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Author Topic: When is it graphic art?  (Read 33778 times)
Rob C
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« Reply #60 on: October 12, 2012, 12:19:23 PM »
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I would argue that "what is art" is something we all need to spend some, but not too much, time thinking about, that we are all at different points on that continuum, and that looking up a FAQ is not a substitute for thought or, in this case, much more than a modestly useful starting point. FAQs usefully provide information but not answers to any of the real questions on this or any other subject. On "what is art" a FAQ might provide you with an overview of the usual answers, but to then you need to pay attention to your own experience as a viewer (listener, etc) and/or creator. People do this all the time on this forum and I think that their willingness to do it is a sign of its health and their frequent clumsiness in doing it is an indication of the difficulty of the subject. I think that describing this activity as "digging up mummies" does it less than justice.


Careful. that could get you into deep poo-poo! For some, mummies are the national treasure; for others of us, it's the kilt or the bagpipe. Not much to choose from, come to think about it. I'll take the natural, soft pillow instead of the plastic foam.

Rob C
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kencameron
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« Reply #61 on: October 12, 2012, 07:01:29 PM »
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Careful. that could get you into deep poo-poo! For some, mummies are the national treasure; for others of us, it's the kilt or the bagpipe. Not much to choose from, come to think about it. I'll take the natural, soft pillow instead of the plastic foam.
Grin
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jhoc
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« Reply #62 on: October 22, 2012, 07:29:06 AM »
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I spend several years planning a shot, learning my craft, learning my gear wandering the world and taking a top image.

I spend a afternoon, with no knowledge of my gear, no knowledge of composition, taking very poor shots then spending days in a computer to produce an image.

I enter both in a competition and the computer image wins. Therefore the computer me is the better photographer. So i give up travelling the world spend little time taking pics and spend lots of time on a computer.

I am a top photographer because i know how to use a Mac Book and Photoshop.

 "How do you use this 1DX?"

"Er dont know"

"How do you adjust your focus point?"

"Er don't know"

"Tell me how do you work out composition?"

"Er dont know"

"So how come your a top photographer despite not knowing a thing about photography?"

"Im good on a computer"



This of course is a dramatic example and in this case I suppose I could agree with you, but this is almost never the actual case.  For many people these days photography sits somewhere between skill with composition and a camera in-hand, and skill sitting at a desk getting the most out of their post processing.  I usually go into a landscape shot planning the post processing before I click the shutter, and I think (at least in landscape photography) that the computer is almost as large a part as the camera in some regards.  Wether you think this is a good or bad thing is subjective but I think it is true either way.  Also implying that people who use photoshop as a large part of their creative work do not know their camera is - again - an extreme generalization, most people who are technically savvy enough to use complex image processing software, know their cameras workings inside and out. 

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whiteheat
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« Reply #63 on: October 22, 2012, 04:48:58 PM »
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I spend several years planning a shot, learning my craft, learning my gear wandering the world and taking a top image.

I spend a afternoon, with no knowledge of my gear, no knowledge of composition, taking very poor shots then spending days in a computer to produce an image.

I enter both in a competition and the computer image wins. Therefore the computer me is the better photographer. So i give up travelling the world spend little time taking pics and spend lots of time on a computer.

I am a top photographer because i know how to use a Mac Book and Photoshop.

 "How do you use this 1DX?"

"Er dont know"

"How do you adjust your focus point?"

"Er don't know"

"Tell me how do you work out composition?"

"Er dont know"

"So how come your a top photographer despite not knowing a thing about photography?"

"Im good on a computer"


Nice example to illustrate your point and a reasonable point it is too.  However, it is so extreme as to be nonsensical.  It would seem absurd that anyone with a high end camera, and if you mean a Canon 1DX when you stated "1DX", would not know/understand about their own camera, focus points, composition, etc.  Someone who has deliberately shelled out a truck load of cash for a top line camera, tends to know what he/she is doing and will quickly come to grips with what it can do and how it does it.  It is also a given that he/she will know/understand certain principles of and have a reasonable experience of photography.  No one goes from being a non photographer one day to a Canikon 1DX/D4 owner the next (well, hardly anybody).

That said, what I think you're getting at is that certain people, who are better classed as "Artists" rather than straight photographers.  These people tend take images as a working base from which to employ computer software on as an artistic tool.  They are using the computer/software to create their vision of art.  The method by which the initial image was captured/made is perhaps of secondary or lesser importance, much like a lump of clay that a potter starts out with before crafting a finished piece.

I think the important difference here is that people who use computers and software primarily for creating strong visual concepts and effects, are more artists in the truer sense of the word where instead of using brushes and paints, the camera and the computer have taken over to be used as mere tools.  They create images that are other worldly or ethereal and usually bare little resemblance to representing any recognisable reality as conceived by people in general.

