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Author Topic: Passing of an Artist: Willy Ronis, 1910-2009  (Read 9158 times)
DanLehman
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« on: September 13, 2009, 12:04:39 AM »
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"Is is art?"  I think that this is -- a URLink to some of Ronis's photos
from a French connection just remarking at his passing:

www.hackelbury.co.uk/artists/ronis/ronis_sm.html

RIP

--DanLehman
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RSL
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« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2009, 11:07:34 AM »
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Dan, Thanks for the alert. It may be in this morning's paper, but I haven't read the paper yet. Two of his photographs are among my all-time favorites. The nude  "Provençal Nude" of his beloved Marie-Anne, who later died of Alzheimer's, and the two lovers looking out over the city "Les Amoureux de la Bastille." Rest in peace, Willy. You were one of the very best.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2009, 11:09:52 AM by RSL » Logged

bill t.
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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2009, 12:19:36 PM »
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Beyond the simple beauty of the images the thing that connects with me is that those are great pictures of the ambiance of a different time.  I'm sure that was not Ronis' intent or even what his original audience made of those shots, but it is interesting how the impact of photographs changes over time.  I wonder what the future will make of such photographs being taken today.
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raysem
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« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2009, 08:27:51 PM »
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Ronis' "Le Petit Parisian" was one of the images that first "sparked" my interest in photography.

Sorry to hear of the loss of a fine photographer.

And yes, I think it is "Art"!
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-- Ray --

Photographing the world at 53 degrees north.
http://www.raysemenoffphotography.com
DanLehman
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« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2009, 02:14:10 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Two of his photographs are among my all-time favorites. The nude  "Provençal Nude" of his beloved Marie-Anne, who later died of Alzheimer's, and the two lovers looking out over the city "Les Amoureux de la Bastille."

Wow, apparently you are not alone:  they stand some $2,000 higher-priced
than all of the others (haven't checked all, but many) !

I was drawn first to the La Nu Provençal because of its light.
(Ideally, that outside flora would've been in shadow, to give
texture vs. highlight, and then the bright window side would
fall to split left/right with its jog-right of light below the shutter,
and the feed of light by the sill into the basin and down onto
the floor.)  Lovely light & shadow.

--dl*
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2009, 07:17:38 PM »
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Very sad indeed. I have one of his book and to me his photographs are in the same class as Cartier-Bresson's, they were just not marketed quite as efficiently.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: September 15, 2009, 07:18:33 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

A few images online here!
russell a
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2009, 01:46:43 AM »
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Many, myself included, consider Willy Ronis to be the quintessential photographer of Paris.  One of my favorite books is Sunday by the River.  99 years; he had a good run.
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2009, 05:45:17 AM »
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Quote from: DanLehman
Wow, apparently you are not alone:  they stand some $2,000 higher-priced
than all of the others (haven't checked all, but many) !

I was drawn first to the La Nu Provençal because of its light.
(Ideally, that outside flora would've been in shadow, to give
texture vs. highlight, and then the bright window side would
fall to split left/right with its jog-right of light below the shutter,
and the feed of light by the sill into the basin and down onto
the floor.)  Lovely light & shadow.

--dl*
====




How delightful, and novel, to evaluate a photograph by its price-tag!

Even more refreshing the politician's approach to photography: revisionism. And how inappropriate in this case, where he simply came down the stairs, saw the picture, grabbed the camera and took the shot. The brightness outside is exactly what the southern end of Europe is all about: contrast between the in and the out of living in that world.

Rob C  - (in Schewe mode today - I'm hungry).

« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 09:30:49 AM by Rob C » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2009, 11:02:27 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
How delightful, and novel, to evaluate a photograph by its price-tag!

Rob,

But that’s exactly what happens in the fine art world. We have “fine art” photographers who number and limit their prints, sometimes even destroying the negative or digital file after the advertised run is complete in order to make the existing prints more precious. (And I mean “precious” to include the “affectedly or excessively delicate” part of its definition.) It’s also exactly what’s wrong with Ansel Adams’s dictum: “The negative is the score. The print is the performance.” Ansel was promoting the idea that a photographic print is a one-of-a-kind object that deserves the same kind of respect and monetary appreciation as, say, Renoir’s “Le déjeuner des canotiers.”

