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Hyper realistic art ... photographs that aren't photographs?
Old 07-01-2013   #1
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Hyper realistic art ... photographs that aren't photographs?

A friend of mine who is a very talented artist in the animation field posted this on FB.

Fascinating that while some of us strive to give our photographs something that makes them less clinical, less 'photographic' ... these artist have chosen the other route! LINK


This, for example, looks like something you'd see in the 'Monochrom' thread ... but it's a pencil drawing!

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Old 07-01-2013   #2
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http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/.../Photo-realism

I studied drawing and color theory with an artist named Dale Stein. He produced super hyper realistic drawings and then went back in with an eraser to create positive and negative space. It was unreal...
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Old 07-01-2013   #3
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Quote:
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Thanks ... I hadn't realised the style started that long ago.

Some of the images in the link are a bit blah IMO but that particular pencil drawing I linked in my first post really stunned me!
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Old 07-01-2013   #4
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Go look at some DaVinci drawings or Degas for example live and in person and tell me you do not see why they are so famous. They look real. The power of art!

There is something about made by hand that is special.
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Old 07-01-2013   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contarama View Post
Go look at some DaVinci drawings or Degas for example live and in person and tell me you do not see why they are so famous. They look real.
I was wondering along those lines.

First off, I love this stuff, and am glad the boundaries between photographs, images, pictures have gotten blurred.
To me that space is a continuum. But, I digress.

I am wondering if this "photorealism" isn't hundreds of years old, and it's
due to material & paint aging that makes the old old stuff look less
"photorealistic" at the moment. The only technical innovation at work here
is the air gun and any special smooth papers (rather than textured canvas) that are used.
The old masters simply didn't have those tools, but in their day, a lot of that work
(Vermeer, for example) was incredibly photorealistic.
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Old 07-01-2013   #6
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I've seen hyperrealism at AGNSW before but some of those examples in your link Keith, are quite amazing. Looking at the charcoal drawings by Daisy I would not have thought you could achieve that effect in that medium. Samuel Silva's ballpoint drawing of the red-headed girl is another I wouldn't have thought possible - how on earth did he get those skin tones with a ballpoint!

Thanks for the link.
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Old 07-01-2013   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveleo View Post
(Vermeer, for example) was incredibly photorealistic.

Oh didn't you know? Vermeer had the greatest lens ever made. A pair of perfect human eyes. Stereo.

I have never seen a Vermeer in person but I would wager it looks "real".

Who knows maybe he had a camera? Camera Obscura?

I suspect photorealism is a very antique art...nothing modern about it at all except they have made it easier.
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Old 07-02-2013   #8
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Some of those pencil drawings are razor sharp all the way to the corners - must be using Blackwings. Papermates and Dixons wouldn't keep that level of resolution. Of course, perhaps they're using mechanical pencils, but the signature, how they 'draw', just isn't saying that to me.
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Old 07-02-2013   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomtofa View Post
Some of those pencil drawings are razor sharp all the way to the corners - must be using Blackwings. Papermates and Dixons wouldn't keep that level of resolution. Of course, perhaps they're using mechanical pencils, but the signature, how they 'draw', just isn't saying that to me.

I read somewhere the other day that there is a pencil available that rotates the lead as you use it to keep that contact area constant!
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Old 07-02-2013   #10
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Completely amazing to me. I used to think I could draw.
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Old 07-02-2013   #11
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Quote:
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Some of those pencil drawings are razor sharp all the way to the corners
Ha, good one.
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Old 07-02-2013   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contarama View Post
Go look at some DaVinci drawings or Degas for example live and in person and tell me you do not see why they are so famous. They look real. The power of art!

