Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => Discussing Photographic Styles => Topic started by: Rocco Penny on April 13, 2010, 12:55:02 PM

Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rocco Penny on April 13, 2010, 12:55:02 PM
I've been at it- intensely aware of opportunities for a good exposure,
watching, waiting, listening for animals and aware of shapes and interesting features,
hacking away at the poor judgment that a beginner has, having an interest in going as far as I can with the technical aspects of exposure on a protracted lay approach and having ideals like any creative person,
just a pleasing piece to hang or store,
something pretty or just neat.
But why?
What is it that as a photographer I should be interested in?
vacuous and neurotic, i swear there isn't a square meter of ground I haven't traipsed around here,
I like capturing wildlife images, and could see myself in the fishbowl for 200 hours this year, but really how many butterflies are enough butterflies and why won't this dang camera work in the dark.
Is there anything you guys have that gets you on track to making something good?
Just effort?
Just effort?OK thanks for any small help or direction
Title: discerning good images
Post by: fredjeang on April 13, 2010, 02:45:05 PM
Hi,

I think that effort without direction is like a sailor without tiller.

Efforts, talents, or whatever have to be aimed to your purpose.

Most of the time it is more difficult to see where one wants to go, what does he want to express.
That's why you have a lot of very experienced photographers, but they can't direct their experience where they want to,
generaly they don't even know it.

Saying: "I want to do landscape" is one thing.
But, what do you want to say through the landscapes is a much more difficult quest.

IMHO.

Fred.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: wolfnowl on April 13, 2010, 03:35:00 PM
This might help: http://www.dewittjones.com/resources/seeing_the_ordinary.htm (http://www.dewittjones.com/resources/seeing_the_ordinary.htm)

Mike.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Joe Behar on April 13, 2010, 04:34:35 PM
Quote from: Rocco Penny
I've been at it- intensely aware of opportunities for a good exposure,
watching, waiting, listening for animals and aware of shapes and interesting features,
hacking away at the poor judgment that a beginner has, having an interest in going as far as I can with the technical aspects of exposure on a protracted lay approach and having ideals like any creative person,
just a pleasing piece to hang or store,
something pretty or just neat.
But why?
What is it that as a photographer I should be interested in?
vacuous and neurotic, i swear there isn't a square meter of ground I haven't traipsed around here,
I like capturing wildlife images, and could see myself in the fishbowl for 200 hours this year, but really how many butterflies are enough butterflies and why won't this dang camera work in the dark.
Is there anything you guys have that gets you on track to making something good?
Just effort?
Just effort?OK thanks for any small help or direction

Sounds like maybe you need to cool off a bit. There's nothing that says you have to put in X number of hours or days per year. I know the frustration of wanting to create something and just not being able to because "there's nothing happening" there's nothing interesting" "the light's not right" or any other of a million reasons.

Why not take a short break? Take a walk WITHOUT your camera. Refocus. Enjoy the surroundings and look around without a photo in mind.

I'm pretty sure that after short while, you'll get a better idea of what you're after.

Don't force it.

Someone once told me "if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong"

It sounds like you're a serious hobbyist, so there's no pressure to produce in order to feed the family. Just relax and let your mind rest and clear. I'm betting you'll come back after a short break with renewed creativity.




Title: discerning good images
Post by: fredjeang on April 13, 2010, 05:05:39 PM
Quote from: Joe Behar
Sounds like maybe you need to cool off a bit. There's nothing that says you have to put in X number of hours or days per year. I know the frustration of wanting to create something and just not being able to because "there's nothing happening" there's nothing interesting" "the light's not right" or any other of a million reasons.

Why not take a short break? Take a walk WITHOUT your camera. Refocus. Enjoy the surroundings and look around without a photo in mind.

I'm pretty sure that after short while, you'll get a better idea of what you're after.

Don't force it.

Someone once told me "if you're not having fun, you're doing it wrong"

It sounds like you're a serious hobbyist, so there's no pressure to produce in order to feed the family. Just relax and let your mind rest and clear. I'm betting you'll come back after a short break with renewed creativity.
Joe, I agree 100% and I think your comment is very wise.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rocco Penny on April 14, 2010, 10:40:14 AM
Ok
so let's say the enjoyment is constant.

I'm more wondering how really good images are conceived.
So looking through some art books yesterday, a thought dawned on me that there are works of 'art'
and there are surviving examples of manmade 'items'
the difference being just when I look at a piece, it seems like either art or artifact.
Art seems obvious, and it's obvious I'm not too close to rendering art.
So the interest I have just now is to get technically decent images.
I'm looking at thousands of my images, and I have found maybe 30 worth printing.
I want even 1 new good thing,
and I want it to be art.
thank you for the advice.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: walter.sk on April 14, 2010, 10:48:34 AM
I think some of your anxiety about how to proceed might be allayed by reading the articles on this site by Alain Briot, who talks about how he developed his style and market.  His wonderful writing concentrates not on the "rules of composition," but on his personal vision and how to hone it.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: patrickt on April 14, 2010, 11:50:34 AM
"What is it that as a photographer I should be interested in?"

Who knows? I met a photographer who was asking every woman between 18-45 to pose nude for him. I think his interest was in getting laid. Some people think they have something to say. They usually don't but that their vision. I went to an exhibit and laughed when I saw two, single-spaced pages of the photographer explaining his "message". I laughed, looked at the photos, and left. I know a woman who has a thing for butterflies. She can actually name them all. For my brother-in-law it's birds.

My interest? I'm retired and my primary interest is getting up and taking photos. I am far more interested in what the photo says to me and other people than I am in any agenda I have to say things. If one of my photos makes people smile or makes them feel anything, that's enough for me. I have photo of a mother with a newborn who was dying. I showed the photo, with no comments to people and was amazed at how different the responses were between men and women. Yes, the picture "spoke" to me and others but they didn't all hear the same thing.

I have a photo of a clown couple walking through a park in the late afternoon. I took the picture in large part because of the light. But, in invariably makes people stop, look for a moment, and smile. I like that.

I sometimes sell photos to raise money for a charity. I am interested in taking photos that will sell for them but I can't say that very often drives my photography.

I guess it's just up to you to decide what you are, and should be, interested in.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Paul Sumi on April 14, 2010, 09:01:34 PM
Quote from: Rocco Penny
I'm looking at thousands of my images, and I have found maybe 30 worth printing.

That's not necessarily a bad thing.  Photo editing is one of the most important skills a photographer can have and one of the most difficult to do well.  I found it much harder to learn how to choose my best images than to learn how to make them.  

In landscape photography, at least, my "keeper" rate (worth showing) runs between 3% and 5%.  But my batting average for images worth printing and hanging on a wall is less than 1%.

Paul
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 15, 2010, 04:01:52 AM
Quote from: Paul Sumi
That's not necessarily a bad thing.  Photo editing is one of the most important skills a photographer can have and one of the most difficult to do well.  I found it much harder to learn how to choose my best images than to learn how to make them.  

In landscape photography, at least, my "keeper" rate (worth showing) runs between 3% and 5%.  But my batting average for images worth printing and hanging on a wall is less than 1%.

Paul

I can definitely relate to that. The more photography you do the more fussy you get which means the less keepers you get. This should happen. I knew someone who has been into photography for over 40 years who thought that all of his photographs were good and none were to be deleted. Paradoxically when windows on his hard disc crashed I asked if he had them backed up? He shrugged his shoulders and said that they weren't worth bothering about. His oxymoronic  attitude showed to me that he wasn't a good photographer which I had suspected for sometime. Photography is like panning for gold. A lot of dross has to be got rid of to get the nuggets.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: daws on April 15, 2010, 05:42:34 AM
Quote from: Rocco Penny
Is there anything you guys have that gets you on track to making something good?
Just effort?
Peace of mind, as much as you can muster.


Quote
Letting go of self is an essential precondition to real seeing. When you let go of yourself, you abandon any preconceptions about the subject matter that might cramp you into photographing in a certain, predetermined way. As long as you are worried about whether or not you will be able to make good pictures, or are concerned about enjoying yourself, you are unlikely either to make the best photographs you can or to experience the joy of photography to the fullest. But when you let go, new conceptions arise from your direct experience of the subject matter, and new ideas and feelings will guide you as you make pictures.

Preoccupation with self is the greatest barrier to seeing, and the hardest one to break. You may be worrying about your job, or the kids, or other responsibilities, or you may be uneasy about your ability to handle a new lens or to calculate exposure. There always seems to be something standing in the way of real freedom. Frederick Franck in
The Zen of Seeing calls this the "Me cramp"; too much self-concern blocks direct experience of things outside yourself.
-- Freeman Patterson
Photography and the Art of Seeing



Quote
As I work from the belief that there’s more than one right answer, I find I’m approaching the world from an attitude of abundance rather than scarcity, from cooperation rather than competition. When I walk into the forest with my cameras, nature doesn’t say, “There is one great photograph hidden here. One photographer will find it and be the winner. The rest will fail!” No, what nature seems to be saying is, “How many rolls of film do you have, Dewitt? I’ll fill them all with right answers!”

When we bring that same attitude to our life, we become more and more comfortable with searching for that next right answer, with reframing problems into opportunities, with embracing change rather than fearing it.

So we’ve found a definition that makes creativity accessible to us; we’ve opened ourselves to the possibility that there’s more than one right answer. We’ve looked at the challenge we’re facing and asked, “Do we have the right lens/perspective and the right focus?”

So why do we still hesitate? What’s keeping us from seeing that extraordinary solution and manifesting it into reality? Could it be the fear of Making a Mistake?

