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Author Topic: best landscape photographer  (Read 18873 times)
Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #20 on: March 12, 2012, 01:48:26 PM »
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Plead guilty, paid a fine, no jail time.  This incident was about 10 years ago. 

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Photographer admits fire role
By Angie Welling
Deseret News staff writer
The nature photographer accused of setting fires at Delicate Arch last year pleaded guilty Friday in federal court.

      Michael Fatali, Springdale, also pleaded guilty to setting two fires in Canyonlands National Park in August 1997. The 36-year-old professional photographer faces up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine for each of the seven misdemeanor counts.

      Fatali also agreed to pay full restitution to the National Park Service for damage caused by the fires. Restoration is estimated at more than $16,000.

      On Sept. 18, 2000, Fatali led a group of amateur photographers to Delicate Arch to photograph the famous four-story sandstone arch, which is the backdrop of some Utah license plates. At his direction, Fatali's assistant and others from the group set two fires, one directly under the arch and another to the east of the structure. Aluminum baking pans brought along to contain the fire failed, and the flames scorched and discolored the sandstone. Fatali tried to stomp out the fires, but one was still burning when the group left the area.

      Park visitors reported the damage to rangers the next morning.

      Officials were able to remove some of the scorch marks immediately, but remaining scars from the fire could not be removed because an oily or waxy stain had penetrated the rock.

      Fatali on Friday also admitted to starting two fires in Canyonlands National Park, the first on Aug. 12, 1997, at Horsehoof Arch and again on Aug. 13, 1997, at the Joint Trails Needles District. He used wood from within the park to start the two fires, he said.

      According to prosecutors, in November 2000 Fatali sent an e-mail message to members of the photography community apologizing for what happened, saying he "seriously regretted" the incident. "I simply screwed up," the message said.

      Defense attorney Kristine Rogers declined to comment Friday, saying Fatali would make a statement after his Feb. 1, 2002, sentencing hearing.

      Assistant U.S. Attorney Wayne Dance said Fatali fully acknowledged his criminal conduct by pleading guilty to all seven counts as charged.

      "It's a matter that's very serious," Dance said. "All of our national parks are for the enjoyment of future generations."


-- Stewart Ethier (sethier@goez.net), December 12, 2001

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #21 on: March 12, 2012, 01:49:36 PM »
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... I'm sorry if my strong feelings and emotions over this incident upset your penchant for the man...  

You are not the only one with strong feelings about it... here are mine (already posted in another thread recently):

It has become extremely annoying not being able to speak about Fatali's work without some small-minded, "holier than the Pope" guy coming up with that absolutely idiotic comment about the Arch fire. He did it, it was an unfortunate accident, he paid the price (steep), it was years ago, so get over it, people. It is his photography we are talking about today (absolutely stunning, btw).
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« Reply #22 on: March 12, 2012, 01:56:01 PM »
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imo the best landscape photgrapher, michael fatali, has just taken taken a giant leap back to the 60's and the cold war. read this article(http://www.lomography.com/magazine/lifestyle/2012/03/08/much-larger-than-an-lc-a-heres-another-soviet-era-camera). i thought carrying an 8x20 was tough. but this is what makes him the best color landscape photographer in the business. nobody can say the u2 spy plane lenses are not sharp, 2 1/2' from 12 miles up. those of you like me who were kids or adults during the cuban missile crisis remember those pictures and seeing the missiles and thinking wwlll. i can only imagine the images michael will get from this camera/ lens setup, but i will be going to park city to see first hand.

Gotta say I looked at the pics at that link and find myself coming away with a big, hearty 'Meh'.  If the claim to him being 'the best color landscape photographer in the business' is based on those, then forget it.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #23 on: March 12, 2012, 02:01:20 PM »
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I suggest anyone who wants to comment on Fatali's photography to first see it "up, close & personal" in one of his galleries.

WARNING: doing so, however, might result in throwing your cameras into a dumpster and finding another hobby.
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Slobodan

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Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2012, 02:02:02 PM »
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You are not the only one with strong feelings about it... here are mine (already posted in another thread recently):

It has become extremely annoying not being able to speak about Fatali's work without some small-minded, "holier than the Pope" guy coming up with that absolutely idiotic comment about the Arch fire. He did it, it was an unfortunate accident, he paid the price (steep), it was years ago, so get over it, people. It is his photography we are talking about today (absolutely stunning, btw).

