Oh okay. Well to me 'emotionally abstract' doesn't mean devoid of emotion. I don't doubt for one instant that Adams put emotion into his images, so many of which are just spectacularly effective (so they must connect at an emotional level).
Originally Posted by Roger Cole
I suspect that if we put a more journalistic HCB image up and ask for words, we'd get a fair amount of agreement. If there were a way to do that in a blind submission, so nobody sees what everyone else is going to say, I bet we'd get a lot of the same words. With Adams, I am really curious what we'd get. I find it very hard to say what I see in most of the Adams' prints. For me, a lot of E. Weston is much easier to talk about.
Do architects get credit even though they didn't lay the brick? Who beside Frank Lloyd Wright do you think about in association with the Guggenheim Museum? Isn't it about having a vision and executing the results?
Originally Posted by Alan Klein
i think people who are interested always know who the printer of a photograph is. some printers are well known
and some are lesser known, but just the same people who do are known for doing.
One of the aspects I noticed reading through this thread is the fact that print/process orientated photographers speak of putting their own emotional interpretation into the finished print. So perhaps one of the main differences here is that HCB is showing us the emotion of the moment/subject and not of the photographer. A selfless Zen approach.
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
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I think that purposful, considered, camera work normally shows us what the photographer wants us to see.
Originally Posted by cliveh
As photographers we pick what the world gets to see, we are in full control of the context, or lack thereof, that we choose to show the world.
I fully believe that HCB had a very clear idea of what, in an artistic sense, he wanted to "draw", what he wanted us to see. I also belive that this was a business decision, not Zen; when he photographed (made an instant drawing of) the places and the people that were his subjects he was looking for the decisive iconic moments/scenes that would evoke enough emotion in viewers that they would want to buy the prints.
Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
I was thinking about a piece I saw in some photography magazine years ago in which the same negative, a landscape I think, was given to several veteran printers and each then explained how he would interpret the image in a final print. The four results were quite distinct. While I agree few of us would be willing to turn over our negatives the way the writer turns over a script, still I wonder what another printer, backed up with more experience and skill than I have, or just a different artistic sensibility, might produce with one of my negatives which may be a better interpretation than the one I had in mind. And of course there is never just one way to interpret a negative. Lillian Bassman, the great fashion photographer, has radically re-interpreted a lot of negatives she made in the prime of her career (I think she is still alive). And ultimately we have no choice but to give up control of our negatives so someone else might find them and make art with them. I'm thinking of Vivian Maier, and the negatives of Capa, Taro, and Chim hidden for so many years in the Mexican Suitcase.
Originally Posted by BrianShaw
Originally Posted by Dan Henderson
It helps in a number of different ways.
First, there is the obvious advantage of volume. If you are printing for others, you are probably printing a lot, so you gain more experience.
Second, it forces you to verbalize your thoughts about the process, and enter into discussions about the options. Having to make your thoughts/vision clear and communicable tends to improve those thoughts/that vision.
Third, approaching a negative without the preconceptions built up at the time it was exposed tends to make it easier to consider and maybe implement a lot of options, and you avoid being disappointed by the negative not turning out the way you "thought" it was going to.
Fourth, the original photographer is available to supply at least one other set of ideas about how best to realize the potential of each negative.
Fifth, the original photographer is available to supply an informed critique of your work; and
Sixth, if you are doing it for money, someone else is paying for your darkroom materials .
Not necessarily in any particular order.
In general, I guess I'm saying that printing tends to improve when it is part of some sort of collaboration, rather than a strictly solitary process.
“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
The only "Truth" in this is that there is No Universal truth to be found. It might have been better as a poll question. Who does and who doesn't consider making the print to be part of their art.
I have wondered to myself if you can conclude that a 35mm photographer generally doesn't put great emphasis on printing.
I saw a major HCB show 20 years ago and found all the 11x14 neutral toned prints to be run of the mill uninspired prints. Just good commercial prints. They said at the show that HCB didn't print his own.
The art in printing is different from the art of walking the streets, seeing and framing.
An interesting thing is that I do both. I print my own and I print for other artists. It is a completely different mind set. For myself I keep an open mind and am interested in unusual prints. For others I need to keep the cost down so I can make some money and my goal is to make a print the photographer won't be able to refuse on grounds of bad printing.
Regarding Penn, people saying he didn't do his own. He was very hands on involved in making the prints that were important to him. Take a look at his book "A Notebook at Random."
Thanks for that comment -- printing is not a mindless mechanical task for me.
Originally Posted by dpurdy
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can be a good day of exercise.