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Author Topic: Eric Meola article  (Read 16862 times)
MatthewCromer
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« on: January 13, 2013, 05:22:30 PM »
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That was refreshing.
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ysengrain
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 11:44:23 PM »
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Michael, introducing today's paper writes: "Many observers (myself included) see the mainstream of photography as somewhat constipated, endlessly self-referential, and boringly repetitious."

I've been involved during my pofessional life in medicine (nephrology, dialysis, kidney transplant) and lute-making (viola da gamba). For these topics I've always been an extreme reader and a "congress attender".

Michael, if you switch the word photography of your sentence in medicine/lute making, you're ready to talk about these topics.

Maybe truth is sel referential and this is a pity
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SunnyUK
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2013, 03:49:14 AM »
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Refreshing article, and the pictures Eric chose to illustrate the article were both gorgeous and inspiring. What a lovely way to start a Monday morning!
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Fips
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« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2013, 06:05:12 AM »
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Great article, especially with all the links provided!
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Stephane Desnault
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« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2013, 11:05:13 AM »
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I really liked the abundant reference. Stephen Wilkes Day to Night series is amazing - quite an inspiration.
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2013, 11:49:02 AM »
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I thought the photographic work was refreshingly different.

I really like it.

Going back and reading the article a bit more closely, it seems that Eric is very unhappy with what a lot of other photographers are up to.  Sounds painful.
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John R
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« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2013, 03:13:25 PM »
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A most interesting gentlemen and I really like the sample works.

JMR
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MatthewCromer
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2013, 05:55:42 PM »
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A friend of mine forwarded me his website.

His landscape images are among the best I have seen.  Check them out.
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2013, 08:30:35 PM »
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Frankly I find these images boring and uninspiring. When I see work such as this it drives me further and further to find solace in black and white.
I also have found in the past that Eric Meola is quite creative and stretches the boundaries of color photography in a good way. However, I find this article self-serving and a blatant attempt to plant himself as some sort of avant-garde color photographer for the 21st Century. Baloney. I know others who have done similar work and dismissed it as a mere phase and moved on to different projects.
Just my two cents.
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markd61
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2013, 09:03:34 PM »
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I take his points about landscape.
As much as I like the work of the artists he references I can't help but note that this has its roots in the work of Eggleston, Friedlander, and others working in the 60's and 70's. Moreover, the gags are  repeated ad nauseum without generating any new insights.

Wilkes' "Day and Night" work is wonderful but becomes a schtick through the repetition.

The "New Topographics" group included Robert Adams, Joe Deal, Lewis Baltz, Stephen Shore, Frank Gohlke and a couple of others but not the three listed. They were part of the 1975 show at George Eastman House that established (or I should say, publicized) that ironic, indifferent realist approach to landscape.

The real challenge is being the one who creates a new direction in art. The first image plants the stake of discovery the next few enlarge and  expand on the concept and the rest tend to create the cliche.
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Rob C
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2013, 09:27:03 AM »
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The real challenge is being the one who creates a new direction in art. The first image plants the stake of discovery the next few enlarge and  expand on the concept and the rest tend to create the cliche.


That's the eternal probem of all visual two-dimensional representations of the world. The same could be said of all other photo genres too; it's principally by seeing someone else's work and being inspired by it that we take up the craft ourselves. Then what? It's all been done before, and anything different can only come from the absurd, and who needs to go there? So it's ever more of the same.

Rob C
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Isaac
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2013, 07:04:09 PM »
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The "New Topographics" group included ... but not the three listed.

And yet Eric Meola is still free to refer to [Edward Burtynsky, Nicholas Nixon and Andreas Gursky] as "the New Topographers". Perhaps he wishes to draw attention to the photography that influenced them.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2013, 07:27:39 PM by Isaac » Logged
LJLRenner
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2013, 08:33:23 PM »
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Michael:  Eric (a Canon Explorer of Light) presented at our Newport (RI) Photo Guild last season and was a great hit.  He is not only a great photographer, but also an excellent presenter as well as a really interesting and fun person with which to spend time.  My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know him.  Thanks for spotlighting him on LuLa!

