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Author Topic: Best of the Bunch  (Read 23375 times)

Rob C

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Best of the Bunch
« on: February 25, 2016, 03:53:32 PM »

Probably the best of his genre - ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bIudVlWo4U

Rob C

GrahamBy

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2016, 04:38:44 PM »

Thank you!
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MattBurt

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2016, 04:44:53 PM »

Good stuff, thanks for sharing.
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-MattB

petermfiore

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2016, 05:16:33 PM »

Probably the best of his genre - ever.
Rob C

With no doubt...the MAN

Peter
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2016, 07:33:15 PM »

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Mike D. B.

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2016, 12:43:00 AM »

I agree, Rob.  Thanks for that link!

Rob C

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2016, 04:13:23 AM »

Yes, quite a guy.The determination is amazing, as is the skill with Farmer's reducer. I can't say which came first, but his use of bleaching highlights into faces and into parts of machinery etc. was certainly a big deal during the 50s and 60s fashion eras. When one considers that it was all done without the help of PS clouds...

It also strikes me as illustrating how insanely preposterous the heartbreak in other sections of this site, where people agonize over charts of lenses... even in the relatively bad old days of yesteryear it was all about ideas and images; nobody split a gut about chromatic aberrations or coma or anything else of that nature: they just got on and produced miracles each and every day.

But that's photography: you have photographers and you have technical theorists.

Rob C

GrahamBy

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2016, 04:40:54 AM »

I'm intrigued by the story of 11,000 images from the Pittsburgh project: are there really 11,000 distinct selected images, or that he shot 11,000 frames? In the latter case, allowing for usual repeats, different angles, technical not-quite-rights and so on, that might come down to 500 or so printable images.
Which is still huge, but it could be shown...
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petermfiore

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2016, 04:49:41 AM »

I'm intrigued by the story of 11,000 images from the Pittsburgh project: are there really 11,000 distinct selected images, or that he shot 11,000 frames? In the latter case, allowing for usual repeats, different angles, technical not-quite-rights and so on, that might come down to 500 or so printable images.
Which is still huge, but it could be shown...

Take a look at this link  http://www.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&ALID=2TYRYDDWMV75

Peter
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kencameron

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2016, 05:25:38 AM »

Probably the best of his genre - ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bIudVlWo4U

Rob C


Certainly a great photographer, a pleasure to be reminded of his work. I find myself wondering about the whole idea of ranking, though, at that level. Does he get the gold, the silver or just the bronze?  Such questions don't strike me as adding much. And how could agreement possibly be reached?
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Ken Cameron

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2016, 05:49:46 AM »

Thanks Peter
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Rob C

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2016, 10:13:33 AM »


Certainly a great photographer, a pleasure to be reminded of his work. I find myself wondering about the whole idea of ranking, though, at that level. Does he get the gold, the silver or just the bronze?  Such questions don't strike me as adding much. And how could agreement possibly be reached?


Ah Ken, that's the trouble with writing: it's often not quite explicit enough, and just when you think it might be, you realise that it's been too explicit to the point of suggesting exclusions and/or second-tiers...

In 'best of the bunch' I'm not suggesting a grading of 'almost equals' as per an Olympics, within the same event; I'm thinking of a level that's beyond comparison for the simple belief that there are no others that quite fit the category. Photojournalism was a genre that spawned many players, some good, some great and some just famous. Gene was something else: he lived it as an obsessive. He wasn't a rich kid playing at slumming it on an Amex card (not that there used to be Amex cards) and neither was he a full-time war-junkie living/dying on the edge, whatever that really is - suicidal? He did many different things. He was out there on his own, following a star that couldn't be reached, not because of him, but because the rocket to propel him there hadn't yet been invented.

Today, I believe the rocket, as in the means to showing his oeuvre, does exist: not as magazine - they hardly exist for that genre at all - and not within art gallery; I think it exists as an Internet publication.

I recently cast my doubts on the validity of much art gallery-related activity; this would be something really valuable that some such loaded body could take upon itself to do for the general weal: employ a fresh young graduate/intern and entrust him/her with digitizing the essay on Pittsburgh, once and for all, and putting it up on a dedicated website. Maybe the great city of P might foot a part of the bill? I only saw a tiny fraction of said essay within the pages of Popular Photography Annual many decades ago, but suffice to say that it was powerful enough to engage with, and hold place in my memory ever since.

Rob C

RSL

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2016, 02:02:47 PM »

Gene was one of the very best, even though it appeared he didn't have both oars in the water. Perhaps that was why the guy was so incredibly creative. From what I've read, the folks at Magnum were less than enchanted when he almost brought the organization to financial ruin over the Minamata project, but the result was one of the finest works of art in all of photography. My favorite, though is "Country Doctor." There have been few, if any others who could have carried that one off the way Gene did. I'll raise one tonight in his honor. Even with all his warts he was top of the line.

