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Author Topic: What is Landscape Photography?  (Read 11272 times)
RFPhotography
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« Reply #20 on: November 30, 2011, 04:54:40 PM »
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We may be splitting hairs a bit, Rob or we may be coming at it from entirely different perspectives.  I'm not really sure.

I'll deign to disagree on the sole motivation of the commercial photographer.  When I said the motivation of the commercial photographer is obvious what I was referring to was that the commercial photographer needs to shoot to make a living.  No shooting, no income.  To that end, I don't think that it's just the artistic ability or vision of the photographer that makes the end product what it is.  Rather the opposite in a lot of cases.  The photographer may play a part but in the end, it's the client's vision that needs satisfying.  There's a good deal of compromise going on and the photographer who refuses to compromise, who refuses to accede to the needs/desires of others at least in part, who is, in other words, the classical 'diva artiste' won't be working very long.  I disagree as well that the artistic side of photography is all there is that makes it worthwhile.  Purely documentary photography isn't overly artistic but it can still be very worthwhile.  And necessary.  Forensic photography, for example. 

When I was talking about the 'artistic side' of photography I was talking about that aspect of photography where, other than a buyer of prints, no one has to be pleased but the photographer.  And most artists (photographers included) who practice that form of an art don't do it with the explicit intent of pleasing anyone else.  They do it because it pleases them and then hope that it may please others as well.  Or can convince others that they should be pleased by it. 
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Rob C
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« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2011, 02:46:52 AM »
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We may be splitting hairs a bit, Rob or we may be coming at it from entirely different perspectives.  I'm not really sure.

I'll deign to disagree on the sole motivation of the commercial photographer.  When I said the motivation of the commercial photographer is obvious what I was referring to was that the commercial photographer needs to shoot to make a living.  No shooting, no income.  To that end, I don't think that it's just the artistic ability or vision of the photographer that makes the end product what it is.  Rather the opposite in a lot of cases.  The photographer may play a part but in the end, it's the client's vision that needs satisfying.  There's a good deal of compromise going on and the photographer who refuses to compromise, who refuses to accede to the needs/desires of others at least in part, who is, in other words, the classical 'diva artiste' won't be working very long.  I disagree as well that the artistic side of photography is all there is that makes it worthwhile.  Purely documentary photography isn't overly artistic but it can still be very worthwhile.  And necessary.  Forensic photography, for example. 

When I was talking about the 'artistic side' of photography I was talking about that aspect of photography where, other than a buyer of prints, no one has to be pleased but the photographer.  And most artists (photographers included) who practice that form of an art don't do it with the explicit intent of pleasing anyone else.  They do it because it pleases them and then hope that it may please others as well.  Or can convince others that they should be pleased by it. 



Whittled down, then, you are admitting that such statements are really impossible to justify without so many caveats and exclusions that they become pretty meaningless - much as are any definition of what constitutes 'art' in the first place?

Rob C
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2011, 07:07:12 AM »
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I'm not 'admitting' anything.  That's what I said from the start.  Hence my 'screw definitions, make photographs' remark. 
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Rob C
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« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2011, 09:56:17 AM »
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I'm not 'admitting' anything.  That's what I said from the start.  Hence my 'screw definitions, make photographs' remark. 



Hey, Bob! Whatever you like.

This illustrates the sort of 'discussion', the closed loops, that drove me away from here a few months ago...

Rob C
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2011, 10:26:00 AM »
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Well, I'm not trying to offend you Rob.  Clearly, I don't understand what you're saying.  I actually don't think there's a great difference between our viewpoints.  Apparently you do and I'm not understanding it.  I don't understand what you mean by referring to this as a closed loop discussion.  If you're prepared to try to explain it so that I can understand that would be fine.  Perhaps I've not made myself clear enough.  If so, tell me where and I'll try to explain. 
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Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2011, 02:54:51 PM »
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Bob

1.   “I'll deign to disagree on the sole motivation of the commercial photographer.”

2.    “Putting aside commercial photography where the reason to produce is clear; when talking about the artistic side of photography the reason to produce has to come from within doesn't it?  And not from some external definition.”



Okay, I’ll try to spell it out again.

Take your statement in 1: I do trust you understand the meaning of deign? Hardly a pleasant way to begin to address a reply to anyone; no wonder hackles rise.

On to point 2, then: you are clearly implying that commercial photography is exclusively about money and, by your sentence, further imply that it must therefore be devoid of artistic merit or motivation. This is patently not the case, at least not with any successful pro snappers I have known. Frankly, photography must be one of the most difficult routes to money one could imagine. There has to be something pretty damned basic and visceral to make a person try to earn their living with it. And that drive, that need? Obviously, that has to be the need to express an artistic nature, to make it one’s life. Artistic desire must be the basis for the wish to be a professional photographer – what else does it generally offer if not the hope of that?

I don’t really see the difficulty in understanding this.

Closed loops? Simply that in some ‘conversations’ things get repeated over and over again, either in exactly the same form or with a choice of different words with an identical overall meaning. In essence, I sometimes find myself obliged to answer the same thing again but in a different way; that must be as tiresome for the reader as for the writer, hence the recent retreat from the scene.