Jack
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HSway
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2013, 09:57:46 AM »
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Yet the definition of “landscape” is constantly changing, and as it evolves, and as our society becomes more urban, photographers are all participants in the search for the architecture of a new landscape.  As our cities become more futuristic, as architectural fantasy becomes reality, our very landscapes are defining a new architecture.  It is for photographers to not only document that architecture, but to use it to find a new way of seeing, and to embrace photography as another, valid means of expressing an abstract vision.

Very true.

... valid means of expressing an abstract vision.

The last words froze my mind a little: I'd say that the concreteness, physical forms and human vision is one infinite Abstract with no fixed, existing boundaries where spirit of man determines its own, unique and very concrete outlines including the forms within that hold essential significance to him, like they held in the past and will continue to hold in the future. I think the spirit of man looks like the keyword here, as is the power of mind and the pulsing, streaming Life with all its idealism, pessimism and realism that was always difficult to generalize, define, arrange into stable structures or control. it just occasionally reflects from a surface that just happened to be at a certain angle. Just like that wild, wide open eye. Yeah, photographers actually should understand.

Hynek
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Ray
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2013, 03:27:28 AM »
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Yet the definition of “landscape” is constantly changing, and as it evolves, and as our society becomes more urban, photographers are all participants in the search for the architecture of a new landscape.  As our cities become more futuristic, as architectural fantasy becomes reality, our very landscapes are defining a new architecture.  It is for photographers to not only document that architecture, but to use it to find a new way of seeing, and to embrace photography as another, valid means of expressing an abstract vision.

Very true.


Bullshit! Landscape is a completely natural environment as opposed to the totally arificial, congested and bustling environment of the city.

The soft shapes of clouds, and trees, and rivers and streams, sometimes contrasting with the harder edges of rocks, cliffs and mountains, create a certain peace and harmony within the human soul. A Landscape is a refuge from the turmoil of the city; a place where one can quietly contemplate, relax, and feel at-one with nature.

A photograph of such a landscape, in order for it to have a similar emotional impact of actually being there, has to capture some essence of that spiritual quality one experiences when one is in harmony with nature.

I admit there's a strong urge for artists in general to be innovative, whether they are painters, writers or musicians, but modern, serious, atonal music, for example, has not been a success because it tends to lack a recognisable melody.

Prior to the introduction of the camera, art tended to be very representational. There's strong evidence that a number of Renaissance artists used mirrors and lenses to project an image onto their canvas, so they could paint it with greater realism. They tended to keep their technique a secret, though.

When the camera was more developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a number of artists, including Picasso, saw no point in labouring for hours or days trying to compete with the realism of the camera. So they moved towards a less realistic or less representaional style that we now call Impressionism and Cubism etc, against which the camera could not compete.

I get the impression that Eric Meola is now trying to follow or imitate, with the camera, that artistic movement which headed towards abstractionism as a result of the influence of the camera.  Wink


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Rob C
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2013, 05:37:20 AM »
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http://www.ericmeola.com

Eric's been one of the leading lights in true stock photography, as in when stock photography meant something.

An eye for colour, contrast, design, the usual rendered unusual etc. etc. is the stock-in-trade (pardon the pun) of good stock shooting.

That some (photography) does or does not fit into preconcieved notions of landscape is not really the pro's problem, more that of the afficionado who needs to create within or, at the very least, live within tight definitions of genre in order to legitimise his own tentative ventures into photographic seeing; it allows him an artificial structure within which to toil, rather than face the more difficult road to discovery of his own path.

I often think that without some great personal need/drive, recognized very early by the individual himself, there really is no point to buying cameras, especially if it's only to ape others.

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2013, 07:14:27 AM »
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That some (photography) does or does not fit into preconcieved notions of landscape is not really the pro's problem, more that of the afficionado who needs to create within or, at the very least, live within tight definitions of genre in order to legitimise his own tentative ventures into photographic seeing; it allows him an artificial structure within which to toil, rather than face the more difficult road to discovery of his own path.

That seems very confused reasoning to me, Rob. I've never come across a "need" to create within tight definitions. That sounds like an oxymoron. The "need" is simply to create in a manner which is meaningful. As I mentioned previously, I can understand completely that any painter who is skilled in accurate representational work, as Picasso was in his youth, could feel foolish spending days painting something which was very similar to a photograph which could be produced in an hour or so in the darkroom.

