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Author Topic: The Plantation at New Mills  (Read 8126 times)
stamper
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« Reply #20 on: May 24, 2011, 04:02:28 AM »
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But that's you, a Pavlovian reaction that anything connected to that memory will inspire.

Woof, woof!

Rob C

Now I know that you are barking mad. Smiley Grin


>But stamper, this doesn't apply in the direction you make it.

The argument about landscape photography and painting is distinct; it's based on the notion that painting demands creativity from the painter because he starts from nothing whereas photography simply demands ownership of a machine and being there, skill a given with both.<

It is this distinction that I think is different enough that there isn't a connection - at least in my mind - between photography and paintings. Personally paintings don't do much for me mostly because as you pointed out they are created, some from photographs ironically. As to the Trossachs I have only seen them from a bus - don't drive - and that was going over the Duke's pass to Callendar.
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Rob C
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« Reply #21 on: May 24, 2011, 09:11:50 AM »
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Now I know that you are barking mad. Smiley Grin


>But stamper, this doesn't apply in the direction you make it.

The argument about landscape photography and painting is distinct; it's based on the notion that painting demands creativity from the painter because he starts from nothing whereas photography simply demands ownership of a machine and being there, skill a given with both.<

It is this distinction that I think is different enough that there isn't a connection - at least in my mind - between photography and paintings. Personally paintings don't do much for me mostly because as you pointed out they are created, some from photographs ironically. As to the Trossachs I have only seen them from a bus - don't drive - and that was going over the Duke's pass to Callendar.


Barking mad, all right, but that's because we only went to the Trossachs when it rained. Then, you could park in the very few lay-bys that existed in those days and have a cosy picnic in the car, watching the rain sweep across the screen, exactly as, years later, we were to do sitting in La Roque-Gageac carpark, the storm bounce off the rising Dordogne. Boy, do those French get floods there! No wonder they are so much into duck.

Rob C
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #22 on: May 24, 2011, 09:41:48 AM »
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Given the choice between reading that again or looking at John's picture again, I know which I'd rather do.
+100!

I think Russ and Rob have both made it clear that
1.    Landscape photographs leave them cold, and
2.    Anybody who responds positively to landscape photographs is guilty of Wrong Thinking.  Cheesy

Eric
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Rob C
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« Reply #23 on: May 24, 2011, 04:58:56 PM »
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+100!

I think Russ and Rob have both made it clear that
1.    Landscape photographs leave them cold, and
2.    Anybody who responds positively to landscape photographs is guilty of Wrong Thinking.  CheesyEric



Oh dear, such unwarranted interpretation of position! The only question I pose is whether it's art... simple, non?

I, personally, often feel positive towards such photographs, have even bought monographs; I just don't think it creative and, by that token, not art in my sense of art being a creative entity. My reasons for buying were twofold: first, at a time when I still thought landscape a good stock idea it was research; secondly, as I was doing a lot of travelling, it helped get a sense of the places before I got there, yet further research. Basically, for me, it represented geographical information and not a lot more. I already knew about filters and films and formats and lenses...

Rob C

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RSL
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« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2011, 08:52:37 PM »
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+100!

I think Russ and Rob have both made it clear that
1.    Landscape photographs leave them cold, and
2.    Anybody who responds positively to landscape photographs is guilty of Wrong Thinking.  Cheesy

Eric

Eric, I'm not sure how you arrived at such a broad generalization on the basis of a specific criticism of a specific pair of photographs, but, to say the least, it's quite a jump.

Landscape photographs don't "leave me cold." I've seen Josh do some color work in landscape that's right up there near what a painter could do. But it would be accurate to say that most landscape photographs leave me cold, mainly because they're strictly "so what" photographs.

There's very little you can do to a photograph that will result in the kind of emotional interpretation a really good painter can produce. That may seem as if I'm knocking photography, but you have to remember that I'm a photographer, so it would seem at least somewhat unreasonable to assume I'm knocking my own art. The fact is that photography is an art form that's best applied to certain genres, among which we don't find landscape. As the professor I quoted pointed out: in the raw, most landscapes are completely banal and boring. And once you level your camera at them and shoot, their straight photographic images remain banal and boring. If you're Ansel Adams you may be able to remove some of the banality and make the result less boring. But it would be interesting to see a comparison between Ansel's "Monolith," and an interpretation of the same scene by, say, Turner. I think that had Turner painted the same scene, Ansel's photograph would, by now, have been relegated at least to a footnote, if not to the round file.

If you want to see what I consider photography's proper function as an art form, take a look at The Americans. Since you're a photographer I have no doubt you're familiar with the book. This is a genre where painting can't begin to compete with photography. I could go on, but this isn't the place to argue the point. If you want, we can start another thread for that discussion.

