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Author Topic: Surprised Art Wolfe does not do his own post and print- how much is enough  (Read 18285 times)
Rob C
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« Reply #40 on: December 23, 2012, 04:46:21 PM »
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The art part belongs to the photographer... printing is the craft part.



You have got to be joking: they are inseperable Siamese twins; the yin and the yang of the thing!

Rob C
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« Reply #41 on: December 23, 2012, 06:34:53 PM »
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Yes, of course it's often the norm to have others print your work; but that's not the same if your work is being touted as art rather than straight commerce; HC-B never, to my reading, ever claimed his photos were art, just good geometry. Which they were.

Rob C

Bresson may not have touted his work as art but I think there'd be little disagreement among others that it is.  Isn't most good photography also good geometry?

I don't really see a disconnect between someone else doing the printing and the pictures being considered art. 

In the digital world, the fact that Wolfe may have someone else edit and print really isn't any different.  The editing is simpy much of the work that, in the past, was done on the enlarger.
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Rob C
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« Reply #42 on: December 24, 2012, 03:07:29 AM »
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Bresson may not have touted his work as art but I think there'd be little disagreement among others that it is.  Isn't most good photography also good geometry?

I don't really see a disconnect between someone else doing the printing and the pictures being considered art. 
In the digital world, the fact that Wolfe may have someone else edit and print really isn't any different.  The editing is simpy much of the work that, in the past, was done on the enlarger.


Really?  Guess that's one point of view. But then, whose art, if it looks like art, would that be: snapper's or printers's, or do you feel a printer can't be an artist in his own right, or can simly throw a switch and not imprress his own take on the result? Since a printer isn't a machine, then maybe the way out of the moral quagmire is to print using an automatic machine, in which case, only a strong art photographer could make the picture look like art; he'd ride above the process and the image be totally his. But then, whom but himself could he blame for the 99.9% failure rates we all generally achieve? ;-)

Regarding HC-B: I don't think his photography is art; I think his photography is acute observational skill. His craftmanship isn't even that good, if you look at a lot of his work. He always looked and sounded somewhat bemused in the few interviews I've managed to catch of him: perhaps he couldn't, really couldn't understand what the fuss was all about.

Rob C
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #43 on: December 24, 2012, 03:29:28 AM »
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The art part belongs to the photographer... printing is the craft part.
Can't really agree with that. Clicking "Print One" is craft. Making adjustments based upon the prints, choosing the paper, choosing a particular printing technique, and so on, they're all part of the art.
Shipping the print to the customer is beyond art. Everything before that step, to me, it's still part of the process.
An artist may work with other artists (those who print) and none of them is less an artist. Mr. Wolfe is just an artist which doesn't do prints.
His effort stops with the shot and there should be judged. Other photographers may go further and for those more steps may get even better, or worse.

To me the print artists should be credited as well, but that's another topic.
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John Gellings
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« Reply #44 on: December 24, 2012, 07:43:25 AM »
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Yes, of course it's often the norm to have others print your work; but that's not the same if your work is being touted as art rather than straight commerce; HC-B never, to my reading, ever claimed his photos were art, just good geometry. Which they were.

Rob C

So, HCB was just straight commerce? 
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #45 on: December 24, 2012, 10:48:48 AM »
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Rob, as far as you're concerned no one is as good as you so I'm afraid I don't put a lot of stock into your comments of Bresson's technical quality.  While it is true that some of his shots weren't 'tack sharp' or had other technical flaws, I don't believe a photo has to be technically perfect to be a good or compelling photo.

Can a printer be an artist in his/her own right?  That's a good question but I'd tend to think not.  As far as a printer making a particular photo his/her own, that negates the fact that the photographers who have others do their printing are still heavily involved in the process, advising or guiding the direction of the printer to the final result.  It's not simply a matter of the printer independently interpreting the image.
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #46 on: December 24, 2012, 11:38:47 AM »
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Can a printer be an artist in his/her own right?  That's a good question but I'd tend to think not.  As far as a printer making a particular photo his/her own, that negates the fact that the photographers who have others do their printing are still heavily involved in the process, advising or guiding the direction of the printer to the final result.  It's not simply a matter of the printer independently interpreting the image.
A good friend of mine makes wood frames. He doesn't paint (however, he is a very good photographer as well), yet I still think he is an artisan/artist.
Telling him how would I like the frame to be done doesn't make him less an artist, as when a committer tells the photographer what she or he needs for a specific work.
Sometimes I have the impression that some people tend to overestimate their own work and underestimate others'.
I'm pretty sure a lot of printers (people, not printing machines) may think the same about photographers ("Those people that just click a button on a camera and leave all the most important/delicate/artistic work to us"...). In the end it's a lot about point of views. Smiley
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #47 on: December 24, 2012, 11:51:08 AM »
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... "Those people that just click a button on a camera...

