Lock down amusement, a pointless debate :-)

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sirch

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I don't have the vocabulary to explain myself very well,
I think you are doing yourself a disservice.

which I feel have virtually no "presence" on the computer screen, gain some "presence" in well reproduced books, but can have a noticeable presence with a strong emotional connection when experienced as original prints. With the quality of the print, making or breaking this experience because these photographs rely so heavily on subtle relationships between tone, geometry and lighting to work.
Absolutely this
 
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... I certainly get similar feelings with (some) photographs, of increased presence when seen as prints, and that the quality of the printing and presentation (choice of paper texture etc) can be a crucial part of achieving this presence.
That's the kind of thing, (paper texture etc) which I see as photography trying to aspire to the state of painting. In a way like the pictorialist movement did. I see it as an attempt to deny the very nature of photography and photographs. Photographs are made by machines in the hands of humans (or monkeys...). The hand isn't involved in moving the materials about as it is with the plastic arts. The only direct controls a photographer has are where to point the lens and when to trip the shutter.

This is me thinking out loud to some extent (albeit about things I have considered before) and I may change my mind later!)
 
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Is this familiar? It's absence in the discussion is probably why the thread has remained polite and attempted to be serious and constructive.
View attachment 309902
I was an avid follower of his, once he got past hacking people to pieces he knew what he was talking about was genuinely helpful, if a little scary with it.

More recently there was another character who use to give us the benefit of his opinion whose name escapes me but he was a proper arse, never saw him contribute much of use,
 
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See the Jonathan Meades video I posted elsewhere. The main issue I have with conceptual art is it's lack of new ideas, with a few rare examples there hasn't been much that is original and sets a new direction in the last 80 or 90 years.


For me it is intensely relevant, I don't know why but there is nothing like seeing the real thing. Just one example, the caves at Altamira, I would make every effort to go and see the real cave art but that is no longer possible for perfectly understandable reasons and has been replaced by a copy, we holidayed in Asturias a few years ago and we didn't bother going because I really had no interest in seeing a copy, even if that was a perfect replica. We could solve a lot of the problems in the middle east by, say building a copy of Jerusalem somewhere else but I don't think the religious would buy into that idea.

And wasn't it always the case (or at least for a very long time) that the producer mattered? People commissioned da Vinici because he was Lenonardo, they wanted him, not someone else.
I probably need to spend more time and energy on this, dig a bit more.

I understand the desire to see the real thing - I share it! You know that last year I went to the Acropolis, Marathon, Sounion, ancient and Akro Corinth and a few other places, but the thrust of my comments wasn't really about original vs copies. Certainly the well known painters have been employed to produce great works for paying patrons, but that's similar to paying a local craftsman known for great tiling to do your bathroom. It's different to venerating and uncritically justifying work the 'right' individuals have produced because it was produced by them rather than because the piece is excellent. Since Dave just mentioned the emperor's new clothes, it's this kind of thing (and a certain kind of baiting, mercifully also absent - if it arrives then I'm out of the thread) that brings out those comments.
 
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That's the kind of thing, (paper texture etc) which I see as photography trying to aspire to the state of painting. In a way like the pictorialist movement did. I see it as an attempt to deny the very nature of photography and photographs. Photographs are made by machines in the hands of humans (or monkeys...). The hand isn't involved in moving the materials about as it is with the plastic arts. The only direct controls a photographer has are where to point the lens and when to trip the shutter.

This is me thinking out loud to some extent (albeit about things I have considered before) and I may change my mind later!)
I fairly strongly disagree, I see choice of paper, size, mount as making the most of a photograph and not necessarily trying to emulate painting. The hand is involved in correcting exposure, dodging and burning and these days moving pixels around, toning, etc. Ansel wrote a book on the subject IIRC. The print, even if that is just an export to JPEG, is an important part of the photographic process.
 
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Photographs are flat. The only change that can be made to them is scale (discounting colour or tone variations from different printing processes). I've seen photos in galleries of pictures familiar from books, magazines or the web and the only difference has been scale. Most have been larger than I imagined, which makes a difference if the picture has a lot of small but important details which aren't obvious at a smaller size, some have actually been smaller than I'd expected. Scale can alter how we view photographs, but not all photographs need to be seen at a specific size.
This is one of the reasons I like (say it very quietly) canvas prints, even though they seem utterly un-cool, even loathed by some - they have a depth and texture. Also I had a mono print made on aluminium a couple of years back (that French company that advertised on here for a while) and it came back with a superb texture and depth that I've never seen from elsewhere.

