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Author Topic: Toward New Romantic Landscape  (Read 30690 times)
dalethorn
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« Reply #40 on: April 26, 2009, 09:13:44 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
The same thing's happening to visual art. I used to think the problem peaked with "Piss Christ," but I've since had to revise my opinion. It just keeps on getting worse and worse. Sometimes I wonder if it's because I'm getting older and older. May be.

I don't think it's any of us, or age and perception changes. I think it's a natural outgrowth of computerization and automation - making things more efficient.  We have the ability now to control and predict in narrow demographic ranges that we couldn't do a decade ago, and so we can pander in the worst ways to nearly every taste. We have to keep finding ways to stay ahead of the bean counters, so we can keep some real art alive in the 21st century.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #41 on: April 26, 2009, 11:12:03 PM »
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But you can go back to the exact positions where Ansel stood when he shot his photographs and pretty much reproduce what he shot, though you may have to wait around for the right weather conditions. On the web your shots will look very much like the work of the master. You'll only see the difference when you look at the actual prints.

That is a statement built simply upon arrogance and ignorance. Location is the LEAST critical factor in landscape photography, not the most important. Had you any serious experience, you would have known that. Instead, you repeat a shallow argument - since dismissed by even secessionist leader Steiglitz - from a 100-year-old copy of Camera Work magazine.

It's not difficult to find the exact locations from which Ansel Adams (or John Sexton, Clyde Butcher, Charles Cramer, Bruce Barnbaum for that matter) photographed. Hundreds and thousands of photographers have stood in his very boot prints and copied his exact composition. Why, then, is the world of photography not filled with images that exceed the beauty and power of Mt. Williamson, Yosemite, or any moonrise? The answer....because the photographer is too important a factor to be summarily dismissed as you have done. Photography, even in landscapes, is more than f/stops and filter factors. It's about vision and meaning and purpose. To think otherwise, is an exercise in idiocy and shows disrespect for all serious photographers.

This argument, after more than 100 years, is tired. If this is the best you've got, you have my sympathies.
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
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luong
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« Reply #42 on: April 27, 2009, 01:15:54 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
By the way, it's really unfortunate that Ansel got typecast as a wilderness photographer. Actually, he was very versatile and very good at things like group portraits. The sad part is that only his wilderness shots get shown with any frequency.

Best regards,

Group portraits like in Even Ansel Adams Has to Earn a Living by Ted Orland ? He made his living as a commercial photographer and therefore was able to shoot a variety of subjects. He also liked to think of himself as a versatile photographers, thus including a variety of subjects in his portfolios. But eventually, his real love was for the land, and that's where he produced his best work. This is explained well for instance in Szarkowski's introduction to Ansel Adams at 100.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 01:20:38 AM by luong » Logged

bill t.
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« Reply #43 on: April 27, 2009, 01:18:40 AM »
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Before anyone starts nailing the coffin shut on landscape photography, be sure to visit Chuck's site.  Ansel completely missed most of those locations.

http://www.chuckkimmerle.com
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 01:19:03 AM by bill t. » Logged
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #44 on: April 27, 2009, 02:58:53 AM »
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Why should photography have to document to become art or to stand the test of time? Seems extremely narrow minded.
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RSL
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« Reply #45 on: April 27, 2009, 09:19:15 AM »
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Why should photography have to document to become art or to stand the test of time? Seems extremely narrow minded.

Photography always "documents." It can't avoid that. Unless you're talking about something like the kind of abstractions Man Ray made without a camera, photography always captures time.
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bill t.
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« Reply #46 on: April 27, 2009, 11:42:43 AM »
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Photography always "documents." It can't avoid that. Unless you're talking about something like the kind of abstractions Man Ray made without a camera, photography always captures time.
Which means you can think about not just what audience you address your photos too, but what TIME that audience will reside in.  If I include a recognizable modern building or car in a landscape photo, I will be told that "messes up" the scene.  But the presence of such things in very old landscapes enhances their interest (and value).  Contemporary street photos that I find to be unbearably banal descriptions of the present will be of great interest in The Future, even to me.  Nobody can compete with Cartier-Bresson, Atget, etc...they have the advantage of the unreproducible patina of time.
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ckimmerle
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« Reply #47 on: April 27, 2009, 12:39:10 PM »
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Photography always "documents." It can't avoid that. Unless you're talking about something like the kind of abstractions Man Ray made without a camera, photography always captures time.