A family had a squeaking floor that was driving them nuts. They tried this and that, nothing worked. Finally, they called a handyman. He came, walked around a few minutes, pulled a single nail and hammered it. The squeaking stopped, the family was delighted... until they saw the bill: $100. "What, $100 for one nail!?" "No, ma'm," replied the handyman "$1 for the nail... knowing where to put it: $99."
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Rob C
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« Reply #48 on: December 24, 2012, 03:25:18 PM »
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So, HCB was just straight commerce?  


Mostly, he was just straight magazine/press/print.

That doesn't mean he didn't have one of the best eyes around, but it wasn't art insofar as he or anyone else (outwith the groupie or art marketing worlds) seems to have thought out loud. You have got to realise that when someone reaches a certain level of exposure, they cease to be what they actually are; they become deified, whether they like it or not, and from his interviews (those I've seen) he didn't like it one bit, saying that his brush and pencil work were what he found important. Hell, he even abandoned photography altogether, but not his pencils!

If you want a realistic view on photography, look up the Brian Duffy website and watch the BBC video about him. Or, try to find David Bailey speaking on the topic. Those guys got so big they don't need the mystique of faux photographic art in their lives; Bailey also paints, apart from other creative things.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #49 on: December 24, 2012, 03:39:46 PM »
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Rob, as far as you're concerned no one is as good as you so I'm afraid I don't put a lot of stock into your comments of Bresson's technical quality.  While it is true that some of his shots weren't 'tack sharp' or had other technical flaws, I don't believe a photo has to be technically perfect to be a good or compelling photo.

1.  I think that comment is totally uncalled for; I did what I did and do what I do, and that's all. Yes, I did print a damned sight better than most professional photographers that I knew, and have no false modesty about something I could see and was also told by some of them, as well as by clients who used several of us.

2.  On your second point, you have agreed with me, so where the argument? Nobody is saying that technical perfection is all. A good or compelling image does not of itself constitute 'art' in the sense of which we seem to speak. Neither does its absence. We could go on forever trying to define the term and there aren't years enough for that. However, none of it makes or does not make HC-B anything other than a damned fine photographer. I must think so; I've bought his stuff. An 'art' photographer? I don't think so.

Rob C

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« Reply #50 on: December 24, 2012, 03:48:37 PM »
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A good friend of mine makes wood frames. He doesn't paint (however, he is a very good photographer as well), yet I still think he is an artisan/artist.
Telling him how would I like the frame to be done doesn't make him less an artist, as when a committer tells the photographer what she or he needs for a specific work.
Sometimes I have the impression that some people tend to overestimate their own work and underestimate others'.
I'm pretty sure a lot of printers (people, not printing machines) may think the same about photographers ("Those people that just click a button on a camera and leave all the most important/delicate/artistic work to us"...). In the end it's a lot about point of views. Smiley

There is a difference, I think, between being a fine artisan or craftsman and an artist.  Personally I wouldn't consider a frame to be art.  Similarly, I wouldn't consider a genuine Louis 14 chair to be art either, despite it perhaps being visually appealing.  And no, I don't undervalue the work of others and overvalue my own.  I think my comments in this discussion should bear that out.

No, Rob, I haven't agreed with you. We said two entirely different things and you seem to feel we said the sme things. 
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mac_paolo
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« Reply #51 on: December 24, 2012, 03:59:21 PM »
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There is a difference, I think, between being a fine artisan or craftsman and an artist.  Personally I wouldn't consider a frame to be art.  Similarly, I wouldn't consider a genuine Louis 14 chair to be art either, despite it perhaps being visually appealing.  And no, I don't undervalue the work of others and overvalue my own.  I think my comments in this discussion should bear that out.
Maybe it's just because living in Tuscany and admiring the work of a lot of artisans, I sincerely grew the belief that their own is real art.
They certainly do think that way Smiley
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Rob C
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« Reply #52 on: December 25, 2012, 02:48:19 AM »
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Maybe it's just because living in Tuscany and admiring the work of a lot of artisans, I sincerely grew the belief that their own is real art.
They certainly do think that way Smiley


Yes, and because they can make beautiful things ot of mud or pigment, they are artists. That's creation.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #53 on: December 25, 2012, 03:54:55 AM »
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No, Rob, I haven't agreed with you. We said two entirely different things and you seem to feel we said the sme things. 



No, I donít think we are saying different things at all, and I still feel rather pissed at your earlier personal comment, which I find quite unjustified.

Anyway, I suppose you are entiltled to feel whatever you wish to feel, so there you go Ė  all the flaws of democracy at work.

But you did get me thinking and wondering about where Iíd place great photographers in the general scheme of the business. This is a brief listing of how they strike me, and who they are.

Sam Haskins: highly-honed technique, natural artist. Style-setter. See Five Girls, Cowboy Kate & Other Stories.

