to acquire it. If your technique is sufficient to give you the end result you want, photographically speaking, then you're good. Make your stuff.
    Thank you, Clay. The man knows whereof he speaks. This is about being a photographer - taking pictures and getting prints that satisfy you. Do it.
    Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada

    Ansel Adams had the Zone System... I'm working on the points system. First I points it here, and then I points it there...

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  6. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by jglass View Post
    "The point they go on to make is one of the common threads observable across artforms when one studies the work of great artists, is an ability to somehow resist that normal maturing process from a technical perspective, the learning that comes from the study of rules, conventions and opinions established by outside influences. Picasso was famous for saying he could always draw like Rembrandt, but it took him years to learn to draw like a child."

    This makes no sense, really: Picasso could draw like Rembrandt, in part, because he worked at it and learned all the "rules and techniques." He did not, at least at first, "resist the normal maturing process from a technical perspective." He went right on through the normal maturing process and then went beyond it to make his art.

    Frankly, no artist defends the red herring that this thread and Lisl Steiner's self-congratulatory quote have decided to do battle with: that technique is sufficient. No one argues that from an artistic viewpoint. There's a lot of over-emphasis on technique here on this site, but for cryin out loud that's what this place is for, learning the techniques. When you're ready to go beyond it, you're on your own.

    Any artist can benefit from the mastery of technique that Picasso had and deployed in a radical way. It was not an absence of technique that made him great but a mastery of it and an ability to transcend it. All artists understand that. Even some journalists understand it!

    hi jeff

    picasso was drawing at a very early age. his father ( from what i can remember )
    enlisted him to apply and take the entrance exam for l'academie des beaux arts
    when he was 14 ... it usually took a year ( at least ) to complete the drawings &C and picasso
    completed it in 2 weeks. the school said it was turned in earlier than anyone had
    ever turned it in, and it was better than an exam they had ever seen.
    i can totally understand his quote because he had the charm and technique within him and was a masterful artist even at the age of 10 or 14 ...
    like with many artforms, you are taught to follow rules ( techniques ? ) to create
    a work of art and breaking the rule and making up one's own technique
    being playful and whimsical, not caring, having distain towards ones materials &C is not something "serious artists" are supposed to do.

    motzart knew a little about being whimsical

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ciFTP_KRy4
    Last edited by jnanian; 10-18-2011 at 10:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #97
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clay View Post
    I can't believe I am jumping in on one of these sort of threads, but here's my two cents: If lack of technique prevents you from doing what you envision doing, then you need to acquire it. If your technique is sufficient to give you the end result you want, photographically speaking, then you're good. Make your stuff.
    Some people are gifted in the way that they can cram the meaning of a thousand words into a couple of lines. Thank you.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  8. #98
    guitstik's Avatar
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    Shoot, print, repeat
    Thy heart -- thy heart! -- I wake and sigh,
    And sleep to dream till day
    Of the truth that gold can never buy
    Of the bawbles that it may.

    www.silverhalidephotography.com

  9. #99
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by L Gebhardt View Post

    ....

    I do however continue to experiment with filters in the field to learn the responses for both films. So I guess I do like to experiment and focus on technique. But I'm hoping to get to the point where I can look at the scene and determine I want an orange filter and not second guess myself into try three different ones. Then I'll be able to focus even more in just seeing the image.
    This highlights part of the difficulty with the subject. What do we mean when we use the word "technique(s)"?

    Your post is a point about a narrowly focussed area of technique - you want to be able to do certain things in a certain way, so you learn the technique(s) necessary to get the results you want.

    Compare that to other posts in this thread that are referring to technique more as a set of methods, knowledge and skills.

    A discussion about the relative benefit and burden of achieving mastery of technique in general is very different than a discussion about the value of mastering the use of filters - that value is both clear and clearly limited.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  10. #100

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    [QUOTE=jnanian;1249210]hi jeff

    picasso was drawing at a very early age. his father ( from what i can remember )
    enlisted him to apply and take the entrance exam for l'academie des beaux arts
    when he was 14 ... it usually took a year ( at least ) to complete the drawings &C and picasso
    completed it in 2 weeks. the school said it was turned in earlier than anyone had
    ever turned it in, and it was better than an exam they had ever seen.

    Agreed, John, and that's why I said he mastered technique, in part, by learning the rules. The other "part" was a native gift. But I feel sure the academie approved his exam because he had excellent technique, whether from hard work or from nature. Once you have the technique, you can fruitfully disregard it and get all whimsical -- for example by shooting paper negs without exposure info and developing in coffee -- or you can exploit the technique itself in a different context, for example by panning the camera on a still object, or the like, etc. So:

    1. Technique is good but not sufficient.

    2.Vision is good but not sufficient. I think the first statement is non-controversial. The second, maybe not.
    Jeff Glass

    Photo Blog
    Website

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