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Author Topic: Your camera definately,still,does NOT matter!!!  (Read 46934 times)
Slough
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« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2008, 06:01:09 PM »
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"Artistic qualities, almost by definition, transcend the tools used for their creation."

Quite the opposite. Artistic creation, and the tools available, are intricately entwined, in a symbiotic relationship. Painting in part depended on the nature of the paints available, and modern art often uses new materials to explore the artists vision. For a long while representational art was highly valued, but then photography allowed anyone to create an image of a person, or a landscape, thus devaluing the representational form of painting. Is it a coincidence that as photography developed, so art became more abstract, in an attempt to find a different and distinct language?

Personally I do not like most music from Mozart, Bach and so on. I think it is because they wrote for instruments with limited sustain, and I find the music repetitive and tedious. Music from the mid 19th century onwards appeals to me, and I suspect it is in part due improvements in the instruments available, which allowed artists to expand their range.
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Ray
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« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2008, 06:16:50 PM »
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You can't really be that stupid. The technical side of photography is an integral foundation for artistic expression. Try capturing the majesty of an eagle in flight with an 8x10 view camera.

You're right. I can't be that stupid and I'm not that stupid. You hit the nail on the head   .

But surely you can't be so stupid as to believe that any intelligent artist would not attempt to choose the best tool and the right tool for the job, the tool that is currently available in whatever era, century or decade he/she happens to be living.

Just as you would not attempt to get a detailed shot of the moon delineating all the major craters, using a Holga camera, but would use the longest telephoto lens you have, a potter would not attempt to to mould his clay using either a Holga camera or a telephoto lens.

In other words, the nature of the subject matter determines the choice of tools that are used. The artistic merit of the result depends only on the talent of the artist.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 10:26:59 PM by Ray » Logged
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« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2008, 06:36:08 PM »
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Personally I do not like most music from Mozart, Bach and so on. I think it is because they wrote for instruments with limited sustain, and I find the music repetitive and tedious. Music from the mid 19th century onwards appeals to me, and I suspect it is in part due improvements in the instruments available, which allowed artists to expand their range.
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That explains why you are in the "it does matter" camp. I would think that anyone who believes that the sophistication and modernity of the equipment and tools they use have a bearing on the artistic merit of the result, would naturally tend to believe, as sure as night follows day, that modern works of art are generally better than ancient works of art, that a Rodin sculpture is better than Michelangelo's David, for example and that the cave paintings as Lascaux and Altamira are all basically crap.
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« Reply #23 on: April 02, 2008, 07:24:36 PM »
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Sorry but newer does not always equal better technical quality - Stradivarius anyone? The aesthetic qualities of a performance by a top concert violinist depend to some extent on the quality of the violin. The violin might not affect the quality of the written music but it certainly does that of the performance - equally an 'art'.

Thanks Nick for providing an excellent example in support of my argument. In some ways the craft of violin making could be considered analogous to the craft of photography. Both require tools and technical expertise. However, Stradivarious violins did not get their fine reputation because Stradivarious was using more sophisticated tools than other violin makers of the day, and especially not because he was using more sophisticated tools than modern violin makers use, but because he had a fine ear, just as a good photographer has a fine eye.

In other words, he applied 'art' to his violin making. A Stradivarius violin is a work of art; a creation resulting from the techniques he used rather than the tools he used. As far as I know, scientists are still trying to find out precisely what his techique was.

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Since we do agree that the camera matters with regard to technical quality, I'm not sure why you insist that technical quality can have no relevance to aesthetic qualities.

Because technical quality and artistic merit are two different things. Anyone, without any sense of artistic appreciation whatsoever (if such a person really exists) could take a photo of high technical quality simply by using the most expensive camera available and following a few simple rules to obtain accurate focus, correct exposure and a sharp image.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 07:27:03 PM by Ray » Logged
Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #24 on: April 02, 2008, 10:57:33 PM »
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In other words, the nature of the subject matter determines the choice of tools that are used.

