So help me understand. The right thing to do is wait for that perfect sunset/rock/tree/water combo and however you print it is fine. Better yet get someone else to print it because artists shouldn't be burdened by craft nonsense.
But I get confused because I think last rays of sun over cemetaries in the desert southwest are mundane and crushed aluminun cans are fascinating. Cigarette butts are way too cool. Probably there ain't no good formula for a good subject to point a lens at.
I wonder if maybe it would be cool to have a balance between vision and craft. Maybe the craft would help others take the vision seriously and the vision would give the craft purpose. Ya, that's why I respect people who print their own stuff more.
"If I only had a brain"-Some badly dressed guy made of straw in some movie I think I saw
I quite like photographs of mundane things. Elevated or not. Eggleston is one of my favorite photographers. I liked the cigarette butt photographs too.
While I pretty much totally agree with Michael, I also realize that photographers depend on a lot of cooperation to produce their photographs.
Taken to the extreme, credit lines and signatures on photographs might end up saying, "Photograph of (fill in the blank), (Date), Hasselblad camera, Zeiss lens, Kodak film, Ilford chemicals, Durst enlarger, Schneider lens, Forte paper, Kodak chemicals, Fotospeed toner, products and supplies bought from B&H and Freestyle, delivered by Federal Express and UPS, Joe Blow photographer".
Guilty as accused. I looked in a photo magazine. I'll wear sackcloth and eat locusts for a month
Originally Posted by rfshootist
Very well said. I couldn't agree more.
Originally Posted by Mateo
I believe in teamwork
I've been reading this thread with great interest, and appreciate the thought and civility that has gone into the discussion. For my book Crash Burn Love: Demolition Derby , I made all of my own work prints (thousands) but turned the final production of master prints that would be scanned for the presses over to some "pros" whose job it is every day to make top-quality prints. I knew they could do a much better job of that phase of the process than I could, so it was an easy decision. They were, of course, acknowledged in the book and well-paid for their excellent work.
I think the difference between a good work print and a top-quality print for publication or presentation has to be taken into account. The differences may in some cases be subtle, but to some people they're critical -- to others it isn't that big a deal, because for them the important thing is the content of the image not the "object" they are producing or selling.
And really it just comes down to the time that is available for the photographer to take part in the production process. All of the top level photographers I know (save for one or two) turn their work over to assistants or labs for development and printing. There are a few who feel, as some of the responders to this thread, that it is essential for the photographer to be involved and responsible for every single step of the production. I can certainly see the merit to that, but I wouldn't say it's essential for the production of an "interesting," or "important" or "enduring" image.
The successful production of a photograph, like the production of many other things -- a house, a song, a painting -- can be accomplised either by an individual or a team of people. I believe that in order to get the best product time and money allow it usually will best be achieved through teamwork, because everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. I couldn't make as good a print (at least in the time allotted) as the women who printed for my book, but they couldn't have taken the pictures I did. Together, we turned out a set of images I'm really proud of. I would certainly use this approach again without any hesitation.
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Originally Posted by blansky
When it comes to controlled lighting situations, like studio, the lighting plays a huge role in the look of the image. A well lit shot, with the tonalities, shadows and highlights nailed on the film, could be printed at your drugstore by a reasonably competent lab tech using an automated process and it will come out great. Avedon knew lighting very well, I'm certain the negs that he gave the lab required very little effort and no interpretation on their part.
However and i can't understand why some people consider it acceptable, is that many available light art photographers have other people print their work. I can see if it's a mural size print and you give an exhibition printer a sample print and your print "formula" to follow and copy. But so many art photographers simply pass off the work to someone else to figure out. For me so much of what the image ultimately becomes is the result of interpretation in the darkroom. It just seems like in the case of so many things, actual competence at your profession seems to matter little today.
Interesting that you say that, because fashion lighting is probably one of most uncomplicated. It is mostly a flat lit, umbrellas on either side type of lighing.
Originally Posted by Early Riser
Most fashion setups are overall lit and the beauty of the model and the art of the makeup person defines the face. I really don't know if Avedon was a great lighting person, since most of his work is pretty flat lit.
As for the neg being great, it probably was, but there are pictures of "work prints" sitting on his desk that have up to 10-15 burn/dodge instructions on them. So your argument that the lab just make an automated print is probably not correct.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.