It's interesting how size affects our seeing, isn't it. Some paintings are tiny - unexpectedly so - while others seem far larger than they 'need' to be. The sheer size of some printed images makes me wonder a little if they did because of one-upmanship and to give a sense of worth to the picture that it might not have if it were smaller. I've often commented here about images 'as presented' because size really matters, and getting that wrong can make an image look uninspiring or garish.

And not everyone was an Ansel & could print well. IIRC quite a lot of 'classic' images were produced by a professional printer rather than the photographer, though perhaps those wouldn't be classed as art in the sense we're discussing here, although they definitely shaped the view of society.
 
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That's the kind of thing, (paper texture etc) which I see as photography trying to aspire to the state of painting. In a way like the pictorialist movement did. I see it as an attempt to deny the very nature of photography and photographs. Photographs are made by machines in the hands of humans (or monkeys...). The hand isn't involved in moving the materials about as it is with the plastic arts. The only direct controls a photographer has are where to point the lens and when to trip the shutter.

This is me thinking out loud to some extent (albeit about things I have considered before) and I may change my mind later!)
I've discussed paper textures a fair amount with photographers, and never thought of it as aspiring to painting except for "canvas" mounted prints but I've never met a "photographer" who could stand these.

But the impact on the visual feel of a print when printed on glossy, or glossy unglazed, or silk or perl or all the other slightly textured surfaces, when combined with other paper characteristic e.g. maximum black, warm or cool tones etc and how this affects the perception of a photograph and whether it matches how you feel about the subject was often discussed. For example, I have always felt glossy papers to be harsh and clinical, and although that was our "standard" for industrial photography, I would never use it for my landscapes.

I think that being able to make a dark and moody print or a light and airy print from the same file or negative with selective burning and shading to alter tonal relationships and change the areas of the photograph you want to direct the viewer towards, along with selectively choosing the relationships between colours, whether the colours are low contrast and subdued, or high contrast and saturated are all, what I would call, direct controls available to the photographer.

I'm also not averse to a little "photoshopping" if it allows me to better match "my" reality of the scene, as long it maintains a core level of honesty and integrity towards the subject. So no sky replacements for me, but overall I just see photoshop as a tool to make prints that better match what I saw in my head when I pressed the shutter.


These are controls that allow a photographer to try and make prints that visually trigger the same emotional response they felt when looking at and experiencing the original subject.

Having said that, I have found the biggest influence on my prints has been the mood I'm in when making them. Looking back at old prints a few years ago, from the same negative, it was fairly easy to date them to particular periods in my life.

It's worth saying, that I am not as confident in my views as this might come across as :-(
 
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I've discussed paper textures a fair amount with photographers, and never thought of it as aspiring to painting except for "canvas" mounted prints but I've never met a "photographer" who could stand these.
Maybe I'm an *artist and not a photographer then. :LOL: :naughty: :oops: :$ :runaway: :eek: :exit:


*Sorry - I'll just go and wash my 'mouth' out with soap and water. :jawdrop:
 
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I was typing a lengthy response to a few post but I've confused myself. :( I might try again when my brain has had a rest. Although there's a test match on tomorrow which will no doubt occupy my few remaining brain cells for most of the day.

However, anyone who likes carefully processed, detailed, photographs and dislikes conceptual photography will positively loathe my zine for the next swap. :LOL:
 
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Maybe I'm an *artist and not a photographer then. :LOL: :naughty: :oops: :$ :runaway: :eek: :exit:


*Sorry - I'll just go and wash my 'mouth' out with soap and water. :jawdrop:
Probablyy my circle of photographers has been too small and over precious about what a photograph should look like.
 
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...
But the impact on the visual feel of a print when printed on glossy, or glossy unglazed, or silk or perl or all the other slightly textured surfaces, when combined with other paper characteristic e.g. maximum black, warm or cool tones etc and how this affects the perception of a photograph and whether it matches how you feel about the subject was often discussed. For example, I have always felt glossy papers to be harsh and clinical, and although that was our "standard" for industrial photography, I would never use it for my landscapes.

I think that being able to make a dark and moody print or a light and airy print from the same file or negative with selective burning and shading to alter tonal relationships and change the areas of the photograph you want to direct the viewer towards, along with selectively choosing the relationships between colours, whether the colours are low contrast and subdued, or high contrast and saturated are all, what I would call, direct controls available to the photographer.

I'm also not averse to a little "photoshopping" if it allows me to better match "my" reality of the scene, as long it maintains a core level of honesty and integrity towards the subject. So no sky replacements for me, but overall I just see photoshop as a tool to make prints that better match what I saw in my head when I pressed the shutter.

