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  1. #21

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    It's easy for phtographers to over analyze someone elses work from a technical point of view. Very large mural prints are not made to be examined from a couple of feet or inches, they are seen from several feet or farther away.

    What appear to be blown highlights up close may be required to give the proper contrast to areas when viewed from a long distance. A small highlight area that has detail on an 4x5 or 8x10 negative still has areas that are overexposed, we just do not notice them because the enlargement or contact does not make those areas large enough to notice. If you have a spot on an 8x10 neg that is 1/8" that is overexposed but part of an overall highlight area it is probably not noticeable. Enlarge to 5'x7' and that spot may be several inches in size.

    I think one of the most under appreciated aspects of photography is the relationship of print size to the space it will occupy and the viewing distance. I don not remember where I read it, but there is a formula for determining the proper enlargement of an image for a given space and viewing distance. There were also variations depending on the subject matter.

    And then there are aspects of presentation of the print. It is easy to provide proper matting and framing for 4x5 up to 11x14 for most rooms or spaces. After that the purchaser begins to take into account the size of the total presentation. A 16x20 print properly matted may take up at least 32"x26" of wall space. So while a 16x20 may be impressive it will be overpowering in a smaller space without room for a proper viewing of the print.

    So now that I have got wildly of track, I imagine if he wanted the work to be viewed close up he would have stuck with 8x10 contact prints.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Chinn
    It's easy for phtographers to over analyze someone elses work from a technical point of view. Very large mural prints are not made to be examined from a couple of feet or inches, they are seen from several feet or farther away.

    What appear to be blown highlights up close may be required to give the proper contrast to areas when viewed from a long distance. A small highlight area that has detail on an 4x5 or 8x10 negative still has areas that are overexposed, we just do not notice them because the enlargement or contact does not make those areas large enough to notice. If you have a spot on an 8x10 neg that is 1/8" that is overexposed but part of an overall highlight area it is probably not noticeable. Enlarge to 5'x7' and that spot may be several inches in size.

    I think one of the most under appreciated aspects of photography is the relationship of print size to the space it will occupy and the viewing distance. I don not remember where I read it, but there is a formula for determining the proper enlargement of an image for a given space and viewing distance. There were also variations depending on the subject matter.

    I agree with you Jim. When I saw Butcher's prints, I was comparing them to the Ansel Adams exhibit that I had seen a couple weeks prior. Maybe that was unfair. IMO Butcher's enlargements didn't have the overall quality of Adams'. I saw the Butcher exhibit at a community college library. They just didn't have the room to display the prints properly. With some prints I could only stand 3 feet back, maybe that was too close.

  3. #23

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    While I won't comment on Clyde Butcher's technical execution, I will comment on his artistic statement. I find that his photography, by and large, is about "things" and that they leave me unimpacted. In other words there is no emotional content, for me, in his imagery. But then I can say the same thing in regard to Ansel Adams' work. I once was impressed with both of these photographers production. That has changed for me.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    While I won't comment on Clyde Butcher's technical execution, I will comment on his artistic statement. I find that his photography, by and large, is about "things" and that they leave me unimpacted. In other words there is no emotional content, for me, in his imagery. But then I can say the same thing in regard to Ansel Adams' work. I once was impressed with both of these photographers production. That has changed for me.
    You and I are two of a mind about Clyde Butcher, Don. He has no photographic vision at all.

    I think that Adams, however, is different. Before around 1940, he made magnificent photographs. His portrait of Edward Weston under the eucalyptus tree is transcendent (in its original contact printed form-enlargements of it are a mess). But alas, sometime around WWII he changed. I find all the famous pictures which everyone is willing to pay so much for to be glorified postcards. The most carefully crafted illustrations ever produced, but ultimately they are no more than what my friend the gallery owner so perceptively calls "airport art".
    Jim

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by doughowk
    As far as Clyde's digital output, his suppliers have over-sold their products to him, as in his claim about archival quality of his digi-carbon prints.
    I am curious as to why you write this. In what way have his supliers of digital materials over-sold their products to him, and what claims does he make about the archival quality of his carbon inkjet prints? I looked at the site but could not find any information about this.

    The only problem of permanence with Butcher's prints that I have heard of has been with some of his large prints on RC papers. I recall reading that he has had to replace quite a number of prints of this type.

    Sandy King

  6. #26
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    I have taken Clydes workshops and been to his swamp walks, To see and know Clyde he is a very easy going person who would share information in a instant. CLyde likes to use 8x10 to 12x20 cameras, He prints very large prints because he wants you to feel you are there. Feel that you are looking around at the area he is at, not just taking in a scene with a 16x20 print. To have a 4'x6' print on your wall is outstanding. everytime you go by it you feel you have to stop and check out the sites.

    Also Clyde doesn't like computers, he doesn't handle his website and doesn't even return e-mails, he has Nikie his wife, and his daughter handle that.
    P.S.
    His darkroom iis 1200 sq feet. and owns 10 8x10 enlargers, and one copy camera/enlarger for the big suff. SO don't thinks he has gone digital.

    P.S.S.
    At one time Clyde did RC prints. He found that their archivel ablity is very short so he redid all the prints he sold on RC on fiber base paper. Most of us wouldn't have gone that far.

    Mike A
    "Capturing an image is only one step of the long chain of events to create a beautiful Photograph” See my updated website: mandersenphotography.com

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by c6h6o3
    You and I are two of a mind about Clyde Butcher, Don. He has no photographic vision at all.

    I think that Adams, however, is different. Before around 1940, he made magnificent photographs. His portrait of Edward Weston under the eucalyptus tree is transcendent (in its original contact printed form-enlargements of it are a mess). But alas, sometime around WWII he changed. I find all the famous pictures which everyone is willing to pay so much for to be glorified postcards. The most carefully crafted illustrations ever produced, but ultimately they are no more than what my friend the gallery owner so perceptively calls "airport art".
    I heard this 30 years ago and to this day who's work is selling for $30,000 and who is lip service.
    One mans art is another mans trash. And there is alot of trash out there.
    "Capturing an image is only one step of the long chain of events to create a beautiful Photograph” See my updated website: mandersenphotography.com

  8. #28

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    Sandy,
    You may remember a year ago when Clyde Butcher initially marketed his carbon inkjet prints as archival carbon prints ( see thread Carbon Printing ). The 100 year archival quality of carbon inkjet prints was/is a supplier claim that is disputed by many.

    As far as comments on vision of Ansel Adams & Clyde Butcher, reminds me of art students & their instructers who disparage certain artists who happen to be popular - somehow popularity is a clear indication to them that the work/artist is lacking in depth. Its not that these Masters are really lacking in vision, its that your vision has changed.
    van Huyck Photo
    "Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"

  9. #29

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    OK I'm going to jump in with both feet and repeat myself to an extent. On other threads we have kind of agreed that photography is painting/drawing with light. We have found that it's impossible to agree on what is or isn't art.

    Now my point is where does it say that we have to produce razor sharp pictures, the size and deffinition of grain, if a picture should have high or low contrast and if details should be present? Surely regardless of how the photographer/artist intends the picture to look it is still photography.

    Repeating myself we worry too much about technical excellence in the work of others when the fact is it doesn't matter, if you don't like the work ignore it or better still go out and shoot your own to your own standards.

    Mmmmm rant over!

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    I can say the same thing in regard to Ansel Adams' work. I once was impressed with both of these photographers production. That has changed for me.
    One cannot scoff at someone elses opinion (it is as valid as mine) and I too was in two minds about AA's work, that is until I remember what he was as a person and what he was trying to achieve. Lets not forget (correct me if I am wrong, as I may be) that he was at heart as much a conservationist as photographer, arguably a preservationist. If you seek to record fairly literally, there is a limit to what you can do. For example few of my images would ever be in harmony with the concept of preservation of the places recorded. In some respects AA was seeking to take a scalpel cut out of what was in front of him and present it in a favourable flattering way. I see his images like this. Two men, one relaxed, candid and casual; the other turgid and victorian. You cannot say that the stiff gentlemen has less soul, he may simply be more private, have a greater sense of dignity and has a different set of values. There may in fact be far more complexity to this gentleman than the other more brash character.

    I find that AA's images are a reflection of the man. Devoted, serious, obsessive and about passion.....in a victorian kind of way.


    Again, I am not being critical of other valid opinions, simply offering another view. I now find that when taken in context of the man and the periond of history, his images have great soul and resonance that few other can match, even those whose images are more 'exciting'. I also post this in response the 'fashion' of Ansel bashing amongst very average photographers in the UK, though I am in no way accusing anyone here of this. It has become a sad fact that a number of those writing columns in some UK mags feel it neccessary to validate themselves as truly creative, artistic, fluid photographers by slating AA for being a stiff and uninspiring!

    Oh, on topic, I find Clydes images good, but lacking something. I find that they have neither the artistic beauty of Roman Loranc nor the boldness of Bob Kolbrener and Co. They are good, but neither one nor tuther to me.

    I'm running away now....

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Stanworth; 10-22-2004 at 07:05 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: typos

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