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  1. #31
    Pioneer's Avatar
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    I think that this is something that only time will tell. HCB and Vivian Maier are very different photographers. The first has had many years to establish his credentials and it is clear that he is one of history's premier photographers. Perhaps, over time, Vivian Maier's work will also establish her as one of history's great photographers, I really don't know yet. To some degree that will probably depend on how well her work is promoted, and how well it is accepted. Talent certainly plays a part. A strong work ethic that produces a huge body of work is also a positive. A good story doesn't hurt either. But in the final say, continued success in promoting her work will probably be the most important. Right now it appears that the shows of her work have been well attended, it seems the books with her pictures are selling well, her website has a lot of hits, and there continue to be stories presented in the media. If that continues over time, then her name and her pictures will be established with the public. At that point I strongly suspect that she will be considered a great photographer by most, no matter what you or I think.

  2. #32
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    A ridiculous question as HCB is backed up by a worldwide historic consensus of opinion from millions of people, many of whom are more qualified to comment than I.
    But Bob's question was not about asking what the consensus opinion was of those "millions of people", it was a question about what was your individual personal opinion. Or more specifically, what dissimilarities you had already seen when comparing the two bodies of work that prompted your admonition to him to perform a similar comparison, with the unspoken expectation that he would see the same.

    It is a basic premise of classical logic that one cannot successfully assert the falseness of an argument without being able to point to the truthful condition which gives rise to that falsehood. In order to successfully argue that Bob's argument is wrong, you must be able to back that position up by telling us what you believe is right. Simply offering the opinion of millions of others does not necessarily meet that metric.

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Nadvornick View Post
    But Bob's question was not about asking what the consensus opinion was of those "millions of people", it was a question about what was your individual personal opinion. Or more specifically, what dissimilarities you had already seen when comparing the two bodies of work that prompted your admonition to him to perform a similar comparison, with the unspoken expectation that he would see the same.

    It is a basic premise of classical logic that one cannot successfully assert the falseness of an argument without being able to point to the truthful condition which gives rise to that falsehood. In order to successfully argue that Bob's argument is wrong, you must be able to back that position up by telling us what you believe is right. Simply offering the opinion of millions of others does not necessarily meet that metric.

    Ken
    OK, I personally think that the work of HCB is in a different league to Vivian Maires in terms of composition, decisive moment, Zen photography, contemplation of space and vision, realisation of differential focus, perspective, lighting, geometry, framing, contemplation and respect of subject. But then this is only my opinion.

    “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”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #34
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    But then this is only my opinion.
    Thank you. That's all that was being asked for...



    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble View Post


    Vivian Maier's take on Egypt. Remember though. This was culled from THOUSANDS of negatives spanning decades. This was what was carefully chosen as one of the minority of images to be put in a portfolio on the site named after her.
    Which is really a criticism of the editor. We don't know what Maier thought of it. This might have been an accidental shot, for all we really know. Or just a silly shot.

    As it is, I now can picture what a former boss of mine would look like on a trip to Giza.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    A ridiculous question as HCB is backed up by a worldwide historic consensus of opinion from millions of people, many of whom are more qualified to comment than I.
    I have a book which is a compendium of a photo magazine's best articles.
    One is of the 10 best photographers in the world as of the 1950's.
    I can be pretty sure that the list contains names that are virtually unknown to most here.
    Historic consensus changes and may be largely influenced by a relatively few people.
    Also, judging by "world wide consensus", there is not much of value from anywhere but the US and Europe for the first 130 years of Photography.

    I think that is a poor measure of worth, driven by celebrity and regurgitation of historical texts (Newhall) and business.
    On the other hand there is no doubt that the driving force behind the attention to Vivian Maier is business.
    Personally I am always glad when another unknown gets a bit of time in the light.
    We will never know how she would have cropped her photos, We know HCB would if necessary, despite claims to the contrary
    http://teachyourselfphotography.blog...at-180000.html
    I would welcome a print comparison regarding " composition, decisive moment, Zen photography, contemplation of space and vision, realisation of differential focus, perspective, lighting, geometry, framing, contemplation and respect of subject." But that is a doctoral dissertation or a book.
    Honest disclosure: I think White is better than Stieglitz.
    "There are a great many things I am in doubt about at the moment, and I should consider myself favoured if you would kindly enlighten me. Signed, Doubtful, off to Canada." (BJP 1914).

    Regards
    Bill

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble View Post
    If I like a picture, I like a picture. It doesn't matter who took it. And if I like an artist I like an artist whether they've been overexposed on the internet or not.

    My problem with Maier is I've never seen anyone say she accomplished anything extraordinary. To me it would seem her picture taking was a manifestation of some kind of mental disorder. If you walk around with a camera and take thousands upon thousands of pictures over the course of decades there are bound to be some winners. That is not the hallmark of a great artist. I do like the fact she documented a lot of mundane things. I like documenting things too. I wouldn't call a lot of what I do fine art though.
    yup in a hundred 100k there would be some winners - EXCEPT that those who have seen whole contact sheets say she never took multiples, only one exposure. i wish i had one tenth as good an eye!!!

  8. #38
    Steve Smith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noble View Post
    I do like the fact she documented a lot of mundane things. I like documenting things too. I wouldn't call a lot of what I do fine art though.
    Photographs of the mundane usually only become interesting with the passing of time when viewed in context with current trends and fashions in clothing, cars, etc. The glimpse into the past is often what gives old pictures their appeal regardless of any additional attributes such as good composition and technical quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by Noble View Post
    To me it would seem her picture taking was a manifestation of some kind of mental disorder.
    I think the same could be said of many artists.


    Steve.
    "People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.

  9. #39
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    I have seen 33 originals, they all were sensitive urban scenes, one self portrait, which she obviously was fond of doing. I believe that its very important how the thousands of negatives are edited and presented. Time will judge her place, I just happen to think it will be pretty high up in the rankings .

    Quote Originally Posted by JimO View Post
    yup in a hundred 100k there would be some winners - EXCEPT that those who have seen whole contact sheets say she never took multiples, only one exposure. i wish i had one tenth as good an eye!!!

  10. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimO View Post
    yup in a hundred 100k there would be some winners - EXCEPT that those who have seen whole contact sheets say she never took multiples, only one exposure. i wish i had one tenth as good an eye!!!
    What does that have to do with anything? Are you saying if you shot 100,000 negatives with no duplicates you couldn't come up with keepers?! Brute force papers over all kinds mediocrity. I've stated this before in this thread. Way before Maier was an internet sensation and lay people marveled at my portfolio I would tell them if you are semi competent, take enough pictures, and edit carefully you will have a decent portfolio. I never imagined someone putting that philosphy on steriods and cranking out 100,000 negatives.

    Truth be told I can't fully assess her as an artist. A lot of it isn't even developed yet. I am not going to come to a final conclusion on the quotient until there is some honest idea about the denominator.

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