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Author Topic: Diminished by Quantity?  (Read 32626 times)
opgr
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2006, 01:43:37 AM »
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I can't speak for others but for me the answer is Yes, it is necessary.

But do you agree that it can be automated? (possibly with supervision by a third person...)
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Oscar Rysdyk
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alainbriot
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2006, 02:45:32 AM »
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But do you agree that it can be automated? (possibly with supervision by a third person...)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73911\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not in my work since I supervise all the printing myself and I am the only one printing my work.
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Alain Briot
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opgr
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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2006, 03:15:21 AM »
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Not in my work since I supervise all the printing myself and I am the only one printing my work.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73913\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I understand, but that is a bit self-absorbed and control-freakish wouldn't you say? Why do you find it necessary to do your own printing?

I mean this with all due respect and think it could be relevant in the context. Could you try and explain why you can not separate the printing from the act of creation?
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Oscar Rysdyk
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alainbriot
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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2006, 03:22:47 AM »
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I understand, but that is a bit self-absorbed and control-freakish wouldn't you say? Why do you find it necessary to do your own printing?

I mean this with all due respect and think it could be relevant in the context. Could you try and explain why you can not separate the printing from the act of creation?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73915\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I am working on an essay which will answer your questions.  Until now I assumed the answer was self evident, especially regarding why I do my own printing, but I now see this makes an interesting topic for an essay and that there are some interesting issues and comparisons with darkroom printing to write about.  Thank you for asking.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2006, 03:58:52 AM by alainbriot » Logged

Alain Briot
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2006, 02:23:10 PM »
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I like this analogy.
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Yah, but just as there are far more beautiful cars on the road today than ever before, there are more beautiful photographic images made today than ever before.
 
Some of the awesome flood of imagery we see is good, much of it's bad, but if only a tiny proportion is "art", it seems even statistically likely that there are more "art" images produced now than ever in the history of photography.

P
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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2006, 01:18:35 AM »
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Some of the awesome flood of imagery we see is good, much of it's bad, but if only a tiny proportion is "art", it seems even statistically likely that there are more "art" images produced now than ever in the history of photography.

P
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I doubt that. Technology does not produce art. Having more available and advanced technology does not lead to the assumption that there is more high-quality work, unless you are simply talking about technical quality. The photographer is reasonsible for the work. If you could prove that humans have advanced, then you may have an argument, but after seeing the news today, I think that will not be the case.
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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2006, 02:02:57 AM »
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Any photographic process, whether chemical or electronic, can be automated. No matter how automated the process, the final result is because of the skill and care of the operator.

Humans tend to admire hand-made objects over machine-made ones. Digital, for better of worse, is percieved as a machine-based process. Chemical photography is thought of as less so, but still machines are used. Only in painting and drawing can it be said that something is hand made. But even there most graphic artists use computers and the camera obsura has been a painter's tool for centuries.

The process an artist chooses is personal. No process is "better" than another because what counts is the result. The process is the journey the artist take to reach that result.
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opgr
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« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2006, 02:27:17 AM »
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I doubt that. Technology does not produce art. Having more available and advanced technology does not lead to the assumption that there is more high-quality work, unless you are simply talking about technical quality. The photographer is reasonsible for the work. If you could prove that humans have advanced, then you may have an argument, but after seeing the news today, I think that will not be the case.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73983\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I agree. I think being an Artist is a relatively conscious process, even for the ones for whom it was a vocation rather than a choice. You at least expect an Artist to attempt to produce Art consistently. Obviously we have a larger potential of the occasional beautiful image captured, but there is also a much larger chance of that same image being gone and forgotten in the multitude, because the person never intents to do anything artsy with it.

