PHOTOgraphic Film Review, January Issue

Discussion in 'Photography' started by me, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. me

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Tom Phillips, Feb 15, 2005
    #81
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  2. me

    Tom Phillips Guest

    Anything can be art; whether it's "good" or not is
    in the eye of the beholder. Frankly, there's a reason
    I use a $2000 lens and a decent camera plus useful
    and often expensive accessories (like spotmeters)
    rather than a P&S. And there's also a reason I use a
    certain film and developer, because it all produces
    different (better) results.

    Guess I too much a technician to shoot my landscapes
    or portraits with a P&S, even though a real "artist"
    should be able to get the same results (?) as I do with
    my 4x5 (or a pentax 35mm for that matter...)
     
    Tom Phillips, Feb 15, 2005
    #82
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  3. me

    John Guest

    Again, I can't entirely agree. A bad subject is a bad subject
    is a bad subject. I'll never forget the wedding I shot where the bride
    was 3 sheets to the wind when we arrived at her home and it went
    downhill from there. Cute little thing. Nice gown. Cute mother.
    Handsome father and groom. And she was so stoned that she slid off my
    posing stool 3X ! Yeah, her face looked like melted butter.
    All the talent and all the tools in the world are not going to
    make up for a bad subject.
    Chance favors the prepared mind.
    Louis Pasteur
    French biologist & bacteriologist (1822 - 1895)

    It all depends on the situation. One thing we should never see
    is a poorly exposed and technically deficient landscape. OTOH,
    photographing children can be next to impossible for the average
    photographer. Some think that's why God created motor-drives and
    rollfilm and I daresay they may be right. The same goes for the
    "Runaway Bride" who just can't wait to get her man down the aisle and
    get to the party.

    And lets add in one other little facet of photography :
    commercial work. The subjects are rarely inspirational but the
    technical demands can be challenging. Ever have to photograph a wiring
    harness for a missile and make it look interesting ? I have and it
    wasn't fun as I had to do it on location as they wouldn't let the
    thing out the door.

    Again, unless you have a subject that gives you that glimmer
    of a spark that can ignite your inspiration, your efforts will be at
    best mediocre.

    Regards,

    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.puresilver.org
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
     
    John, Feb 15, 2005
    #83
  4. me

    Tom Phillips Guest

    last kid I photographed grabbed my light meter and
    threw across the room, gleefully laughing as it
    bounced on the hard tile floor. Course I suppose an
    artist would just bracket...
     
    Tom Phillips, Feb 15, 2005
    #84
  5. me

    Mike Kohary Guest

    My position isn't an argument for doing with less intentionally (though
    sometimes that can be a good exercise). I too shoot with equipment worth
    thousands of dollars - like I said above, there's no doubt it makes things
    easier. My position is merely a matter of choosing not to make excuses, and
    not to remove power from other aspiring artists and professionals by trying
    to convince them that their equipment must be holding them back.
    I never said anyone could get the "same" results with inferior equipment.
    But that doesn't mean they can't get good, artistic results. Believing
    anything else is just limiting and self-defeating - why would anyone want to
    do that to themselves?
     
    Mike Kohary, Feb 15, 2005
    #85
  6. me

    Mike Kohary Guest

    rofl...well, that's an extreme case. I'll have to give you that one. ;)
    But in 90% of other cases, it's not necessarily true. Would you think first
    of an old man for art nude photos? Neither would I, but how foolishly
    limiting that thought proved to be, when I saw some of the most beautiful
    art nudes I'd ever seen taken by a photographer with far more courage and
    vision than I, using an 80-year-old nude man as his subject. Moments like
    that are inspiring, and teach me yet again not to limit myself by arbitrary
    thoughts of convention.
    Mine might be, but another artist might take it and run with it. Art is not
    about limits, it's about possibilities.
     
