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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 09 Jul 2014 (Wednesday) 02:21
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Photography's Unbreakable Core

 
Tom ­ Reichner
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Jul 18, 2014 09:56 |  #31

RbnDave wrote in post #17039522 (external link)
I think that at some point the general public is going to become immune to this subconscious belief that photos are real, but we are there yet.

When I read the sentence you wrote, the phrase you used doesn't seem to fit; it sounds awkward. That leaves me to wonder, did you mean to say, "but we aren't there yet"?


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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airfrogusmc
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Jul 18, 2014 10:06 |  #32

"All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth." - Richard Avedon

"Photography deals exquisitely with appearances, but nothing is what it appears to be."
- Duane Michals

"In photography we talk about illusions." - John Sexton




  
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RbnDave
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Jul 18, 2014 10:14 |  #33

Tom Reichner wrote in post #17039582 (external link)
When I read the sentence you wrote, the phrase you used doesn't seem to fit; it sounds awkward. That leaves me to wonder, did you mean to say, "but we aren't there yet"?

Whoops. Missed that. Thanks, I meant "aren't".


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sjones
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Jul 18, 2014 10:21 as a reply to  @ RbnDave's post |  #34

I don’t really photograph to document memories, let alone intricate details of a particular subject matter. If I was photographing objects for insurance purposes or to sell something, then details and sharpness would be more important.

But I’ve seen great photos that were deliberately blurry, or perhaps not blurry, but (especially by POTN’s pathological preternatural expectations) soft. I’ve seen great photos that were sharp with lots of detail, bolstering the visual appeal of texture. What I’ve never done, however, is go, wow, that photo is great simply because it is so sharp or so blurry.

Of course, much of this collapses onto how one defines “details” or “sharpness” so I expect the conveyance of ideas is going to get muddled up a bit in misunderstandings and presumptions.

Still, I have in my mind some wonderful photos I saw of cranes in norther Japan. The cranes themselves were intentionally blurred while the also blurred effect of the snow and grey skies kept details to an absolute minimum. Simple yet recognizable shapes surrounded by shades of white and fluctuating grays. That’s one aspect of photography; not the only one by any means, far from it, but just as important as any other aspect of photography.

As for the honesty issue, well, the fact that most people might automatically assume a photo to be accurately representative at first glance only underscores the potentially deceptive traits, rather than honest ones, of photography.


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airfrogusmc
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Jul 18, 2014 10:31 |  #35

Agree and I think that the sharpness or lack of should be all part of what is trying to be communicated in the piece or more important in the body of work. I have a good friend that shot a series with a Holga and the work was amazing and the tone and look of the work was a perfect match for the message.

To many here on POTN are of the one good photograph mind set but in reality one great photograph no more makes a great photographer than one great at bat puts a player in the hall of fame. In reality great photography is about consistent vision and bodies of work.




  
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RbnDave
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Jul 18, 2014 10:44 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #36

I kinda left POTN a few years ago because the rampant ignorance was blocking my creativity. Rather than thinking about my art I was constantly forming counter arguments to posts here. I left POTN for a few years. The essays in the original post are a summation of what I learned while I was out wandering the desert alone. I've delivered my message. Now, I must get back to work.


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sjones
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Jul 18, 2014 11:28 |  #37

RbnDave wrote in post #17039698 (external link)
I kinda left POTN a few years ago because the rampant ignorance was blocking my creativity. Rather than thinking about my art I was constantly forming counter arguments to posts here. I left POTN for a few years. The essays in the original post are a summation of what I learned while I was out wandering the desert alone. I've delivered my message. Now, I must get back to work.

You directly solicited our attention to read your opinions about photography. Rightfully so, folks responded, but because some were not in full agreement, you have strongly implied, perhaps unintentionally, that those who did not conform to your views were “ignorant.”

I’m going to assume that this was not directed at me or some other folks on this very thread who I know to be markedly knowledgeable about photography.

But I agree, getting caught up in interminable debates can infringe on the very thing that we all supposedly love, photography. To prevent being sucked into such interminable squabbles, I typically depart after just a few posts, and I shall do so here.

But of course, as I always note, PM’s are welcome.


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RbnDave
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Jul 18, 2014 12:40 |  #38

Sorry. That came across wrong. There are a ton of knowledgeable photogs on POTN. And, this thread has been valuable. You guys pointed out some flaws that I will patch up. Thanks.

My two gripes with POTN:

1) Voices of reason are often drowned out or ignored by the crowd of beginners. I don't begrudge beginners, you gotta start somewhere. I started out on POTN. I found value here, but re-explaining oneself over and over again soon becomes counterproductive.

2) Internet forums are a terrible way to have a conversation. Most of us don't have the time to write the nuanced responses most posts require. In the interest of time we abbreviate our thoughts and misunderstandings ensue. This leads to hurt feelings and pointless arguments.

On that half finished thought, I've got to go... Almost late for work...