However, I’m perfectly willing to accept it’s two sides of a similar coin…

Rob C
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #26 on: December 01, 2011, 03:24:52 PM »
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I do understand the meaning of the word deign and it can be negative but it's not absolutely negative.  It means 'to deem worthy'.  It's often connoted with condescend which also has negative meaning but, again, isn't absolutely negative.  It can also mean to yield.  Granted, neither of those definitions are as common today but still valid.  I intended no offense and apologise for causing any.

On point 2, I guess we just disagree.  I see your point.  I understand it.  I just don't agree with it.  I'm not saying making a living at photography is easy.  Christ I wish it were!  I'm not saying there is no artistic aspect to commercial photography.  I'm just saying it's not all about the artistic vision of the photographer and that in some aspects of commercial photography it's not about artistic vision at all.  Thus the forensic photography example.  I'm not sure anyone can claim there's any artistic vision or process in that line of work.  Maybe that wasn't the best example.  Is photojournalism a better example?  While the photographer can influence the impression a photo gives based on how the image is framed, camera settings, etc. it's not all about artistic vision.  Sometimes there simply isn't time to make those decisions and the image is what it is.  I can't think of a better example off the top of my head.  Perhaps my initial statement was too firm.  I tried to clarify it in the follow up guess it wasn't successful.  Maybe this will come at it better.  I know commercial photographers who do fine art work as well as a 'sideline'.  They do it because it allows them complete artistic freedom that they don't have in their commercial work; where they may be constrained by client needs/wants, environmental impediments, logistical impediments, whatever. 

But let's put that aside.  Where there is an artistic aspect to the endeavour, the motivation has to come from within and not from some external definition.  Does that explain it better?
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Rob C
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« Reply #27 on: December 02, 2011, 03:25:32 AM »
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"I do understand the meaning of the word deign and it can be negative but it's not absolutely negative.  It means 'to deem worthy'.  It's often connoted with condescend which also has negative meaning but, again, isn't absolutely negative.  It can also mean to yield.  Granted, neither of those definitions are as common today but still valid.  I intended no offense and apologise for causing any.
"
 

"Where there is an artistic aspect to the endeavour, the motivation has to come from within and not from some external definition.  Does that explain it better?"


Bob

The first quotation reminds me of the movie What's New, Pussycat where Peter O'Toole is trying it on with Paula Prentiss in Paris. She informs him that she's a semi-virgin, and when he asks her what the hell is that, she tells him that in Paris she's a virgin, but at home (the States) she's not. Neat evasion on her part. Apology more than accepted - no grudge remains!

The second quotation, stripped to that, is something with which I totally agree, so again, we are cool.

;-)

Rob C
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #28 on: December 02, 2011, 08:42:50 AM »
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Bob

1.   “I'll deign to disagree on the sole motivation of the commercial photographer.”

2.    “Putting aside commercial photography where the reason to produce is clear; when talking about the artistic side of photography the reason to produce has to come from within doesn't it?  And not from some external definition.”



Okay, I’ll try to spell it out again.

Take your statement in 1: I do trust you understand the meaning of deign? Hardly a pleasant way to begin to address a reply to anyone; no wonder hackles rise.

On to point 2, then: you are clearly implying that commercial photography is exclusively about money and, by your sentence, further imply that it must therefore be devoid of artistic merit or motivation. This is patently not the case, at least not with any successful pro snappers I have known. Frankly, photography must be one of the most difficult routes to money one could imagine. There has to be something pretty damned basic and visceral to make a person try to earn their living with it. And that drive, that need? Obviously, that has to be the need to express an artistic nature, to make it one’s life. Artistic desire must be the basis for the wish to be a professional photographer – what else does it generally offer if not the hope of that?

I don’t really see the difficulty in understanding this.

Closed loops? Simply that in some ‘conversations’ things get repeated over and over again, either in exactly the same form or with a choice of different words with an identical overall meaning. In essence, I sometimes find myself obliged to answer the same thing again but in a different way; that must be as tiresome for the reader as for the writer, hence the recent retreat from the scene.

However, I’m perfectly willing to accept it’s two sides of a similar coin…

Rob C







Gosh, how I've missed you Rob.
Russ is so much more regimented than thee
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RSL
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« Reply #29 on: December 02, 2011, 09:34:46 AM »
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Hut.. hut.. hut..
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Rob C
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« Reply #30 on: December 02, 2011, 12:56:33 PM »
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Gosh, how I've missed you Rob.
Russ is so much more regimented than thee



Ah Rocco, he has a better-educated mind. Worse, he can understand software-writing!

;-)

Rob C
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mediumcool
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« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2011, 03:08:18 AM »
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As with the definition of "Art," I believe the definitions of genres like "Landscape" need to be very fuzzy at the edge, because these names are intellectual constructs and the images we make or find don't always fit neatly into rigid definitional boxes. So, IMHO, "Landscape" is in the eye of the beholder.

Eric

+1. Why define things into smaller and smaller boxes? Waste of creative effort.
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