Rob C

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #13 on: February 26, 2016, 04:27:26 PM »

Gene was one of the very best, even though it appeared he didn't have both oars in the water. Perhaps that was why the guy was so incredibly creative. From what I've read, the folks at Magnum were less than enchanted when he almost brought the organization to financial ruin over the Minamata project, but the result was one of the finest works of art in all of photography. My favorite, though is "Country Doctor." There have been few, if any others who could have carried that one off the way Gene did. I'll raise one tonight in his honor. Even with all his warts he was top of the line.


Neither has a running duck (both feet) on the water, but it don't sink!

;-)

Rob

kencameron

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2016, 04:32:06 PM »


I recently cast my doubts on the validity of much art gallery-related activity; this would be something really valuable that some such loaded body could take upon itself to do for the general weal: employ a fresh young graduate/intern and entrust him/her with digitizing the essay on Pittsburgh, once and for all, and putting it up on a dedicated website. Maybe the great city of P might foot a part of the bill? I only saw a tiny fraction of said essay within the pages of Popular Photography Annual many decades ago, but suffice to say that it was powerful enough to engage with, and hold place in my memory ever since.

Rob C
Great idea, with broader application, and sounds doable in this case, unless there is some non-negotiable copyright problem. My impression is that when museums digitise photographs they concentrate on their own holdings of prints. That is certainly MOMA's approach, and maybe needs reconsidering for a digital world. I wonder if Google could be encouraged to take an interest.
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Ken Cameron

Rob C

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #15 on: February 26, 2016, 05:18:46 PM »

Great idea, with broader application, and sounds doable in this case, unless there is some non-negotiable copyright problem. My impression is that when museums digitise photographs they concentrate on their own holdings of prints. That is certainly MOMA's approach, and maybe needs reconsidering for a digital world. I wonder if Google could be encouraged to take an interest.
[/b]

Ah, but aren't they the folks who tried to do a thing with everybody's books in a very non--respecting way?

I could be being nave, but I think I'd still rather trust an art body than a bloodthirsty one with world domination in mind, and almost in fact.

Rob

kencameron

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #16 on: February 26, 2016, 05:53:17 PM »



Ah, but aren't they the folks who tried to do a thing with everybody's books in a very non--respecting way?

I could be being nave, but I think I'd still rather trust an art body than a bloodthirsty one with world domination in mind, and almost in fact.

Rob
What Google has actually done, by way of making books and art more accessible, is a Good Thing, IMO. Google Books and Google Art Project are both significant cultural assets. But I would have to agree about trust. I was tempted to say you could trust Google to actually get the job done, but then remembered that they do have a bit of a track record for dropping projects.
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Ken Cameron

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #17 on: March 02, 2016, 02:30:08 PM »



But that's photography: you have photographers and you have technical theorists.

Rob C

Damn! I hate having to say this but I totally agree. When cameras just had aperture rings and shutter speed dials I can't remember ever discussing edge sharpness, CA or whether the camera could internally process HDR images. The discussion of photgraphic aesthetics has been drowned out by reviews of the latest megapixel sensor.
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jng

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #18 on: March 04, 2016, 12:10:44 AM »

Rob,

I just came across your post with the link to the W. Eugene Smith video. Thanks for doing this! It really took me back to my days as a teenager when I was falling in love with photography. I can remember coveting and then eventually possessing various books of his work. The Spanish death scene, the Pittsburgh steel worker, the country doctor, the mother bathing her daughter in Minamata... these and other iconic images still send shivers down my spine when I see them. And after all these years, somehow I failed to realize (or maybe I just forgot) that the closing image in the Family of Man collection was his photograph of his own children! I'll need to dig out these old books and spend some time with them some rainy weekend afternoon.

John
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Rob C

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Re: Best of the Bunch
« Reply #19 on: March 04, 2016, 03:49:21 PM »

jng

Glad you enjoyed the link.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/frocks-and-fantasy-the-photographs-of-sarah-moon-966704.html

This one, above, is on a totally different tack, but if you read it, I think it shows the common theme of self-belief and personal input that many top people in the field share. And the message (even in this old report), basically, is be yourself.

Rob C

http://www.graphicine.com/sarah-moon-i-see-you/

And for GrahamBy:
http://www.lexpress.fr/styles/mode/la-photographie-selon-sarah-moon_890247.html
« Last Edit: March 04, 2016, 04:28:46 PM by Rob C »
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