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Thread: Great Article by Tim Ashley

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    Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Clever and entertaining . . .
    I'm definitely a member of the anaesthetic school myself

    Tim Ashley - What is Fine Art Photography

    Enjoy

    all the best

    Just this guy you know
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Man with his feet firmly on the ground.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    I feel that I must come to the defense of the Photography Workshop School, and I will do it through analogy with music, with which I am much more familiar. To misquote Nadia Boulanger, "Technique is the least important thing, yet without it, we are lost." And technique doesn't just mean fast scales and octaves, but all the methods of tone production so that they are available when needed.

    My own teacher stresses the importance of pushing each idea or technique well beyond what is desired (or in good taste) so that one has the freedom later to use the right amount, and not just "as much as possible". And if wanting to play a passage "just like Horowitz" gets you to practice it until it is effortless, you might just discover that you want to play it differently, but you'll now have the ability to do what inspires you.

    The parallel to *learning* the craft of photography is immediate. So while I agree that it is a poor use of time merely to reproduce the work of others (maybe with more saturation, as Tim suggests), it is a very useful step in finding out what is possible. Yet photography suffers from the permanence of experiments. I don't record my piano practicing, but all my photographs are in the file system somewhere.

    --Matt

    (Note: cross-posted to Tim's blog.)
    Last edited by MGrayson; 16th August 2012 at 15:03.

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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    I feel that I must come to the defense of the Photography Workshop School, and I will do it through analogy with music, with which I am much more familiar. To misquote Nadia Boulanger, "Technique is the least important thing, yet without it, we are lost." And technique doesn't just mean fast scales and octaves, but all the methods of tone production so that they are available when needed.

    My own teacher stresses the importance of pushing each idea or technique well beyond what is desired (or in good taste) so that one has the freedom later to use the right amount, and not just "as much as possible". And if wanting to play a passage "just like Horowitz" gets you to practice it until it is effortless, you might just discover that you want to play it differently, but you'll now have the ability to do what inspires you.

    The parallel to *learning* the craft of photography is immediate. So while I agree that it is a poor use of time merely to reproduce the work of others (maybe with more saturation, as Tim suggests), it is a very useful step in finding out what is possible. Yet photography suffers from the permanence of experiments. I don't record my piano practicing, but all my photographs are in the file system somewhere.

    --Matt

    (Note: cross-posted to Tim's blog.)
    Hi Matt
    I've read Tim's response to your post, and although I don't subscribe to the 'Lomo Only' school of photography, and I'm certainly not against hard work and practice, I think there is a fundamental difference between your piano lessons and photography . . . content . . . When you take a photograph, you are the composer, when you play the piano, you are the interpreter. it isn't really a similar situation.

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Jono,

    Photography is, of course, different, and the photographer has to make Art out of whatever light is at hand (well, for most landscapes). And the vast majority of what passes for (classical) music performance in the 21st century adds little of the performers creativity. But it needn't (and shouldn't) be that way. I often say that the best pianist of the 20th century was Ella Fitzgerald. Admittedly, it's a Zen Koan kind of statement, but as she made music with every utterance and gesture, it mattered not a whit that she wasn't playing a piano and didn't compose the works she sang. "The composer wrote it that way!" is the poorest excuse for interpretation I can imagine. Yet we all have to start playing what the composer wrote. (Yes, there are others - very serious others - who take exactly the opposite approach and try only to divine the composer's intent and inner state. I have no sympathy for such an abdication of artistic sensibility. It's like a snapshot with no post-processing.)

    Now I completely agree with Tim's criteria and find his favorite works breathtaking. I just felt that his essay judged the Learning of Art to the same standard as the Art itself. For those of us without blinding innate talent, the learning is to be cherished where it can be found.

    --Matt

    (Oh dear. Perhaps too much I think I'm just struggling with making even a good cliché.)
    Last edited by MGrayson; 16th August 2012 at 16:12.

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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Hi Matt
    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Jono,
    (Yes, there are others - very serious others - who take exactly the opposite approach and try only to divine the composer's intent and inner state. I have no sympathy for such an abdication of responsibility. It's like a snapshot with no post-processing.)
    You mean like Cartier Bresson? (the snapshot with no post-processing - my unaccomplished dream)

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    Now I completely agree with Tim's criteria and find his favorite works breathtaking. I just felt that his essay judged the Learning of Art to the same standard as the Art itself. For those of us without blinding innate talent, the learning is to be cherished where it can be found.
    Well, I'm not sure about Tim, but I don't think that learning how to replicate other people's cliches is anything to do with Art. I think the analogy with learning to play an instrument is pretty fallacious. IMHO the art in photography is learning what to point your camera at, and when to press the shutter, not about HDR techniques in photoshop. (but of course, it is just my opinion, and it might easily be a cover for my PP laziness!)

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Does Tim have exclusive rights to Jono s test of the M10?
    Roger Dunham
    http://rogerdunham.com/
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Does Tim have exclusive rights to Jono s test of the M10?
    Anyone who can get Emperor's underpants and thongs into a discussion on fine art photography can have exclusive rights to anything I'm concerned with . . . but wot's an M10?

