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Author Topic: When is a Photograph a Cheat?  (Read 31741 times)

JohnKoerner

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2011, 03:42:51 pm »

The average Joe is also exposed enough to Photoshop via various things like television (which make PS seem even simpler to use to manipulate images) to question and distrust almost all images they see.  This is one of the fundamental problems and I'm sure we've all seen it.  The lack of knowledge of digital photographic processes and photoshop itself is even more challenging because the average Joe has no clue you have to do something to the raw data captured by any camera.. they assume the picture from their phone or point and shoot is how it's supposed to be, clueless of the manipulation that occurred before they could chimp their shot ...
then you get photographers who make claims they don't manipulate their work - they get it all in camera - yet looking at the images you know some pretty serious work was done to the files.  Even those shooting "film" who claim to be purists have to scan and then work with their files. And my favorite one out of all these .. a pretty high end landscape guy shooting film who passes off a double exposure of a moon which is pretty easy to spot based on the direction of light of the subject vs the moon, but imply they didn't cheat because it was done with film.
 .... and the debate will never end ...

This is a good point, Wayne, and mastering Photoshop is itself a complex set of skills that some people are better at than others. As someone who is still trying to master Photoshop myself, I am in complete agreement with you here.

However ... it is still an easier bargain than painting from nothing. For starters, you are working with a photograph, so all of the lines, features, colors, etc. have basically been "handed to you" by the camera. So all you're really doing in Photoshop is doctoring and working with what's already there in perfect proportion ... whereas the artist has to FIRST create this perfection from nothing by hand. Then the artist is required to mix his own colors, blend/adjust, etc. ... and every color he uses is a physical thing.

In Photoshop, none of your colors or features "cost money" to use ... and if you screw up and want to "go back" you can just "undo" more than a hundred different steps that you took in an instant. Whereas, with a painter, if he does something he didn't like ... he is stuck with that physical reality ... and has to spend several more hours "blending and retouching" to work around the error, rather than just being able to click an "undo" button.

So, yes, I absolutely agree with you that mastering Photoshop is a skill that takes a whole lotta time to learn, and that some people have far better skill at it than others. Yet, though I agree with this, I still think a painter's job is FAR harder to master and produce excellence with, and by a country mile really.

I could take a hundred perfectly clear shots of a landscape in a few hours ... but I couldn't even draw one in a whole day ... I don't have the skill.

Jack


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JohnKoerner

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #41 on: September 04, 2011, 03:55:01 pm »

I wouldn't call this stuff art - more like hack illustration worked up from reference photos. Your friend should do some life drawing.

Well, you are entitled to your opinion of course, but my friend is much more than that. He does do live work, and in fact (as previously mentioned) has performed personal works for multiple sports figures in their homes, the Rockefeller foundation, the City of Daytona Beach and their museum, etc.




IMHO the spider photos you post are artistically much more interesting than this stuff.

Thank you for the compliment, and I agree (LOL), but it still took far less skill on my part to accomplish than what my friend did. The Indian portrait that Kenny did took him several days ... whereas my best spider shot took maybe 2 hours, from set-up to post processing.

I think anyone with the same camera could do the same thing I did, but I don't think hardly anyone with the same charcoal pencils and linen cloth could draw the Indian portrait that Kenny did.




Don't agree with this either.
I was looking at another LuLa forum members' site the other day: The subject matter of the images was very similar to stuff I often photograph. The difference was that my photos are crap and this guys' work is terrific. And it's not technical quality that lets mine down ( tho' this can be an issue at times ).
Regards
Graeme

I understand what you are saying here Graeme, and I agree. The difference between a great artistic portrait ... and a clear shot of a face ... is substantial. I agree 100%.

But the point I am making is, it is STILL easy for anyone to take a clear shot of a face, even if it is not a work of art, where it is NOT easy to paint a clear and perfect face, be it a work of art or not. The skill it takes in drawing/painting is astronomically harder to develop, just to get the proportions right by hand, than it is to snap a photo and get them.

Cheers!

Jack



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JohnKoerner

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #42 on: September 04, 2011, 04:06:37 pm »

Jack, I agree that artistic ability cannot be taught, but it can be developed if there is a seed present in the form of artistic talent.
That is true for all forms of art and cannot be compared as "harder or easier". It's an absolute that is not measurable.

I agree Pagelli.

