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Author Topic: Eric Meola article  (Read 35171 times)

Tony Jay

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #60 on: January 21, 2013, 04:44:07 AM »

Rob, the reasons you put forward highlight the challenges of landscape photography.
But to imply that just being there at the right time and place and just pointing the camera will deliver the requisite masterpiece is well wide of the mark.
It is still very easy to shoot rubbish in the most glorious light, with the most photogenic cloud formations, and the most iconic landscape features you can imagine (been there, done that, enough times to know).
Teasing out the right compositions, understanding the light, levering all the components of the shot, knowing all the time that minute-by-minute, or even second-by-second, everything is changing, whatever you say this takes a lot of imagination and creativity and anticipation.

Tony Jay
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Rob C

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #61 on: January 21, 2013, 08:27:18 AM »

Rob, the reasons you put forward highlight the challenges of landscape photography.
But to imply that just being there at the right time and place and just pointing the camera will deliver the requisite masterpiece is well wide of the mark.
It is still very easy to shoot rubbish in the most glorious light, with the most photogenic cloud formations, and the most iconic landscape features you can imagine (been there, done that, enough times to know).
Teasing out the right compositions, understanding the light, levering all the components of the shot, knowing all the time that minute-by-minute, or even second-by-second, everything is changing, whatever you say this takes a lot of imagination and creativity and anticipation.

Tony Jay
[/quot


Tony, I never expected to change your opinion, nor that of anyone else; it's just my honest take on the genre. If I were to write otherwise, I'd be lying - at least, to myself. I own several different books on landscape, and I do accept that it takes a helluva lot of skill to produce what some do; but creativity? I don't think so, just acute observational and technical skills. Along. of course, with the mutual support of a huge band of similar shooters.

Rob C

Isaac

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #62 on: January 21, 2013, 01:14:14 PM »

Garden.

Countryside.

Landscape.
All almost totally dependent on nature. A rose is a rose, whether planted my man or planted from a bird dropping.
You say "Common usage defines the meaning of common words" but you choose to disregard the common meaning of the words garden, countryside and landscape.


If gardens are "almost totally dependent on nature" then so is man; and your shouting-down HSway --

Bullshit! Landscape is a completely natural environment as opposed to the totally arificial, congested and bustling environment of the city.

-- has concluded in nothing more than incoherence.


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Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #63 on: January 21, 2013, 04:05:22 PM »

Indeed, I agree with all of that. But hunting isn’t creating.

Difficulty isn’t a measure of creativity; if anything, that flies in the face of the concept of simplicity providing the finer art.

I never meant this as a put-down of any sorts: I know from personal trial and almost constant error in the genre that it doesn’t come easily or for free. However, I also realised to my own (dis)satisfaction that it wasn’t a creative pursuit: Even my very rare success didn’t bring the feeling of wow, look what I did, Mum! If anything, it made me happy to have been at the right place at the right time and to have had a camera along for the ride. And that’s the rub: it’s all  beyond the photographer’s ability to make happen; that being so, how can he claim authorship of something for which he can but wait, in hope of it happening all by itself?

Just my experience, and all I have to go on upon which to base personal opinion.

Rob C



Hi Rob, no put down taken, in fact I think you have inadvertently set in-motion a quite interesting topic of discussion, to which I would like to rejoin with the following regarding the creative, skilful and artistic aspects of landscape photography:

The Encyclopaedia Britannica defines art simply as “a visual object or experience consciously created through an expression of skill or imagination.” In other words, anything created by a conscious being, for any or no purpose, can potentially fit the definition of art.

So as a photograph is the result of a consciously motivated process, logic would dictate that it must also be open to the definition of being art - although I grant you, as with all artistic endeavours, there can be both good and bad photographs, but you must agree that by this definition, good landscape photography can be regarded as art?

From Wikipedia: A skill is the learned capacity to carry out pre-determined results often with the minimum outlay of time, energy, or both. In other words the abilities that one possesses. Skill usually requires certain environmental stimuli and situations to assess the level of skill being shown and used.

So to make something (a landscape image in this instance) that has no useful purpose other than to create an emotional response (stimuli) within the viewer, is a quantifiably skilful process. Quantifiable by the fact that some people are much better at doing it than others (therefore more skilful). So you must also agree that by this definition, good landscape photography requires skill?

From Human Motivation, 3rd ed., by Robert E. Franken: Creativity is defined as the tendency to generate or recognize ideas, alternatives, or possibilities that may be useful in solving problems, communicating with others, and entertaining ourselves and others. (page 396).

From Creativity - Beyond the Myth of Genius, by Robert W. Weisberg: ..."creative" refers to novel products of value, as in "The airplane was a creative invention." "Creative" also refers to the person who produces the work, as in, "Picasso was creative." "Creativity," then refers both to the capacity to produce such works.. All who study creativity agree that for something to be creative, it is not enough for it to be novel: it must have value, or be appropriate to the cognitive demands of the situation." (page 4).

Good landscape photography is a way to communicate with others (the audience) as well as entertain, it is the production/creation of a 'novel' product that if done well can certainly have value, so again I think you must agree that by this definition, landscape photography is creative?

