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Author Topic: Eric Meola article  (Read 36875 times)

petermfiore

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #100 on: January 23, 2013, 08:22:30 PM »

Cézanne invented the deconstruction of form which opened the door for cubism. I think that qualifies for a new vision!!!!!

Don't you think?

Peter
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petermfiore

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #101 on: January 23, 2013, 08:29:20 PM »

Since I am an artist i would like to share an artist's statement. It's the why an artist's paints.
In this case it's mine.

Peter




Artist's Statement
I am interested in making the simple profound, always searching for that universal moment in the world around us. I draw inspiration for my landscape paintings from many places, but most of it comes from the fields and meadows near my home in rural Pennsylvania along the Delaware River. I used to think that I had to travel far to find interesting motifs, but now I just walk out my door and it's all there.
The abstract marks that I make are used to interpret nature's tangle. Making visual sense and constructing order by structuring shape, form, tone, color and rhythm to create a palpable reality.

I like to visit a motif over and over again. I am especially drawn to the winter landscape. It is a time when the earth loses its leafy covering and reveals it's true self. Covered in snow, the world reflects light and creates a spectrum of colors that are both dramatic and beautiful.

The true subject in any of my paintings is light and how it defines and endlessly changes the landscape around us. For me, light is more than a visual tool, it is an emotional subject. It is through the manipulation of light – how it falls, changes, sculpts, colors and creates various moods on a subject – that intrigues and inspires me.


Peter Fiore
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Isaac

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #102 on: January 23, 2013, 09:46:59 PM »

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. ...

Just to take your comment as an example of the responses made over the last few days, I think there's a failure to address the point.

I think it will be hard to successfully argue that a landscape photographer is able to exert as much artistic control as Andy Ilachinski when he photographs color-infused reflections from a glass.

I think it will be hard to successfully argue that Ansel Adams was able to exert as much artistic control when he photographed landscapes as when he photographed "Still Life, San Francisco, California (c.1932)".

But it would be nice if someone at least tried, instead of failing to distract Rob C. with issues that are beside the point ;-)
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Tony Jay

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #103 on: January 24, 2013, 03:07:20 AM »

Take consolation from Sieff, as quoted above: we can all think of ourselves as artists, regardless of the cream or the crap that we may or may not produce: everybody wins! True democracy at its very best! I love it.

Not everybody wins.
Everybody can produce art - that is not difficult.
Not everybody can produce good art - that is much more difficult.

Tony Jay
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Rob C

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #104 on: January 24, 2013, 04:18:36 AM »

So, by active interference, you mostly mean re-arrangement of the objects in the scene into a composition?


Taking your question at face value, often dangerous, I say yes; but I also add this: you can distort any argument to its absurd limit in pursuit of a point.

I do not look upon changing the camera position, if that's the total photographic input, as being 'creative'; as indicated ad nauseam, I see that as fine-tuning what's already there. I've also stated several times that the ability to do that is what I call having a good eye. The two, a good eye and creativity do sometimes run together but not always. I would attempt to illustrate this difference by quoting the ability of the interior designer with that of the discerning client who knows what he wants to achieve, but not how to do it.

In the case of the still life example, I read a certain dismissiveness in some quarters about the simple(?) act of rearranging given objects. That can be a simple matter for a gifted photographer but impossible for one devoid of the gift. And there we touch upon one of the forbidden fruit: few like to accept that much of the ability to be creative (in an artistic sense) is inborn, As someone wrote: poets are born, not made.

Rob C
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 04:45:36 AM by Rob C »
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Rob C

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #105 on: January 24, 2013, 04:24:29 AM »

I've just dusted off the heavy tome 'Art. The Rule Book'.

I quote

(Rule No. 1) There are no rules.

Right, I'm off to Ye Olde Coffee Corner for even more fun.



Hi Keith,

What's Rule No. 2?

