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General Photography Discussion


{Photography.55.1}: {tj2} Sat, 28 Feb 2004 14:10:22 CST (0 lines)
{erased by tj2 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:47:22 CDT}


{Photography.55.2}: Kai Hagen {kai} Sat, 28 Feb 2004 16:40:41 CST (1 line)

"Anything goes..." subject-wise.    :-)


{Photography.55.3}: {tj2} Sat, 28 Feb 2004 17:40:27 CST (0 lines)
{erased by tj2 Sat, 28 Mar 2009 00:47:31 CDT}


{Photography.55.4}: Forest Walker {beams} Sat, 28 Feb 2004 18:54:09 CST (1 line)

I've never been wrong.


{Photography.55.5}: Forest Walker {beams} Sat, 28 Feb 2004 18:55:24 CST (4 lines)


OK, getting my butt out of the Photography forum and over to... hmmm,
Nook or Politics?


{Photography.55.6}: {wotan} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 00:36:24 CST (0 lines)
{erased by wotan Thu, 11 Mar 2004 21:49:39 CST}


{Photography.55.7}: David {david} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 07:34:00 CST (6 lines)

I think I must've visited this Forum awhile back, then didn't come
back, cuz when I recently added it to my hotlist, it showed over
5000 posts waiting for me.  I finally finished reading them all.  I
thought of it as some photography education, and I enjoyed the
excellent photos.  I think now, perhaps, I'm about ready to send
some of my newbie efforts in.


{Photography.55.8}: Suzanne Griffith {sggriffith} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 10:53:27 CST (3 lines)

That Hockney article is nonsense. People have always manipulated
photos to some extent. Ansel Adams did it. That's what darkrooms
were for, and lights.


{Photography.55.9}: Coyote {coyote} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 11:03:06 CST (5 lines)

David: Great! I can hardly wait. I hope you post Dancing Batman.
Speaking of which, I was thinking of creating a Humor topic here,
just for goofy stuff. But someone suggested that humor shouldn't
be limited to one topic. But, I dunno. Other than Miscellaneous
Photos, I don't see a topic that Dancing Batman would fit into.


{Photography.55.10}: David {david} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 12:20:33 CST (1 line)

I didn't put Dancing Batman in here cuz I cut of part of a leg.


{Photography.55.11}: David {david} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 12:23:39 CST (1 line)

I cut OFF part of a leg.  So, instead, I posted it at {Humor.141.153}


{Photography.55.12}: T.J. McGovern {tj2} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 19:00:22 CST (18 lines)

Re: Hockney:

One guy's opinion.

Photography was never the pinnacle of truth that some wish to believe.
Even the great Iwo Jima photo was staged, with people who weren't
there, and it didn't happen the way it was pictured. Other pics of
the great masters have been shown to be posed.

Adams Zone System is all about making a photo better than it
looked "in person" and bringing out details through extensive burning
and dodging.

Jerry Uelsmann "" has been
creating unbelievable images in the darkroom since the 1950s. To say
that the ability to manipulate images signals the death of
photography is ludicrous. It sounds like an artist who takes himself
much too seriously.


{Photography.55.13}: Glen Marks {wotan} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 19:24:49 CST (2 lines)

Doesn't technology encourage the artistic to pursue a kind of
perfection that never really existed?


{Photography.55.14}: T.J. McGovern {tj2} Thu, 04 Mar 2004 20:31:44 CST (3 lines)

I don't know about perfection, but you can certainly pursue a kind
of image that never really existed. (As if painters never


{Photography.55.15}: Glen Marks {wotan} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 00:55:33 CST (3 lines)

I'm not into photography at all.

But I'd be curious to know--when does a photograph approach art?


{Photography.55.16}: Forest Walker {beams} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 09:52:49 CST (27 lines)

That's an interesting question wotan. It goes right to the heart of
"what is art?"

Sometimes it seems to me that if art had never involved some sort of
cash exchange we wouldn't ask these sorts of questions.

Then my mind wanders to to the word "value". Before art for cash there
was art for the community - spiritual, social, ceremonial....

A camera is a tool. Just like a paintbrush or a chisel. "This is the
world through my eyes."

I have taken some of my paintings and copied them to photoshop where I
played digitally with them. Sometimes I would think "All I am doing
here is producing happy mistakes", but then even painting involves
endless "happy mistakes".  At first I distrusted that I could "erase"
what I had done and then I realised that when I paint I also erase.

If anything I create with any tool causes me, and possibly others, to
pause, to experience a moment of something "other", to feel something
swell up inside (aside from gas - hehehe), I consider it art.

