Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 13 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Links to Photographers  (Read 45638 times)
RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6515



WWW
« Reply #40 on: September 13, 2012, 10:47:42 AM »
ReplyReply

. . . and admiration for your photograph.
 

Gosh, and here I thought your admiration for the photograph was because of its narrative value.

I'm pulling your chain, Ken. When it comes to a choice between thinking and feeling I usually opt for thinking, which probably is why I was successful as a military officer and, later, as a software engineer. But to me, art, which includes photography, has to do with feeling, not thinking. I don't analyze images and I always balk, and often laugh, at attempts to analyze them. I usually roll on the floor laughing when I read the "artists' statements" hung next to the atrocities I see in our local museum.

All of which is why I enjoy street photography. A really effective street photograph defies any sort of analysis. It either grabs you or it doesn't. The grabbing may have something to do with sociobiology or nurture, and it almost certainly has something to do with culture, but to try to analyze a photograph or its viewer's reaction on those bases seems to me futile in the extreme, and probably self-referential.

When I see I've made a decent street photograph I usually can look back and realize that I didn't know why I was making the shot. It was a gut reaction, not a thought process. Thinking tends to be destructive when it comes to art.
Logged

Fips
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195



WWW
« Reply #41 on: September 13, 2012, 11:03:52 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
On the other hand, I'd never agree with Garry or anybody else that no photograph has narrative ability. Maybe I only see the narrative here because I was there, but I don't think that's the reason.

That's the point I guess. The story is only what your mind makes up. That is unless you you were present when the photo was made, then you actually know the story. I for one can't tell from this very nice picture you posted what was going on. But I certainly enjoy looking at it.
Logged
RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6515



WWW
« Reply #42 on: September 13, 2012, 11:17:12 AM »
ReplyReply

Okay, Fips, but tell me "what your mind makes up."
Logged

Fips
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195



WWW
« Reply #43 on: September 13, 2012, 11:41:38 AM »
ReplyReply

You are referring to the photograph you posted? Ok, I'll give it a try: I see some American air force personnel in Asia. Probably Korea as 1953 marked the end of the Korean War, if I remember correctly (although the Kanji painted on the crate could suggest otherwise). So I could imagine that these guys are heading home which would also explain the pleased look of the gentleman on the right.
So what about the boy? I don't know. Is he looking at the officer? He might be looking to something on his right side out of this frame. Is he begging? Or was he given something? Is the man ignoring him oder didn't he even notice the boy because he is listening to somebody on the left? I don't know.

I guess I was able to extract some information out of this image but something like a story? Personally, I wouldn't say so.
Logged
WalterEG
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1157


« Reply #44 on: September 13, 2012, 11:49:56 AM »
ReplyReply

Probably Korea as 1953 marked the end of the Korean War, if I remember correctly

The copyright notice would re-inforce your appraisal Fips.

I find it a very anti-US of A image and elements of it are almost a parody.  Other elements are quite hateful.

Cheers,

W
Logged
Fips
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195



WWW
« Reply #45 on: September 13, 2012, 12:28:17 PM »
ReplyReply

Even without the date I would have guessed that it's from the time of the Korean war. I didn't see anything "anti US of A" which is because I'm from Europe and too young to have many memories from the cold war times. However, now from your answer, I see your point.
But this sort of proofs Garry's theory: A photograph is describes light on surface. We can't even agree on the aesthetics, let's alone a "story".

BTW, I really enjoy the discussions on this forum. Doesn't happen too often in the wild internets that you can talk in a halfway civilized manner about controversial subjects.

Philipp
Logged
RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6515



WWW
« Reply #46 on: September 13, 2012, 03:03:36 PM »
ReplyReply

You are referring to the photograph you posted? Ok, I'll give it a try: I see some American air force personnel in Asia. Probably Korea as 1953 marked the end of the Korean War, if I remember correctly (although the Kanji painted on the crate could suggest otherwise). So I could imagine that these guys are heading home which would also explain the pleased look of the gentleman on the right.
So what about the boy? I don't know. Is he looking at the officer? He might be looking to something on his right side out of this frame. Is he begging? Or was he given something? Is the man ignoring him oder didn't he even notice the boy because he is listening to somebody on the left? I don't know.

I guess I was able to extract some information out of this image but something like a story? Personally, I wouldn't say so.

Okay, so the fact that the kid's wearing cast-off, ripped-off pants, that he's covered with mud, and that he's holding out his hand doesn't tell you anything. He's just another kid like the kid down the street. I'd have to guess you've never been out of Europe, Fips, and certainly not to a country where people are in dire straits. By the way, the fact that the kid's not looking at the major is one thing, but the fact that the major's obviously, deliberately, ignoring the kid directly in front of him might lead you to another question.