These are controls that allow a photographer to try and make prints that visually trigger the same emotional response they felt when looking at and experiencing the original subject.

Having said that, I have found the biggest influence on my prints has been the mood I'm in when making them. Looking back at old prints a few years ago, from the same negative, it was fairly easy to date them to particular periods in my life.

It's worth saying, that I am not as confident in my views as this might come across as :-(
This is very much my view of it, even down to feelings about gloss.
 
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That's the kind of thing, (paper texture etc) which I see as photography trying to aspire to the state of painting. In a way like the pictorialist movement did. I see it as an attempt to deny the very nature of photography and photographs. Photographs are made by machines in the hands of humans (or monkeys...). The hand isn't involved in moving the materials about as it is with the plastic arts. The only direct controls a photographer has are where to point the lens and when to trip the shutter.

This is me thinking out loud to some extent (albeit about things I have considered before) and I may change my mind later!)
I think we are diverging around the fact that photography is a multi-purpose process, it can be used for a lot of purposes in a lot of different ways. I'm sure we all know and accept this and have our personal preferences. What's more, like most things in life, I'm sure we all have our own personal spectrum, or bell-curve of across which our likes, interests and fascinations are distributed.
 
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Probablyy my circle of photographers has been too small and over precious about what a photograph should look like.
No, you were correct. Canvas prints are 'a bad thing'
I'm old fashioned. I still don't equate Wednesdays with the start of a test match.
I apologise for spoiling your morning with the reminder. :(
 
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I think we are diverging around the fact that photography is a multi-purpose process, it can be used for a lot of purposes in a lot of different ways.
We have mentioned before that when discussing what is, or isn't a "good" photograph, the first question needs to be, "good for what".

Although, there are obvious reasons to use painting and drawing as a point of reference and comparison for photography, I often think that in terms of the process, the written word (the art of writing) may be a better comparison.

As with photography, there are clear technical constraints (number of different words available) and you need technical skills (putting the words in the right order), and without thinking about it, we know that assessing the value of shopping lists, personal diaries, campaign slogans, technical manuals, romantic novels or poems, all need different approaches, because they all serve different purposes and we need to be aware of this purpose.

However, regardless of purpose, as long as you have something useful, valuable, or worthwhile to say (and I include shopping lists), the better your technical skills, and the more words you have available, the more likely it is, you will say what it is you want to say.

Sometimes, assessing whether someone has made a "good" job of saying something will lie with others, and sometimes, it will lie entirely with the author.

And, keeping with my shopping list example, "TP" might be enough for me to remember to buy tooth paste (good for me), a list written by me for someone else might need "toothpaste" in full (good for others), and "out tubes white you stuff squeeze of " might not be of much use to either of us (not good for anyone), even though it uses seven times the number of words, and has taken a lot more time, effort and skill to write.
 
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It's an interesting analogy @myotis, I've often tended to compare photography to music, the camera is the instrument, the "print" being the performance. Some people like to play music written by others, some like to compose their own or improvise.

Someone pointed out that painting/drawing is an additive process where as photography is a subtractive process, i.e. the "artist" starts with a blank canvas and adds what they want to the composition but with photography we are concerned with trying to eliminate distracting elements from the scene. It sounds like a fairly abstract and technical point but I think it has fairly far reaching consequences and makes the two things far more different than they are similar.

And I think some of the difficulties we have with this kind of discussion is the dual meaning of "artist", we have sculptor, writer, poet, actor, musician, etc. and they are all artists but someone who paints or draws has no distinct term.
 
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It's an interesting analogy @myotis, I've often tended to compare photography to music, the camera is the instrument, the "print" being the performance. Some people like to play music written by others, some like to compose their own or improvise.
I could have used music, but for me writing better covers the full range of photographic applications than music does as it more easily reflects things like documentary photography, scientific photography and "every day" photography e.g. my boiler engineer recently used his iPhone to photograph a faulty part to send to the manufacturer.

So context is all important when discussing photographs and photography.

I think most people when you say "Artist" probably think of someone who paints or draws, its only when you think beyond this that you realise that musicians, writers, actors etc. are also artists. But painting and drawings and some sculpting is unique amongst the arts (i think) for, as you say, the art can come out of nothing.

The other arts have greater constraints imposed on the artist by the medium they are working in.

I suspect that even without bringing photography into the discussion, many debates on what is, and isn't art and what being an artist means, is likely to become difficult.
 
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