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Author Topic: Can one photograph change your opinion about a photographer?  (Read 8488 times)
tom b
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« on: October 24, 2010, 11:35:27 PM »
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I first saw August Sander's work around 30 years ago at the Australian Centre for Photography. I found his work to be very formal and old fashioned and didn't think about him until about five years ago.

I was in a bookshop and I picked up a copy of his his book, August Sander, 1876-1964. In thirty years of looking at photography books it was the first time that I had turned around to a complete stranger and said, "look at this photo". The photo was the "korps-student from Nure", and a copy can be seen here:

http://aibartincontext.blogspot.com/2010/01/august-sander-gallery-kayafas.html

When I looked at the young student's face and the sword in his hand, the reality of his life hit me. What a powerful image.

I have returned to the book a number of times and have recently seen his work at the Art Gallery of NSW. I have changed my mind completely about him, what a great photographer.

Has a single image changed your mind about a photographer?

Cheers,
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tom b
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2010, 11:56:02 PM »
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Oh and a good description of Sander and his work can be found here:

http://www.americansuburbx.com/2008/01/theory-august-sander-mask-behind-face.html

Some videos, both in German, showing how he would have got the scars are are shown below. The second one is slower to get to the point but better quality:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXdzLFllfRI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ezQ38BnjG9Q&feature=related

Cheers,
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 07:46:53 PM by tom b » Logged

Joe Behar
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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2010, 08:41:52 AM »
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Has a single image changed your mind about a photographer?

No
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Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2010, 12:52:07 PM »
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No




-1

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2010, 01:06:27 PM »
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Tom, I don't remember a single photograph changing my mind about a photographer, but I've always found August Sander's work interesting. It's a lot like the work of Mike Disfarmer (http://www.disfarmer.com/gallery/). More than most photographers they both capture clear frames of time and place in their photographs.
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2010, 02:40:25 PM »
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... Has a single movie changed your mind about an actor? ...

When Nicholas Cage makes a good film, I'll let you know  Wink


Back to the OP. No.
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Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2010, 04:27:48 PM »
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When Nicholas Cage makes a good film, I'll let you know  Wink


Back to the OP. No.



Don't be miserable: Con Air was pretty cool.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2010, 04:30:36 PM »
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Has a single song changed your mind about a musician?
Has a single movie changed your mind about an actor?
Has a single haircut changed your mind about a girl?
Has a single sentence changed human's mind in history?


A single sentence in September, 1939 was pretty effective in doing just that.

Rob C
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tom b
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« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 05:09:03 PM »
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Tom, I don't remember a single photograph changing my mind about a photographer, but I've always found August Sander's work interesting. It's a lot like the work of Mike Disfarmer (http://www.disfarmer.com/gallery/). More than most photographers they both capture clear frames of time and place in their photographs.

I saw a documentary recently about Disfarmer. He's a quite interesting photographer.

Cheers,
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LKaven
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« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010, 10:42:11 PM »
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Sander looks more and more modern every day.  This kind of style of straight portraiture, where you say "stand there" to the subject and put him/her right in the center of the frame in a "here it is" kind of way, used to seem dated and staid.  And yet is has come around again in some very modern looking work.  This is what gives one new respect for Sander. 

Have a look, seriously, at some of Jamie Maxtone-Graham's recent work in the back streets of Hanoi at night.  Stirring.  And I really see the continuity.

http://www.jamiemaxtonegraham.com
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamagram/

I highly recommend seeing the very latest work on the Flickr site, where he keeps his weekly output.
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tom b
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« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2010, 05:38:52 PM »
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I'm surprised that there hasn't been comment about the photograph itself.

I found a description of how the student would have gotten the scars on his face on wikipedia here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mensur

Getting cracked on the bridge of your nose with a sword makes me cringe. Obviously LuLa patrons are made of sterner stuff than me.

Cheers,
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tom b
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« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2010, 09:15:46 PM »
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Or just to make it obvious, here's a public domain drawing of mensur.



Looks like a quick way to get the nickname scarface.

Cheers,
« Last Edit: October 31, 2010, 07:21:38 PM by tom b » Logged

Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2010, 01:52:44 PM »
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My heart sank just a little when I saw a Tom Till HDR photo...
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theBike45
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« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2011, 06:07:29 PM »
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I suppose it's possible to change on the basis of a single photo, but the one that impressed you I
can't stand.  The subject has a completely unnatural look. Very posed. Very self conscious.
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tom b
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« Reply #14 on: November 29, 2011, 12:33:01 AM »
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I saw an exhibition of Sander's work in the late seventies and I found his work formal, stiff and boring.

The next time was when I was at a bookshop and I was flipping through a Sander's book when I came across the photo of the cadet. I realised the social context of the image and I immediately showed it to the woman standing next to me. I have never done that before or since. The penny dropped with that image…

If you view Sander's work as straight portraiture then his work can be seen as formal, stiff and boring.

If you view his work as a "lifelong photographic project to document the people of his native Westerwald", then his portraits may still be formal and stiff but the social aspect of his images makes them very interesting.

It would be very interesting to do a similar project 100 years on and have side by side images of people in the same occupations.

Cheers,
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famalam
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2012, 04:50:57 PM »
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Dave Hill: I used to think he was a bit gimmicky. Talented for sure, but his style was a bit over-processed for my tastes. Then I saw his black and white film portraiture and it blew me a way. huge fan of his ever since.
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jalcocer
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2012, 05:28:39 PM »
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+1 for Con Air
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