If you believe that photography "always captures time", how can you be so dismissive of landscape photography in general, and Ansel Adams in particular? You stated earlier that simply standing in the footprints of Ansel Adams was enough to recreate the depth and feeling of his work. But, if you truly believe photography captures time, then simply standing in the same location is clearly NOT enough.
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #48 on: April 27, 2009, 01:00:11 PM »
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Why on earth should photography have to capture time unless you are trying to make it do so? You are bringing your biases to the table and trying to push them on the medium as a whole to discount certain genres because you don't appreciate what they are bringing to the table as art.
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RSL
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« Reply #49 on: April 27, 2009, 01:00:42 PM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
If you believe that photography "always captures time", how can you be so dismissive of landscape photography in general, and Ansel Adams in particular? You stated earlier that simply standing in the footprints of Ansel Adams was enough to recreate the depth and feeling of his work. But, if you truly believe photography captures time, then simply standing in the same location is clearly NOT enough.

So you believe that mountains change. Of course they do but unless you come back many millions of years later you won't notice the difference. Adams's photos captured time all right, but he was working with a very, very slow clock.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2009, 01:01:09 PM by RSL » Logged

ckimmerle
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« Reply #50 on: April 27, 2009, 02:49:36 PM »
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So you believe that mountains change. Of course they do but unless you come back many millions of years later you won't notice the difference. Adams's photos captured time all right, but he was working with a very, very slow clock.

If giant monoliths were all that comprised his images, then that would be true. However, his images contained much more, all of which were integral to the image: trees, lakes, streams, towns, people, etc. One of my favorite images of his was of a tree alongside the Merced River, which has now fallen. It's gone. Not a loss on par with Dodo birds or passenger pigeons, but a loss none the less. As well, the road on which he photographed his famous moonrise/Hernandez is gone, or at least very difficult to locate. Nor is the town anywhere near the same. Stieglitz and O'Keefe are both dead.

His clock was not all that slow.
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"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
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RSL
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« Reply #51 on: April 27, 2009, 03:40:12 PM »
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If giant monoliths were all that comprised his images, then that would be true. However, his images contained much more, all of which were integral to the image: trees, lakes, streams, towns, people, etc. One of my favorite images of his was of a tree alongside the Merced River, which has now fallen. It's gone. Not a loss on par with Dodo birds or passenger pigeons, but a loss none the less. As well, the road on which he photographed his famous moonrise/Hernandez is gone, or at least very difficult to locate. Nor is the town anywhere near the same. Stieglitz and O'Keefe are both dead.

His clock was not all that slow.

I'll concede the point. I'm 79 and I've been looking at Ansel's prints since I was pretty young, so I have a reasonable familiarity with them. In the fifties, when I was really cranking up on photography I was pretty taken with his stuff. In the sixties I read his five books on photography and did a lot of shooting in the mountains with a 4 x 5 view camera. I'd develop those film sheets individually, and even, in a few cases, make modifications in the developer according to Ansel's ideas. I shot a lot of what Wordsworth called rocks and stones and trees -- and rivers and narrow valleys and landscapes from the top of Pikes Peak. Here's something like that. It's from 2004, shot with a D100, and not up to the quality of a 4 x 5, but it's the kind of thing I used to shoot back then.

[attachment=13271:From_the_Peak.jpg]

I had a bunch of rocks and rivers and landscapes hung in my house. Eventually, though, the bloom faded from the rose. For some reason that point coincided with the realization that people were a lot more interesting than rocks or stones or trees. I've never lost that feeling, and nowadays my office has more pictures of the fading glory of small prairie towns than anything else.

Speaking of prairie towns brings me to the question: where in North Dakota? In the late fifties I used to fly a Beaver out of Malmstrom AFB in Great Falls -- all over what we used to call the "highline:" the radar sites we had along the northern border of the U.S. and southern border of Canada. When I left Great Falls I was stationed at Beausejour, Manitoba for about two and a half years and used to fly a Beaver back and forth from the radar site outside Beausejour to the RCAF base in Winnipeg and down to Grand Forks. I still love that country.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #52 on: April 27, 2009, 03:56:03 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
I had a bunch of rocks and rivers and landscapes hung in my house. Eventually, though, the bloom faded from the rose. For some reason that point coincided with the realization that people were a lot more interesting than rocks or stones or trees. I've never lost that feeling, and nowadays my office has more pictures of the fading glory of small prairie towns than anything else.

Either way you go, it's better you do it your way rather than just try to do what someone else did.  I think when someone says we walk in the footprints of those who went before, we should at least wear our own shoes.  Think what some of those old guys would do with a D3X.

Kirk: "Whose engrams did you impress on that computer anyway?"
Dr. Daystrom: "Why, mine, of course."
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