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Photogs / Photo Exhibits This is the place to discuss a particular Photographer (work, style, life, whatever), as well as to post Gallery and Museum Photo Exhibitions and your own impressions of them. As we march on in this new digital world, it is often too easy to forget about the visual importance of the photographic print, as well as their financial importance to the photographer. It is also interesting to remember that some guy named Gene Smith shot with lenses that many lens test reading "never had a picture published in their life" amateurs would turn up their their noses at, as being "unacceptable."

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Old 05-05-2010   #101
mark-b
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The great eyes of HCB can punch through minor technicalities like pinpoint focus, graininess, and the limits of small format 35mm.
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Old 05-06-2010   #102
JohnTF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finder View Post
Why does Cartier-Bresson have to be be put on a pedestal.?.....
He doesn't, and from what I heard out of his mouth, he did not expect it nor demand it. However, he was a brilliant photographer who was able to meld art and reportage.

I have seen a substantial number of his photographs first hand, and of course in print.

The work is simply impressive.

Folks seem to be dwelling on the so called "technical qualities", that have somehow been granted more validity and value than they are worth, "it was not an issue", is a sufficient answer, as the technical quality of his work is in fact very good.

I will confess, that I do often think of the technical quality of work put up for exhibit, it is part of a process I have of seeing the work.

However, what we might talk about today in terms of the zenith of technical quality in terms of equipment and processing, certainly was not dominant in my vision when standing a few feet from excellent work. The subject did not overpower a sea of technical faults, there was no sea of technical faults.


I have had friends who had a good laugh at themselves as they set out to first wring all the technical quality out of their work, before establishing a vision of what they wanted to express.

Some accomplished the "greatest" of technical quality without ever coming close to a fine image. They framed the letter from Ansel Adams who said so commenting on the image they sent to him.

First, in spite of his available equipment, HCB seems to have gotten down the --where to stand and what to put in the frame --issues.

Most of what I have seen appear to have been printed full frame.

The best AF/AE/ and sharpest equipment cannot substitute for that.

He did not process his film and I get the feeling that that fact seems to somehow lessen the "credit" for the quality of his work, for some.

I would love to have a master personal printer to finish my work,
they are few in number, and expensive, but I could manage what I have much more efficiently.

I would add that the original commenter who asked the focus question knows little about photography or art for that matter.




Regards, John
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Last edited by JohnTF : 05-06-2010 at 12:37.
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Old 05-06-2010   #103
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I think the big thing about HCB, whether or not one likes his oeuvre is that he turned Barnack's little innovation into an important and serious tool that gradually gained acceptance as an implement capable, in the right hands, of committing acts of art. That's a good thing, now isn't it? Nice to know we can be taken seriously whether we choose to use big boxes on big tripods or little boxes we can hold in our hands. One can't give him credit for that move, but he certainly played a role in it. I think he deserves credit for being what in modern parlance we all call an early adopter.
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Old 05-06-2010   #104
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... perhaps we'll be seeing more OOF images in the RFF gallery in the next couple of weeks (?!)
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Old 05-06-2010   #105
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Years ago when I lived in NYC I took a young lady friend that I met at a camera club to ICP for a walk around. She had been a member for about three years and competed within the club and at some inter-club shows. The first exhibit was from a photographer who did some powerful artistic images many of which were blurred from movement. Great B&W prints and she was all confused. The club really stressed technical quality, sharpness, lighting, colors, etc. She wondered how he could be exhibited. I tried to explain to her that while I did not love all his stuff some of them were wonderful and moving. Use of movement, selective focus and darkness can move viewers.

There's a shot from Alfred Eisenstaedt of Marlene Dietrich of her in a tux that captured what I think of as her essence. It's out of focus or blurred, odds are shot in existing darkness back stage or in a poorly lit hallway somewhere. Life seemed to like it enough to use it I think on a cover.

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Old 05-06-2010   #106
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eisenstadt wasn't the only to blur Marlene, nor was this limited to stills. the movies of the era certainly treated glamorous starlets to all kind of blurring techniques, from the ubiquitous hair lights to vaseline-smeared filters. it, too, was an aesthetic of the time. you have to look hard to find sharp shots of someone like Dietrich from that era. it had a reason and it worked. when you see it now in old movies, it still works. you'd blanch, however, if you saw that technique employed very often in modern flicks. it doesn't fit our current sensibilities and conventions. and, indeed, all this sharpness/unsharpness stuff really is a matter of convention, style and taste.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillBingham2 View Post
Years ago when I lived in NYC I took a young lady friend that I met at a camera club to ICP for a walk around. She had been a member for about three years and competed within the club and at some inter-club shows. The first exhibit was from a photographer who did some powerful artistic images many of which were blurred from movement. Great B&W prints and she was all confused. The club really stressed technical quality, sharpness, lighting, colors, etc. She wondered how he could be exhibited. I tried to explain to her that while I did not love all his stuff some of them were wonderful and moving. Use of movement, selective focus and darkness can move viewers.

There's a shot from Alfred Eisenstaedt of Marlene Dietrich of her in a tux that captured what I think of as her essence. It's out of focus or blurred, odds are shot in existing darkness back stage or in a poorly lit hallway somewhere. Life seemed to like it enough to use it I think on a cover.

B2 (;->
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outside of a small circle of friends." - Phil Ochs

"His photos are saturated with obviousness, mental inertia, clichés and bad jokes." -http://www.500letters.org/form_15.php



I point. I shoot. sometimes, I focus first.

Last edited by robklurfield : 05-06-2010 at 17:02.
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Old 05-06-2010   #107
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While some people concentrate on sharpness, grain and other technical qualities of an image, others look at its content. Those that are more concerned with what the photographer was trying to say rarely comment on the trivial technicalities, while those that first see things like sharpness and grain rarely have anything interesting to say at all.
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