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DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> The real thing, or PP-ing for visual impact
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03/06/2007 05:46:44 PM · #51
Originally posted by agenkin:


You definitely misunderstand the definition of photography that I'm presenting here, if you see these as the opposites.


I don't see them as opposites. I see them as different. I also don't believe that one is any less valid than the other. Each has its place.
03/06/2007 06:29:30 PM · #52
I know this is tough to explain to people who have swallowed Modernism and New Criticism whole, but the context of art does matter. An artwork does not exist completely divorced from its creation. You can find examples of poems found in pyramids, but then the fact that they were found in a pyramid becomes their context.

Can you really say that it doesn't matter how Diane Arbus created her images? That it would be okay if they were all paid actors, or creations of Industrial Light and Magic?

' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' agenkin's arguments need to be refined, not tossed out.
03/06/2007 06:40:59 PM · #53
ya know, i actually have no problem with the basic premise of arcady's argument. that's why i use full frame, compose in the camera, still use basically burn and dodge with a few little tweaks...

what irks me most about this particular argument is the black and white-ness (pun intended) to the argument. surely the whole point of art is to explore grey areas. absolutism on either side gets us nowhere. it is important to learn the technical side of the camera, to learn it well enough for it become second nature. but it is just as important to experiment. so, rather than spend the next age talking about art, why don't we go out and make some?
03/06/2007 06:49:17 PM · #54
Originally posted by xianart:

so, rather than spend the next age talking about art, why don't we go out and make some?


TOUCHE' ... I agree 110% ... (cliche intended)
03/06/2007 06:59:02 PM · #55
Originally posted by xianart:

what irks me most about this particular argument is the black and white-ness (pun intended) to the argument. surely the whole point of art is to explore grey areas. absolutism on either side gets us nowhere. it is important to learn the technical side of the camera, to learn it well enough for it become second nature. but it is just as important to experiment. so, rather than spend the next age talking about art, why don't we go out and make some?

I understand how easy it is to read too much in my arguments, but, really, there is no absolutism. I am, by all means, *in support* of an artists exploring the grey areas, crossing the boundaries of genres, etc.

The whole point that I am making is about care for the *genre of photography*. There is a line, crossing which, turns a photograph into something else (which is not necessarily or automatically a bad thing). It's up to the author to know where that line lies. I have my criteria, which I don't want to force onto anyone. But I use those criteria to think about the work of other photographers, it's important for me to have a base.

To quote Thomas Vinterberg of Dogme 95:
Originally posted by Thomas Vinterberg:

As for myself I am a confused human being and find it wonderful to adhere to rules and regulations.

p.s. Xianart, I've been waiting for the continuation of your above post before I replied to it. Is this it? :)

Message edited by author 2007-03-06 19:16:00.
03/06/2007 07:10:42 PM · #56
I've read this discussion & I have a question. In your opinion, what was the first process that broke the rules of purist photography?
03/06/2007 07:13:37 PM · #57
Originally posted by posthumous:

Can you really say that it doesn't matter how Diane Arbus created her images? That it would be okay if they were all paid actors, or creations of Industrial Light and Magic?


If she kept it a secret yes it would matter otherwise no.

Correction: If they were all actors or created completely as CG and looked like that I would be more impressed because then that means she had more to do with the creation of the image and the idea behind it.

Message edited by author 2007-03-06 19:17:01.
03/06/2007 07:43:45 PM · #58
Originally posted by zeuszen:

A.V. Pashis nailed it fairly nicely here, IMO. I don't see, however, why this observation should not made of works in many other artistic faculties, especially from a XXth century and contemporary perspective. Poetry, in particular, lends itself to a fairly precise reconstruction of such principle. A sizable body of writing on this subject exists as per Charles Olson (Composition by Field), if not, by extension, via Pound.

The poets, however, do not conclude a hands-on methology (a way of writing). They are concerned with stance towards the real, and one that accommodates the heart (whatever causation is there, in a man), mind (to check and re-check the authenticity of the data and in the way it moves, naturally, when the mind is at play). They view the mind as a surgeon would or a bioligist, the heart as a historian would and the world (the "real", if you will) as material - a view that should come naturally to anyone who regards man himself, as an object of nature.

