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Author Topic: Butterfly Dreams  (Read 1315 times)

Rob C

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Butterfly Dreams
« on: May 26, 2019, 05:10:22 am »

The moment I read stuff that begins to sound like a sell, I pull down the out for lunch sign. Presentations like this might, by now, be thought a perfectly normal way of life in the "art world", whatever the hell that has become - or ever was - but from start to finish "art" and markets form a chain. You begin with the work of art, then put it somewhere to be seen, and there somebody does see it, desires it or not, and can either afford or not afford it.

The first problem with that concatenation is that you have to start with something worthwhile. When you can't, you and your repesentatives are forced to dig deeply into hype and come out with jargon about the qualities of this, that or the other, diverting the mental eye from the artefact to, for example, the probabilities of permanence over time. In my opinion, gallerists should be gagged, forced by law to remain silent and act as security guards and not as salesmen. In that way, a buyer is buying something that has appealed to his gut, not as the result of someone having pulled a line on him which, probably acceptable in the heat of the deal, will rankle later on and turn the initial joy of purchase into something else when the snake oil is eventully rinsed from the eyes.

As for the images - well, I'm sure we've seen better here. Unless you're shooting war, documentaries or trying for dramas, I think art should maybe start with some concept of beauty, but that's just me. Freezing motion ain't art - it's technique.

I write, hoping I've missed something wonderful.

Ray

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Re: Butterfly Dreams
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2019, 09:31:49 am »

Butterflies can be beautiful, with interesting and lovely patterns. However, a couple of these shots look unnaturally black to me. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they are in reality a rather blackish species of butterfly. I tried lightening one of them. I hope Chuck does not mind. Here's the result.
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Krug

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Re: Butterfly Dreams
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2019, 10:56:40 am »

Like the idea of butterflies in flight, like the approach of using traditional techniques and high quality artisanal materials, like the idea of parallel text to enhance the presentation - very disappointed that to my eye the images just do not deliver.
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Rob C

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Re: Butterfly Dreams
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2019, 11:53:02 am »

Like the idea of butterflies in flight, like the approach of using traditional techniques and high quality artisanal materials, like the idea of parallel text to enhance the presentation - very disappointed that to my eye the images just do not deliver.

Sadly, that's nothing new in this business; rather is it the norm that makes the exception stand so far out. Not just in snaps of flutterbys, but of everything else that can be photographed.

Thankfully, no bokeh specialist has chimed in yet!

;-)

alainbriot

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Re: Butterfly Dreams
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2019, 02:05:43 pm »

Sadly, that's nothing new in this business; rather is it the norm that makes the exception stand so far out. Not just in snaps of flutterbys, but of everything else that can be photographed.

Thankfully, no bokeh specialist has chimed in yet!

;-)

I do not think this work (butterflies) is about perfection.  It's about emotion and the daringness of photographing a subject which is usually limited to lepidopterology manuals!  I don't see Chuck's images in such a manual. To me they are art. I like them.

I also see an emphasis on the work rather than the tools.  He uses a '10 year old Nikon D7000'. This is not unlike myself.  I stopped upgrading my cameras a while back because I realized the weakest link in the chain was myself, not my gear, and that there was more to gain by focusing on improving my work and my approach to photography than focusing on improving my gear.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2019, 02:13:30 pm by alainbriot »
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Rob C

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Re: Butterfly Dreams
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2019, 04:07:44 pm »

1. I do not think this work (butterflies) is about perfection.  It's about emotion and the daringness of photographing a subject which is usually limited to lepidopterology manuals!  I don't see Chuck's images in such a manual. To me they are art. I like them.

2. I also see an emphasis on the work rather than the tools.  He uses a '10 year old Nikon D7000'. This is not unlike myself.  I stopped upgrading my cameras a while back because I realized the weakest link in the chain was myself, not my gear, and that there was more to gain by focusing on improving my work and my approach to photography than focusing on improving my gear.

1. It certainly is not about perfection; also, I see no "daringness" whatsoever. Whether art or not, that's eternally in the eye of the beholder - or in his mind, if he listens too much to the definitions of others.

2. To be honest about my feelings, I think the work shoddy at best. Why would one even expect an emphasis on tools rather than on content unless the tool were chosen for its intrinsic effects, such as compression, distortions etc.?

My first digital camera was a D200 that I still own and use, and the latest was a D700 that gets less usage, both cameras new at the time of purchase. I agree wholeheartedly with you that the numero uno problem for all photographers is the self. As for improving the work, I tend to suspect that we are all the photographer we will ever be by the age of fifty. Then, we either refine our work or become bored; the leopard retains the same set of spots, even if age gives him the mange.

Rob

amolitor

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Re: Butterfly Dreams
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2019, 10:08:10 am »

I think the photos are rather beautiful, but I'm not particularly drawn to them.

Stranger is that they cannot figure out if they are selling a collection of inexpensive prints, or an astronomically expensive book. I wouldn't place inkjet prints facing one another, but I'm no expert of making books of this type.

