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Thread: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

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    Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    I'm seeing a resurgence of people using large format, especially 8x10 (Alec Soth, etc.). And some guys like Chris Jordan who have moved from LF to medium format dslrs. But I among the people I see in shows and contemporary collections, none of them has mentioned a tech cam.*

    Which may not mean much ... most people in art interviews don't talk about their gadgets. I'm curious if the work is out there and I just don't know about it, or if there just isn't much. Cost would obviously be a factor ... but artists find ways to get their hands on expensive stuff. Guggenheim fellowships, etc...

    *One exception ... my friend Peter Misfeldt who had traded his paint brushes for a Canon a few years back, recently traded his canon for a tech cam and 22mpx aptus. He's getting some attention in Europe.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    I'm sure there are many, but often the equipment used isn't mentioned.

    Rodney Lough is the most successful (from a sales perspective) landscape photographer I know using one, he has migrated from an 8x10 camera to a RL3d and Phase IQ180 back over the past few years because Fuji quit making Astia Film (and he feels other film choices have incorrect colors). (almost all of his tech camera shots are stitches).
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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Hey Paul...

    Yep I started off in the tech world about ten months ago. Traded some Canon gear towards a Mamiya AFD III and a Aptus II 5 back. Later I got a really good deal on a Cambo WRS with a SK35XL and SK47XL and haven't looked back since. I then got a chance to upgrade the back to a Aptus II 7 (33mpx) which is really great. Love it!

    I still have some of my Canon gear though, where I primarily use the 24mm Tilt Shift mkII on a 1Ds III which are great but the results from the Cambo/Aptus/Schneiders are just so much better and I really enjoy the process of working with the tech cam and the stitching capabilities is a very welcome bonus..

    Peter

    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post

    *One exception ... my friend Peter Misfeldt who had traded his paint brushes for a Canon a few years back, recently traded his canon for a tech cam and 22mpx aptus. He's getting some attention in Europe.
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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    I took a workshop with Rodney last year and he's a great guy and he told me he is now basically using the Arca Swiss all the time with the IQ180 and Rodenstock lenses. I think he used an Alpa and a P65+ before that. I went to his gallery this past june and some the images said in their tech notes that they were made with the P65+. A lot were made using the IQ180 but he still had quite a few made with 8x10 film. Last year I was not yet interested in MF Digital so I did not pay much attention to his gear. I concentrated mostly on making the best Images I could with what I had. I saw him doing a lot of multiple image panoramas rotating the camera not shifting the back to stitch.

    Peter Lik uses a combination of Nikon D800E and Phase One gear.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Am sure I've seen Gursky with an Alpa XY...

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frederic View Post
    Am sure I've seen Gursky with an Alpa XY...
    Really? That would make sense. I'm mostly familiar with his older work, which appeared to be done with film. Gursky can certainly afford whatever camera he wants

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    He used film indeed, then scanning backs.
    I don't know what he was shooting with the Alpa though, personal or commissioned stuff?

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Alpa feature photographers that use their cameras:

    ALPA of Switzerland - Manufacturers of remarkable cameras - Bernstein, Keith
    Will

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Artists rarely talk about their gear, I guess it takes away some of the "mystery" which is good to have when creating your brand. Ideally, what you want is that other people talk about your images, and you yourself don't talk much at all.

    Of the examples above I'd say Peter Lik, Rodney Lough etc makes very pretty pictures, but I'm not sure if they get much attention in the (snobbish?) art world. Peter Misfeldts work looks more like the work of an artist that would get attention, but on the other hand not be put up on walls in homes, ie not so commercially successful? Personally I like both categories, although I think the pretty pictures have a tendency to be over-the-top post-processed these days.
    Last edited by torger; 26th August 2013 at 23:14.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    ALPA also features Raymond Chak , an active member of the getdpi forum .

    ALPA OF SWITZERLAND - Hersteller herausragender Kameras - Chak, Raymond

    Have a look and see his great images .
    Regards . Jürgen .
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    Artists rarely talk about their gear, I guess it takes away some of the "mystery" which is good to have when creating your brand. Ideally, what you want is that other people talk about your images, and you yourself don't talk much at all.
    Agreed. Gear distracts from the art. And not to mention the rather typical "If I had your gear I could take this photo too" or worse yet "What?! That camera sucks. Your picture sucks then too." attitude that can easily follow. In fact just browse flickr and you see a ton of "praise" just for the gear used. This makes me wonder how many really desire the mystery or simply keep people ignorant to avoid the distraction?
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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    I don't think artists talk about their gear because it is irrelevant. If the most significant thing about an image is the camera it was taken with, you may want to work more on your photography.

    Unfortunately, art is such a lucrative market that artist have turned to product endorsements to make ends meet. Even the photo rags have pushed this--you don't have a sentence in an article saying simply that you used a fill flash, but that you mounted your Nikon Speedy Zippy Zoom PZX1300 flash unit on your Nikon ABCD8700E with the Nikon ED APO AF OS TTL ETC 24-1200mm G series lens, as if that was the easiest thing to roll off the tongue. It almost seem to becoming that selling camera gear is the point of photography.
    Will

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I don't think artists talk about their gear because it is irrelevant.
    Agreed, mostly. I wouldn't put anything about gear on my website or in a statement, unless there's something unusual that's important to the work.

