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Author Topic: Another cliché  (Read 1838 times)
RSL
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« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2012, 04:24:21 PM »
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Good stuff, Chris. I love it. I especially like the fact that you're exposing them to the masters. I run into too many would-be photographers who think they can't learn anything from pics by those old, often dead guys.
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2012, 04:36:25 PM »
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Thanks. I am quite proud of my students.
I have two Dorothea Langes reproduced from the original negatives done by Jon Cone http://www.piezography.com/PiezoPress/  that I use frequently in class. I also have a nice collection of photographs I've collected over the years from many of the old masters including Harry Callahan, Imogene Cunningham and a stray Ansel Adams or two. By the time I'm finished with these kids, they know who did what, when, how and why. Fortunately for them, because I also teach the "old" processes, many of them can experience the frustrations of doing Albumen, Salt and Kallitype processes. The last image in this series is a Platinum/Palladium print that measures 10" x 10" printed on Arches Platine.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2012, 05:17:34 PM »
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Chris, before you get totally riled up with my flippant reference to accounting, let me explain. I figured you are not teaching it.

My background, however, has been in financial management (quite close to accounting). I also teach occasionally at a college level (business classes). So, whatever meaning I had in mind with my accounting/teaching remark, it affects me as well.

You see, being anal-retentive is an asset (pardon the pun) for accountants. Perfectionism, crossing the t's and dotting the i's, having everything balanced, straight, accounted for, all ducks in a row, etc.

Similar thing goes for teaching: we have to explain things at their basic level, simplify, dumb down if you will, textbook style. Especially at the entry level. Correcting our students' work is part of our job. And now do we correct? Based on those same textbook rules we teach.

I often catch myself trying to straighten every line in an image, "square" it, correct distortion, etc. Then I slap myself silly, as I recognize it is the anal-retentive accountant in me speaking. Not every picture benefits from everything straightened and squared up. Nor is life so. Leaving some imperfections is a sign of real life (and a healthy one, may I add).

It takes one to recognize one. That is why I've been against some of your critiques, especially in this thread. I found them too didactic and formulaic, and, sorry to bring it up again, anal. The same goes for Oscar's, in another thread.

I teach business differently at a college level than I discuss it with my peers, business school classmates and professors. I teach it differently when I volunteer in high schools. Again, context matters. Hence, I do not see the point in providing a critique to an 82-year old (in his own counting) accomplished photographer, delivered in the same way you would teach a teenage neophyte.

So, when I look at his work, I do not go for imperfections and technicalities, I know he got that covered. I go for emotions, memories, personal meaning. And that is what his roses image exudes. I also know his stance on cropping, so, while I would have perhaps cropped it differently, I respect the way he did it - it reflects his view of the scene, not mine.



« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 05:40:51 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2012, 05:58:08 PM »
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Point taken, and as I have marked in my own moments of remiss, I am desperately trying to get into a state of unlearning, of student manufactured bad habits (which do have to be corrected) and my own allowance of some of these rather anal manifestations. I am not riled up in the sense of being angry, more so in perhaps defending what so many other high school photography teachers are readily conceding: mediocrity.

For all the years I have been teaching this wonderful art form, more of my students who come back to visit thank me more for teaching them to learn there is more than one way to solve a problem, than for teaching them photography. That said, I have had 370 students graduate from quite impressive art schools (SCAD, Pratt, RISD, Ringling, etc) with majors in photography. My desire has always been to keep the art alive. I think I have done my fair share.

Learning, for me will never stop. It is why I joined this forum. Bear with me..I shall get better.  Smiley
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daws
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« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2012, 06:30:47 PM »
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Me? The last thing I'd do is try to get the house plumb; a close second-to-last would be choosing undiffused over diffused light. To me, the story is in the sag that once was square, the soft that once was sharp. It's about old wood under newer paint; too-bright blooms trying to distract you from the dead ones; drooping leaves in the corner like a Greek chorus: a story of old friends who've seen better years, trying to look good for the camera.

And who's inside? Reflections and shapes seen through old screens make you wonder.

My $.02
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John R Smith
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« Reply #25 on: May 12, 2012, 02:54:46 AM »
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Again, context matters. Hence, I do not see the point in providing a critique to an 82-year old (in his own counting) accomplished photographer, delivered in the same way you would teach a teenage neophyte.

So, when I look at his work, I do not go for imperfections and technicalities, I know he got that covered. I go for emotions, memories, personal meaning. And that is what his roses image exudes. I also know his stance on cropping, so, while I would have perhaps cropped it differently, I respect the way he did it - it reflects his view of the scene, not mine.

Slobodan, that is one of the most sensible things that anyone has said around here in a very long time. And it demostrates perfectly why you need to take time to get to know people on an Internet forum, just as in real (non -virtual) life.

John
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Rob C
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« Reply #26 on: May 12, 2012, 09:08:08 AM »
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John, before you know it, you might find yourself assimilated within the deeper parts of the secret club or clique, heaven protect you! (Don't forget the great advice from the late Brother Marx re. clubs and invitations.)

;-)

Rob C
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Chris Calohan
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« Reply #27 on: May 12, 2012, 09:12:58 AM »
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Q.E.D.?

Rob C

Well, yeah, I guess you got me there... Grin
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RSL
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« Reply #28 on: May 12, 2012, 09:50:50 AM »
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So, when I look at his work, I do not go for imperfections and technicalities, I know he got that covered. I go for emotions, memories, personal meaning. And that is what his roses image exudes. I also know his stance on cropping, so, while I would have perhaps cropped it differently, I respect the way he did it - it reflects his view of the scene, not mine.

Thanks, Slobodan, but please don't stop suggesting and demonstrating corrections and mods to the stuff I post here. Actually, having gotten to know you a bit, I realize I don't need to say that. Though I often disagree with your suggestions, it was less than a year ago that you opened my eyes to some points about landscape that ended up turning a fairly so-so shot of South Park into something I hung in a public passageway in Florida this year.

Let's not forget that the whole point of having a "user critiques" section is to teach and to learn.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #29 on: May 12, 2012, 10:24:51 AM »
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Let's not forget that the whole point of having a "user critiques" section is to teach and to learn.
Right on!

Thank you, Russ, Chrisc, and Slobodan for making this a great thread!

Eric
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http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
John R
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« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2012, 04:52:32 PM »
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I would argue the crop is not only not better, but conveys a completely different feel for the image. The tight crop strikes a formal balance and emphasizes the roses, but does not convey the feel of the overall scene nor the flow of the rose bushes, both important aesthetic consderations. In my mind, why you took the shot and what it conveys is more important than cropping or minor tilts in horizonal lines. One would never bring this up in the slide days. You get what you get. Digital may be the future, but for now it has made us hypercritical because of the "new tools."

JMR
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