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  1. #11
    Juraj Kovacik's Avatar
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    it looks its going to be a bit difficult time for you, in these days of growing popularity of pictoralism. I'm not going to give you address of my web gallery, there is a risk to vomit on your keyboard if you look at it.

  2. #12
    bjorke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Mitchell
    Don't overlook the books with all the illustrations from "Camera Notes," and "Camera Works." Personally, I find the "pictorial" stuff nauseating.
    Do you? Or do you just find cloying sentimentality nauseating? One can be pictorialist without being hopelessly twee. Though you have to admit that many of the most famous pictorialists probably had studios full of Hummell figurines.

    (My personal definition of sentimentality is a grasp at unearned emotions: the preprogrammed cheap shot of cuteness of wistfulness or sadness. Of course, a lot of folks just eat that up (including, say, the standard symbols of athletic victory that we see in the sports pages: see Diane Hagaman's essay for a nice recap). But I like the actor's rule of thumb: "When material is sentimental, sentimentality will turn audience off. It's a trap: that it's a sentimental scene. Play against the trap, play against sentimental. The audience wants to see people overcome their difficulties. Worst trap of all: self pity." I think that can apply quite nicely to photography too)

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  3. #13

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    Pictoralism is photograpy's answer to Thomas Kincade's paintings.

  4. #14

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    That should have been Thomas Kinkade (painter of light).

  5. #15
    Chazzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juraj Kovacik
    it looks its going to be a bit difficult time for you, in these days of growing popularity of pictoralism. I'm not going to give you address of my web gallery, there is a risk to vomit on your keyboard if you look at it.
    Juraj,

    I thought that your bromoils looked very nice, insofar as it is possible to appreciate them in a website presentation. I wish I could see the original prints.

    I'm afraid I don't understand why the old conflict of Pictorialism and straight photography is haunting this thread. There were masterpieces made in both styles of photography, as well as duds. And then there were people like Steichen who worked successfully in both.

    I'm hardly the person to ask about trends in photography, but it seems to me that Pictorialism is making something of a comeback. Witness the renewed interest in soft-focus lenses and alternative processes, for example.

    Thanks for all your suggestions on books--this has been very helpful.

    Charles

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chazzy
    Juraj,

    I'm afraid I don't understand why the old conflict of Pictorialism and straight photography is haunting this thread. There were masterpieces made in both styles of photography, as well as duds. And then there were people like Steichen who worked successfully in both.
    Charles
    Don't forget that there has been 3 generations that have been taught that
    "sharp is only good ". I really think time has come when the bloom of rendered minute detail rose has lost it's beauty.I too have found good in both schools.
    "Just because nobody complains doesn't mean all parachutes are perfect."

  7. #17
    Juraj Kovacik's Avatar
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    Thank you, Charles, for your nice words. About my note - it looks my tmeper was a few degree up when I wrote it.

    I can accept that somebody assume bromoil as not interesting or boring or as something he/she is not looking for, but to use the word "nauseating" looks a bit strong, specially in the thread dedicated to pictorialism books...

  8. #18
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    When I first got into photograpy, pictorialism just looked silly to me. But, now it has come full circle, and I think some of the work the pictorialists did is wonderful There's plenty of sentimental stuff among them (a la Thomas Kincaid), but there are some really great images too, and I consider Kasebier among the best of the lot. Nothing sentimental in her work. I think it's interesting that the pictorialists are finally getting their due, and that alternative porcesses such as pt/pd, bromoil, gum printing, are becomng so popular again. I think there is a tactile quality in those prints that are lovely, to call them nauseating, seems a bit over the top.

  9. #19
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    Pictorialsm, at least according to Clarence White, was about making and designing photographs in a manner similar to the practices of artists, i.e. wherever possibe, to arrange the elements of a composition in ways that were the most expressive and well constructed. In so far as White was an influence, there isn't anything that a modernist would have a problem with in that regard, in fact Ansel Adams made a dedicatory speech at the newly housed incarnation of White's school of photography in 1940.

    Pictorialism didn't exclude tack sharp photograph at all as long as the image was well designed. As a 'movement' it was just a lot more open to a wide variety of processes that included some that were anathema to modernists. (Weston's doggerel about 'gummists' for example.)

    At this juncture in the history of photography, it no longer seems necessary to make the case for photographs as art...popular and rarified tastes as well as the marketplace have made it abundantly clear that that battle is won. It's no surprise to me, in this era of photoshopped photofictions, that the art world that now includes photography as a full fledged partner is embracing alternative processes and other non-modernist imagemaking as well as traditional straight photography. I, for one, embrace the variety enthusiastically. I'll keep the one's I like and reject the ones I don't regardless of their provenence.
    John Voss

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  10. #20
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    Charles,

    Another approach to finding books on pictorialism might be to look at the first sections of books on the people who made up the f64 or straight photography crowd. Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham prior to about 1918-20 would fit. As i understand it they didn't start shooting "straight", but converted from pictorialism.

    John Powers

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