Fear of mistakes is the single greatest enemy of the creative spirit. It haunts me in my business dealings, it looks through my lens, it stands at my shoulder every time I’m on the platform. Constantly it intones, “Don’t take the risk. Don’t try something new. Do it the way it’s always been done.” Again, it’s my photography that shows me the foolishness of this kind of thinking.
-- Dewitt Jones
Seeing the Ordinary as Extraordinary
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 15, 2010, 06:37:22 AM
I hope he doesn't mind you quoting large chunks of his book? I got to about page 40 and didn't look at the book again. I found it difficult to relate to what he was stating. Obviously others found the book worthy. Alain Briot's book I got about two thirds of the way through it before abandoning it. Relating what is in these books and others to the reality of the opportunities of what I photograph I find difficult. I am left wondering if it is my fault or do others have the same difficulties? I am probably at the limit of what I can learn - I am not saying that I am a great photographer - and will struggle to get more meaningful data from books and magazines.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: LoisWakeman on April 15, 2010, 06:48:26 AM
Quote from: Rocco Penny
I'm more wondering how really good images are conceived.
Think more "previsualised" than conceived: having an idea what you want to achieve before you press the shutter button helps a lot. And of course, practise, practise, practise - when you look at a scene, do you automatically mentally frame the interesting bits? If not, try taking out a cardboard rectangle with a rectangular hole cut in it (at your preferred aspect ratio) and use that as you are walking around. Separating the seeing from the mechanics of taking the photo can be a good thing. Or if you feel silly doing that, use a tripod to slow you down.

And if you are really interested in art, get a book of composition theory and study that, so you have an idea of why certain conventions work - and almost as importantly, when to ignore them. You could even start on this very site: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/...ion-intro.shtml (http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/jp-composition-intro.shtml)

Title: discerning good images
Post by: LoisWakeman on April 15, 2010, 06:59:42 AM
Quote from: stamper
I am left wondering if it is my fault or do others have the same difficulties?
I don't think you are alone - perhaps I have been unlucky, but I have yet to find a book on composition that is both lucid and technically accomplished: in most of them, the words obstruct or obscure understanding rather than being transparent aids to that flash of "ah, I get it".

I am currently wading - slowly - through "The Photograph: Composition & Color Design" by Harold Mante - which is one of the worst adverts for translation I have read for a long time. The English is so heavily Teutonic and clumsy that it actively annoys me, and the layout was designed by someone who thinks that it's acceptable to be spending half your time flipping from page to page to find the illustrative thumbnails that are relevant. Both features obstruct what is basically a very sound introduction to the theories of composition.

The opposite extreme is the waffly, rambling prose beloved of other exponents of the theory. Lots of these guys are excellent photographers with a sound grasp of the principles, but not of technical writing.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 15, 2010, 07:10:57 AM
Despite being a member of Flickr I don't often look at anybody's Photo stream closely. I tend to pick one or two to look at and then go on to someone else's images. However I have just looked at about half of this person's images and to say that I am impressed - I take a lot of impressing - is an understatement. Enjoy!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/)
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 15, 2010, 08:07:31 PM
Rocco, You've seen some good suggestions in this thread. Let me make another, that in some ways runs counter to the others: Reading "how to" books, inspirational books, or as Lois suggested, books on "composition theory" can't even begin to teach the really important things you can, and should, learn simply by studying the photographs of the masters. People like Eugene Atget, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Elliott Erwitt, Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, W. Eugene Smith, Robert Doisneau, Andre Kertesz, Paul Strand, Brassai, Steve McCurry, Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, among others. Since you didn't bother to fill out your profile, I have no idea what your background is, how old you are, whether or not you've had any training in the visual arts, but if you're like most of us, once you've studied a few of the masters you'll focus on a particular one who does the kind of thing you'd like to be doing. You'll take off from there by trying to copy that artist. This happens in any art: music, poetry, painting, photography -- doesn't matter. But as you progress you'll find that you can't actually copy your model and that, even if you knock off a few prints that seem close to your ideal, they won't be very satisfying. Eventually, after a lot of disappointments you'll begin to develop your own style. You won't need to think about what you want to shoot, or go looking for something to shoot. Instead, your subjects will begin to present themselves to you. You'll get to the point where you simply won't be able to avoid shooting what's in front of you when one of those subjects presents itself. From that point on you won't have even to think about subjects like this one.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 16, 2010, 04:43:43 AM
Russ, I agree with you 100% but have given up writing the message; people simply don't want to read it and are unable to accept the truth that you either have or have not got what it takes.

If you have to start to ask yourself what to shoot, you asked the wrong question first. The first question should have been which camera should I buy in order to shoot the subject(s) I want to cover? If there are no pre-existing desires to shoot something specific, then save your money for something more worthwhile than another paperweight. If the desire already exists within you, then develop it and give it some sense of direction by seeking out sites, books, magazines and exhibitions that cater to that interest. There, you will find suggestions that help indicate what you need to get where you want to go.

But please don't convince yourself that you can buy talent for yourself; the only talent you can buy is that which others offer for hire.

Rob C
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 16, 2010, 05:29:12 AM
Does anyone agree that there is a limit to your photographic ability - just the same as other pursuits - and it is possible to reach that limit without realising it? Obviously taking images of different subjects widens your horizons but it might disguise the fact that your limit has been reached. Is it possible to spend months or even years trying to educate yourself in vain without actually improving?. I played competitive chess for thirty years before "retiring" from it. Probably the last ten years I had been playing at a "optimum" level without realising it despite the fact that I was still trying to learn more. I gave up when my ability to win games went into a decline. No doubt that some will reply that you must keep going but there has to be a day when you realise it isn't getting better. Now will a new camera help?????
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 16, 2010, 07:33:37 AM
Stamper, To answer your initial question: I don't think so. Art isn't "like other pursuits." As Rob pointed out, you don't pursue "art." You pursue something you're trying to express. If you do that well enough that others can react to what you created in the way you intended, it's art. Chess is something different. In chess you're not creating; you're exercising logic to win a game. I do think you can reach a ceiling in that kind of pursuit. But in visual art I think your vision can expand indefinitely. Which is not to say you won't hit plateaus along the way. Art is from the inside out. Chess is from the outside in. Different kind of thing.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rocco Penny on April 16, 2010, 09:52:26 AM
Thank you all very much.

This is a discussion I needed to hear.  Maybe it's as simple as that;
I've rarely had any talent or ability.
There are no doubt people that overcome their lack of talent for the work they put in at getting technically good at photography.
Maybe no masterpiece is in me.

I am a tradesman.  I can see talent in people in my trade in 10 seconds of watching them, and it's true,
they either have it or don't.

RSL thank you,  I have a d300 and a 50, 10-20, 600, & 18-200, gitzo, ballhead, & wimberly, easily pack all of it and walk 10 miles my limitation being real work for real $
I use color managed workflow.  I have a wide gamut 8 bit IPS screen & a large format printer.
I mount and frame my pieces.
I have a drymount press and have been all over the map on which backing and media I use.
I have a matcutter but am struggling with making a matted piece that looks good to me.


It's frustrating to find myself struggling with understanding the correct procedure to produce the exposures I want.
I have had some slight success, and it gives me hope that I may have something to contribute artistically.
I have made a person gasp upon opening a piece, & have seen a wore out drunk get a genuine smile on his face viewing one of my works.
I have sold a few without trying.


I simply have not made a really great piece in 3 months.
So I go out and shoot and come back with junk.
Like a tradesman that can't sand flat...
OK thanks again
thank you,
Rocco
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 16, 2010, 11:27:24 AM
Quote from: Rocco Penny
I simply have not made a really great piece in 3 months.
So I go out and shoot and come back with junk.

Rocco, Until about two weeks ago it had been at least a year since I'd made what I'd consider the kind of piece upon which I'd be willing to hang my reputation. Then, I got one on the street in St. Augustine. If I'm able to get one of those a year I consider myself lucky -- and I'm shooting every day. Most days I come back with junk -- or something close to it. Depends on where I'm able to get to during the day. Most days while I'm in Florida my shooting takes place in the morning along the Palatlakaha river, but you can only shoot so many birds before most bird shots become incredibly boring. Sometimes landscape is interesting: usually in some place like West Texas where the landscape is minimal and expressive and includes the attempts people make to live there. I live at the foot of Pikes Peak and I've shot plenty of mountain scenes. One of those is going to be in an ad in the next issue of B&W. But landscape becomes pretty "so what" early on unless the hand of man is in the scene. To me, the only thing that presents infinite variety and meaning is human activity. Sometimes that means people on the street. Sometimes it means the artifacts people have created.

But that's my personal take on things. There are plenty of other people who immerse themselves in landscape photography with excellent results. There are others who dote on wildlife and make it live in their photographs. You can see their work in pubs like National Geographic. The bottom line is: don't beat yourself up. Learn what turns you on when you photograph it and pursue that. Never mind about the equipment. As long as you have what you need to do the work, equipment is meaningless.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 16, 2010, 03:59:20 PM
[quote name='RSL' date='Apr 16 2010, 04:27 PM' post='360335']
 
"To me, the only thing that presents infinite variety and meaning is human activity. Sometimes that means people on the street. Sometimes it means the artifacts people have created.

But that's my personal take on things."


Russ - again we show very similar ideas, except that in my case it is reduced to humans themselves, and women in particular.

Apart from that, my heart ain't in it and only skips a beat on the odd occasion when a paying job comes along despite retiral from the life. We are what we are, and we enjoy what we do enjoy and there is not a lot more worthwhile to be said about it!

