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Author Topic: If art is goal does gear matter so much?  (Read 90336 times)
Vincen77o
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« Reply #100 on: February 14, 2012, 03:33:58 AM »
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My earlier answer re: cell-phones was a bit tongue in cheek, but I am using a G3, another micro 3/4 camera like the E-p1, and as Russ says, the images they produce are very usable.
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Tom Frerichs
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« Reply #101 on: February 14, 2012, 03:57:48 PM »
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Upon arriving back on home turf it occurred to me that to people from other continents, my home location of southern Ontario is exotic (I know, it seems a stretch!) ...


Where I live, I have the Colorado Rockies in my backyard, a locale visited by photographers year round. But I don't find them "exotic." For me, that category requires the following:
  • More than one day travel to get there
  • Different money
  • The people speak a different language or employ an unusual dialect

Now, Ontario certainly fits.  Of course, except for the money part, so does Texas.

On the whole, I think I'd rather visit Ontario.

Tom
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popnfresh
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« Reply #102 on: March 06, 2012, 06:03:36 PM »
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Being an artist means having complete control over your art to get the results you want. The better artist you are the more you know how the equipment affects the outcome. Of course the equipment is important. Everything is important. That doesn't mean one needs the latest or most expensive equipment. It means having the right equipment.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2012, 06:07:25 PM by popnfresh » Logged
Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #103 on: March 07, 2012, 03:02:00 AM »
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Being an artist means having complete control over your art to get the results you want. The better artist you are the more you know how the equipment affects the outcome. Of course the equipment is important. Everything is important. That doesn't mean one needs the latest or most expensive equipment. It means having the right equipment.

The idea of having control over your art is a complete illusion which results from an overestimated ego.
Though it is true, that craftmanship and control over the process plays an important role it is only half the truth.
This results from the fact, that the artists ego by itself is an illusion.

Why?

If we analyze why we do things the way we do, be it in art or elsewhere,
we quickly can come to the fact how strongly we are influenced and conditioned by our surroundings:
The people we meet, the education, the food we eat, the air we breath and, of course, the equipment we use and so on ...
So - basically we are simply nothing and everything in the same moment.
How can we talk of control in this situation?
We may have a feeling of control, a feeling of being an ego - "I and the others" - but -
looking at the chain of causes and consequences this all sort of vanishes and nothing solid remains.

Doing art on the basis of an error must necessarily lead to erraneous art.

So - I basically want to plead for an artistic consciousness which knows about not being in control while trying to reach control.
I personally believe this will produce better, less erraneous results, since one will easier find the point where the process is no longer about more control but something different - whatever it may be in the given situation.

Cheers
~Chris


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RSL
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« Reply #104 on: March 07, 2012, 09:39:08 AM »
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Interesting point, Christoph. I think photography, especially, is something the artist can't really control. You're always gambling. What you put on the board is your time, whatever mechanical skill you've developed, and, most important of all, your ability to see what's significant. You lose more often than you win; but when you win, sometimes you win big. The thing I'll never forget is the short film clip of Henri Cartier-Bresson in which he tells about shooting what's probably his most iconic picture: "Behind the Gare St. Lazare" (Derriere la Gare Saint-Lazare). He says that he shoved the camera's lens between boards to get the picture. The interviewer asks, "You couldn't see the man leaping?" Henri replies "non non." The interviewer says, "That was lucky." Henri replies: "It's always luck. It's luck that matters. You have to be receptive, that's all."

You can see the clip at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4qZ3Z8shZE&feature=related
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Rob C
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« Reply #105 on: March 07, 2012, 10:16:40 AM »
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And, of course, the harder you work the luckier you become!

Rob C
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #106 on: March 08, 2012, 03:18:24 AM »
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The funny thing is, that neither a rule (as a means of control) nor the giving up of rules (as a means of giving up control) grabs the point, since either is just again another concept.
To really let illusion go means neither to glue to the rules nor to reject them.
Its something we can't really grab and keep as knowledge.
But practise creates improvement over time and yes, Rob - working hard (though not too hard) over a long time makes you lucky.
So - time to go out and shoot some stuff before it gets too esoteric ...
 Tongue
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DickPountain
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« Reply #107 on: March 10, 2012, 06:29:14 AM »
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Agree completely. To extend your point though, modern digital cameras make it far easier than in the past to take competent (ie well exposed and focussed, not great, pictures). So the control element becomes increasingly one of fighting the equipment - you need the camera that irritates you the least. I've found this out the hard way when after losing a modest but well loved-camera and replacing with a far superior one that made me take worse pictures. 
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popnfresh
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« Reply #108 on: March 28, 2012, 05:58:44 PM »
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Which is exactly why, even though my cell is on my belt, unless I'm lugging my D3 I carry a little E-p1 with a Leica auxiliary finder and a 25mm (50mm equivalent) DG Summilux lens on it wherever I go. I can print up to 17 x 22 with the raw files from that camera. Couldn't even begin to touch it with the cell.