There is something about made by hand that is special.
I'm not trying to discredit Da Vinci or Degas but their drawings don't really look real to me. Not photorealism real.
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Old 07-02-2013   #13
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Have you seen one in person? Not photorealism real is likely correct but if you have seen one in person you will understand. Yes they probably didn't have a camera maybe Degas did. Probably better examples would be Vermeer mentioned above and any of those Dutch masters Hals, Rembrandt, etc. They may have used very primitive cameras. Many later artists painter draughtsman types embraced the camera early on...maybe not entirely for photorealism though but as a tool to help them.
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Old 07-02-2013   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith View Post
I read somewhere the other day that there is a pencil available that rotates the lead as you use it to keep that contact area constant!
Back in the dark ages, when I took drafting/engineering drawing in college, we learned to roll our pencils as we drew fro exactly that reason. We didn't need a special pencil to do it for us.
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Old 07-02-2013   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contarama View Post
Have you seen one in person? Not photorealism real is likely correct but if you have seen one in person you will understand. Yes they probably didn't have a camera maybe Degas did. Probably better examples would be Vermeer mentioned above and any of those Dutch masters Hals, Rembrandt, etc. They may have used very primitive cameras. Many later artists painter draughtsman types embraced the camera early on...maybe not entirely for photorealism though but as a tool to help them.
I have. They didn't have access to the same tools as we do, but I don't think the point of their drawings had anything to do with what we classify as photorealism. You can have the right proprotions, lighting, and atmosphere without making something photorealistic.
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Old 07-02-2013   #16
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What are you studying in school (field)?
Engineering. But I used to draw too.

34535.jpg
This is william burroughs.

I gave up drawing when I discovered that the camera does the same thing for me, but faster.
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Old 07-02-2013   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsdunek View Post
Back in the dark ages, when I took drafting/engineering drawing in college, we learned to roll our pencils as we drew fro exactly that reason. We didn't need a special pencil to do it for us.

There's a youtube clip ... you'd swear they re-invented the wheel the way they carry on! LINK
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Old 07-02-2013   #18
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Quote:
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There's a youtube clip ... you'd swear they re-invented the wheel the way they carry on! LINK
I now have pencil-GAS !

" . . . . each lead has 400 million nano-diamonds" . . . . who can resist ?


wait a minute . . . "nano diamond" = graphite atom ? . . . nice marketing !
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Old 07-02-2013   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Contarama View Post
Oh didn't you know? Vermeer had the greatest lens ever made. A pair of perfect human eyes. Stereo.

I have never seen a Vermeer in person but I would wager it looks "real".

Who knows maybe he had a camera? Camera Obscura?

I suspect photorealism is a very antique art...nothing modern about it at all except they have made it easier.
A great number of studies have investigated the subject and, although most scholars now agree that Vermeer did in fact use a camera obscura, there is still great debate to exactly to what extent he did so. I know a guy who built a room size Camera Obscura and started to paint Vermeers - the guy was software genius and not Vermeer so they were rather static and didn't prove Vermeer used a Camera Obsura.

I agree with Keith they are rather unmoving as art; too much of the talking dog about them - its not how well it talked its that it talked at all
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Old 07-02-2013   #20
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Quote:
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...I guess Degas would have seen early photography. It was still fairly primitive in his time.

edit: Degas died in 1917, so he likely saw some decent early photography. The Photorealists got going in the late 1960s...
Self portrait by Degas, from Wikipedia:
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Old 07-02-2013   #21
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Well, it looks like Degas took pictures. First I've seen. Are there others?
That's all I found, but I didn't look too hard.
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Old 07-02-2013   #22
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That's all I found, but I didn't look too hard.
http://www.getty.edu/news/press/exhibit/degas.html

http://www.metmuseum.org/research/me...s_Photographer

http://thinking-about-art.blogspot.c...phy-degas.html
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Old 07-02-2013   #23
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thanks for posting, very interesting link
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Old 07-02-2013   #24
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Vermeer and photorealistic?? Only if you consider HDR hypercolor style photorealistic.

Mitsubishi pencils are great.
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Old 07-04-2013   #25
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Quote:
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There's a youtube clip ... you'd swear they re-invented the wheel the way they carry on! LINK
I have one!
Worth the ~$5 CAN, IMO
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Old 07-04-2013   #26
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I have one!
Worth the ~$5 CAN, IMO

I noticed that they aren't particularly expensive ... tempted myself!
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Old 07-04-2013   #27
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Amazing skill. Quite mundane subjects. Coke cans? I must be missing something...

