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Author Topic: Fine Art Photography Top 16  (Read 21959 times)
JohnBrew
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« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2011, 07:57:32 AM »
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Well stated, Steve. +1
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2011, 11:09:53 AM »
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Hi,

I agree with Michael, but in my view Photoshop is very handy for some things. I'd really love to be able to integrate photoshop masking with parametric workflow. It perhaps works now with smart objects? I don't even know!

Some of the stuff I use Photoshop for is llustrated here:

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/46-fixing-sky-with-luminosity-mask

http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/index.php/photoarticles/46-fixing-sky-with-luminosity-mask

Best regards
Erik



I'll let Alain address this for himself, but I think that focusing on this topic is a bit of a red herring. We each have out favourite ways of working.

I too now do 95% of my work in Lightroom (and I'm sure that Aperture can do similarly). I rarely go to Photoshop any longer except for a few specialized tasks.

Michael
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2011, 01:00:12 PM »
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The guy who can mount a bigger and better print isn't going to be a better artist than the guy with an idea, even though ironically they may be a better paid.



I'm going to use that one, very well put!
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Rob C
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« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2011, 01:14:34 PM »
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You cannot teach somebody to be an artist, they either respond to stimuli or they don't. But you can teach somebody to be a technician, very good photographers, but a world away from artists.
Steve



Been saying exactly that for as long as I can remember. It's not a popular message in a milieu where folks are selling courses, prints and anything else that's marketable, but that's beside the point.

I read the Sontag essay - I think it's reproduced in my second Pirelli Calendar Collection book - but what did she know, other than how Annie ticks?

I believe that the appellation Fine Art really means neither more nor less than that the pictures so classified are usually for sale as decoration. I'm certainly willing to accept that; it relieves one of all the angst, pain and general confusion that surrounds the use of those two words. In no way does it need to exist as some sort of artificial measure of a picture's validity; it (the image) is what it is - that's all it can be.

Rob C
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John R Smith
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« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2011, 02:36:12 PM »
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I'm not terribly keen on lists or directives for life in general, let alone photography. And I personally don't consider that there is such a thing as "fine art" - there are just the visual arts, in all their varied forms. But I do agree with, and have always held dear, Alain's first point -

1 - Become an expert in light

 - The most important aspect of photography is not the gear you own or the techniques you use
 - The most important aspect of photography is light
   

Every photographer should have that engraved just above their viewfinder  Wink

John
« Last Edit: December 25, 2011, 02:41:21 PM by John R Smith » Logged

Hasselblad 500 C/M, SWC and CFV-39 DB
and a case full of (very old) lenses and other bits
jeremyrh
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« Reply #25 on: December 25, 2011, 03:28:43 PM »
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(you might do him the honer of correctly spelling the name)

Doncha hate it when that happens.
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Schewe
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« Reply #26 on: December 25, 2011, 05:27:12 PM »
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Yes, but you can at least see some of my images, like them or loathe them, I'm not going to say things about other photographers without having the balls to put my words into context. If you come back armed with some images I can link to I'll perhaps take you seriously.

My web site is here...course, by your rules I guess I ain't a fine art photographer.

:~)
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #27 on: December 25, 2011, 06:00:45 PM »
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You cannot teach somebody to be an artist, they either respond to stimuli or they don't. But you can teach somebody to be a technician, very good photographers, but a world away from artists.


Yes, it would be challenging (impossible) to become a great "artist" without learning the craft of the medium in which one chooses to express themselves.  All great artists start at the same place everyone else does ... learning and being taught.  What makes them transcend to the next level can be a combination of many factors, some of which might not even be controlled by them.

Things like Alain's 16 steps (which are his steps, meant to help others analyze the process of their own creative efforts to see if they might benefit from his experience) can certainly be part of that process.