Something can be beautifully artistic, without being that hard to achieve. So good point. However, when something is beautifully artistic and is hard to achieve, the value is going to be greater.



And about your friends. You didn't give any examples on the first so it's hard to comment on its artistic value, but the fact it's being sold doesn't prove anything. Kitsch wouldn't be made if it wouldn't sell either.
And the second, I have a hard time seeing that as art, only as a craft tracing photo's but that's it.

I don't want to put my other friend's work up as a "bad example," because I do not want to publicly-badmouth my friend

But I agree, just because "it sells" doesn't make it good, which was my point exactly. Same with an education. My first friend has "the education"; my second friend has the talent.

For you to say he "traced photos" is a great injustice, however, as he would never do any such thing.

He does just as superb work with live subjects, and is a master of both facial expression and hand proportion, which are two of the hardest things for artists to master. In fact, many so-called "great artists" actually had their subjects wear gloves, or otherwise hide their hands, because they could NEVER master the intricate detail of the hands. Other artists can never produce faces and facial expressions with anywhere near the accuracy of Kenny.

Take care,

Jack


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John.Murray

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #43 on: September 04, 2011, 04:29:07 pm »

My response to those who question using PS or LR to manipulate my images; please review Ansel Adams' dodging and burning notes for "Clearing Winter Storm"

http://www.masters-of-photography.com/images/full/adams/adams_storm.jpg

From "The Print"  (emphasis mine):

"The subject was predominately gray, but the emotional impact was quite strong; my visualization was rather dramatic; hence I gave a reduced exposure and Normal-plus development.....

... During the main printing exposure I hold back the shadowed cliff area near the right edge for 2 seconds and the two trees in the right-hand corner area for 2 seconds....  
... after basic exposure I burn the bottom edge for 1 second and the lower left corner for 3 seconds; I then burn the left edge of the print for 2 seconds and the right edge for 2 seconds, in each case tilting the card to favor the sky.
"
There is no doubt in my mind he would have embraced the technology we are lucky enough to enjoy today..

Jack:  you're points are well made, but let's reverse things a bit, consider the above image, and sheer amount of work, talent and foresight it took to create it - now consider Bob Ross on public tv calmly whipping out a similar image for us in 20 minutes......
« Last Edit: September 04, 2011, 04:35:34 pm by John.Murray »
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Schewe

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2011, 10:56:43 pm »

I don't see any justification for calling me "stupid" Jeff ... especially when you don't seem to be aware of the fact that you just admitted you were a wanna-be painter ... who didn't have the skill to make the grade ... so you became a photographer instead.

Do you not realize that you pretty much proved my point?

No, actually, I got into photography not because I was a "wanna be" painter but because my skills and talents lay elsewhere (and this was when I was 18 and I'm now 57)...and I was fortunate to have an award winning commercial career shooting instead of painting.

As for the "stupid" comment, ok, let me amend that to "ignorant"...ignorant of the facts and what makes a stellar image regardless of the medium used. Ironic that one of your examples of world class painting was a direct ripoff of a photo...and so it goes.

Really, you might want to reevaluate your world view...it's a bit skewed towards classic arts and away from photo as a fine art.

And exactly why do you shoot photos? Is it your medium of choice or is that the best you can do? For many, it's the medium of choice...
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kwalsh

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2011, 11:48:12 pm »

However ... it is still an easier bargain than painting from nothing. For starters, you are working with a photograph, so all of the lines, features, colors, etc. have basically been "handed to you" by the camera. So all you're really doing in Photoshop is doctoring and working with what's already there in perfect proportion ... whereas the artist has to FIRST create this perfection from nothing by hand. Then the artist is required to mix his own colors, blend/adjust, etc. ... and every color he uses is a physical thing.

You keep bringing up this point, and it reinforces that you don't seem to understand the difference between art and craft to my mind.  For instance, near as I can tell since the advent of the photograph the issues of perspective and color reproduction in painting have been greatly minimized.  With the advent of the photograph most serious painting has moved away from accuracy of reproduction.  You keep emphasizing aspects of the craft of painting that don't seem very relevant to the art form anymore.

Since you brought up sales price as a metric, this is the most expensive painting ever sold:



And the second:



And the third:



I'm not seeing how a camera would be of any help here.  I'm not seeing how what you keep claiming are the "skills" of painting as an art are at all on display here.  No doubt there is flawless craft on display here behind the art but the larger point is that it only serves the artist.  Being an expert craftsman in no way guarantees success as an artist - regardless of the medium.

