Quote Originally Posted by coigach View Post
I think there is a balance to be struck however with technical excellence and the wider question of 'why'? What is the purpose of the pictures, what are you trying to say, do they move you, give you and others that churn in the gut or shift of mind that great art does?

A good comparison is music. Many players in my favourite style of music (jazz) are technically flawless, and can perform very advanced playing. Flawless, but emotionally dead somehow. No story, no individuality. The truly great have an approach that is theirs, they have mastered their technical skills (even though there may be there may be others who are technically better players), and have a singular artistic vision that challenges, changes and develops. Artists, not technicians...
Good advice, Gavin. All my quests in becoming a better printer is to serve the purpose of making prints that communicate better... But I see your point. The print would be useless unless there was something about its content to really grab the viewer's imagination and draw them in. I sometimes use the expression: "You can polish a turd, but it'll still be a turd". While a bit strong, perhaps, it gets the point across.

I like your music analogy. I'm quite fond of jazz too, and there is nothing as dull for me than technical perfection without tone, voice, and strong expression. My friend Jason coined the term 'square shirt jazz', and I laugh hard every time he mentions it, but he always refers to the many jazz musicians who can play fast impressive scales, keep time on the hi-hat flawlessly for minutes, and never skip a beat on the bass guitar, but artfully miss the point and importance of the expression of soul and passion. While Miles Davis was technically apt, it is his haunting and soulful tones that go straight to the spinal chord and jerk at our emotions that he is remembered for.