    But the topic comes up from time to time in interviews. Working method can exert influence. Artist's sometimes pick a tool because it pushes them or their subjects in one direction or another. Alec Soth, for instance, talks about how the 8x10 helps him get rapport with the strangers he photographs.

    I've only seen sponsorships in the form of working grants from the Polaroid 20x24 program. I've looked around for gear and material grants have have found precious little. I guess there are people who get sponsored by Nikon and Canon, but it seems to be commercial/journalistic people. I don't think I've seen the big companies get behind artists or an art project.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Quote Originally Posted by torger View Post
    Of the examples above I'd say Peter Lik, Rodney Lough etc makes very pretty pictures, but I'm not sure if they get much attention in the (snobbish?) art world. Peter Misfeldts work looks more like the work of an artist that would get attention, but on the other hand not be put up on walls in homes, ie not so commercially successful? Personally I like both categories, although I think the pretty pictures have a tendency to be over-the-top post-processed these days.
    I don't think all of the art world is snobbish, and it's not homogenous either. But collectors and curators seem to lean toward work that's about something more than prettiness, and that doesn't look substantially the same as stuff we've been looking at forever. Lik and Lough could be seen as calendar photographers. There stuff is pretty in precisely the same ways that calendar photography has been pretty for a hundred years. It's really an extension of the American Romantic Landscape tradition (Thomas Moran, etc.). Edward Weston made fun of his friend Ansel for this ("Hey Adams, are you making more that Ain't Nature Grand stuff?"). Good work of this type is often lovely but rarely interesting. The more serious art collectors want things that are interesting (the less serious but more wealthy ones want things that are fashionable ... that's another story).
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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Good discussion.

    Equipment and Technique are the tools to do the work you want to do. If you do not know either by knowledge, instinct, experience or anything else what you want to do the gear is not going to figure that out for you.

    Reflecting on my landscape and architecture work I have noticed that my compositions are precise and they are quite traditional and orthogonal. My training as an Architect might have had something to do with that but I think it is also that I try to find some stability, cleanliness, order and peace in the scenes since I live on an island that is FULL of chaos, poverty, trash and just a lot of improvised architecture and urbanism but there are instances of beauty and order. Being a densely populated island wide expanses of pristine landscapes are very rare so I try to edit out all signs of people when composing my photographs. I use medium format because it helps me in creating images that enhance what it is there. It picks up nuances in color that are even hard to spot with the naked eye. The resolution helps me in immersing the viewer in the scene. The crispness of the images is like a veil has been lifted and one can breathe in the fresh air. The gear just helps me in conveying the feelings I want people to feel. Like I said, it is a tool. Just a tool to carve images.
    Last edited by Ken_R; 28th August 2013 at 07:03.
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    Senior Member Pemihan's Avatar
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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    I agree that the gear is largely irrelevant, it is the art that matters, what you see before you.
    On the other hand I am often curious to what gear have been used when I'm looking at a piece of work that intrigues me, but that is probably more of a occupational hazard...

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    BTW, I asked the original question not because I'm curious about a couple of things as a practitioner. Occupational hazard, as Peter says.

    Once upon a time these things were pretty obvious ... Robert Frank with 35mm with b+w film, Steven Shore with color 8x10, etc... the connections between gear and working style and esthetic were usually clear.

    Now things blur together quite a bit more, and those of us who are curious for either geeky or intellectual reasons need look harder. I'm certainly not asking Gursky to put a gear page on his website!

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Of course when posting images here in Dante's Inferno it is very important to post gear info so to enable others than your self to become broke

    Remember "Brokes Have More Fun"
    Peter
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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    I think the gear reflects the development of the photographer. But the gear does not define the photographs beyond the attributes that they impart (it does not define whether the photograph is successful as an image). While there are exceptions, most photographers as they develop seem to gravitate to more simplified equipment and more nuanced selectivity. It is hardly surprising that as you understand and appreciate your art, your gear would reflect that. But the gear effect follows the photographer, it does not lead them.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoRepse View Post
    Agreed. Gear distracts from the art. And not to mention the rather typical "If I had your gear I could take this photo too" or worse yet "What?! That camera sucks. Your picture sucks then too." attitude that can easily follow. In fact just browse flickr and you see a ton of "praise" just for the gear used. This makes me wonder how many really desire the mystery or simply keep people ignorant to avoid the distraction?
    Nowadays you can make almost any image with almost any of the top cameras and lenses mainly because processing has come a long way and also there are some techniques, like image stitching, which allow you to increase angle of view and resolution.

    But, If you want/need to do your work in mostly single image captures and have a specific look you want there are certain optical and film/sensor characteristics that help a lot in doing it day in and day out. If you want portraits with shallow DOF yes, you can selectively blur using photoshop but are you going to match the look of a headshot shot with a 4x5 camera and B&W film? Maybe, but I doubt it will be the same.