I completely agree that the craft of painting is far more time consuming both to master and execute than photography in general (there are of course exceptions on both sides).  For that matter, sculpture even more so than painting.  What of it?  There is a sea of painters with excellent craft and technique who produce paintings of no value or relevance to anyone beyond a by wrote demonstration of craft.  The craft of painting being challenging hasn't done anything to prevent the endless production of technicaly excellent banal paintings that litter dime stores.  Adam's hated "sharp image of a fuzzy concept" is produced by painters as easily as by photographers. 

From the other side of the fence, despite the relative triviality of properly exposing and printing a photo the number of photographers truly skilled in the art of photography who can command the public's attention with images of their own creation rather than just executing the craft for clients is very small.

There are gobs of wedding photographers executing the craft of photography with little or no artistic intent.  Similarly, China has factories full of technically skilled painters producing oil on canvas family portraits from photographs uploaded from America.

I just don't see what you are driving at.  Painting is hard to learn.  So what?  In my experience the harder the craft the more likely the artist is to be distracted by executing the craft and in the process neglect the art.  I can't see how "painting is hard to learn" is relevant to the current discussion nor the relative merits of the art forms or artists. 

Ken
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pegelli

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #46 on: September 05, 2011, 01:26:02 am »


Yes, my friend uses photos quite often to work off of, if the live subject isn't available. But it still doesn't change the fact it requires more skill to recreate the exactness of a photograph by drawing than it does just to take "another photo" of the photo.

Jack

What has that to do with art  Jack?
Your friend better watches out he doesn't get sued by the author of that photograph.
People have been sued for much less obvious cases, or does he have an agreement with the photographer?


Something can be beautifully artistic, without being that hard to achieve. So good point. However, when something is beautifully artistic and is hard to achieve, the value is going to be greater.

Value is set by artistic merit and desire for the artists work, not by any means of skills or difficulty in executing the craft.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 01:33:46 am by pegelli »
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pieter, aka pegelli

JohnKoerner

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #47 on: September 05, 2011, 07:40:12 am »

No, actually, I got into photography not because I was a "wanna be" painter but because my skills and talents lay elsewhere (and this was when I was 18 and I'm now 57)...

Yes, actually, you're just saying the same thing all over again, just in different words. The end result remains the same: you originally wanted to be a painter, but you couldn't do it, so you found it was easier to excel as a photographer. I hear you Jeff, the same is true for me too



and I was fortunate to have an award winning commercial career shooting instead of painting.

Well, congratulations on that!

The same is not true for me here though :-[




As for the "stupid" comment, ok, let me amend that to "ignorant"...ignorant of the facts and what makes a stellar image regardless of the medium used.

You forgot the apology for being rude, Jeff. (Is that from bad breeding or just your own personal bad manners?) I was never rude or insulting to you, and I still don't know why you were to me. Just because I have my own set of beliefs, that differs from yours, doesn't give you license to be rude. Again, I am not even going to say you're "ignorant" to the facts, but I do think you are in denial of them by not giving credence to the level of difficulty it takes to excel at painting versus photography, especially when your own story is a confirmation of these facts.




Ironic that one of your examples of world class painting was a direct ripoff of a photo...and so it goes.

Oh lord, those weren't his commecial works Jeff ... Kenny's original works have no duplicates and are hanging on private walls and in museums, not at his home. He just created those pieces, for fun and for practice at home, and had them lying around for his own use. I took photos of these particular pieces, that were laying around his pad when I paid him a visit, because I thought they were cool ... not to sell them (either for myself or for Kenny). If you wish to digress the topic to the ethics of using photos for subjects, to take focus off of the facts of the original subject, that is your choice, but let me remind you of the fact that it sure was a lot easier for "me" to photograph Kenny's work than it was for "him" to create it by hand




Really, you might want to reevaluate your world view...it's a bit skewed towards classic arts and away from photo as a fine art.

Not so. I absolutely appreciate photography as fine art very much. However, I am not blinded by my love of photography to the extent that I don't acknowledge the fact that it takes far more skill to be able to paint well than to take a photo. I am also not the one who invented the saying, "Photography is the artistic pursuit of those who can't paint." That saying's been around for awhile Jeff, which means I am not alone in my beliefs.




