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06-19-2012, 12:07 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I have no boundaries for photography. However, I do believe that some styles don't advance the art form.
Evolution: The survival of change over time. Some styles will survive and influence future photography. Some will have less influence. The survivors will write the histories.

06-19-2012, 12:14 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Evolution: The survival of change over time. Some styles will survive and influence future photography. Some will have less influence. The survivors will write the histories.
Eh...true. But it's kinda like photo-realism in painting. It's a valid form, but probably not what future generations will revere because it's not what painting does best.
06-19-2012, 12:17 PM   #33
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I take it as what the name means. To write with light.

Under that you can do various things like capture and image on a recording media. Or project a laser light show. In the olden day I took "Photographic Science and Engineering" at Rochester Institute of Technology. This was a degree program that was not about taking pictures, but delved into the chemistry, optics and physics of what happened before, during and after you pushed the button.

As part of the curriculum we took courses that were designed to make us well rounded individual. One was a course in fine art. I actually liked it. We had to do three art projects as part of the course. We could not use photography as the professor informed us tat photography was not an art form. So if a professor at the world's leading school of photography says that photography is not an art form, it must not be an art form.

Actually photography is more like welding or painting. You can create a sculpture or build a bridge by welding. You can paint your living room or a make a painting called Starry Night. Not all of photography is art. I would argue that it is the least used purpose of it. Most is documentary. It records the moments of our lives. Or wars. Or protests, or sporting evens etc.

I do think that photography opened the door to the modern art movement. By freeing "artists" from having to accurately record their subjects on an easel, it allowed them to look at the world around them in a whole new way. I don't think that impressionism, cubism or the other art forms would have developed without photography.
06-19-2012, 12:25 PM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by gaweidert Quote
I do think that photography opened the door to the modern art movement. By freeing "artists" from having to accurately record their subjects on an easel, it allowed them to look at the world around them in a whole new way. I don't think that impressionism, cubism or the other art forms would have developed without photography.
That's a very interesting take on things...and I suspect you're probably right!

06-19-2012, 12:47 PM - 1 Like   #35
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I blame the French.
06-19-2012, 12:58 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Applying ironic or misleading labels * Totally lying about images * Copying the work of others
Art is whatever the artist says it is. Art criticism is whatever the critic says it is. So long as they are the original creative work of the creator.

The important part is to be honest about what you are trying to do. Refer to the transitions from Realism [EDIT: Just saw TaoMass prior, already referred to Realism] in oil painting through the various forms of Impressionism and Expressionism - Deconstructionism - Whateverism - over the past 175 years. Photographic chemicals versus pigments on media are so close as to defy distinction in purpose, really. Its only the technology that distinguishes them. If an artist can manipulate tools and media to show an expression of (his) thought then it is a photograph

Anything goes so long as there isn't theft or deception involved.

Last edited by monochrome; 06-19-2012 at 01:12 PM.
06-19-2012, 01:00 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
That's a very interesting take on things...and I suspect you're probably right!
And then we get photo-realistic painting as a reaction to messy, subjective, non-representational painting. And then shooped photography as a reaction to photo-realism. And so on. I get dizzy sometimes. I have a couple small prints, images of old locomotives. These are photos of paintings based on photos based on paintings. Ay yi yi. (And I have another train painting based on a photo based on a painting.) Has art been advanced by this process? I don't know. I just like them.

QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
Art is whatever the artist says it is. Art criticism is whatever the critic says it is. So long as they are the original creative work of the creator.
Except that good artists borrow and great artists steal. Art doesn't spring forth in full-blown originality; it rides on the shoulders of predecessors. So: Art is whatever we can get away with.
06-19-2012, 01:10 PM   #38
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This is a pretty interesting topic and something I struggled with for a while. I think it brings me back a time where I had to make peace with myself that dSLRs aren't evil. I wanted to "learn" photography the old hard way, so I invested in film cameras and dark room equipment. Since then, I've come to terms with myself that photography has evolved. Manipulating your captures on the computer isn't cheating and it isn't a terrible thing to do. People used to spend hours and tons of money in the darkroom to get the right print. Now it's easy as pie and cheap as dirt to bump up the contrast or do a little burning/dodging.

I would agree with gaweidart and use the definition, "To write with light." It's a loose definition, but I think it's one that I would use. The source of the image captured must be light. The medium that captures it isn't as relevant, but by definition needs to be light sensitive. For instance, I would have to consider the example of sunblock on someone's back a form of photograph. The same as light sensitive film, light sensitive paper, and light sensitive sensors, a person's back is light sensitive.... just not as sensitive. And painful.