It's not "wrong" thinking, Eric. A better description would be "soft" thinking. And even then you have to be selective.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 07:00:22 AM by RSL » Logged

popnfresh
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« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2011, 04:50:06 PM »
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If you're Ansel Adams you may be able to remove some of the banality and make the result less boring. But it would be interesting to see a comparison between Ansel's "Monolith," and an interpretation of the same scene by, say, Turner. I think that had Turner painted the same scene, Ansel's photograph would, by now, have been relegated at least to a footnote, if not to the round file.
There I have to step in and take exception to that statement. You're really comparing apples and oranges. Photography and painting are different mediums and owe their narrative power to different things. One doesn't diminish the other. Many fine artists have painted Yosemite Valley and yet Adams' photographs remain as impressive as ever. And although landscape painting and landscape photography are both art forms that derive from observation of the world, painting is by its nature wholly interpretive, while photography is both a record of the world and an interpretation of it. It is the interplay of its observational and interpretive aspects that gives photography its unique power in the hands of a master.
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RSL
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« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2011, 05:29:22 PM »
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Pop, I wouldn't begin to claim that photography and painting aren't different media and owe their narrative power to different things. That's exactly why well-done genre photographs usually are better than genre paintings. Yes, Adams's photographs remain impressive -- as photographs. Whether or not paintings by "many fine artists" can be compared with Adams's photographs is another question, but since I don't know which painters you have in mind I can't comment on that.

But, yes, painting is wholly interpretive, which is why it can be so powerful given the right subjects. Landscape, especially landscape that includes the hand of man, is one of those "right" subjects. But it's very hard to do "interpretation" in photographs. Ansel probably did more "interpretation" than any other landscape photographer, and his landscape photographs stand out compared with other landscape photographs. But narrative photography is iconic. It's almost impossible to do effective allegory with a photograph, and that's what's so wonderful about Bierstadt's painting: "Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California." The painting is allegorical. It cuts through the banality of what would be a normal, iconic scene (a photograph) and sums up the shock and wonder of the early settlers first glimpses of these incredible mountains. No photograph could come close to doing the same thing.
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popnfresh
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« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2011, 07:28:04 PM »
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Pop, I wouldn't begin to claim that photography and painting aren't different media and owe their narrative power to different things. That's exactly why well-done genre photographs usually are better than genre paintings. Yes, Adams's photographs remain impressive -- as photographs. Whether or not paintings by "many fine artists" can be compared with Adams's photographs is another question, but since I don't know which painters you have in mind I can't comment on that.

Again, I don't think you can compare the two mediums qualitatively. It's like saying you can compare a thoroughbred racehorse to a Ferrari. They're fundamentally different animals even though there is significant overlap in the sense that they're both modes of transportation. Both will get you where you need to go. But neither diminishes the other by being good at what it does.

As for landscape painters of note that have painted Yosemite valley, Albert Bierstadt is probably the most highly regarded. Some of his work is quite lovely. A much more modern painter, John Marin, has done a few.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2011, 08:20:37 PM »
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There I have to step in and take exception to that statement. You're really comparing apples and oranges. Photography and painting are different mediums and owe their narrative power to different things. One doesn't diminish the other. Many fine artists have painted Yosemite Valley and yet Adams' photographs remain as impressive as ever. And although landscape painting and landscape photography are both art forms that derive from observation of the world, painting is by its nature wholly interpretive, while photography is both a record of the world and an interpretation of it. It is the interplay of its observational and interpretive aspects that gives photography its unique power in the hands of a master.
Well said. I admit I get tired of hearing these arguments that landscape paintings as a class are better (or more inspiring or whatever) than landscape photographs as a class. They are indeed different media and serve different purposes.

I do suspect that both Russ and Rob take a fairly narrow view of photography and are both missing something, just as they probably suspect that I am missing something.

I agree with them that some landscapes (painting or photograph) are more effective with a human element in them, but others are not. I don't think Ansel's Monolith would be improved by sticking a person in the foreground just to give it scale. And yes, Robert Frank's work is wonderful, too.

Eric
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RSL
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« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2011, 08:21:26 PM »
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Pop, It seems to me that context has a lot to do with whether or not you can compare a racehorse to a Ferrari. If you look at them as a means of transportation, in most cases the Ferrari wins hands down. If you look at them from the standpoint of physical beauty the racehorse probably wins hands down. I don't think you can say categorically that you can't make such a comparison. You have to specify a context before the statement makes any sense at all.

So, if we specify the context, maybe we can agree. I'd certainly agree that Ansel's photographs of Yosemite are more iconic than Albert's paintings. So, if I wanted to say to someone, "This is what Yosemite looks like (in black and white)," I'd lean toward Ansel. But if I wanted an allegorical approach that would convey the real beauty of the place I'd put my money on Albert.

Unfortunately, perhaps, I'm not familiar with Marin's Yosemite paintings.
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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: May 26, 2011, 03:47:48 AM »
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Horses and cars. Unfortunately, I think we have not only drifted away from the main topic which I take to be (possibly incorrectly) about whether photographic landscape is creative or not, but we have slipped into selecting two of the most erratic and unreliable sorts of exotica with which to make comparisons!