But let’s face it: A photograph is not, by its nature, a one-of-a-kind art object. Unlike a painting or an etching or a lithograph, a photograph is infinitely reproducible and its value lies in its subject, interpretation, style, context and emotion – all of which exist in the image itself, not in the object. Since a photographer’s life-span limits the number of prints he can sign, photographs signed by the photographer constitute a limited edition. But in the end, there’s no objective reason why print number one should be more valuable than print number 1001.

But it’s this kind of asininity that keeps the fine art markets going, so let’s not knock it.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 11:05:34 AM by RSL » Logged

DanLehman
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« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2009, 01:00:16 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
It’s also exactly what’s wrong with Ansel Adams’s dictum: “The negative is the score. The print is the performance.” Ansel was promoting the idea that a photographic print is a one-of-a-kind object
Perhaps he had such thoughts, but *I* don't see them as a necessary
interpretation to the words you quote :  to me, I'd think it was a remark
that the negative is more a one-of-a-kind set of constraints on the images
that can ultimately & variously be made -- in any, undefined number--;
that from the negative various print makers can do various things with it,
as do musicians performing the classical works.

And to another's
Quote
The brightness outside is exactly what the southern end of Europe is all about:
I didn't mean to exclude that contrast, only wished to channel it as stated,
to the sides of the window & sill, etc., rather than that full window of brightness;
I think that the brightness of outdoors would yet be obvious,
but its effect more geometrically appealing (to me) thus.

--dl*
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Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2009, 09:47:14 AM »
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[quote name='RSL' date='Sep 18 2009, 05:02 PM' post='311432']
Rob,

But that’s exactly what happens in the fine art world. We have “fine art” photographers who number and limit their prints, sometimes even destroying the negative or digital file after the advertised run is complete in order to make the existing prints more precious. (And I mean “precious” to include the “affectedly or excessively delicate” part of its definition.)


Yes, I know, and my post did stipulate that I felt myself in 'Schewe' mode...



But it’s this kind of asininity that keeps the fine art markets going, so let’s not knock it.


And once I find a way of getting myself ensconced therein, Russ, I shall be at the front of the squad defending it!

I have had second thoughts - well, several multiples of second thoughts - about a website and having put quite a lot of actual work into the idea I now think it will happen. Probably the thing that's holding me back at the moment is the mechanical bit regarding what will reproduce best on somebody else's screen. I work in Adobe 1998, as I suppose do most of us, and then, if putting a shot out into the world, I simply Save for Web. Now, it strikes me that this might be somewhat rough and ready and not the way the bumble bee should fly.

Would it make for better results if I were to convert the chosen images to sRGB within PS and do some tweaking in that format to create the best-looking image I can, instead of going the former Adobe 1998 converted via Save to Web route, and the subsequent changes in appearance?

Do you remember the days when all you had to do was make a print?

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2009, 11:03:50 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Would it make for better results if I were to convert the chosen images to sRGB within PS and do some tweaking in that format to create the best-looking image I can, instead of going the former Adobe 1998 converted via Save to Web route, and the subsequent changes in appearance?

Yes. You need to convert to sRGB. If you use Save for the Web, PS automatically makes the conversion. A couple months back I made some posts after saving in .jpeg format with a process I assumed was making the conversion to sRGB. It wasn't, and I couldn't understand why the playbacks were way off base. Finally, a sharp eye -- I think it was Jeremy Payne but I'm not sure -- picked up the error and let me in on it. Now I have a PS "action" on Ctl-F4 that makes the conversion for sure.

Quote
Do you remember the days when all you had to do was make a print?

