Results tagged “art photography”

A.D. Coleman Quote

Currently reading up on the "discovered" Ansel Adams negatives debacle from earlier this year.

Actually scrub that, I am in the process of tidying up loose ends here at work, when I 're-discovered' A.D. Coleman's blog, Photocritic International. He writes extensively about the issue and I'm only 1/8 the way though his writings on the matter. This quote however had me guffawing out loudly, at last some one has the balls to say it.

The recent Polaroid Collection auction at Sotheby's in New York, in which some 400 Adams pieces went on the block, demonstrated that there's an insatiable appetite for Adams prints, but a few dozen "new" Adams images from his early days won't force any serious reconsideration of his already exhaustively over-considered and vastly overestimated oeuvre. The thought of yet another Adams book and show makes me cringe reflexively.

From this the first article, in the series

I am pleased to hear someone articulate, what many have refused to say out loud for such a long time.

For those of you who may not know, A.D. Coleman is a writer and critic, whose work I have long admired, and whose blog I read occasionally.

Currently Reading, and Recent Exhibitions

Books

I am currently reading this book.

"The Pleasures of Good Photographs (Aperture Ideas)" (Gerry Badger)

One particular chapter has been very refreshing, apart from discovering a couple of names I'd not heard of before, elsewhere in the book. The chapter or rather essay entitled, 'From Here to Eternity: The Expeditionary Artworks of Thomas Joshua Cooper', has been very refreshing. In this essay, Badger, loos at Thomas Joshua Cooper, his work and some of his large ongoing projects, all made on a 5x7 film camera and made as exquisite contact prints. It is an intersting insight inot a photographer I'd never heard of, but who sounds deliciously interesting.

He rounds off this essay of Thomas Joshua Cooper's life & work. A photographer I'd never heard of but am suitably interested in to see more of his work. The essay covers a lot of ground, from Aperture, the Magazine, to Minor White, Zen & Transcendental Photography, Modernism and back. A great read indeed, I might even go so far as to say, as good as John Szarkowski, and Robert Adams' writings.

Another essay; entitled It's 'Art, But is it Photography? Some Thoughts on Photoshop', was really inspiring as Badger talks about the highjacking of the art scene and the value placed on a piece of Photographic Art work by large scaled and or staged works. He talks about how art and photography dance a lurid dance over ideas about objects, veracity, connoisseurship, the art market and galleries all have produced a 'look' quite common in art circles these days, one, that is the large scaled staged and often highly manipulated prints. Compared to to say the more understated; 11x14 or 16x20 that is the trademark of some older photographers, whose contribution has been as long lasting and more profound than some of the newer players on the market.

Mr. Badger very adroitly argues that, somewhere in the whole art market, connoisseurship, object d'art game; photography; has kind of lost some of it's power. He talks about using digital tools to make cosmetic and aesthetic changes in a manner that reminds me of the story Goliath and his hair.

For those of you unfamiliar, the story goes something like this.

You back, now? Good.

I think it is awfully brave of him to do things like announce the perfect size print, being about 20 x24 inches, and uses Cézanne, as a spring board for his argument.

A great Sunday morning page turner indeed.

Photography Exhibition

On Friday the 3rd of December, I visited ARI King's Gallery. There are 3 shows on there at the moment, I was particularly drawn to John Billan's work. It was a real refreshing sight to behold, such an elegantly crafted body of work presented in a manner that was aesthetically pleasing while still holding a little mystrey.

Here are my notes jotted down on the day I was there.

Beautiful yet eclectic mix of images on the wall from classic landscapes to obscure objects / still lives, and re-photographed etchings, circa 1800s ? Strange yet evocative video sound piece as well. But the Frederick Sommer traditions live on. Just beautiful is all I can say, gorgeous prints superb installation and, mystery to boot.

The gallery itself is small and intimate, good for a single person show, there are three in total. Odd location though, with traffic noise factoring in as I sit here typing. I can however faintly hear John's piece in the background a haunting piece e it is. I wonder how long it took John to collate the images they seem to have come from all over the world! One is a strange half dome possibly a cold war radar left over? Which suggests Europe, and one reminds me of New Zealand, the caravan image. A cone repeats throughout the wall in several incarnations, combined with the video sound piece I'm reminded of space and maps, and ideas like quantum mechanics, or something like that?

Beautiful, just beautiful, in a deep resonating kind of way.