And exactly why do you shoot photos? Is it your medium of choice or is that the best you can do? For many, it's the medium of choice...

I shoot nature photos because I love nature. I try to see the beauty in nature and capture it to camera. I shoot macro photos in particular because it brings to clear focus that which cannot be seen well with the naked eye, and so it allows me to celebrate beauty that is otherwise missed in our day-to-day lives. Photography is both my medium of choice and a pursuit I enjoy because I can't paint. And I love macro photography!

Even if I could paint, I personally enjoy the instant gratification of photography more than I would painting (especially for macro shots). With photography, I can set my tripod and camera up, take several photos with these tools, and with a little bit of processing enjoy seeing the beauty of nature immediately ... whereas even if I had the ability to "paint" what I saw, it would take too long and limit me to the number of "images" I could create. And that is if I could paint. Yet, because I can't paint, I could never be satisfied trying to capture images of nature pursuing this medium, simply because I don't have the skill to record what I see as clearly and beautifully "by hand" as I can get it by camera.

Which brings us back to my original premise ...

Jack



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« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 07:41:48 am by John Koerner »
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graeme

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #48 on: September 05, 2011, 07:48:13 am »

Jack

Three points:

1. A thought experiment: When you're looking at a work of art ( or craft ) forget about the process that went into making it or the person who made it - just try and let the finished piece work on your emotions and intellect.

2. Instead of getting too awestruck by the technical skills of a professional painter ( or artist of any kind ) remember that:

it's their job and they do it all the time.

My partner & I work in stained glass ( serious stuff - fully painted new commissions & restoration work ). Most of the processes aren't too difficult but the glass painting is tricky to get into and requires a fair bit of perseverence to reach a basic level of competence, but:

the more you do it the easier it gets.

3. If you handed your camera gear over to your friend and told him to go and photograph some spiders how quickly would he get to grips with the process? My aforementioned partner is the talented half of our relationship - she trained in fine art before turning to stained glass. Her drawing is excellent and she's a good watercolourist as well as being a top notch glass painter. But... watching her trying to operate a camera is both painful & hilarious...

Regards

Graeme

PS I don't want to come across like I'm dissing your friend: Good luck to anyone who can make a living from visual art ( or music, or sport, or craft ) it's certainly better than getting a proper job.
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dchew

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #49 on: September 05, 2011, 07:49:11 am »

Well it was my original comment that made this thread take a left turn.  Although I should have explained myself a bit better, there is some relevance to all this “which is harder” discussion.  I believe Jack’s position is quite common in this respect:  Everyone can take photos, and most do not understand why their photographs don’t come out the way they want; we’ve all heard it at cocktail discussions.   When viewing one of my images, I have never had The Average Bear (TAB) ask me what I was thinking when I took the photo.  Instead I’m asked, “What camera did I use,” or “Did I mess with the color?”  But, as Michael pointed out recently, an "enlightened" photographer (or another artist) just might ask about my artistic thought process (the 'what were you thinking' question).

Those two common questions listed above are pretty good evidence for the following: A common leap made by TAB is that the difference between what “they” get on the back of their cameras and what “we” frame on a wall is either 1) the money we spent on our cameras, or 2) the post work we did in Photoshop.  The whole pre-visualization and artistic talent is either unrecognized or at least undervalued.  Not to mention mastery of the craft.

TAB does look at B&W photos with more artistic recognition.  Obviously there is no color, but the choice of using B&W as a medium screams artistic intent, so it is harder for TAB not to recognize the artistic influence in a B&W photograph.

Now to bring this back to the original cheating topic: TAB’s common assumptions that miss artistic intent are important.   Without artistic intent, what is the purpose of “messing with the color?”  Hmmm.  Adding or removing contrast, clarity, saturation, blacks, highlights… All to force a more dramatic photo than TAB would get.  

Or to put it another way, without artistic intent the obvious purpose is to cheat!  