;-)

Rob

Rob C

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #106 on: January 24, 2013, 04:28:27 AM »

Not everybody wins.
Everybody can produce art - that is not difficult.Not everybody can produce good art - that is much more difficult.

Tony Jay


Inevitably, Tony, it depends on whose definition one is applying. By some, your statement is absolutely correct; by mine, it's flawed if not downright mistaken. Ping, pong; ping, pong; ping - point!

Heysoos this gets tiring!

;-)

Rob C

Rob C

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #107 on: January 24, 2013, 04:42:41 AM »

So, back to Cézanne. I know there are people who hate to click on provided links. As a public service, I am attaching the cover of that book

What do we see there? If just glancing casually, and without enlarging, we see, of course, a Cézanne. But look closer, and you'll see that the left third is actually a photograph. The rest of the book is full of such examples, of almost photorealistic representation of found reality (again, in terms of viewpoints and elements, not technique). In other words, and as Peter already has pointed out, art/creativity is not about the subject, but its interpretation, and the connection it creates with viewers (i.e., communication).


More like simulacra, Slobodan. I'm sory, but I think I'm missing the point you want to make here.

Regarding Peter, that's a red herring: as a painter, Peter can hardly avoid being creative by the mere fact of the tools and where he starts and where he goes. That was one of the very first objections against photography-as-art from its beginnings. That much opinion has changed is more to do with conditioning from interested quarters than from any freshly found value intrinsic to the craft of the snap!

Look: you are a photographer; you do some fantastic cityscapes and also some very pleasing pics of your daughter. I think those of your girl are art but those of the city are acute observation. That's not to diminish them in the least - but that I had your eye for city - it's simply that the two fields are different and require different abilities. One is not inferior to the other, just different. Technique, in both genres, is a given.

Rob C

Tony Jay

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #108 on: January 24, 2013, 05:01:38 AM »

...Heysoos this gets tiring!

Rob, with respect, you have been pushing your point of view pretty strongly.
You can move along anytime at your discretion.

Tony Jay
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Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #109 on: January 24, 2013, 05:25:04 AM »

Vermeer and others, according to David Hockney, painted directly over an image created on canvas by a camera obscura (See here for a very interesting documentary discussing this). Vermeer was undeniably a great and creative artist, an old master in fact. But it seems he was in actual fact a very early photographer, only using paint instead of pixels or film to capture exactly what the camera provided for him.

No longer tryig to win or lose points in this discussion, but I just thought I would add this final thought into the mix and for everyones edification - and whilst I am at it, here's an enjoyable but brief passage on "The Truth in Landscape" regarding photography written by Robert Adams.

Dave
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 11:32:57 AM by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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Dan Glynhampton

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #110 on: January 24, 2013, 08:38:31 AM »


What's Rule No. 2?


In my copy of the book it says

(Rule No. 2) See Rule No.1

 :)
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Rob C

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #111 on: January 24, 2013, 09:04:19 AM »

Rob, with respect, you have been pushing your point of view pretty strongly.
You can move along anytime at your discretion.

Tony Jay


True, Tony; but I'm hardly going to push a point of view with which I disagree, am I, or lapse into silence because of possible/probable disapproval of the good and the great, or is that the new politic you are proposing? I'll save you effort: I'll move on down the line as suggested.

Hast la vista.

Rob C
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 11:45:35 AM by Rob C »
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #112 on: January 24, 2013, 01:09:59 PM »

... Look: you are a photographer; you do some fantastic cityscapes and also some very pleasing pics of your daughter. I think those of your girl are art...

Not sure if my photography has much to do with the debate.

I consider myself, as you said, a photographer. I never referred to my work as art, and definitely not as Art. Or to myself as an artist. I participate in this discussion not to defend my "artistic" status, but mostly out of intellectual curiosity.

However, I do try to be creative, I think I am creating something, even with my landscape photography, whatever that something might be, and whatever the degree of that creativity might be.