But as I said, ones response to a picture certainly has something to do with the viewer's culture.

And Walter, I don't know where you've been or where you are, but your appraisal is far off the mark and makes it clear you've been influenced heavily by the "oh how bad we are in the U.S." culture of the left.
Logged

Fips
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195



WWW
« Reply #47 on: September 13, 2012, 03:39:03 PM »
ReplyReply

You're wrong. I've worked in south east asia working with locals for a while during my time at university. And certainly, I didn't spend all the time in fancy hotels for rich Europeans.

Of course I am aware that the boy is probably begging and the major is ignoring him. But I don't know that from looking at the picture! There is no possible way anyone could extract this information out of this image, irrespective of whether one knows this place and its people or not.
The major could already have given the boy some money, food or whatever. They might just play a game. Even if he's begging doesn't mean that his family is starving and not taking care. There are millions of possibilities.

And no, this has nothing to do with being arrogant, ignorant, and ignoring a sad truth. I can find your image pleasing from a photographers point of view, I can accept that I don't know what's happening in it, and at the same time think about the reality that surrounds the image if you will.

In fact, we as photographers should be the ones who know the best, that the reality isn't always what a photograph suggests. And that's especially the case in times of war.
Logged
kencameron
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 669



WWW
« Reply #48 on: September 13, 2012, 04:12:21 PM »
ReplyReply

When it comes to a choice between thinking and feeling I usually opt for thinking

Hi Russ

Our natural approaches are very different. Clearly for you it does come to a choice, often or always, when you are attending to works of art and maybe otherwise. For me it doesn't. I think and feel at the same time or in sequence and I find them mutually supportive. The feeling enriches the thought, the thought refines and informs the feeling. At the moment I am doing some reading in preparation for a visit to an exhibition of Spanish paintings from the Prado at the Brisbane museum. The paintings are rich in feeling about such things as religious devotion, the horror of war, human cruelty, madness, the beauty of women and nature. If previous experience is any guide, my reading, and thinking, about the historical context won't stand in the way of my being powerfully moved by the paintings. No more than thinking about why we are interested in stories makes me any less interested in stories.

To reciprocate the chain-pulling,  I think you have set up a false antithesis that may tell us something about your own psychology but provides a poor guide to art appreciation.

As I am sure you appreciate, I certainly wasn't withdrawing my liking for your photograph.

cheers

Ken
Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6515



WWW
« Reply #49 on: September 13, 2012, 05:13:28 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi Ken and Fips, Here's the story:

Walter to the contrary notwithstanding, there's nothing anti-US or hateful about this picture. Yes, it's 1953, and if I remember correctly the war was still going on when I shot the picture, but very close to ending. For those who don't know the history: When the separation between north and south Korea came there was a huge migration from the north to the south; and since the Koreans are intelligent people, virtually no migration from the south to the communist north. Unfortunately there was no established place for the refugees to go, so most of them ended up living in the kinds of shacks you see in this picture of the refugees under the bridge over the river that runs along the north edge of Taegu (Daegu). When the war came, the U.S. and allies spent a huge amount of blood and treasure to keep the south Koreans free. The south Koreans weren't anti-US, and there was nothing hateful about what the U.S. did. Quite the contrary. The result, of course, is history.

I made this picture at a military bus stop in downtown Taegu. Obviously, the kid's begging. You'd have to have led a pretty sheltered life not to understand that. And the kid's pathetic. I don't know how bad off he was. It's likely he was as bad off as he appears to be -- look at his ribs -- but it's also possible his folks dressed him up that way to make him a more effective beggar. In any case I can tell you from experience that the major was ignoring the kid because if he'd given him anything there'd instantly have been at least 50 more kids dancing around him and tugging at him.

If I considered the pictureof the kid at the bus stop street photography I'd never have explained anything about it, but it's more photojournalism than anything else. It's missing the kind of ambiguity that's one of the differences between a documentary photograph and a street photograph. Since it's photojournalism, as I said earlier, it needs to have some journalism go with it.
Logged

WalterEG
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1157


« Reply #50 on: September 13, 2012, 05:40:20 PM »
ReplyReply

When it comes to a choice between thinking and feeling I usually opt for thinking,

I don't doubt you at all in that statement Russ,

In my eyes your work reflects that sentiment consistently quite possibly to its detriment and the Korean pic illustrates that you have done it for a very long time.

And Walter, I don't know where you've been or where you are, but your appraisal is far off the mark and makes it clear you've been influenced heavily by the "oh how bad we are in the U.S." culture of the left.

