Browsing on the afterimage gallerie, I found this photographer. Apparently he is a new additon to this gallerie. Now, to me this prints look waaayyy too dark. The little blurb talks about a "new" technique, looks to me like selective focusing by twisting the view camera into a pretzel and hoping for some wind.
I should have made this a poll, anyhow, if you like them, can you tell me why?.....
thanks jdef, that is exactly why I asked. Many times I have express dislike for some work, and other people have made some very intelligent remaks that made me re'-evaluate the work. I will go back and see it, check out the nudes also, as I did not see those.
It's very difficult to tell the quality of a print from a reproduction, especially one displayed on a CRT. What appears to be "too dark" in the reproduction may be okay when viewed in person. This holds true even for really well done repro work such as that for books. I can remember seeing Ansel Adams and Edward Weston's work published as high-cost duotone reproductions in monographs and thought they "looked great."
Then I saw the photos in person and, as good as the duotones looked, the real prints were a completely different experience. I think you can only get a "relative impression" of what the work really looks like in a reproduction, and you have to factor that into your overall evaluation.
Also, I think display of photos on the Internet has several inherent deficiencies. The most important is that the photos are never displayed at an optimum size for the subject. I have many photos that just don't work when they're small, and require a large size so that the spaces contained in the photo "open up" and allow the viewer into the photo. Bigger is not always better, but in some cases, it is essential for the piece to work properly.
As an example, I remember being in art history and looking at "Blue Boy" and "Guernica" and thinking, "okay, they're interesting, but just what's the big deal here?" Then I got to see the paintings in person. Let's just say it was quite a revelation. That's when I became a believer that every work has a "correct size," and it's as important to determine the optimum size as it is to ensure the final photo is printed correctly.
The second really big problem is resolution. I have a number of photos that I have digitized for Internet display and have discarded the idea because they need the resolution of the actual print before they "work." Once digitized and put into JPG format, and displayed at 72 dpi, they're no longer interesting because the detail must be seen for them to be meaningful.
As for the selective focus of the photos - I've seen it done before, this is hardly a "new technique." If I went home & looked through some of my recent photo book acquistions, I'll bet I can find at least 3 other people using the SAME technique.
I think you can trust your first impression. This work is pretentious, as a substitute for craft.
As Freud said, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Ok, as jdef suggested I went back and looked at the prints again with a more "open mind" IOW trying to find something of value instead of just first impression. I just could not find anything that really was that "special"
But I did manage to pinpoint why I dislike these prints. Aside from the "dark" prints, I realized that the selective focus did not have a special feature to isolate. My eye wandered all over the prints and I could not find a reason why the specific part was singled out to be in focus. This was more apparent in the nudes where the parts in focus were just like any other part, to me they had no special meaning or reason to be singled out. All that eye wandering was pretty annoying to me!
I realize that digitized images do not do justice to the "real" thing, but well done scans of beautiful prints make you want to get off the pc and go look at them. I too, have books from many photographers, and I realize that the duo tones are not as good as the prints, but I have to say, some come pretty damm close!
Seeing work that you don't like or find disagreeable helps you define the elements of a picture that you like and would use in your images. You can get blinded by too many AA or Westons. Make your argument through your images.