Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 [2] 3 4 5 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Golden era for photography  (Read 24969 times)
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2009, 03:59:47 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: bill t.
The Golden Age of anything is never the present age.

But it is easy to locate...start looking with the age just before the present one, you can usually find it there.

Those of us old enough may even be able to see a string of several successive Golden Ages lined up behind us.  But best advice is to at all cost avoid turning around to look, that leads to nothing but trouble.



There is a lot of truth there, Bill; if I may continue with the pun (?), then Lot´s wife turned into a pillar of salt on looking back because of the tears of regret that she shed at what had been and was no more. Salination by self, as it were. But that didn´t mean she was wrong.

Rob C

Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 6053



WWW
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2009, 08:15:12 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: bill t.
The Golden Age of anything is never the present age.

But it is easy to locate...start looking with the age just before the present one, you can usually find it there.

Those of us old enough may even be able to see a string of several successive Golden Ages lined up behind us.  But best advice is to at all cost avoid turning around to look, that leads to nothing but trouble.

Never look back. Something may be gaining on you.
Logged

Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2009, 11:54:57 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: RSL
Never look back. Something may be gaining on you.

With flashing red and blue lights!

Rob
Logged

jjj
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3203



WWW
« Reply #23 on: June 08, 2009, 09:12:24 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: RSL
Never look back. Something may be gaining on you.
But then you'd know to run faster!
Logged

Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography
jjj
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3203



WWW
« Reply #24 on: June 08, 2009, 09:19:38 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: RSL
Sounds as if you're listening to the wrong music. Try Mendelssohn or Beethoven or Grieg. Good music, like good visual art and good poetry gets better every time you visit it. Once you become familiar with it it becomes yours. If that doesn't happen then it's time to move on.
Two things - why assume the music that pleases you will please me? My preference is for later composers as it happens, but more importantly, I like to hear new music. Now matter how good a piece of music is or how much I ilke it, it's not as exciting as something fresh and never heard before. I'm not saying new automatically equals good btw.
Logged

Tradition is the Backbone of the Spineless.   Futt Futt Futt Photography
dalethorn
Guest
« Reply #25 on: June 08, 2009, 11:02:26 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Rob C
Lot´s wife turned into a pillar of salt .......... But that didn´t mean she was wrong.
Rob C

According to Jack Nicholson's character in Prizzi's Honor, "If Marxie(sp?) Heller's so f______ smart how come he's so f______ dead?"
Logged
Chris_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 541


« Reply #26 on: June 09, 2009, 08:41:29 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: RSL
Now, now... easy does it with the geezer stuff.

I'm a geezer, or wouldn't have used that word. Some of us are more set in our ways of thinking than others.
Logged
Justan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1876


WWW
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2009, 10:13:30 AM »
ReplyReply

> …the reason is simply that I consider the people who were the leaders (all pros) in that period, creating the styles subsequently ripped off ad nauseam ever since, were: John French, Bert Stern, Cecil Beaton, Norman Parkinson, Richard Avedon, Saul Leiter, William Klein, Ernst Haas, Pete Turner, Art Kane, Frank Horvat, HC-B, Robert Doisneau and some more whose names.. will come to mind almost immediately after I post. Also, some of these were working throughout WW2 and before, but I suggest that their moment of glory came within the period I selected.

> You mention the cost of running a lab and, presumably a studio; don´t you realise that the very fact that so many big names have had to close down their facilities and rent instead is saying something to you, very loudly? What it is saying, if you weren´t listening, is that the golden era is over, baby, gone, kaput, bye bye.

> But, ultimately, any era is seen differently by those who were there and making something out of it. I was not doing my own thing until ´66, but was very aware as a kid and also as an employed photographer in those years before ´66! I guess it was that awareness/admiration of the movers and shakers which drove me to get into the business.

Thank your for these relevant comments. It appears that your idea of a golden age is largely self-referential That’s perfectly valid. I asked for your opinion. Remember if you can that there is no right or wrong for this topic.

> You mention the speed of turnaround using digital. I´m sure it is quicker in some instances but it frees your time for what?

One can do whatever one wants with free time. The concept isn't difficult to understand.

> Perhaps it is imposible for a pro and an amateur to look at photography from the same perspective, so perhaps in this case, there can be no common understanding between the two parties.

I needed a good laugh. BTW there are 2 of the letter “s” in “impossible.” ;-)

What you are suggesting is that communication doesn’t work. Clearly that’s not true. Photography is a vast industry. Each person’s experiences within this industry are unique but an understanding of what one considers noteworthy about the industry is easy as long as one can communicate competently. I was heavily involved in photography between 1972 and 1983. My experiences included 8 years of regular course work taken while at high school, a CC, and a U, and a variety of jobs.

Back to the topic, during the span you suggested as golden, there was remarkable development in the use and kinds of color films available and other technologies. I would have guessed you’d have cited the introduction of the Hasselblad camera in about 1948, since you’re obviously a fan. Also the economic and population booms which started just after WW2 played major roles in the spread of photography. During this time span, there was the introduction and phenomenal growth of the kinds and types of SLR cameras available. These all support your case of golden age.