Regarding St Ansel's mountains: without doubt, great photographic works, but that's where the 'greatness' of his, and all other such snappers' work ends: within the context of photography. The moment one puts photographs and paintings (both by accomplished practitioners) alongside one another, the problems for photography begin to be very plain. It's also difficult if not impossible to hang colour and b/w photographs alongside one another without discrediting either one or the other.

There certainly are genres where photography wins hands down, such as comment on the passing show that is life (see Jennifer's delicious work), but I can't see landscape as being amongst the candidates for glory.

Sadly, the more I ponder the matter, and I have had to quite a lot of late, the more I am convinced that landcape is best served as stock material for travel brochures and magazines (not a put-down), and that its popularity is probably largely due to the lack of alternative photographic opportunity many of us face. We have the urge without having the outlets for something more meaningful.

Again, this is not meant as attack but as observation and personal opinion. As Eric writes - I could well be the one missing something.

Rob C 
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stamper
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« Reply #31 on: May 26, 2011, 04:13:05 AM »
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Quote

The moment one puts photographs and paintings (both by accomplished practitioners) alongside one another, the problems for photography begin to be very plain.

Unquote

Then stop comparing them. Personally I don't, therefore I don't have a problem. Grin

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #32 on: May 26, 2011, 09:49:10 AM »
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Quote

The moment one puts photographs and paintings (both by accomplished practitioners) alongside one another, the problems for photography begin to be very plain.

Unquote

Then stop comparing them. Personally I don't, therefore I don't have a problem. Grin


+10!

Thank you for saying that, Stamper!

Now could we perhaps start a discussion comparing etchings with YouTube videos???   Roll Eyes

Eric
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Rob C
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« Reply #33 on: May 27, 2011, 10:51:48 AM »
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+10!

Thank you for saying that, Stamper!

Now could we perhaps start a discussion comparing etchings with YouTube videos???   Roll Eyes

Eric




Well, I've heard of the line: would you like to come home with me and see my etchings...?

Doubt that youtube would ring the same chimes; after all, she could probably do that herself, in her own place.

Rob C
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #34 on: May 27, 2011, 11:48:36 AM »
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The first shot is a good one. It evokes a sense of place, is compositionally interesting & well exposed. The second one is well exposed. That's all I can honestly say about number two. It evokes no positive response in me. Aesthetically, it leaves me cold. But the first one is a good one.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #35 on: May 27, 2011, 12:21:25 PM »
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The second one was posted, as John clearly indicated in one of his earlier responses, for information only. The first is a fine landscape, and I enjoy coming back to it often.

Eric
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Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: May 27, 2011, 02:47:15 PM »
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Quote

The moment one puts photographs and paintings (both by accomplished practitioners) alongside one another, the problems for photography begin to be very plain.

Unquote

Then stop comparing them. Personally I don't, therefore I don't have a problem. Grin






That's what the ostrich said!

Rob C
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #37 on: May 27, 2011, 03:51:24 PM »
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That's what the ostrich said!

Rob C

[rant]I am disappointed that this thread got hijacked into another discussion of X vs. Y, which has nothing to do with the original post, which showed a pair of images in the critique section, thus inviting comments from those that might have something constructive to suggest to John about his images.

I wish to apologize to John and all other LuLa readers for getting caught up in this irrelevant debate myself.

If some of you wish to debate further the relative merits of painting vs. photography, Canon vs. Nikon, DSLR vs. MFDB, street photography vs. studio photography, portraits vs. macro photos of insects, or how many photons can fit on the head of a pin, please start threads of your own, preferably in the Coffee Corner section, and not in the Critiques section. Let's please do our best to keep comments in the Critiques section relevant to the original post.[/rant]

Eric
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William Walker
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« Reply #38 on: May 28, 2011, 12:57:32 AM »
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[rant]this irrelevant debate myself.

Eric

Eric, I am not questioning your statement regarding the thread being hijacked, I am also not necessarily agreeing with you on that one. This debate has caused me , in the last few days, to really question what I am trying to do with my photography, trying to understand other points-of-view, and so-on.

I was thinking of making post along these lines because I have enjoyed this debate, but was not sure where to post it!

It seems that John's posts often become "involved" and I think that that is a good thing. I am learning new things every day, not only about art and photography, but also about people.

Perhaps this should be moved elsewhere if John is worried about this one being hi-jacked. I am keen to hear more...

William
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Rob C
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« Reply #39 on: May 28, 2011, 02:29:42 AM »
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That's the beauty of this place, of LuLa as a whole: one thing leads to another and vision, of all kinds, gets broadened.

At the end of the day, what and how much can you say about any picture? That's why it usually ends up with anodyne inanities like: +1! or Me too! or even I love it! The alternative is gallery-speak. To which those who revel in crap are welcome.

If this 'stolen' thread has helped even one person think outside the confines of his mental cage, the I, personally, feel I've done something worthwhile with my time.

It's the only reason I have stuck with this site whilst abandoning everything else online into which I've looked for edification.

Rob C
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