Dave
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JohnKoerner

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #50 on: September 05, 2011, 07:51:08 am »

You keep bringing up this point, and it reinforces that you don't seem to understand the difference between art and craft to my mind.  For instance, near as I can tell since the advent of the photograph the issues of perspective and color reproduction in painting have been greatly minimized.  With the advent of the photograph most serious painting has moved away from accuracy of reproduction.  You keep emphasizing aspects of the craft of painting that don't seem very relevant to the art form anymore.
Since you brought up sales price as a metric, this is the most expensive painting ever sold:
XXX
And the second:
XXX
And the third:
XXX
I'm not seeing how a camera would be of any help here.  I'm not seeing how what you keep claiming are the "skills" of painting as an art are at all on display here.  No doubt there is flawless craft on display here behind the art but the larger point is that it only serves the artist.  Being an expert craftsman in no way guarantees success as an artist - regardless of the medium.
I completely agree that the craft of painting is far more time consuming both to master and execute than photography in general (there are of course exceptions on both sides).  For that matter, sculpture even more so than painting.  What of it?  There is a sea of painters with excellent craft and technique who produce paintings of no value or relevance to anyone beyond a by wrote demonstration of craft.  The craft of painting being challenging hasn't done anything to prevent the endless production of technicaly excellent banal paintings that litter dime stores.  Adam's hated "sharp image of a fuzzy concept" is produced by painters as easily as by photographers. 
From the other side of the fence, despite the relative triviality of properly exposing and printing a photo the number of photographers truly skilled in the art of photography who can command the public's attention with images of their own creation rather than just executing the craft for clients is very small.
There are gobs of wedding photographers executing the craft of photography with little or no artistic intent.  Similarly, China has factories full of technically skilled painters producing oil on canvas family portraits from photographs uploaded from America.
I just don't see what you are driving at.  Painting is hard to learn.  So what?  In my experience the harder the craft the more likely the artist is to be distracted by executing the craft and in the process neglect the art.  I can't see how "painting is hard to learn" is relevant to the current discussion nor the relative merits of the art forms or artists. 
Ken

Hi Ken,

No, what I am doing is pointing out the level of difficulty that a painter has to have in skill and natural talent before "the art" even comes into play.

A photographer who has an artistic eye can capture his art with relative ease "by camera" ... compared to a painter who has the same artistic eye but has to capture what he sees to a blank canvas with nothing but a brush and some blobs of color on a palatte. It is just a longer, more intensitve process for the painter, requiring uncommon skill and natural aptitude just to get the colors and physical dimensions right by hand ... before "the art" even comes into play.

With a camera, the detail and colors are all handed to you immediately by the camera, so all the user has to to is concentrate on finding "the artistic compositions."

I will just leave it at that, and not keep repeating myself.

Jack


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JohnKoerner

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #51 on: September 05, 2011, 08:01:37 am »

What has that to do with art  Jack?

I don't know Pagelli, what is art?




Your friend better watches out he doesn't get sued by the author of that photograph.
People have been sued for much less obvious cases, or does he have an agreement with the photographer?

Pagelli, what do I say to a guy who was so naive that you actually believed Kenny "traced" these photos to create those pieces?

Kenny cannot be sued for practicing his art at his home, though perhaps "I" could be sued for displaying them in public :o

Don't know what they would sue me "for" though ::)




Value is set by artistic merit and desire for the artists work, not by any means of skills or difficulty in executing the craft.

Artistic pleasure is one thing; artistic value is another.

For example, everyone likes looking at sunsets, but not everyone can paint them. This is why there are 100,000 people who will try to "photograph" a sunset, for every 1 person who brings a blank canvas and some paints to try to re-create what they see by hand.

And this is why a truly great painting will always inspire more "admiration" (and generally a higher price tag) by the knowing public than will a great photo.

Jack


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JohnKoerner

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #52 on: September 05, 2011, 08:13:25 am »

Jack
Three points:
1. A thought experiment: When you're looking at a work of art ( or craft ) forget about the process that went into making it or the person who made it - just try and let the finished piece work on your emotions and intellect.
2. Instead of getting too awestruck by the technical skills of a professional painter ( or artist of any kind ) remember that:
it's their job and they do it all the time.
My partner & I work in stained glass ( serious stuff - fully painted new commissions & restoration work ). Most of the processes aren't too difficult but the glass painting is tricky to get into and requires a fair bit of perseverence to reach a basic level of competence, but:
the more you do it the easier it gets.
3. If you handed your camera gear over to your friend and told him to go and photograph some spiders how quickly would he get to grips with the process? My aforementioned partner is the talented half of our relationship - she trained in fine art before turning to stained glass. Her drawing is excellent and she's a good watercolourist as well as being a top notch glass painter. But... watching her trying to operate a camera is both painful & hilarious...
Regards
Graeme
PS I don't want to come across like I'm dissing your friend: Good luck to anyone who can make a living from visual art ( or music, or sport, or craft ) it's certainly better than getting a proper job.