On the other hand, pure photographers see their 'art' as capturing a moment of reality as it was at the time of image capture.  To this ethos, it is an anathema to start corrupting that image with computer software jiggery pokery.  The skills involved in are pure photographic ones, that is, the technical side - Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO, etc and the photographic artistic side of "photographic seeing", lighting and composition, etc.  The only post processing conscionable would be to correct small defects such as exposure level, reduce noise, etc, as opposed to out and out data manipulation to transform the image in to something very different from what was originally intended at time of image capture.

That's just my 2 cents worth.
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Mcthecat
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« Reply #64 on: October 23, 2012, 04:22:49 PM »
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A very well thought out and well reasoned reply. I have no problem what so ever with graphic art which is what certain people do now. Revel in the fact you do amazing photographic art, the talent and creative energy you have. Your an artist, a painter using the computer as your palette.  I prefer to capture  my image in my camera rather than my computer.And i prefer National Geographics gold standard no photoshop approach. But thats me.

But i stand by my point that in, amateur photographic competitions, people are winning who know jack shit about the workings of a camera and lens, spend no time on composition or telling of a story but creative in computer generated images and can beat me in a competition by putting in no time in camera, no time in effort and learning but days working in a computer.

 Mc the cat

I
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whiteheat
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« Reply #65 on: October 23, 2012, 04:38:31 PM »
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A very well thought out and well reasoned reply. I have no problem what so ever with graphic art which is what certain people do now. Revel in the fact you do amazing photographic art, the talent and creative energy you have. Your an artist, a painter using the computer as your palette.  I prefer to capture  my image in my camera rather than my computer.And i prefer National Geographics gold standard no photoshop approach. But thats me.

But i stand by my point that in, amateur photographic competitions, people are winning who know jack shit about the workings of a camera and lens, spend no time on composition or telling of a story but creative in computer generated images and can beat me in a competition by putting in no time in camera, no time in effort and learning but days working in a computer.

 Mc the cat

I
OK, fair point.  However, as for your second point, that's not the fault of any of the entrants.  You need to adjust your perspective to take in to account what the premise and judgement criteria are for the competition as just the term "photographic competition" isn't telling very much.  For example, if the competiton standards were quite strict and very high and specified that any submitted image must have come straight out of the camera and both the original RAW and jpeg file submitted (for comparative analysis), then you'd be safe in your conviction that it was a true photographic competiton.

However, I suspect most competitions are not so tightly set up in this fashion and the term "photograhic competition" becomes a lot looser in its definition.  It should really be termed a "graphic art competition" encompassing all digital art, however so manufactured.  That would give you a clearer understanding of the type of competition it is and therefore whether you should be entering it in the first place as you, as a pure photographer, would be at a distinct disadvantage amongst the "artists" who may or may not be even using a camera to generate their "art".

Just my 2 cents worth.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #66 on: October 23, 2012, 07:18:19 PM »
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... But i stand by my point that in, amateur photographic competitions, people are winning who know jack shit about the workings of a camera and lens, spend no time on composition or telling of a story but creative in computer generated images and can beat me in a competition by putting in no time in camera, no time in effort and learning but days working in a computer...

You do realize that in a competition, jurors are looking at a final product, a photograph, and have no way of knowing if the author knows anything about cameras, lenses, composition, story, etc.?

And frankly, who cares?

it absolutely does not matter at all if he does or doesn't. What does matter is the final result, the photo. If it has poor composition, it won't win (or so one hopes). If the author "knows" nothing about composition (read: hasn't read dozen books about it, attended a bunch of seminars or workshop, etc.), it does not mean his composition won't be just fine. Or, in reverse, if one "knows" a lot about composition, it absolutely does not guarantee that his photos will have remarkable composition. By-the-book one perhaps, yes... but it might be utterly boring just as well.

I have no problem with anyone grabbing a camera for the first time in their life and making a remarkable photo with it. It just means they have talent for it and a good eye. With today's technology, they really, really do not need to know much about the mechanics of it. I couldn't care less how much one "knows" about cameras, but what they can do with it. But I understand that it must heart if someone with talent, but no knowledge, beats someone with more knowledge, but less talent. Kind of Mozart vs. Salieri.

Because photography is not about what's behind the camera, but what's in front of it.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2012, 07:19:52 PM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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kencameron
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« Reply #67 on: October 23, 2012, 11:19:54 PM »
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...no time in effort and learning but days working in a computer...
Well - maybe not so much effort learning the camera and more learning the software. Please tell me about post processing software with no learning curve. But in the real world (rather than the thought experiment) I suspect anyone interested in the one will also be interested in the other. Serious work on post-processing will surely draw attention to the importance of good input.
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petermfiore
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« Reply #68 on: November 11, 2012, 08:31:35 AM »
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You do realize that in a competition, jurors are looking at a final product, a photograph, and have no way of knowing if the author knows anything about cameras, lenses, composition, story, etc.?

