[quote name='Justan' date='Jun 18 2009, 04:32 PM' post='292221']
Rob C> …Klein wasn´t a one-trick pony. His fashion stuff was anything but random and he had a definite style which was copied and formed part of a then contemporary ethos.
Rob C> But the notion of a Golden Age goes beyond being a measure of one man´s style: … I see it as representing a period when not only were new ideas being formed… but a period when the outlets existed and were actually growing - hardly now - and where a good living was to be had from being part of that business.
This is an interesting observation. I don’t know if it’s accurate. I would ask what was the number of professional photographers during a 10 year span at the time of your supposed golden age, compared any 10 year span since? Census information would be revealing. I’d wager that there are more pros, and more pros making a “good living” during any 10 year span over the last 30 years than during any similar span from the end of WW2 until about 1964, which is your previously stated golden age. If true, that would negate your supposition, if not, it would prove it. I’d bet a $20 that the number of photographers has increased right along with the population.
1. I have no way of checking numbers working and such figures are, at best, irrelevant. When did quantity equate with quality, which is what a Golden Age is about? When I first entered full-time photographic employment in 1960 there used to be many pro magazines advertisng page after page of pro jobs. Now? Where, even, those magazines, if the trade is so healthy? Of the thousands of poor students released form art and/or photo schools ever year, how many ever land a single job in photographic employment? From a time when almost every pro had his own premises from which to work, why have so many over recent years had to give them up for the simple, unfortunate fact that they can no longer afford to hang on to them? That might be camouflaged with accountant´s bullshit, but the truth for any pro is that he wants his own space.
Rob C> I see it as having absolutely nothing to do with the state of photographic technology. That, to me, is simply technology and has little to do with photography in the sense of art or work and is the difference between driving petrol or diesel. Of course, if that´s what photography is all about for some, then that´s where the bias in their opinion will lie. But photography is so much more than its equipment, or so it used to be. In the Golden Age. ;-)
…said the man who has redundant ‘blads and Nikons ;-)
2. Wish he still had - the 'blads went years ago in a bad decision based on the imaginary benefits of 6x7.
Actually I agree with the spirit of your statement. The most creative people absolutely do not depend on the state of the technology in equipment. But what they can do with a camera is absolutely conditioned by the general state of technology. Following is an illustration as to why: When school I did work with then 30 year old view cameras that produced wonderful results. But most genres of photography outside of the studio could not exist using that kind of equipment. It is too cumbersome, too slow, and expensive to operate. Clearly then, the flexibility and savings brought about by technological advances, absolutely helped to push the art foreword. Imagine trying to do candid, sports, or most photojournalism with an 8x10 view camera. The idea is laughable. Furthermore, if it wasn’t for technological advances in, as example, magazine printing technology, high quality images would not have gotten into the public’s hands. So technological advances has not only served to make several genres of photography possible but also improved the end product. My example from Klien (above) shows this clearly. No he didn’t depend on it, but it obviously opened doors for him, and everyone else too.
3. There is no need to return to the Ark: my Golden Age already had photographers with all they needed in the way of equipment to do the ground-breaking work that they were doing.