Ciao

Rob C
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 16, 2010, 04:14:03 PM
Rob, I ain't gonna knock it. I may be 80 but I'm not dead yet. I've always had a song in my heart for beautiful women. It hasn't gone away.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 17, 2010, 04:16:27 AM
Quote from: RSL
Stamper, To answer your initial question: I don't think so. Art isn't "like other pursuits." As Rob pointed out, you don't pursue "art." You pursue something you're trying to express. If you do that well enough that others can react to what you created in the way you intended, it's art. Chess is something different. In chess you're not creating; you're exercising logic to win a game. I do think you can reach a ceiling in that kind of pursuit. But in visual art I think your vision can expand indefinitely. Which is not to say you won't hit plateaus along the way. Art is from the inside out. Chess is from the outside in. Different kind of thing.

If the ability to "see" doesn't improve then you must hit your limits sometime? Working hard at it doesn't guarantee success. In another post of yours you talk about going out every day shooting but only get about one worthwhile image a year. That is a lot of work for very little? On the other hand the exercising of the body and mind is worthwhile. There are photographers who can walk around a well known area that you have scoured and see things that you have missed. It means that their innate ability is better than yours. When you look at something you must have a good imagination in respect as to whether it is worthwhile or not? One thing that I have learned is not to show images to people that aren't interested in photography. It is bad enough getting an "objective" appraisal from a knowledgeable person never mind one who doesn't care. I spent six years in a camera club trying to understand some of the other club member's ideas. It was perplexing at times.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 17, 2010, 05:00:35 AM
You're right, stamper, and that's probably the point of photography as a non-pro pastime: we can each be our own best director, critic and fan.

It strikes me that if people take it all too seriously, then they run the risk of spoiling it for themselves. That's the danger when one starts to listen to those siren voices out there selling potions and elixers; all the perfumes of Arabia etc. etc. won't turn a dodo into a star.

There are always limits to any individual's capabilities; that doesn't mean that he can't come up with some pleasing stuff now and again, and therein lies one of the problems for the wannabe pro: before he gets there he is free to do what he can when he feels like it, but from the moment he crosses that line into professional life, he has to do it all the time and every time, feeling like it or not. That rapidly loses its fun factor unless you have a lot of luck or a lot of balls and stay within your pleasure zone. Alternatively, you can be like I was, not have any particularly large supply of said balls, but develop a fine tunnel vision instead. It comes to the same.

Rob C
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 17, 2010, 07:24:40 AM
Quote from: stamper
If the ability to "see" doesn't improve then you must hit your limits sometime?

What does the word "limits" mean with respect to photography?

Quote
Working hard at it doesn't guarantee success. In another post of yours you talk about going out every day shooting but only get about one worthwhile image a year. That is a lot of work for very little?

Stamper, I didn't say I only got one "worthwhile" image a year. I said that if I get one image a year upon which I'd be willing to hang my reputation as a photographer, I consider myself lucky. I get plenty of "worthwhile" images a year, but the kind of image we're talking about is different from "worthwhile." Also, my judgment regarding that photograph is a personal one.

Quote
There are photographers who can walk around a well known area that you have scoured and see things that you have missed. It means that their innate ability is better than yours.

No. It means that their innate ability is different from mine. If we turn things around and they go first, I can do the same thing.

Quote
One thing that I have learned is not to show images to people that aren't interested in photography. It is bad enough getting an "objective" appraisal from a knowledgeable person never mind one who doesn't care. I spent six years in a camera club trying to understand some of the other club member's ideas. It was perplexing at times.

I couldn't agree more. And that brings us to Rob's comment. I did enough pro work in the sixties to know that I hate it. If you're a pro, what you have to produce is what your client wants -- not what you want. And what your client wants is cliches. You client isn't interested in photography as an artform, and he's not interested in your photograph as an object; he's interested in what your photograph can do for him -- as a memento (wedding photography) or as a sales tool (fashion photography, architectural photography), etc. What most people expect to see in a photograph is what they've been taught to expect, perhaps with a slight variation. That's why in most galleries the photographs that sell are landscapes or wildlife or variations on these forms. Those are the pictures people want to hang on their walls because they're the kind of cliches their friends and neighbors understand. They'd never think of hanging something like Gene Smith's powerful picture of a woman in a Haitian asylum.

But if you're not doing commercial work you're doing one of two things: you're shooting to build your ego by pleasing others (your camera club members), or you're shooting to please yourself. Shooting to please yourself is the most difficult, but most rewarding activity of all. When you're doing that you spend most of your time frustrated at your results, but there's no ceiling to what you can do. And every once in a while you get something that really satisfies you. That's the payoff.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on April 17, 2010, 09:41:59 AM
Quote from: RSL
What does the word "limits" mean with respect to photography?



Stamper, I didn't say I only got one "worthwhile" image a year. I said that if I get one image a year upon which I'd be willing to hang my reputation as a photographer, I consider myself lucky. I get plenty of "worthwhile" images a year, but the kind of image we're talking about is different from "worthwhile." Also, my judgment regarding that photograph is a personal one.



No. It means that their innate ability is different from mine. If we turn things around and they go first, I can do the same thing.



I couldn't agree more. And that brings us to Rob's comment. I did enough pro work in the sixties to know that I hate it. If you're a pro, what you have to produce is what your client wants -- not what you want. And what your client wants is cliches. You client isn't interested in photography as an artform, and he's not interested in your photograph as an object; he's interested in what your photograph can do for him -- as a memento (wedding photography) or as a sales tool (fashion photography, architectural photography), etc. What most people expect to see in a photograph is what they've been taught to expect, perhaps with a slight variation. That's why in most galleries the photographs that sell are landscapes or wildlife or variations on these forms. Those are the pictures people want to hang on their walls because they're the kind of cliches their friends and neighbors understand. They'd never think of hanging something like Gene Smith's powerful picture of a woman in a Haitian asylum.

But if you're not doing commercial work you're doing one of two things: you're shooting to build your ego by pleasing others (your camera club members), or you're shooting to please yourself. Shooting to please yourself is the most difficult, but most rewarding activity of all. When you're doing that you spend most of your time frustrated at your results, but there's no ceiling to what you can do. And every once in a while you get something that really satisfies you. That's the payoff.
Russ,

Absolutely right on, on every point!


Eric

Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 17, 2010, 10:30:05 AM
Quote

What does the word "limits" mean with respect to photography?

Unquote

I was referring to ability to see and produce quality images. Everyone must have limited abilities in this respect. Some photographers are better than others, just as in any other pursuit. Photography is probably more subjective than most other pursuits. It can't be measured how good a photographer is compared with others because it is mostly a matter of opinion. I have seen a lot of what you have posted in the forum and have an opinion as to how good they are. Other posters will vary greatly in respect to my opinion.


Quote

Rocco, Until about two weeks ago it had been at least a year since I'd made what I'd consider the kind of piece upon which I'd be willing to hang my reputation. Then, I got one on the street in St. Augustine. If I'm able to get one of those a year I consider myself lucky -- and I'm shooting every day.

Unquote

The way I read this was that you were only getting one image a year that you were happy about? That was the context I took out of it, hence the confusion?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 17, 2010, 07:52:13 PM
Quote from: stamper
I was referring to ability to see and produce quality images. Everyone must have limited abilities in this respect. Some photographers are better than others, just as in any other pursuit. Photography is probably more subjective than most other pursuits. It can't be measured how good a photographer is compared with others because it is mostly a matter of opinion. I have seen a lot of what you have posted in the forum and have an opinion as to how good they are. Other posters will vary greatly in respect to my opinion.

Stamper, I think we agree on this, except I have trouble with the word "quality."  I'd be more likely to use the word "moving" in place of "quality" in that first sentence. "Quality" can mean too many different things. It can include "moving," but it also can be confined to the "qualities" that appeal to pixel-peepers: sharpness, etc. I certainly agree with the rest of your statement. Quality judgments are very subjective.

On the other hand, when you say that some photographers are better than others I think you need to be more specific about the particular area of competition. I've always thought there were thousands of photographers who were better at landscape than Cartier-Bresson, but I doubt any of those better landscape photographers would pretend they're better at street photography. I've gone through most of your flickr gallery and I find your photographs to be technically very excellent but pretty much confined to a category outside my main interests. That being the case I'd have a hard time making valid judgments about them. In my own case my photographic tastes are pretty eclectic. If you've checked my web you know that I shoot all sorts of things. But I'd rather be judged on my street photography than, say, my landscapes. I wouldn't expect to be judged on what I post on LuLa, though I've posted a few that I'd consider among my once-a-year collection.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 18, 2010, 04:19:10 AM
I haven't looked at your web gallery but I will. I have mostly seen your street photography which I haven't done for some time. The nearest I get to that is political demonstrations - which I do a lot of - that probably isn't interesting to most photographers. As you stated we aren't far apart in understanding. Quality is subjective and it is up to the photographer to decide what they feel is quality?
No photographer can be good at all aspects of photography. There isn't enough time in the day to try, therefore the more experienced ones specialize in something that suits their tastes. An interesting thread overall?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Ray on April 18, 2010, 05:47:06 AM
There are many reasonable points made in this thread, but they all tend towards waffle in my opinion.

I'll make just one point. Artists, whether writers, painters, musicians or photographers, create because they have to, are compelled to. They create because it's the most meaningful thing they can do in life.

Okay! I'll make a second point because I'm a tiny bit voluble.

There have been artists in the past who are so compelled to create, in spite of the fact that almost no-one appreciates what they do, that they prefer to starve to death than cease painting.

Vincent Van Gogh almost came into that category. His poor eating habits contributed greatly to his physical and mental suffering. There's a great deal of evidence suggesting that chronic hunger had a significant role in the direction of his life. He bought paint and canvases and brushes before he bought food, so his hunger for art took precedence over his hunger for food.

If you are well-off and comfortable, and have the latest and best 35mm camera but are not sure what to shoot, then forget it. You are no artist.




Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 18, 2010, 06:22:38 AM
Quote from: Ray
There are many reasonable points made in this thread, but they all tend towards waffle in my opinion.

