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Author Topic: stuck in the middle  (Read 3025 times)
Didymus
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« on: October 14, 2012, 04:30:10 PM »
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I feel stuck in the middle. A lot of "photographers" don't consider what I do photography and painters don't consider what I do art. Back when photography came out, and perhaps still now, artists didn't accept photography as an art because of it's use of a machine and chemicals. Now, because of the assistance of a computer, photographers themselves don't accept digitally manipulated photography.  An interesting question to me is whether or not "photographers" accept manipulation in the camera or in the enlarger.  The funny thing is some photographers, with exceptional knowledge of photography, can produce a fairly simple photograph and gain much more respect and acknowledgement than a photographer who makes a highly technical photograph that is manipulated.  It is so ironic that, just as artists of the 19th century rejected photography and film, "photographers" of today are rejecting digitally manipulated photography.
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louoates
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2012, 06:02:49 PM »
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Your first mistake is to give a damn about what other "...photographers themselves don't accept digitally..." You'll find that, largely, those who will deride the digital workflow are those who are unable to, or can't afford, the rather steep learning curve required. Nothing against those who still work with film for whatever their reasons. But those who turn up their noses at digital and argue against it as a process are fooling themselves. Every photographer who ever lived manipulated the image through film type, exposure, composition, lens type, developing technique, enlarger qualities, and printing paper styles. Who gives a rip how they do it. They either produce interesting images or they don't. Your last mistake is your conclusion that "...photographers of today are rejecting digitally manipulated photography." Who and what are you reading to come to that way of thinking?
So don't feel like you're "...stuck in the middle". Get out and shoot. Film or digital. Chemistry or digital process. Next time someone derides the digital process sell him some glass plates.
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james-greenland
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 03:44:29 AM »
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Your first mistake is to give a damn about what other "...photographers themselves don't accept digitally..."

Exactly.

Whilst an audience's actions/reactions will inevitably have an impact on how you work, the best way to look at it is that you are doing what you do best. Whilst an audience's response to you work is of obvious importance, it shouldn't be deciding factor in your creative decision making.

BUT If you want to look into WHY it is in fact your duty as a creative individual to go against that viewpoint, there are a few things you can read:

Gerhard Stäbler's 'Sharpened Senses : Open, Responsible, Challenging : Composing Now'
- he's a New Music composer who talks about resistance to his work (in a surprising number of ways), but argues that whilst resisting change is a natural instinct, truly innovative work (even if seen by some as 'offensive') creates room for 'exposing... uncertainties together and viewing the resulting tasks as provocations in the positive sense, and encountering previously unaccustomed, unknown, even existentially challenging situations with creativity'.

Its a bit of a heavy read, but its great motivation to carry on past any negative responses you encounter as an artist.

A nice easy read is Johnathan Burrows' 'The Choreographer's Handbook' - just the first 40 pages (it sounds like a lot - its not - the text is so spread out and there are bits that don't really matter too much so you will finish it in under 15 minutes, I guarantee).

That excerpt playfully looks at how we can explore new possibilities in art (it is about modern dance, but most of what J talks about is applicable to all art forms) - it takes all of the built up huff-n-puff out of the creative process and just gets down to what things you need to consider when creating.

Just remember to not take anything anyone says about your work too seriously. Yes, your work matters, but every so often just step back and say 'its only a fucking picture'.

P.S. if you want an example of someone who creates digital artwork from photography look at Michael Najjar's series of mountain ranges as stock market infographics.

They're called 'High Altitude' - just look at them in Google though - his flash website is useless.
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AlexanderB
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 09:46:48 AM »
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I have good analogy for this. Photography is like bobsleigh. Almost every one can go to down the track (take a picture) but you need the whole life to become an Olympic champion.
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Victor Glass
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2012, 09:23:05 PM »
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Just a note about "Back when photography came out, and perhaps still now, artists didn't accept photography as an art because of it's use of a machine and chemicals." I don't believe this is why photography is not seen as art. Instead, in my opinion and experience, photography is considered not to be art because (1) it can be reproduced, i.e. printed over and over, (2) it is considered a "copy" of what is being photographed, and (3) it does have a utilitarian side, e.g commercial photography, journalistic photography, etc. Getting back to machines and chemicals, non-photographic art can also be created using machines and chemicals, for example welding metal into a sculpture and applying acid to change it's surface.
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Didymus
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2012, 10:47:53 AM »
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Yes, you are right. Reproduction was one of the reasons why photography was not accepted, as well as the reasons I cited. To go beyond that, "welding metal into a sculpture and applying acid to change it's surface", is missing the point. Besides, welding wasn't even around for another 93 years.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 03:20:59 PM by didymus » Logged
John Gellings
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« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2012, 07:03:30 AM »
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Now, because of the assistance of a computer, photographers themselves don't accept digitally manipulated photography.  An interesting question to me is whether or not "photographers" accept manipulation in the camera or in the enlarger.  The funny thing is some photographers, with exceptional knowledge of photography, can produce a fairly simple photograph and gain much more respect and acknowledgement than a photographer who makes a highly technical photograph that is manipulated. 

Who doesn't accept digitally manipulated imagery?  Anyone with a digital work flow (even scanned film) manipulates to some extent.  Fairly simple may trump highly technical due one having better content over the other.  Sometimes people get so caught up with the technical aspects of photography they have no clue what to actually photograph. 
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iluvmycam
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« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2013, 12:47:31 PM »
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Bill yourself a conceptual artist
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