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  1. #1
    SchwinnParamount's Avatar
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    Sally Man(n?) - Deep South

    I bought this book today. Some of it is deeply beautiful. Well, most of it is. Sally uses a LF camera and I guess it is wet collodion plates. She describes coating the plates with emulsion in her truckbed mounted darkroom right before exposure.

    The thing is, many of the plates were badly coated. With some of them, the subject is so badly obscured that you cannot begin to guess what she was photographing. Others are mostly great except there are many small artifacts from her coating which float through the images.

    She used what looks like a period lens which was designed for a smaller format. The lens cannot hope to cover her negative so you see large areas of vignetting in every plate. Where there is coverage, only the center of the image is fairly clear. The outer portions all show spherical abberations.

    I wonder why she included some of the really poorly coated plates? Sure, the others where you actually see the subject are quite beautiful and worth showing. But why show a plate where the subject is entirely obscured by white?

    Has anybody else seen this book?... which I still recommend in spite of my criticism

  2. #2
    david b's Avatar
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    I've seen the book and have to pick up my copy this week.

    I am not bothered by the work and actually accept it as part of the process, which started with her book "What Remains".

  3. #3
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    It is Mann. The reason the colloidon plates are poorly coated is that Sally is an artist, not a photographer. It's more artsy that way. Besides, when you see the final prints, they have been scanned and printed into huge 4 foot by 5 foot "photographs."

    Bless her heart, Sally is widely praised and very successful in selling her photographs. I can't understand why.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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  4. #4
    laz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Lipka
    It is Mann. The reason the colloidon plates are poorly coated is that Sally is an artist, not a photographer. It's more artsy that way.
    The same could be said of anyone of us. We shoot B&W because it's more artsy that way?

    Come on, it's fine to dislike her work but as you say she is an artist. That is cause for praise not derision. It is artists who elevated photography to where it is considered and appreciated alongside any other art form.

    -Bob
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  5. #5
    Ole
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    I have a suspicion that the only reason she doesn't have chicken feathers embedded in the emulsion is that that would make some critic remember Julia Margaret Cameron. And she doesn't want to be (too blatantly) derivative?
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  6. #6
    laz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ole
    I have a suspicion that the only reason she doesn't have chicken feathers embedded in the emulsion is that that would make some critic remember Julia Margaret Cameron. And she doesn't want to be (too blatantly) derivative?
    .....or she couldn't place those feathers artfully enough!
    [SIZE=1]I want everything Galli has![/SIZE]
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  7. #7

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    Actually, Sally Mann is a photographer and she has been for over 30 years.

    Her work is geared more toward evocation of emotions than technical precision. I like that. Maybe it's a Southern thing but I'm a big fan.

    Some have included her in with a so-called "new pictorialist" movement in photography but I don't see that at all. Her work has more in common with Robert Frank than the pictorialists or Julia Margaret Cameron. She began doing Southern landscapes using the wet plate process in the mid to late 90's. Some of the photos in the current book were included in an exhibition called "Motherland".

  8. #8
    Dorothy Blum Cooper's Avatar
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    Maybe it's a Southern thing but I'm a big fan.
    Ditto to Lee's statement. I saw the book about a week ago at the book store but was in a rush and didn't have time to check out. I found many of the images to be beautiful and quite evoking. Definitely appealed to me.

    Sally is widely praised and very successful in selling her photographs. I can't understand why.
    What is that saying? Something about being in the eye of the beholder? I can understand why.

    Come on, it's fine to dislike her work but as you say she is an artist. That is cause for praise not derision. It is artists who elevated photography to where it is considered and appreciated alongside any other art form.
    I like that.

    If you start catergorizing who is a photographer and who is not...then I think you're opening a whole new can of worms. That's debate for another thread. Just .02 cents on the topic from a gal in the "Deep South"

  9. #9
    laz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Shively
    Maybe it's a Southern thing but I'm a big fan.
    Well some of us Damn Yankees love her work also!

    There was a thread not too long ago asking about our favorite photographers, Mann was near the top of my list (another was Meatyard, another southerner!)

    Her work is haunting and emotional; looking at her best work makes me feel like I'm stepping into the picture, meeting the subject or in the scene. In one word feeling

    Art takes you outside yourself.

    -Bob
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  10. #10
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    Bob,
    Just FYI - my anglo grandmother always taught me that damnyankee is one word.
    Ha.
    juan

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