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Author Topic: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld  (Read 3890 times)

Hulyss

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Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« on: January 11, 2019, 06:38:42 pm »

I do love what I see here. In this article I see very contemporary art style where analogic (mostly) and digital are assembled. The result drive the same message and I like it. I see time,work and passion but this is just my opinion. What's yours ?
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Patricia Sheley

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2019, 08:01:03 pm »

Actually Hulyss, I immediately thought of your contributions over the years to this forum, without your level of polish, but with a vision in practice nonetheless~
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2019, 10:36:57 pm »

The second article under the new management. I liked the first. I really like the second. Iím still digesting what I saw and read and donít really feel in a place to say anything about Mark Sommerfeldís work.

I can unreservedly say that I like the new direction of Lula. Real meat to this work. It was a pleasure to wake up early on a Saturday morning and find this article. Beyond what I was expecting and also sooner than I anticipated.
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UKstevieg

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 09:39:42 am »

Not sure what I'm doing wrong, but whenever I click on the title or "read more" it takes me to a pet insurance website!!

https://www.johnlewisfinance.com/insurance/pet-insurance.html?track=dc_native_campaign&dclid=CNjb1ZW76N8CFdC3GwodrI4K3A
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josh.reichmann

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 10:46:57 am »

Hmm, This should not be the case. We will examine and fix. Our new web team starts shortly and ad/link issues like this will cease. Thanks for your patience. Try new browser/refreshing and if it is still an issue please let us know.

Thanks!
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James Clark

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 11:19:49 am »

Not a criticism - just a comment.  To date, Josh, your articles certainly seem to reflect a change in focus from theory and practical aspects of photography to ruminations on (and with) contemporary creators who are influenced by media and film/video as much, or moreso, than they are by traditional still photography.   We only have a small sample size so far, so maybe that's not the overall intent or reflective of a wholesale change in direction, but it's interesting. 

As it happens, so far none of the interviews have quite fully grabbed me, I think perhaps because they seem focused on the humanitarian aspect of street or semi-journalistic/documentary work, and those aren't really my preferred artistic genres, but still, I appreciate the thoughts behind the creative process and apply what I can to my enthusiasm for imagery in general.

Maybe this doesn't sound like a compliment, but it really is.  I think the content is relevant and useful to many, even if it's a shift in tone from what we might have expected previously.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 11:29:37 am by James Clark »
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josh.reichmann

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 11:36:59 am »

Thanks James.

I think your description of my area of interest and of my approach is accurate. Lucky for those less interested in the angles I write about, will be the types of content provided by friends and partners surrounding other photographic spaces. Ones such as purist still photography, traditional landscape and the photo-technical, which are all really the backbone of the site to be sure!

As I believe it was Rob C said- "these are early days". Lots of other dimensions of photography will be represented.

Appreciate your comment and compliment!

Josh.

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amolitor

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 01:49:06 pm »

I am unable to make any sense of the pictures in the article on the front page, which are, I guess, just a random smattering of Mark's work.

If you go to his web site, you will the same pictures in context, where they make much more sense. There's a lot of artsy MFA-student style stuff going on here, Mark is hitting a lot of the art-school tropes, what one might uncharitably call "a bunch of junky snapshots" intended not to be looked at one by one, but in a sequence.  I would not say that he is doing a stellar job of it. Better than many an MFA candidate, but not particularly great to my eye.

There is sequencing, which really really helps, but to be honest the sequencing seems to be the simple-minded graphical "here's the same form again, only made out of different things" sequencing, rather than any meaningful attempt to express something deeper. There does not seem to be any sense of rhythm or progression to his sequences.

That said, you have to start someplace, and I certainly won't say that my sequences are any better.

In short: If you are interested in giving Mark a  fair shake, go to his web site and look at the completed projects under "works". You might not change your opinion, but you'll at least be seeing the work in something of the way he actually intends.
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David Mantripp

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 05:42:47 pm »

I am unable to make any sense of the pictures in the article on the front page, which are, I guess, just a random smattering of Mark's work.