Ron Mueck is the only one whose work I've seen in person. Definitely interesting.
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Old 07-04-2013   #28
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I must be gettin older, I see the link above and thought, "....Chuck Close was doin this stuff back in the '60s....".



Though lineage asside, some great artists linked OP! Thanks for the share!
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Old 07-04-2013   #29
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awesome


............
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Old 07-05-2013   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomtofa View Post
Some of those pencil drawings are razor sharp all the way to the corners - must be using Blackwings. Papermates and Dixons wouldn't keep that level of resolution. Of course, perhaps they're using mechanical pencils, but the signature, how they 'draw', just isn't saying that to me.
... more likely they are working very large, and we are viewing them quite small ... an old commercial artist trick
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Old 07-05-2013   #31
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... more likely they are working very large, and we are viewing them quite small ... an old commercial artist trick

Trick? Blow a 35mm negative up to sufficient size and its detail diminishes significantly.

What's your point?
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Old 07-05-2013   #32
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Trick? Blow a 35mm negative up to sufficient size and its detail diminishes significantly.

What's your point?
That they're possibly quite large in real life

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Old 07-05-2013   #33
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There's a lot of Adobe Illustrator artwork that look like photographs that aren't.
This one from Yukio Miyamoto


http://www.automotiveillustrations.c...-miyamoto.html
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Old 07-05-2013   #34
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Quote:
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Trick? Blow a 35mm negative up to sufficient size and its detail diminishes significantly.

What's your point?
Exactly, except here it is like viewing a large format photo at 35mm size. Not much apparent grain in the photo nor many visible pencil strokes in the art!

When I worked in illustrated factual books (bird field guides and such like) we would routinely published the artwork at 90%. It made a huge difference to their apparent realism.

It's the same thing that makes downsized images from hi-res sensors such as the D800 look hyper-detailed compared with a lower-res sensor even when both are downsized to make prints at the same size.

Some of my wildlife photos mimic the photo-realistic style (chickens and eggs of course). This, for example, reminds me of an Ian Lewington painting http://www.ian-lewington.co.uk/Birds...20Americas.htm


green violetear in the rain by jj birder, on Flickr
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Old 07-05-2013   #35
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. . . . reminds me of an Ian Lewington painting http://www.ian-lewington.co.uk/Birds...20Americas.htm
What strikes me about the Lewington paintings are the out of focus backgrounds
("shallow DOF" in photography portrait talk) . . . painters generally don't use that technique.

(Some landscape painters have used OOF foreground and backgrounds, again sim to photographs).

EDIT: painters also "smear" their leaves on trees simulating wind and also flowing water over rocks -
like using a slow shutter speed for a photograph to capture motion.
So, "photo-realism" starts to take on many dimensions when you think about it.
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Old 07-05-2013   #36
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Yes, OOF backgrounds are very much part of Ian's style. Bird artists often use a selective focus style for the same reason as portrait photographers: to isolate the subject. Some also use colour only on the bird or use a pale vignette. I guess some of this is due to the influence of field guide painting (where several birds are on the same page and clarity of view is required).
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Old 07-05-2013   #37
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Actually the well known older painters like Ralph Goings (who I first saw at OK Harris in 90) paint very large and highly detailed, which is what makes them appear so odd, as though they are too sharp.

I am surprised that realist painters seem a "surprise" on the RFF, since the work has been shown for so long in the mainstream.
http://ralphlgoings.com/

See also Richard Estes, Don Eddy, Audrey Flack, John Salt, etc.
... when I started in the 70s it was normal to work 5, 10 sometimes 20 times life-size and then photo-reduce to print ... I'm confident it was an old technique even then
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Old 07-05-2013   #38
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Well yes, especially for commercial water color magazine covers and the like.

But the realism gallery work is huge, the some like James Rosenquist is billboard sized -- never designed to be reduced.
... yep that's true, well except in books, and prints, and on TV where some people see them ... oh, and the interweb where everyone sees the stuff we're taking about here eh?
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