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Author Topic: Is it a Photo or fine art image  (Read 37670 times)
Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2007, 02:27:23 PM »
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As for what propels a photograph from the ranks of "picture" to heights of "fine art image", I think it boils down to a combination of talent, effort and intent.

I wish the issue was that stright forward. The market place also plays a role, elevating very straight forward documentary photography to "fine art" manytimes. Take Atget for instance, whose work is very documentary, yet because of the attention of John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art in the mid 1980's, Atget became the darling of the fine art photography world.

On a lesser stage, my commercial architectural photography was never intended as art photography, yet in recent years museums have been showing my fine art and commercial work side by side with no distinction. A bit of a surprise to me, to say the least, and certainly not my "intent" with this commercial work.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2007, 10:22:08 AM »
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A bit of a surprise to me, to say the least, and certainly not my "intent" with this commercial work.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=96756\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I know I'm two months late in my response, but I forgot about this thread  

By "intent", I did not mean the purposeful action of creating a fine art image, but rather the intent to say something meaningful with a photograph. That could certainly apply to commercial images, as is your experience.

Chuck
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« Reply #22 on: April 01, 2007, 10:24:54 PM »
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This is a nice post. Very informative. It's nice to hear your thoughts about this interesting topic.

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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #23 on: April 01, 2007, 10:40:23 PM »
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By "intent", I did not mean the purposeful action of creating a fine art image, but rather the intent to say something meaningful with a photograph.

Nicely stated.......
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Rob C
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« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2007, 12:10:57 PM »
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Two things, really:

a. can somebody cancel Armstrong;
b. do you really go out with the camera telling yourself you are going to create  
    'something meaningful'?

At best, it might be limiting your chances, and at worst it sounds a damn pretentious approach to photography to me.

Relax, take the thing as it happens and see what surprises mamma nature can throw your way; much in life comes to you when you least expect it and that's the basis for an old Indian proverb (Asian) which says: the secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes. Simple, but very true.

Ciao - Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2007, 12:55:55 PM »
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Two things, really:

a. can somebody cancel Armstrong;
b. do you really go out with the camera telling yourself you are going to create 
    'something meaningful'?

At best, it might be limiting your chances, and at worst it sounds a damn pretentious approach to photography to me.

Relax, take the thing as it happens and see what surprises mamma nature can throw your way; much in life comes to you when you least expect it and that's the basis for an old Indian proverb (Asian) which says: the secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes. Simple, but very true.

Ciao - Rob C
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Rob,

With respect to point a. -- Go to "My Controls" and under "Options" choose "Manage Ignored Users", unless you really want Motorola (etc.) Manuals.

With respect to point b. -- Years ago, when I was much younger, I did indeed go out often with the camera telling myself I was going to create 'something meaningful'. And, of course, it never worked (but it sure helped build up my anxiety levels). So you are absolutely right. I wish it hadn't taken me so many decades to learn to lighten up and see what's really there.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #26 on: April 11, 2007, 10:07:54 AM »
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b. do you really go out with the camera telling yourself you are going to create 
    'something meaningful'?


Your misstating of my post aside, why would that be a bad thing? Do you really go out with a camera looking for nothing more than pretty pictures? I suspect not, but if so, how does your work differ from tourist's snapshot at the rim of the Grand Canyon or in front of the Eiffel Tower?

Intent IS an important factor, otherwise you relegate every great photographer to the rank of the lucky amateur, who just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Chuck
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Rob C
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« Reply #27 on: April 11, 2007, 12:14:39 PM »
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Your misstating of my post aside, why would that be a bad thing? Do you really go out with a camera looking for nothing more than pretty pictures? I suspect not, but if so, how does your work differ from tourist's snapshot at the rim of the Grand Canyon or in front of the Eiffel Tower?

Intent IS an important factor, otherwise you relegate every great photographer to the rank of the lucky amateur, who just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

Chuck
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Chuck

Intent is indeed an important factor, but the point I hoped I was making is simply that it isn't a matter of going out with a mission statement; it's a matter of going out with the knowledge that you ARE a photographer and whatever you decide to 'click' has already long passed the pretty picture stage; that your own temperament, experience and above all, eye, has matured to the extent that your final selection is from a choice of good pictures. That's the basic difference between pro and am: the am does it well on and off whilst the pro has to do it well every time.

There are many published accounts of great photographers - whatever that might be - who have had the luck to be at the right place at the right time. From war guys through landscape and certainly into fashion, chance plays an astoundingly significant role; the pro has the advantage of automatic technique but he still needs that break from above to do something spectacular.

I know this from long personal experience, but as I don't think of myself as 'great' I would refer you to Horvatland.com and suggest you read the interviews with a most impressive list of 'greats' and you'll discover that most of them go to work in a state of hoping for the best and working to get Lady Luck to smile during a moment of that shoot. Others, mostly of the classic European 'French' school (though hardly French themselves) admit to just standing around in the street waiting for something to happen. A luxury by today's costs, but then that was a different age and different photographic requirement were in place.

So, yes, I still think it pretentious, at least as you put it.

Ciao - Rob C
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #28 on: April 11, 2007, 02:31:59 PM »
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.....and you'll discover that most of them go to work in a state of hoping for the best and working to get Lady Luck to smile during a moment of that shoot....

I agree, and they're doing so with the intent of creating something meaningful (whether it happens to work out, or not). I do not see why you consider that pretentious.

I dunno. Perhaps we're just arguing semantics.\

Regards,
Chuck
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« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2007, 05:41:52 PM »
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The question of what is art is as old as art itself and the debate will go on as long as there is art. Part of the debate I think comes from a confusion regarding the relationship of creativity and art.

In advertising, for example, you find many instances of creativity. But it is not art, in my opinion. An artist uses the medium to create a work primarily in service of beauty in a historical context with other works of art or as a commentary on the human condition, or both. Advertising uses the creative process to serve commerce. Anything else is a secondary consideration. Advertising may be beautiful, highly creative and very clever, but it isn't art. But paradoxically, a work of advertising may over time become art as its original purpose becomes obsolete and it takes on a new life as a historical object that comments on the milieu it sprang from. Context is everything.

In photography, it becomes an exercise of turning the reportage of a recording medium into art. It's a grey area. What makes it art and not simply a snapshot is a combination of technique and a compositional eye that determines whether or not the final result inspires us beyond the merely literal. A great work of photographic art derives its strength from a skillful combination of the literal, the graphic and occasionally the metaphorical. Art may be slippery to define, but it is always greater than the sum of its parts, and there is no art without an audience to appreciate that fact.
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larsrc
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« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2007, 09:15:12 AM »
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Two things, really:

a. can somebody cancel Armstrong;
b. do you really go out with the camera telling yourself you are going to create 
    'something meaningful'?

At best, it might be limiting your chances, and at worst it sounds a damn pretentious approach to photography to me.

Relax, take the thing as it happens and see what surprises mamma nature can throw your way; much in life comes to you when you least expect it and that's the basis for an old Indian proverb (Asian) which says: the secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes. Simple, but very true.

Ciao - Rob C
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111009\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Whether you have 'something meaningful' in mind or not is your own choice.  I see nothing wrong with going photographing looking specifically for compositions that support a particular viewpoint or story, that convey a certain idea or meaning that you have.  In that case, your success hinges both on finding and executing such compositions and on whether the viewpoint is "strong" enough to succeed (as art or by influencing opinion or whatever).  If the viewpoint is strong, it can give the pictures that extra punch that makes them successfull, but if it is weak it may do no more than make otherwise good pictures look pretentious.

If you go photographing with no conscious viewpoint, your pictures will have to stand on their own to a larger degree, for better or for worse.  I would venture that even if you haven't stated it consciously, you probably do have something you want to say, be it only (and very validly) "this place is beautiful".  Your viewpoint, conscious or not, is what determines how you compose your photos, whether you frame a flower or a discarded bottle.  You can choose to state your viewpoint explicitly, which means your photos will be seen with the viewpoint in mind and judged accordingly, or you can let the viewers derive what they want from your pictures.

I guess there's a certain risk associated with making the viewpoint explicit: It could be one that you just find you can't make photos to support, or it can be a viewpoint that nobody cares about.  (I'm assuming there's some kind of coimmercial intent for the photography, such as selling fine art prints.)  

Photojournalism is a genre where you always have a viewpoint, namely that of illustrating a news story.  For arts, it's up to the artist - Yann Arthus-Bertrand for instance has an explicit environmental message and has success with it, I'm pretty sure he goes out looking for 'something meaningful' rather than just taking it as it happens.

That's a long ramble just to say: Both approaches are valid.

-Lars
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alainbriot
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« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2007, 08:20:46 PM »
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... I would refer you to Horvatland.com and suggest you read the interviews with a most impressive list of 'greats' ...

Rob,

That's a great site. Thank you for the link.
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Alain Briot
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« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2007, 10:50:23 PM »
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Rob,

That's a great site. Thank you for the link.
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Ditto!!
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jgeorgie33
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« Reply #33 on: July 26, 2007, 12:34:07 PM »
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Art is art if the creator deems it so.
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Rob C
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« Reply #34 on: July 26, 2007, 02:36:58 PM »
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Missed this part of the forum for quite a long time; to those who appreciated Frank Horvat´s site I say you´re welcome - its always good to feel you´ve given somebody, somewhere, some innocent pleasure.

Ciao - Rob C
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Moynihan
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« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2008, 09:21:32 PM »
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Thanks for the interesting link to look at.
The thread reminded me of something I heard a journalism professor say one time.
He said, do not strive for objectivity, which is impossible. Strive for accuracy.
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drew
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« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2008, 09:30:22 AM »
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The question of what is art is as old as art itself and the debate will go on as long as there is art. Part of the debate I think comes from a confusion regarding the relationship of creativity and art.

In advertising, for example, you find many instances of creativity. But it is not art, in my opinion. An artist uses the medium to create a work primarily in service of beauty in a historical context with other works of art or as a commentary on the human condition, or both. Advertising uses the creative process to serve commerce. Anything else is a secondary consideration. Advertising may be beautiful, highly creative and very clever, but it isn't art. But paradoxically, a work of advertising may over time become art as its original purpose becomes obsolete and it takes on a new life as a historical object that comments on the milieu it sprang from. Context is everything.

In photography, it becomes an exercise of turning the reportage of a recording medium into art. It's a grey area. What makes it art and not simply a snapshot is a combination of technique and a compositional eye that determines whether or not the final result inspires us beyond the merely literal. A great work of photographic art derives its strength from a skillful combination of the literal, the graphic and occasionally the metaphorical. Art may be slippery to define, but it is always greater than the sum of its parts, and there is no art without an audience to appreciate that fact.

Great thread and I think the above is beautifully put. Looks like others have already gone over the same ground that I have here http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index....showtopic=22882
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drew
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« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2008, 09:31:46 AM »
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Did anyone buy any of Armstrong's Motorola manuals?
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« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2008, 09:32:57 AM »
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Whoops, I see they were free. Anybody get any free ones?
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