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Author Topic: Long Road Down – The Making of a Fine Art Photogra  (Read 36653 times)
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #100 on: August 01, 2006, 09:47:20 AM »
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In regards to Mr. Myers article, I honestly didn't feel cheated that he didn't go into detail on exactly how he did his curves or not revealing any "proprietary" steps. If he feels the need to limit some information, so be it.

What I did find of tremendous value, and which has only been touched upon in this thread, is the entire thought process and execution that really created his image. For me “getting inside his head” so to speak was far more valuable than looking at screen shots of photoshop adjustments. ..................The making of his photograph, in my opinion, was created well before it got to photoshop - that is there where the true value and lesson is in regards to his article.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72312\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Matt, on the proprietary aspect, I agree with you in part. In my previous posts never disputed Pete's right and perhaps obligation to not reveal important aspects of his processes. At the same time, however, unlike you I believe this seriously diminishes the purposes of the article. In your second paragraph above you say " the entire thought process and execution....". OK, we may be getting the entire thought process but not the entire execution. IF you believe an important purpose of the article is to show how he went from thought process to execution, there is no way around the fact that the purpose has been compromised by the omissions in the description of the execution - regardless of his right/obligation to so so; but IF you don't believe that's an important purpose of the article then you would logically believe that little has been lost. Personally, I was disappointed but not mortified. Such an article sparks one's curiosity to know exactly how he did it, only to have that curiosity frustrated. But as we all know, there are umpteen ways of achieving roughly similar objectives in Photoshop, and nothing prevents each of us from experimenting with or without the benefit of the mathematics.

Turning to your closing thought of that paragraph - once we start considering "the true value and lesson" of the article, this of course is where the judgment of the website publisher and the readers come into play. There is obviously a very wide audience covering the whole range of experience levels reading material on this website, so what is valuable for some people would be self-evident to others. Hence this judgment is necessarily subjective and will vary from person to person. For those who haven't considered the notion that the photographer should visualize the print before pressing the shutter release (even if only in a flash of a second), this article indeed provides a very useful lesson. For those who have been doing this routinely, it's kind of "so what else is new?" And so be it - just the variety of human experience.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Jack Flesher
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« Reply #101 on: August 01, 2006, 10:04:14 AM »
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Sorry to divert back to Alain's response - am I alone in not seeing anything terribly inflammatory or insulting about "John Smith's" questions?  SNIP[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72198\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I did not think it was that out of line either -- perhaps a bit awkwardly worded -- but also think it is possible (even probable) it was a troll.  However there is another possibility for "John Smith's" query...

At first glance, the name itself appears to be an alias and I suspect why many jump to the conclusion it was a troll.  However, in addition to the possibility it was a real name, it may have also been to otherwise camouflage the true identity behind the inquiry.  Most of my wealthy clients are extremely private people and require special procedures for dealing with their privacy.  It is not unusual for them to use assistants to make inquiries about purchases simply to insure they don't pay inflated prices due to their name-recognition and the rather public knowledge of their net-worths.

Another thought was a museum. My cousin was a curator for prominent local museum.  It was standard procedure for him to use an alias when attempting to acquire private collections --  if he didn't he'd blow his budget by March of every year

Of course none of this matters if he was a troll.  But on the off-chance it wasn't a troll, a shot at landing a whale may have been blown...
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 05:15:48 PM by Jack Flesher » Logged

mattsuess
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« Reply #102 on: August 01, 2006, 10:06:45 AM »
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MarkDS - all very good points made. I can see how some would feel frustrated and expecting more. Because he didn't even go into any detail or steps that are taken for the actual printing of the image left me personally feeling that his intent of the article was more with his vision, and less with the end process.
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mattsuess
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« Reply #103 on: August 01, 2006, 10:26:55 AM »
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Sorry to divert back to Alain's response - am I alone in not seeing anything terribly inflammatory or insulting about "John Smith's" questions?
Peter
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72198\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

To be honest Peter, I actually thought “John Smith” was rather insulting and inflammatory and felt that Alain handled it wonderfully, including his posting it to his site.

Anyone selling their work for a living, and/or those who are familiar with Alain, his business, and his writings would have made the conclusion that “John Smith” was a troll, a trap, etc. and was not in any way a potential buyer once “John Smith” made his second reply.

In “John Smith’s” first email the wording starts to give him away. Questions like “why are your prints so expensive?” and “what makes your prints so special?”, while perhaps legitimate questions, given the context of the email seemed a little accusatory and argumentative.

The other suspicious part was “John Smith” stating “I have seen some images quite similar to yours (not those I am interested in) offered by other photographers for a fraction of the price.” If those images were so similar, and at a fraction of the price, why is he not interested? Additional clue he was probably not a buyer - just someone looking for a conflict.

But given the benefit of the doubt, Alain replied with a great answer as to why his prints are so special. He answered a very direct and accusatory initial email with a pointed but descriptive response. If this was a buyer, “John Smith’s” reply, I am sure, would have been a little bit different.

But “John Smith’s” response really sealed the deal in determining this wasn’t a buyer. Certain statements made in “John’s” response made it seem to me that he was in fact familiar with Alain and his business practices and just wanted to call him out on it.  It is probably something Alain has to deal with a lot these days given the success he has had.

Further, “John Smith” never really gave any indication that he was really interested in Alain’s artwork. All he was interested in was the price, camera used, type of printer, etc. People buy art because they have a connection with the artist, not the tools.

Alain’s response, I believe, was perfect and didn’t go overboard. He handled someone looking for a fight wonderfully, gave great answers to each of “John Smith’s” concerns, and did the right thing in posting it to his website.  

The only thing I think Alain might have done differently was to have added a brief mention that he believed this “John Smith” was not a sincere buyer. While many people were able to recognize “John Smith” for what he is, perhaps a first time reader of Alain’s site, and/or those who do not sell for a living, might have thought “John Smith” was a legitimate buyer.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #104 on: August 01, 2006, 11:18:12 AM »
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............The only thing I think Alain might have done differently was to have added a brief mention that he believed this “John Smith” was not a sincere buyer. ...........[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72321\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think Alain did this indirectly by asking to be paid in Roosters. By the way, I discovered that a 20 Franc Rooster sells for USD 139.04 (at the Gold Coin Store, a division of the American Gold Exchange), so a 35,000 dollar print only costs a little over 250 Roosters, for those who find high numbers scary  
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #105 on: August 01, 2006, 11:35:42 AM »
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Certain statements made in “John’s” response made it seem to me that he was in fact familiar with Alain and his business practices and just wanted to call him out on it.  It is probably something Alain has to deal with a lot these days given the success he has had.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72321\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Indeed.  This is possible. It is also possible that JS is a racist predator.  Natalie said, after reading his emails, that a lot of his questions were aimed at belittling me and my work ("What makes your work so special" and other similar statements.  Racist arguments are by nature "ad hominem" that is aimed at the person or the doings of that person. A racist predator will always attack the person, or attack the person indirectly through criticizing or belittling their actions, which is the same.  They are aimed at making the person feel that they are less than they say they are.  They are aimed at making the person feel that they are below others and definitly below the racist predator himself.  In short, the goal of the racist predator is to make it clear that his race is above mine and that for me to claim any achievement above his, is delusional, wrong, inappropriate, pretentious, etc.

Being French, I have to keep in mind that this is a possibility.  Not being a native speaker, it is hard for me to know the motives that people have sometimes, so I ask Natalie when in doubt.  Being from here, it is a lot easier for her to "read between the lines" and see what people really mean.  And this is what she is reading here.  I'm not saying it is right or wrong, just that this is what she is saying.  This is in part Natalie suggested I mention the Roosters. The rooster being a traditional icon of French culture, she thought that if John Smith is a racist predator, he would react very strongly too. I think she was right because this seems to be the one thing in my response that JS responded to the most stongly.

Hi, this is Natalie and I am using Alain's account because I do not have one.  I have never written anything on a forum before.    However, I believe that the goal of John Smith and racist predators is to silence Alain and prevent him from using forums and posting his beliefs on forums by belittling him and undermining what he says so that he will stop.  We, and I include myself will lose a lot if Alain stops what he is writing, stops creating the beautiful images that he creates and stops supporting and helping other photographers to succeed.  We must keep in mind that John Smith or racist predators want to make this a personal confrontation between them and Alain and that is why I suggested that Alain writes an open answer to John Smith's email.

 Alain's response has helped many students that he is working with currently and they are also writing about it on their own websites.  It has also helped them think about what makes their photographs unique and worth the money that they are asking.  It has helped them to take pride in the work and understand that the customer does not have the right to bully the artist just because they pretend that they are going to buy something.  Fortunately, with the many years of experience that I have selling Alain's work, I can see through this immediately and dismiss these type of people at shows.  John Smith is a fraud and never had any intention of buying artwork.  John Smith is an alias that someone who knows Alain very well is using to be thorn in his side.

Natalie
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 12:04:06 PM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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« Reply #106 on: August 01, 2006, 12:07:54 PM »
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Sorry you seem to be having trouble with a particular person Alain / Natialie.  I didn't get the 'racist' bit though... must have been more communication that you didn't share with us.
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pobrien3
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« Reply #107 on: August 01, 2006, 12:10:24 PM »
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Matt Seuss - took a look at your website; some beautiful work in there, I particularly like your B&W.  Must be some fine camera you have    (just pulling your leg - really do love your images!)

Peter
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alainbriot
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« Reply #108 on: August 01, 2006, 12:22:09 PM »
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Sorry you seem to be having trouble with a particular person Alain / Natialie.  I didn't get the 'racist' bit though... must have been more communication that you didn't share with us.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72331\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, there is more. I'll ask Natalie if she wants to expand on what she wrote.  Natalie is now handling every aspect of this matter, including further dealings with JS, if he ever materializes.  I'm out of the loop as far as dealing with JS, as is customary in this situation as I previously explained.

Natalie thinks that JS will appear on this forum ;-)
« Last Edit: August 01, 2006, 01:10:48 PM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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jashley
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« Reply #109 on: August 01, 2006, 02:00:41 PM »
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Alain, It sounds like you believe you know who JS is, but their initial email still seems fairly innocuous to me (at least what is posted--is there more?).  Some people have mentioned reading JS's reply email but I couldn't find a link for it on your site.  Where is it?
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mattsuess
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« Reply #110 on: August 01, 2006, 04:40:26 PM »
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Matt Seuss - took a look at your website; some beautiful work in there, I particularly like your B&W.  Must be some fine camera you have    (just pulling your leg - really do love your images!)

Peter
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72332\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks Peter. The camera is nice, but let me tell you about that tripod!!  

Natalie - well stated. Thanks for posting.
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mbutler
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« Reply #111 on: August 01, 2006, 07:23:59 PM »
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I've been following this discussion with great interest and, as someone who has been thinking about trying to get into two or three summer weekend art shows for the first time next year, I've swung from abject horror to cautious self-confidence. The latter usually coincides with Alain's well-timed remarks (be sure to read his new "Just Say Yes" essay on the nature photography forum, too).

I've sat with a b&w photographer friend of mine through a few shows, and I know how brutal it can be. But I prefer to dwell on the memory of watching a teenager who stopped by his booth several times a couple of months ago. It truly hurt this girl, financially, to buy a 5x7 print in the bin for less than $100. But I could see a feeling of joy sweep over her when she finally made the decision to buy.