    Want to create a high resolution landscape image that includes a wave crashing on the shore? Well, stitching is of no use there since each wave is different and goes by in an instant. It is possible with waterfalls since the flow does not change quickly.

    Want to create an image that shows an interior architecture space from wall to wall? Sometimes the widest wide angles are required and even those might not be enough. Stitching helps but if there are people in the shot and also you do not have a lot of time in the space and need to do many other wide angle shots then stitching will get tiring quickly and not allow you to do the work you need or want to do in time.

    You can see a pattern here. Image Stitching for increased resolution and angle of view and multiple exposures for HDR and Focus stacking are not always viable.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    most art reproduction you see today at major museums are done with a tech camera. The guggenheim uses a firm that use Alpa XY for example.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Here in the UK Joe Cornish is using IQ backs on a Techno, I love his work and am proud to have a (very small) exhibition at his gallery at the moment.
    www.markmullenphotography.co.uk
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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    by chance discovered this today,
    Magnum photographer Carl de Keyzer
    Don't know if he's famous in the art world, in the journalistic corner he probably is.
    I have all his books; back in the film days he used a Mamiya 7 (and a Plaubel if i'm correct). Now it's a P1.

    teaser01 on Vimeo (don't understand a word, but i hope this documentary will be in english too)


    Tom

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Gregory Crewdson has been using a tech camera on his latest projects. In fact, I've heard but can't verify that he's given up on film altogether.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pemihan View Post
    Of course when posting images here in Dante's Inferno it is very important to post gear info so to enable others than your self to become broke

    Remember "Brokes Have More Fun"
    Well GetDPI is and was designed as a learning and sharing site. It's one reason I like to see what folks are shooting as it is a learning tool. With that you can go broke I admit. But it is a good reference for those that are learning and a good way to see what does what.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com
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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    I know Guy, I was joking in case you missed it...

    Peter

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Well GetDPI is and was designed as a learning and sharing site. It's one reason I like to see what folks are shooting as it is a learning tool. With that you can go broke I admit. But it is a good reference for those that are learning and a good way to see what does what.
    Last edited by Pemihan; 28th August 2013 at 09:04.
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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    I know one person that made a big slash with their tech cam. Can anyone remember the name of the member who dropped their back into water?

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Ineteresting about Crewdson.

    I just wandered through MoMA today. They have a group show of "contemporary" photography. In quotes becaus it dates from the present all the way back to Robert Franks's earliest post-movie work.

    There were a couple of gigantic prints by a really interesting Canadian artist named Stan Douglas. His work is quite good (and diverse). Additionally, his prints were the most lifelike big prints I've ever seen. They were inkjets, probably 6 feet wide. No noise or other sign of film. If you stuck your nose in them it was just detail all the way down. No idea what he uses, unfortunately.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pemihan View Post
    I know Guy, I was joking in case you missed it...

    Peter
    I know and it's true, Dante has a damn firm grasp on our wallets. And here we thought going to hell was free. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shashin View Post
    I know one person that made a big slash with their tech cam. Can anyone remember the name of the member who dropped their back into water?
    I thought he was shooting a Hassie and his new hassie took a dip? I could be wrong or maybe I'm thinking of someone else! Camponigro?

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    I think Michael McKenna lost a film Hasselblad on a shoot in Japan, but I am pretty sure a member dropped a back.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    [QUOTE=paulraphael;533687

    There were a couple of gigantic prints by a really interesting Canadian artist named Stan Douglas. His work is quite good (and diverse). Additionally, his prints were the most lifelike big prints I've ever seen. They were inkjets, probably 6 feet wide. No noise or other sign of film. If you stuck your nose in them it was just detail all the way down. No idea what he uses, unfortunately.[/QUOTE]

    And that's where photographers interested in this kind of IQ get curious and want to know what technique, equipment, work-flow was used to achieve this look.

    Of course it's the photographer that makes the image and creativity is far more important than gear, blabla. We hear that all the time on these boards and it gets boring. It's the standard patronising answer and it's become worn out.

    We should make a distiction between what the customer/art-buyer needs to know about the technicalities and what fellow photographers want to learn from eachother, which includes, gear, workflow, etc.

    Paul, not directed at you, au contraire, your post made me curious.

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    Re: Anyone with a tech cam making a splash in the art world?

    Back few years ago when I took photography a bit more serious than my point n shoot camera, I bought my first Leica, a second hand M8, then follow with Film Leica, screw mount Leica, Xpan, Rolleiflex TLR, Hasselblad V, Leica R, Mamiya 6MF, Ikonta IV, 4x5 ... now IQ & Alpa. For me, I enjoy my shooting by learning to shoot different subjects with different systems, portrait, street, wild life, birds, sports, landscape...

    Agree with Guy,
    "Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art."
    It works on me ; )

    But I have to confess that I'm also a gear lust ;p
    Last edited by rayyen; 29th August 2013 at 12:22.
    Leica | Angenieux | Alpa | Hasselblad | Phase One
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