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Author Topic: The Making of Belmonte Castle - A Tutorial  (Read 7856 times)
PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2011, 07:43:57 AM »
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I indirectly operated a gallery for a couple of years (owned the place, set up the environment but wasn't involved in the selection or sales of pieces). That was what I'd qualify as a "mid level" market, with the pieces selling between 5000-15000 EUR. Mostly paintings and sculpture. We tried to put a bit of photography as well, but it didn't work at all as I said a couple of years ago in another piece. What I learned from the galerist is that what mattered most for artists was a well defined style, long term commitment and reliable production. Talented artists who'd have existential questions and deeply change what they were doing every other year wouldn't be saleable/marketable. While the network did indeed matter (being introduced to the galerist for a trial by an established artists, getting press coverage) it didn't count if the artist wasn't planning to try hard in the same direction for the next 5-10 years at least. The galerist was an outstanding sales person: she would sell a painting, remember the house of the buyer (at that level, most sales are made to regular customers, no one walks in and picks up a 10.000 EUR painting) and suggest a second matching one for another location in the house. When an artist couldn't show up for the "vernissage", she would casually mention he wasn't feeling that well and that the paintings/sculptures could very well be the last he produced...  Smiley All this, great salesmanship, expenses flying the artists and the works in, customer database, customer reception, follow up, art fair attendance, etc... required a significant investment and she would never have invested in an artist that wasn't going to be consistently saleable in the long run. I guess that, to some extent, it is the same in photography at least as in terms of persistence and long term reliability of output.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2011, 08:17:13 AM »
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I indirectly operated a gallery for a couple of years (owned the place, set up the environment but wasn't involved in the selection or sales of pieces). That was what I'd qualify as a "mid level" market, with the pieces selling between 5000-15000 EUR. Mostly paintings and sculpture. We tried to put a bit of photography as well, but it didn't work at all as I said a couple of years ago in another piece. What I learned from the galerist is that what mattered most for artists was a well defined style, long term commitment and reliable production. Talented artists who'd have existential questions and deeply change what they were doing every other year wouldn't be saleable/marketable. While the network did indeed matter (being introduced to the galerist for a trial by an established artists, getting press coverage) it didn't count if the artist wasn't planning to try hard in the same direction for the next 5-10 years at least. The galerist was an outstanding sales person: she would sell a painting, remember the house of the buyer (at that level, most sales are made to regular customers, no one walks in and picks up a 10.000 EUR painting) and suggest a second matching one for another location in the house. When an artist couldn't show up for the "vernissage", she would casually mention he wasn't feeling that well and that the paintings/sculptures could very well be the last he produced...  Smiley All this, great salesmanship, expenses flying the artists and the works in, customer database, customer reception, follow up, art fair attendance, etc... required a significant investment and she would never have invested in an artist that wasn't going to be consistently saleable in the long run. I guess that, to some extent, it is the same in photography at least as in terms of persistence and long term reliability of output.

Exactly.
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feppe
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« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2011, 01:52:42 PM »
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It appears to me there is a certain pattern emerging in several recent discussions on these forums. Not sooner someone mentions a successful photographer (be it Andreas Gursky, Peter Lik or Peter Eastway), there is a knee-jerk reaction the likes of "kitsch, crass, crap, artifice, hype..." And it doesn't seem to matter if we are talking about modern, sometimes esoteric art (Gursky) or rather mass-popular (Lik) or somewhere in between (Eastway), the reactions seem the same.

And what is more disappointing (for me at least) is that those reactions are coming from fellow photographers that frequent the site called Luminous Landscape, but who would rather claim that "no landscape photograph is art or worth millions" than rejoice in the fact that landscape photography is so highly valued, even if it is only in monetary terms (and it is not). Why are we so trigger-happy to devalue any type of landscape photography that does not confirm to our own style, and especially so when it becomes much more successful than ours? In previous discussions I offered two possible explanations: sour grapes and ignorance, but they are perceived by some as insults, so I am open now for alternative explanations.

I gave a rather unflattering jugdment to the photo at the first viewing, wasn't impressed by the PS 101-level tutorial, and only found out that the photographer is somewhat known when reading this thread. My judgment didn't change.

I saw the Gursky snapshot you mentioned - probably a gorgeous print with lots of detail and a rather good composition. But just because somebody takes competent puppy shots with a Hassy doesn't make them an artist. Clearly art scholars who have actually studied these things see something in it, or at least a few individuals who have enough disposable income to spend an equivalent of a few tens of brand new Ferraris on it. So what the hell do I know?

I do understand why Lik sells well, just look at what's most popular on Flickr tells what the unwashed masses prefer. So what the hell do I know?

But there are no sour grapes. If you can sell your photos for five, six, seven figures and sleep soundly at night, great for you.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2011, 02:52:49 PM »
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... wasn't impressed by the PS 101-level tutorial...

Context matters. What is perceived today as PS 101 wasn't so only several years back. And we have Peter Eastway, among others, to thank for that. I first came across his tutorials several years ago, in the Rangefinder Magazine, and at that time they were quite a revelation (at least for me) in the sense of what is artistically (or "artistically," if you insist), possible with post-processing. Yes, there were millions of "how-to" PS articles along the way, but very, very few of those used photographic examples worth showing as end result.

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... I do understand why Lik sells well, just look at what's most popular on Flickr tells what the unwashed masses prefer...

Right... some examples of the "unwashed masses" in the attachment below. As an aside, I always knew America is a rich country, but even for me it comes as a surprise that its "unwashed masses" can afford between several thousands and up to a million dollars for art (or "art," if you insist)  Wink
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Slobodan

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« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2011, 06:50:13 AM »
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Thanks for the comments, good and bad. This was my first article on the site and so to a certain extent I am feeling my way as to what people would like to read about. There are already so many great contributors that I think I need to provide something a little different - so I will take a deep breath and post a few more photographs which use Photoshop to transform the image.

I am a strong believer that photography is a two step process - capture and interpretation (or post-production or whatever you would like to call it).  I realise not everyone thinks this way, and similarly I also admire the photographers whose skill is to 'capture in camera'. I like many different genres of photography, but I choose to capture and interpret.

Photography is a language and it can be used for many different purposes. Hopefully one day I can post a photograph everyone enjoys - but I doubt this will ever happen. As a group we have too many opinions - and isn't that fun!
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #25 on: November 26, 2011, 12:05:53 PM »
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Peter, welcome to the board!

Also, special thanks to Michael Reichmann for the opportunity to directly interact with you.

 
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Slobodan

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« Reply #26 on: November 26, 2011, 04:17:52 PM »
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I haven't seen the 'castle' shot and so am not making any comment about that at all.

However, I have been to galleries as viewer and have stood 'admiring' stuff whilst a gallery sales person near me has been making a pitch to a client. I can't believe the bullshit from the selling mouth would ever be offered to a person who actually knows anything about the photographic process and what makes it tick. To me, then a working pro, it was insulting - to say the very least! If you can, have a look at Jeanloup Sieffs eponymous, epic oeuvre from Taschen, finished just before he died; in it, despite the myriad shows the man had, you can read his own views on the gallerists in the original French... not flattering.

Whether to make it in the gallery world (if one wants to) one does or does not need to do all the things suggested in various posts here, I can't say; what I would say, though, is that I don't really see the sour grapes thing having a lot to do with it. Neither do I think that, in general, the photo-as-art market is mature enough (outwith the USA) to have had much of a history. I started off as a pro in  '60; nobody I knew had ever heard of photographs as art; some High Street outlets like Athena began to sell a few images, but they were at anything but gallery prices. By '66 I was in business for myself (advertising and fashion) and still hadn't the slightest idea that photography would become a money item as art. In '81 when I left the UK I sold off what negs and trannies clients wanted and destroyed most of the rest, keeping only a very few images to which I was personally committed for my own reasons. Had I thought that fashion pics would one day be valuable as art, I'd sure have clung on to what I had. Sadly, the 60s ain't comin' back no day soon, and all that stuff is gone forever from my files.

So, my point, really, is that I believe that only someone young today is going to be in a position to think of art photography as career. Or someone whose stuff was held (with luck) in Vogue, Harpers and Elle offices for many many years!

Rob C
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dreed
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« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2011, 01:42:46 AM »
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Thanks for the comments, good and bad. This was my first article on the site and so to a certain extent I am feeling my way as to what people would like to read about. There are already so many great contributors that I think I need to provide something a little different - so I will take a deep breath and post a few more photographs which use Photoshop to transform the image.

I am a strong believer that photography is a two step process - capture and interpretation (or post-production or whatever you would like to call it).  I realise not everyone thinks this way, and similarly I also admire the photographers whose skill is to 'capture in camera'. I like many different genres of photography, but I choose to capture and interpret.

Photography is a language and it can be used for many different purposes. Hopefully one day I can post a photograph everyone enjoys - but I doubt this will ever happen. As a group we have too many opinions - and isn't that fun!

Let me add that I think your article was very informative and educational, regardless of whether or not I like that particular style of photography because it shows me what's required to give a photograph a particular look. For those of us that are hobbyists, rather than professionals, and don't have 8 hour days to dedicate to discovering and developing technique, this sort of article is really eye opening.
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feppe
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« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2011, 04:44:34 AM »
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Let me add that I think your article was very informative and educational, regardless of whether or not I like that particular style of photography because it shows me what's required to give a photograph a particular look. For those of us that are hobbyists, rather than professionals, and don't have 8 hour days to dedicate to discovering and developing technique, this sort of article is really eye opening.

It is us hobbyists with the time. No pro photographer has 8 hours to dedicate to discovering and developing a PS technique. Retouchers do, though.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2011, 11:36:48 AM »
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It is us hobbyists with the time...

Us unemployed hobbyist, may I add?
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Slobodan

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« Reply #30 on: November 27, 2011, 02:23:49 PM »
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Thanks for the comments, good and bad. This was my first article on the site and so to a certain extent I am feeling my way as to what people would like to read about. There are already so many great contributors that I think I need to provide something a little different - so I will take a deep breath and post a few more photographs which use Photoshop to transform the image.

I am a strong believer that photography is a two step process - capture and interpretation (or post-production or whatever you would like to call it).  I realise not everyone thinks this way, and similarly I also admire the photographers whose skill is to 'capture in camera'. I like many different genres of photography, but I choose to capture and interpret.

Photography is a language and it can be used for many different purposes. Hopefully one day I can post a photograph everyone enjoys - but I doubt this will ever happen. As a group we have too many opinions - and isn't that fun!

I always was into fairly heavy Photoshopping myself. I like the fact that you do such strong, clear interpretation of your work. It is done without ambiguity, it is immeatedly apparent that it is an interpretation. That partly solves a question I had for a while, should go more realistic or not. Well yes, I absolutely should, dont understand why I ever felt unsure about it.

As for what people like to read about, I believe its always good to provide something different.
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feppe
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« Reply #31 on: November 27, 2011, 03:29:44 PM »
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Us unemployed hobbyist, may I add?

Certainly you mean "between jobs"? Smiley
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kaelaria
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« Reply #32 on: November 27, 2011, 06:18:58 PM »
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I really love the final image - even more so on the white bg but love both!
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