Unfortunately the term "Fine art" is one of those convenience terms that defies definition. What many class as "fine art" I find interesting to look at briefly, sometimes I appreciate the challenge of creating the image, but often the image doesn't have enough interest that I would want to own it or look at it frequently - just how I'm wired. Because he uses that term as part of his approach and one might not agree with his definition seems a weak reason for criticism.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #28 on: December 25, 2011, 06:16:06 PM »
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'Fine art' is just a synonym of 'art' in this context.  To assert that there is 'art' and then there is 'fine art' that stands apart from 'regular art' is just weird ...
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Ray
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« Reply #29 on: December 25, 2011, 06:47:34 PM »
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I'm not terribly keen on lists or directives for life in general, let alone photography. And I personally don't consider that there is such a thing as "fine art" - there are just the visual arts, in all their varied forms. But I do agree with, and have always held dear, Alain's first point -

1 - Become an expert in light

 - The most important aspect of photography is not the gear you own or the techniques you use
 - The most important aspect of photography is light
   

Every photographer should have that engraved just above their viewfinder  Wink

John

In a sense this point is self-evident. But I'm not implying that people need not be reminded of the obvious. They often do.

The very word itself, photography, means 'painting, drawing or writing (graphos) with light (photos).

The camera which is able to capture that light, in graphic form, in the most efficient manner, is surely the best starting point for any photographer.

Furthermore, whilst it is possible to paint without a paintbrush (one can use one's finger or even throw handfuls of paint at the canvas), I don't believe it's possible to take photos without a camera.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2011, 10:09:39 PM »
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'Fine art' is just a synonym of 'art' in this context.  To assert that there is 'art' and then there is 'fine art' that stands apart from 'regular art' is just weird ...
similar to how I've always felt ... to me it's a mainly a term to describe a "style" of photographic art, but the extrapolation of "fine" seems to always mean superior or better than other forms.  That's been a lively debate for a long time, and there is no answer -
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #31 on: December 25, 2011, 11:43:12 PM »
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similar to how I've always felt ... to me it's a mainly a term to describe a "style" of photographic art, but the extrapolation of "fine" seems to always mean superior or better than other forms.  That's been a lively debate for a long time, and there is no answer -

Marketing.
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Rob C
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« Reply #32 on: December 26, 2011, 02:43:36 AM »
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My web site is here...course, by your rules I guess I ain't a fine art photographer.

:~)




Thanks for the link; I shouldn't worry too much about definitions if I were you - your site speaks well enough!

Ciao -

Rob C
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jhemp
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« Reply #33 on: December 26, 2011, 04:00:15 PM »
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Great discussion going on! 
If your purpose with your images is fine art, then they will be fine art images.   If your purpose is pretty travel photography, then you'll have pretty travel photos.  I think it all comes down to your intent.   And I think anyone intent on creating Fine Art images will thoroughly explore and learn their 'Craft Tools' to help them create Fine Art.
I have seen it hard for SOME profesional photographers to break into the Fine Art Photography world because they have based their photography careers on Stock Photography, Wedding Photography and etc...   Even though they might be masters of the tools, they have confined themselves, and may not be taken seriously.  That said,  I have always thought "It's the final image that counts". If a image moves me, then it is Fine Art, no matter who took the image.
Jay Hemphill
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250swb
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« Reply #34 on: December 27, 2011, 06:13:05 AM »
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similar to how I've always felt ... to me it's a mainly a term to describe a "style" of photographic art, but the extrapolation of "fine" seems to always mean superior or better than other forms.  That's been a lively debate for a long time, and there is no answer -

Yes, a lively debate, a can of worms, and a conundrum all in one thought!  Smiley

The term 'fine' could be interchanged with 'refined' in the sense of having more work done on it, rather than as more exalted. Doing art is work, and to put it crudely an artist may specialise in sunsets (!) because he likes them. Then you could have a fine artist who specialises in sunsets because he likes them, but he would be able to go on and say why he likes them. It is an intellectual jump from an artists gut feeling to a fine artist knowing what their images are about and being able to communicate that with other people. Ask a fine artist 'what are you working on' and they will launch into a lecture, ask an artist and they may say they are waiting for inspiration. That is the crude definition.