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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Anyone who can get Emperor's underpants and thongs into a discussion on fine art photography can have exclusive rights to anything I'm concerned with . . .
    Sorry for the excerpt from Tim but I hope he'll forgive these masterful couple of paragraphs:

    'When it comes to 'conceptual lens-based art', I suspect tHe emporer isn't always wearing knickers, however clearly visible his trousers are.

    So I do like to look at work, especially landscape work, which is primarily photographic in addition to stuff which is more 'Tate and Moma' in its ambition. I love Steichen and Kandar, and Burtynsky but I'm quite partial to Gursky too, and to the Bechers. On the other hand I have never been totally convinced that Gregory Crewdson isn't quietly 'going commando' - or wearing the artistic equivalent of a thong.'

    This was a coffee snorter for me .... I totally agree with you Jono.

    Great article Tim!
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Like the article.

    >There are a lot of photographs, and I would include the current work of Gursky in this, which are in my opinion primarily art, not photography. They just happen to have been made with a camera.

    There was a 45 minute documentary in German about the making of one photo. Made very clear that the camera is more like his brush.

    But it would be interesting to see what people think about his work without knowing the price tags. Gursky's work is interesting but the art world price tags are hilarious.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Subscriber and Workshop Member MGrayson's Avatar
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Jono,

    Who said anything about HDR? <shudder>

    There are many photographers on this site alone whose work I admire greatly. None of them seem (to me) over-processed. Some are set-pieces, but with gorgeous lighting. Some are commercial, but with perfect technique. And several seem to just wander around and find beauty wherever they go. (I know it isn't that easy. They just make it look that way.) I feel an affinity for technical camera landscapes, and study the examples in the Behind The Scenes thread. The finished products often don't look too much like the snapshots, and that's (pardon the pun) illuminating.

    And then one day I'll capture a moment, and change my outlook completely.

    Best,

    Matt
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Quote Originally Posted by MGrayson View Post
    J
    And then one day I'll capture a moment, and change my outlook completely.
    Perhaps I'll be able to think about a successful image beforehand . . and change my outlook completely . . but no . . it's too late . . I've just looked at the clock, and I'm 60 - no more revelations or epiphanies . . . now I'm just old

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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    I personally am not too interested in others work as far as viewing and knowing there style since it may cloud my own personal style or vision. But maybe that's just me I don't want to recreate what's been done before.

    I just like having my own path to my art and not emulate anyone. Not that I don't appreciate what they have done just don't want it in my head when I'm working on mine.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    >But maybe that's just me I don't want to recreate what's been done before.

    1. First most things have been done
    2. I kind of find it dangerous to try to be original
    3. I think if you do what you like to do you likely will be original as you bring in your view
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    I don't think originality for its own sake is being endorsed here, but the freedom to do something differently if you feel like it is, IMHO, essential.

    --Matt

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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    >but the freedom to do something differently if you feel like it is, IMHO, essential.

    I am all for it. But then not being original is the motivation it turns out (or maybe not) to be original.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Yes!

    Quote Originally Posted by ustein View Post
    3. I think if you do what you like to do you likely will be original as you bring in your view

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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Anyone who can get Emperor's underpants and thongs into a discussion on fine art photography can have exclusive rights to anything I'm concerned with . . . but wot's an M10?
    Gotcha!!! Jono is not testing the M10 because its not ready and the forecast for MAR13 is correct .

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    Shelby Lewis
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    Is it really important to explain which camp you fall under, and how it informs your work?

    When I was getting my Masters in Architecture, there was this huge change going on in the architecture department... moving from the modernist and classical schools of architectural education to a more philosophy-based education stance. I loved it. The faculty members on both sides of the isle hated each other as both sides viewed the other in exclusionary terms. In simple terms, the philosophical guys were big into "intent" whereas the more old-school professors were about modernist visual convention and construction. The new-school guys looked at "intent" as some holy grail of design. Strangely, though, we would work on projects.... post them to be critiqued... get grilled by both sides... and THEN, I would invariably ask "why is intention so important when it, too, comes from the nether regions of my mind... like any other idea?".

    I never could get an answer...

    I'm not doing a good job explaining this... but I guess what I'm saying is that all camps, artistically, seem valid to me. If you asked me to align myself with one, it would be on the Gursky side of things... love his work and what it says to me. But, in the end, the moment rules the day and if someone gets a beautiful experience (for them) out of photographing those old rocks in the West, so be it. Gursky's art still seems comes from something inner that drives and informs his work... but is that any no more "valid" than the impulse driving the modern photographers in the Aesthetic-school?

    That impulse just comes from a different place and may or may not lead to something "original"... and isn't experience what art is about, regardless of camp?

    I excitedly look forward, however, to Tim's guests' posts... looks like it'll be a great series!

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    Contributing Editor ustein's Avatar
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    Re: Great Article by Tim Ashley

    >but I guess what I'm saying is that all camps, artistically, seem valid to me.

    I agree and you have to keep up the respect. But you yourself will fall into one or the other camp because of your own vision.
    Uwe Steinmueller
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    Editor&Owner of Digital Outback Photo
    http://www.outbackphoto.com

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