Inexpensive built-in through the lens light meters were not standard until the late 60s, IIRC. The ability to meter while composing the image was revolutionary all by itself! But light meters were around since about the 1930s. But that, too continues to improve.

These and other innovations also point out a continuation of what I stated as the continual growth of and synergy that started with the introduction of the Kodak Brownie, and which continues to advance the science and art of photography to this day.

Lastly, Businessweek recently ran an article on the golden era of photography. They claim it is now. Here’s the article: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/conte...31117_mz070.htm

Here’s another article that claims that the golden age of Western photography took place between 1858 and 1920: http://www.andrewsmithgallery.com/exhibiti...rn/jackson.html

All is good. There are a lot of interpretations on this topic.
Logged

bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2009, 02:01:28 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Justan
Lastly, Businessweek recently ran an article on the golden era of photography. They claim it is now. Here’s the article: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/conte...31117_mz070.htm

Here’s another article that claims that the golden age of Western photography took place between 1858 and 1920: http://www.andrewsmithgallery.com/exhibiti...rn/jackson.html
I am completely unable to read the Golden Aged barometer except by standing atop the amount of work I am selling.  To me the relevant part of the Business Week article is not the words about photography, but the information in the side panel that the US stock markets are rising in close proximity to my next selling show.  Woohoo, Golden Age, come an get yo' baby boy!

As to the second article, I need only refer you to the hosting gallery which makes its living by positioning the GA at least a few few decades ago, relative to the current date.  The Golden Age sells, wherever you care to place it.  One of my favorite galleries, however.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #29 on: June 09, 2009, 04:18:35 PM »
ReplyReply

[quote name='Justan' date='Jun 9 2009, 04:13 PM' post='290030']



BTW there are 2 of the letter “s” in “impossible.” ;-)


Now he mocks my dyslexic fingers!

;-)

Rob C

Logged

plugsnpixels
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 292



WWW
« Reply #30 on: June 09, 2009, 05:23:08 PM »
ReplyReply

When we can extract DNA from old portrait negatives, THEN we'll know we've arrived!
Logged

Free digital imaging ezine
http://www.plugsandpixels.com
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12215


« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2009, 11:05:18 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Justan
Lastly, Businessweek recently ran an article on the golden era of photography. They claim it is now. Here’s the article: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/conte...31117_mz070.htm


All is good. There are a lot of interpretations on this topic.




Justan

I think your last point is very real, and why we will never be able to have any agreement about periods.

The fact that the galleristas of this world elect something to be golden says only one thing: they wanna sell it.

That´s no worthwhile judgement of photography, only of marketing and investing, if you are speaking about the big bucks end of the game.

Rob C
Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 6053



WWW
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2009, 11:49:04 AM »
ReplyReply

Looks as if we mostly agree that "golden" is in the eye of the beholder. It's an overcast morning here and instead of hitting the street with a camera I took the time to run back through this thread. What I find missing is any mention of the rise and fall of the photo-story magazines -- "Life" above all.

To me, if ever there was a golden age of photography it existed during the period when people like Gene Smith were able to do the kind of contemplative photojournalism he did in "Country Doctor," "Spanish Village," "Nurse Midwife," etc. His picture of the dying baby picked up by a GI in Saipan will never leave my mind! All of the greats of that period were publishing in photo-story magazines, and a fair percentage of what they published was art.

Nowadays, as Chris pointed out, our standard of photojournalism is Abu Ghraib. In other words, "If it bleeds, it leads," but if it isn't sensational, forget it.

The art of still photography lost an important part of its heart when TV came along and captured the advertising revenue that had kept magazines like "Life" in business. Film (in the motion picture sense) is much better at capturing the bleeding, but it rarely, if ever, is able to capture the kind of fine art produced by people like Gene Smith, Cartier-Bresson, etc. That golden age is gone.
Logged

bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2009, 02:06:34 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: RSL
Nowadays, as Chris pointed out, our standard of photojournalism is Abu Ghraib. In other words, "If it bleeds, it leads," but if it isn't sensational, forget it.
The Life cover for the week I was born (a few weeks before Hiroshima) is a girl in a fuzzy two piece bathing suit.  Doesn't get much more golden than that.

My personal Golden Age is a movable feast.  Right now I'm hung up on the Steichen Condé Nast book which is where I presently place the Golden Age in my rear view mirror.  All you guys who think you know how to print B&W need to take a look at it.

And my personal favorite Dark Age is that time when Bill Brandt and the paint-it-black, make-it-look-like-tar boys were in vogue.  Gad, what a plague that was.  That should push somebody's buttons.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2009, 02:09:00 PM by bill t. » Logged
RSL
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 6053



WWW
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2009, 02:50:11 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: bill t.
And my personal favorite Dark Age is that time when Bill Brandt and the paint-it-black, make-it-look-like-tar boys were in vogue.  Gad, what a plague that was.  That should push somebody's buttons.

