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Author Topic: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow  (Read 5179 times)

Zorki5

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Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« on: January 10, 2016, 03:13:27 am »

Thoroughly enjoying the article (or should I say series?)

And even though part 3 is yet to be published, I cant help but thank Richard Sexton for this excellent write up. What pushed me to write this post was his mention of Blow Up, which arguably sums up great many things about that era. Which was, in a way, the golden age of photography (yes, it can also be said that we're living in the golden age of photography now, but I'm sure you got the idea).

The thing is that Blow Up is one of my favorite movies, too. I have it in my collection and, after reading part 2 of the article, couldn't help but sit and watch few favorite scenes... One of which is buying that giant propeller; most probably not everyone's cup of tea, but for some reason I always liked it. And, of course, that famous studio scene that made it to the movie posters. What are yours?
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Alto

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2016, 02:37:01 pm »

Hi All

The Car Thomas drives is not an MG but a Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III with H J Mulliner Park Ward   'Chinese Eye'  drop head coupe coach work .

And used to belong to Jimmy Saville .

regards

Jon

P.S.  The car was originally white but sprayed black for the film hence the sky blue seats .
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 05:04:46 pm by Alto »
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GrahamBy

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2016, 03:46:15 pm »

That makes more sense: I've only been in an MG once, but it didn't give me the impression of having room for a full-size Nikon in the glovebox.

Quite enjoyed part 2, thanks :)
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Zorki5

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2016, 10:02:19 pm »

Quote
In the next segment, Photography Now, Iíll look at the period from the advent of digital photography to the present.

When should we expect that?
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amolitor

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2016, 10:19:12 pm »

I felt that the three pieces presented a somewhat skewed idea of the history of photography.

If you read this piece you'd perhaps get the idea that Stieglitz, Camera Work, and 219 spurred a brief burst of interest in photography as Art and then it was basically a desert until the 1970s when, at last, photography began to be accepted as a genuine Art, or something.

This is just a variation on the most exhausted of canards, that photography struggles and struggles to be accepted blah blah blah. It's basically never been true.

What is true, and always has been, is that there's a great deal of non Art photography and photographers, so there is an appearance that the establishment isn't paying much attention to photography.

If you insisted on lumping graphic design, commercial illustration, house painting, and fine art painting in under one label you'd originally get the impression that the establishment doesn't pay much attention to graphicists.

But that would be ridiculous.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 12:21:39 am by amolitor »
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Zorki5

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2016, 10:38:17 pm »

If you read this piece you'd perhaps get the idea that <...>

This is not how I for one approach articles like that.

To me, it's a valuable source of information, from which I draw my own conclusions. Like, say, pretty much everyone knows about Stieglitzís 291. I knew about Steichenís Family of Man and the story behind it (about the role of Steichen's mother). But it was the first time that I read about MOMA's treatment of exhibits, which I found interesting.

This article does not exist in a vacuum, there's wealth of information on the subject, all easily accessible these days. So you shouldn't probably be overly concerned about misinterpretations.
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amolitor

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2016, 11:23:01 pm »

Well, there's an interesting case then, isn't there. The story seemed a little bit incredible to me, to be honest, and a little poking around makes me suspect that Mr. Sexton is mis-remembering some details.

Danny Lyon doesn't seem to have been in a Family of Man exhibit, possibly because he was 13 years old at the time. The show seems anyways to have been acquired, so it's not clear prints were sent back to anyone. I did a little quick googling but could not find what Mr. Sexton might actually be remembering here.

Also, to describe The Family of Man as "hung salon style" borders on the ludicrous. It wasn't hung "on the line" but it most definitely was not hung as a haphazard mass of images the quoted phrase implies. For crying out loud, this is Steichen we're talking about. It was hung radically, but with a great deal of care and consideration.

Mr. Sexton is, I am sure, remembering something, but I cannot fathom quite what.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2016, 11:28:38 pm by amolitor »
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Zorki5

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2016, 11:39:14 pm »

Well, there's an interesting case then, isn't there. The story seemed a little bit incredible to me, to be honest, and a little poking around makes me suspect that Mr. Sexton is mis-remembering some details.

Danny Lyon doesn't seem to have been in a Family of Man exhibit, possibly because he was 13 years old at the time. The show seems anyways to have been acquired, so it's not clear prints were sent back to anyone. I did a little quick googling but could not find what Mr. Sexton might actually be remembering here.

Interesting indeed. To quote the article:

Quote
I remember vividly at a gallery talk in the late 90s, Danny Lyon, who was in the Family of Man exhibit, telling about his lawsuit against MOMA, which resulted from the exhibit.

This does not seem to allow much room for a different interpretation (e.g. an exhibit from another MOMA show).
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amolitor

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2016, 11:47:36 pm »

Sexton is almost certainly muddling up a couple of different anecdotes.

I found this: http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2011/11/danny-lyon/

in which Lyon relates what is clearly the same story to Adam Marelli.
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amolitor

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2016, 12:06:12 am »

So, here's the thing.