    Mike Kohary, Feb 15, 2005
    #86
  7. me

    BillB Guest

    You mean you missed the opportunity to get it back by tossing the
    little kiddie in the same general direction? :)
     
    BillB, Feb 15, 2005
    #87
  8. me

    BillB Guest

    No, a bad subject isn't always a bad subject. It might make for a
    lot more work for you (which I suppose is one of the bad aspects)
    but *some* brides, grooms and families might even treasure the shots
    of her splayed out on the floor or the melted butter shots of her
    face. There was your opportunity to show your versatility by taking
    advantage of a rare opportunity. And you couldn't really be blamed
    if the results weren't liked. Almost as good as a win-win
    situation.

    Did that family have any interesting comments on your work? :)
     
    BillB, Feb 15, 2005
    #88
  9. me

    grol Guest

    So you can make a silk purse out of a sow's ear? My first job was in
    hairdressing (grol cringes) and I got asked that question all the time.
    :)
     
    grol, Feb 15, 2005
    #89
  10. me

    Jan Guest


    Buy a Panasonic FZ5 and be happy.

    jan
     
    Jan, Feb 15, 2005
    #90
  11. me

    BillB Guest

    Ok, time to disable the KF switch. But I only did it because you
    kept responding to the trolls. I hope that phase ran its course. :)
     
    BillB, Feb 15, 2005
    #91
  12. me

    John Guest

    Hey ! No pickin' on ma Speed ! Ah ain't takin' no mono-rail
    into the field. No way, no how. I did that with a Calumet and that was
    the first and last time. Give me the Speed and a 120 lens any day. And
    then there's my Linhof. And my Zone VI. And my Kodak. And my .. my...
    lack of space !

    Regards,

    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.puresilver.org
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
     
    John, Feb 15, 2005
    #92
  13. me

    John Guest

    Oh now I'm going to have to ask Ron Wisner to put one in a 5X7
    for me ;>)


    Regards,

    John S. Douglas, Photographer - http://www.puresilver.org
    Please remove the "_" when replying via email
     
    John, Feb 15, 2005
    #93
  14. me

    Tom Phillips Guest

    But lack of equipment does just that, depending on what the
    photographic intentions are. You can be creative with any
    photographic tool, I agree, but limited. But if one's intention
    is to shoot weddings, one's need equipment best suited to
    wedding photography (2&1/4 is best.) If one's intention is
    panoramic landscapes, it's best to use equipment most suited
    to that. If I shoot architecture for Architectural Digest, you
    can be sure I'm going to use a 4x5 monorail versus a old Speed
    Graphic, etc. etc.
    I'm simply pointing out equipment matters.

    The equipment and techniques used affect the creative results
    achieved, whether the image is Holga, pinhole, or large format
    landscape. Ansel Adams was often accused of being a "technician."
    I think the point is both technique and tools matter; they
    shape and define the artistic result. Meaning ideas have no
    expression if equipment/tools are not first chosen and mastered.
    While I'd agree equipment for equipment's sake is useless,
    photographers employ technical photographic controls to achieve
    the effects and images they want, and that includs choice of
    equipment, film, etc. The image matters only because of the
    intentional creative process (tools+techniques+artistic intent)
    used to create that image.
     
    Tom Phillips, Feb 15, 2005
    #94
  15. me

    Mike Kohary Guest

    If you do portraits and weddings, you have to know that your subjects aren't
    going to be professional models, and in that sense they won't be "good
    subjects". But it's all relative - they're just people, and all people are
    "good subjects" on their own merits, not in comparison to Cindy Crawford.

    You try to capture the essence of the person in front of you, and then every
    subject is a good one.
     
    Mike Kohary, Feb 16, 2005
    #95
  16. me

    Mike Kohary Guest

    Of course. I said you can be a creative artist with inferior equipment.
    You need professional equipment to be a working pro. :) My point is aimed
    mostly at beginners and amateurs; they shouldn't feel as if their equipment
    is limiting their ability to improve. One recent poster in alt.photography
    said something to the effect that there was no point in practicing at all
    unless you had terrific equipment to begin with, and I think that's
    completely hogwash. Perhaps I was overly sensitive to your comment owing to
    this other recent discussion.
    It matters, but not as much as many people think. You can be a good
    photographer without the top-of-the-line equipment, and in a pinch, you
    should be prepared to use whatever is handy if you need the shot but don't
    have your stuff.