The image above was made at the gallery on the day, and emailed to the artist from the spot.

Sydney Biennale 2010

Fisrt Edit Sydney 2010 [Biennale]
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

I quickly visited Sydney on Friday and Saturday, an exhaustive and exhausting 2 days of art food and walking! I didn't shoot as much as I would have liked, but, here is the first edit, from my time up there.

More on the Biennale itself later.

Here's a small slideshow, roughly cut together using sampled sounds from freesound.org. Credits to the following for sharing their samples/sounds and allowing them to be re-sampled, DJ Chronos, gleeman,j uskiddink.

Online Presence

My online presence just grew by another site, this time the site is called Fine Art America and is the American equivalent of Redbubble.

Stuart Murdoch - Fine Art - Fine Art America - FineArtAmerica
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

Whether this pans out to any sales or more recognition I have no idea, we'll see I guess.

Another Book Publishing Venture

I Recently signed up for another book publishing idea, this time over at, SoFoBoMo, the challenge is to produce 35 images in a pdf format book in one month. So I plan on uploading a book of 35 images minimum by the 19th of July. "SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month - a group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish in 31 days.
SoFoBoMo 2010 is running from 1st June to 31st July."

Fingers crossed, I've a busy month ahead, a return to the EOTOB program for 2010, albeit a short 7 day stint this time, and a few days off to make images, in what can be gorgeous winter light.

hmmm an interseting turn of events!

[From “Request to License” via Getty Images is here! « Flickr Blog]

I hear some folks are doing ok from this process.

Two Projects

Today, I have begun the ball rolling for two projects, an application for a PhD, and a show at the CCP. The show application, will focus on a body of work, I shot recently and may form a larger project, over time; one day a book I hope. The PhD, is at such an early developmental stage, I am reading a book that will help me decide where to go., the book is entitled, The Craft of Research. It has already proved to be a great help.

A New Year; a New Change?

2009 back catalogue
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

This is a screen grab from iView Media Pro, it shows I have 108 images from 2009, queued up for upload,to flickr. My 2008 file has 34 also awaiting upload to flickr. Making a total of 142 images. Based on a loose regime of 3 images uploaded a week I have 47 weeks worth of images to upload. This is only counting my phone-camera, there are a few from my Nikon Coolpix 3700 and my Vistaquest to upload as well.

As I head into my 5th year of using flickr, looking back things have changed, changed dramatically. When I first started using flickr, I would upload almost daily, and spend innumerable hours connecting with all the other great people I'd 'meet'. Now, I have to remember to upload and some weeks it takes me so long to pick, which images to add, to keep the flow happening in my stream, I give up and leave it for a few days. Fortunately the altfotonet group still has some outstanding stuff, as does several others, where some cross posting occurs. Other changes to my online activity come from external sources like twitter and facebook. Now if I could just find a way to get paid for all my online activity?

Some Great news for the festival created by Jeff Moorfoot

The Ballarat International Foto Biennale [BIFB] has just been accepted for membership into the Festival de la Luz or Festival of Light [FOL], a grouping of 32 festivals of photography worldwide, including some of the biggest and most important similar events on 5 continents. The announcement was made in Buenos Aires by FOL Director and Director General of the Argentina Festival ‘Enceuntros Abiertos’ Ms Elda Harrington.
Ballarat is the first Australian photography festival to be accepted as a member festival, following the hugely successful BIFB’09 in September, and membership gives recognition to the impact that such a young festival has already made on the international photography stage. The application for Ballarat to join was proposed by BIFB board member Senga Peckham at the FOL directors meeting in Paris in November, and was considered along with applications by festivals from Luxembourg and Turin by the directors of 15 festivals which make up the FOL executive. The BIFB received a unanimous 15 votes for admission while Luxembourg was also accepted as a new member with 13 votes.

[From BALLARAT PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL JOINS WORLD GROUP @ free radical]

Read more

Larry Sultan, California Photographer, Dies at 63
By RANDY KENNEDY
Published: December 14, 2009
Larry Sultan, a highly influential California photographer whose 1977 collaboration, “Evidence” — a book made up solely of pictures culled from vast industrial and government archives — became a watershed in the history of art photography, died on Sunday at his home in Greenbrae, Calif. He was 63.

