PDA

View Full Version : Art and illustration


Roger Hicks
04-23-2008, 06:22
For 'art' (personal work with meaning) I lean towards B+W. For illustration (to hold the words apart in a magazine) I lean towards digital (for magazines, that's what many editors want anyway).

Any further thoughts on what you want vs. what someone else wants?

Cheers,

R.

tripod
04-23-2008, 06:25
Anything is art if it's intended to be, though not all art is "good" , however one chooses to define that.

Roger Hicks
04-23-2008, 06:30
Anything is art if it's intended to be, though not all art is "good" , however one chooses to define that.

True. There's also a spectrum from 'art' (eternal verities) to 'illustration' (pack shots, 'how-to' step-by-steps, etc.), and the best illustrations can be art.

But I think that you (and others) can guess my meaning. Just read the magazines (not only my work...)

Cheers,

R.

bmattock
04-23-2008, 06:40
For 'art' (personal work with meaning) I lean towards B+W. For illustration (to hold the words apart in a magazine) I lean towards digital (for magazines, that's what many editors want anyway).

Any further thoughts on what you want vs. what someone else wants?

Cheers,

R.

My choice as well. B&W when I feel it important enough and when it is 'for me', and digital other times. Nearly never shoot color film now, except for testing film cameras I've purchased or repaired.

With the exception of medium format. Of course, I shoot only film in that arena. Digital is well out of my price range there.

Kim Coxon
04-23-2008, 06:51
Roger,
I might add a different category, that of "recorder" as well as art or illustrator. In reality most of my photography falls ito that area. Either of railways so I can model them later or of how a place looked before developement etc.

However, I do think people tend to think of monochrome as being more suitable for "art". I have many hundreds of photos of railways etc but so far my wife has only allowed one on the wall at home. It is a close up of the valve gear of a steam loco and it works because of the tones and textures as it is a monochrome print. Had it been in colour, it might have been a useful picture for a modeller or historian but it wouldn't have been a nice "picture".

Kim

Roger Hicks
04-23-2008, 06:52
. . . good illustration can be artistic. I'm thinking particularly of sexy automobile publicity.

Dear Richard,

Yes. This intrigues me. When you consider how many brilliant car photographers there are/were (I assisted some in the 70s), the real puzzle is why so many frankly awful car shots make it into print.

I fully take your point about 'notebooks' but many years ago I heavily modified this concept as there is always the miserable prospect of being faced with a 'real' picture when equipped with a purely 'notebook' camera. Since then. a Leica has been my 'notebook' (sure, any decent RF will do, but I've been using Leicas for about 38 years) and latterly the M8 is my 'notebook' of choice.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
04-23-2008, 06:55
Roger,
I might add a different category, that of "recorder" as well as art or illustrator. . .

Dear Kim,

I'd include 'recording' in 'illustration', with an additional proviso: the best record shots (for reconstruction, aide-memoire, etc.) are often, though far from always, the least artistic.

Cheers,

R.

Ben Z
04-23-2008, 06:56
Like most people who became amateur shutterbugs back in the mid-20th century I started with b&w and then abandoned it for a long time, and shot everything in color. Only in the last year or two I've gotten back into b&w, as a way to still use my film cameras but without shipping film off for developing.

bmattock
04-23-2008, 07:01
Dear Richard,

Yes. This intrigues me. When you consider how many brilliant car photographers there are/were (I assisted some in the 70s), the real puzzle is why so many frankly awful car shots make it into print.

Perhaps the audience is less critical of the photograph and more interested in that which it depicts in those cases.

There is presumably well-done pornography. Many viewers are not terribly interested in skin tones and clever lighting.

Charlie Lemay
04-23-2008, 07:02
Some of my art is done as digital collage from scanned color and black & white film. Some people see it as illustrative because it has a narrative element, but these images exist appart from words unless I put words in them. I started putting words in the images after 9/11. I thought the least I could do was to own my own feelings and to state them publicaly. You can see this more of this work at my web site. I also Black & White art that is more about seeing what is really there and not preconceptions. I hope to put this work on the web site this summer.

Kim Coxon
04-23-2008, 07:07
That's what surprised me about the photo I mentioned. ;)

However, I do think that it is easier to "cross the line" in monochrome than it is in colour.

Kim


Dear Kim,

I'd include 'recording' in 'illustration', with an additional proviso: the best record shots (for reconstruction, aide-memoire, etc.) are often, though far from always, the least artistic.

Cheers,

R.

Roger Hicks
04-23-2008, 07:10
Perhaps the audience is less critical of the photograph and more interested in that which it depicts in those cases.

There is presumably well-done pornography. Many viewers are not terribly interested in skin tones and clever lighting.
Dear Bill,

No doubt so.

But the question remains, why hire an incompentent pornographer when you can get a good one for much the same money?

Cheers,

R.

bmattock
04-23-2008, 07:12
Dear Bill,

No doubt so.

But the question remains, why hire an incompentent pornographer when you can get a good one for much the same money?

Cheers,

R.

Because it doesn't make a difference to the producer, so they take the first name in the phone book? Just a guess.

Roger Hicks
04-23-2008, 07:18
Some of my art is done as digital collage from scanned color and black & white film. Some people see it as illustrative because it has a narrative element, but these images exist appart from words unless I put words in them. I started putting words in the images after 9/11. I thought the least I could do was to own my own feelings and to state them publicaly. You can see this more of this work at my web site. I also Black & White art that is more about seeing what is really there and not preconceptions. I hope to put this work on the web site this summer.

Dear Charlie,

Thanks for some really interesting pictures -- and I'm not using 'interesting' as a euphemism for 'my god, I can't stand this rubbish, how can I say something nice.' I really liked both of them: they are the kind of stuff (insofar as one can tell from a tiny web pic) that I like to have on my walls.