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airfrogusmc
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Jul 18, 2014 13:25 |  #39

These deeper discussions about these very things are not the norm on any forum and in my opinion what there is to little of instead of the endless what lens is better for me debates. I have posted what I thought were just the opposite of statements based in ignorance but well thought out and substantiated responses. I came to these conclusions by not living in my own bubble in the desert but trying to learn all I could about the craft I am so immersed in.

35+ years of being a photographer. 25 + years of being a full time professional supporting my family with it. BA in photography and have taught at the college level part time. And have been doing personal work which is for me for 35+ years and have had dozens of exhibits one man and been in many group shows. Had a one man show last year here in Chicago. Have a print in a juried show in New York (Soho Gallery) and the show will be up until the 26th of July. And I will have a one man exhibit here in Chicago next summer. And I love photography and I am a photographer. It is my living and my hobby. It is my life. So hardly a beginner here. Not so good to make assumptions sometimes.




  
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RSchillinger
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Jul 18, 2014 13:34 |  #40

EOS-Mike wrote in post #17036671 (external link)
Honesty. Photography's core is honesty.

That can be broken, of course, but honesty is a big part of photography.

I'm thinking along the lines that the medium pushes us more towards the factual, which is not always exactly in the same direction as honesty.

Or actually, we start off with the facts of light, then we can manipulate those facts like a pundit or poet.

I liked the essays though. I like art manifestos in general. Whether I agree with them or not, they give me something to think about while using all this picture-making equipment I have.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Jul 18, 2014 13:46 |  #41

I think honesty as an artist and factual images are two very different things. You might be making an honest statement about how you as an artist feel about something and it my or may not be based in fact or an honest/factual representation. You can take a noun or the obvious picture of a red car say and yep thats a red car but the interpretation may change drastically when you make an image of what that red car means to you personally or move beyond the noun or as Weston called it, the obvious.

I also liked the essays BTW. Just thought some deeper conversations about the subjects might be enlightening to all involved because there is far to little of it anywhere and it's not anything new. Sontag brought up that there was to little real discussion about photography in her book (which BTW was originally a series of essays) from the late 1970s On Photography. Little has changed...




  
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EOS-Mike
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Jul 18, 2014 19:21 |  #42

RbnDave wrote in post #17039522 (external link)
EOS-Mike wins by default simply because he found a way to work David Lee Roth into his original post. Way to go my man! FYI: Eddie was seen at the mastering studio last week. Fingers crossed for another great album.

They'll have another great album when they bring back Michael Anthony.

In my eyes, 1984 was the last Van Halen album. That's not to say they didn't put out some fun songs here and there, but unless an original member is dead, they really need to put it back together.

Let Wolfgang play keyboards for his dad or something.

But those original four need to be kidnapped and locked in a studio with plenty to eat and drink. No phones, no access to anything other than a studio, a kitchen and bathroom.

Tell them they are free to go when the 8-10 tracks are done.


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tonylong
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Jul 18, 2014 23:19 |  #43

EOS-Mike wrote in post #17040634 (external link)
They'll have another great album when they bring back Michael Anthony.

In my eyes, 1984 was the last Van Halen album. That's not to say they didn't put out some fun songs here and there, but unless an original member is dead, they really need to put it back together.

Let Wolfgang play keyboards for his dad or something.

But those original four need to be kidnapped and locked in a studio with plenty to eat and drink. No phones, no access to anything other than a studio, a kitchen and bathroom.

Tell them they are free to go when the 8-10 tracks are done.

Speaking of updating the musical arts, Pink Floyd recently announced that they are releasing a new album! Their last original album was "The Division Bell", released I believe back in '94, and I had the pleasure of attending a concert for the tour of that album!


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Clean ­ Gene
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Jul 19, 2014 02:24 |  #44

EOS-Mike wrote in post #17038612 (external link)
You didn't really make a valid argument against my position.

I understand what you're saying, however. Yes, photography can lie, but "all the time"?

No. You even mentioned a cop taking a mug shot as an example, but called it "not photography."

It is actually the writing of light (photos graphos).

My actual point is that photography CAN be honest. But I submit that it's impossible to recreate light accurately with a paintbrush or pencil.

The core of photography is the true capture of light, and nothing else comes close.

Photography might not "lie" all the time, but it NEVER reveals THE truth. At best, it only reveals A truth, one which has been selectively weeded out from other alternate truths. There are lots of ways to "honestly" portray something photographically, but the photographer edits out the ones that don't suit his purpose. If that's not "lying", it's at least propaganda, and it applies even to the photographers who are doing nothing more than arrest mugshots.




  
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iamascientist
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Jul 19, 2014 08:48 |  #45

It seems like every single attempt at intellectual discussion here leads to the topic of truth in photography. I don't know why that is, or why it matters to people enough to discuss it all the time. Its photography, not reality, simple as that. Anything that isn't reality can be put in a similar box, but what's the point?




  
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