What do you guys think of the Lytros camera? Instead of capturing a one dimensional value of color, each ray of light is captured as vector which has a value/magnitude and direction. Is it still photography? I would say so, but does your definition fit with it?

06-19-2012, 01:18 PM   #39
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My simplistic view on this is to take the definition of the word “photography” and analyse it. The “photo” part relates to light, and we all know what graphing is – sketching, plotting, etc.

So photography is drawing/sketching/plotting with light. Your end result should be a drawing/sketch/graph/plot of light.

To me that would encompass any and all means legal, illegal, ingenious, simplistic, barbaric, sophisticated, beneficial, parasitic, and so on required to produce your photograph (light plot).

Personally, I draw the line when my images cease to represent reality. I aim to capture an instant in time of a realistic scene. It is (theoretically) possible to illuminate a subject with lighting so as to capture “HDR”, so no issues with that. But I won’t stretch, pull, copy, distort, and so on any of the objects in my images.
06-19-2012, 01:19 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Except that good artists borrow and great artists steal. Art doesn't spring forth in full-blown originality; it rides on the shoulders of predecessors. So: Art is whatever we can get away with.
But that's the nature of the progress of mankind - to assimilate all the combined achievement of those who went before and then advance further (Of course we could argue about whether we are really advancing, but that would be subjunctive and semantic).

My mother was a professional writer - an artist, but anonymous. She always said art is 95% plagiarism and 5% creative assembly.

Of course artists refer - that's part of the game, to pay homage. I Netflix'ed the movie "Drive" Sunday night (horrible, gratuitously violent movie). There's a car chase with a Mustang and a Charger - guess what the screenplay was referring to? (it was an uninspiring car chase, no less).
06-19-2012, 01:33 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcmadr Quote
Personally, I draw the line when my images cease to represent reality. I aim to capture an instant in time of a realistic scene
I understamd and agree with this boundary. Yet "reality" as we each experience it is merely a reflection of individual perception. A bee sees the ultraviolet part of the spectrum (light) - we don't. Does that make the bee's reality any less real than ours? Does my degraded eyesight (advanced glaucoma) make my relatively monochromatic (get it?) perception less real than yours?

Then by extension, was Dali's expression of what he "saw" less legitimate, or is some photoshop manipulation less legitimate than my daughter's interpetive landscape dodging and burning?

It is all neuro-transmission and brain chemicals anyway - so what's real and what isn't?
06-19-2012, 01:45 PM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by TaoMaas Quote
I have no boundaries
Me neither--just limitations.
06-19-2012, 03:27 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by monochrome Quote
... so what's real and what isn't?
If you want to get into a philosophical debate about it, consider this:

I can create an abstract image without input from a camera or other tangible recording device, and merely use tools to compile an array of pixels visible to humans with average vision capabilities. Said image is now a representation of reality because it exists and is real. Its existence justifies its reality.

I will also just add "You know what I mean" without getting into details so minute they rival Planck Lengths.
06-19-2012, 04:52 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by kcmadr Quote
I will also just add "You know what I mean"
Yes, and I know I know what you mean.

I slouched my way to a degree in English Language and Literature. I once inadvertently (but clearly insensitively) offended my father, who had a post-war G.E.D. but who continually read popular fiction, by off-handedly saying, "So and so isn't a novelist. Faulkner was a novelist." I actually learned from that episode.

In my view if a camera (defined however the artist wants) is involved it is a "REAL" photograph. Otherwise it is an image of some kind. What an artist does to the product of the mechanical photon capture after the act of capturing the photons or how the artist alters the device(s) and media to affect that product is, to me, irrelevant.

And I do stand by my assertion that all perception is individual.
06-20-2012, 08:53 AM   #45
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Heck there is a school of thought that has demonstrated that just by looking at the universe we change what it is. Interesting enough their proof as to do with photons. No one seems to know exactly what a photon is. In one instant it acts like an wave of radiation. In another it has the properties of a particle. And it all depend upon whether we are looking at it or not.

Photography is simply capturing images. Whether it is a mom at a birthday party or Ansel Adams capturing a Moonrise Over Hernandez it is all the same. The image is captured and somehow manipulated until both are happy that what the image shows is what they saw.
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