Also a congrats from here to Jon, Sam and Ryan..
Lot of good work in this issue and, it is nice to see some Friends featured with some beautiful work. Outstanding guys.
I think the important point with this issue is stated in Rasmussen's objective for the portfolio contest:
Rasmussen has taken the initiative to bring fresh work to the collector world. In my opinion, this issue is serving its objective quite well.
"As entrants, the objective is to be published, to have their work seen in print by thousands of collectors ans colleagues around the world."
I agree with David. Sure, there is some good work in there, but some of it is just plain boring. And while I like Shelby Lee Adams work a lot, I don't think the images in the book are not the best examples of what he does. Moreover, Adams is a consummate printer, but the images in the book were anemic and lacking in contrast.
Originally Posted by David Brown
The work on pages 32-35 was an especially egregious example of what I didn't like about the selection. The first two images are dramatic landscapes, but turning the page reveals a dramatic and unexpected shift in style. The remaining images (nudes with some kind of lens distortion) are interesting and well done, but the jarring shift is style struck me as incomprehensible. First, it represented poor editing. But more importantly, the photographer was selected for an excellence award. My question is - - - Why? Based on which body of work? Landscapes or distorted nudes?
I think Sheby Lee Adam's work looked horribly printed. Even as reproductions, you could tell they were just awful print quality.
Your right about Ed Freeman's work who starts off with the two landscapes, then goes into these over-Photoshopped nudes. Personally, even though I don't care for over-Photoshopped images that much, I found the nudes to be more interesting and stronger photographs. However, I thought this issue was where people submitted a portfolio of 8-15 images that all went together? I'm not sure how this would be called a portfolio, because they are totally different.
I found some of the best work to be in the Merit section. All of the photographs that took the higher awards did not excite me all that much. Overdone blurry water pictures, Michael Kenna style pictures, 35mm overinhanced digital landscapes, the PointLobos images which were decent.
What's sad is the number of photographers that got published, that don't even do "fine art" or even black and white! After looking at many of their websites, I found lots of them are only commercial photographers, and even found a few examples where the person work was ALL COLOR, but a few images were converted to B&W for the sake of the magazing publishing.
Last edited by User Removed; 06-03-2007 at 01:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I don't always agree with what is choosen for publication, I am happy to part of the issue though. I think what we are seeing now, is a change in photography, and photographer's are experimenting and looking for a niche. Ive seen the focus shift from f64 style detail, to a more impressionistic style. Both are aesthetically pleaseing to my eye, but its not unusual these days to see photographers who have many styles themselves. Not one but many.
Like it or not digital is changing the art world. I have seen digital prints selling for as much as silver recently, that disturbs me somewhat. I still believe that a hand made silver print has more inherent value.
Thank you all for the comments.
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I do not argue that there was a lot of great stuff in this one! I just did not think it was the "best ... ever". I can't point to a specific issue (or issues) over the years, but I just know that I've had a much more positive personal response to others in the past. Every issue has things I like and things I don't, so this one was no exception there, either.
Originally Posted by bjorke
One thing I did notice about this issue, and another poster has mentioned it: I didn't think the reproduction in this issue was up to the usual standards. IMHO, of course. The whole magazine seemed dark and a bit contrasty to me. All of this is subjective, so take it for what it is.
I've been disappointed with B&W's reproduction quality for years. I'm happy to see the images, but, especially with the standard that LensWork sets, B&W doesn't fare very well at all. (Of course, LensWork is expensive and offers far fewer images in the print version of the magazine.)
Originally Posted by David Brown
I think I read that the editor only accepts images on CD, because the volume of actual prints in their first contest was so great that they were overwhelmed. As a consequence, the images are subject not only to being changed to gray scale from color (as in so many cases they have been), but also to the vagueries of scanning skill and equipment from those who submit. Hence, some are oversharpened and some are much softer than they probably are in reality. I've noticed that many of the folks whose work is accepted do not have websites which may indicate that their digital acumen is limited. I understand Rasmussen's dilemma, but the results suffer as a consequence.
Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh
Why does it matter if some of the photographer's backgrounds were commercial photography? And what really defines "fine art"? Many of the most highly regarded photographers of the last century were commercial, Adams, Avedon, Newman, Penn, etc and many of their assignment pieces ended up being considered "fine art". To me it's the work that counts.
I have yet to see the issue, I have been traveling but offer my congrats to those whose work appeared.
Oh no, I don't mean there is anything wrong with doing commercial photography and being in the magazine. What I mean is that after looking at alot of the photographers work in the magazine, I could not find anything online on their fine art that is reproduced in the magazine, but rather only websites of thier stock images/weddings/ect. There were some photographers whos work I would be interested in seeing more of, but their website was 100% commerical and did not even contain the images that were published.
Originally Posted by Early Riser
I always though that B&W Magazine was for collectors of fine art photography. Being a collector, if I was interested in someones work that I wanted to see more of and possibly purchase, only to go online and find their only wedding portraits website... I would be rather disapointed.
Sorry about the confusion.
Last edited by User Removed; 06-03-2007 at 03:11 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Ryan I only started doing my personal photography in 1998 and none of it appeared on my website, which was dedicated to my advertising work, until several years later, I imagine a similar situation might be the case with those you mention. It should not be surprising though that many who have spent years with photography as their full time occupation may also have some ability in other areas of it. Many other photographers that I know who shot commercially for editorial or advertising, also had excellent personal work portfolios.