If you go to his web site, you will the same pictures in context, where they make much more sense. There's a lot of artsy MFA-student style stuff going on here, Mark is hitting a lot of the art-school tropes, what one might uncharitably call "a bunch of junky snapshots" intended not to be looked at one by one, but in a sequence.  I would not say that he is doing a stellar job of it. Better than many an MFA candidate, but not particularly great to my eye.

There is sequencing, which really really helps, but to be honest the sequencing seems to be the simple-minded graphical "here's the same form again, only made out of different things" sequencing, rather than any meaningful attempt to express something deeper. There does not seem to be any sense of rhythm or progression to his sequences.

That said, you have to start someplace, and I certainly won't say that my sequences are any better.

In short: If you are interested in giving Mark a  fair shake, go to his web site and look at the completed projects under "works". You might not change your opinion, but you'll at least be seeing the work in something of the way he actually intends.

Oh for heaven's sake, yet another cookie cutter SERIOUS ARTIST web site with bland stereotype design, po-faced typography, white background of course, and cack-handed navigation.   And of course an "info" page which is just an endless list of credits.

The photography is neither here nor there when the presentation is so lazy and uncreative.

Well, that's my opinion FWLIW.
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David Mantripp

amolitor

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2019, 06:14:00 pm »

I would be interested, David, in your take on the pictures labelled "Portra" and "Tri-X" specifically. None of them strike me particularly as having the tonal and chromatic characteristics I associate with those emulsions, but then, I have never used a hybrid workflow as Mark does.

Any thoughts?
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Majohnson

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2019, 08:12:55 pm »

Thoroughly enjoyed this and the large selection of photos on show. Who would have thought a plastic bag could look so good!
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James Clark

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2019, 10:45:19 pm »

Oh for heaven's sake, yet another cookie cutter SERIOUS ARTIST web site with bland stereotype design, po-faced typography, white background of course, and cack-handed navigation.   And of course an "info" page which is just an endless list of credits.

The photography is neither here nor there when the presentation is so lazy and uncreative.

Well, that's my opinion FWLIW.

You forget your meds today, friend? 
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 11:11:41 pm »

LuLa turning into Aperture?

amolitor

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2019, 11:29:58 pm »

I do not think David off any meds. He and I have just seen an enormous number of web sites that are in all ways essentially indistinguishable from Mr. Somerfeld's, and David is feeling slightly less charitable today than I.

My own modest efforts in this direction may be found in my eBook: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k41qPhaeeDYrsS6GAjUmnSfARrQdLV2u/view?usp=drivesdk


« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 11:33:08 pm by amolitor »
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James Clark

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2019, 11:51:30 pm »

I do not think David off any meds. He and I have just seen an enormous number of web sites that are in all ways essentially indistinguishable from Mr. Somerfeld's, and David is feeling slightly less charitable today than I.

My own modest efforts in this direction may be found in my eBook: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1k41qPhaeeDYrsS6GAjUmnSfARrQdLV2u/view?usp=drivesdk

I suspect weíve all seen innumerable web sites.  That the majority of them are similar is nothing to rant about.  I mean, I may as well come back here tomorrow complaining that the last gallery I went to was nothing but a damn white wall with some pictures hung on it.

Criticism is fine. I have somewhat less tolerance for just being a wanker, and dismissing the work in the process. To your credit you actually asked about the product, not the wrapper.  Iím surprised to see you defending the attack on the packaging.
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amolitor

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2019, 12:29:27 am »

There actually is a fairly substantial critical backlash against the "white cube" model of displaying art.

ETA:

Still, when I enter the "white cube" of a museum or gallery, I feel fairly confident that I will be able to make some kind of sense of what I find there. Occasionally, I am defeated, and the stuff appears to simply be a jumble of nonsense, but usually not. I might profoundly dislike the work, but it is almost never just an incoherent pile of nothing.