Russ, clearly it's time for a new cell:  http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/27/nokia-808-pureview-first-sample-shots-feast-your-eyes/

 Wink Wink Wink
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popnfresh
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« Reply #109 on: March 29, 2012, 11:13:06 AM »
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The idea of having control over your art is a complete illusion which results from an overestimated ego.
Though it is true, that craftmanship and control over the process plays an important role it is only half the truth.
This results from the fact, that the artists ego by itself is an illusion.

Why?

If we analyze why we do things the way we do, be it in art or elsewhere,
we quickly can come to the fact how strongly we are influenced and conditioned by our surroundings:
The people we meet, the education, the food we eat, the air we breath and, of course, the equipment we use and so on ...
So - basically we are simply nothing and everything in the same moment.
How can we talk of control in this situation?
We may have a feeling of control, a feeling of being an ego - "I and the others" - but -
looking at the chain of causes and consequences this all sort of vanishes and nothing solid remains.

Doing art on the basis of an error must necessarily lead to erraneous art.

So - I basically want to plead for an artistic consciousness which knows about not being in control while trying to reach control.
I personally believe this will produce better, less erraneous results, since one will easier find the point where the process is no longer about more control but something different - whatever it may be in the given situation.

Complete nonsense.

Why?

Because having an ego is part of being human, that's why. Find me one living person without an ego, artist or not, and who isn't actually brain dead, and I'll give you my car.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 11:21:11 AM by popnfresh » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #110 on: March 29, 2012, 12:26:27 PM »
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Complete nonsense.

Why?

Because having an ego is part of being human, that's why. Find me one living person without an ego, artist or not, and who isn't actually brain dead, and I'll give you my car.


What kind of car are you offering? This seems too good to be true.

;-)

Rob C
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #111 on: March 29, 2012, 12:34:36 PM »
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Complete nonsense.

Why?

Because having an ego is part of being human, that's why. Find me one living person without an ego, artist or not, and who isn't actually brain dead, and I'll give you my car.

I guessed you would oppose that.

Fact is, the ego is a concept our brain believes in to keep functional.
We need a concept of ego to manage ourselves and our life.
But there is no ego isolated from the rest of the world.
Once you try to do that separation the ego might be a useful concept, but the concept - as useful as it is - brings an illusion with it.
Basically you cannot separate anything from the whole with concepts or words without inherently falling into this illusion - its a dilemma.
In daily life this usually does not play a role.
But under certain circumstances, when dealing with the most subtle human internal processes, like in art,  there is a difference how strong you believe in that concept of the ego or not, or if you are very much depending on it.
The funny thing is you need a strong ego to not become crazy giving up this concept -  which is possible, at least for short special moments.

But if you find this complete nonsense it won't harm anyone as well ... Wink

Cheers
~Chris
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popnfresh
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« Reply #112 on: March 29, 2012, 03:02:08 PM »
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I guessed you would oppose that.

Fact is, the ego is a concept our brain believes in to keep functional.
We need a concept of ego to manage ourselves and our life.
But there is no ego isolated from the rest of the world.
Once you try to do that separation the ego might be a useful concept, but the concept - as useful as it is - brings an illusion with it.
Basically you cannot separate anything from the whole with concepts or words without inherently falling into this illusion - its a dilemma.
In daily life this usually does not play a role.
But under certain circumstances, when dealing with the most subtle human internal processes, like in art,  there is a difference how strong you believe in that concept of the ego or not, or if you are very much depending on it.
The funny thing is you need a strong ego to not become crazy giving up this concept -  which is possible, at least for short special moments.

But if you find this complete nonsense it won't harm anyone as well ... Wink

Cheers
~Chris

You're making a ton of assumptions here. First, you assume that the human ego is a concept and therefore it's an illusion. In fact, there's nothing you can point to as proof that the ego is merely an illusion for the simple fact that no one has ever functioned without one. It's impossible. You wouldn't bother to get out of bed in the morning or feed yourself or find a job without an ego. To suppose that it's an illusion without evidence to support that assertion makes no sense.

Next you assume that the ego is somehow antithetical to artistic endeavor because the ego separates us from the world. That too is an unsupportable argument. The ego was created by the world as part of us. We, along with our egos, are part of this world. It's not keeping us from appreciating the world in some mystical way.

I would accept that during the act of artistic creation one can feel more connected with the world around them. But even so, why pick on the ego? One can make great art and have a perfectly functioning ego at the same time. In fact, you wouldn't be able to make any art, good or bad, without one.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 03:03:55 PM by popnfresh » Logged
Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #113 on: March 29, 2012, 03:31:25 PM »
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You're making a ton of assumptions here. First, you assume that the human ego is a concept and therefore it's an illusion. In fact, there's nothing you can point to as proof that the ego is merely an illusion for the simple fact that no one has ever functioned without one. It's impossible. You wouldn't bother to get out of bed in the morning or feed yourself or find a job without an ego. To suppose that it's an illusion without evidence to support that assertion makes no sense.

Next you assume that the ego is somehow antithetical to artistic endeavor because the ego separates us from the world. That too is an unsupportable argument. The ego was created by the world as part of us. We, along with our egos, are part of this world. It's not keeping us from appreciating the world in some mystical way.