Philistines, gear geeks, and assholes will always be among us, but new art collectors are being born, too.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #112 on: August 01, 2006, 07:54:40 PM »
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Indeed.  This is possible. It is also possible that JS is a racist predator.  Natalie said, after reading his emails, that a lot of his questions were aimed at belittling me and my work ("What makes your work so special" and other similar statements.  Racist arguments are by nature "ad hominem" that is aimed at the person or the doings of that person. A racist predator will always attack the person, or attack the person indirectly through criticizing or belittling their actions, which is the same.  They are aimed at making the person feel that they are less than they say they are.  They are aimed at making the person feel that they are below others and definitly below the racist predator himself.  In short, the goal of the racist predator is to make it clear that his race is above mine and that for me to claim any achievement above his, is delusional, wrong, inappropriate, pretentious, etc.

......................[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72328\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Alain - in these situations it is often best to simply ignore such people. Most of them - if they don't get the attention they want they simply desist, because they measure their success by the extent to which they visibly irritate their victims and create noise around them. IF this characterises "JS" he has already made alot more headway than he deserves on this forum.

Cheers,

Mark
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #113 on: August 01, 2006, 09:53:07 PM »
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I never heard of racism against the French.  Since when is French a race anyway?
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #114 on: August 01, 2006, 11:22:34 PM »
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I never heard of racism against the French.  Since when is French a race anyway?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72371\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Two synonyms of racism are bigotry and discrimination.  So just substitute one or the other for racism and you should be good to go.
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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #115 on: August 02, 2006, 02:56:29 AM »
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I never heard of racism against the French.  Since when is French a race anyway?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72371\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Since the French opposed the US in the Iraq war. The US stands for freedom. Freedom of thought. Freedom to follow your oun conscience. Since they did not do what the US wanted, the US got mad at them. Makes me mad every time I carry out my Freedom fries out to the patio through the Freedom doors. I still go to the local Freedom restaurant and enjoy Freedom wine, but the Freedoms should know better than to oppose the only country that is right. But we stuck it to them since we made "French" synonomous with "Freedom."
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« Reply #116 on: August 02, 2006, 03:54:33 AM »
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Since the French opposed the US in the Iraq war.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=72381\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Smart, in retrospect. We should have listened to them - but then, I'm French.  

- DL
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jashley
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« Reply #117 on: August 02, 2006, 05:03:08 AM »
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All I see so far is someone being publicly vilified as a "racist predator" because they questioned Alain's pricing and asked about his equipment.  On the face of it,  this seems absurd to me and a very foolhardy thing to say in a public forum.

Alain/Nathalie, you are the ones who decided to make this public, so if there really is a "smoking gun" please let us see it.  If you really know who this guy is, and he used racist terms now or in the past, tell us and we'll be with you 100%.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #118 on: August 02, 2006, 06:36:17 AM »
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I'm not a moderator and not trying to be one, but in the interest of voluntarily maintaining our standards, let us all take a deep breath and push the Refresh button - this thread has gotten way OFF TOPIC. Without wanting to be pedantic viz a viz my virtual colleagues, let me remind, this thread started as a discussion of Pete Myers's essay. Then a contributor visiting his website made a comment about 35 thousand bucks for a sixty inch print. From there it meandered into a discussion of pricing, which brought on Alain's issue with JS, which has now meandered into a discussion of anti-French bigotry - hardly the kind of stuff L-L was designed for. I would respectfully suggest to my virtual colleagues that if there is sufficient interest a separate thread be developed on the "ins and outs" of pricing photography, and that if everyone has had their say about Mr. Myers' essay we draw this thread to a voluntary close, or else continue it, but on that topic only. As for bigotry, there's no shortage of it anywhere in the world and we all know this website isn't the place to discuss it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #119 on: August 02, 2006, 07:27:57 AM »
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Hold on just a minute.  My opinion of Alain has always been that he is a good guy who makes beautiful photographs, but I am troubled that he has made such a serious accusation on what seems to me (without additional information) scant grounds.  We already know from other posts that his response to JS and subsequent posts have turned people off.  I would like to be able to maintain my heretofore high regard for Alain, and think he and Nathalie deserve the chance to expose whatever else it is they know that would support such an accusation.
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