Being creative is a necessary component of any art, but creativity doesn't make art in and by itself. You can be creative in robbing banks, for instance, but that won't make you an artist. Unless, of course, you define a new genre as the Art of Robbing Banks  ;) In that respect, it is really irrelevant if HCB is an artist or if he considered himself so. But I do consider him creative.

I do consider landscape photography capable of producing art, just like landscape painting is (hence my Cézanne reference, given his "photographic" approach). I think Andreas Gursky is an artist photographer (i.e., artist first, photographer second), and Rhein II a fine example of landscape photography art.

Isaac

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #113 on: January 24, 2013, 01:15:16 PM »

[re-arrangement of the objects in the scene into a composition] -- Taking your question at face value, often dangerous, I say yes...

You were right to take my question at face value.

I don't see a way to dispute that there is a difference in-kind between the creation of a scene for our photographic purpose and the "nice capture" of something that already exists.

Sketching out the elements of a landscape composition, and then tracking down locations where something like that composition might be found, has some very slight similarities to what you mean by photographic creativity -- but really isn't the same.
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Isaac

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #114 on: January 24, 2013, 01:24:22 PM »

Rob, with respect, you have been pushing your point of view pretty strongly.
With respect, so have you.

You can move along anytime at your discretion.
So can you :-)
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #115 on: January 24, 2013, 01:28:03 PM »

Vermeer and others, according to David Hockney, painted directly over an image created on canvas by a camera obscura (See here for a very interesting documentary discussing this). Vermeer was undeniably a great and creative artist, an old master in fact. But it seems he was in actual fact a very early photographer, only using paint instead of pixels or film to capture exactly what the camera provided for him.

That's why my photographs are so Vermeer-esque!  ;D

Tony Jay

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #116 on: January 24, 2013, 03:02:05 PM »

With respect, so have you.
So can you :-)

I am not being dismissive of the various viewpoints being presented.

Tony Jay
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Isaac

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #117 on: January 24, 2013, 04:30:17 PM »

I am not being dismissive of the various viewpoints being presented.

As I didn't say that you were being: I suppose that's meant to suggest that someone else was being dismissive, without straightforwardly showing us the words so we can decide whether or not we agree with your characterization.

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Isaac

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #118 on: January 26, 2013, 01:25:46 PM »

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).

(Disclaimer: I don't know anymore about Cezanne than I've read in a couple of art books.)

I think that reference to photorealism gives a wrong impression of what Cezanne was trying to achieve -- "He was not out to distort nature; but he did not mind very much if it became distorted in some minor detail provided this helped him to obtain the desired effect."
« Last Edit: January 26, 2013, 06:25:35 PM by Isaac »
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Dave (Isle of Skye)

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Re: Eric Meola article
« Reply #119 on: January 28, 2013, 08:46:42 PM »

I have been thinking long and hard about the direction that this thread took and the ensuing discussion regarding the creativity or lack of it within landscape photography, and having now given it a lot more thought, I have to conclude that whether I like it or not, Rob does seem to have a point, but only up to a point I think.

Taking or should I say making a photograph, a landscape photograph in this particular instance, does not at first appear to include any creativity on behalf of the photographer, only good observation and the skill to replicate what happens to be there in front of you, no more and no less.

But can this really be true?

We discussed and identified creativity in terms of comparing the act of assembling a still life image and making a photograph of it as being creative, against the replication of a scene via a landscape photograph as not being creative. It was suggested that by the act of moving objects around into a satisfactory composition within a still life setting and then shooting the resulting scene, that creativity was being achieved simply through the act of moving the objects around. Creativity having now been added to the image, via the choices being applied to make something that had not existed before the photographer made it exist. I now accept and agree that creativity has indeed been applied to the still life image.