Interesting post, Graeme, and for the most part I agree with you.

If I handed my friend my camera, there is no doubt he wouldn't know how to set it up the way I do, but I still think if he wanted to he could get a handle on it pretty quick. For example, it took me about 3 years to go from "beginner" to being able to take macro shots that are pretty nice by comparison to what the average photographer can do.

Yet, by comparison, I have known Kenny for over 20 years, and I have tried to draw and paint for about the same amount of time, and I will simply never get to that level. Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about, Kenny was pulled out of "regular" school at the age of 9 because of scribbling on his desk like a master sketcher, again when he was only a child. He simply has a gift that, no matter how long I try to practice for and equal as a person who is not gifted, I will never be able to achieve myself.

Regarding the skills I have learned as a photographer, I think pretty much anyone could take lessons, learn to focus, learn to use the right f/stop, ISO, and shutter speeds ... and gain the wisdom only to shoot in early morning light ... and get macro shots comparable to my own ... while I think most people could try for all of their lives and never be able to draw and paint like Kenny.

Jack


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Hans Kruse

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2011, 10:10:17 am »

Regarding the skills I have learned as a photographer, I think pretty much anyone could take lessons, learn to focus, learn to use the right f/stop, ISO, and shutter speeds ... and gain the wisdom only to shoot in early morning light ... and get macro shots comparable to my own ... while I think most people could try for all of their lives and never be able to draw and paint like Kenny.

I agree with you that many people could master the basic mechanics of photography, but that's only requirements and not sufficient to make great photos, not to speak of art. The selection of the scene, light, composition and post processing really makes the difference and that's not mechanics and most never master it no matter how much they try.

Schewe

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #54 on: September 05, 2011, 01:19:18 pm »

Yes, actually, you're just saying the same thing all over again, just in different words. The end result remains the same: you originally wanted to be a painter, but you couldn't do it, so you found it was easier to excel as a photographer. I hear you Jeff, the same is true for me too

Actually, i went from painting & drawing to 3d design and sculpture because I could draw well enough to satisfy myself...from there I got into theater and set and prop design and from there photography...so I didn't get into photography because I couldn't draw.

My sculpture talents served me well as a model maker for my own photography-some assignments taking weeks to produce not merely a shutter release. Which is really the story here...you presume that photography is a matter of being in the right place with the right equipment and clicking a shutter when the light is right.

That's simply not the case for studio still life which must be built in front of a camera and lit. In the old days, I would think of nothing spending 3-4 days of prepro and setup and running several tests to confirm a shot well before it was ever actually shot.

Your presumption that photography is "simple and easy to do" is really your downfall. Again that value of art does not have a direct relationship to the difficulty to produce it....good art can be difficult or easy to produce but simply because it's difficult doesn't add to the real value. Doing photo-realistic paintings is really pretty easy–heck even I can do that (and did) but I didn't particularly care for photo-realisitc which is why I went to 3d design and sculpture...which, by the way ain't all that easy.
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fredjeang

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #55 on: September 05, 2011, 01:55:22 pm »

Actually, i went from painting & drawing to 3d design and sculpture because I could draw well enough to satisfy myself...from there I got into theater and set and prop design and from there photography...so I didn't get into photography because I couldn't draw.

My sculpture talents served me well as a model maker for my own photography-some assignments taking weeks to produce not merely a shutter release. Which is really the story here...you presume that photography is a matter of being in the right place with the right equipment and clicking a shutter when the light is right.

That's simply not the case for studio still life which must be built in front of a camera and lit. In the old days, I would think of nothing spending 3-4 days of prepro and setup and running several tests to confirm a shot well before it was ever actually shot.

Your presumption that photography is "simple and easy to do" is really your downfall. Again that value of art does not have a direct relationship to the difficulty to produce it....good art can be difficult or easy to produce but simply because it's difficult doesn't add to the real value. Doing photo-realistic paintings is really pretty easy–heck even I can do that (and did) but I didn't particularly care for photo-realisitc which is why I went to 3d design and sculpture...which, by the way ain't all that easy.

