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Author Topic: Gear Freaks  (Read 905 times)

Rob C

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Gear Freaks
« on: October 07, 2018, 07:33:39 am »

I thought the obsessives amongst us might pause and think about this: 'tis ever the thing in the frame that matters most; bending your mind about brand, ratings and all of that stuff amounts to nothing unless you have imagination above and beyond, which brings you full circle to the realisation that with that imagination you might as well use the equipment you bought years ago.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4JiUyuKWHL0

Rob

KLaban

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Re: Gear Freaks
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2018, 07:42:27 am »

'Twas, of course, always the way.
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Two23

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Re: Gear Freaks
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2018, 11:55:33 am »

I spent some time reading up on her--was not familiar with her work.  I do like the moodiness and look she was after.  She did it as a sort of rebellion against the orthodoxy of her time, and to get away from the herd.  She was obviously successful.  While I'm following a different path by using antique gear and hoping that creates the classic look I want rather than darkroom (or software) manipulations, I think I may share some of her motivations.


Kent in SD
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Rob C

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Re: Gear Freaks
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2018, 02:35:53 pm »

I spent some time reading up on her--was not familiar with her work.  I do like the moodiness and look she was after.  She did it as a sort of rebellion against the orthodoxy of her time, and to get away from the herd.  She was obviously successful.  While I'm following a different path by using antique gear and hoping that creates the classic look I want rather than darkroom (or software) manipulations, I think I may share some of her motivations.


Kent in SD

I understand where you are coming from, regarding the lady. I've also read quite a lot about her during the last few years, and I am not entirely convinced by much of what's been written. A lot that's available appears to be selective rewriting of what's gone before, especially where she gets bunched into a threesome with Newton and Bourdin as being some sort of trend-setting/-breaking group. I think that's pretty contrived history because even a casual knowledge of the era will produce a host of names just as likely or not to make the same cut as photographic stylists. A problem with all of this is that not a lot was written about fashion/commercial photographers until relatively lately, and that puts us in the position where we have little access to reliable, then contemporary material about them. Photographer as hero wasn't always the case, and perhaps only a handful of them ever became true household names with literature to match; Avedon; Penn? Trying to unearth anything much about Guy Bourdin is an example of how difficult it can be to know about some of the then famous. For some reason nobody mentions Sarah Moon in these comparisons; I wonder why?

Both Moon and Turbeville embrace(d) a very similar ethic of femininity; they share the love for old locations and the slightly spooky look - kinda fin de siècle to 20s/30s they and their models combine to produce. I believe that rather than adopting a look, these artists are simply doing what they have to do: staying true to the romantic sense they are born with and just have to accept.  It strikes me that nobody could reasonably be expected to have faked it for an entire career, and both women are no strangers to old age, one alive and the other not. I think Turbeville made eighty-one.

In a broader sense, I think both women share the ability to tell stories without words or, should that be, make the viewer believe that a story exists where only a mood exists? Making a mood materialise out of nothing is pretty damned clever - for any photographer! Most of us fail completely, showing no more than what is plainly visible. Also, I think that both Moon and Turbeville tend to use people often outwith the model agency world. Perhaps, being actresses or dancers, these alternative models have a different physical input that depends on projection of what's internal rather than just being a beautiful face.

Anyway, I'm happy you felt interested in following it up with some research!

Rob

Two23

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Re: Gear Freaks
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2018, 04:56:08 pm »


In a broader sense, I think both women share the ability to tell stories without words or, should that be, make the viewer believe that a story exists where only a mood exists? Making a mood materialise out of nothing is pretty damned clever - for any photographer! Most of us fail completely, showing no more than what is plainly visible.


I think you've exactly hit on something I've been thinking about for a number of years.  For most of the past fifteen years I've been sidetracked photo'ing mostly train/railroad subjects.  I think in England they're called "train spotters,"  here it's "railfans."  Eric Treacy was a notable British member of that crowd.  Most of these folks are lovers of machines first, photography second.  Photography is mostly used to create a memory photo.  The rules of what makes a good photo are very strict, often to the point of ridiculous.  I've heard some say good photos can only be taken on sunny days and won't even go out on overcast ones!  Naturally I was generally on the "outs" with this crowd as my thinking is a good photo is about (1) good use of light  (2) evokes a feeling.  I was generally after the feel of what I was seeing than a literal photo.  Add to this I prefer to photo at night, and generally liked my photos to appear dark and moody.  If not at night, then at least during the darkest and dreariest winter days on the Northern Plains.  I am quickly bored when looking through the output of most of the "railfan" photographers.  Conversely, most of them never seemed to understand why I couldn't take "good" photos with all my experience and advanced camera gear. :) 


Kent in SD
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Rob C

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Re: Gear Freaks
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2018, 05:52:19 pm »


I think you've exactly hit on something I've been thinking about for a number of years.  For most of the past fifteen years I've been sidetracked photo'ing mostly train/railroad subjects.  I think in England they're called "train spotters,"  here it's "railfans."  Eric Treacy was a notable British member of that crowd.  Most of these folks are lovers of machines first, photography second.  Photography is mostly used to create a memory photo.  The rules of what makes a good photo are very strict, often to the point of ridiculous.  I've heard some say good photos can only be taken on sunny days and won't even go out on overcast ones!  Naturally I was generally on the "outs" with this crowd as my thinking is a good photo is about (1) good use of light  (2) evokes a feeling.  I was generally after the feel of what I was seeing than a literal photo.  Add to this I prefer to photo at night, and generally liked my photos to appear dark and moody.  If not at night, then at least during the darkest and dreariest winter days on the Northern Plains.  I am quickly bored when looking through the output of most of the "railfan" photographers.  Conversely, most of them never seemed to understand why I couldn't take "good" photos with all my experience and advanced camera gear. :) 


Kent in SD


Really strong photograph; reminds me of one that Eric posted recently that was also a low revelation but highly intriguing night shot of train life; suggestion is so much more interesting than full disclosure. Just like photographing girls...

It's very pleasing to find good pictures here and there.

Rob

adriantyler

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Re: Gear Freaks
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2018, 10:42:37 am »

these artists are simply doing what they have to do: staying true to the xxxxx sense they are born with

exactly, you can't fake a good photograph any more than you can fake a good poem
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