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Author Topic: Surprised Art Wolfe does not do his own post and print- how much is enough  (Read 17488 times)
GeraldB
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« on: December 04, 2012, 12:25:45 PM »
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Watching Lula video journal #20 I was surprised to hear Art Wolfe saying that he does not do his own post processing and printing. Make no mistake I think his photo's are amazing, just that I feel a little disappointed because now I'm not sure how much of the picture is "his". Not from a copyright perspective but from an artistic perspective. So it raises the question how little can you do and still claim to be the artist? I'd be interested to hear what the community thinks. For the record I think field work, post and presentation are all equally important and the end object should be fully created by the artist. What are  your views?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 01:09:47 PM »
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... how little can you do and still claim to be the artist?...

I hope you do not imply that doing it right in-camera is your definition of "how little"? Art Wolfe honed his skills in the film era, where you had to do it right at the moment of capture, thus he probably needs very little post-processing today.

I'll throw in the opposite challenge: how little can you do in-camera and still claim to be a photographer (and not photoshopographer™)? Wink
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Slobodan

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WalterEG
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 01:20:57 PM »
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Art Wolfe honed his skills in the film era, where you had to do it right at the moment of capture, thus he probably needs very little post-processing today.

I'll throw in the opposite challenge: how little can you do in-camera and still claim to be a photographer (and not photoshopographer™)? Wink

The best comment I have read on a forum in years.  Have people forgotten already that there was (is) another way?  Perhaps many couldn't forget because they were never aware of how things could be done.

Cheers,

Walter
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John Gellings
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 01:26:03 PM »
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The essense of photography is looking through a view finder and framing content with a unique vision.  You can be an artist and / or a photographer simply by doing this.  Many people don't print their own work... Do not get so mixed up in technical stuff that you don't ever notice what really matters i.e. content / vision (the ability to see).  Don;t look through the history of photography to see who printed their own... you may get really disappointed. 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 01:29:06 PM by John Gellings » Logged
GeraldB
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« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 01:32:36 PM »
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I don't believe any fine are painting artists stopped at the sketch and got someone else to paint it for them. Why can photographers do that and call it art (as opposed to business).
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GeraldB
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« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2012, 03:22:10 PM »
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I think my previous comment was a bit more cryptic than I intended.

I mean framing and shooting an image does not provide something anyone else can see. So it needs some processing and presentation effort. Print or web or other from a presentation point of view. Similarly the post processing could be fairly basic like global lightroom adjustments. But there needs to be something. So if someone other than the photographer is adjusting the image in post and prepping it for web or printing it then it seems that someone needs to be recognized as part of the creation of the image.

If its a business and its about cost and efficiency then I can understand having a team that all contribute. But is that really art? Is art not more a personal contribution - often not very profitable.
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GeraldB
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« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2012, 03:37:51 PM »
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Slobodan, Walter I'm not suggesting that getting it right in the camera is a bad thing, nor how much processing is required. Its just that getting from in camera capture to print cannot be that simple even for Art Wolfe otherwise he would have done it himself. Looking at the images I saw in the video I'd imagine they took quite a bit of post processing and great printing to look so good.
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AFairley
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« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2012, 04:51:24 PM »
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I mean framing and shooting an image does not provide something anyone else can see.

Well, back when I was shooting color film, I did not have the equipment nor the skill to do my own printing (unlike my B&W stuff), so a custom lab made the prints, usually going through several iterations of reviewing proofs with the printer and making adustments to exposure, color and local adustment (aka dodging and burning).  That was really no different than me doing PP on my digital files now; just a different interface and different tools, you could say.
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GeraldB
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« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2012, 04:57:56 PM »
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Interesting perspective Alan. So having someone do the work based on what the photographer tells them is like having a voice operated version of photoshop  Smiley. Its like having a "Make it Good" button on PS. I've been looking for that for ages.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2012, 05:09:44 PM »
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Last time I was at Art's, he had a big room filled with Epson printers. He himself didn't make the prints but trust me, he oversaw the output that ended up in the gallery.
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Andrew Rodney
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Ed B
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« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2012, 09:05:13 PM »
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I'll throw in the opposite challenge: how little can you do in-camera and still claim to be a photographer (and not photoshopographer™)? Wink

Hmmm.......I get what you are saying but the printing/processing process is just as important as the actual shoot whether it be film or digital. Would Adams' work have been as effective without his use of the zone system and his printing skills? Neither of those has anything to do with vision and composition but a poorly processed image can be just as detrimental to the finished work as a fuzzy idea.
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petermfiore
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« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2012, 09:58:58 PM »
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I don't believe any fine are painting artists stopped at the sketch and got someone else to paint it for them. Why can photographers do that and call it art (as opposed to business).


