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Author Topic: Where is the discussion of "Vision" in part 2?  (Read 9780 times)
dreed
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« on: April 28, 2013, 09:59:28 AM »
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Is it just me or is part two of the vision series 95% a rambling old man and 5% vision? Mind you, none of the section on vision is instructive, rather just a commentary on the author's own work.

Well I suppose when something is free, what does one expect but rambling old men like we have throughout the forums?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2013, 10:59:20 AM »
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... Well I suppose when something is free, what does one expect but rambling old men like we have throughout the forums?

Feel free to provide your own, young and fresh, rambling at any time  Wink

On second thought, you just did. Except it is neither young, nor fresh... just plain mean.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 11:10:17 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2013, 11:11:53 AM »
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 I suppose that when one is a KNOW-IT-All young man then nothing is instructive.

Cheers from another old man  Shocked
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Isaac
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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2013, 12:31:36 PM »
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Is it just me or is part two of the vision series 95% a rambling old man and 5% vision?

The introduction tells us -- "we are going to look at what it takes to create fine art photographs".

So far, I haven't been able to extract much that's useful to me from this laundry list. I keep getting distracted when the assertions don't fit with other information I've come across.

  • "Painting, sculpture, drawing, dance, architecture, music, etc. are all mediums that are traditionally considered to be appropriate for the creation of art."

    The Visual Language of Drawing "reassesses the art of drawing not as a technique, but as the essential grammar of all visual thinking".

  • Mastery is achieved through continuous study and practice and takes a long time to acquire. 10,000 hours is often considered minimal.  This is 5 years at 40 hours a week and longer if you can only work part time on photography.

    The 10,000 hours figure applies to "domains where performance consistently increases" and that isn't obviously true of photography.

    Being a landscape photographer doesn't seem to be about in the moment performance to anywhere near the same degree as being a concert pianist. (For example, "Vision Example #2: White Sands Sunrise" demonstrates after-the-performance leisurely consideration and selection and working of materials.)

    "Most individuals who start as active professionals or as beginners in a domain change their behavior and increase their performance for a limited time until they reach an acceptable level. Beyond this point, however, further improvements appear to be unpredictable and the number of years of work and leisure experience in a domain is a poor predictor of attained performance. Hence, continued improvements (changes) in achievement are not automatic consequences of more experience and in those domains where performance consistently increases aspiring experts seek out particular kinds of experience, that is deliberate practice -- activities designed, typically by a teacher, for the sole purpose of effectively improving specific aspects of an individual's performance. ... the critical difference between expert musicians differing in the level of attained solo performance concerned the amounts of time they had spent in solitary practice during their music development, which totaled around 10,000 hours by age 20 for the best experts,  around 5,000 hours for the least accomplished expert musicians and only 2,000 hours for serious amateur pianists."

  • Picasso was a cubist all his life...

    "Science and Charity falls within the realm of social realism..."

  • Cartier Bresson did only street photography...

    Ballykisteen stud farm.     Brie.     Paris.     etc


Mind you, none of the section on vision is instructive, rather just a commentary on the author's own work.

My preference would be for more of that commentary on the vision behind the author's own work, something about which he has undeniable expertise.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 03:13:44 PM by Isaac » Logged
jrsforums
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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2013, 12:40:53 PM »
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Is it just me or is part two of the vision series 95% a rambling old man and 5% vision? Mind you, none of the section on vision is instructive, rather just a commentary on the author's own work.

Well I suppose when something is free, what does one expect but rambling old men like we have throughout the forums?

There is an old saying:  "So soon old, so late smart"  consider how it applies to you.

Not every article we read resonates with us....for many reasons.  That does not give just cause to express it as trash.  I often find that it is valuable to attend a seminar or read a book/article if it just imparts one thing new to me.

As an analogy, we do not get along with all the people we meet.  The people of the South have a nice way of dealing with this.  If asked about someone they have had problems with, the response will be along the lines of, "I don't know them that well"

John

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John
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2013, 01:17:01 PM »
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My preference would be for more of that commentary on the vision behind the author's own work, something about which he has undeniable expertise.

I think you will find that in his many books....quite worth reading....
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=briot
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John
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2013, 06:03:20 PM »
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There is criticism and there is sarcasm.
The soul of good criticism is wit: the natural possession of understanding and intelligence. By it we engage and all grow in our abilities, so I suppose that is a sign of love for what we do. At its worst, to paraphrase Swift, it becomes "a sort of glass, wherein beholders do generally discover everybody’s face but their own".
And there is sarcasm, the deliberate intention to wound and ridicule. Most of us fall into using it at some time, but our displays of contempt generally come back and bite us.
I have enjoyed reading some of Alain Briot's articles, and some haven't resonated with me at all. Mostly I enjoy the discussion that arises out of constructive criticism of published material on LuLa.
On that score this thread opened with an epic fail.
Cheers from another rambling old man (and proud of it!)
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John Camp
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2013, 07:52:22 PM »
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The introduction tells us -- "we are going to look at what it takes to create fine art photographs".