I'll make just one point. Artists, whether writers, painters, musicians or photographers, create because they have to, are compelled to. They create because it's the most meaningful thing they can do in life.

Okay! I'll make a second point because I'm a tiny bit voluble.

There have been artists in the past who are so compelled to create, in spite of the fact that almost no-one appreciates what they do, that they prefer to starve to death than cease painting.

Vincent Van Gogh almost came into that category. His poor eating habits contributed greatly to his physical and mental suffering. There's a great deal of evidence suggesting that chronic hunger had a significant role in the direction of his life. He bought paint and canvases and brushes before he bought food, so his hunger for art took precedence over his hunger for food.

If you are well-off and comfortable, and have the latest and best 35mm camera but are not sure what to shoot, then forget it. You are no artist.

What do you do if you aren't well-off and comfortable?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 18, 2010, 06:39:52 AM
Quote Russ

In my own case my photographic tastes are pretty eclectic. If you've checked my web you know that I shoot all sorts of things. But I'd rather be judged on my street photography than, say, my landscapes. I wouldn't expect to be judged on what I post on LuLa, though I've posted a few that I'd consider among my once-a-year collection.

Unquote

Russ I have had a look at your web site and I am impressed! It is obvious that we aren't similar in what we do .... mostly. A question. Do you ask permission of the subjects? A lot of them are close up and I believe you use a 35mm type focal length lens and not a super zoom? Where I live this type of photography might be seen as intrusive. An industrial type area  - West of Scotland - rather than a rural area. This why I shoot a lot of political rallies instead. Everyone is fair game and there are always a lot of policemen around which means you don't get hassle unless you point your camera specifically at them. They have their camera teams so my ugly mug is somewhere on their computers.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Ray on April 18, 2010, 07:04:14 AM
Quote from: stamper
What do you do if you aren't well-off and comfortable?

That depends on whether or not you are a true artist. Everything has a price. If material wealth and comfort is your goal, then you should apply yourself to the activities that create material wealth.

If you are lucky enough to have recognised artistic talent that enables you to make a living, then fine. If not, then that's the true test.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 18, 2010, 07:10:30 AM
Quote from: Ray
That depends on whether or not you are a true artist. Everything has a price. If material wealth and comfort is your goal, then you should apply yourself to the activities that create material wealth.

If you are lucky enough to have recognised artistic talent that enables you to make a living, then fine. If not, then that's the true test.

Quoting your good self.

There are many reasonable points made in this thread, but they all tend towards waffle in my opinion.

Unquote

Waffle?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 18, 2010, 10:29:42 AM
Quote from: stamper
Do you ask permission of the subjects? A lot of them are close up and I believe you use a 35mm type focal length lens and not a super zoom? Where I live this type of photography might be seen as intrusive. An industrial type area  - West of Scotland - rather than a rural area. This why I shoot a lot of political rallies instead. Everyone is fair game and there are always a lot of policemen around which means you don't get hassle unless you point your camera specifically at them. They have their camera teams so my ugly mug is somewhere on their computers.

Stamper, Most of the people in my street photographs have no idea I've made the shot. It's a matter of timing -- something you have to practice and practice in order to get right. In this, the most recent one I'm satisfied with, not one of those kids saw me shoot. Of course it was very dark -- darker than it appears in the picture. Had it been brighter, someone would have seen me and the shot would have been different, possibly even impossible.

[attachment=21572:St_George_Street.jpg]

My favorite street lens is a 50mm f/1.4 -- on a full-frame camera. Sometimes I'll use a mid-range zoom, but the 50mm forces me to get in close enough that the perspective ends up right. The only time I crop is if I can't get to a point where I can compose what I want in the viewfinder. Lately I sometimes use an Olympus E-P1 with a 17mm lens, which, on the four-thirds sensor comes off as a 34mm equivalent.

The reason I don't ask permission is that a posed picture is very different from the real thing. I might have been able to get those kids to pose for me, but what I'd have ended up with is a picture of a bunch of kids going yah.. yah... yah. What I wanted was the interaction that was going on between the basketball player, the girl on the right edge, and the girl in front with the cigarette. You can't get that in a pose.

But, yes. There are places like your political rallies where street shooting is a joy. I shot this picture on St. George street in St. Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine is a tourist town, and St. George street is a pedestrians-only thoroughfare -- a huge tourist trap loaded with shops and restaurants. Everyone's on vacation and at least half the people on the street are carrying cameras. It's a street-shooter's paradise because no one pays any attention to your camera. I can hang a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom on my D3, a combination that's huge and menacing, and no one even glances my way. There are other places, like downtown Colorado Springs, where everyone spots your camera right away. That makes life more difficult, but not impossible.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 18, 2010, 10:47:49 AM
Quote from: Ray
That depends on whether or not you are a true artist. Everything has a price. If material wealth and comfort is your goal, then you should apply yourself to the activities that create material wealth.

If you are lucky enough to have recognised artistic talent that enables you to make a living, then fine. If not, then that's the true test.

Ray, I'd never claim to be a "true" artist. Maybe an untrue one, or possibly a dissembling one, but I think your dichotomy isn't valid. Yes, someone like HCB was independently wealthy, so he could afford to apply himself full-time to creating art. But how about Ansel Adams? He needed to make a living, and he made it partly through his photography and partly as a concert pianist. He didn't spend full time making photographic art but he sure produced some art. Same thing with Elliott Erwitt. He was on his own starting when he was still a kid. He made his living with photography, but when he shot that picture of Nixon poking Khruschev in the chest he was on an assignment to shoot kitchen appliances. I think the idea that your only choices are between being a hedge fund manager and a starving artist is (to be polite) a bit over the top.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rocco Penny on April 18, 2010, 12:52:03 PM
Quote from: Ray
...
If you are well-off and comfortable, and have the latest and best 35mm camera but are not sure what to shoot, then forget it. You are no artist.
...

Thank you for the ideas.
I read this as more of an implication that being comfortable not making something that satisfies my own urge to create,
my own elemental dictates,
a desire that usurps the ordinary and relies on metaphysics,
oh well,
I just want to create art now,
and am frustrated by creating fluff.
Over and over,
and here's the rub,
it gets worse when I try harder.
Ohhh well to the fishbowl and at least some glimpse of my buddies out there.
Wildflowers too,
too much going on around here anyway....
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Joe Behar on April 18, 2010, 05:37:38 PM
Quote from: Rocco Penny
I just want to create art now,
and am frustrated by creating fluff.
Over and over,
and here's the rub,
it gets worse when I try harder.

I'm reminded of the old vaudeville line that goes something like;

"Doctor, it hurts when I do this"

"Don't do it then"

But seriously Rocco, read your own post. The harder you try, the worse it gets and the only thing you can think of doing is trying even harder.

I think I said it before, but I'll say it again. Take a break, don't force it. I assume you're not running out of time on this planet. A few weeks is probably all it will take to clear the mind and come back refocused and refreshed.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on April 18, 2010, 08:43:50 PM
Quote from: Rocco Penny
and here's the rub,
it gets worse when I try harder.
Rocco,

You've gotten some good advice here, but I want to add my own two cents.

It took me many years to get over the "trying harder" trap. After trying and trying and trying harder, I would finally give up. I didn't put the camera away, I just put my photography time into doing technical exercises (in those days largely to do with exposure, Zone system, composition, etc., etc.)


Then, after a period of not looking for masterpieces, I would suddenly see something that grabbed my attention, and I'd shoot it before thinking. And often those happy accidents turned out to be keepers.

But as soon as I started looking seriously for "great images" again, frustration started all over again. After many cycles of "trying harder" alternating with "not trying at all" (except the tech exercises), I finally realized that trying to make Art was my biggest impediment. These days I spend a lot of time just looking, but without too specific goals, and my hit rate is much higher than it used to be.

So I suggest you try taking your photography a little less seriously for a while and see what happens. So I'm really just echoing what Joe just said. Good luck!

Eric
Title: discerning good images
Post by: DarkPenguin on April 18, 2010, 10:52:46 PM
I thought the key was to stop taking photos of shit you know is going to suck.  You don't try harder you just stop wasting your time with crap.  Frees you up to look for something new.  That said I just took my 1,000,000th photo of the same tree.  But I suck, so...
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 19, 2010, 03:49:00 AM
Quote from: Eric Myrvaagnes
Rocco,

You've gotten some good advice here, but I want to add my own two cents.

It took me many years to get over the "trying harder" trap. After trying and trying and trying harder, I would finally give up. I didn't put the camera away, I just put my photography time into doing technical exercises (in those days largely to do with exposure, Zone system, composition, etc., etc.)


Then, after a period of not looking for masterpieces, I would suddenly see something that grabbed my attention, and I'd shoot it before thinking. And often those happy accidents turned out to be keepers.

But as soon as I started looking seriously for "great images" again, frustration started all over again. After many cycles of "trying harder" alternating with "not trying at all" (except the tech exercises), I finally realized that trying to make Art was my biggest impediment. These days I spend a lot of time just looking, but without too specific goals, and my hit rate is much higher than it used to be.

So I suggest you try taking your photography a little less seriously for a while and see what happens. So I'm really just echoing what Joe just said. Good luck!

Eric

This strikes me as being very good advice, something that I will think seriously about because I to have been feeling frustrated.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 19, 2010, 04:01:25 AM
Quote from: RSL
Stamper, Most of the people in my street photographs have no idea I've made the shot. It's a matter of timing -- something you have to practice and practice in order to get right. In this, the most recent one I'm satisfied with, not one of those kids saw me shoot. Of course it was very dark -- darker than it appears in the picture. Had it been brighter, someone would have seen me and the shot would have been different, possibly even impossible.

