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Author Topic: Landscape Redeemed  (Read 1175 times)

RSL

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Landscape Redeemed
« on: April 28, 2017, 02:25:40 PM »

As most of you know, I've often knocked landscape photography as being inferior to painting, and more than once I've argued with Brooks Jensen's opinions in LensWork about what constitutes art, but here's something I'll say that's intensely positive about both landscape and Brooks's choice in picking Chuck Kimmerle's work for a book in his monograph series:

I don't know how many of you old timers remember Chuck. I just checked and found that the last time Chuck was active on LuLa was August 11, 2016, and the last post by Chuck I can find was from September 11, 2012. Chuck used to post some pretty wonderful stuff on LuLa, a lot of it landscape from North Dakota -- landscape with which I'm intimately familiar after driving over it and flying a bush plane, a Beaver, over it for many years in the fifties.

But I'll tell you this: If you're even remotely interested in what photography actually can do with landscape, you need Lenswork Monograph Series 10, Peripheral Vision, which just landed in my mailbox -- stuffed in sideways by the U.S. Postal "Service" so that the back of the book is broken. But the broken back takes nothing away from the photographs. One of the great things about Brooks Jensen's publications is that he spares nothing to produce some of the very best black and white reproductions you'll find anywhere.

In any case, I'll tell you that Peripheral Vision is the equivalent of the finest music or the finest poetry. It actually brought tears to my eyes. I've written before about what art is: something that produces a transcendental experience in the viewer or listener. This work is Art! Oh, and besides landscape it also includes some very fine wabi sabi from the prairies.

Bravo, Chuck! and bravo, Brooks. Thank you.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2017, 02:28:51 PM by RSL »
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Rob C

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2017, 03:00:28 PM »

Yes, I remember Chuck's work and do look in at his gallery now and then.

And I also agree that his black/white work is superlative; I told him as much some long time ago, and that I see him as a very rare exception to the rule, much as your title to this thread suggests.

At the time, he was a Nikon man... as if that made the difference between him and most of the rest.

That he appears to have abandoned posting I can understand; comes a time when one might just have to choose between sanity and a perpetual sense of subliminal embattlement, of just being that little bit of a situational misfit, out on a spiritual limb of one's own making.

Rob C

RSL

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2017, 03:09:09 PM »

I didn't mention it, Rob, but according to his introduction he's been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. MS may be at least one reason why we haven't seem him continue to post here. I'm sorry about that. I think he used to make some pretty significant contributions.

MattBurt

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2017, 04:05:57 PM »

I googled him and those are indeed lovely images. I also liked this paragraph he wrote:

Quote
There is a myth regarding landscape photography. This myth, routinely propagated in online photo forums  and reinforced by lazy and inept photographers whose only desire is to mimic postcards they had seen in a National Park gift shop states that, because we do not have physical control over the landscape, our genre cannot be considered art. That we, as photographers, play a subservient role in the creation of the image. In other words, the scene dictates the image, and we simply, and obediently, comply. Of course, the implication is that all of our photos will, and do, look alike. No creativity necessary.
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graeme

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2017, 04:41:46 PM »

I'm looking forward to receiving Chuck's Lenswork monograph ( it takes a while to get to Blighty ). He had a nice portfolio from Zion National Park featured in Lenswork 99 but I find it's his work from the plains & prairies which I like best.

I also miss his contributions here.

Very sorry to hear he's been diagnosed with MS. Best wishes to him.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2017, 04:58:17 PM »

I, too, have been a big fan of Chuck's from when he posted here regularly.
I'm waiting for my copy of his monograph to appear. I have gotten Lenswork for years, but I just subscribed to the monographs when I got the announcement about Chuck's.

His landscapes have always said much more than "here's what it looked like."

I'm very sorry to hear about his illness.

-Eric
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Rob C

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2017, 06:33:02 PM »

I didn't mention it, Rob, but according to his introduction he's been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. MS may be at least one reason why we haven't seem him continue to post here. I'm sorry about that. I think he used to make some pretty significant contributions.


Oh Jesus, no.

I'm so very sorry to hear that.

It's so damned unfair.

Rob

Ray

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #7 on: April 29, 2017, 12:33:16 AM »

I also did an internet search on Chuck Kimmerle's work, and was impressed by the numerous images I saw. I got an impression there's a semi-abstract nature to many of the shots, which is enhanced by the B&W format. Certainly fascinating.

Nevertheless, I tend to prefer the richness of color in landscapes, the glorious greenness of the grass and trees (enhanced by increased CO2 levels  ;)  ), and the amazing blueness of the sky.

Some creatures can see only in B&W, such as bats rodents and fish. They're called monochromats. Humans are trichromats.

Sorry about Chuck's medical problems. I wish him the best.
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #8 on: April 29, 2017, 04:57:55 PM »

My copy of Chuck's monograph just arrived. It is truly stunning!

Eric
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landscapephoto

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2017, 12:14:26 PM »

Chuck Kimmerle has a web site: http://www.chuckkimmerle.com
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2017, 12:15:31 PM »

lazy and inept photographers whose only desire is to mimic postcards they had seen in a National Park gift shop ...we, as photographers, play a subservient role in the creation of the image... In other words, the scene dictates the image, and we simply, and obediently, comply.  No creativity necessary.

Which explains the traffic jams of photographers at the Zion bridge, Zabriskie Point, Mesa Arch, etc. 

Thank you, Internet. :(
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James Clark

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2017, 12:53:31 PM »

lazy and inept photographers whose only desire is to mimic postcards they had seen in a National Park gift shop ...we, as photographers, play a subservient role in the creation of the image... In other words, the scene dictates the image, and we simply, and obediently, comply.  No creativity necessary.

Which explains the traffic jams of photographers at the Zion bridge, Zabriskie Point, Mesa Arch, etc. 

Thank you, Internet. :(

I think it's important to remember that what we, as photographers and specifically as landscape photographers, find to be cliched, overdone and boring has become iconic because the locations are amazing.  I have, like probably everyone here, seen 3,247 images of Mesa Arch.  Many of them are functionally identical.  I have, also like many here, taken my own image of that location.  It's functionally identical to many, and in my estimation both inferior to most of the "good" images of Mesa and inferior to the high points of my own work. Yet, when people see it, they're amazed, and I've been told that it's one of their favorite of my images. 

I guess I saying that we get jaded, but to the general public some "overdone" things still amaze. 

Back on topic - I'm a huge fan of Chuck's work.  It has a softness and subtlety to the tonal quality that I only wish I could accomplish. I'm really sorry to hear of his diagnosis.
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MattBurt

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2017, 01:25:50 PM »

lazy and inept photographers whose only desire is to mimic postcards they had seen in a National Park gift shop ...we, as photographers, play a subservient role in the creation of the image... In other words, the scene dictates the image, and we simply, and obediently, comply.  No creativity necessary.

Which explains the traffic jams of photographers at the Zion bridge, Zabriskie Point, Mesa Arch, etc. 

Thank you, Internet. :(

Well that should easily identify the cliche locations to avoid!
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graeme

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Re: Landscape Redeemed
« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2017, 04:00:26 AM »

Chuck's monograph has finally arrived in the Old World. I agree with all of the positive comments in this thread.
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