So far, I haven't been able to extract much that's useful to me from this laundry list. I keep getting distracted when the assertions don't fit with other information I've come across.

<snip>

[/li]
[li]Mastery is achieved through continuous study and practice and takes a long time to acquire. 10,000 hours is often considered minimal.  This is 5 years at 40 hours a week and longer if you can only work part time on photography.

The 10,000 hours figure applies to "domains where performance consistently increases" and that isn't obviously true of photography.

My preference would be for more of that commentary on the vision behind the author's own work, something about which he has undeniable expertise.

The list is pretty much useless. Everything on it might be more or less true, but having somebody give you a list is much different than doing the work that allows you make a list like this...or recognize it as generally true. You really have to do the work.

I generally disagree with Isaac about the 10,000 hours; I think that's generally correct, although I might not express the idea in something as specific as hours. Since I became aware of the concept, sometime back in the 90s, I think, I've considered performance in a wide variety of professions (not just the arts) and generally, four or five years of fulltime professional experience seems about right. It's not just practice we're talking about here, it's the time needed to test practical experience against theory, and time to think about and contemplate the results of the tests. You just need the *time,* both to do the practice, to test it, and to think about it. If you were learning to paint, and you wanted to paint exactly like Rembrandt, you could probably learn the techniques in a year or so, and make a pretty credible copy of a Rembrandt painting, but that wouldn't make you Rembrandt, just as all the Ansel Adams imitations in the world don't make you Ansel Adams. I was a newspaper reporter for quite a while, and worked closely with news photographers, and it was apparent that it takes a few years to get really good at either thing. Guys coming out of college with B.A. degrees in either practice would only really hit their working stride in their late 20s (assuming they graduated at about 22.) A lawyer once told me that people coming out of law school were "helpless," and really only achieved serious competency after five years of fulltime experience...and that was if you were talented. Same thing with judges; and politicians; and artists, I think.

I was going to stop at that last paragraph, but I started thinking about photojournalists that I knew, and there's an aspect to the job that almost can't be explained, and that's the way that a good shooter will usually recognize when something is about to happen, and will be standing in exactly the right place when something happens, and will be ready to shoot and will get the shot. That's a learned thing which functions almost at the level of instinct...the idea of, I think I'll walk over here and climb up on that tree root...Something that comes through experience. It can't be told to you.
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Isaac
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2013, 08:38:19 PM »
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I generally disagree with Isaac about the 10,000 hours; I think that's generally correct, although I might not express the idea in something as specific as hours.

You aren't disagreeing with me about this; you're disagreeing with the researcher about his own research.

Whatever your opinion about "four or five years of full time professional experience" that is simply not what the 10,000 hours factoid was about.

Anders Ericsson tells us "the number of years of work and leisure experience in a domain is a poor predictor of attained performance" and what he's actually talking about is deliberate practice -- "the accumulated amount of deliberate practice is closely related to the attained level of performance of many types of experts".

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John Camp
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2013, 11:16:50 PM »
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You aren't disagreeing with me about this; you're disagreeing with the researcher about his own research.

Whatever your opinion about "four or five years of full time professional experience" that is simply not what the 10,000 hours factoid was about.

Anders Ericsson tells us "the number of years of work and leisure experience in a domain is a poor predictor of attained performance" and what he's actually talking about is deliberate practice -- "the accumulated amount of deliberate practice is closely related to the attained level of performance of many types of experts".



I know what the Ericsson work is about; I've read his work, and a couple more books based on his work. What I am arguing is, in many professions four or five years of work (under certain conditions) may constitute "deliberate practice," if you bother to understand what "deliberate practice" means. A reporter, for example, who is regularly pushed by a city desk into newer, harder reporting fields and writing assignments, and who regularly has those assignments critiqued,is experiencing what amounts to deliberate practice, and at one time, this was a standard way of giving a talented reporter advanced training. On the other hand, some (perhaps most) don't get this kind of attention, and they don't improve.

You said that "the 10,000 hours applies to 'domains where performance consistently increases' and that isn't obviously true of photography," and that was the statement I was disagreeing with -- the "not obviously true" part. I think it may very well apply to photography, so I was disagreeing with you, not with Ericsson.