Non creativity can also be as easily described by sticking with the still life analogy, because if we shoot a still life that someone else had created but with no design choices or input from ourselves, then we could not claim to have added anything creatively to the shot, however we shoot it or the selection of view point we use (assuming the still life is kept central within the scene and is set against a negative space backdrop), because we had nothing to do with the creation of subject and so could only take shots of what we had been presented to us. We could skilfully use observation to find the best vantage point and take many different shots of the same still life, but all the images would be of someone elses creation, albeit from different angles and skilful observation is not the same as creativity. I also find no problem agreeing with that.

So what is photographic creativity? Creativity in this context it seems, is achieved through the input of the photographer in creating something new or by changing something within that thing that is to be photographed, in other words, to make what is being photographed physically different than what it would have remained, if the photographer had not been creatively involved with the subject. Again I have no problem agreeing with this.

So having agreed with the above, what would happen if we came across a still life scene prepared and left for us by another photographer, but we didn’t like the composition and so removed one of the objects. In doing so, haven’t we then created a different composition than the one that had previously existed? Haven’t we changed the scene by interacting with the elements within it and been creative by removing something, so that now any image we take of the still life setup is a creative image for us? We have been creatively involved with the image, not by altering the composition, or by the addition of objects or even by moving objects around, but by the act of removing an object? The still life is virtually the same as it was before I grant you, but now that an item has been removed from what we had originally found, the design of the scene has changed as a direct result of our creative choice and input to it.

And that is where the nub of the problem lays, or should I say the nub of the solution lays. In a landscape photograph such as you see below, this scene was not visible to me as it now is to you (not taking into account the fact that it is a black and white). Yes all of what you see in the image below was already there in front of me when I made the shot and I agree I couldn't creatively move any part of it around, nor did I wish to add anything to it, but crucially, the image you now see here was not visible to me (or anyone else for that matter). What you are looking at, was buried and hidden within plain view you might say. It was completely surrounded with the rest of everything else I could see in front of me and which I had no choice other than to see, sky, clouds, sand dunes and rolling waves etc. There was no delineation or separation between what I wanted within the image and what I did not want within the image. Yet by selectively removing what I did not want within the scene, I had to exclude what was already there by framing out the rest of the scene to get the shot I wanted. I was creatively removing what was already there but that I did not want to be there, to create something new and never seen before. Someone standing right beside me, with the same kit and the same setup and settings, would not and could not have made exactly the same image, yes it might have been very similar, but not exactly the same. In fact the shot you see below is totally unique as are all human made photographs and can never be repeated exactly ever again, it exists only in this one instance and was the result of my creatively removing what was already there to extract what could not be seen, into what can now be seen by anyone who wishes to look at it. I did not change anything within what was already there, yet I did decide what I wanted to photograph and how I wanted to photograph it, but more importantly, I also creatively selected out what was not to be in the photograph - and this is where the true creativity in landscape photography lays. Yes you need good observation skills to see an image hidden within the full complexity of everything you can see in front of you, but you also need to apply creativity to exclude and remove what you do not want within the image, in essence you are removing objects to the outside of the frame and away from the viewer for whom they will never exist, just as much as you are doing when you physically remove an object from a still life composition.

Creativity when making a photograph of a still life or a studio shot etc, can be said to be in front of the imaging process, it is what you do first. Whereas creativity within landscape work or architectural or street shooting etc, is at the back of the process, it is what you do last, it is ‘creative exclusion’ as opposed to ‘creative inclusion’, but none the less it is still photographic creativity.

I am not challenging anyone or asking anyone to reply to this post, nor am I trying to re-light this discussion or pronouncing what anyone has said is wrong and that I am right. This is simply me thinking aloud and trying to understand what creativity is within landscape photography and why it bugged me until I came up with an answer that fully satisfies me.

I can only thank Rob for having given me the chance to have a really good think about this.

Hasta la vista – and don’t anyone say to me after reading this that I really need to get out more, I am a landscape photographer remember, I am already out there in all weathers and at all times of day, day after day and I love it..  ;D

Dave
« Last Edit: February 08, 2013, 04:09:12 PM by Dave (Isle of Skye) »
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