If we applied this to photography, I think, it may encourage us to explore and study the process of making pictures as one in which the photographer/artist plays a vital but entirely subordinated role. His decisions, too, could be hardly called choices but, instead, should be dicatated by the nature of an experience, which extends well beyond the photographer, as a creative or, even, an expressive person. He is or has become an effective tool himself, and one whose only integrity of concern is the integrity of the whole, if then

What I like the most about Pashis's definition is that he points out the duality of photo art. What you wrote applies to the *symbolic, semantic* part of photography. Poets create entirely in the plane of symbolic, figurative. They don't have a real connection to the real time and space.

Photography has this trait that makes it unique, different. There is no other art like it in this respect, although it shares the symbolic component with, pretty much, all other art forms.

I feel that a photographer needs to make an effort to preserve that unique quality of photography; and, to make that effort, self-imposed technical rules are required.

To reiterate: like a poet, a photographer has complete freedom in the symbolic plane, all the time keeping in mind not to lose the second, the inherent real time-space connection, part of the art.

It feels like I am saying the same thing over and over again, and I am sorry for that. But, from what I read in the replies, it seems that many are reading in my words something that is not there.

(edited a semantic mistake)

Message edited by author 2007-03-06 19:47:24.
03/06/2007 07:45:25 PM · #59
Originally posted by pixelpig:

I've read this discussion & I have a question. In your opinion, what was the first process that broke the rules of purist photography?

I'm sorry, but I really don't understand your question. Also, what is "purist photography"?
03/06/2007 08:00:39 PM · #60
Purist or "straight photography isn't really about minimizing manipulation, it is about a different kind of "truth." It's about being true to the product the camera can produce, fulfilling the potential of photography as a strict discipline of camerawork." I quote from
//burningbird.net/sensory/more-on-puriststraight-photography/.
03/06/2007 08:00:58 PM · #61
Originally posted by agenkin:

...Poets create entirely in the plane of symbolic, figurative. They don't have a real connection to the real time and space.

Photography has this trait that makes it unique, different. There is no other art like it in this respect, although it shares the symbolic component with, pretty much, all other art forms.

I feel that a photographer needs to make an effort to preserve that unique quality of photography...


This discussion is getting pretty abstract. Let's "ground" it with a concrete example, like xianart's photo from the original post.

Does this image not have a "connection to real time and space"? If not, why not?

If you discuss the specifics of this example, it may help people to understand your point, or more importantly, to understand what is not your point ;)
03/06/2007 08:06:30 PM · #62
Öthe context of art does matter.
I agree.
Tapping an individual artist on the shoulder and saying I donít like your photo now that I understand the context is what troubles me.

ÖI have my criteria, which I don't want to force onto anyone.
Excellent. Write a journal article on your criteria and attempt to publish it. Leaving a comment of I donít like your non-art, however, feels like bullying.

This whole line of argument feels like academic bullying to me. I am not unfamiliar with the landscape. I don't feel that anyone is mentoring here. I donít see anyone holding out a lantern for me.

While I agree with a good number of the criticisms, I do not like the CONETXT in which they are made.

Message edited by author 2007-03-06 20:20:28.
03/06/2007 08:26:05 PM · #63
It's strange that photographers cannot agree on what is photography. It seems so basic.
03/06/2007 08:36:28 PM · #64
Originally posted by pixelpig:

Purist or "straight photography isn't really about minimizing manipulation, it is about a different kind of "truth." It's about being true to the product the camera can produce, fulfilling the potential of photography as a strict discipline of camerawork." I quote from
//burningbird.net/sensory/more-on-puriststraight-photography/.

Okay. Now, you asked: "In your opinion, what was the first process that broke the rules of purist photography?" Broke where? I still don't understand.
03/06/2007 09:15:48 PM · #65
In 1932, a group of photographers decided that the camera should be used for "a recording of life, for rendering the very substance and quintessence of the thing itself, whether it be polished steel or palpitating flesh." It's interesting to read up on this group, called f64. At some point in the history of photography a process intruded on the purity of the camera's unrivalled ability to capture the material world. I wonder which process, or post-process it was? Electronic Flash? Auto-Focus? Unsharp Mask? It seems to me that it's impossible to do pure photography with anything more than a camera body, a prime lens, film, light meter, & photographer. Contact prints only. Otherwise, it's not pure photography, a process or post-process has intruded. Maybe I explained myself, maybe not.
03/06/2007 09:21:28 PM · #66
I have an idea, let's all get Brownie cameras and shoot Kodachrome 25. Oh, just make sure Walmart doesn't pump up the saturation or sharpness in printing.
03/06/2007 09:23:42 PM · #67
Exactly! How crazy is it to attempt to put down someone who has used digital tools to create effects familiar in film photography? How crazy is it to think that with a digital camera & post-processing software there is any vestige left of 'pure photography?' Does the act of photography begin and end with the release of the shutter? Is the camera mounted above a traffic light or above the ATM machine doing pure photography? I have so many questions. (edited to add)