[attachment=21572:St_George_Street.jpg]

My favorite street lens is a 50mm f/1.4 -- on a full-frame camera. Sometimes I'll use a mid-range zoom, but the 50mm forces me to get in close enough that the perspective ends up right. The only time I crop is if I can't get to a point where I can compose what I want in the viewfinder. Lately I sometimes use an Olympus E-P1 with a 17mm lens, which, on the four-thirds sensor comes off as a 34mm equivalent.

The reason I don't ask permission is that a posed picture is very different from the real thing. I might have been able to get those kids to pose for me, but what I'd have ended up with is a picture of a bunch of kids going yah.. yah... yah. What I wanted was the interaction that was going on between the basketball player, the girl on the right edge, and the girl in front with the cigarette. You can't get that in a pose.

But, yes. There are places like your political rallies where street shooting is a joy. I shot this picture on St. George street in St. Augustine, Florida. St. Augustine is a tourist town, and St. George street is a pedestrians-only thoroughfare -- a huge tourist trap loaded with shops and restaurants. Everyone's on vacation and at least half the people on the street are carrying cameras. It's a street-shooter's paradise because no one pays any attention to your camera. I can hang a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom on my D3, a combination that's huge and menacing, and no one even glances my way. There are other places, like downtown Colorado Springs, where everyone spots your camera right away. That makes life more difficult, but not impossible.

Very insightful! Thanks for the feedback. This why I stopped doing street photography and what passes for street photography for most of the time. A lot of people on the street seem to "know their rights" and believe you aren't entitled to take images of the public in the street. In the UK they are wrong but it isn't worth the hassle to argue with them. Some will even offer to take your picture with your camera if you wish. Usually one of the hooligan element. This means that an interesting type of photography is off bounds or it takes someone with confidence and a brass neck to persevere with it. The Edinburgh festival in Scotland in August is an exception. A couple of weeks of good opportunities to indulge in it.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 19, 2010, 04:53:01 AM
Quote from: stamper
Very insightful! Thanks for the feedback. This why I stopped doing street photography and what passes for street photography for most of the time. A lot of people on the street seem to "know their rights" and believe you aren't entitled to take images of the public in the street. In the UK they are wrong but it isn't worth the hassle to argue with them. Some will even offer to take your picture with your camera if you wish. Usually one of the hooligan element. This means that an interesting type of photography is off bounds or it takes someone with confidence and a brass neck to persevere with it. The Edinburgh festival in Scotland in August is an exception. A couple of weeks of good opportunities to indulge in it.





Ah stamper, there's the rub: I don't agree at all that we are all here as free models for any geezer who happens to want to snap us.

This has nothing at all to do with any laws that may or may not be in place, it has everythng to do with the freedom to walk along the street without being turned into an exhibit in someone's computer. Living in a tourist-cursed resort town (just outside it, thank God) I would be seriously hindered from going for a walk were I to give a damn about the folks setting up their master shot of the baby, the wife, the wench or even the 'mate' by the seashore. These people glare at you because you don't stop, stay out of their way until they have done with the maestro bit. Really? I should take an hour to accomplish a five minute route?

Keep the cameras in the wilderness or in the studio, in the toilet and even the boudoir, but out of my face.

Rob C
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 19, 2010, 04:59:55 AM
Quote from: Rob C
Ah stamper, there's the rub: I don't agree at all that we are all here as free models for any geezer who happens to want to snap us.

This has nothing at all to do with any laws that may or may not be in place, it has everythng to do with the freedom to walk along the street without being turned into an exhibit in someone's computer. Living in a tourist-cursed resort town (just outside it, thank God) I would be seriously hindered from going for a walk were I to give a damn about the folks setting up their master shot of the baby, the wife, the wench or even the 'mate' by the seashore. These people glare at you because you don't stop, stay out of their way until they have done with the maestro bit. Really? I should take an hour to accomplish a five minute route?

Keep the cameras in the wilderness or in the studio, in the toilet and even the boudoir, but out of my face.

Rob C

Surely Rob in all of the years of you doing commercial photography you must have captured people in the background of one of your shoots? If you did them all in the studio, in the toilet and even the boudoir, you must have led a sheltered life or you were very shy?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 19, 2010, 07:10:40 AM
Quote from: Rob C
Ah stamper, there's the rub: I don't agree at all that we are all here as free models for any geezer who happens to want to snap us.

This has nothing at all to do with any laws that may or may not be in place, it has everythng to do with the freedom to walk along the street without being turned into an exhibit in someone's computer. Living in a tourist-cursed resort town (just outside it, thank God) I would be seriously hindered from going for a walk were I to give a damn about the folks setting up their master shot of the baby, the wife, the wench or even the 'mate' by the seashore. These people glare at you because you don't stop, stay out of their way until they have done with the maestro bit. Really? I should take an hour to accomplish a five minute route?

Keep the cameras in the wilderness or in the studio, in the toilet and even the boudoir, but out of my face.

Rob C

Rob, Easy with that "geezer" stuff. But seriously, you feel that HCB, Walker Evans, Elliott Erwitt, Robert Frank, Andre Kertesz, etc., etc., were all doing something they shouldn't have been doing? I do agree about your impatience with people who expect you to avoid passing by while they take forever to frame the shot of their kids, but that's a different subject altogether. If I were to snap you on the street, there's almost no chance you'd have any idea it happened, so I can't see how the event would intrude on your life. To anyone who's really bothered by the idea of appearing in a street photograph I'd say, "Stay home. Don't go out unless you have an appointment with your psychiatrist."
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 19, 2010, 10:04:08 AM
stamper:

I have spent much of my location time trying to avoid the possibility of extraneous people intruding into my work; that's why I used to spend a fortune of client money going abroad to exotic places where this seclusion could be achieved.

Russ:

HC-B et al were doing what they were paid to do and probably had politically motivated reasons for doing it - they do all seem to have been quasi-communists and even declared ones; the Parisian slums, the bars and dives, the factories, the hookers they photographed were the breeding grounds for more of that ilk and I would be surprised if the proles weren't 'in it' to the hilt as well, and anything but exploited. Their photographic skills and observational prowess are to be admired, as are those different ones of James Bond, and my appreciation of what they did with a camera knows few bounds. (But that was then and this is now; life and mores change and wife-beating is a sin, as supporting Franco is now a sin whereas some thirty years ago it was the very opposite and one of the most common remarks old peole would make regarding those times was that they felt safe.)  I used to shoot  beautiful ladies without their bras or anything else, for that matter, and it was so very poular but, suddenly, it became forbidden and my market dived. Whereas porn shot through the roof, making me happy that my distance from that murky world led to my personal poverty!

So no, the psychiatrist can come to see me, not me go see him!

However, what both of you seem to miss or, more likely, prefer to avoid, is to acknowledge the fact that one should be free from the scrutiny of somebody lurking behind a bush with a camera. Yes, it is a skill, but it is an intrusion nonetheless. I am not fair game; I am a private person with an expectation that that be respected. I am not blind to the skills of the hunt, but I am not willing to be the prey, consciously or otherwise. That I might not know I have been shot doesn't mitigate the original offence.

Rob C

PS Don't you just love Mondays?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 19, 2010, 10:19:30 AM
Rob,
          you are a private person in a public place. If the laws allow it - I don't know about Spain - you will have to grin and bear it! As long as no one is pestering you by blocking your right to walk on the pavement etc etc then you will have to put up with it? Nowt you can do about it, at least legally. Any ways how do you know they are pointing their camera at you? They might be waiting for the grumpy old geezer to pass before pressing the shutter button? LOL
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 19, 2010, 12:03:41 PM
Quote from: Rob C
HC-B et al were doing what they were paid to do and probably had politically motivated reasons for doing it - they do all seem to have been quasi-communists and even declared ones

Rob, You're right about the communist cast. Even HCB. But you have to remember that those were the days -- the 20s -- when socialism seemed the wave of the future. Non-intellectuals embraced it because of the "to each according to his need" part. Intellectuals embraced it for two reasons: first, it seemed reasonable to them because they hadn't taken into account human nature and hadn't thought it through, and second because some of them, even though they saw the pitfalls, needed to put their fingers into the wounds to believe. They were the ones who countenanced millions of murders before some became convinced. You still can find many unconvinced "intellectuals" in university "social science" and English departments. Every day I thank God that I joined the air force instead of following my initial plan to become a professor of English literature.

But HCB at least wasn't paid for his street photography in the beginning. It was only after he'd been able to get a few of his pictures into magazines that he became a professional. Even then, the money wasn't the thing.

Quote
Supporting Franco is now a sin whereas some thirty years ago it was the very opposite

Seems to me that during the Spanish civil war only one side supported Franco, and the Americans, Capa for instance, who joined the fight joined it on the other side.

Quote
However, what both of you seem to miss or, more likely, prefer to avoid, is to acknowledge the fact that one should be free from the scrutiny of somebody lurking behind a bush with a camera.

I never lurk. I especially never lurk behind a bush. I wouldn't be able to get a decent shot of you that way.

Quote
I am not blind to the skills of the hunt...

Rob, it's not the skills of the hunt that are the important thing about street photography; it's the truths about human life. Take a closer look at the picture I posted in reply to one of Stamper's posts and tell me that the only significance in that picture is that it's the result of a successful hunt: antlers on the wall as it were. I don't believe you really believe that.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 19, 2010, 03:51:29 PM
Quote from: stamper
Rob,
          you are a private person in a public place. If the laws allow it - I don't know about Spain - you will have to grin and bear it! As long as no one is pestering you by blocking your right to walk on the pavement etc etc then you will have to put up with it? Nowt you can do about it, at least legally. Any ways how do you know they are pointing their camera at you? They might be waiting for the grumpy old geezer to pass before pressing the shutter button? LOL



That's the whole point of the complaint: why should I have to grin and bear it? That's why some grin and bare it out the back of a bus!