Sexton's thesis is that in the 1950s photography as Art was getting No Love, and his Danny Lyon story is his supporting evidence. Other than the bare assertion of this as true, it is his only supporting evidence. Well, that and "Mike didn't know anyone who was trying to get into museums."

The problem is that his thesis is wrong. Photography was getting Mad Love. The Family of Man was a monumental thing, it traveled the world and is, I believe still permanently housed. There's a pretty steady stream of large important exhibits from 219 to the present day. Lyon's story clearly takes place in the 1960s, and cites "some other" exhibit that traveled around a bit under the direction of Szarkowski, so actually serves to further undermine Sexton's thesis.

Stieglitz didn't quit promoting photography as Serious Art because he gave up, he quit because he'd succeeded.

Update: Examine this page http://www.moma.org/learn/resources/archives/archives_exhibition_history_list to get a sense of how photography was being shown at the MOMA over its entire nearly-100-year history. There's been lots of photography exhibited, from day one, through today. By 1929, Photography was a real boy, all grown up and accepted as an Art worthy of museums and so on. Anyone who tries to say differently is simply wrong.

« Last Edit: January 11, 2016, 01:04:09 pm by amolitor »
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Zorki5

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2016, 12:08:18 am »

I found this: http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2011/11/danny-lyon/

Yeah, that must be it:

Quote
On MoMAÖ

Life as a photographer is funny.  When I was in my twenties John Szarkowski, head of photography at MoMA, bought a few of my prints for a show.  They offered me $25 an image.  When I said I wanted $35, I was accused of being an ego maniac.

At the time, it was very trendy to mount the photographs on masonite.  That is a one way process.  Once that picture is mounted, its not coming off.  The show traveled to a few locations which was great for my exposure.  But afterwards, some idiot wanted to save money on shipping, so they pulled the photos from the masonite.  The picture was completely ruined.  It was such a foolish move.  This was in the days before interns, so I was really upset when the pictures were ruined by a full time professional.

Then to make matters worse, they offered me the replacement fee for each image.  Printing in those days cost about $2.50 for a picture.  I ended up with about $5.00 for both of the ruined pictures.  Back in those days I was totally broke so I used the money for living expenses and never printed the photos.  If I had those prints today they would be worth somewhere around $30,000-$50,000 each.

- See more at: http://www.adammarelliphoto.com/2011/11/danny-lyon/#sthash.4LdV2JT1.dpuf

No word on lawsuit though -- Lyon just took $2.5 x 2.

Andrew, while we're at it, maybe you'll also tell me who's the author of the "f/8 and be there" quote? Photographic community seems to be at a loss:

http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=106620.0

;)
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amolitor

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2016, 12:13:24 am »

Hah! Not gonna touch that one ;)
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GrahamBy

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2016, 03:41:28 am »

Strange that there has been no mention of fashion photography. Jeanloup Sieff was already working between NY and Paris from 1961, and was making sufficient money to be able to travel with his family of cats... It's true that he wasn't getting museum shows, but his writing suggests he didn't have any interest in that: certainly some of the images he was producing are a long way from pure product photography!
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luong

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2016, 02:16:02 pm »


If you read this piece you'd perhaps get the idea that Stieglitz, Camera Work, and 219 spurred a brief burst of interest in photography as Art and then it was basically a desert until the 1970s when, at last, photography began to be accepted as a genuine Art, or something.

This is just a variation on the most exhausted of canards, that photography struggles and struggles to be accepted blah blah blah. It's basically never been true.

It could be that the interest from modern art institutions was always there (not "modern" for nothing), however, before the 70s, very few galleries exhibited photography and it was not possible for a photographer to make a good living solely based on fine art photography. The situation is vastly different today, with a for example a photojournalistic agency such as Magnum repositioning itself as fine art. 
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QT Luong - author of http://TreasuredLandsBook.com, winner of 6 national book awards

hermankrieger

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2016, 03:03:29 pm »

When I worked as a photo lab technician in the 1940s, it was considered a craft or trade.  When I returned to photography after retiring in 1990, I was surprised to find it considered a fine art.  I then went back to school and received a BFA from the Univ. of Oregon.
www.efn.org/~hkrieger/bio.htm

« Last Edit: January 17, 2016, 03:55:55 pm by hermankrieger »
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amolitor

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2016, 05:19:53 pm »

Change has been and continues to be constant. To suggest, though, that the 1970s encapsulated some changes of a different character and scale than the decades before and after is simply ahistorical.

What happened in the 1970s is that Richard Sexton got a camera.
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Isaac

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Re: Photography Then, Now, and Tomorrow
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2016, 08:05:50 pm »

To suggest, though, that the 1970s encapsulated some changes of a different character and scale than the decades before and after is simply ahistorical.

The 1970s encapsulated some changes of a different character and scale than the decades before --

Quote
"Wagstaff established the marketplace for photography, for better or worse, spending unprecedented sums in the auction rooms of London and New York on a medium to which a second thought had rarely been given."

Wagstaff: Before and After Mapplethorpe : A Biography
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