    I play guitar also. Eddie Van Halen is widely recognized as one of the most
    innovative and influential guitarists in rock and roll. The guitar he's
    used for the last 25 years was one he built himself in his garage, using
    stock components and hand assembled. It's far from state-of-the-art, but
    with it, he created a sound all his own and has made millions of dollars as
    a recording artist. It's just one of many examples where a creative talent
    didn't feel like he needed the latest and greatest, and succeeded quite well
    without it.
    Your point is taken. They both matter, but I think many artists in all
    fields put far too much emphasis on one or the other. In the end, both
    technique and tools must be reigned in by your creative talents, or none of
    it will matter.

    As my guitar teacher once said of technique, literally anyone can learn to
    play fast. All that requires is diligent practice, and with enough time,
    you'll get there, guaranteed. But only some will learn to play *well*,
    because that requires genuine artistic insight, which can't be taught to
    you, but must be developed from within. That is the intangible I think
    everyone can practice and develop regardless of the equipment they're using.
    Well said, and I don't disagree.
     
    Mike Kohary, Feb 16, 2005
    #96
  17. me

    grol Guest

    Any recommended reading on portrait photography, especially relaxing and posing
    a non-model? How the heck to you relax a model who looks stiff and uncomfortable
    in their facial expressions and body language? I guess there are cliche poses
    etc.

    I have found a few poses that I like (some ideas I stole out of our wedding
    album), but would hate to get in the rut of churning out the exact some poses
    for every person I photograph. Next thing I know it'd be like ordering a Burger
    King.... "I'll have a number 2 with cheese please".

    I once was a model (almost 10 years ago) for a few fashion photoshoots and the
    photographer easily got me into the role he wanted, but I can't for the life of
    me remember how he did it. I remember that he asked me to picture
    things/people/memories that me feel a certain way in my mind, and also knew
    exactly how I should lean and where to put my hands, etc. Next thing I know,
    time had flown by, shoot finished and I wasn't nervous anymore. Photos came out
    primo (grins). :)

    grol
     
    grol, Feb 16, 2005
    #97
  18. me

    grol Guest

    Uh.... not quite accurate:
    http://www.vintagekramer.com/5150f.htm

    When I saw Eddie play live he played an Ernie Ball. And have seen him use
    Kramers on video alot. As he changed from Kramers to Ernie Balls, his sound
    (live and on the albums) changed significantly.

    Perhaps Brian May would be a better example? People have tried to replicate his
    hand-built Red Special, and have come kinda close but not quite. Legend has it
    that Brians guitar was built out of the family mantlepiece and pickups
    hand-wound. Still plays it today.

    grol
     
    grol, Feb 16, 2005
    #98
  19. Not just convenient. It's an obvious solution to the "WYSIWYG" problem. It
    compensates for any weirdo device you might attach to your lens that steals
    light, automatically. It would even work for devices that boost the
    light......
     
    William Graham, Feb 16, 2005
    #99
  20. me

    Mike Kohary Guest

    Can't say I have any specific recommendations, as I've never read a book
    like that. All my learning has come from experience, shooting models just
    the last 2 years.
    I try to get them involved in conversation, talk about their interests and
    hobbies, stuff like that. It builds a little trust and personal interest
    and seems to relax them ok.
    Yeah, no kidding. I do have standard things that I do, but I always try to
    introduce variations, or ask the model if they have any ideas they'd like to
    try out.
    I try to "direct" like that a little bit, but I'm not sure how good I am at
    it. ;)
     
    Mike Kohary, Feb 16, 2005
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