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I agree, for the most part. But the tools do matter, even to Kenna and Brandt.I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't really look at photo books with an eye for what kind of camera was used to make the photographs. For example, I love Michael Kenna and Nick Brandt's work and have several books from each of them, but I couldn't for the life of me remember what cameras they used to make them.
Of course, I am aware that both of them use various different medium format cameras. But so do/did many other people. What's important in a photo book isn't what camera is used but the photographs, the story they tell, the presentation, etc.
Really? This is, hands down, my least favorite book of his! [Friedlander]
No offense intended, of course, but this clearly goes to show that two reasonable people can come to very different conclusions whenever art is involved.
Intimations of Paradise perhaps ? I have this book and Kenna's Japan and am also very fortunate to have two Burkett and two Kenna prints. Two of my favourite photographers.Christopher Burketts Intimations of Nature and Michael Kenna’s Japan. I am fortunate to have both books signed.
I agree that the tools matter to a photographer — they certainly do to me, why not to anyone else? — but aside from the initial learning experiences back in the dim ages of my past, what someone else uses to get a photograph hasn't mattered to me very much at all, other than to marvel at if they made a photo that I would never expect out of a particular type of equipment (for instance, the 11x14 presentation prints that my dear buddy Don gave me from his Minox subminiature work: I just can't believe when I see them that they were made from an 11x8 mm negative!). I certainly don't look up what equipment a photographer used in the ordinary course of buying a photo book and enjoying it. One of my favorite photo books ... "Here Far Away" by Pentti Sammallahti ... I still don't know what cameras he used for these photos. It's irrelevant: the photos are beyond magical.I agree, for the most part. But the tools do matter, even to Kenna and Brandt.
As photographers, we all just wonder a little bit about the tools and techniques of those whose work we admire. Not much different than painters of great reputation were very particular about their brushes, their paints and their canvas.
But we all learn sooner or later learn, here in Dante's Inferno, "there's nothing worse than sharp image of a fuzzy concept"-AAdams...
Perhaps this is a case of familiarity breeding contempt on my part, as I live on the outskirts of the Phoenix metropolitan area and can (and have!) photographed all the scruffy desert plants I will ever want -- in b&w, color, and infrared light, using both film and digital cameras in various formats, from as small as 2/3" to as large as 8x10 -- within walking distance of my house. <shrug>I am just a bit embarrassed about how much I like Friedlander's work. There is a genius and work ethic behind his voluminous and high quality output that just seems effortless and I am always in awe.
I share your admiration for Sammallahti. I pulled it off the shelf to take a browse and I too remember when it was new on my shelf never really thinking much about what camera he used, but I’m sure he had his preferred. I think that most artists, photographic, or otherwise are not indifferent to the tools they use. Some artists are adamant in using the most basic tools, others in going to extreme lengths including equipment choice. What comes to mind is the lengths at which some photographers go to stage a photograph (with crews of assistants) vs. some who just wanders the city or countryside solo."Here Far Away" by Pentti Sammallahti ... I still don't know what cameras he used for these photos. It's irrelevant: the photos are beyond magical.