Ever hear of Jeff Koons.



Peter
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GeraldB
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« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2012, 05:47:51 AM »
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I hadn't but I have now looked at his website. It seems he is mostly a sculptor. I don't quite get his relevance to this thread. Care to elaborate?
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John Gellings
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« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2012, 06:58:18 AM »
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I mean framing and shooting an image does not provide something anyone else can see. So it needs some processing and presentation effort.

Really?  I think you may need to rethink this.  If this was true, then why are some photographers better than others?  It isn't because of processing and printing.  Many images are good enough out of camera to be printed.  Concepts are what makes great photography great... technical stuff is a given once you are at a certain level.  

Sounds to me that you can only appreciate the hands on aspect of photograph and cannot truly see from a composition / content point of view yet.  Only other photographers care about technical stuff.  Most of your audience won't care... they will only look at the photo. 
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 07:02:00 AM by John Gellings » Logged
petermfiore
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« Reply #14 on: December 05, 2012, 07:26:27 AM »
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I hadn't but I have now looked at his website. It seems he is mostly a sculptor. I don't quite get his relevance to this thread. Care to elaborate?


Sure.
At first Koons made his bones as a painter. He has many paintings placed in museums world wide and several paintings that are in the Whitney Museum (NYC), one of which was painted in it's entirely by a friend of mine. At that time my friend was an employee of the Koons' factory. This is pretty standard practice in the Fine Art Factory world, and has been for centuries. I don't mean to single out Mr.
Koons, he is just an obvious example to illustrate my point.

Peter

PS    Today the Koons machine makes many more paintings than they do sculpture.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 07:44:24 AM by petermfiore » Logged

GeraldB
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« Reply #15 on: December 05, 2012, 11:43:17 AM »
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Peter that's very interesting. I didn't know that painters do that. How would it work, does Koons do the first one and the employees do copies, or does he rough out an original and tell them to what colors to paint where?

John, what I mean is when the image is in your camera or on your computer it cannot be seen by others unless they are standing next to you and look over your shoulder. So you need to do something to the image to make it presentable. Even images that need "no" work and are perfect out of the camera need to be adjusted in some small way for presentation. For example the colors on the screen don't always print that way, so paper choice, how to adjust the image to look right on paper are necessary steps. One could even argue that framing and lighting are important steps. Audiences look at a photo and appreciate all those things but most are unaware of how all these things come together to give them their experience.

So coming back to Art Wolfe. If there is "almost nothing" to do between capture the final image why not take the jpg out of the camera and send it to Costco to print. It would be much cheaper for him. Clearly the people working for him can do a much better job which indicates to me there is somewhat more that "almost nothing" going on.

And by the way I'm raising a general question and unfortunately Art Wolfe got involved simply to illustrate my point. I think his pictures are terrific, great concepts and compositions.
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AFairley
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« Reply #16 on: December 05, 2012, 12:05:45 PM »
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I don't believe any fine are painting artists stopped at the sketch and got someone else to paint it for them. Why can photographers do that and call it art (as opposed to business).

A bunch of Rennaisance masters come to mind...  There also was the practice of having the master paint the main figure and the assistants paint the background.
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Justan
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« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2012, 09:16:18 AM »
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^^Not just during the Renaissance, but the concept of groups painting works which is claimed by the artist or the artist’s studio has a long history.

Anyone fortunate enough will probably hire one or more assistants and hand off as much of the work as possible to them.

As an aside, some acquaintances are friends of Mr Wolfe, and said he’s not primarily a technician.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 09:18:07 AM by Justan » Logged

Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2012, 11:24:44 AM »
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HCB didn't do his own printing.
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Isaac
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2012, 11:30:38 AM »
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But is that really art? Is art not more a personal contribution - often not very profitable.

"...art ...such a word may mean very different things in different times and places..."


"If he showed talent and knew how to imitate his master's manner to perfection, the youth would gradually be given more important things to do -- perhaps paint a whole picture from the master's sketch and under his supervision. These, then, were the 'schools of painting' of the fifteenth century." p248 The Story of Art

"Duchamp thought it was for artists to decide what was and what was not a work of art. His position was that if an artist said something was a work of art, having influenced its context and meaning, then it was a work of art." p6 What Are You Looking At?


"Damien Hirst's 'simple-minded' works, and an art world where prices bear no relation to talent"

"How the bad boy of Brit-Art grew rich at the expense of his investors"


Perhaps you have in mind something more like --

"To make art is to pursue an idea in a visual way..."
« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 02:44:52 PM by Isaac » Logged
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