Exactly, because the tools DO matter. Otherwise there would be no reason to make a choice.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #25 on: April 02, 2008, 11:02:43 PM »
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How about we settle for a draw?

Those who feel that their artistic vision is not limited by cheaper gear keep working with a Holga, and those who are interested in trying to tap into more advanced gear do so.

My view is that we are all somewhere on a learning curve that does inevitably take us towards a broader understanding or things.

- Those who feel that gear doesn't matter might reach a point further up where they feel limited by their current options,
- Those who feel that gear does matter might reach a point where their vision and style can do away with most of the equipment related aspects of photography.

What matters in the end is that life is made of cycles and that there is no universal truth. The key then is to understand that extreme statements do often not come accross well...

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
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« Reply #26 on: April 02, 2008, 11:23:17 PM »
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Exactly, because the tools DO matter. Otherwise there would be no reason to make a choice.
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Jonathan,
It's true that the catchy title of Ken's article is, "Your Camera Doesn't Matter", but you should know that you cannot judge a book by its cover.

In order to find out in what way, in what respect, with regard to what issues, your camera does not matter, it is necessary to read the article.

Having read Ken's article, it should be quite clear to anyone who has at least a modest grasp of English Comprehension that Ken is referring to the artistic result, not the choice of possible subject material.

It should be obvious to all and sundry that the range of subjects one can tackle with a Holga camera will be considerably smaller than the range of subjects that are possible with a modern DSLR and zoom lens, especially if the zoom lens has a good macro facility which can open up a whole world of close-up photography not possible with a Holga.

There's a difference amongst the following statements,

(1) Your camera does not matter with regard to the possible choice of subject material.

(2) Your camera does not matter with regard to the technical quality of the image produced.

(3) Your camera does not matter with regard to the artisit merit of the final result.

Put as simply as I can, the title of Ken's article is "Your camera doesn't matter" and the content of the article is, "with regard to the artistic merit of the final result".

Talk about straw men! Your argument is the quintessential straw man. The biggest straw man ever.  
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 11:34:44 PM by Ray » Logged
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« Reply #27 on: April 02, 2008, 11:44:04 PM »
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Jonathan,
It's true that the catchy title of Ken's article is, "Your Camera Doesn't Matter", but you should know that you cannot judge a book by its cover.

In order to find out in what way, in what respect, with regard to what issues, your camera does not matter, it is necessary to read the article.

Bullshit. "The camera doesn't matter" is not merely the title, but is a mantra repeated ad nauseum throughout. Furthermore, the article is silent on the subject of when the camera might matter, and fails utterly to mention any situation where gear choice might negatively affect the final image either technically or artistically. 8x10 for shooting birds in flight, anyone?

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It should be obvious to all and sundry that the range of subjects one can tackle with a Holga camera will be considerably smaller than the range of subjects that are possible with a modern DSLR and zoom lens, especially if the zoom lens has a good macro facility which can open up a whole world of close-up photography not possible with a Holga.

DUH! Which is exactly the problem with Rockwell's article. You just admitted the camera does matter to some extent. Rockwell never did so anywhere in his article, and made many strong, absolutist statements to the contrary. The actual words Rockwell wrote are logically indefensible.

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Talk about straw men! Your argument is the quintessential straw man. The biggest straw man ever. 

And yours is bullshit based on wishful thinking and a hyperactive imagination, and bears no resemblance to Rockwell's actual words.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2008, 12:49:38 AM »
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In other words, he applied 'art' to his violin making.
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LOL, come on Ray, you make it sound like there was some hocus-pocus involved!    

Q: Did Stradivarius use tools to make his violin?

A: Yes

Q: Could he have done it with any old tools?

A: No.

QED

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A Stradivarius violin is a work of art; a creation resulting from the techniques he used rather than the tools he used.
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Sure, but can you say it was entirely the technique? I don't think so, and if not then the tools do matter to a certain degree.
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Nick Rains
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« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2008, 04:26:54 AM »
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LOL, come on Ray, you make it sound like there was some hocus-pocus involved!     

Q: Did Stradivarius use tools to make his violin?

A: Yes

Q: Could he have done it with any old tools?

A: No.

QED
Sure, but can you say it was entirely the technique? I don't think so, and if not then the tools do matter to a certain degree.
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Nick,
The concept I'm trying to get across here is that Stradivarius violins would not be any better, in terms of their sublime tonal qualities, if you were able to time travel and hand him a complete set of modern violin-making tools.

Why not? Because those exceptional tonal qualities, in so far as they are exceptional, were not a product of the sophistication of the tools used. They are a result of the choice of ingredients in the wood preservative used, and that choice of wood preservative is also not a product of the tools used, although the point is taken that one needs some sort of tool to stir the ingredients just as one needs some sort of camera to take a picture.

The choice of ingredients that Stradivarius used for his wood preservative could be considered as analogous to the compositional elements of a photograph with enduring artistic merit.
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« Reply #30 on: April 03, 2008, 05:13:17 AM »
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Nick,
The concept I'm trying to get across here is that Stradivarius violins would not be any better, in terms of their sublime tonal qualities, if you were able to time travel and hand him a complete set of modern violin-making tools.

Why not? Because those exceptional tonal qualities, in so far as they are exceptional, were not a product of the sophistication of the tools used. They are a result of the choice of ingredients in the wood preservative used, and that choice of wood preservative is also not a product of the tools used, although the point is taken that one needs some sort of tool to stir the ingredients just as one needs some sort of camera to take a picture.

The choice of ingredients that Stradivarius used for his wood preservative could be considered as analogous to the compositional elements of a photograph with enduring artistic merit.
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I do understand where you are coming from.

However, those violins are a product of many things, but can you be sure that old Straddy would not have been interested in tool developments? It's very likely that he chose the best available tools at the time, but I suspect that modern chisels would, at the very least, hold a better edge and that might well be useful to him. I'm not saying it's certain, but you have to entertain the possibility.

"They are a result of the choice of ingredients in the wood preservative used..."

In what way is anything involved in creating a work, that is not the pure ability of the craftsman, not a tool? The preservative is part of the process and no doubt a careful choice was made in picking it.

All these things, both material and mental, form parts of the creative process and you cannot isolate any one component and say it is irrelevant to the finished result.

"...and that choice of wood preservative is also not a product of the tools used..."

Here, you are right. The choice is not a product of a tool. But it is a choice from what's available. Given a new choice, it may affect the end result therefore the thing you are choosing can be said to affect the aesthetic value of the outcome.

"The choice of ingredients that Stradivarius used for his wood preservative could be considered as analogous to the compositional elements of a photograph with enduring artistic merit."

No, I can't agree. The choice of ingredients is analogous to the choice of film, lens, camera etc - hardware all. The sound of the violin is analogous to the composition of a photo.

Back atcha...  
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 05:17:28 AM by Nick Rains » Logged

Nick Rains
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« Reply #31 on: April 03, 2008, 05:48:28 AM »
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However, those violins are a product of many things, but can you be sure that old Straddy would not have been interested in tool developments? It's very likely that he chose the best available tools at the time, but I suspect that modern chisels would, at the very least, hold a better edge and that might well be useful to him. I'm not saying it's certain, but you have to entertain the possibility.
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It's irrelevant to the discussion whether Stradavarius would be using current tools.  Perhaps he would.  The question is, "Can modern tools make anyone the equal of Stradavarius?"
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Slough
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« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2008, 05:49:05 AM »
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That explains why you are in the "it does matter" camp. I would think that anyone who believes that the sophistication and modernity of the equipment and tools they use have a bearing on the artistic merit of the result, would naturally tend to believe, as sure as night follows day, that modern works of art are generally better than ancient works of art, that a Rodin sculpture is better than Michelangelo's David, for example and that the cave paintings as Lascaux and Altamira are all basically crap.
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You misrepresent  what I wrote, but misinterpretation and putting words into other peoples mouths seems to be your forte. You also make absurd statements to try and ridicule my views. And you also seem to think in a very black and white manner. Life is not that simplistic.