This incident was in no way an "accident".  Get your facts straight.  It was as intentional as it could be.  They bought duraflame fire logs and ignited them directly under the arch.  The nature of those logs left ash, soot and allowed paraffin to penetrate into the porous sandstone.  

It's pretty damn easy to say "Get over it" sitting behind a computer in the confines of a big city.  It's easy to say "get over it" you've never witnessed the setting sun illuminate that arch, and seeing it glow deeply terracotta with the last rays of the day while the snow capped La Sal mountains radiating pink to the east.  It's easy to say "Get over it", when you've never seen kids playing in that that bowl and standing under the arch looking up in amazement of how it came to stand in that landscape.  HELL NO I'm not getting over it.  
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 02:07:18 PM by Lonnie Utah » Logged
Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2012, 02:02:57 PM »
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I suggest anyone who wants to comment on Fatali's photography to first see it "up, close & personal" in one of his galleries.

WARNING: doing so, however, might result in throwing your cameras into a dumpster and finding another hobby.

I have, more than once.  His PC gallery is less than an hour from my house.  It's amazing what he can do with a print and even more amazing that you consider that he uses no filters either. 

But as I said, I've lost my respect for the man's based on his previous actions.  This happens all the time in life.  Just ask Judus...
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 02:04:49 PM by Lonnie Utah » Logged
Mjollnir
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« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2012, 02:06:08 PM »
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I suggest anyone who wants to comment on Fatali's photography to first see it "up, close & personal" in one of his galleries.

WARNING: doing so, however, might result in throwing your cameras into a dumpster and finding another hobby.

I guess that's the only way, then, since I just looked at his website and came away somewhat distinctly less-than-impressed, especially with his (ahem) use of color.

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Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2012, 02:08:45 PM »
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I guess that's the only way, then, since I just looked at his website and came away somewhat distinctly less-than-impressed, especially with his (ahem) use of color.

It's also wildly ironic to me that he calls his gallery, the "Scared Earth Gallery".  :/


http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.html?programID=02-P13-00035&segmentID=9

« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 02:14:59 PM by Lonnie Utah » Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2012, 02:22:24 PM »
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This incident was in no way an "accident".  Get your facts straight.  It was as intentional as it could be.  They bought duraflame fire logs and ignited them directly under the arch.  The nature of those logs left ash, soot and allowed paraffin to penetrate into the porous sandstone...

I did get my facts straight. It was an accident in the sense that "Aluminum baking pans brought along to contain the fire failed". The failing part is the accident I am talking about. Obviously, he tried to prevent the damage, hence the pans. He used the same technique on several occasions (as per the court papers), but apparently the damage happened only once, hence my use of the word "accident". Was it all stupid in retrospective? Sure! He said it himself. But the fact that he used protection indicates the absence of malice. And anyone who saw his work in the galleries, let alone spoke to him (as I did) would realize that Fatali is not the kind of guy with a blatant disregard for nature in pursuit of dollars.

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...It's pretty damn easy to say "Get over it" sitting behind a computer in the confines of a big city.  It's easy to day "get over it" you've never witnessed...

I did.
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Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2012, 02:32:26 PM »
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Intentional malice or not, starting any sort of fire (outside of the campground) along with gathering wood in Arches is prohibited.  So even with the intent of containing the fire, the simple act of STARTING a fire is, and was illegal.  Any photographer that commits an illegal act in the impetuous of getting a photograph, much less teaching such a technique to workshop students, can in no way be considered as the "best landscape photographer".  

Actions speak louder than words.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 02:57:03 PM by Lonnie Utah » Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2012, 02:46:04 PM »
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I guess that's the only way, then, since I just looked at his website and came away somewhat distinctly less-than-impressed, especially with his (ahem) use of color.

Fair enough. There is no point in debating personal taste. However, it shall be noted that his "use of color" stems from three things: 1. natural light (i.e., no filters or computer manipulation) 2. inherent contrast and saturation of Velvia film and 3. Inherent contrast and saturation of Cibachrome paper. In printing, the inherent contrast of Cibachrome is often toned down by using contrast masks.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 03:29:04 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2012, 03:49:40 PM »
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... Any photographer that commits an illegal act... can in no way be considered as the "best landscape photographer"...

And Caravaggio can not be glorified for his contribution to baroque and Western Art in general because... he killed a man? Or you will not use Martha Stewart's recipe because... she is a convicted felon and served jail time?