[read on Larry Sultan, California Photographer, Dies at 63 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com]

I have to admit, I've not seen much of Mr. Sultan's work, but the little I had has stuck in my mind, another book to add to my collection I guess.

Film V Digital

Thanks to Nettsu a contact on twitter, I was pointed to this article about the benefits of film. It is a good read and given my own background in film photography, made plenty of sense.

Way back in 2003 I wrote an article on the issue of film versus digital. Back then cameras, where prohibitively expensive, and digital storage was far more expensive than it is today. Photoshop of course, was the, mostly widely used application used to open and edit photographs on a computer, in some cases the only application. RAW files were yet to be part of the mainstream.

Raw files and new applications for sorting and editing photographs aside things haven't changed that much. Making a good image still requires a modicum of understanding about, lenses, light, at the minimum, making a print either digitally or via analogue requires it's own skill set, making a body of work, requires another skill-set, that has no bearing on technique or the ability to understand how your camera works. Making prints and using cameras are skills with a plethora of manuals [10,723 Results on Amazon today alone] available to anyone with enough interest in the medium to buy a handful of books and get access to the machinery to do this. Creating a body of work can often be done in isolation, or done in a more formal manner through training in a fine art degree program. Learning to 'pre-visualise in photography can be both learnt and taught, but is I feel the most difficult part of the process to really master.

Many of the points alluded to in the article above by Ken Rockwell, assume you have mastered the craft of photography, something that can be quite expensive to learn as a beginner in photography, and this is where digital shines over film, I feel. Making mistakes is the quickest and easiest way to learn the basics of exposure and composition. Making mistakes with film, on the other hand can cost a lot of time and wasted effort, if you haven't already mastered your camera craft. Finally the biggest issue I had with Mr Rockwell's article, was he seemed to sometimes refer to colour neg and other times colour slide, or positive film, two films with vastly different exposure latitudes, and some of his points were invalid if you used negative film as reading a colour neg over a light box, requires considerably more skill and knowledge than a slide film, which is simply a positive of the scene as taken.

So, here's a new table of the pros and cons of digital over film, based on my own experience of teaching camera craft, and using a variety of film cameras since the early 1980's, and digital cameras since the mid to late 1990's.

I do however agree that digitial has it's place in industries like catalogue photography fashion, and photo-journalism.

Pros and Cons of Digital and Analog Photography
Digital Pros Cons
  Speed. May mean practicioners, will shooot 'by the pound' and add to a future worload of sorting.
  Ease of Use Storage mediums can be a problem, as technologies upgrade
  Limitless copying. Manipulation Applications don't allow an under the hood approach to most users, compared to film developer and paper developers.
  Instant feedback. Can be distracting as it will draw your attention away from what is going on around you, meaning less possible opportunities, photographically.
  Storage space for images/files. Ease of deletion could mean a loss of cultural history, or just an overwhelming amount of bad photographs, anecdotally 3,000 images a minute are uploaded to flickr alone.
  Democratic process, can be easy to learn. Small to non existent history of published texts
  Only requires a desk and electricity, no special room. Storage types and Mediums change making large archives difficult to manage, you must have electricity.
  No ongoing film costs. Sorting and archiving of files requires all manner of software and tools to operate
  Camera Prices drop exceptionally every two years or so. Hardware and software requirements may mean constant upgrades.
    Location shooting requires hardware to process, archive and sort. Adding considerably overall weight of a camera/travel bag, and to time and cost involved in 'editing', batteries must allways be charged and ready, spare batteries for cameras a must, if you are a prolific shooter.
  Raw files allow more exposure options, thereby enabling richer fuller print. Raw formats at the date of writing are a moving target, some software, photoshop for example needs to be kept up to date to open and process these files, from recent cameras.
     
Analog Pros Cons
  Easy to learn Can be hard to master
  Comparatively cheap basic/starter equipment Mastering of technique often requires and 'apprenticeship' of sorts
  Processes can tinkered under the hood easily, long history of published texts Storage of film and prints requires physical space.
  Simple to control {once mastered} Unexposed materials require special handling, refrigeration/darkroom
  No loss if treated with the right approach to entire process Losse are uneditibale if too extreme.
  Film has better exposure latitude than CCD especially negative films Calibration maybe required to really understand what is going on.
  Older film Cameras, were made to last many years, many require no batteries thereby lowering the load of the photographer 'on location' Film needs to be stored correctly and may one day cease to be made.
1

Tags

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.