I would accept that during the act of artistic creation one can feel more connected with the world around them. But even so, why pick on the ego? One can make great art and have a perfectly functioning ego at the same time. In fact, you wouldn't be able to make any art, good or bad, without one.

You are messing up words with reality, which actually easily happens in this kind of debate.
And we come to a fundamental problem here - we are trying to express something with words and symbols, but the use of words and symbols restricts us to the meaning of these words which is restricted again.
If we talk of "ego" or "my ego / myself" we have something in mind which is a symbolic abstraction as well.
We often tend to be glued to this abstraction or concept as I'd call it.
Of course we have an ego, no sane person could deny that.
But the words we use to describe it and the way we think about it is not the whole truth of what is behind this thing we try to capture with the word ego.
So - this is about the truth behind the words so to say and about an attitude which accepts that there is something beyond our capabilities of symbolization and world reproduction inside our brain.
The problem is not, that there is something which we name ego and which makes sense to be named.
The problem is our concepts of it, the idea of "I" in the whole process.
The most complicated this becomes in the current discussion on intellectual property.
Basically we need some kind of concept of model for this because artists need to feed their kids too.
But from a more absolute point of view the idea is complete rubbish, like the idea of an ego.

My idea here basically is to point to another aspect of reality and our relation to it,
which evades concepts and ideas, and which can help us in the artistic process.

One result of this could be to find the right moment to stop bothering about gear or perfection or
ego or success or control or whatever, because something different appears to be more important (which is different in every case).

The idea of an "ego" who is "controlling" the process and being the "master" of the work is such a thing too which can easily become a burden if you want to accomplish something which has more substance then a sorry effort.

ADDENDUM:
Reviewing this again after posting I think I should point out that this is not about some crazy or esoteric ideas - its about our relation to our concepts and ideas of ourselves, the artistic process and the world as a whole.
Its just good to step back at times and release the controlling grip of our mind and hands from our art, our ideas about other people or anything else and just let something happen.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 03:38:48 PM by Christoph C. Feldhaim » Logged

popnfresh
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« Reply #114 on: March 29, 2012, 03:50:11 PM »
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The idea of an "ego" who is "controlling" the process and being the "master" of the work is such a thing too which can easily become a burden if you want to accomplish something which has more substance then a sorry effort.

ADDENDUM:
Reviewing this again after posting I think I should point out that this is not about some crazy or esoteric ideas - its about our relation to our concepts and ideas of ourselves, the artistic process and the world as a whole.
Its just good to step back at times and release the controlling grip of our mind and hands from our art, our ideas about other people or anything else and just let something happen.
Art is not a random event and art does not create itself. It requires someone to create it and in the process of creation they are controlling many things. In your own photography, for example, you have demonstrated a high level of control. You have looked at a scene and made it into art. It didn't "just happen". Your mind made it happen.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #115 on: March 29, 2012, 04:03:05 PM »
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Art is not a random event and art does not create itself. It requires someone to create it and in the process of creation they are controlling many things. In your own photography, for example, you have demonstrated a high level of control. You have looked at a scene and made it into art. It didn't "just happen". Your mind made it happen.

In the act there is no I.
To me it is a clear difference in which state of mind I try to take, postprocess and print a picture.
Again: Of course I don't die literally in the act - but my ideas die in the act and something different happens at some point.
And giving up concepts is not random at all.
It is hard work and takes a lot of faith and bravery.
This is no contradiction to the fact, that I try to improve hard, even in terms of control - 
as Charlie Parker already said: "Learn everything, then forget it all, and play!"
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popnfresh
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« Reply #116 on: March 29, 2012, 05:13:40 PM »
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In the act there is no I.

Prove it.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #117 on: March 30, 2012, 01:56:37 AM »
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Prove it.

I think it doesn't make sense to attempt to prove an experience.
How should I prove the smell of a rose to an Inuit?
I think exchanging positions and experience in a civilized manner is enough in the context of this forum.
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kencameron
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« Reply #118 on: March 30, 2012, 02:02:19 AM »
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I think it doesn't make sense to attempt to prove an experience.
How should I prove the smell of a rose to an Inuit?

Isn't that exactly what zen masters ask of their students? Prove it! Show it to me, now! Without concepts! Maybe p&f is setting a koan for you  Wink
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 04:04:11 AM by kencameron » Logged

Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #119 on: March 30, 2012, 03:58:43 AM »
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Isn't that exactly what zen masters ask of their students? Prove it! Show it to me, now! Without concepts! Maybe skip p&f is setting a koan for you  Wink

It is not possible to replicate the character of a Zen teaching within an internet forum.
There is a limit.
Its just that simple.
If you wan't to understand Zen then sit and seek for a Zen master.
But trying to pull that kind of stuff into an internet forum is just vanity or delusion.

Though what I wrote has some sort of influence from and intersection with Zen, which I can't and don't want to deny, it is basically my view on the fundaments of the artistic process.

So - lets just keep it at that and not mess up things.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 04:02:36 AM by Christoph C. Feldhaim » Logged

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