In other words, there may be more images out there and therefore more beautiful images as well, but we will simply never see them because it becomes progressively harder to get noticed if that's the intention in the first place.
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Oscar Rysdyk
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Ray
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« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2006, 02:29:22 AM »
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I doubt that. Technology does not produce art. Having more available and advanced technology does not lead to the assumption that there is more high-quality work, unless you are simply talking about technical quality. The photographer is reasonsible for the work. If you could prove that humans have advanced, then you may have an argument, but after seeing the news today, I think that will not be the case.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73983\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Anon,
I think the argument that more cameras in the hands of more people results in a greater number of good photos, comes from George Bernard Shaw when he was asked what he thought about the proliferation of miniature 35mm cameras that almost everyone could afford.

It's a bit like the argument; if you could sit a monkey at a typewriter for a billion years, it might produce a verse of Shakespeare, word perfect with commas and full stops.
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John Camp
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« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2006, 07:41:49 PM »
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This point is coming a little late in the discussion, but I believe John Sexton was once Ansel Adams' assistant. So, Alain, suppose you had an assistant of John Sexton's quality doing your printing, and that's what the guy did -- he was a printer. He didn't want to go out and shoot, just wanted to print.  You, say, would make a master print, and then Sexton would make 100 or 1,000 more, for your approval and signature. Now, it might detract from YOUR total experience of photography to have John Sexton doing the printing, but would it detract from your clients' experience? (I'll accept either 'yes' or 'no' for an answer; either is totally legitimate.)

I do think handmade stuff has an iconic or totemic value. Most people I know, including the most skeptical, have a few totems around the house, if nothing more than a wedding ring or a lucky hat. (Or a lucky Leica.) Totems do give off a vibe of some kind; that response may be hard-wired into our wet-ware.

JC
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alainbriot
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« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2006, 10:46:52 PM »
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This point is coming a little late in the discussion, but I believe John Sexton was once Ansel Adams' assistant. So, Alain, suppose you had an assistant of John Sexton's quality doing your printing, and that's what the guy did -- he was a printer. He didn't want to go out and shoot, just wanted to print.  You, say, would make a master print, and then Sexton would make 100 or 1,000 more, for your approval and signature. Now, it might detract from YOUR total experience of photography to have John Sexton doing the printing, but would it detract from your clients' experience? (I'll accept either 'yes' or 'no' for an answer; either is totally legitimate.)
JC
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Yes
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Alain Briot
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Ray
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« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2006, 11:36:32 PM »
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Yes
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Reminds me of some of the answers from our Prime Minister (John Howard) in parliament question time   . Nevertheless, brief and to the point.
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James Godman
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« Reply #32 on: August 22, 2006, 12:07:40 AM »
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Since the invention of photography there has been a cycle of new technologies replacing the old ones, but digital photography has exponentially added to the amount of photos that are out there. But in my opinion, today there is an even greater need for high quality images to stand out from the others that may be technically sound, but have little else to offer.

Also, printing one's own work can be a very rewarding experience, as well as making the printer a better photographer.  Being close to the work brings a certain satisfaction that is different than say, handing off files to the client and seeing them in a large print run.

To each his own.
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Anon E. Mouse
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« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2006, 02:20:39 AM »
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Anon,
I think the argument that more cameras in the hands of more people results in a greater number of good photos, comes from George Bernard Shaw when he was asked what he thought about the proliferation of miniature 35mm cameras that almost everyone could afford.

It's a bit like the argument; if you could sit a monkey at a typewriter for a billion years, it might produce a verse of Shakespeare, word perfect with commas and full stops.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73990\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And just because they are doing it with MS Word with the spell checker on does not really mean there are better primate writers.
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Rob C
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« Reply #34 on: August 28, 2006, 05:11:20 AM »
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Hi folks

This discussion is heading the way of so many: is my point more valuable than yours?

Frankly, Alain has written more or les all that can be written sensibly about the choices of personal or supervised/non-supervised print production. In the end, it all comes down to personal interest in the medium and one's participation in that to the nth degree (or not).