Yep. I was thinking about my darkroom last night. I used to love working in it, though cleaning up afterward always seemed a pain in the posterior. But I'd never go back. As Richard Benson pointed out in the current Lens Work, we've reached the point where if you do it right, with the right materials, a digital print can blow away any of the chemical-process prints. And it just keeps getting better and better.
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Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2009, 11:33:16 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
"Yes. You need to convert to sRGB. If you use Save for the Web, PS automatically makes the conversion. A couple months back I made some posts after saving in .jpeg format with a process I assumed was making the conversion to sRGB. It wasn't, and I couldn't understand why the playbacks were way off base. Finally, a sharp eye -- I think it was Jeremy Payne but I'm not sure -- picked up the error and let me in on it. Now I have a PS "action" on Ctl-F4 that makes the conversion for sure.

Yep. I was thinking about my darkroom last night. I used to love working in it, though cleaning up afterward always seemed a pain in the posterior. But I'd never go back. As Richard Benson pointed out in the current Lens Work, we've reached the point where if you do it right, with the right materials, a digital print can blow away any of the chemical-process prints. And it just keeps getting better and better."




Thanks, Russ, I shall  make files in sRGB, then work on them like that prior to making them web-friendly. However, once turned into sRGB, does that mean that save to Web can't be used as it would imply a double conversion and mess it all up? Is the route then: convert to sRGB; retouch; convert to JPEG; and then Save or, should the route be: convert to sRGB; retouch; Save to Web and let Save to Web do the JPEG conversion for me?

On wet printing: I have always loved WSG D-weight papers, glazed as highly as possible, because that seems to produce the richest tones imaginable. I hated matt prints and hardly ever had to produce them - they looked dead.

With digital, I find I have to use matt because glossy inkjet papers always end up betraying a golden, burnished area somewhere or the other when used with pigment, which is my need with the HP B9180. I would rather use glossy, but I can't. So in some ways, for me, the progress is somewhat limited if only because of chemistry.

Rob C
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 11:33:51 AM by Rob C » Logged

RSL
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« Reply #13 on: September 28, 2009, 04:58:07 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Thanks, Russ, I shall  make files in sRGB, then work on them like that prior to making them web-friendly. However, once turned into sRGB, does that mean that save to Web can't be used as it would imply a double conversion and mess it all up? Is the route then: convert to sRGB; retouch; convert to JPEG; and then Save or, should the route be: convert to sRGB; retouch; Save to Web and let Save to Web do the JPEG conversion for me?

On wet printing: I have always loved WSG D-weight papers, glazed as highly as possible, because that seems to produce the richest tones imaginable. I hated matt prints and hardly ever had to produce them - they looked dead.

With digital, I find I have to use matt because glossy inkjet papers always end up betraying a golden, burnished area somewhere or the other when used with pigment, which is my need with the HP B9180. I would rather use glossy, but I can't. So in some ways, for me, the progress is somewhat limited if only because of chemistry.

Rob C

Rob, I always work with files in .psd format right up to the point where I convert to .jpeg. The trouble with .jpeg is that every time you re-save the file you lose more information. With .psd or .tiff you don't. I also like to work in 16 bit ProPhoto rgb which can handle all possible colors. As Bruce Fraser used to say, "If ProPhoto can't handle a color the color isn't in the visible spectrum." I stay in .psd and ProPhoto right up to the point where I convert to sRGB, then save in .jpeg. But I never save over an original. When I come back from a shoot, the first thing I do is unload the camera and dump everything to a DVD -- before I even cull. Then I do some culling, convert my Nikon .NEF files to .DNG (digital negative), and put my copyright information on the lot. Finally, I do my preliminary sharpening and color balancing, etc., in Camera Raw, and title the results with sequential numbers. Then I save the remaining batch to at least two external drives. I do all that before I start working in Photoshop itself for prints. I may wait days before I come back and decide what I'm going to print. Of course, I'm not doing weddings or commercial work, so I'm working for myself and I can afford to wait.

I always liked matte or semi-matte finishes, though I also used to work with high gloss. I suspect the difference is in the kinds of things we were photographing. You're right. So far, digital hasn't come up with a glossy surface that can equal what used to be available for wet processing. With glossy you often get the kind of bronzing you're talking about, as well as metamerism, which makes colors change in different light. Outfits like Epson are working on that, and I'd not be surprised to find a true solution before long. With my Epson printers I've seen less and less bronzing and metamerism as time goes on.
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