DPChallenge: A Digital Photography Contest You are not logged in. (log in or register
 

DPChallenge Forums >> Photography Discussion >> Robert Adams Wins Hasselblad Award
Pages:  
Showing posts 1 - 25 of 30, (reverse)
AuthorThread
04/15/2009 11:32:38 AM · #1
FYI:
Congrats to one of my favorites!

This was my tribute to him back when we had that challenge:
' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/440/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_285544.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/440/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_285544.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
04/15/2009 12:03:14 PM · #2
OK, I am really not getting it - the photos were very so-so - even in context with each other, they did nothing to blow me away.. a case of emperors new clothes or am I missing something?
04/15/2009 01:18:36 PM · #3
Ya, I'm afraid I share Simms' view. Unless they just selected a poor representation on the link.
04/15/2009 01:22:37 PM · #4
repeat after me

artistic world is not DPC
real world is not DPC

04/15/2009 01:29:05 PM · #5
I have to admit I found them kind of so so images at best.
04/15/2009 01:36:58 PM · #6
Originally posted by ralph:

repeat after me

artistic world is not DPC
real world is not DPC


Haha. Very true. But I'm not looking for a DPC view, I'm trying to gauge the sensibility of them. What was he striving at or going for? If he fails in communicating something to me, he fails.
04/15/2009 01:39:30 PM · #7
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

Originally posted by ralph:

repeat after me

artistic world is not DPC
real world is not DPC


Haha. Very true. But I'm not looking for a DPC view, I'm trying to gauge the sensibility of them. What was he striving at or going for? If he fails in communicating something to me, he fails.


Read the bio. He was trying to document the early days of urban sprawl and its effect, along with the lifelessness of track homes and cookie cutter neightborhoods.

I think he succeeds in that context.
04/15/2009 02:06:03 PM · #8
I'm not impressed at all, they look like holiday snapshots to me of some tourist. Not trying to be mean, I'm just very critical...and if you're going to win an award and be compared to Ansel Adams you better have some striking stuff...but to me this just isn't Ansel Adams' style of striking. It's not even the same league.
04/15/2009 02:25:01 PM · #9
It is not a requirement of art that it be beautiful, of course. What's happening here is basically that people are taking this *anti-art*, as it were, and judging it on a conventional aesthetic scale. But if you're seeing banality, drab ordinariness, bleakness, sterility, if any emotions/thoughts like that are coming to your mind when you view Robert Adams' work, then you're actually "getting" it. He has been an immensely influential photographer, one of the ones most instrumental in bootstrapping photography out of the mid-century, Adams/Weston mindset bu showing how it can partake of a different aesthetic in pursuit of different goals.

Now I'm not especially a fan of his work, actually: but I do recognize its significance. I wouldn't want it on my walls, but the man will leave behind a legacy of influence that cannot be discounted.

R.
04/15/2009 06:26:56 PM · #10
Maybe I need a dictionary or something because I'm still not seeing it...
04/15/2009 06:39:37 PM · #11
Originally posted by scarbrd:


Read the bio. He was trying to document the early days of urban sprawl and its effect, along with the lifelessness of track homes and cookie cutter neightborhoods.

I think he succeeds in that context.


I think he does as well... Adams pictures are glorious, his aren't, but purposefully so...
04/15/2009 07:24:39 PM · #12
hmmmmm....

So if I just say I purposefully do dull, lifeless images, then I have succeeded. :-)

I recognize that it is a matter of taste, but being deliberately dull seems like a pretentious form of "I meant to do that". Sure, you can burn the steak and say I meant to do that. I can say wow, this steak is scorched, and you can say "good, you GOT it, then--that is what I intended" but it is still just a lousy steak.

If he is choosing to be uninteresting and unimpressive, I will be uninterested and unimpressed in response....

If he defines that as success, well, it doesn't cost me anything! :-)
04/15/2009 08:21:04 PM · #13
Originally posted by chromeydome:

hmmmmm....


So, how would YOU go about recording the dull, listless homogenization of the American environment, the soul-deadening ache of lost opportunity?

R.
04/15/2009 08:55:31 PM · #14
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by chromeydome:

hmmmmm....


So, how would YOU go about recording the dull, listless homogenization of the American environment, the soul-deadening ache of lost opportunity?

R.


I probably wouldn't go about recording the dull, listless stuff [for the sake of argument, let's assume that I don't! bite your tongue, you hairy.... :-) ]

I probably wouldn't plop a hard-burnt steak on your plate, either, much less expect that you should develop a taste for it.

I prefer to think that he makes images that thrill and excite him, and it really is just a matter of taste--then I understand his motivation if not his taste. If he is seeking out dullness, sees it as dullness, well, I just don't see spending any energy trying to "get" his work.

I have actually seen a fair amount of his work in galleries here and there (much more than the sample linked in this thread). He has done some desert landscape work in AZ, where I lived 25 years. It looked either deliberately dull, like he sought out the least interesting scene he could find, or just lazy, like he just got out of the car on the side of the road and couldn't be persuaded to walk 5 feet. It wasn't "recording" the "homogenization" of the environment, since it was unaltered natural landscape, it was just dull, listless landscape selected as if he were blindfolded and randomly pointing the camera.

But, as I said, I prefer to think that he is jazzed by what he sees, what he shoots. I'm not, but that is okay. I hope it is not "I found this really boring and dull, hope you will, too...."

ETA: I did read his "Why People Photograph" years ago, and liked it. I think it is mainly what he finds interesting is not that interesting to me.

Message edited by author 2009-04-15 20:59:29.
04/15/2009 09:14:40 PM · #15
Originally posted by chromeydome:

I think it is mainly what he finds interesting is not that interesting to me.


Exactly.

I dont think he was out there to create blockbusters or chart popping landscapes.

If you and I dont get what he is trying to deliver, thats a first sign that he is different from the masses.. the Flickr masses.. the DPC masses... the dpreview masses.. the picasaweb masses.

Lets not pretend we do great artwork here at DPC (at least the work that is rewarded). What shines on DPC may be art, but it is 'popular' art at best. And I dont believe one needs to be popular to be a great artist (the reverse might be true).

I would call -most- DPC admirers fans of 'pop' art (as in popular music). While Robert Adam's work may be the soul that we dont/cant get.

So then why so much of anti-Robert-Adams emotions here? We probably just dont appreciate that kind of work here on DPC. And so we may have forgotton what it is to reward someone's lifelong passion while we were busy ribboning colorful birds and gorgeous sunsets and water drops (and I admit am one of those that do that too).

As simple as that.

ETA: spell check.

Message edited by author 2009-04-15 21:18:28.
04/15/2009 09:25:24 PM · #16
Cool! Did not expect this to be a controversial thread ...
I was just taking off my hat to the guy.

To me, he is an environmentalist as well as a photographer. He is evaluating relationships between nature and people. Light and dark. This is open for discussion as art always is. Much of his stuff is emotionally dark - which I suppose I like because I am kinda dark. There are many artists that are revered that some people will say "I could have done that ... but better".

Really, most important artists that are my favorites will never be on my walls ... Duchamp, for example.
04/16/2009 08:18:58 AM · #17
Apparently I unknowingly sorta did a tribute. This ' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/984/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_759650.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/0-999/984/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_759650.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' was taken about 4 miles west of photo 7 in that series.
His Colorado stuff sorta resonates with me because I know the locations. The Oregon photos do too, because the logging of years past was really a travesty. He does a good job of portraying the contrast between what Colorado used to be and what it became. The photos were taken at the point in time where things really started changing over, and yet, his last photo of the Pawnee Grasslands, shows that there still exists some of what Colorado was known for- the frontier and openness.
04/16/2009 09:53:03 AM · #18
Originally posted by Bear_Music:


So, how would YOU go about recording the dull, listless homogenization of the American environment, the soul-deadening ache of lost opportunity?

R.


Self portraits I guess.
04/16/2009 10:53:13 PM · #19
Originally posted by vxpra:

Originally posted by Bear_Music:


So, how would YOU go about recording the dull, listless homogenization of the American environment, the soul-deadening ache of lost opportunity?

R.


Self portraits I guess.


HAHA. I know the feeling ;)
04/30/2009 03:37:32 AM · #20
Ran across this set of images which reminded me of this post...

pics

Message edited by author 2009-04-30 03:37:55.
04/30/2009 06:06:18 AM · #21
Great shots - they took a while to load for me though, some dodgy flash app going on there.

This set really reminded me of Raymond Depardon the famous trench photojournalist, especially his book Errance (which I just so happen to be studying at the moment). The idea of these shots is to step outside of the spectacular and back towards the ordinary - to break rules that are traditionally held to make us analyse what we are seeing in a different light. Adams, like Depardon, plays with the composition to make us feel uncomfortable, to draw attention to the conformity of Urban development in some cases, and to create a sense of isolation and loneliness in others.

To err is human, and Adam's work is a study of that deviation.

Check out these photos from Raymond Depardon's Errance - licensed by Magnum photos (co-founded by Henri Cartier Bresson, isn't photography a small world?).
04/30/2009 09:23:43 AM · #22
Originally posted by KarlJohnston:

I'm not impressed at all, they look like holiday snapshots to me of some tourist. Not trying to be mean, I'm just very critical...and if you're going to win an award and be compared to Ansel Adams you better have some striking stuff...but to me this just isn't Ansel Adams' style of striking. It's not even the same league.


This photographer's work is vastly more interesting than that of Ansel Adams. Different times, of course, and a different aesthetic. But even allowing for that, Robert Adams's stuff is immeasurably more sophisticated than Ansel's.

Every hack with a digital SLR can make a reasonable stab at replicating Ansel if they try (and alas, most of them do so). But very few could replicate the coherence of Robert Adams, even when they are not trying.

P.S. Sorry Bear.
04/30/2009 10:02:24 AM · #23
Originally posted by ubique:

Every hack with a digital SLR can make a reasonable stab at replicating Ansel if they try (and alas, most of them do so). But very few could replicate the coherence of Robert Adams, even when they are not trying.

P.S. Sorry Bear.


LOL... That's a hell of a statement. Got a question for ya: why limit it to "digital" in the first place? I mean, "every hack with a camera" could, and did, take a stab at replicating Ansel back in the day. Panatomic X was amazing stuff :-) Be that as it may, I'm not sure what "reasonable" means here... But there's an implication, in your linked statements above, that Adams, Robert produces "more coherent" images than did Adams, Ansel, and I'm not sure that's a valid statement. Depends on how you define "coherence", I guess, but still...

Now, I'm actually a FAN of the "other" Adams, and have been for years and years, so I'm in no way putting him down. I think he does wonderful work.

R.
04/30/2009 03:00:36 PM · #24
Well Bear, I guess I was thinking that Ansel's work is primarily distinguished by its technical execution, while Robert's is primarily distinctive for its intellectual and conceptual coherence. Thus its more likely that the hack with a digital SLR (or indeed any camera) will trample along in Ansel's path than Robert's. It's an easier path to follow for a start.
04/30/2009 03:12:14 PM · #25
Originally posted by ubique:

Well Bear, I guess I was thinking that Ansel's work is primarily distinguished by its technical execution, while Robert's is primarily distinctive for its intellectual and conceptual coherence. Thus its more likely that the hack with a digital SLR (or indeed any camera) will trample along in Ansel's path than Robert's. It's an easier path to follow for a start.


I follow your argument, but I'm not sure it works for me. For one thing, "primarily distinguished by its technical execution" doesn't do the work, or AA's place in history, justice. Sure, he made great strides in advancing the whole process of exposure/development/printing of B/W images to a very high level, but the bottom line is that once he shared his techniques (which he did early and often) then thousands upon thousands of photographers began using them in the pursuit of their craft, and very few of these came up with images that can survive comparison with Ansel's best.

He had a unique vision, and to my mind it's never been equaled despite legions of imitators: which is, pretty much, the antithesis of what you're saying.

With Robert Adams' work, on the other hand, it takes an educated and critical eye to even see the value in it; to viewers lacking the visual and metaphorical vocabulary to interpret his work, it pretty much just looks like ordinary, banal snapshots of uninteresting and downright ugly scenes. So I suspect a lot of people would say "Heck, my KID can take pictures like that, what's the big deal?"

Still, I take your point, inasmuch as there's an entire *philosophy* or *gestalt*, as it were, that informs RA's work, and it's not an easy thing to assimilate, let alone replicate. I readily grant you that.

R.
Pages:  
Current Server Time: 09/18/2021 02:14:52 PM

Please log in or register to post to the forums.


Home - Challenges - Community - League - Photos - Cameras - Lenses - Learn - Prints! - Help - Terms of Use - Privacy - Top ^
DPChallenge, and website content and design, Copyright © 2001-2021 Challenging Technologies, LLC.
All digital photo copyrights belong to the photographers and may not be used without permission.
Proudly hosted by Sargasso Networks. Current Server Time: 09/18/2021 02:14:52 PM EDT.