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Author Topic: Eric Meola article  (Read 20467 times)
Isaac
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« Reply #140 on: January 31, 2013, 10:35:47 AM »
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I did not read all the posts here as it seemed to be a lot of noise not moving anyone in any particular direction.

Perhaps if you had read all the posts you might be better able to judge whether or not anyone moved in any particular direction ;-)

As it happens, I changed my opinion.

Rob C. has expressed similar views on other occasions but I didn't take the trouble to question him and understand what he was saying. This time I did -- he's being quite literal about the difference between bringing something new into existence, and selecting and recording (however skillfully) something that already exists.

tl;dr make(+take) versus take

In the context of landscape photography, we should ask whether Andy Goldsworthy's photographs show what Rob means by photographic creativity.


Creativity can be found almost anywhere ...
Doesn't that very much depend on what you mean by creativity?
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jjj
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« Reply #141 on: January 31, 2013, 11:35:58 AM »
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Rob C. has expressed similar views on other occasions but I didn't take the trouble to question him and understand what he was saying. This time I did -- he's being quite literal about the difference between bringing something new into existence, and selecting and recording (however skillfully) something that already exists.
tl:dr make(+take) versus take
Creativity can often be spurred on by limitations. Here's a landscape, I can't alter it, but what can I do to make it interesting or different is one such limitation. Here's a studio with a single lighting setup is another limitation. And the fact that some people can produce stunning images within those limitations and others cannot shows a creative/artistic skill in that arena.

Photographs where you can add whatever you want into the frame is to my mind simply another type of creative skill, a very different skill certainly. Some people are very good at that yet not so hot when faced with a stunning vista. And vice versa. Not too many excel at both. I recently saw a portrait photographer who does very complex composite images where everything is brought into the frame, admit he cannot capture landscapes to save his life

One could takes Rob's idea elsewhere and also argue that people who photograph stunning models who are nicely made up in exotic locations [ahem Rob] are not as creative as those who produce beautiful pictures of ordinary people without the aid of a MUA or a Jamaican beach.  Wink

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Isaac
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« Reply #142 on: January 31, 2013, 02:10:00 PM »
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One could takes Rob's idea elsewhere and also argue that people who photograph stunning models who are nicely made up in exotic locations [ahem Rob] are not as creative as those who produce beautiful pictures of ordinary people without the aid of a MUA or a Jamaican beach.  Wink

Please show how you would make that argument, here's "Rob's idea" --

The essence of photographic creativity, in my sense/understanding of the term, is that the photographer has put together something that did not and would not have existed without his active interference in the status quo.
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jjj
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« Reply #143 on: January 31, 2013, 04:25:35 PM »
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Please show how you would make that argument
In the first sort of situation I mentioned, the art director may well have arranged the shoot, the MUA would have titivated the girls, who were chosen by art director/casting agent. The photographer merely captured what was then placed in front of him.  Tongue
But my point was more about the fact it's a lot easier to create a pretty picture under those conditions than for someone photographing an ordinary person in a dismal location with no MUA. And more creativity may well be required by the photographer as a result to get a good shot.


Quote
here's "Rob's idea"
The essence of photographic creativity, in my sense/understanding of the term, is that the photographer has put together something that did not and would not have existed without his active interference in the status quo.
My quick answer to that is Rob doesn't really understand the term.  Smiley
Or he has his own definition, that suits his own particular world view. Rob to my mind, has quite a narrow view of of what art/creativity is from discussions in both in this discussion and previously in other threads.

That aside, the mere fact of taking a photograph is active interference, as you decide where to stand, what settings to use, what composition etc, let alone post processing work - all that is altering how the final product will look/be perceived as what you are doing is giving your perspective on what you photographed. But I don't think Rob meant that.
Basically it would seem according to Rob's argument, that unless the photographer had a hand in placing things in front of the camera, there is no creativity involved as you are simply recording the scene as it is. And in doing so dismisses most photography as snapshots it would seem.

[Besides at the end of the day whoever is viewing the shot will rarely give a toss about the story of making the picture, as it's not relevant most of the time. Is it a good photo or is is not a good photo? That's all that counts to the person viewing the image.
Photographers all too often favour photos that were difficult to take and that can bias them regarding a shot's worth.]
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Isaac
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« Reply #144 on: January 31, 2013, 06:25:17 PM »
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The essence of photographic creativity, in my sense/understanding of the term, is that the photographer has put together something that did not and would not have existed without his active interference in the status quo.