But a real world example. Somebody said Sally Mann wasn't a landscape photographer, yet the body of work she called 'Deep South' is entirely landscape. She is a good example whether you think it landscape or not. She uses an difficult technical process with a difficult camera not because she has been on a course or read an A-Z of being an artist, but because it matches the ideas she wants to communicate. Other artists may paint or sculpt for the same reason. In her case the fragility of the wet collodion process, the wastage, the mistakes that are embraced, the length of the exposures, the viewpoint in many photographs of emptiness and a half seen subjects, all evoke the idea. And that is of the South, the civil war battlefields, death in the landscape of both men and buildings, an historical landscape that endures but isn't triumphant. It is very different from a commercial landscape photograph, with a graduated tobacco filter and the rules of composition strictly applied. It is very different from how many people would photograph that landscape, because she ran with the idea, refined it, and made something unique, nobody can place their tripod in the same holes that her tripod made.

And it is the metorphorical tripod holes that makes the difference. Has an artist got an idea, how much have they worked on it, and is it carried out with some style. And before saying of any photograph 'I could do that' ask 'but did I have the idea?'. Points 1-16 allow you to put your tripod into the marks left by the photographer that went before, and make something that looks artistic. You may be an artist if you sell the work you want to sell without commercial pressures of assignments. But a fine artist will plough through any barriers and only do what they want, how they want to do it, without immediate commercial pressures, and with intellectual skill. That is the traditional definition and I think that is how it should stay. Gentleman amateurs and commercial landscapists are not necessarily fine artists irrespective of the technical skill in making the image. The term 'fine' should not be devalued.

Steve


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AlanG
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« Reply #35 on: December 27, 2011, 07:52:18 AM »
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If you can write down the steps required, it probably is not fine art.
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Alan Goldstein
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I have a new fine art project. Please take a look:
Fine art site

Galleries of images at Photoshelter:
Galleries
jeremypayne
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« Reply #36 on: December 27, 2011, 08:05:57 AM »
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The term 'fine' should not be devalued.

The term 'fine' in this context has no meaning.  You are inventing meaning out of whole cloth.
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Rob C
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« Reply #37 on: December 27, 2011, 08:28:56 AM »
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Steve, you are falling into the trap of generalising and pigeon-holing. Your post above implies that 'fine art' or just 'art' is something not within the remit of the professional photographer. Bullshit, my friend; get to know some advertising/fashion/commercial pros with some success behind them.

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2011, 12:44:47 AM »
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It seems clear to me that all opinions on art are subjective, whether they be on fine art or ordinary art.

Having checked out Sally Mann's images, I have to say truthfully, at the risk of branding myself as an insensitive non-aesthete, that I'm underwhelmed. Can't help it. Let the truth prevail.

Of course, some of her shots are better than others, but on the whole, I don't find her photography interesting.

I understand perfectly that many of you may not find my photographs interesting, that is, the ones I've posted on this site, over the years. Fair enough! If I earn my living as a photographer, I have to produce photos that others like, or I go out of business.

If I'm not in business, as I'm not, then I feel free to produce whatever interests me. The satisfaction in the general activity of taking the shots, and the general process of producing a final image or print to my own standards which are continually changing, is my reward.
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JRSmit
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« Reply #39 on: December 29, 2011, 01:29:49 AM »
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You cannot teach somebody to be an artist, they either respond to stimuli or they don't. But you can teach somebody to be a technician, very good photographers, but a world away from artists.



Really? Define "very good photographer" or "technician"?
Oh, and while you are at it also define "artist".
And finally, why can someone be teached to be a good "technician", yet by apparently the same standards not an "artist"?
If it is the core ability (competence?) to respond to stimuli, then you have no clue what a "technician" is.
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Fine art photography: www.janrsmit.com
Courses and workshops: www.centrumbeeldbeleving.nl

Jan R. Smit
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