David Hamilton: uncomplicated, honestly beautiful technique if suspect genre, natural artist. Where Iíd love to be today, if with older models. See Dreams of Young Girls.

Frank Horvat: photographic polymath; capable of excellent reportage and, surprisingly for that, many facets of fashion.

Sarah Moon: one of the original thinkers of her era; much copied for her early style, but never matched for her delivery of it. My favourite Pirelli. An artist.

Hans Feurer: instantly recognizable style delivered faultlessly, much as youíd expect from a designer/photographer. Also much copied, as are many other artists too, for better or for worse.

Jean Loup Sieff: really to grasp his spžrit demands one read his last, eponymously titled life-book, published by Taschen just after his death. Man, art, words, elfin and quicksilver yet infinitlely sad spirit, come together better within than anywhere else Iíve yet discovered.

The list could be much longer, but both instant recall and time are short. If you choose to explore any of them on the Web, itíll tell you more than I can.

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #54 on: December 25, 2012, 01:51:41 PM »
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Like Rob, I'm sure that if HCB were to hear somebody call him an "art photographer" he'd roll on the floor laughing. But that's not to say that he wasn't one of the great artists of the 20th century.

I hardly can believe I've seen photographers say what they've said in this thread. Photography isn't about post-processing; it's about cropping: throwing frames around the world in such a way that the result is so focused viewers see something and learn something they didn't see and learn in passing. Sometimes good post-processing helps, but unless the image is there good post-processing is meaningless. The idea that a photographer has to do his own processing in order for the result to be "art" is risible.
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Rob C
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« Reply #55 on: December 25, 2012, 03:09:56 PM »
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Like Rob, I'm sure that if HCB were to hear somebody call him an "art photographer" he'd roll on the floor laughing. But that's not to say that he wasn't one of the great artists of the 20th century.

I hardly can believe I've seen photographers say what they've said in this thread. Photography isn't about post-processing; it's about cropping: throwing frames around the world in such a way that the result is so focused viewers see something and learn something they didn't see and learn in passing. Sometimes good post-processing helps, but unless the image is there good post-processing is meaningless. The idea that a photographer has to do his own processing in order for the result to be "art" is risible.



I'm a bit disturbed by this reference to the viewer learning something; why can't he just enjoy it without anything more intellectually pressing than that? Risible or not, it strikes me that anybody who refers to himself as an artist must have a very elastic idea of the meaning of his job description if he allows or needs others to complete the 'work/art' for him. Shooting something is but a fraction of the whole, and in the world of b/w film especially, there's no need for a snapper to delegate because the darkroom effort is minimal if a digital output is contemplated.

I mean, we all know perfectly well that a print can be made to look a million different ways. Giving detailed instructions isn't any excuse for not doing the thing one's self. If it is, then anyone could call a pretty postcard reproduction, a pic in a magazine, a mass reproduction anywhere in any medium a work of art. It most certainly is not: only the original, final print is the completed work of art. Thatís a problem of limited or unlimited editions, too. Where does art stop being an original work? Print number 2, or can one go up to print number 2005 and it still remains original art?

The frame one throws around the subject is only the start in the creative cycle: it has no body, is a quite intangible thing without concrete meaning. The negative isnít much better, whereas a transparency is an entity in its own right, a real, completed piece of art (should the subject/execution permit the appellation). Any negative or file is only a step in the process: until there is a physical print the thing doesnít really exist other than in legal considerations such as copyright etc.

The final step, the print, to be morally the work of the author, has to be the product of his hand and eye. Anything less, and you see that concern and doubt reflected in the big-time art world where there is huge interest in provenance and who printed what and when.

If the photographer is incapable of printing his own work, then heís the lesser artist for it. Another form of impotence, then.

Rob C
 

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GeraldB
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« Reply #56 on: December 27, 2012, 05:32:34 PM »
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And now for the ultimate hands-off "photographer" ...    Concepts only please.
(Gregory Crewdson)
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WalterEG
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« Reply #57 on: December 27, 2012, 05:53:33 PM »
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Bravo Crewdson!

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Rob C
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« Reply #58 on: December 28, 2012, 10:01:13 AM »
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I love the idea: intimate, heart-felt portraits of a set-up small town. Quite touching. Just like the imaginary characters played out by that divine, self-casting lady snapper whose name I've temporarily forgotten, but will always think of as with suitcase by the side of a road to nowhere. Or as a busty bird in nurse's uniform. Ah, the world of art. Wish I knew how to open the door. Hmmm... she could have/might have being playing my recent dentist, too.

;-)

Rob C
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WalterEG
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« Reply #59 on: December 28, 2012, 02:32:37 PM »
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Just like the imaginary characters played out by that divine, self-casting lady snapper whose name I've temporarily forgotten,

Cindy Sherman ??  Or Bunny Yeager?  LOL
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