And frankly, who cares?

it absolutely does not matter at all if he does or doesn't. What does matter is the final result, the photo. If it has poor composition, it won't win (or so one hopes). If the author "knows" nothing about composition (read: hasn't read dozen books about it, attended a bunch of seminars or workshop, etc.), it does not mean his composition won't be just fine. Or, in reverse, if one "knows" a lot about composition, it absolutely does not guarantee that his photos will have remarkable composition. By-the-book one perhaps, yes... but it might be utterly boring just as well.

I have no problem with anyone grabbing a camera for the first time in their life and making a remarkable photo with it. It just means they have talent for it and a good eye. With today's technology, they really, really do not need to know much about the mechanics of it. I couldn't care less how much one "knows" about cameras, but what they can do with it. But I understand that it must heart if someone with talent, but no knowledge, beats someone with more knowledge, but less talent. Kind of Mozart vs. Salieri.

Because photography is not about what's behind the camera, but what's in front of it.


THE TRUTH!!

Peter
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SunnyUK
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« Reply #69 on: November 13, 2012, 09:03:00 AM »
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If my 3 yeard old daughter draws a picture of a man with a triangular face, it's a child's drawing and there's a good chance some "kind" person will tell her that people have round faces rather than triangular ones.

If Pablo Picasso draws a picture of a man with a triangular face, it's great art making a very deep and important statement about the disillusion of the working classes in a highly polarized society. Or some similar gobledegook.

If Jack from down the estate covers a wall in spray paint, it's grafitti and against the law.

If Banksy does the same, it will be chipped off the wall and put on display in art galleries before the paint has even dried.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #70 on: November 13, 2012, 09:46:27 AM »
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That's what education is for, to know the difference.
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Slobodan

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Isaac
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« Reply #71 on: November 13, 2012, 11:00:14 AM »
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If Pablo Picasso draws a picture of a man with a triangular face, it's great art making a very deep and important statement about the disillusion of the working classes in a highly polarized society.

Not even close -- but here you are, one hundred years later, still talking about Picasso's art.


If Jack from down the estate... If Banksy does the same...

Outside
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SunnyUK
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« Reply #72 on: November 13, 2012, 11:40:10 AM »
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Not even close -- but here you are, one hundred years later, still talking about Picasso's art.

Absolutely. I'll also happily talk about pieces that are 200 years old or 300 years old. They don't cease to be art just because they get old.

Somehow I think I failed to communicate my point of view in a way lending itself to being understood by you.
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Isaac
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« Reply #73 on: November 13, 2012, 11:51:09 AM »
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I failed to communicate ...

You implied that the only difference you see between a child's drawing and Picasso's art, and between Jack from down the estate's graffiti and Banksy's spray paint - is that the latter are known as artists.
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SunnyUK
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« Reply #74 on: November 13, 2012, 12:04:29 PM »
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It's known as exaggerating in order to make a point. The point being that dealers and critics sometime praise (and charge/pay a fortune) things as important art ONLY because of who made it.

Other examples could be Malevic's Red Square (which I believe came after his ground-breaking painting Black Square) or Kira O'Reilly hugging a dead pig. Not to mention some of Damien Hirst's controversial "pieces".

Does that make it more clear?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #75 on: November 13, 2012, 12:10:05 PM »
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... The point being that dealers and critics sometime praise (and charge/pay a fortune) things as important art ONLY because of who made it...

Isn't that the very essence of it?
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Slobodan

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Isaac
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« Reply #76 on: November 14, 2012, 03:12:41 PM »
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It's known as exaggerating in order to make a point.

The way that you "failed to communicate" was by the simple expedient of not saying what you mean.
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SunnyUK
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« Reply #77 on: November 14, 2012, 03:41:35 PM »
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The way that you "failed to communicate" was by the simple expedient of not saying what you mean.

I guess instead of trying to be polite and claim I failed to communicate correctly, I should simply have said outright what I meant:

You are being deliberately obtuse and not listening to what I say. That's of course your prerogative, but I don't particularly care for debating that way. Goodbye.
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #78 on: November 14, 2012, 03:55:01 PM »
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... obtuse and not listening to what I say. ...

On the contrary ... I think Isaac paid very close attention to what you said.

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kencameron
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« Reply #79 on: November 14, 2012, 04:16:47 PM »
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...Isaac paid very close attention to what you said...
He usually does. Sometimes too close for comfort.
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