Message edited by author 2007-03-06 21:36:22.
03/06/2007 09:30:33 PM · #68
Originally posted by agenkin:

...Poets create entirely in the plane of symbolic, figurative. They don't have a real connection to the real time and space...


I was trying to show, dear A., that there is a whole era of poetry, nearly as long as the history of photography, which shares this very same connection. Not only it is a shared premise but also one poignantly articulated by various poets, the names of two of which I already provided.

The assumption you make here "Poets create entirely in the plane of symbolic, figurative." is simply uninformed.

Message edited by author 2007-03-06 22:08:02.
03/06/2007 10:03:55 PM · #69
Originally posted by santaspores:

Öthe context of art does matter.
I agree.
Tapping an individual artist on the shoulder and saying 'I donít like your photo now that I understand the context' is what troubles me.


yup, that's what got us into this all that time ago...

Message edited by author 2007-03-06 22:04:39.
03/06/2007 10:10:04 PM · #70
Originally posted by yanko:

Correction: If they were all actors or created completely as CG and looked like that I would be more impressed because then that means she had more to do with the creation of the image and the idea behind it.


That is where you and I differ. There is a passive element to creativity, and it is very powerful. By your standards, painting is a more impressive art than photography.
03/06/2007 10:10:32 PM · #71
Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

I have an idea, let's all get Brownie cameras and shoot Kodachrome 25. Oh, just make sure Walmart doesn't pump up the saturation or sharpness in printing.


Oh, I already jumped on the Holga bandwagon earlier this week. I'm hoping it gets here in time for Frozen Dead Guy Days since there's a fantastic symmetry in shooting a weird funky crazy festival with a weird funky crazy camera to get weird funky crazy pictures. It'll be poetry, I tell you!
03/06/2007 10:17:42 PM · #72
ok, you're going to have to explain frozen dead guy days, you realise. (shameless hijack - this is getting far too serious)

i just looked it up, looks like a lot of fun. however - nowhere does the site explain where it came from.

Message edited by author 2007-03-06 22:21:44.
03/06/2007 10:21:41 PM · #73
Originally posted by Rebecca:

Originally posted by fotomann_forever:

I have an idea, let's all get Brownie cameras and shoot Kodachrome 25. Oh, just make sure Walmart doesn't pump up the saturation or sharpness in printing.


Oh, I already jumped on the Holga bandwagon earlier this week. I'm hoping it gets here in time for Frozen Dead Guy Days since there's a fantastic symmetry in shooting a weird funky crazy festival with a weird funky crazy camera to get weird funky crazy pictures. It'll be poetry, I tell you!


That's gonna be a blast... you've gone all out for this one. Can't wait to see the Frozen Dead Holga pics :-)
03/06/2007 10:22:05 PM · #74
Originally posted by xianart:

ok, you're going to have to explain frozen dead guy days, you realise. (shamelss hijack - this is getting far too serious)


Thread about it here.
03/06/2007 10:25:24 PM · #75
Originally posted by posthumous:

Originally posted by yanko:

Correction: If they were all actors or created completely as CG and looked like that I would be more impressed because then that means she had more to do with the creation of the image and the idea behind it.


That is where you and I differ. There is a passive element to creativity, and it is very powerful. By your standards, painting is a more impressive art than photography.


Pretty much yes. The more aspects the artist "owns" in the process the more I am impressed with the creation whatever that may be. To use painting as an example, I would be more impressed by a painting of a scene that only existed in the artist's mind than one that existed in real life. Mind you I'm only referring to the process and not the end result, which I would value on it's own merits.

ETA: Think of it like someone who wrote a screenplay, acted the part and directed the movie vs someone who just wrote the screenplay or just acted the part.

Message edited by author 2007-03-06 22:29:54.
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