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Author Topic: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell  (Read 3975 times)

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« on: February 06, 2019, 04:11:06 pm »

One thing: I find it hard to believe that all pictures were with a 50mm lens, especially those containing moon shots. Unless heavily cropped, of course.

amolitor

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2019, 06:04:24 pm »

Light from above, this side, that side, and occasionally from below. Sometimes all at once. Welcome to the Planet of Many Suns. My favorite is the rainbow, moon, cloud combo with three easily identifiable suns.

Is this really just some instagram rando? These appear to be sloppy, albeit colorful and sometimes graphically appealing, composites. Mitchell is not claiming anything else, of course, coming straight out and telling us that he composites these things. But what am I to make of this? Is Mitchell trying to make some point? Has he anything to "say" or is he just bonking out graphic design exercises?
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 06:08:08 pm by amolitor »
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James Clark

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2019, 10:22:43 pm »

Light from above, this side, that side, and occasionally from below. Sometimes all at once. Welcome to the Planet of Many Suns. My favorite is the rainbow, moon, cloud combo with three easily identifiable suns.

Is this really just some instagram rando? These appear to be sloppy, albeit colorful and sometimes graphically appealing, composites. Mitchell is not claiming anything else, of course, coming straight out and telling us that he composites these things. But what am I to make of this? Is Mitchell trying to make some point? Has he anything to "say" or is he just bonking out graphic design exercises?

Interesting question.  On one hand this forum has recently been flooded with criticisms of “art school speak,” often in response to Josh’s more conceptual writing style (as compared to the previous standard here).  Now, in a presentation that openly advocates form and doesn’t touch, really, on substance, we’re asking for meaning, which I suspect to many (perhaps not you) would simply be discarded as more “drivel” (to borrow the terminology from one resident curmudgeon).
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Peter McLennan

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2019, 10:37:38 pm »

One thing: I find it hard to believe that all pictures were with a 50mm lens, especially those containing moon shots. Unless heavily cropped, of course.

That was my initial response, too. 
My second response was "Why is that important?"
My third response was "These look like image composites from my night school Photoshop class."
« Last Edit: February 06, 2019, 10:42:06 pm by Peter McLennan »
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ysengrain

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2019, 02:49:05 am »

Josh,

But, finally, what did you do with this wonderful site that until recently was devoted to photography?
Already with Kevin, we flirted more or less dangerously with advertising, now we are moving towards meditation and the "coming from above".
Sorry, it's not my cup of tea.
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amolitor

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2019, 09:22:12 am »

I'm not much in favor of art school speak, but that doesn't mean one cannot talk about art at all, nor that one cannot find meaning in art!

LuLa has always been a bit kitschy for my taste. Contrary to popular opinion, I never thought Michael's photography was particularly special, nor Kevin's. They did, after all, make a business of teaching more or less any moderately dedicated hobbyist how to shoot more or less like that, no? So, solid, appealing, but ultimately fairly straightforward pictures signifying not very much.

There's a lot of this in the world, and a tremendous number of people find great pleasure in it, and more power to them.

Josh seems to be finding a stream of more or less the same sort of thing, albeit more in the "graphically strong, colorful" line, and less in the landscapes lines. That's fine. If he comes around to telling us about Miksang, then the circle will be complete, because Miksang is more or less a simple mindfulness technique which lets you crank out colorful, graphically, strong, minimalist photos more or less like donuts.

The difference is that Josh seems to have no personal connection here. When Michael, and then Kevin, were running things they at any rate had the claim that this was the kind of photography they did and loved. "Here" they would say "is some more of this kind of picture, which I love to make, and which I can talk about at length and even teach you to make." It hardly mattered if the pictures were particularly deep, they were appealing and personal and you could learn to shoot them right here.

Josh doesn't seem to have that same warm personal connection to the work, so it feels like he's just throwing up one more or less competent practitioner after another, at random. There are other web sites that do that, and they are terrible, uninteresting, and have no traction whatsoever. Now, Josh can throw up practically anything on the front page, and because of the built-in authority that has, people will look closely at the pictures. It is the nature of photography that for practically any picture, especially a competently made one, someone is going to like it quite a bit. The trouble is, someone isn't everyone or even most people. Sometimes it's just one person, surrounding by other people who are rolling their eyes.

Josh seem not to muster up many relationships to people doing work that is better than the solid, well-made, appealing pictures. There is work that is better, but it's rare. Finding it requires taste and work. Forging the relationships necessary to showcase it, more work. The exception here is Eaton's work, which although not to my taste, seems to have passed muster with a coupld of gatekeeper types, and it, even to my jaundiced eye, was distinctly different both in the nature of the work and the way she was able to talk about it.

More or that, please, and fewer instagram randos, please.