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I often think that without some great personal need/drive, recognized very early by the individual himself, there really is no point to buying cameras, especially if it's only to ape others.

You should know by now, Rob, that people don't buy cameras to ape others, they buy cameras to photograph themselves.

I've recently returned from a trip to Cambodia, and in particular Angkor Wat. The number of tourists wandering around these temples has increased enormously since my previous visit, especially Chinese tourists.

Almost without exception, every tourist I encountered was primarily interested in photographing themselves in front of some amazing sculpture or edifice.

Occasionally I'd see someone with a tripod, and I'd think, "Ah! a real photographer." Not so. The purpose of the tripod was so the individual, without a partner, could set up his camera and using time-delay could dash in front of the camera and photograph himself standing in front of something interesting.

Often one would encounter groups of tourists, and each member of the group would require their own portrait in front of the interesting background of the moment. The whole process could take 15 minutes or more, then immediately another group would take its place and the same process would be repeated, again and again.
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GrahamB3
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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2013, 08:49:50 AM »
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I'm a fan of William Neill's work, especially his Impressions of Light series http://www.williamneill.com/store/books/impressions-of-light-hardbound.html.

Mr. Meola's images are beautiful, but they're not "new landscape", as they didn't (examples posted here) originate in nature. I don't think many would identify a carousel, the basis of the first image, as a landscape if it was presented as a realistic interpretation, why should it be identified as such in the abstract?

If one has to label interpretive photography as "landscape", let it originate in nature, as Mr. Neill illustrates. Mr. Meola's images may be fine art, but landscape, new or otherwise, they're not.

Graham
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Sharon Van Lieu
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« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2013, 09:07:38 AM »
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Mmm...I don't agree. I think the term landscape can be used in a way that has nothing to do with subject matter and more to do with the feel or scope of a photograph. I am working on a series of photographs of natural objects that I think of as portraits. That is the feel they have.

Sharon
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Rob C
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« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2013, 09:44:42 AM »
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That seems very confused reasoning to me, Rob. I've never come across a "need" to create within tight definitions. That sounds like an oxymoron. The "need" is simply to create in a manner which is meaningful. As I mentioned previously, I can understand completely that any painter who is skilled in accurate representational work, as Picasso was in his youth, could feel foolish spending days painting something which was very similar to a photograph which could be produced in an hour or so in the darkroom.

You should know by now, Rob, that people don't buy cameras to ape others, they buy cameras to photograph themselves.

I've recently returned from a trip to Cambodia, and in particular Angkor Wat. The number of tourists wandering around these temples has increased enormously since my previous visit, especially Chinese tourists.

Almost without exception, every tourist I encountered was primarily interested in photographing themselves in front of some amazing sculpture or edifice.

Occasionally I'd see someone with a tripod, and I'd think, "Ah! a real photographer." Not so. The purpose of the tripod was so the individual, without a partner, could set up his camera and using time-delay could dash in front of the camera and photograph himself standing in front of something interesting.

Often one would encounter groups of tourists, and each member of the group would require their own portrait in front of the interesting background of the moment. The whole process could take 15 minutes or more, then immediately another group would take its place and the same process would be repeated, again and again.

Now, now, Ray, you know perfectly well where I’m pointing my prow!

There’s no contradiction about it at all:  the ‘tight definitions’ are what, for example, this forum tries to be abut: landscape on the one hand, pro work on the other, and some varied bits of ‘different’ stuff suspended from the shoulder on whichever side in a tiny sack: cars, boats, street etc.

People get excited by a sunset and want to shoot that; they sometimes get lucky and manage to make something pleasing; at other times they fail, and then the incentive becomes to do it again until they can get it right. That achieved, they either become happy to make more similar images or, better, they move across the spectrum to something new: portraits, cityscapes, everything that’s already an established genre. So, voilà, working within a definition.

Self-portraits. But you hardly need to buy a separate camera for that: cellpix do perfectly well, and in many cases, better. The same can be said for landscape too, unless you have become a fairly sophisticated snapper and know very clearly what you’re trying to achieve.

Male jewellery? Possibly, but I imagine that’s falling slowly out of fashion.

http://youtu.be/mQBKpV9emKc

Some things never go out of style; only the beat changes.

Rob C
« Last Edit: January 17, 2013, 09:48:59 AM by Rob C » Logged

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