Getting defensive of your work may cause you to look to outside influences and even bring politics into the equation Russ, but my opinion is formed totally by the evidence presented within the image.

The pig-skin briefcase is a starting point - as early as the 70s the pig-skin briefcase was a part of the parody of attempts to dislodge Idi Amin.  The picture illustrates the vast chasm of disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' and goes on to highlight the disinterest of the 'haves' with the plight of the 'have-nots' by the stoic stance and expression of the principal geezer.

Pictures DO contain narrative and do convey messages whether you want to think they do or not.

One of the people you continually make reference to in your advocacy of 'Street' is Walker Evans a guy very fond to my own heart and whom I have studied considerably.  Thinking and narrative were primary motivations of his when he chose to give up literature and pursue photography.  He had been immensely influenced by the rich descriptive style of Baudelaire and Flaubert and wanted to incorporate it into his pictures.  It was his huge skill at achieving that which paved his way to prominence.

Nobody working with a view-camera can dispense with thinking in favour of gut reactions.  Not Evans, not Adams and not me.  In fact, I have long considered that the 35mm camera is reactive and the ground-glass camera is contemplative and meditative.  So yes, in 35mm there can be gut reaction (doesn't have to be, though) and, as a rule, the larger camera is not sufficiently facile to allow it (although the guy who shot the Hindenburg explosion didn't make a bad show of it with 6 sheets in 22 seconds.

Now, after all this digression from the original intent of this thread with the addition of photos in place of links to other photographers, may I attempt to make amends by posting this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Walker-Evans-Photographs-Lincoln-Kirstein/dp/0810960303

Cheers,

W
Logged
kencameron
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 669



WWW
« Reply #51 on: September 13, 2012, 06:33:40 PM »
ReplyReply

It's missing the kind of ambiguity that's one of the differences between a documentary photograph and a street photograph.
Now you're thinking Wink. An excellent point, which I am hoping will be amplified in your essays, which I will now read.
Logged

kencameron
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 669



WWW
« Reply #52 on: September 13, 2012, 07:20:51 PM »
ReplyReply

...ambiguity...

A few further thoughts:

Does the difference between Walter's reading of the shot and yours, Russ, suggest that the image does have a kind of ambiguity?

Does your disagreement with Walter's (left wing, anti-american and so on) reading indicate that you believe he needs to do a bit more thinking in order to properly appreciate your image?

Does that difference also support my original argument that the story is the product of what is in the mind of the viewer and what is in the image?

cheers

Ken
Logged

Fips
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195



WWW
« Reply #53 on: September 14, 2012, 02:51:18 AM »
ReplyReply

Does that difference also support my original argument that the story is the product of what is in the mind of the viewer and what is in the image?

That's exactly the point. The story is not told by the image but by the viewer himself. Therefore, without a written or spoken explanation a picture by itself cannot be journalism. Even if the image is as strong as yours Russ.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #54 on: September 14, 2012, 04:54:32 AM »
ReplyReply

This makes me think of the current row and attacks and deaths due to the crazy posting of inflammatory video clips...

We should all stick with the ladies and/or cars. But wait! That, too, can be inflammatory and bring down a hail of death.

You can't win.

Rob C
Logged

Fips
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195



WWW
« Reply #55 on: September 14, 2012, 06:40:48 AM »
ReplyReply

We should all stick with the ladies and/or cars.

Yeah, Michael should just shift focus and rename this site to Luminous Ladies. Sounds good to me  Cheesy
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #56 on: September 14, 2012, 09:24:45 AM »
ReplyReply

Yeah, Michael should just shift focus and rename this site to Luminous Ladies. Sounds good to me  Cheesy


And get this: it could still exist as LuLa!

I'm all for that sort of modern improvement.... no Luddite when it comes to important things.

Rob C
Logged

Fips
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 195



WWW
« Reply #57 on: September 14, 2012, 09:36:47 AM »
ReplyReply

Right. And all the luddites can toddle off to LuLu. Luminous Luddites.
Logged
RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6515



WWW
« Reply #58 on: September 14, 2012, 10:32:26 AM »
ReplyReply

And Walter, I don't know where you've been or where you are, but your appraisal is far off the mark and makes it clear you've been influenced heavily by the "oh how bad we are in the U.S." culture of the left.

Getting defensive of your work may cause you to look to outside influences and even bring politics into the equation Russ, but my opinion is formed totally by the evidence presented within the image.

Sorry Walter, but it was your statement, and it was a statement nobody in the U.S. on either side of the political fence in the fifties or early sixties would have made or even thought. It wasn't until the late sixties and early seventies that this kind of sentiment began to raise its head, and it's only been in the last decade or so that it's become a standard sentiment among a large class of people.

