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05-25-2011, 05:27 PM   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Just a guess here, but I would say many painters would say they can have higher "artistry" with some brushes, fibers, pigments, etc. than with others. I don't think you can separate art entirely from the tools that are used to create it.
I would be extremely surprised if you could find an educated artist that would make that claim. "Confusing art with technique" is a concept I got from an art professor. "Artistry" doesn't (in the sense of "art" vs "technique") depend on technique. Artists will talk about the difference between "art" and "technical excellence" - like: "He exhibits exceptional technical excellence, but the images he produces aren't compelling, nor do they hold one's attention."

I don't think art can be separated *entirely* from its tools... that's what makes a painting a painting and not a drawing, right? But it's not the ART, it's the technique; that's why a painting and a drawing are both art, despite the difference in technique.

05-25-2011, 05:28 PM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by Todd Adamson Quote
Just a guess here, but I would say many painters would say they can have higher "artistry" with some brushes, fibers, pigments, etc. than with others. I don't think you can separate art entirely from the tools that are used to create it.
That is what I was getting at! A van Gogh is more than a summation of a brush, canvas and a few pigments. There are a lot of good students that can emulate the masters that can/could trick a lot of people. However, there are those than can tell them apart. The other thing is that in the van Gogh example, his eyes and mind were the lens and the materials were the film and paper. Its another case of "Gestalt." Maybe Vincent mixed in a little Pixie Dust in to his special pigments.

QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
I would be extremely surprised if you could find an educated artist that would make that claim. "Confusing art with technique" is a concept I got from an art professor. "Artistry" doesn't (in the sense of "art" vs "technique") depend on technique. Artists will talk about the difference between "art" and "technical excellence" - like: "He exhibits exceptional technical excellence, but the images he produces aren't compelling, nor do they hold one's attention."

I don't think art can be separated *entirely* from its tools... that's what makes a painting a painting and not a drawing, right? But it's not the ART, it's the technique; that's why a painting and a drawing are both art, despite the difference in technique.
I think you missed the point . . . art professor do in fact taught certain materials and tools used in a certain way over others.

We have been debating the difference between technical excellence and something beyond that. It may very well be the way van Gogh's eyes saw things and the way he rendered his pigments onto the canvas.

Last edited by Blue; 05-25-2011 at 05:35 PM.
05-25-2011, 05:32 PM   #93
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
I still think twitch was right when he said that a lens with pixie dust is a lens that often times gives images that look better than the scene did with the naked eye. They "add" something to the image that can seem somewhat magical. No matter what anybody else comes up with, that is pixie dust to me.
The entire goal of photography, to me, is to idealize a moment in time. When I push the shutter, it's my intent to create an image that transcends the original naked-eye image. If it doesn't, I consider it a failure. OTOH, it's my choices that make that happen, not some intangible quality of a lens.
05-25-2011, 05:36 PM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
The entire goal of photography, to me, is to idealize a moment in time. When I push the shutter, it's my intent to create an image that transcends the original naked-eye image. If it doesn't, I consider it a failure. OTOH, it's my choices that make that happen, not some intangible quality of a lens.
You don't think some lenses will give you a better chance at that than others?

05-25-2011, 05:39 PM   #95
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BINGO!!!
Almost any lens can create pixie dust.
It's an artist, light, aperture, shutter speed and combination of glass and camera that creates it.
Some lenses are just easier to get along with than others.
05-25-2011, 05:41 PM   #96
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
I think you missed the point . . . art professor do in fact taught certain materials and tools used in a certain way over others.

We have been debating the difference between technical excellence and something beyond that.
And make clear to you that the technique is *not* the art. We're using a shifting definition of "art" here, though. I can say "The art of motorcycle repair", and it means something different than "the art of Leonardo DaVinci", and something different yet than "The way that dancer turned her head just so was art". "Is there an art to photography?" is a completely different question than "Is photography art?"

My art teacher said to me one day: "You're a slave to detail, a slave to the image. You might as well go be a photographer."... So I did.

An art professor might teach you the art of painting, but he or she will caution you that your work is not art simply by dint of being produced by the art of painting.
05-25-2011, 05:49 PM   #97
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
You don't think some lenses will give you a better chance at that than others?
Depends on which way you go at it. If you say, "I want to be a photographic artist", then look around at what tools you have access to, you get a completely different result than when you say "Wow, that looks really cool! I bet if I shot a picture of it, it would be art!" (The latter is more my way of approaching it).