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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2019, 09:43:56 am »

His Instagram feed offers a better glimpse of what his photography is about: whimsical graphics, offering a quick burst of colorful pleasure, like candies. Eye-candies. And occasional chuckle. Nothing wrong with that. Not everything has to have a dead-serious meaning.

Jonathan Cross

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2019, 09:52:12 am »

I suspect that Josh is still finding his way, but I agree with the other contributors to this thread. If you want to see a B&W master still working at the age of 83, look at Don McCullin.  If you have access to the BBC iPlayer (catchup service) have a look at the film about him on the UK's BBC last Monday.  He really has an eye for a good image.  He also has a major retrospective exhibition on at The Tate in London till the beginning of May,

https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/don-mccullin

Best wishes,

Jonathan

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luxborealis

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2019, 12:31:27 pm »

It is all too easy these days to be an armchair critic, especially if things change from what you’re used to. But, at the risk of being labelled a fanboy (all too easy to do these days, as well), I will add my 2-cents worth...

Thank you, Josh, for introducing a change. Frankly, if I see one more ‘biscuit tin’ photograph of Lofoten, I think I’ll barf. We are inundated with trophy golden hour sunrises, sunsets and waterfalls and I’m as guilty as the next. (At least now, there are ‘blue hour’ shots to break the monotony, but even they have become the trend.) Over the years, Lu-La has been pretty good at introducing more breadth than some of the other landscape sites on the web. I’m glad that’s still happening.

For these reasons, I enjoyed Jacob Mitchell’s work as I have enjoyed seeing many of the photographers’ work introduced on this site. Some will inspire, others will not, but having the variety, along with thoughtful critique, can only be a good thing.
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josh.reichmann

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2019, 01:31:13 pm »

Appreciate this comment (and the others aswell)
Some of my profiles will likely vastly miss the mark for some while totally exciting others.
Some will be too “outside”, others perhaps too predictable. In the end, I am confident that as people allow time, many views and visions both familiar and less so, will be presented.

More importantly - profiles themselves are limiting and I am anxious to present other media and topics into the site including swinging back to gear and tech in fresh ways, which I believe will make many people happy (but never all 😉)

Best

Josh
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John R

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2019, 01:33:18 pm »

[snip]
For these reasons, I enjoyed Jacob Mitchell’s work as I have enjoyed seeing many of the photographers’ work introduced on this site. Some will inspire, others will not, but having the variety, along with thoughtful critique, can only be a good thing.
These are my sentiments also. I am really enjoying the variety. The request for top notch people to post on LuLa is great, but it is easier said than done. It may cost more than our 12 bucks will allow. I don't understand the need to critique the newer contributors from the viewpoint they always have to be compared to great artists. I am pleased to be introduced to new lesser known photographers. I slowly moved away from physical grand landscapes (but of course I still photograph them when there) because I came to realize landscapes are all around us. "Graphics" is a trite term that is very unfair to the many fine photographers and artists whose subjects may be colour, shapes and forms. It is not always apparent what artists are trying to communicate with their work; the same is true of the vast array of artists in galleries and museums. Whether the work is easy or not, whether it looks like an exercise or not, it may still be fine art and worth presenting and viewing. Photo and art classes actually make you do exercises, which sometimes become fine art in their own right.

Quite frankly, I was going leave LuLa precisely because I felt it appealed mostly to professionals and semi-professionals. The vast majority of people interested photography are photo enthusiasts with modest means. Variety is one way to appeal to this majority and bring in new members and viewers. I view LuLa like a photo magazine. Some months or weeks the content appeals to me, others not. The one great feature that LuLa has and most others do not, is the vast resources covering digital photography (with some film also). Outrageously expensive photo tours and gear is not going to appeal to the vast majority. It may have at one time, in the early years, when digital photography was new, but not any more. Let's cut the new management some slack. And bring on the variety.

JR
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Rob C

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2019, 02:43:16 pm »

These are my sentiments also. I am really enjoying the variety. The request for top notch people to post on LuLa is great, but it is easier said than done. It may cost more than our 12 bucks will allow. I don't understand the need to critique the newer contributors from the viewpoint they always have to be compared to great artists. I am pleased to be introduced to new lesser known photographers. I slowly moved away from physical grand landscapes (but of course I still photograph them when there) because I came to realize landscapes are all around us. "Graphics" is a trite term that is very unfair to the many fine photographers and artists whose subjects may be colour, shapes and forms. It is not always apparent what artists are trying to communicate with their work; the same is true of the vast array of artists in galleries and museums. Whether the work is easy or not, whether it looks like an exercise or not, it may still be fine art and worth presenting and viewing. Photo and art classes actually make you do exercises, which sometimes become fine art in their own right.