Cheers,

R.

Charlie Lemay
04-23-2008, 09:14
Thanks Roger.

Roger Hicks
04-23-2008, 12:00
Roger, this has often been a conundrum for me.
The answer would be to always carry a "decent" camera, but this can be problematic in some situations, always looking like a tourist for example..

Dear Richard,

Thirty years ago, I lived in Cambridge. At that time I learned the value of wearing a camera as 'protective coloration' in order to look like a tourist.

In most of the world, after all, tourists are treated as harmless idiots. Then you talk to a local and show you aren't a mindless tourist, and make friends.

For me, an openly carried camera is more use than a discreet bag; unless, of course, tourists/visitors/outsiders are unwelcome for some reason.

Cheers,

R.

BillP
04-23-2008, 12:11
Dear Richard,

Thirty years ago, I lived in Cambridge. At that time I learned the value of wearing a camera as 'protective coloration' in order to look like a tourist.

In most of the world, after all, tourists are treated as harmless idiots. Then you talk to a local and show you aren't a mindless tourist, and make friends.

For me, an openly carried camera is more use than a discreet bag; unless, of course, tourists/visitors/outsiders are unwelcome for some reason.

Cheers,

R.

I think it depends what I am doing and where I am. I always carry a camera of some sort, even if I am just popping out to post a letter. For years my "weapon of choice" was an M6/M7, but these days I usually carry my IID. If I think about it the common factor (apart from the manufacturer) is my preference for collapsible lenses - an Elmar-M and a 3.5cm Elmar. This makes the camera truly pocketable/"pouchable"; particularly in the case of the IID. When working (in a suit) my camera is in my briefcase (in a Hadley insert - I bought a briefcase appropriately sized on purpose) When wandering about at the weekend it's either in a belt pouch, a pocket or a shoulder-bag, depending on the weather and what I am doing.

Regards,

Bill

bmattock
04-23-2008, 12:21
I always carry a camera as well. If not going out for the purpose of taking photographs, I have a Kodak C530 with me. Fixed non-zoom lens, 5mp, optical viewfinder, lens quality acceptable. The Olympus XA2 of digicams. Fits right in the shirt pocket.


http://farm1.static.flickr.com/159/365323872_7818766ed7.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wigwam/365323872/)

Then I'm ready whenever the opportunity presents itself. That goes to the oft-repeated comment that the best camera in the world is the one you have with you.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/147/365357536_7750325a62.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wigwam/365357536/)


http://farm1.static.flickr.com/27/383703616_e258f9bed4.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wigwam/383703616/)

furcafe
04-23-2008, 12:52
So true. Especially when you can pass for the stereotypically photo-obsessed (East) Asian tourist. The fact that I often fit the stereotype is just gravy.

. . . I learned the value of wearing a camera as 'protective coloration' in order to look like a tourist.

In most of the world, after all, tourists are treated as harmless idiots. Then you talk to a local and show you aren't a mindless tourist, and make friends.

For me, an openly carried camera is more use than a discreet bag; unless, of course, tourists/visitors/outsiders are unwelcome for some reason.

Cheers,

R.

rxmd
04-23-2008, 23:05
In most of the world, after all, tourists are treated as harmless idiots.
And/or as cash cows, which creates its own problems. What works in Cambridge does not work in a lot of places.

Philipp

Roger Hicks
04-24-2008, 00:07
And/or as cash cows, which creates its own problems.
Dear Philipp,

True, but even so, is there a better alternative to carrying a camera openly? And, except in those countries where people demand money to have their picture taken (which normally happens only in quite heavily touristed areas), you need only be a cash cow if you want to be.

Finally, are many people going to see much difference between a Leica and a digicam? Everyone expects all tourists to carry a camera: it's generally huge SLRs that mark them out as possible suckers -- or, it seems, potentially dangerous in some undefined way. There are countless examples of RF users not being stopped when SLR carriers are.

Cheers,

R.

rxmd
04-24-2008, 00:42
True, but even so, is there a better alternative to carrying a camera openly?
Well, I normally carry it slung over my shoulder underneath my jacket. This summer I will have to find a better solution, a jacket is not an option at 45C. Last summer I normally carried it in a blue plastic bag.

And, except in those countries where people demand money to have their picture taken (which normally happens only in quite heavily touristed areas), you need only be a cash cow if you want to be.
There are all sorts of situations where it is undesirable to be taken for a tourist. I am not referring to heavily touristed areas; those are really only the most obvious case and usually it's enough to be a foreigner, no camera necessary (I've had to live in this sort of place for weeks before people got used to me walking around.)

For example, I have had situations where the omnipresent police, taking me for a tourist, hoped to milk me for some bribes and told me that it was forbidden to photograph what I was photographing. It took some arguing to show that I had a relatively clear idea what could be photographed and what couldn't, and that I had no intention to pay anything to anybody. In the end the policeman told me "Oh, I thought you were a tourist", which in his opinion explained it all. If this hadn't been in this particular country that I know very well, I wouldn't have got off so easily.

Finally, are many people going to see much difference between a Leica and a digicam?
That's wishful thinking IMHO. You'd be surprised. I guess the difference is rather in whether or not someone is posing for you smiling in the middle of the scene, or in whether you look through a viewfinder or at a big LC display.

There are countless examples of RF users not being stopped when SLR carriers are.
There's lots of anecdotal evidence, you mean, which on a RF forum is quite naturally going to be biased moreover. From my own experience on what cameras I've been stopped with, I'd be hesitant to say that a rangefinder gives you any "advantage" vis-a-vis any other type of camera. The best you can have IMHO is a good camera phone.

Philipp