: - (

Rob C
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 19, 2010, 04:25:05 PM
[quote name='RSL' date='Apr 19 2010, 05:03 PM' post='360967']

"Seems to me that during the Spanish civil war only one side supported Franco, and the Americans, Capa for instance, who joined the fight joined it on the other side."

And ain't that surprising, when the 'other side' was the communists! Imagine Spain today if Franco hadn't triumphed!  

"I never lurk. I especially never lurk behind a bush. I wouldn't be able to get a decent shot of you that way."

I'm sure you don't - it was just a figure of speech.

"Rob, it's not the skills of the hunt that are the important thing about street photography; it's the truths about human life. Take a closer look at the picture I posted in reply to one of Stamper's posts and tell me that the only significance in that picture is that it's the result of a successful hunt: antlers on the wall as it were. I don't believe you really believe that."

If you look at the Is it Art section, you'll see that I started a topic on Street, wondering about both its function post shooting and suggestions as to why folks do it.

I admit freely that it has fascinated me all my life, not that I particularly wanted to do it, but the motivation for it in other people was the big question uppermost in my mind. The closest I ever got to doing anything like it was in Rome. I was staying with the family of a cousin of my mother's that lived there, and it was fully in the time of the Dolce Vita syndrome, and I think before the commemorative/eponymous movie. I had been asked along to a birthday party somewhere in the city one  night and I took along the camera and flash just for fun.  After the meal, when the thing was breaking up, my group went along the Via Veneto and we had a giggle pretending to be doing a paparazzo/starlet number: the pretty girl with the cousins walked briskly along with one hand over her face, the other outstretched towards me shouting no foto! no foto! After some of that, I walked along the other side of the road and stopped off at different café tables shooting God alone knows whom - all of those girls happy as hell to pull poses and smile their heads off at a total stranger. Amazing, the power of the camera to corrupt.

But that's not street, in the sense of Arbus or Winogrand or any of the latter day saints. It was more tabloid scandal stuff, which, you have to remember, had been mainstream in Europe for decades before it hit the UK. I'm not sure when it happened in the States - maybe the National Enquirer or something that sounded like that pre-dated the UK passion for pap. In Rome, the Burton/Taylor thing fed hundreds of snappers for ages - even made the negroni world-famous. And that was well before OK! or British Hola were even imagined.

Love photography, such a velvet emotion!

Rob C

Title: discerning good images
Post by: EduPerez on April 20, 2010, 03:37:48 AM
Quote from: Rob C
Quote from: RSL
"Seems to me that during the Spanish civil war only one side supported Franco, and the Americans, Capa for instance, who joined the fight joined it on the other side."
And ain't that surprising, when the 'other side' was the communists! Imagine Spain today if Franco hadn't triumphed!  
I hope you are joking on this one...
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 20, 2010, 03:51:47 AM
Quote from: EduPerez
And ain't that surprising, when the 'other side' was the communists! Imagine Spain today if Franco hadn't triumphed!  

I hope you are joking on this one...

Quote

"Seems to me that during the Spanish civil war only one side supported Franco, and the Americans, Capa for instance, who joined the fight joined it on the other side."

Unquote

As someone who is well read on the subject I can state that this isn't remotely true. Only two countries supported the Republicans. Mexico and the USSR. The rest either remained " neutral" - thus supporting Franco by default - or directly supported Franco. Any ways this isn't a subject for a photographic site. The moderator will possibly pull the plug on an interesting thread?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 20, 2010, 03:57:51 AM
Quote

That's the whole point of the complaint: why should I have to grin and bear it? That's why some grin and bare it out the back of a bus!

Unquote

Rob thanks for the "cheeky" reply. It is called democracy. I am sure that you in the past have upset some people with your photographic attempts?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 20, 2010, 06:05:55 AM
Quote from: stamper
Quote

"Seems to me that during the Spanish civil war only one side supported Franco, and the Americans, Capa for instance, who joined the fight joined it on the other side."

Unquote

As someone who is well read on the subject I can state that this isn't remotely true. Only two countries supported the Republicans. Mexico and the USSR. The rest either remained " neutral" - thus supporting Franco by default - or directly supported Franco. Any ways this isn't a subject for a photographic site. The moderator will possibly pull the plug on an interesting thread?

Edu, Stamper, I didn't say that "America" joined the fight on the other side. I said "the Americans" who joined the fight joined on the other side -- yes, the Communist side. There were several of them, including Robert Capa. Capa went as a photographer. Some others went as ambulance drivers, etc. Stamper, if you've studied the subject you must know that.

Correction: I tend to think of Capa as an American -- I guess since he landed with the Americans at Omaha beach on D-Day. But come to think of it, I don't know what his nationality was during the Spanish civil war. There were Americans there, though.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 20, 2010, 06:34:53 AM
Russ,
           your use of the word communist is a problem in this context. Franco tried to overthrow an elected Republican government, which was middle of the road in political terms. The communists fought for the Republican side to oppose Fascism. Most of the world didn't want to support the Republicans because of communist support instead they supported the Fascists. There are over 500 books in Amazon on the subject. I have 5 by my bedside. A complex subject that nobody can agree on. As stated the thread has went off subject.

BTW the Anarchists played a big part in opposition to Franco, many were  imprisoned and put to death by the communists who were dancing to Stalin's tune.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: EduPerez on April 20, 2010, 07:03:21 AM
Quote from: RSL
Edu, Stamper, I didn't say [...]
Just to clarify, I was not commenting on your post, but on Rob's.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: EduPerez on April 20, 2010, 07:22:12 AM
And, going back to the subject of privacy and street photography... I am with Rob:

Even if laws allow me to take someone's photograph on any public place
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 20, 2010, 10:29:04 AM
Quote from: stamper
Russ,
           your use of the word communist is a problem in this context. Franco tried to overthrow an elected Republican government, which was middle of the road in political terms. The communists fought for the Republican side to oppose Fascism. Most of the world didn't want to support the Republicans because of communist support instead they supported the Fascists. There are over 500 books in Amazon on the subject. I have 5 by my bedside. A complex subject that nobody can agree on. As stated the thread has went off subject.

BTW the Anarchists played a big part in opposition to Franco, many were  imprisoned and put to death by the communists who were dancing to Stalin's tune.

Stamper, You're right, of course. On the other hand most of the people from the U.S. who helped during the war, and Capa, whom I suspect was either a Hungarian or a French citizen at that time, were, at least, socialists, as was Gerda Taro, the love of his life. People forget that in those days socialism and communism weren't such dirty words. On the other hand, supporting Franco as Rob pointed out wasn't all that bad an idea either. In the long run he remained neutral during WW II. As you say, the whole thing is complicated to the point of obscurity. Yes, these comments are off subject, but sometimes these side roads are interesting and worthwhile.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 20, 2010, 10:35:14 AM
Quote from: EduPerez
And, going back to the subject of privacy and street photography... I am with Rob:

Even if laws allow me to take someone's photograph on any public place
  • , I am very reluctant to do so. Precisely because I prefer to respect everybody's concept of their own privacy, no matter how outrageous it may seem to me, and even considering that I do not care at all about appearing in somebody's else photograph. Now, another thing is when a security guard tries to convince me I cannot take a photograph outside his building...

  • Under Spanish laws, anybody (and almost anything) can be photographed while on the street; only the uses of such photographs are restricted: while journalistic purposes are allowed, commercial uses require authorization from the model.
Edu, It sounds as if Spanish laws are very close to U.S. laws on the subject. And, of course, you and Rob are right to avoid doing street photography since you feel people on the street have an expectation of privacy beyond what the law recognizes. But at the same time, I don't feel the same way, so I'm quite free to shoot a picture of you when you're on the street. I doubt it will happen, though. I think you can relax.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 20, 2010, 03:46:37 PM
"Damn, you might as well bring in the old one about whether Cataluña should be part of France instead of Spain - it all depends on how far back you find it convenient to draw your datum line. Go to Languedoc and Roussillon and you will discover as much questioning about identity, about being 'French' as you do in Scotland or Wales when 'Britain' becomes an issue in the sense of 'national' identity! How often did Trieste change hands and nationhood? What is nationality, what is identity? You can conclude in accordance with your own favourite manner or belief!

Rob C"




Do you see how easily it can be done? That statement about Cataluña is pure mince; it was the Kings of Aragon that had possession of Languedoc for a while, yet a statement putting it quite the other way around and blaming other parties goes unchallenged.

The same can be said about much more recent events - it's only personal bias, perspective and propaganda that colours what people believe or are led to believe.

Rob C
Title: discerning good images
Post by: EduPerez on April 21, 2010, 04:23:22 AM
Quote from: RSL
[...]On the other hand, supporting Franco as Rob pointed out wasn't all that bad an idea either.[...]
Perhaps it is because of my family heritage (one of my grandfathers was a political prisoner, and died in prison during Franco's days), or perhaps I lack the neutrality of an external viewer (I have always lived in Spain)... but in my ears "supporting Franco" sounds like "supporting Pinochet" or even "supporting Hitler".
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rocco Penny on April 21, 2010, 10:22:36 AM
wait,
you people seem pretty fast and loose with other people's lives.

I'm wondering how to turn this into a productive outcome.

I'm missing the relevance of death dealing madmen to my pedestrian struggle.

Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 21, 2010, 12:27:04 PM
Quote from: EduPerez
Perhaps it is because of my family heritage (one of my grandfathers was a political prisoner, and died in prison during Franco's days), or perhaps I lack the neutrality of an external viewer (I have always lived in Spain)... but in my ears "supporting Franco" sounds like "supporting Pinochet" or even "supporting Hitler".