Yes, but you have to admit he established a whole new (gasp!) vogue in photography, one that continued for quite a while. The more contrast and the less detail you could get the "better" the shot. Klein carried the idea to its logical conclusion in the sixties.
Logged

bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #35 on: June 10, 2009, 04:15:14 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: RSL
Yes, but you have to admit he established a whole new (gasp!) vogue in photography, one that continued for quite a while. The more contrast and the less detail you could get the "better" the shot. Klein carried the idea to its logical conclusion in the sixties.
Or to put it another way, who needs technique when you have Brovira #6?
Logged
RSL
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 6053



WWW
« Reply #36 on: June 10, 2009, 05:54:27 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: bill t.
Or to put it another way, who needs technique when you have Brovira #6?

Bill, Exactly. I've always been flabbergasted that these guys got away with what they got away with. On the other hand, there are a couple of shots by both Brandt and Klein that I like very much.
Logged

Justan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1876


WWW
« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2009, 06:17:36 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: bill t.
I am completely unable to read the Golden Aged barometer except by standing atop the amount of work I am selling.  To me the relevant part of the Business Week article is not the words about photography, but the information in the side panel that the US stock markets are rising in close proximity to my next selling show.  Woohoo, Golden Age, come an get yo' baby boy!

As to the second article, I need only refer you to the hosting gallery which makes its living by positioning the GA at least a few few decades ago, relative to the current date.  The Golden Age sells, wherever you care to place it.  One of my favorite galleries, however.


Yes you have it. The golden age will be repackaged to fit the agenda of the presenter. And while I have most certainly not made thorough research on photography’s golden age, the concept of a golden age is tantamount to saying that everything done after say Donatello, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, or Rafael was mere witless repetition. There were many masters after these, and each owes something of their "unique contributions" to ideas stolen and manipulated from their forbearers.

Photography is no different.
Logged

Justan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1876


WWW
« Reply #38 on: June 16, 2009, 06:28:56 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: RSL
....What I find missing is any mention of the rise and fall of the photo-story magazines -- "Life" above all.

To me, if ever there was a golden age of photography it existed during the period when people like Gene Smith were able to do the kind of contemplative photojournalism he did in "Country Doctor," "Spanish Village," "Nurse Midwife," etc. His picture of the dying baby picked up by a GI in Saipan will never leave my mind! All of the greats of that period were publishing in photo-story magazines, and a fair percentage of what they published was art.

This is an interesting observation. While photo-journalism didn’t exist prior to photography, there was a lot of art work that was made along these lines. The entire concept of genre art and even before then, illustrated manuals fulfils much the same goals. But what is widely unique was the distribution of fairly high quality printed work. The combination of intimacy that photo-journalism brings combined with the power of the press, did make for a unique combination. Still you can see much the same intamacy in photos from the Civil War, as example, so they are not unique to a particualr time.

Quote
Nowadays, as Chris pointed out, our standard of photojournalism is Abu Ghraib. In other words, "If it bleeds, it leads," but if it isn't sensational, forget it.

who is the "our" in your "our standard"?


Quote
....Film (in the motion picture sense) is much better at capturing the bleeding, but it rarely, if ever, is able to capture the kind of fine art produced by people like Gene Smith, Cartier-Bresson, etc. That golden age is gone.

A charming if romantic view of photography.


Logged

Justan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1876


WWW
« Reply #39 on: June 16, 2009, 06:56:26 PM »
ReplyReply

I'm not sure who made the reference to William Klein, but Klein is a riot. I remembered the name from long ago.

Klein illustrates how he and others reformulated works and the profound influence advancing technology and exploding markets brought with it. It is a great view into the time.

I found the following a little into the text:

“Klein recalls that he was “very consciously trying to do the opposite of what Cartier-Bresson was doing. He did pictures without intervening. He was like the invisible camera. I wanted to be visible in the biggest way possible. My aesthetics was the New York Daily News. I saw the book I wanted to do as a tabloid gone berserk, gross, grainy, over-inked, with a brutal layout, bull-horn headlines. This is what New York deserved and would get. The thing I took as my inspiration was all over the place, three million a day, blowing in the gutter, over-flowing ashcans, the New York Daily News. An old buddy. [In high school] I'd done a whole issue of the school paper parodying that paper. I decided to be visible, intervene, and to show it. Shades of Brecht but also the Daily News' Inquiring Photographer. I was never after news, of course, just the dumbest, most ordinary stuff. But I liked, as further distancing, the garish urgency of their front-page scoops. So I would try to photograph schlock non-events like some crazed paparazzo and print it accordingly.

“At one point, I discovered in a camera store the wide-angle lens, relatively new at the time. It was love at first sight. I rushed out in the street and shot away, aiming, not aiming, it didn't matter. I could never get enough into the camera. I wanted it all in a gluttonous rage - the wide angle was the solution. The 28mm became my normal lens.”



Logged

Pages: « 1 [2] 3 4 5 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad