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Author Topic: 'Old School' Photography.  (Read 7714 times)
amolitor
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« Reply #40 on: November 26, 2013, 12:11:34 PM »
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This is a well worn path, but let me place the usual marker on the other side:

Technical skills are wildly overrated in photography. The ability to put the camera in the right place, pointed the right way, and to press the shutter button at the right time, is the only essential.
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Christoph C. Feldhaim
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« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2013, 12:15:12 PM »
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...The question posed by the original post had to do with what tools and methods are best for teaching the basics (both technical and aesthetic) of the photographic art form.

Drawing, painting, sitting still and contemplating, walking around participating....
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Rob C
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« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2013, 02:44:01 PM »
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This is a well worn path, but let me place the usual marker on the other side:

Technical skills are wildly overrated in photography. The ability to put the camera in the right place, pointed the right way, and to press the shutter button at the right time, is the only essential.



If it's art, then I agree; if it's commerce - you'd never get anther job, and if it's a big enough job you blew, possibly end up sued for misrepresentation/malpractice.

;-)

Rob C
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jjj
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« Reply #43 on: November 26, 2013, 03:05:24 PM »
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if it's art, then I agree; if it's commerce - you'd never get anther job, and if it's a big enough job you blew, possibly end up sued for misrepresentation/malpractice.
Not necessarily. If that was your style, that may be why you were used.
I saw a photographer's work only only yesterday that would be regarded as below par by some technical people on here, but had paying gigs from the likes of Budweiser. And the ads were really good. Can't recall the name offhand.
And then there's Terry Richardson who's one of the best known photographers today and yet his style is quite amateurish.
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amolitor
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« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2013, 03:35:21 PM »
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Sure, for most commercial work it's all technical. Product shots, whatever. "High Fashion" and "Celebrity" is all about style comma the ability to reproduce on-demand, which may or may not require technical skill depending on what thing you're being required to crank out on demand. Art is.. something else entirely.

Quite apart from who's getting paid, though, my point is simply that "a good picture" is separate from technical considerations, if we understand "good" in a pretty common and general way.

If we mean "good" in the sense that it allows a magazine's print-shop to accurately and easily print that shampoo bottle in the right color, well, that's all about technique. It's also a pretty specific definition of "good" and therefore not what I'm talking about!
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jjj
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« Reply #45 on: November 26, 2013, 05:17:14 PM »
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Quite apart from who's getting paid, though, my point is simply that "a good picture" is separate from technical considerations, if we understand "good" in a pretty common and general way.
Fairly recently someone posted some photos online for people to give some constructive feedback. They were slated for their numerous technical flaws and poor quality. The photos were however classic shots by people like Cartier-Bresson.
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tom b
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« Reply #46 on: November 26, 2013, 10:09:55 PM »
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Fairly recently someone posted some photos online for people to give some constructive feedback. They were slated for their numerous technical flaws and poor quality. The photos were however classic shots by people like Cartier-Bresson.

It may have bee this article in The Online Photographer.

Cheers,
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jjj
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« Reply #47 on: November 27, 2013, 02:12:17 AM »
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Nope. That's a satirical article, I'm talking about genuine feedback.
I think it was done on Flickr
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 02:18:22 AM by jjj » Logged

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Rob C
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« Reply #48 on: November 27, 2013, 02:56:37 AM »
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Fairly recently someone posted some photos online for people to give some constructive feedback. They were slated for their numerous technical flaws and poor quality. The photos were however classic shots by people like Cartier-Bresson.

That doesn't surprise me; it's just a natural development from the digital reality where anyone can get something crisp, and quite possibly correctly exposed because of that digital technology.

The time has passed when basic technique of the mechanical type also was a skill - it's now automatic, and that being so, present perception is no longer totally focussed on content, but on the 'technical' appearance. As a result, I think few now see the content when they look at a work - they obsess over the crispness, fanciful conceits such as bokeh (without which moniker it wouldn't have mattered a hoot to anyone) and all the lens 'characteristics' of which they read online.

In short (which I find difficult), the emphasis has shifted in popular conception of photographic worth.