Eduardo

You are right to feel as you do because it is perfectly natural and a result of the side of the fence on which the family found itself. Look at it from my perspective: I spent most of WW2 just north of London, and remember watching the fires in the night reflected in the clouds, and I even remember seeing aircraft towing huge gliders filled with human guinea pigs bound for their probable deaths, machine-gunned whilst hanging on a wire or up a tree. I have driven extensively through France and noted the many villages sporting the little commemorative plaques to where the Germans slew local people. And today? Today the French farmers seem inordinately enamoured of the BMW; in my family, one couple runs both a Mercedes CLS and an SLK as silver bookends; had I the spare money I'd probably buy myself an M3. What's the use of caring anymore - all things are altered by the passage of time and yesterday's enemy becomes todays object of desire or even your best customer.

The most you can hope for is a happy present without too many regrets.

Oh - the roundabouts: my neighbours were due back in Scotland this week and their flight from Palma was cancelled. They decided to drive their Spanish car back rather than wait for the volcano to go back to sleep, booked the ferry to Barcelona and almost immediately hit the 5-lane roundabout outside the gate, and if that wasn't intimidating enough for them, the happy boys on scooters attempted the tyre-slashing trick. Don't you wish it were legal to carry that Paulo Beretta in the glove box? And to use it?

Rob C
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 21, 2010, 01:15:32 PM
Quote from: EduPerez
Perhaps it is because of my family heritage (one of my grandfathers was a political prisoner, and died in prison during Franco's days), or perhaps I lack the neutrality of an external viewer (I have always lived in Spain)... but in my ears "supporting Franco" sounds like "supporting Pinochet" or even "supporting Hitler".

Edu, Of course nothing can change that tragic fact in your background, and I'd expect you to feel the way you feel about it. But... the fact that Spain stayed out of the war instead of coming in on Hitler's side saved an awful lot of lives and an awful lot of misery. As far as Pinochet is concerned, yes, he was a very nasty and corrupt man, but he also pulled Chile back from the brink of economic disaster. There's no way to balance pluses and minuses when a murderer like Pinochet or Franco is involved. All we can hope for is that there's justice in eternity. I suspect the fact that "Hitler made the trains run on time" didn't offset much on his judgment day.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Paul Sumi on April 21, 2010, 01:48:16 PM
Quote from: RSL
I suspect the fact that "Hitler made the trains run on time" didn't offset much on his judgment day.

Actually, that claim was associated with Mussolini. And, according to Snopes, that was not true.

http://www.snopes.com/history/govern/trains.asp (http://www.snopes.com/history/govern/trains.asp)

Title: discerning good images
Post by: EduPerez on April 21, 2010, 05:30:19 PM
Rob & Russ: yes, Spain did not join WW2, but we had a civil war... not sure which one of both I prefer; and Spain could could not join simply because the country had just been devastated during the war that Franco started. I see your point, however; but I could not conceive a positive final balance.

Rob: I am sincerely sorry about what happened to your neighbours, delinquency is the first think I would fix in this city (but no, a gun is not an acceptable solution in my books). There is an annual meeting here, which all the mobile phone companies join. Last year, the organization was proud to announce that the number of attendants who suffered pick-pockets had reduced since the previous year; I was ashamed to know they kept statistics on that.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 21, 2010, 06:07:20 PM
Quote from: Paul Sumi
Actually, that claim was associated with Mussolini. And, according to Snopes, that was not true.

http://www.snopes.com/history/govern/trains.asp (http://www.snopes.com/history/govern/trains.asp)

Paul, Maybe you didn't notice the quotes.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Ray on April 22, 2010, 01:48:45 AM
Quote from: Rocco Penny
wait,
you people seem pretty fast and loose with other people's lives.

I'm wondering how to turn this into a productive outcome.

I'm missing the relevance of death dealing madmen to my pedestrian struggle.

Rocco,
I agree. There's not much relevance in the past few posts to your predicament, except perhaps a demonstration of the fact that an opinion is just an opinion, whether it be the merits of a particular photograph or the truth about purported events of a particular period of history.

What does seem a little puzzling to me is the following question from your original post. "What is it that as a photographer I should be interested in?"

This question is one that only you can answer, unless you are a professional photographer, in which case the answer would be, "You should be interested in, and try to produce, the sorts of photos which your clients find most pleasing."

Being an amateur is an excellent position to be in because you are your own client. You can therefore take photos, not of what you should be interested in, but what you actually are interested in.

I think I'd hate being a wedding photographer. However, if circumstances were such that I found myself trying to earn a living as a wedding photographer, I think I'd do a lot of research on the sorts of photos that tend to produce the 'oohs! and aahs!' from wedding clients in general, and practise the techniques required to capture such shots, even if I personally thought such shots were crap.

Having found a scene, a subject, which interests you, which inspires you to a degree sufficient to motivate you to take the trouble to photograph it, the problem then becomes one of processing the image in such a way that the final result, in print or on monitor, depicts to your own satisfaction that initial experience which motivated you to take the shot in the first instance.

This is not necessarily easy and often requires far more skill in post processing than the initial technical competence of getting a correct exposure and a well-focussed shot.

For this task we have that wonderful tool called Photoshop. Perhaps you took the shot because of an amazing sky which was dark and threatening. You got the exposure correct but that dark, ominous, brooding sky has become bland in the automatically processed result on your monitor. Not worth making a print to hang on your wall. Don't give up. You need to select parts of the image in Photoshop and give them different processing. That's what your eye and brain did before you took the shot. It's not cheating.

Title: discerning good images
Post by: Ray on April 22, 2010, 02:21:23 AM
Quote from: RSL
Ray, I'd never claim to be a "true" artist. Maybe an untrue one, or possibly a dissembling one, but I think your dichotomy isn't valid. Yes, someone like HCB was independently wealthy, so he could afford to apply himself full-time to creating art. But how about Ansel Adams? He needed to make a living, and he made it partly through his photography and partly as a concert pianist. He didn't spend full time making photographic art but he sure produced some art. Same thing with Elliott Erwitt. He was on his own starting when he was still a kid. He made his living with photography, but when he shot that picture of Nixon poking Khruschev in the chest he was on an assignment to shoot kitchen appliances. I think the idea that your only choices are between being a hedge fund manager and a starving artist is (to be polite) a bit over the top.

Russ,
Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could have been. The artistic spirit or motivation, which Rocco Penny seems to be in search of, is so strong in the 'true' artist that sometimes he will sacrifice much needed food in order to buy paint and brushes, as in the example of Van Gogh and many others we don't even hear about. I'm not implying that it is therefore necessary to be poverty-stricken in order to be an artist (although being poor might help one to focus on one's true priorities), rather I'm implying that the urge to create, to find meaning and express meaning is so strong that one is compelled to paint, photograph, write music etc whatever one's circumstances, rich or poor.

In other words, it's almost like a calling or vocation which chooses you, rather than the other way round. There are many examples of people from a wealthy background who have insisted on pursuing a vocation as a pianist, or painter, or actor against the wishes of their parents, sometimes at the expense of being disinherited.

I recall seeing a play by Somerset Maugham many years ago which addressed this very issue. Can't remember all the details, but basically a son in a wealthy family wanted to be a pianist. His father was adamantly opposed to the idea, and after many heated arguments about the matter the son made the fatal mistake of agreeing to a proposal that he would go away for a couple of years, practise the piano assiduously, then subject himself to an appraisal from an experienced, professional, and successful concert pianist who would assess whether or not the young man had any talent. If the verdict was - no talent, then the son would agree to give up his aspirations to become a professional (classical) pianist, and join his father's business instead.

However, if the verdict was - promising talent - then the father would agree to give his son his blessing and not stand in the way of his son's chosen vocation.

Okay! It's only a story. It has a sad ending. The verdict was -no talent. The next day the son committed suicide.

Now I'm sure glad that I don't have to make a living as a photographer trying to fulfil the requirements of a client and/or please the tastes of the fickle public. I shoot what I want when I want. If someone happens to like a particular image or print I've made, I'm willing to sell it or give it away as a birthday or christmas present. My satisfaction lies in the entire photographic process from the extroverted activity of travelling to a place in search of interesting scenes to photograph, to the technical challenge of mastering the complexities of the machine (the camera) and getting it to produce the results I intended, to the interesting and marvelously flexible processing capabilities of Photoshop, to the crafstmanlike control of transferring a faithful reproduction of the final image to paper and ink.

However, I'm a bit slack in mounting my prints. I don't find that activity nearly as interesting. Nor would I find the chore of running a photographic business interesting. In fact, if I were to attempt it I'd be worried it might even put me off the joys of photography completely
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 22, 2010, 04:23:48 AM
[quote name='Ray' date='Apr 22 2010, 07:21 AM' post='361532']

"Okay! It's only a story. It has a sad ending. The verdict was -no talent. The next day the son committed suicide."

Surprising the number of well established pros who took that route, not because they lacked talent, but possibly because their talent was no longer au courant and the pain of that just too much to bear. So yes, if you are dedicated, the love is overwhelming.

"Nor would I find the chore of running a photographic business interesting. In fact, if I were to attempt it I'd be worried it might even put me off the joys of photography completely"

Well yes and no: it's the business that allows you to indulge the love full-time. How else, unless you fall into the very rare category of the idle playboy? But then again, it all depends whether you do opt for the 'weddings, babies and dogs' ethos or go for the real deal. It might even be that the former is your real deal, in which case I will never understand why you might wish to spend your life in that way.

Rob C
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Paul Sumi on April 22, 2010, 09:58:59 AM
Quote from: RSL
Paul, Maybe you didn't notice the quotes.

I did; perhaps I'm not clear why you used them?