When I see the white-background side-scrolling web wordpress template favored by Serious Art Photographers, with the little blob of Text at the beginning of each gallery, and the list of trivial publications and shortlistings and the coffee shops and no-name galleries that have deigned to host some group show, my eye DOES start to twitch, I admit it. This is because 9 times out of 10, the content will in fact be an incoherent pile of nothing. That 1 in 10, though, that makes it all worth the while, doesn't it?
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 12:35:53 am by amolitor »
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James Clark

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2019, 12:35:18 am »

There actually is a fairly substantial critical backlash against the "white cube" model of displaying art.

Do you think Davidís rant was a thoughtful or meaningful criticism of a ďstandardĒ qway of displaying work on the medium in question?
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Martin Kristiansen

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2019, 01:05:33 am »

I would be interested, David, in your take on the pictures labelled "Portra" and "Tri-X" specifically. None of them strike me particularly as having the tonal and chromatic characteristics I associate with those emulsions, but then, I have never used a hybrid workflow as Mark does.

Any thoughts?

Interesting question. I donít have an answer but also feel the images lack the usual character of the emulsions used. It makes me wonder about the hybrid workflow. Once scanned you can go ape wild in PS and remove noise, add noise, sharpen selectively and do all sorts of tonal changes that effectively conceal or change what we dealt with in the film days. So why shoot film at all? You can rather shoot gigital and fake the film look in post actually.

I donít get it.
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Rob C

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2019, 04:40:19 am »

Well, in defence of shooting film and processing it yourself, it is a process that can be enjoyed, that brings you into contact with the physical fact of creation (quite unlke digital), and best of all, if you do it with care, gives you an artifact that will survive you and remove you from the generous whims of companies such as Adobe et al. who may suddenly come up with a new best thing and render your amazing files unusable junk.

As one who has worked in both, I have never been able to make a digital print that had the balls of a good WSG well-glazed. That is not to say digital doesn't produce good work: for digital and its look, of course it does: the difference resides in that look itself.

That a film has to be scanned to get into an electronic interface is hardly the point, is it? A print (or negative/transparency) also gets scanned to get onto a magazine page or into a book, and those snappers who did not print their work had little else to go by in the past. I loved Kodachrome for its colours as well as for the important fact that the life of its latent image was better than that of Ektachrome, and it survived heat a bit better. Which was another reason that I used Nikon rather than Hassy on trips, if I could get away with the smaller originals. The originals I saw were on the lightbox: the printed results always but the result of compromise and battles between myself and the printers...

David Mantripp

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Re: Summer On The Way with Mark Sommerfeld
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2019, 06:51:16 am »

Do you think Davidís rant was a thoughtful or meaningful criticism of a ďstandardĒ qway of displaying work on the medium in question?

It wasn't a rant, it was an opinion, as I underlined with "FWLIW - for what little it is worth". If you think that me having opinions equates to me being a "wanker", well that reflects more on you I'm afraid.  I think this is the first time I've ever been tempted to click on "Report to Moderator" on this site, if indeed any, but since we have a very good moderator I'll leave that up to him.

If I may expand on my opinion, at risk of being labelled as, I don't know, a child molestor this time, it comes from as Andrew stated, being totally fed up by the identical websites published by the MFA world and its camp followers, which are almost always characterless to the point of tedium, incorporate navigation and scrolling which doesn't even work on touch screens, provides not a HINT of personality or engagement with the audience.. I could go on (in fact I already have).

This may not matter to others, and they are of course welcome to tell me that they think otherwise, and they think that I'm overreacting, but for me, presentation is important, and this counts equally in print and on screen.  A badly designed website, or book, to me says that the photographer / artist doesn't really care very much, or has no design sensibility.   And, as an aside, in fact, Lula used to be like that - pre Kevin days, the web design was appalling - remember the yellow text on black background, the awful drop shadows, then random typography? Michael Reichmann, for all his considerable merits both as a person and as photographer, did not appear to have much of a clue about design.  The Kevin-driven redesign was a huge step forward, and in general there was plenty of evidence that Kevin has far more developed design sensibility. 

So, when I'm presented with a web site like Mark Sommerfeld's, my first reaction is "he doesn't care, why should I".

Right, James Clark, if it's ok with you I'm off for a wank, er, walk.
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