Ergo, Landscape photography is artistic, skilful and creative..

I rest my case.

Dave   ;D
« Last Edit: January 21, 2013, 04:11:49 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #64 on: January 21, 2013, 04:40:30 PM »

... Landscape, at best, is just a copy of nature from the most favourable vantage point that the snapper can find or perhaps access; he has added nothing of his own other than the angle of view, which is hardy creative but certainly a good use of judgement. To do that within a context where an architect (of sorts) has already arranged everything to its best advantage is but a joke, a hollow play on creativity and just a happy snap, however technically perfect that snap may be.

Neither would I claim  that doing the world’s best PS job on the original capture, film or digital, makes any difference other than to the condition of that capture; it is still another person`s invention...

Rob,

By that standard, even Cezanne wasn't creative. He often did "just a copy of nature from the most favourable vantage point." In other words, if you would go today to the places he painted, find his vantage point and snap a photograph, you would see that Cezanne was very faithful to reality, almost photorealistic (in placement of elements, not technique). As a matter of fact, there was a guy who did just that, and made a book of it.

Now, what makes Cezanne Cezanne is, of course, his technique. But how different is that from your second tenant of non-creativity: photoshopping?

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #65 on: January 21, 2013, 04:49:50 PM »

... Ergo, Landscape photography is artistic, skilful and creative..

I rest my case...

Dave, as much as I agree with you that landscape photography can be artistic, skillful and creative, I think that it is too early to "rest our case." It appears to me that your arguments amount to a "skillful and creative" construction of a straw man, where you cherry pick dubious (even if coming from the EB) definitions to suit your conclusions.

I think we would need much stronger arguments to persuade Rob at al. Though I also think that changing Rob at al's opinion (or anyone's opinion for that matter) is a gargantuan, Herculean, even Sisyphus task in itself  ;)

Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #66 on: January 21, 2013, 05:29:57 PM »

Dave, as much as I agree with you that landscape photography can be artistic, skillful and creative, I think that it is too early to "rest our case." It appears to me that your arguments amount to a "skillful and creative" construction of a straw man, where you cherry pick dubious (even if coming from the EB) definitions to suit your conclusions.

I think we would need much stronger arguments to persuade Rob at al. Though I also think that changing Rob at al's opinion (or anyone's opinion for that matter) is a gargantuan, Herculean, even Sisyphus task in itself  ;)

Yes of course I agree with you Slobodan, I just posted my reply to Rob as a bit of fun, even though I truly and completely believe every word of it myself.

Sisyphus - From Wikipedia: Persephone supervising Sisyphus in the Underworld, Attica black-figure amphora (vase), ca. 530 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen museum (Inv. 1494). In Greek mythology Sisyphus (pron.: /ˈsɪsɪfəs/;[1] Greek: Σίσυφος, Sísyphos) was a king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth) punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever.

Slobodan, you know you are the only person on this forum who repeatedly makes me search for the definition of some of the terms you use, you are a wise man indeed to know such things. If you could see me now, you would observe that I have just taken my hat off to you  ;)

Dave
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Ray

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #67 on: January 21, 2013, 06:05:00 PM »

All almost totally dependent on nature. A rose is a rose, whether planted my man or planted from a bird dropping.

You say "Common usage defines the meaning of common words" but you choose to disregard the common meaning of the words garden, countryside and landscape.


If gardens are "almost totally dependent on nature" then so is man; and your shouting-down HSway --

-- has concluded in nothing more than incoherence.


Well, Isaac, I guess we'll just have to leave it there. If you think that I don't understand the common meanings of garden, countryside and landscap after all these posts, and you generally find that I'm being incoherent, then I see little possibility that I would ever get my point across to you.

I've done my best. I admit defeat. Let's leave it at that.

Ciao!
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #68 on: January 21, 2013, 07:19:11 PM »

Rob C

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #69 on: January 22, 2013, 04:13:43 AM »

Yes of course I agree with you Slobodan, I just posted my reply to Rob as a bit of fun, even though I truly and completely believe every word of it myself.

Sisyphus - From Wikipedia: Persephone supervising Sisyphus in the Underworld, Attica black-figure amphora (vase), ca. 530 BC, Staatliche Antikensammlungen museum (Inv. 1494). In Greek mythology Sisyphus (pron.: /ˈsɪsɪfəs/;[1] Greek: Σίσυφος, Sísyphos) was a king of Ephyra (now known as Corinth) punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever.

Slobodan, you know you are the only person on this forum who repeatedly makes me search for the definition of some of the terms you use, you are a wise man indeed to know such things. If you could see me now, you would observe that I have just taken my hat off to you  ;)

Dave



Dear me, you didn't need Wiki: you need just have lifted the lid on my Biscuit Tin!

;-)

Rob C
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 04:26:30 AM by Rob C »
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stamper

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #70 on: January 22, 2013, 04:27:07 AM »

... Sisyphus...

My dictionary says it is a sexual disease....or have I got the wrong definition? :-\ :-[

Rob C

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #71 on: January 22, 2013, 08:59:37 AM »

... Sisyphus...