Paul
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 22, 2010, 10:27:29 AM
Quote Ray

Russ,
Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could have been. The artistic spirit or motivation, which Rocco Penny seems to be in search of, is so strong in the 'true' artist that sometimes he will sacrifice much needed food in order to buy paint and brushes, as in the example of Van Gogh and many others we don't even hear about. I'm not implying that it is therefore necessary to be poverty-stricken in order to be an artist (although being poor might help one to focus on one's true priorities), rather I'm implying that the urge to create, to find meaning and express meaning is so strong that one is compelled to paint, photograph, write music etc whatever one's circumstances, rich or poor.

Unquote

This talk of 'true' artist smacks of elitism. In fact the overtones of much of your posts are the same? I don't see the point of such an attitude and I feel it will get up the noses of some of the posters? Are you for real or just attempting what is a poor wind up?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 22, 2010, 10:27:43 AM
Quote from: Ray
Russ,
Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could have been. The artistic spirit or motivation, which Rocco Penny seems to be in search of, is so strong in the 'true' artist that sometimes he will sacrifice much needed food in order to buy paint and brushes, as in the example of Van Gogh and many others we don't even hear about. I'm not implying that it is therefore necessary to be poverty-stricken in order to be an artist (although being poor might help one to focus on one's true priorities), rather I'm implying that the urge to create, to find meaning and express meaning is so strong that one is compelled to paint, photograph, write music etc whatever one's circumstances, rich or poor.

Ray, I won't argue with your main point though using Van Gogh as an example may be a bit over the top. Van Gogh didn't have both oars in the water. The nearest comparison in the photography world I can make is to Gene Smith who resigned from Life magazine over the way the magazine laid out his Schweitzer article, temporarily brought the Magnum photo agency to its knees financially by taking three years to do a three week project, and finally killed himself with drugs and booze. I agree with your point but I'd modify it by saying I don't think it's an either/or condition for people who aren't as (dedicated?) as Van Gogh or Gene Smith. I think it manifests itself in degrees. I think Renoir was every bit as dedicated an artist as Van Gogh but he also was a pretty good businessman.

Quote
I recall seeing a play by Somerset Maugham many years ago which addressed this very issue. Can't remember all the details, but basically a son in a wealthy family wanted to be a pianist. His father was adamantly opposed to the idea, and after many heated arguments about the matter the son made the fatal mistake of agreeing to a proposal that he would go away for a couple of years, practise the piano assiduously, then subject himself to an appraisal from an experienced, professional, and successful concert pianist who would assess whether or not the young man had any talent. If the verdict was - no talent, then the son would agree to give up his aspirations to become a professional (classical) pianist, and join his father's business instead.

However, if the verdict was - promising talent - then the father would agree to give his son his blessing and not stand in the way of his son's chosen vocation.

Okay! It's only a story. It has a sad ending. The verdict was -no talent. The next day the son committed suicide.

Yes, I'm familiar with the story: "The Alien Corn," though I've never seen the play. Maugham was a genius and it's a very touching story... but it's fiction. The son sounds like Van Gogh or Gene Smith without the genius. Why didn't he just go off on his own and be a starving pianist?

Quote
Now I'm sure glad that I don't have to make a living as a photographer trying to fulfil the requirements of a client and/or please the tastes of the fickle public. I shoot what I want when I want. If someone happens to like a particular image or print I've made, I'm willing to sell it or give it away as a birthday or christmas present. My satisfaction lies in the entire photographic process from the extroverted activity of travelling to a place in search of interesting scenes to photograph, to the technical challenge of mastering the complexities of the machine (the camera) and getting it to produce the results I intended, to the interesting and marvelously flexible processing capabilities of Photoshop, to the crafstmanlike control of transferring a faithful reproduction of the final image to paper and ink.

We certainly agree on these points. I do the same thing. I like to have people look at my photographs and even buy them since, as Elizabeth Taylor once said, "money is applause," but not making sales doesn't bother me in the slightest. I don't need revenue from print sales to live and I don't expect to go down in history as a great photographer. I give prints to friends who express a real liking for them and I often donate prints as raffle prizes for various charitable events. On the other hand when someone wants to buy a print I don't haggle. I give the buyer a non-negotiable price. But I can't stop taking pictures. A day without at least a few frames is a day wasted.

Quote
However, I'm a bit slack in mounting my prints. I don't find that activity nearly as interesting. Nor would I find the chore of running a photographic business interesting. In fact, if I were to attempt it I'd be worried it might even put me off the joys of photography completely

We agree about the business part. As I've said before on this forum: I may not be the world's worst marketer, but when he dies I'm in. But I do enjoy matting and framing my pictures.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 22, 2010, 10:28:41 AM
Quote from: Paul Sumi
I did; perhaps I'm not clear why you used them?

Paul

Is English your first language?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 22, 2010, 11:29:56 AM
Quote from: stamper
Quote Ray

Russ,
Perhaps I wasn't as clear as I could have been. The artistic spirit or motivation, which Rocco Penny seems to be in search of, is so strong in the 'true' artist that sometimes he will sacrifice much needed food in order to buy paint and brushes, as in the example of Van Gogh and many others we don't even hear about. I'm not implying that it is therefore necessary to be poverty-stricken in order to be an artist (although being poor might help one to focus on one's true priorities), rather I'm implying that the urge to create, to find meaning and express meaning is so strong that one is compelled to paint, photograph, write music etc whatever one's circumstances, rich or poor.

Unquote

This talk of 'true' artist smacks of elitism. In fact the overtones of much of your posts are the same? I don't see the point of such an attitude and I feel it will get up the noses of some of the posters? Are you for real or just attempting what is a poor wind up?




stamper

I know you addressed this to Ray, but I feel obliged to say that I certainly don't view the expressed opinion as an expression of elitism. However, neither do I have any fight with elitism because, in my opinion, it is simply a concentration of the mind on the really worthwhile and the ignoring of the junk. Life, as I am learning, is bloody short; why woud anyone want to waste any part of it on the mediocre or downright worthless?

As for annoying other posters, don't you think that that's the risk that they have to be prepared to take if they want to play here? There sure ain't no common entrance exam required for logging on to LuLa, though the next iteration might include such a worthy innovation!? Christ! I might not make the cut - cancel that flight of fantasy.

Rob C
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Paul Sumi on April 22, 2010, 12:27:12 PM
Quote from: RSL
Is English your first language?

Yes.  What does that have to do with my apparent confusion over your use of quotes?

If you would be so kind as to enlighten me why you said that Hitler made the trains run on time when it was Mussolini, it would be appreciated.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: RSL on April 22, 2010, 12:43:25 PM
Quote from: Paul Sumi
Yes.  What does that have to do with my apparent confusion over your use of quotes?

If you would be so kind as to enlighten me why you said that Hitler made the trains run on time when it was Mussolini, it would be appreciated.

Paul, Sorry. Since you haven't bothered to fill out your profile I have no way of knowing where you are or what your background is. In English, when one surrounds a statement like that with quotes it normally means that the writer either knows or suspects it's bogus.
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Paul Sumi on April 22, 2010, 12:52:02 PM
Quote from: RSL
Paul, Sorry. Since you haven't bothered to fill out your profile I have no way of knowing where you are or what your background is. In English, when one surrounds a statement like that with quotes it normally means that the writer either knows or suspects it's bogus.

Thanks for the clarification.

Paul
Title: discerning good images
Post by: stamper on April 23, 2010, 03:59:30 AM
Quote from: Rob C
stamper

I know you addressed this to Ray, but I feel obliged to say that I certainly don't view the expressed opinion as an expression of elitism. However, neither do I have any fight with elitism because, in my opinion, it is simply a concentration of the mind on the really worthwhile and the ignoring of the junk. Life, as I am learning, is bloody short; why woud anyone want to waste any part of it on the mediocre or downright worthless?

As for annoying other posters, don't you think that that's the risk that they have to be prepared to take if they want to play here? There sure ain't no common entrance exam required for logging on to LuLa, though the next iteration might include such a worthy innovation!? Christ! I might not make the cut - cancel that flight of fantasy.

Rob C

I would like to know what he means by "true" artist? I don't think it helps the debate by taking what seems to me to be a highbrow attitude. I think that most posters here aren't professionals but they benefit from seeing what professionals have to say? What they don't benefit from is what appears to be a condescending attitude. I may be reading this wrongly. My paranoia playing up again? Other posters I think have commented in the same vein. Maybe this is what he believes. Fair enough or maybe a " tugging of the chain" is happening. We all do it from time to time?
Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rocco Penny on April 23, 2010, 08:54:31 AM
Well,
  I was invited to show my work at a well attended venue.
The owner says he sees my work as unique.
If it is this much work to just put 30 pieces together, it's no wonder artists starve or go off the deep end.
Creating something from nothing is a little challenging for me at least,
and I was feeling I was off track.
Now I'm encouraged by propitious signs,
and that there are real people at the other end of this machine.
So
Adieu!
and thank you for the direction and interest.
Rocco

Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rob C on April 23, 2010, 09:04:06 AM
Quote from: Rocco Penny
Well,
  I was invited to show my work at a well attended venue.
The owner says he sees my work as unique.
If it is this much work to just put 30 pieces together, it's no wonder artists starve or go off the deep end.Creating something from nothing is a little challenging for me at least,
and I was feeling I was off track.
Now I'm encouraged by propitious signs,
and that there are real people at the other end of this machine.
So
Adieu!
and thank you for the direction and interest.
Rocco



And I would guess that the thirty pieces aren't silver; that would have been very much easier to negotiate...

;-)

Rob C


Title: discerning good images
Post by: Rocco Penny on April 23, 2010, 09:32:29 AM
Indeed,
the deal is for him to keep several prized pieces.
I need rid of them anyway,
I damage them in the studio
& they've begun giving me anxiety
bs pricing and selling and bs
bah