Agree 100% !
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graphius

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #56 on: September 05, 2011, 01:58:34 pm »

This topic has definitely hit a nerve, especially with me. It is also interesting in that I am planning a photo workshop that addresses this exact topic. I believe that the technical aspects of photography are very secondary to the artistic aspects. You can put your camera on auto and get a very good approximation of exposure.
I don't think the difficulty of a craft has any relation whatsoever with the value of the work as an art form. In fact there was an article on The Online Photographer about this topic as well.
As I said, this topic has raised my hackles, but really it comes down to personal preference, and your own definition of Art.
Maybe it should be put into the rules of polite conversation, Never talk about politics, religion or art..... ;D
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pegelli

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #57 on: September 05, 2011, 03:56:05 pm »

So, no, I am not talking about "the amount of time" it takes to make a "crappy" painting, I am talking about the level of talent it takes to make a truly accurate painting AND a work of art, on top of the amount of time that it takes ... all with nothing but your bare hands.

I don't know Pagelli, what is art?

Why do I have to define it? you called it art first.


Pagelli, what do I say to a guy who was so naive that you actually believed Kenny "traced" these photos to create those pieces?

Kenny cannot be sued for practicing his art at his home, though perhaps "I" could be sued for displaying them in public :o

Don't know what they would sue me "for" though ::)
Well I also naively assumed he sold these pictures, if he doesn't there is little to fear.
Let's agree to disagree on wether he traced it or not, it just doesn't meet my "funny looks test" but also I'm not really interested.



Artistic pleasure is one thing; artistic value is another.

For example, everyone likes looking at sunsets, but not everyone can paint them. This is why there are 100,000 people who will try to "photograph" a sunset, for every 1 person who brings a blank canvas and some paints to try to re-create what they see by hand.

And this is why a truly great painting will always inspire more "admiration" (and generally a higher price tag) by the knowing public than will a great photo.
I think this is opinion and not a fact. You'll find many people disagreeing with you on this.


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pieter, aka pegelli

JohnKoerner

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #58 on: September 05, 2011, 05:20:02 pm »

Why do I have to define it? you called it art first.

Actually, the photos of my friend's work I don't really consider "art" either (except for the Indian); I was just showing the incredible detail of his work.




Well I also naively assumed he sold these pictures, if he doesn't there is little to fear.

Kenny just constantly draws and paints, both professionally and recreationally, and he happened to be working on these the last time I stopped by. Most of his actual professional work is by private contact.




Let's agree to disagree on wether he traced it or not, it just doesn't meet my "funny looks test" but also I'm not really interested.

Let's just agree that you don't know WTF you're taking about, and have you sit down and be quiet on this. And let's just say that a person who needs to "trace" his work doesn't get hired by many of the top sports professionals in the world to do personal portraits in their homes ... nor get hired by the Mayor of Daytona Beach to paint a 12' high, 150' mural all across the main show room of the Daytona Beach International Speedway's museum



I think this is opinion and not a fact. You'll find many people disagreeing with you on this.

It is okay to disagree on a topic. It is not okay to make disparaging (and totally inaccurate) remarks about another person when you know absolutely nothing about either the subject or the individual.

Jack



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« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 05:29:09 pm by John Koerner »
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JohnKoerner

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Re: When is a Photograph a Cheat?
« Reply #59 on: September 05, 2011, 05:22:08 pm »

Actually, i went from painting & drawing to 3d design and sculpture because I could draw well enough to satisfy myself...from there I got into theater and set and prop design and from there photography...so I didn't get into photography because I couldn't draw.
My sculpture talents served me well as a model maker for my own photography-some assignments taking weeks to produce not merely a shutter release. Which is really the story here...you presume that photography is a matter of being in the right place with the right equipment and clicking a shutter when the light is right.
That's simply not the case for studio still life which must be built in front of a camera and lit. In the old days, I would think of nothing spending 3-4 days of prepro and setup and running several tests to confirm a shot well before it was ever actually shot.
Your presumption that photography is "simple and easy to do" is really your downfall. Again that value of art does not have a direct relationship to the difficulty to produce it....good art can be difficult or easy to produce but simply because it's difficult doesn't add to the real value. Doing photo-realistic paintings is really pretty easy–heck even I can do that (and did) but I didn't particularly care for photo-realisitc which is why I went to 3d design and sculpture...which, by the way ain't all that easy.


Good points Jeff, thanks.

I actually do not assume photography is "easy to do," not at all. I just know that painting from scratch with the same level of detail is much harder to do.

Would love to see some of your own personal drawings and paintings!

Jack


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