It's not a good look for your web site to be plugging no-hoper kickstarters.
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josh.reichmann

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Re: Butterfly Dreams
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2019, 11:45:42 am »

I think the photos are rather beautiful, but I'm not particularly drawn to them.

Stranger is that they cannot figure out if they are selling a collection of inexpensive prints, or an astronomically expensive book. I wouldn't place inkjet prints facing one another, but I'm no expert of making books of this type.

It's not a good look for your web site to be plugging no-hoper kickstarters.

I think it’s a lovely look. Supporting a small, rather innocent and endearing project which is neither doomed nor guaranteed of any “success”.
I’ve also yet to hear a coherent objection to the images. In this thread so far I only hear vague summaries, that the images are beautiful yet not to ones liking. I kind of understand that paradox, but this seems unexplored.

Are we talking appreciation but some kind of tech or approach dismissal ? Curious about this little contradiction.
They are not “high Art” as far as I’m concerned, but then again I like the films Predator and 8½ equally, lol.
 
Same goes for photography.
I am reluctant to plug anything outright, but just about every article on Lula which I’ve published contains a link to a processional’s/Artist’s practice. This one seems least cloying in some way.
An experiment to be sure.
Truly don’t understanding the critique yet.
I also love the dark relief / negative spaces around the butterflies. Do people imagine this element to be “secretively” over processed?
J
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amolitor

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Re: Butterfly Dreams
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2019, 12:35:06 pm »

Whether the book itself becomes a raging success or not I have, of course, no way of knowing.

The kickstarter itself, however, has a statistical chance of success at this point of essentially zero. There's less than two days left, and it's sitting at the halfway mark. It would take some startling unusual turn of events to make this funding effort a success. I could go on about how it's poorly structured etc, but that would serve no purpose.

I have no idea what the reality of the situation is, but given the timing of the article relative to the timeline of the kickstarter, the article on the front page feels rather more like a oh crap, we're not going to get funded, what can we do? Hey, doesn't Josh have a web site thing? Hail Mary pass than, well, anything else.

The pictures themselves? Well, they look heavily overprocessed, which is not to say you couldn't get the effect in-camera, but ultimately, who cares? The question is raised, no amount of discussion of disclaimers will change that. Why don't they speak to me? I think it is because they have the look of pictures that the artist very much wants me to take seriously as Art, as a statement, as an expression, and yet when I spend time with them I can see in the end nothing in there except a bug enthusiast taking overdone photographs of bugs.

Whether or not the artist feels deeply here or not, I cannot judge. The point is, though, that the pictures do not communicate any depth of feeling to me, nor even a complete lack of feeling. Rather, they communicate an attempt to imitate deep feeling.
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josh.reichmann

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Re: Butterfly Dreams
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2019, 12:53:16 pm »

Whether the book itself becomes a raging success or not I have, of course, no way of knowing.

The kickstarter itself, however, has a statistical chance of success at this point of essentially zero. There's less than two days left, and it's sitting at the halfway mark. It would take some startling unusual turn of events to make this funding effort a success. I could go on about how it's poorly structured etc, but that would serve no purpose.

I have no idea what the reality of the situation is, but given the timing of the article relative to the timeline of the kickstarter, the article on the front page feels rather more like a oh crap, we're not going to get funded, what can we do? Hey, doesn't Josh have a web site thing? Hail Mary pass than, well, anything else.

The pictures themselves? Well, they look heavily overprocessed, which is not to say you couldn't get the effect in-camera, but ultimately, who cares? The question is raised, no amount of discussion of disclaimers will change that. Why don't they speak to me? I think it is because they have the look of pictures that the artist very much wants me to take seriously as Art, as a statement, as an expression, and yet when I spend time with them I can see in the end nothing in there except a bug enthusiast taking overdone photographs of bugs.

Whether or not the artist feels deeply here or not, I cannot judge. The point is, though, that the pictures do not communicate any depth of feeling to me, nor even a complete lack of feeling. Rather, they communicate an attempt to imitate deep feeling.

That’s super clear. I appreciate the critique that these images are aping a look which suggests profundity, but almost all documented moments/photos can be said to project this wish, no? . If your standard is an image which says something through use of the natural world then I think that innate quality is rare indeed. Usually what is said is what is seen and visa versa and no further meaning can arrive.

 Hence my own deeper interest in the artist’s subjective experience through shooting/making.
If you’re talking about painting, it would be easier to dismiss on these grounds, me thinks.

 But thanks for the clarification. I’m not arguing against or taking away from the feeling you did or did not get.

Re: timing of the post: actually I was late to post it, and the images were submitted some time ago. So I may have contributed to it’s not succeeding in this way if I was relied on. I doubt I was.

Beyond the Kickstarter campaign, I imagine Chuck will find a way.
Took me lot of “failures” to fund my film or anything I’ve tried to make. Most would identify with that I bet.
J
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