When Ericsson said that the number of years of work was a poor predictor, he's talking about large averages. If you look at 10,000 musicians, the number of years they've been playing is not a good predictor of performance because the harsh fact of the matter is, most musicians are not that good. But the 10,000 hours of "deliberate practice" is a good predictor of peak performers. I'm saying that the same is true of talented lawyers, reporters, TV commentators, artists, preachers, politicians, etc. They seek out the equivalent of "deliberate practice" and that's what distinguishes them from others in their fields. The other thing to understand about Ericsson's theory is that it's the result of observation, rather than deliberate experiment. So they did not have a bunch of talented violinists divided into two equal groups, one of which was allowed to practice 23 hours a week, and the other of which was only allowed to practice ten. These were self-selected groups, and so the outcomes were derived by exactly what I'm talking about -- observation of the fact that people become peak performers through "deliberate practice," but that's mostly of their own devising, and often, from work.

Also, the 10,000 hours is not a "factoid." A factoid is an assumption or idea of story or myth that is repeated so often that it's assumed to be true, where there is no evidence that it really is. The 10,000 hours idea is the result of a serious study. (The word "factoid" was invented by Normal Mailer in his book about Marilyn Monroe, in which he discussed stories about Marilyn that everybody assumed to be true, but had no basis in fact -- so these things were fact-like, and people treated them as if they were facts, but weren't facts.)

« Last Edit: April 28, 2013, 11:18:48 PM by John Camp » Logged
Schewe
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« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2013, 12:28:47 AM »
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Also, the 10,000 hours is not a "factoid."

I'm experiencing a flashback...didn't we do the whole 10K hrs thing a couple of years ago? Oh, wait, we did in this thread...

This is kinda like Déjà vu all over again...or like an acid flashback (been there, done that, have the Tee shirt–it was at a Jimi Hendrix concert no less).

So, can we learn anything useful from the previous thread or are we doomed to replay history again? Just askin'

:~)
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dreed
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« Reply #11 on: April 29, 2013, 05:25:48 AM »
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There is an old saying:  "So soon old, so late smart"  consider how it applies to you.

Not every article we read resonates with us....for many reasons.  That does not give just cause to express it as trash.  I often find that it is valuable to attend a seminar or read a book/article if it just imparts one thing new to me.

Maybe I've been reading LL for just too long now, so everything new is already old but that for others who haven't read the archives or the website for as long, repeated or rambling material is new.

It's not so much that I consider what was presented as trash, rather I just don't see the link between what was presented and the supposed topic for the series. Had it of been presented otherwise, I doubt I'd have been as harsh, but this is supposed to be about vision. It might be a good essay but it doesn't appear to me to be "on topic." The kind of essay you might hand in to your teacher about a different book than you were supposed to write about and you get an "F", not because the essay was bad but because it doesn't discuss the book that you were supposed to write about.

Is the writer expecting the "artistic" reader to just "get it" and understand how what was presented relates to "vision"? Or did it go on for so long that the writer stopped for fear of making it too long?

I suppose that when one is a KNOW-IT-All young man then nothing is instructive.

Well the "series" is titled vision, so I suppose I look for there for be a clearly defined link with the article and the title. I tried to consider that the story was about art and in teaching about art, it was trying to impart something of how to find vision by working on some of the goals but then that gets lost when mention is made of things like using art's vocabulary.

So I'm not trying to be a know it all, rather what I am/was looking for is something that explains (and perhaps teaches?) vision.

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Cheers from another old man  Shocked

Well one day I'll be an old man and quite possibly a rambling one too Smiley

But right now, I'm just impatient for brain food on the topic of vision.

I suppose the other question to ask is did anyone actually find the essay instructive on the topic of "Vision" for photography and if so, how?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #12 on: April 29, 2013, 06:55:22 AM »
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When in a hole, stop digging.
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Slobodan

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« Reply #13 on: April 29, 2013, 06:59:50 AM »
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I find that this is usually the case when LL moves off what it does well and is rooted in which is gear (‘hyper-reality’ excepted…), in particular educated real wold use of it and it’s future direction.

This really doesn’t mix with philosophical artistic discussion and so I have learned to skip these and much like most sites, blogs (and magazines) you take what you want and leave the rest. I will say that as the number of contributors has grown I find myself skipping more content.
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Isaac
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« Reply #14 on: April 29, 2013, 11:28:23 AM »
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So, can we learn anything useful from the previous thread or are we doomed to replay history again? Just askin'

No need to ask -- we are obviously doomed to replay history again ;-)
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Isaac
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« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2013, 11:53:09 AM »
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What I am arguing is, in many professions four or five years of work (under certain conditions) may constitute "deliberate practice," ...

The interested reader should look through the very short "Expert Performance and Deliberate Practice" summary for themselves.

You said that "the 10,000 hours applies to 'domains where performance consistently increases' and that isn't obviously true of photography," and that was the statement I was disagreeing with -- the "not obviously true" part.