I did not say that modern means better. I did say that modern means different, due to a wider range of tools, and that it can mean a wider range of expression. Hence the sophistication of modern art is far superior to that of cave art. Is is better from an aesthetic point of view? Well that is a subjective judgement best left to the observer. My view is that they are different, and that modern art is better than cave art. BU cave art has intrinsic value for various reasons, mainly cultural and historical rather than aesthetic. In the case of music, I happen not to like pre-1800 music as the style is not to my taste, so yes in that case I do think the art improved due to improved tools. I gave that example to illustrate how changes in the tools can change the nature of the art.  

If you think that the tools never have a bearing on the artistic merit of a work, then you are misguided. Tools can have a bearing, though it all depends on the tools, the nature of the work and so on. A wider range of tools, and better tools can allow an artist to better express her vision. Do you really think Michelangelo could have sculpted David with a feather duster? Of course once the tool reaches a certain level further improvements are somewhat superfluous.

Life is not as simplistic as you and Ken would have us believe.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2008, 05:52:42 AM by Slough » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #33 on: April 03, 2008, 06:27:31 AM »
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In what way is anything involved in creating a work, that is not the pure ability of the craftsman, not a tool? The preservative is part of the process and no doubt a careful choice was made in picking it.

All these things, both material and mental, form parts of the creative process and you cannot isolate any one component and say it is irrelevant to the finished result.

Yes, I can. And that's what science is all about and that's what extensive scientific research has discovered about the Stradivarius violins, that the distinctive quality of the sound they produce is not due to the selection the timber used, not due to the shape of the violin, not due to the tools used in making the violin, but is due to the chemical ingredients in the wood preservative.

The violin itself is obviously a product of tool use, but those distinctive tonal qualities of the Stradivarius is a product of the grey matter between the ears.

However, if you wish to argue that what we have between the two ears is also a tool, then I'll concede the argument. The tool matters if the human brain is considered to be a tool.

Okay?  

But bear in mind that we are straying from Ken Rockwell's point. He was not making the point that tools in general do not matter (including the human brain), but that (specifically) the camera does not matter with regard to (specifically) artistic value.
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Ray
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« Reply #34 on: April 03, 2008, 06:44:23 AM »
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I did not say that modern means better. I did say that modern means different, due to a wider range of tools, and that it can mean a wider range of expression. Hence the sophistication of modern art is far superior to that of cave art. Is is better from an aesthetic point of view? Well that is a subjective judgement best left to the observer.

Good! So you agree that art produced with a more sophisticated tool is superior, (with photography, read sharper, better dynamic range, lower noise etc) but not necessarily better from an esthetic point of view.

That's what Ken Rockwell also thinks, I believe. So do I. We can now all go home   .
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« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2008, 06:59:46 AM »
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We can now all go home   .
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I wouldn't count on that, if I were you.  
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Ray
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« Reply #36 on: April 03, 2008, 08:21:19 AM »
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How about we settle for a draw?

Those who feel that their artistic vision is not limited by cheaper gear keep working with a Holga, and those who are interested in trying to tap into more advanced gear do so.

My view is that we are all somewhere on a learning curve that does inevitably take us towards a broader understanding or things.

- Those who feel that gear doesn't matter might reach a point further up where they feel limited by their current options,
- Those who feel that gear does matter might reach a point where their vision and style can do away with most of the equipment related aspects of photography.

What matters in the end is that life is made of cycles and that there is no universal truth. The key then is to understand that extreme statements do often not come accross well...

Cheers,
Bernard
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Bernard,
The above are basically motherhood statements. Good sense, pacifying in intent, but ultimately ignored.
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #37 on: April 03, 2008, 10:38:26 AM »
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Kill me.
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TaoMaas
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« Reply #38 on: April 03, 2008, 10:41:51 AM »
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Kill me.
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With a new gun or an old rope?  Or does it make any difference as long as it gets the job done?  
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2008, 10:53:44 AM »
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With a new gun or an old rope?  Or does it make any difference as long as it gets the job done? 
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Crushed under the weight of my own liver.
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