There was a fellow I knew in the 80s that made a gallery show with images from an SX-70 polaroid camera. It was quite well regarded, although not my style. Then there was another artist - an elderly woman (oh, well, I was a kid at the time; she was probably the age I am NOW lol) who made several shows that were well regarded who used a point and shoot camera (A Pentax WR90, I think it was, that I sold her! ) to create SCADS of 4x6 prints that she assembled into collages and grids and other shapes that were positively mesmerizing. Was it photography? Absolutely. Was it art? Absolutely. Do you think an SX-70 or a Pentax WR90 has "pixie dust"?

Of course, if you're like me, and you say, "I love the way birds look. I want to capture that on ... 'film' ...!", then you've delineated the techniques required to carry out your art. It's the difference between saying "I want to be an artist!" and picking up a pencil and going to work; and saying "I want to do airbrush murals on the sides of 747s." (whereupon you must immediately acquire a collection of airbrushes, hoses, inks, dyes, paints, medias, and at least one 747).
05-25-2011, 05:51 PM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
And make clear to you that the technique is *not* the art. We're using a shifting definition of "art" here, though. I can say "The art of motorcycle repair", and it means something different than "the art of Leonardo DaVinci", and something different yet than "The way that dancer turned her head just so was art". "Is there an art to photography?" is a completely different question than "Is photography art?"

My art teacher said to me one day: "You're a slave to detail, a slave to the image. You might as well go be a photographer."... So I did.

An art professor might teach you the art of painting, but he or she will caution you that your work is not art simply by dint of being produced by the art of painting.
We aren't arguing technique here. That is a totally different thread. Your professor was ignorant in certain aspects also. There is a whole sub-realm of art out there affiliated with my profession that's primary purpose was to draw biological specimens in technical detail such that other folks could identify the specimen etc. I have seen some that were very accurate and utilitarian and others that were a work of art. I am talking about line drawings and technical illustration.

05-25-2011, 05:56 PM   #99
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
We aren't arguing technique here. That is a totally different thread. Your professor was ignorant in certain aspects also. There is a whole sub-realm of art out there affiliated with my profession that's primary purpose was to draw biological specimens in technical detail such that other folks could identify the specimen etc. I have seen some that were very accurate and utilitarian and others that were a work of art. I am talking about line drawings and technical illustration.
That's called "illustration". Yes, there are illustrations that are, absolutely, art. There are others that are no more than technical drawings. Perhaps you're right - I'm not getting your point. Are you saying you want to produce technically accurate documentary photos? Or you want to produce technically accurate documentary photos that are also art? Or what?
05-25-2011, 05:59 PM   #100
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QuoteOriginally posted by shooz Quote
BINGO!!!
Almost any lens can create pixie dust.
It's an artist, light, aperture, shutter speed and combination of glass and camera that creates it.
Some lenses are just easier to get along with than others.
So you're saying pixie dust is in the image, not the lens? I agree there...
05-25-2011, 06:01 PM   #101
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Yes!
Those lenses that are easier to get along with are the pixie dust lenses.
05-25-2011, 06:04 PM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
That's called "illustration". Yes, there are illustrations that are, absolutely, art. There are others that are no more than technical drawings. Perhaps you're right - I'm not getting your point. Are you saying you want to produce technically accurate documentary photos? Or you want to produce technically accurate documentary photos that are also art? Or what?
Sometimes I have to produce technically accurate documentary photos while other times I am doing what ever floats my boat. If I can get an accurate documentation that has a little zing, I am happy. I don't really worry if anyone thinks it is art per se. I am interested in just about every aspect of photography there is, both film and digital from all eras. Every once in a while, I will produce an image someone likes.
05-25-2011, 06:06 PM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by jstevewhite Quote
So you're saying pixie dust is in the image, not the lens? I agree there...
I agree there. That's why I suggested old Vincent may have been mixing it in his pigments.
05-25-2011, 06:13 PM   #104
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Sometimes I have to produce technically accurate documentary photos while other times I am doing what ever floats my boat. If I can get an accurate documentation that has a little zing, I am happy. I don't really worry if anyone thinks it is art per se. I am interested in just about every aspect of photography there is, both film and digital from all eras. Every once in a while, I will produce an image someone likes.
Yeah, me too, for most of that. Even when I was a commercial photographer, most of my "work" wasn't "art" in the classic sense, but art in the illustrative sense. Even the images that were... artistic, by my measure - were really collaborations between some art director and me. The stuff I did for myself was largely... well, I was a young man, and there were rolls and rolls and rolls of Hasselblad images of young ladies in various stages of undress, or in the woods naked, or... you get the idea. Most of it was crap - tried too hard to be 'art'. I wanted to be Helmut Newton when I grew up.

Some I like; a couple are posted on deviantart.com. Many of my favorites I can't post on the web because I no longer have the model releases, and I don't want to put those young ladies in the situation of having their 18 year old son shocked to find pictures of his mom au naturel on the web
05-25-2011, 06:15 PM   #105
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