So yes, nothing surprising anymore.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #49 on: November 27, 2013, 03:03:44 AM »
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Not necessarily. If that was your style, that may be why you were used.
I saw a photographer's work only only yesterday that would be regarded as below par by some technical people on here, but had paying gigs from the likes of Budweiser. And the ads were really good. Can't recall the name offhand.
And then there's Terry Richardson who's one of the best known photographers today and yet his style is quite amateurish.


jjj, that's the world of Vogue et al. and quite another matter.

It ranges from the technically exquisite to the, well  - you named it. You forgot to add, to 'amateurish', the question of sexual shock value, pretty much a final resort.

Rob C
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jjj
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« Reply #50 on: November 27, 2013, 03:18:07 AM »
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It's highly paid commercial work, which doesn't need to be technically perfect.
The fact TR works in fashion/music doesn't really matter as it was a general point, not one that excludes creative photography and the other photographer whose name still annoyingly escapes me, did work for big conservative brands.
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jjj
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« Reply #51 on: November 27, 2013, 03:26:37 AM »
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It ranges from the technically exquisite to the, well  - you named it. You forgot to add, to 'amateurish', the question of sexual shock value, pretty much a final resort.
TerryRichardson goes way past that as TR looks like a parody of porn actor and basically shoots a lot porn, with himself and young models and yet unlike other people who do exactly the same thing, stays respectable.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2013, 11:21:50 AM by jjj » Logged

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Rob C
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« Reply #52 on: November 27, 2013, 04:37:51 AM »
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[kquote author=Rob C link=topic=83803.msg683794#msg683794 date=1385543024]It ranges from the technically exquisite to the, well  - you named it. You forgot to add, to 'amateurish', the question of sexual shock value, pretty much a final resort.
TerryRichardson goes way past that as TR looks like a parody of porn actor and basically shoots a lot porn, with himself and young models and yet unlike other people who do exactly the same thing, stays respectable.


And there the call: whose opinion?

Helmut Newton did the occasional shot of himself and model on a bed, shooting the images from ceiling mirrors (early erotic selfie?) and in his time that was slightly shocking but chaste nevertheless; it became a common event for anyone with such a mirror which, by dint of being where it was, lent spěce to the concept of two on a bed.

I did girlie calendars for years but I don't remember that I ever wanted, or even felt slightly drawn to doing anything pornographic; porn defeats everything to do with charme, as the French call it. It removes the enchanting magic and, in its place, offers you a plate of uncooked horsemeat. That's for savages.

Whether it's a bunch of scrawny femmes showing how little they have in the back pages of POP/The Face, Autum Winter #03, or anything similar by any other clone, it leaves a damp, unpleasant chill on the senses.

Rob C
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jjj
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« Reply #53 on: November 27, 2013, 09:09:18 AM »
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And there the call: whose opinion?
The people with the large and/or trendy cheque books. He gets to photograph Presidents. Doesn't get much more respectable than that.
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Rob C
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« Reply #54 on: November 27, 2013, 10:31:47 AM »
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The people with the large and/or trendy cheque books. He gets to photograph Presidents. Doesn't get much more respectable than that.


How can you happily run two such sentences one after the other?

The mind positively boggles. Memories of interns flood my grey cells... but wait! Isn't that the explanation?

;-)

Rob C
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jjj
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« Reply #55 on: November 27, 2013, 11:23:17 AM »
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Didn't say I was happy.
I may even have been ironic…
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Kirk Gittings
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« Reply #56 on: November 27, 2013, 12:15:36 PM »
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The answer to "Is Old School the Right School?" IMHO is a resounding NO!

Students spending time learning the correct method for diluting Dektol or how to bulk-load twenty cassettes with Tri-X are wasting their own time and squandering opportunities for learning how to photograph. 

The definition of photography is "Writing with light", not "Dicking About with Arcane and Obsolete Procedures and Technologies"

I open my classes with a slide that says "Welcome!  The Golden Age of Photography is NOW"

I agree and part of that is that we still have all the old technologies still available plus digital. I shoot LF film digital and even wet plate collodion. I teach digital and analogue photography at two universities. Its all good and its all good for my students.
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Kirk

Kirk Gittings
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