My quick answer to that is Rob doesn't really understand the term.  Smiley
Or he has his own definition, that suits his own particular world view.

Rob C. said very clearly, that was his sense/understanding of the term.

Yet you accuse him of not understanding what it means, without saying what you understand that term or "creativity" to mean.



And in doing so dismisses most photography as snapshots it would seem.

Only if you think snapshots require "acute observational and technical skills" --

I own several different books on landscape, and I do accept that it takes a helluva lot of skill to produce what some do; but creativity? I don't think so, just acute observational and technical skills.
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jjj
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« Reply #145 on: January 31, 2013, 07:38:41 PM »
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Snapshots can be technically good you know. Mine usually are.  Grin
Snapshots to most people are simply reminders of where they've been or what they did and for most people they are the most important photos as they are their memories. And by Rob's definition landscapes are snapshots as they are just records of where the photographer stood as there is no creativity in them.

What do I think demonstrates photographic creativity? It's like musical creativity, it expresses itself in different ways.
Some people can write music; some people can sing and transform a written piece of music into something quite wonderful; some people can improvise with others amazingly, yet not be much cop at sitting down and writing on their own.
Regardless of process all take a bunch of notes and move us in some way with the end result.

Some photographers can take beautiful shots; some can take what other simply see as insipid looking raw files or negatives and transform them into stunning images/prints; some do still life; some see little details on the street that everyone else misses; some create entire tableaus from scratch including the lighting.
Regardless of process all take a bunch of photons and move us in some way with the end result.

But what muddies things slightly with photography is that almost every one takes photographs and numerous people without talent foist their photography upon the world. This dilutes the view of photography being a process that requires ability. Particularly as you can now simply apply a preset that an actual person with some skill has devised to give you a funky retro styled photo.

As for landscape simply showing observational skill, well I'd say that it a very important part of being creative. Observing the world in ways others do not and then putting your own stamp on it.
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« Reply #146 on: January 31, 2013, 08:02:37 PM »
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As it happens I came across some landscape shots after reading this thread earlier.
So are these creative or not? After all they both look very different from each other, one being very high key and the other being very low key. Both are B+W and as we know the world is actually in colour so straight away they look quite different to real life.






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Tony Jay
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« Reply #147 on: February 01, 2013, 01:50:13 AM »
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As it happens I came across some landscape shots after reading this thread earlier.
So are these creative or not? ...






No argument from me!

Tony Jay
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Isaac
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« Reply #148 on: February 01, 2013, 10:54:52 AM »
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Snapshots can be technically good you know. Mine usually are.  Grin
Snapshots to most people are simply reminders of where they've been or what they did and for most people they are the most important photos as they are their memories.

Let's remember that you are the person who started talking about "snapshots" and you are the person who suggested it would be dismissive to describe most photography as "snapshots".


And by Rob's definition landscapes are snapshots as they are just records of where the photographer stood as there is no creativity in them.

No, "Rob's definition" said nothing about "snapshots"; and the usual definitions of "snapshots" don't mention "creativity" -- "a casual photograph taken quickly with a small hand-camera".


What do I think demonstrates photographic creativity?

No -- What do you understand "photographic creativity" or "creativity" to mean?
« Last Edit: February 01, 2013, 11:18:12 AM by Isaac » Logged
Isaac
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« Reply #149 on: February 01, 2013, 11:13:36 AM »
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So are these creative or not?
Depends what you mean by "creative".




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jjj
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« Reply #150 on: February 01, 2013, 09:58:32 PM »
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You entirely missed the point of all 3 things of mine you quoted above.
And then you post this.....

Depends what you mean by "creative".
By creative I mean, the photographer sacrificed virginal albino stoats to Beelzebub in order to produce a photograph that so moving, it would melt the heart of long dead Stalin. After first bringing him back to life of course.  Roll Eyes

On a related note, do not let Rob suck you into his semantic vortex, where he's the proverbial judge, jury and executioner (i.e., both creates definitions and then determines how they apply to various genres).
Looks like the vortex is exactly where you ended up.

This conversation is a brick wall, against which I have no further desire to batter my head.
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« Reply #151 on: February 01, 2013, 10:03:48 PM »
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I notice the word Sisyphean was used earlier, well this debate is a fantastic example of that kind of task as pushing a boulder uphill would be more productive than debating art with Rob.
or Issac it would seem.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #152 on: February 01, 2013, 11:12:38 PM »
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... Looks like the vortex is exactly where you ended up...