Quote
The pig-skin briefcase is a starting point - as early as the 70s the pig-skin briefcase was a part of the parody of attempts to dislodge Idi Amin.  The picture illustrates the vast chasm of disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' and goes on to highlight the disinterest of the 'haves' with the plight of the 'have-nots' by the stoic stance and expression of the principal geezer.

You're right about what was happening in the 70's, but in the fifties and early sixties this wasn't the case at all. ". . . vast chasm of disparity between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'?" I can guarantee that this major, obviously a REMF, bought that briefcase right there in Taegu from a vendor in an open-front shop. I also can guarantee that the briefcase had a peculiar odor because it was tanned in (mostly human) urine. The reason I know that is because I had a similar camera case. The leather was beautiful, but. . .

Quote
Pictures DO contain narrative and do convey messages whether you want to think they do or not.

A quote, from reply #35 by RSL: ". . . I'd agree that photojournalism isn't anything without journalism. On the other hand, I'd never agree with Garry or anybody else that no photograph has narrative ability."

Quote
One of the people you continually make reference to in your advocacy of 'Street' is Walker Evans a guy very fond to my own heart and whom I have studied considerably.  Thinking and narrative were primary motivations of his when he chose to give up literature and pursue photography.  He had been immensely influenced by the rich descriptive style of Baudelaire and Flaubert and wanted to incorporate it into his pictures.  It was his huge skill at achieving that which paved his way to prominence.

Nobody working with a view-camera can dispense with thinking in favour of gut reactions.  Not Evans, not Adams and not me.  In fact, I have long considered that the 35mm camera is reactive and the ground-glass camera is contemplative and meditative.  So yes, in 35mm there can be gut reaction (doesn't have to be, though) and, as a rule, the larger camera is not sufficiently facile to allow it (although the guy who shot the Hindenburg explosion didn't make a bad show of it with 6 sheets in 22 seconds.

Now, after all this digression from the original intent of this thread with the addition of photos in place of links to other photographers, may I attempt to make amends by posting this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Walker-Evans-Photographs-Lincoln-Kirstein/dp/0810960303

Cheers,

W

Now you're talking about the guy who's been my favorite photographer since I first ran across him, I think in the late fifties or early sixties. Walker's FSA photographs, and his photographs in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men are thinking photographs, and most of them were made with a view camera. And yes, I did a bunch of work with a view camera after I read Ansel Adams's books and, for a year or two, tried to do Ansel's kind of work. But its contemplative nature never grabbed me the same way the flexibility and instant response of the small camera grabbed me. Walker did his street photography with at least a Graflex and often with 35mm. These were less thinking photographs and more feeling photographs.

And, as I pointed out in my online annotated bibliography, I have at least 8 books in my library by or about Walker, and American Photographs is one of them. I've studied Walker and his work for decades.

Okay, Walter, here's the hatchet. Let's bury it.

Logged

RSL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6515



WWW
« Reply #59 on: September 14, 2012, 10:59:11 AM »
ReplyReply

Does the difference between Walter's reading of the shot and yours, Russ, suggest that the image does have a kind of ambiguity?

No, it means, principally, that Walter and I have a different knowledge and understanding of the Korean war, and that we've been shaped differently by our cultures. My knowledge of the Korean war is based mostly on having been in it. Since Walter hasn't told us where he is or how old he is, I have to guess, but I'd guess Walter's knowledge of the Korean war is based on his reading, and those who write history write it based on their cultural biases. There's nothing inherently ambiguous about the image. That's why I don't call it street photography, and why I'm willing to add some journalism to the photojournalistic picture.

Quote
Does your disagreement with Walter's (left wing, anti-american and so on) reading indicate that you believe he needs to do a bit more thinking in order to properly appreciate your image?

No, I think Walter's reading is based on what he's been taught. Your thinking is based on what you've been taught, and "increasing" your thinking can't cause your thinking to break out of that corral. Walter's made clear that he "appreciates" that image.

Quote
Does that difference also support my original argument that the story is the product of what is in the mind of the viewer and what is in the image?

I'm not sure what you mean by that, Ken. Certainly what a person deduces (thought process) from an image depends on his cultural background. But what he feels, in other words the unconscious impact of a photograph may not depend at all on his cultural background. It may depend only on his humanity. What comes to mind is pictures of the execution grounds in the book Imperial China Photographs 1850-1912. Anybody who's actually human is going to respond to those pictures of people lined up to be killed, and bodies lying on the ground, in the same way. This kind of response, by the way, is the heart of street photography's effectiveness.
Logged

Pages: « 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 13 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad