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  1. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    This might be another thread, but since your're the OP.................I think he may have just turned over in his grave, do you mean that when he was engaging in pictorialism so long ago, or do you mean overall in his career?

    An example of an Adam's pictorialist photoraph, negative and print 1929:

    http://shop.anseladams.com/At_Simpso...1701010103.htm


    An example of not a pictorialist photograph, negative 1948, print 1963:

    http://shop.anseladams.com/Leaf_Glac...1701092104.htm


    I have a feeling he would not like to be known as the best pictorialist ever, but that is just my take on it.
    I understand what he's saying. I think he means in subjective and compositional terms. There might be a distinction to be made between 'pictorial' and 'pictorialist' however.
    Last edited by batwister; 11-29-2012 at 06:24 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #62
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    .............I think he may have just turned over in his grave...
    Yeah I was thinking the same thing.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  3. #63
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    David Lyga, I think everyone's objecting to the word pictorialism, the idea that photography should emulate painting... Because it goes against everything that Group f/64 stood for. Their manifesto is clear. They wanted to make the best photographs possible as photographs and not as any other kind of art.

    To give high praise is not going to draw criticism... just an unfortunate word choice...

    Rafal, your work is worth linking to, it illustrates the point very well. I would be pleased to have any one of my shots look so good.

    I don't know if I'll get a chance to try different films, I'm about to place an order for TMY-2... But I will be experimenting.

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    David Lyga, I think everyone's objecting to the word pictorialism, the idea that photography should emulate painting... Because it goes against everything that Group f/64 stood for. Their manifesto is clear. They wanted to make the best photographs possible as photographs and not as any other kind of art.
    Yep, there was a very clear agenda, and that agenda allowed the f64 crowd, AA included, to set themselves apart artistically and commercially. They created a very powerful "artistic norm" for photography.

    The other important things f64 did was provide a great way to teach photographic principles and "measure" the results of exercises. f64 principles gave hobbyists a way to compare work, compete in a friendly manner (who is best at his craft?), and it made a market for magic bullets that could get "us" closer to that f64 standard.

    Pictorial work in contrast uses more abstract concepts. One of the big problems that the soft focus world faced, for example, was that amateurs had a tough time getting good results because focussing was an artistic endeavor rather than a technical one. It's pretty easy to judge sharp, it's much tougher to judge what version of the warm fuzzies will look good. (Some info on the soft focus crowd http://hdl.handle.net/10023/505 )

    IMO that "f64 artistic norm" and "measurement of results to that norm" has in many ways become a creative straight jacket though, it instills the guilt talked of earlier in the thread.

    Don't get me wrong here, I truly believe that the principles taught by AA are invaluable in understanding photography as a craft. I can and do shoot f64ish on occasion but I don't want to pigeon hole myself there.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    I can and do shoot f64ish on occasion but I don't want to pigeon hole myself there.
    F64 was as much symbolic as it was anything else, IMO. So to be pigeon holed by abundant use of a small aperture, IMO, is looking at it the wrong way. The primary interest was in separating pictorialism from what the group held as its primary goal, that is to practice "straight" photography-----meaning, photography that was defined by.........."possessing no qualities of technique, composition, or idea, derivative of any other art form."----from the manifesto itself. You can find plenty of references of Adams relating that concept to "the optical qualities of the lens", letting the lens define the art of photography. To have a fuzzy or otherwise final different representation from what the quality of the lens can provide in a pure photographic image, was what the group was most about, IMO.

  6. #66
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    GULP! You got me there, and fairly, too. I do apologize for my hasty use of the word 'pictorialist' in a sense that is really wholly incorrect. I have no one to blame but David Lyga.

    According to that mighty font of 'knowledge', Wikipedia, I abstract the following (my italics):

    "...in general it refers to a style in which the photographer has somehow manipulated what would otherwise be a straightforward photograph as a means of "creating" an image rather than simply recording it."

    As dubious as Wikipedia can be, in this case its definition does have merit. Thank you for leading me off the wrong road. I do hate to be wrong but, more so, I do like to be corrected from such infamy.

    Ansel Adams was primarily a realist. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 11-30-2012 at 08:05 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #67
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CPorter View Post
    F64 was as much symbolic as it was anything else, IMO. So to be pigeon holed by abundant use of a small aperture, IMO, is looking at it the wrong way. The primary interest was in separating pictorialism from what the group held as its primary goal, that is to practice "straight" photography-----meaning, photography that was defined by.........."possessing no qualities of technique, composition, or idea, derivative of any other art form."----from the manifesto itself. You can find plenty of references of Adams relating that concept to "the optical qualities of the lens", letting the lens define the art of photography. To have a fuzzy or otherwise final different representation from what the quality of the lens can provide in a pure photographic image, was what the group was most about, IMO.
    And that goal, IMO, is f64's artistic failing.

    It encourages a technical discipline, a pure definable craft, rather than the artistic expression of ideas. That manifesto is fine for reportage/news/travel... But it rejects well developed artistic ideas that, for example, HCB employed so successfully and that cinematographers have applied so well for so long. Rules that were well developed before there was photography.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  8. #68

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    Hmmm... John Sexton likes to caution people not to try to guess at what Adams would think about x or y. But I'm not sure he'd agree with "realist" either, David. His philosophy was to create a print that conveyed what he "saw and felt" and called most of his images/prints departures from reality.

    Just throwing another wrench in

    Interestingly though, the "departure from reality" concept kind of brings us full circle in the thread, back to the original idea that even concerning "realistic" or f64 subject matter, prints containing areas (even large areas) of pure black or white are perfectly ok as long as they serve the photographer's purpose/aesthetic (as opposed to being unintentionally necessary due to poor technique).

    Michael

  9. #69
    David Lyga's Avatar
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    Look, who am I, but I do think, markbarendt, that the 'artistic expression of ideas', was, indeed, a valid component of the f64 group. They were not insensitive machines. I think that most will agree with this. Yes, Michael R 1974, even 'realist' is too limiting. Ansel was more complex and he blended the two.

    I think (maybe naively) that the f64 group was primarily against 'softness' used solely for the sake of it and that they wanted to come to the rescue with their strong defence of resolution. And within that platform, they did not remove 'artistic results' and 'creativity' from their mantra. That is what made me (hastily, yes) think of Ansel in (also) creative terms.

    So although, technically, I was dead wrong to call Ansel a pictorialist, there really ARE elements (subjectively, perhaps) of pictorialism in his work. Perhaps, most make the bifurcation too extreme, Maybe there should be, more correctly, a continuum needed to properly define these differences. - David Lyga
    Last edited by David Lyga; 11-30-2012 at 08:18 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  10. #70

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    That's basically how I always interpreted f64 - ie photography is unique in the visual arts in that it can record sharp, fine detail throughout the object field, so why not make use of that.



 

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