Please point us towards a body of work that you think demonstrates consistent improvement in a photographer's performance, beyond Ericsson's "an acceptable level". (More to the point, a consistent improvement in the artistic merit of the photographer's work.)

Also, the 10,000 hours is not a "factoid."

Words can have more than one meaning, and meanings change and grow -- Merriam-Webster Factoid  "2: a briefly stated and usually trivial fact".
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John Camp
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« Reply #16 on: April 29, 2013, 06:10:33 PM »
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The interested reader should look through the very short "Expert Performance and Deliberate Practice" summary for themselves.

I would agree, since it makes my point. Or you could read Malcolm Gladwell's version of the work, in Outliers, which is much easier reading. Ericsson, like many academics, is clear but dense.

Quote
Please point us towards a body of work that you think demonstrates consistent improvement in a photographer's performance, beyond Ericsson's "an acceptable level". (More to the point, a consistent improvement in the artistic merit of the photographer's work.)

Well...almost anybody. Great photographers' careers usually follow an arc -- they attract some attention with early work, get better and better, go through a period of mastery, and then toward the end of their careers, they tend to tail off. Ansel Adams sold his first portfolio in the 20s, but made his most famous photos in the late 30s and 40s. That's absolutely typical.


Quote
Words can have more than one meaning, and meanings change and grow -- Merriam-Webster Factoid  "2: a briefly stated and usually trivial fact".

But wait -- you're saying that you used the word properly because the 10,000 hours issue is a "briefly stated and...trivial fact?"

As far as I know Isaac, you've never admitted to even the slightest error or misstatement in the entire time you've been posting on this forum; most other people will concede that one one occasion or another, they've had their heads deeply up their asses, and I am among those people. It can be embarrassing, but that attitude also allows you to learn something on occasion. What you've learned is, the meaning of "factoid."
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Isaac
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« Reply #17 on: April 29, 2013, 10:38:04 PM »
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Well...almost anybody. Great photographers' careers usually follow an arc -- they attract some attention with early work, get better and better, go through a period of mastery, and then toward the end of their careers, they tend to tail off. Ansel Adams sold his first portfolio in the 20s, but made his most famous photos in the late 30s and 40s. That's absolutely typical.

You don't seem interested in thinking about what I asked, and that's fine.


But wait -- you're saying that you used the word properly because the 10,000 hours issue is a "briefly stated and...trivial fact?"

I'm saying that in Alain Briot's essay "10,000 hours" is a just factoid ripped from specific context which gave it meaning.
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« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2013, 03:00:21 AM »
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I suppose the other question to ask is did anyone actually find the essay instructive on the topic of "Vision" for photography and if so, how?
A fair question, despite the silliness of the opening post. If there is anything wrong with the essay it has nothing to do with the author's age. I certainly cringed when I got as far as the credibility-deflating material identified by Isaac. Anyone who thinks that Picasso was a cubist all his life should stay well away from observations about "the heritage of art that was created in the past". However, along the way I also found a number of shrewd observations (eg Finding your best work is your responsibility, not the responsibility of your audience), and, taking the essay a whole, an interesting and moving sense of a lifetime's experience as a practitioner.  Mr Briot is a fine photographer and has thought about his experience. However,  when it comes to style I also found more than one example of banality, excessive repetition and the bleeding obvious. If you didn't see any of this we are a long way apart in our perceptions. As a literary stylist, Mr Briot could perhaps pay more attention to his own observation that "editing is fundamentally ruthless".
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Rob C
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« Reply #19 on: April 30, 2013, 03:56:46 AM »
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A fair question, despite the silliness of the opening post. If there is anything wrong with the essay it has nothing to do with the author's age. I certainly cringed when I got as far as the credibility-deflating material identified by Isaac. Anyone who thinks that Picasso was a cubist all his life should stay well away from observations about "the heritage of art that was created in the past". However, along the way I also found a number of shrewd observations (eg Finding your best work is your responsibility, not the responsibility of your audience), and, taking the essay a whole, an interesting and moving sense of a lifetime's experience as a practitioner.  Mr Briot is a fine photographer and has thought about his experience. However,  when it comes to style I also found more than one example of banality, excessive repetition and the bleeding obvious. If you didn't see any of this we are a long way apart in our perceptions. As a literary stylist, Mr Briot could perhaps pay more attention to his own observation that "editing is fundamentally ruthless".



All this angst would be avoided, and much time saved, if folks would simply accept the truth: you have it or you haven't.

There are innumerable things in life that I wish I could do but can't - singing and playing guitar or piano would be a fine start. Even separately!

It was ever thus and will remain so.

Rob C
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