Huh!?
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« Reply #153 on: February 02, 2013, 04:00:00 AM »
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...Both are B+W and as we know the world is actually in colour so straight away they look quite different to real life.

"Real life is in colour, but black and white is more realistic"
Sam Fuller in Wim Wenders' little-seen "State of Things"

Not that I agree, but it's a great quote - apply as required.

Roy
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Isaac
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« Reply #154 on: February 02, 2013, 11:37:19 AM »
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[... Looks like the vortex is exactly where you ended up...] -- Huh!?

jjj
probably intended that your comment be applied to me, not you -- just read say what you mean as semantic vortex.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 12:26:06 PM by Isaac » Logged
Isaac
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« Reply #155 on: February 05, 2013, 01:34:40 PM »
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Both are B+W and as we know the world is actually in colour so straight away they look quite different to real life.

afaik the world is actually awash in electromagnetic radiation across a wide spectrum of frequencies; a very small part of which we sense as visible light, a tiny part of which we sense as heat on our skin, and a tiny part of which we sense as sun burn.

"B+W" photography is no less a transcription from the world, because it does not differentiate frequencies in the visible spectrum.

Infrared photography is no less a transcription from the world, because it records EM radiation at a frequency we do not see.


What do I think demonstrates photographic creativity? It's like musical creativity, it expresses itself in different ways.

"However 'creative' a photographer may be, he is ultimately dependent upon what physically exists in the world: no filter made will transform a frog into a prince. On the other hand, music, as Stravinsky stated, expresses only itself -- its laws, its forms, its -- not the world's -- reality. Consequently, the composer is, in an absolute sense, 'freer' than the photographer; so, too, in the framework of picture making, is the traditional artist."

Paul Caponigro quoted in The Wise Silence p180.
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Isaac
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« Reply #156 on: February 05, 2013, 02:03:33 PM »
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The landscape photographer may not be able to rearrange the elements in the composition at the stage of the initial concept, but he certainly can do so later in post-processing, without even offending the sensibilities of Alain Briot.  Wink

Wouldn't that be photoshop creativity rather than photographic creativity ?

Wouldn't that be when the description changes to digital painting collage  rather than photograph?

In a similar vein -- "Now it is easier than ever to take your own photographs and digitally transform them into works of art that engage and mystify the viewer. The latest software programs on the market today are so sophisticated in their capabilities and so easy to use that anyone can be an artist and create their own style for their body of work." p7 The Art of Digital Photo Painting
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #157 on: February 05, 2013, 02:29:20 PM »
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Wouldn't that be photoshop creativity rather than photographic creativity ?

I resolve that conundrum by calling myself a photoshoppographer™  Grin
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« Reply #158 on: February 05, 2013, 05:36:11 PM »
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Wouldn't that be photoshop creativity rather than photographic creativity ?

I prefer to use the original concept behind the term 'photography', a word which is based upon two Greek words, 'light' and 'draw' (or write). The process of Photography is sometimes described as 'painting with light'. Do we need to quibble over the words, paint, draw and write?

The original exposure using a lens and camera can be considered as a very detailed type of note-taking, more detailed in many respects than the extensive notes that some painters would make in the past when hiking in the mountains or countryside, but perhaps not as detailed in other respects. The camera may record the hues, shades and detail more precisely than a written record, but not necessarily the emotional experience felt at the time.

The creative process doesn't end until the final print, or processed electronic image, has been made. The role of Photoshop in the processing chain is just another tool, like the camera is a tool, or the pen or the paintbrush.
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« Reply #159 on: February 05, 2013, 06:24:26 PM »
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Sometimes, you can end up with something completely different than what you expect or experience, and the final outcome can still be pleasing.

I remember one early morning in Northern Ontario when I was photographing a pair of trumpeter swans at a beaver lodge, surrounded by vibrant fall colours reflected in the still water (I used wide 6x17 format film camera and concentrated on the section with the beaver lodge), and after I got the film back from the lab, I discovered on the opposite shoreline two stately bucks with nice set of antlers looking in my direction. The swans were nice, but after I lightened slightly the deer in Photoshop, they definitely added the right ingredient to the scene.
 
Another time, I was paddling on a small creek, and noticed an upset adult beaver who didn't pay too much attention to me.
Anticipating that he was looking for his mate or a young one, I took out the camera from my waterproof case, only to discover a black bear saw with a cub behind the next bend who made a terrible racket behind the bushes just a few meters from my canoe. I suspect that the saw caught the young beaver, but rather than to investigate, I threw the camera back in the case, and started to paddle quite vigorously upstream.
 
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