My point here being that I prefer to discuss him as "the best" landscape photographer on the merit of his photography, not his (stupid) deeds. While I generally dislike "the best..." anything, as it is so subjective and depends on context, and would never search for the best photographer, or landscape photographer, Fatali would be certainly among the candidates.
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Slobodan

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Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2012, 04:55:00 PM »
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And Caravaggio can not be glorified for his contribution to baroque and Western Art in general because... he killed a man? Or you will not use Martha Stewart's recipe because... she is a convicted felon and served jail time?


I'm not fans of those folks either.  

My point here being that I prefer to discuss him as "the best" landscape photographer on the merit of his photography, not his (stupid) deeds. While I generally dislike "the best..." anything, as it is so subjective and depends on context, and would never search for the best photographer, or landscape photographer, Fatali would be certainly among the candidates.

And to me, the two things are part and parcel.  In MY opinion, not yours, not anyone else's, MINE, Fatali's words and actions are hypocritical of each other.  Regardless of his obvious skill as a photographer (although, I could make a fairly compelling argument that his skill truly lies in the darkroom as opposed to behind the lens), regardless of the compelling personal struggles (his mom's cancer and death) that lead him in to photography, I personally find it very difficult, if not impossible, to reconcile the differences in what he says he believes and what he practices (or has in the past).  To me, the ends do not justify the means. The difference between Fatali and the folks mentioned above, they did not commit their specific crimes in pursuit of their craft.  He did.   Illegal or immoral acts committed "in the name of art", do not make them any less illegal or immoral.

But everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  You've got yours and that's fine.  You've accepted his past transgressions and in your own mind justified his actions, "because it's art".  But this series of replies isn't really directed towards you.  It's more for the folks that exalt his work, yet have no idea of his history (this wasn't the only incident where he stated fires in restricted areas to, as Peter Lik would say, "get the shot"...
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 05:25:35 PM by Lonnie Utah » Logged
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2012, 05:53:09 PM »
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... You've accepted his past transgressions and in your own mind justified his actions, "because it's art"...

Hell no! I never justified his actions, even if "for art". I said, repeatedly, I consider it both stupid and illegal, just as everybody else does, including him. What I am saying all this time is that I choose to separate his photography from his personal issues and deeds.

I also believe that punishment should fit the crime, and I accept that the judge found the proper one. The price Fatali paid was steep (and not just monetarily). But it is not "life without parole" either. It was 10 years ago and had he killed someone he might have been out by now. 
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Lonnie Utah
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« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2012, 06:50:31 PM »
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What I am saying all this time is that I choose to separate his photography from his personal issues and deeds.

And my point is, how can this be done, since the crime was committed in while he was practicing his craft. 
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2012, 10:01:43 PM »
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I am blown away that a "landscape photographer", who was teaching a class, planned to set an illegal fire anywhere. This is the type of action that ruins the business for the other 99.9% of us. What a douche.
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« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2012, 10:51:41 PM »
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He needs a good kick in the ass.  It's a shame it was a pussy of a judge who gave him a sentence.  I know we all will be paying for his arrogance.  I have run into several photographers including myself where a park ranger tried to enforce extra BS because of that Jackass.  

There is no way a ciba is going to look as good as a properly printed inkjet print.  I'll challenge that one, any day any amount of money.  I'm sure even Joseph Holmes, Bill Atkinson, and Charley Kramer will also do the challenge.  
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 07:46:02 PM by tim wolcott » Logged
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2012, 11:06:33 PM »
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I am blown away that a "landscape photographer", who was teaching a class, planned to set an illegal fire anywhere. This is the type of action that ruins the business for the other 99.9% of us. What a douche.
That's exactly my feeling.
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« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2012, 11:09:36 PM »
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What the world has come to:

A person who has done a bad thing is clearly a "bad person".

The other 99.9% of that persons life is now irrelevant because of a few mistakes.

Since we're painting with broad strokes, lets just scrawl this on the wall with a flat sided crayon:  Its this kind of judgmental, fundamentalist point of view that is the root of many of the worlds ills.  But sure, its your right to have your own opinion.

Did you just try to make this into "Think about the children!"   Roll Eyes

And yes I realize that even dignifying this exchange with a response makes me an idiot.  But I felt strongly about it and its my right to be an idiot.
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Isaac
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« Reply #39 on: March 19, 2012, 01:31:51 PM »
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And Caravaggio can not be glorified for his contribution to baroque and Western Art in general because... he killed a man?
Did Caravaggio kill a man to show that killing as part of his art?

Did the photographer set fires to show those fires as part of his art?
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 01:40:24 PM by Isaac » Logged
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