We live live in a world busting with art. It is everywhere, not just
on gallery walls. It comes from unlikely sources. I think that is
because we are all divine.

blah blah blah lol


{Photography.55.17}: Jak King {jakking} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 11:41:26 CST (2 lines)

I have to ask Glen:  In your opinion, when does a painting approach
art?   When does a piece of music?  or a poem?


{Photography.55.18}: Ed Hawco {ed1} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 11:53:27 CST (23 lines)

I have to say that to some extent I agree with Hockney. While it is
true that photography has always involved manipulation, it used to
involve some degree of craft, and the manipulation was in most cases a
"finishing" of an idea or an image that was already good and meaningful.

In writing, fiction can sometimes be more "truthful" than fact (as in,
it can touch higher-level truths), and photography also has that
ability when in the right hands.

However, my biggest problem with photography these days is that it is
so cheap and easy that we are bombarded with thousands and thousands
of essentially meaningless images every day. Advertising, web sites,
photo-blogs, magazines, etc. We're continuously hammered with visual
stimuli to the point that it all becomes something of a blur.

The result is that thoughtful, well-crafted photography is either lost
in the deluge, or when it is seen, it isn't really *looked at* because
we've lost the ability to look at an image for more than a few seconds.

There is very little thought or discourse put into the making of
photographs or the viewing of them. After a three-second viewing
they're declared either "nice" or "boring." That seems to be the
extent of it.


{Photography.55.19}: {jonathan68} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 12:13:51 CST (0 lines)
{erased by jonathan68 Fri, 05 Mar 2004 12:41:31 CST}


{Photography.55.20}: Jonathan Theobald {jonathan68} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 12:48:43 CST (12 lines)

Interesting comment.

I'm a journalist, and was taught that if a newspaper report is to
succeed then the very first sentence, known as an intro, must
grab the reader; if it doesn't the whole story fails. So much
importance is attached to getting that first sentence right that
intros are constantly honed - both in journalism colleges and in

Is it too far-fetched to wonder if  there might be a photographic
counterpart, some key element - or elements - that works the
same way?


{Photography.55.21}: {jakking} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 13:53:57 CST (0 lines)
{erased by jakking Fri, 05 Mar 2004 13:54:09 CST}


{Photography.55.22}: Jak King {jakking} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 13:54:26 CST (HTML)

Yes, I believe that to be composition.

Regardless of subject matter, the photographer's ability (or lack of it) to frame his compositional elements will significantly affect the "second look" potential of an image.


{Photography.55.23}: Myra South {southsage} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 16:25:11 CST (HTML)

Being the most recent posts, I agree with Jonathan and Jak. First impression needs to grab for some purposes. In others, like gallery settings, more time and attention can be expected to be spent in consideration of visual art.

Which reminds me that as a writer one is concerned creatively with voice and in photography that concern is expressed as vision.

Artists are compelled (usually not by money, heh) to create in order to convey their take on the world. Some art lasts past the artist's offerring it for observation or digestion. Some does not.

Some practical renderings of form and light may be art by virtue of their reception or impact. Artists may also be craftspeople or untrained intuitives who just "hit it" right.

Perhaps that's why creation goes on, even as population increases, and we work a bit harder to find composition/imagery that speaks to us.

That's one possibility.


{Photography.55.24}: Rich Mason {richpix} Fri, 05 Mar 2004 20:59:24 CST (15 lines)

Jonathan, I think you're right about photojournalism having a
similarity to written journalism.  A photo for a newpaper or magazine
has to grab attention quickly, especially the cover or front page
picture.  The idea is to hook the viewer and make them want to read,
and therefore buy, the publication.

Unfortunately, that often leads to a photo with graphic impact being
used, but not necessarily what might be considered art.  I think the
same can be said for the written word--what makes for good journalism
won't often pass for good literature.

One of the tests I use for photographic art, and art in general, is:
would I want it hanging on my wall?  If it has staying power and I
enjoy seeing it time and again, it is art.  If it grabs my attention
quickly, but fades easily from memory, it's not art.


{Photography.55.25}: Kai Hagen {kai} Sat, 06 Mar 2004 00:26:13 CST (HTML)

I disagree somewhat with your last points, Rich.

It just may not be good art, or what you or I would consider good art...subjective as it is. The world is full of art that isn't good in my eyes (and all our eyes see it a little differently, of course).

I also can't go with the "hanging on my wall" definition, since there is a lot of art I'd consider good, even very very good, that I wouldn't necessarily want on my living room or office wall...even if it's something I could enjoy seeing time and again.

What makes one photo of a face a snapshot and another photo of the same face art? I have my own ideas about that, but I'm not sure it's simple to define - even when it's obvious!


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