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Author Topic: History of The Religion of Cropping ?  (Read 595944 times)
Ray
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« Reply #180 on: May 22, 2009, 11:50:55 PM »
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Quote from: daws
No offense, but to me that makes no sense whatsoever.

I paint and I photograph. If I pick up my brush, dip it in paint and swipe it across a canvas, I have created a painting. I and my fellow painters would call the canvas a painting. If I pick up my camera, point it at a wall and trip the shutter, the file or film in the camera is a "photograph," and would be called so.

Quite true! Whether or not the painting or the photograph of the wall is interesting or meaningful is always a matter of opinion. Someone who views the print of the brick wall might be obsessed with bricks and their different styles and textures and might think, 'Wow! I've never seen that type of brick before. Look at the texture and the subtle coloring and shading. That's the most beautiful brick-work I've ever seen!'

On the other hand, someone who's into abstract painting and who thinks Jackson Pollack is the greatest, might view that swipe across the canvas as very meaningful in a personal way.

If we step back from the emotional and personal appeal that a painting or photograph may have, we should be able to see clearly that the camera is the master when it comes to accurate portrayal of what the eye sees. However interesting or uninteresting the casual shot of the wall may be, it would take a whole school of Chinese painters with magnifying glasses and fine-haired brushes to even emulate the grain and fine texture of the brick wall.

That the camera is supreme in its ability to capture and represent reality is so obvious, I can't understand why we are having this discussion.

Okay! On second thoughts, I can. Because it has always been possible to maipulate photographic images (even in the wet darkroom) to suit an artistic taste, then we can use the false logic that the photograph does not represent reality. This is merely a tautology. If I alter the reality of a photograph, then the photograph shows an altered reality. That's pretty obvious, isn't it?   .
« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 11:57:49 PM by Ray » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #181 on: May 23, 2009, 08:41:29 AM »
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Quote from: daws
No offense, but to me that makes no sense whatsoever.

I paint and I photograph. If I pick up my brush, dip it in paint and swipe it across a canvas, I have created a painting. I and my fellow painters would call the canvas a painting. If I pick up my camera, point it at a wall and trip the shutter, the file or film in the camera is a "photograph," and would be called so.

Sounds as if you could be a very successful "modern art" critic.

How about the guy down the street painting his house. Is the house a "painting?"

Quite a few years ago I entered a couple woodcuts in a show at our local museum. I didn't really expect to win an award in my class, and my expectations were fulfilled, but the "best of show" winner was an installation of three blank canvases. In your estimation is a blank canvas a "painting?"

By the way, I think I've seen several of your "photographs" of walls in fine art photography magazines.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2009, 09:42:30 AM by RSL » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #182 on: May 23, 2009, 08:44:29 AM »
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Quote from: Ray
Someone who views the print of the brick wall might be obsessed with bricks and their different styles and textures and might think, 'Wow! I've never seen that type of brick before. Look at the texture and the subtle coloring and shading. That's the most beautiful brick-work I've ever seen!'

On the other hand, someone who's into abstract painting and who thinks Jackson Pollack is the greatest, might view that swipe across the canvas as very meaningful in a personal way.

Come on, you guys. At some point I've got to stop ROTFL and go shoot some pictures.
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Ray
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« Reply #183 on: May 23, 2009, 08:49:50 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
Come on, you guys. At some point I've got to stop ROTFL and go shoot some pictures.

That's the way I feel about a lot of modern art.
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Rob C
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« Reply #184 on: May 24, 2009, 10:40:17 AM »
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Cropping after the event. Perhaps there should have been a health warning along with the thread...

Anyway, if I may return to my last post where I chat about the pleasure I am getting from old shots revisited, I feel obliged to defend myself against Jonathanīs suggestion that it constitutes failure to see something better during the actual shooting of the image.

I have no idea how Jonathan works, nor, for that matter, even how many other folks shooting girls do it. My technique was relatively simple and depended mainly upon two things: was it tripod based and with slow film (Kodachrome 64 Pro) or hand-held with faster black/white? Do NOT take that as meaning there was never a cross-over of the two.

The stuff to which I referred was Kodachrome. The technique was to find a good shape and make small changes within that, mainly of facial expression and thus enable a wide choice of emotional feeling within a simple composition. When you are doing that, you do NOT suddenly abandon what you are about and make a new decision to swap lenses and go close-up, at least not until you have finished the natural run of where that first set-up is taking you. You instinctively know when you have shot it all. Then, if you saw something else, you either go for it anew or you simply do something quite else - visual memory doesnīt last all that long in the middle of a creative burst! Extrapolate at your own moral risk.

So no, I donīt accept that finding something else in a shot means that the original one failed, nor that it is inferior. After all, the elements later singled out for attention because they seem extra nice were there all along, adding to the original, donīt forget! Cropping in this way just gives them a separate lease of life/identity.

I think somebody suggested shooting girls on the beach can be classified along with studio work... Hey Soos, as they might say in Mexico but do say in Spain!

Rob C
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LKaven
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« Reply #185 on: August 01, 2009, 04:09:06 AM »
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I cannot resist resurrecting this two month old thread.

I've worked with jazz musicians for years, and one of the things I've noticed is that the level of inspiration in the music is the greatest for improvised music.  The real genius happens in the moment.

I use this example to emphasize the aspect of performance in photography.  The photographer and the very act of taking the photograph are inextricably tied in with the semantic -- and thus artistic -- content of the photograph.  A portrait, for example, is in large part about the relationship between the subject and the photographer.  Something important is consolidated in how the photograph was taken and the process that culminated in just that photograph being taken.  

A photograph is no more a collection of pixels than a dollar bill is just an exacting series of inscriptions on paper.  Something identical to a dollar bill is not a dollar bill.  What makes a dollar bill a dollar bill is in how it came to be, in conjunction with the various institutions that produce and consume it.  

As with the jazz musician, in the best of circumstances, it may take considerable time and effort at a later date to understand and appreciate everything you knew to be the case when you took the photograph.


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