I am at the tail-end of a photographic career that began professionally in '60 and as my own business in '66. I know that I was never interested in being other than a one-man band, from shooting through delivery of final print to client. This was possible with b/w because of economics whereas with colour prints (few) it had to be a farmed-out operation, the results of which never pleased me because, having gone through colour printing as an employee, I knew only too well that there comes a testing stage where the dreaded 'commercially acceptable' factor steps in to stop further refinement of the work at hand. This depressed me more than somewhat. Fortunately, most of my colour work, eventually, was transparencies and there life was less of a bother because once a good lab was found, I tended to stay with it; I did do most of that stuff on Kodachrome anyway, so (for non-USA readers) it was a matter of being obliged to put faith in Kodak to do the processing of their own material too!

So, as Alain suggests (and possibly implies) it is all a matter of choice and of how much pride one has in one's work and how personal one wants it to be, analogue or digital not really making that much of a difference to one's set of personal ethics.

Ciao - Rob C
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svein-frode
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« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2006, 08:40:10 AM »
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Yah, but just as there are far more beautiful cars on the road today than ever before, there are more beautiful photographic images made today than ever before.
 
Some of the awesome flood of imagery we see is good, much of it's bad, but if only a tiny proportion is "art", it seems even statistically likely that there are more "art" images produced now than ever in the history of photography.

P
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=73952\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yes, but in 1927 there was 2 billion people in the world. We are now over 6.5 billion! Even though there might be proportionally more images made, even as art, I think most people paying for images will be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. The general market for selling images has also grown substantially in this period. As I see it, proportionally, there isn't necessarily published more beautiful/good (for the lack of better words) photography today than 50 years ago. Photography isn't static, and the art, craft, usage and interpretation of photography changes as society changes. Just as in the traditional darkroom there are masters of the digital darkroom. The only difference is that the bar has been raised, but so it has in almost every other area of society.
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wynpotter
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« Reply #36 on: August 28, 2006, 11:39:41 AM »
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From my POV, the  control of the print is not to make an exact reproduction of a 1000 copies, it's to make 1000 original works of art from the digital image I created. Either because I am dyslectic and can't do the same function twice or I am an artist who chooses to exersize creative input on each work I make, is up for debate.
Music is an example of this same concept. Record a song and make a million records, they are the same, but write the music down and have a group of musicans interpet the score, each time it is different. Ask a conductor about his vision of a 200 yr old piece of music and I believe he will agree that each time it is performed, it's different.
I came in late to this disscussion but I value each print as an original, but the problem is the customer does not understand this,some see it as a copy.
This is an open ended problem without a definable solution for either artist or customer.
Wyndham
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benInMA
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« Reply #37 on: August 30, 2006, 11:09:40 AM »
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I don't think digital changes anything about the quality or value of very very high end photographic art.

Ansel Adams prints are worth a ton because he is a household name, his pictures are highly prized & desirable, and original "official" prints they are in extremely short supply.

If you become the most revered photographer of the current generation, and you control the supply of your work, I can't see how digital is going to change anything.

For example right now I can go buy a reproduction of Ansel Adams work, which is probably digital, for a price I can afford.  I cannot get the real thing because the supply was tightly controlled and I cannot afford an original.

You could do the same thing with your digital work given popularity approaching Adams simply by highly restricting the # of gallery quality large prints made available.  Sell 4x6/8x10 lower quality reproduction en masse if the desire is there, but make the 30x40 gallery masterpiece extremely hard to come by.  If you only make 10 of those which are designated authentic they would eventually be worth a huge amount of money, just as an optical print would be.

All it comes down to is supply versus demand.  If you stick your original digital file on the internet the photo will probably never be worth anything, but if supply/access is tightly controlled and demand skyrockets, the photo will still be worth a huge amount of money.

I think this idea of how hard it is to produce the actual print with digital vs. analog is a side issue, photographers understand it but the consumers of photography really don't need to know or understand that, all they need to know is whether or not a print is easily acquired.  Ease of pumping out thousands of prints does not mean every digital photographer needs to do so.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2006, 11:10:21 AM by benInMA » Logged
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