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Thread: Clyde Butcher

  1. #21
    glbeas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    Just out of curiosity ...

    Is there a "gating criteria" that *every* photograph that has "blocked highlights" or "no shadow detail" is automatically barred from the being called *ART*?
    I don't think so, but if it's there there needs to be a good reason for it and not just being lazy in the technique department. I got the impression from some of Clydes pictures in the swamp that the blocked highlights created the feeling of the intense sun overhead filtering into the shadowy realm under the trees. Experiencing this in reality is very similar, the light is formless and painful to look at overhead. So it did make a virtual bridge to the experience from the observers point of view and were pleasing to look at and experience. Others didn't quite get there, oh well!
    One point is he did bring back unique images from some places few try to shoot. I'm not going to quibble about a few spots going beyond anyones ability to print perfectly.

  2. #22

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    I find that CB's compositional technique is fantastic. I wish I could see the way he sees. But what I find disturbing is the feeling that he prints "without care", exposes "without care". This is a personal feeling that I have concerning my definition of what a Respected Artist is - i.e. one who takes care. CB is a respected artist. But I feel that his prints are executed carelessly! I am glad though that there are those who feel that this is his intention. That may be the case but it does not change the impression it gives me.
    Francesco

  3. #23

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    There are Master photographers & there are Master printers. Frequently, they are combined as with Ed Weston & Ansel Adams. They exemplify photographers who are interested in detail or "the fineness of experience". After all, it took Weston 30 trys with a LF camera to get the right pepper. It may depend on how one enters the photography profession. People like Sexton & Michael Kenna got their professional start thru printing the works of others; and their attention to the quality of the print shows. Butcher started as an architectural photographer, expanded to color prints of California images; but not till some time after coming to florida did he develop as a B&W photographer. I suspect he exemplifies a Master photographer who is not also a great printer.

    But could a good printer spoil the work of a good photographer? As suggested in some of the above comments, part of the impact of Butcher's images may derive from having blown out highlights. It does capture the Florida ambience where light can be overpowering. So, it may also depend on one's environment as to the characteristics of your image. A good analogy is landscape design. The English & New England gardener works in pastels, while gardeners in the tropics use bold colors.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  4. #24
    Mark_Minard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
    If you know what you are doing and care about excellence, you won't make prints like that. But he has a different agenda--and there is nothing wrong with that--it is just not art, with all that implies.
    This opinion is fine - as long as you understand, Michael, that just because you say "it's not art" doesn't necessarily mean that it's not art...
    "Through photography I would present the significance of facts, so they are transformed from things seen to things known..." Edward Weston (1932)

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