Quite frankly, I was going leave LuLa precisely because I felt it appealed mostly to professionals and semi-professionals. The vast majority of people interested photography are photo enthusiasts with modest means. Variety is one way to appeal to this majority and bring in new members and viewers. I view LuLa like a photo magazine. Some months or weeks the content appeals to me, others not. The one great feature that LuLa has and most others do not, is the vast resources covering digital photography (with some film also). Outrageously expensive photo tours and gear is not going to appeal to the vast majority. It may have at one time, in the early years, when digital photography was new, but not any more. Let's cut the new management some slack. And bring on the variety.

JR


Yes and not quite.

I hardly see the LuLa membership as heavily pro; semi-pro is a bullshit position that just does harm to actual professionals who have a traditionally tough gig of it at the best of times. Don't confuse the Avedons, Moons, Baileys of this world with the general run of commercial photographers who do it because they love photography enough to give it their lives, unlike the rest who dip in and out as the opportunity to rip off some poor pro comes along.

Regarding the "outrageously expensive" photo tours, why shouldn't they have been pushed in LuLa at the time? I couldn't go - and wouldn't if I could for a host of reasons - and I stopped buying expensive stuff when I closed the business: the raison d'être for that gear ended. That's not to say it's a bad thing to know what's currently around.

The feature articles might be better received if they are presented as photo galleries; I'm a strong believer in biography related to photographers, but mainly only regarding people already international stars. The old video about Jay M was great; has anyone here today got the clout to set that stuff up anymore? Of course those ventures are difficult; the chap over at Art of Photography set up some interviews that were interesting, but it seems to be a stretch too far for fiscal comfort...

You can't please everyone, so you may as well please yourself, which I hope Josh does, because at least he'll have a comfort zone in which to sink or swim. I think I remarked on it before, but it's surprising how so much of the correspondence about the managerial changes originally came trom people who had previously been almost totally mute. Odd.

Variety is interesting in some ways, but identity even more so. A mess of disparate material does not draw any deep sense of attachment or even, for that matter, of brand loyalty which LuLa, as much as any business, needs if it is to succeed.

Quite why graphics strikes you as a trite and disrespectful term I have no idea.

Rob

LesPalenik

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2019, 03:02:43 pm »

Without reposting the last 3 entries from Terry, John and Rob, I agree with all what they say and I do appreciate reading about new approaches and techniques to photography, even if I may not practice them. I would welcome also articles about unique and innovative gear, and travel reports/personal experiences from interesting offbeat locations which I may never visit myself.
   
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2019, 04:06:38 pm »

... Frankly, if I see one more ‘biscuit tin’ photograph of Lofoten, I think I’ll barf. We are inundated with trophy golden hour sunrises, sunsets and waterfalls...

Except that is what the majority wants to see. Pininfarina, not Pinto. Beyoncé, not beyond the fence (the neighbor's one).

LesPalenik

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2019, 04:32:15 pm »

Except that is what the majority wants to see. Pininfarina, not Pinto. Beyoncé, not beyond the fence (the neighbor's one).

Majority is the group where everyone thinks the same. :P
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faberryman

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #15 on: February 07, 2019, 05:44:48 pm »

I like seeing different things so long as the photography is good. It's the constant bombardment of the mediocre passing as the good that bothers me.
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luxborealis

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #16 on: February 07, 2019, 07:21:10 pm »

Majority is the group where everyone thinks the same. :P

+1
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Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #17 on: February 07, 2019, 07:26:38 pm »

Wasn't LuLa at some point the #1 photographic site in the world? You do not become that by playing to the minority of blabbermouths that we, active posters, are. I would suspect that the ratio of silent majority to us is something like 1,000:1, maybe even 10,000:1.

Jonathan Cross

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #18 on: February 08, 2019, 03:40:20 am »

For quite a long time I was part of the silent majority.  I looked at Lula because I thought it helped me to get better and presented ways and means of doing that.  Ok art has subjective aspects and tastes differ, but good artists have excellent skills as well as imagination.  I looked at Lula because I thought it looked at ideas and new technology to help that silent majority.  I hope Lula continues in that way.
Best wishes,
Jonathan
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Rob C

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Re: Light From Above Article With Jacob Mitchell
« Reply #19 on: February 08, 2019, 04:26:16 pm »

Wasn't LuLa at some point the #1 photographic site in the world? You do not become that by playing to the minority of blabbermouths that we, active posters, are. I would suspect that the ratio of silent majority to us is something like 1,000:1, maybe even 10,000:1.


Without active posters there would be bugger all to read. What would the "thousands" do then? Cut their toenails? Read the NE? Both at the same time? Maybe they already do.

Active posters are the lifeblood that keeps this little site truckin'. Try this out, people, if you doubt that: for two weeks have nobody post a goddam line. Watch the climate change.

:-)

Rob

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