My dictionary says it is a sexual disease....or have I got the wrong definition? :-\ :-[


Well, not if you are thinking in terms of trying to get rid of said disease, which can indeed be quite a s.... task. (I'm told - I don't know.)

Rob C

Isaac

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #72 on: January 22, 2013, 07:42:42 PM »

Landscape, at best, is just a copy of nature from the most favourable vantage point that the snapper can find or perhaps access; he has added nothing of his own other than the angle of view, which is hardy creative but certainly a good use of judgement. To do that within a context where an architect (of sorts) has already arranged everything to its best advantage is but a joke, a hollow play on creativity and just a happy snap, however technically perfect that snap may be.

Does "Still Life, San Francisco, California (c.1932)" show what you would accept as creativity?
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Rob C

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #73 on: January 23, 2013, 04:11:34 AM »

Does "Still Life, San Francisco, California (c.1932)" show what you would accept as creativity?


I have stated several times in the past, here on LuLa, that I consider still life a creative form of photographic art. I'd go as far as to say I think it's far more difficult than working with models, where the human element of response creates its own excitement and progression to a successful image.

I have no idea about the genesis of the image you linked, but if it consists of elements put together by the photographer in order to make a picture, then yes, it's a creative event, but whether a good one or not is a matter of the scale of success, not of definition.

The essence of photographic creativity, in my sense/understanding of the term, is that the photographer has put together something that did not and would not have existed without his active interference in the status quo. That's why I can't accept the simple act of picking a pleasing viewpoint or moment in time as being the defining qualities of creativity; it takes more than that: the photographer has to have made the difference.

Rob C

KLaban

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #74 on: January 23, 2013, 04:26:11 AM »

The essence of photographic creativity, in my sense/understanding of the term, is that the photographer has put together something that did not and would not have existed without his active interference in the status quo. That's why I can't accept the simple act of picking a pleasing viewpoint or moment in time as being the defining qualities of creativity; it takes more than that: the photographer has to have made the difference.

If I apply this definition to my life's work then everything I've done as an illustrator has been creative - including ads for haemorrhoid cream - while everything I've done as a photographer has been lacking creativity.
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opgr

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #75 on: January 23, 2013, 04:46:02 AM »

... is that the photographer has put together something that did not and would not have existed without his active interference in the status quo.

Doesn't that kind of negate the multitude of variables that affect the final representation?
Influencing any of those variables by conscious effort in order to influence the final outcome can be considered an act of creativity, no?

And additionally, since I am personally a proponent of Art = Communication, there is an aspect of a broader message in the entire process that makes the act a conscious form of creativity. It's not merely about selecting a "pretty" view, it can also be about selecting a view congruent with a specific emotion that the artist wants to transfer to the audience.

A landscape IRL can be absolutely boring. Then if you want to convey the boredom, you come up with Rhein II...
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stamper

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #76 on: January 23, 2013, 05:08:32 AM »

All kinds of images can be boring so picking out a landscape is wrong?

KLaban

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #77 on: January 23, 2013, 05:11:16 AM »

Could it be that creating an image that didn’t previously exist, however it is created, could be...hmm...let me think for a moment...well...perhaps...creative?
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stamper

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #78 on: January 23, 2013, 05:33:50 AM »

 Why not? A lot of high brow musings in this thread. A tendency to over analyse will mean that there won't be a consensus regarding a worthwhile meaning of creative. Now what is the consensus of opinion on the meaning of art? ;)

Tony Jay

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #79 on: January 23, 2013, 05:33:56 AM »

..The essence of photographic creativity, in my sense/understanding of the term, is that the photographer has put together something that did not and would not have existed without his active interference in the status quo...

Lets enlarge a bit on this statement and its implications.
My very presence disturbs the status quo in the sense that what I see and what I think is a "pretty picture" is an intrusive selection of a wider vista and requires interpretation and by definition must be a creative purpose.
There is absolutely nothing passive about the decision-making and creativity about landscape photography, and by extension other outdoor photography, since none of us are passive recorders of what was there.
In fact photography also allows us to shoot what cannot be perceived directly - there are many examples of this but a simple example would be using long exposures to blur moving water.
Let loose several individuals with cameras corralled in a small space but able to shoot whatever is around them - the likelihood of a similar image being shot is small, identical, well almost impossible. The differences would not be random and asking each photographer why they shot what they shot would immediately betray much thought and creative intent. What is more many of the rationales given would not necessarily occur to the other shooters.

The truth is that it is vanishingly rare to achieve an image of any value to anyone without a lot thought and decision-making processes. To deny that this a creative process...
(Interestingly, right at the beginning of my photographic journey I did take a very striking sidelit portrait of an elephant in Hluhluwe-Umfolozi in South Africa that was a fluke in the truest sense of the word. I recognized immediately that this was a fluke, but that image remains as a catalyst for my creativity because, although I have not since returned to Africa, the desire to produce noteworthy images that incorporate my creativity and anticipation and the fickle beauty of nature has only grown.)

My $0.02 worth.

Tony Jay
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