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View Full Version : Declining, parsing, defining, conjugating instead of making stunning pictures!


Asher Kelman
June 6th, 2007, 06:01 PM
The web is crammed with so much data on the best digicams, dslr's and lenses. We see MTF curves stacked in 3D, the practice becomes like a ceremony from an ancient religion, observed by the faithful oblvious the world outside pulsating with passion to wrap ones arms around.

Cameras are for taking pictures.

How do you feel about the courses, gurus, seminars and tours? wonderful or exploitative? How much is too much? Are we doing too much of this and accepting the self annointed priests?

Why not just find someone to shoot pictures with and then see if they work? Isn't that what counts? The mjuseums and galleries have examples of what has worked in the past. what more do we need...besides a friendly place to share?

Asher

Georg R. Baumann
June 6th, 2007, 06:56 PM
Yeah, I am with you on that one, big times!

My feeling is that a lot of exploitation is around in this field of coursework in deed. Not too long ago fine art printers were totally dominated by Epson in the ink Jet department, this has changed dramatically and the sale of fine art printers is on the up as well.

However, looking at sources such as Uwe's Outback and a few books, may be combined with Imageprint RIP, would go a long way, but this is only my personal insight so far.

I would not dream of paying someone 1500 dollars for 2 days, who for example has a truck with a a couple of Macs and printers and offers courses on fine art printing. 1500 dollars for what? To finance his truck and lifestyle I would say cynically.

Now, I also am a strong supporter of shared knowledge in arts, and to adress some of those courses as expert knowledge and charge consultancy fee's is utter exploitation. You can talk issues to death, and fill up courses with plenty of nonsense, Hell I could do that. LOL

Monday: Compositional aspects of your work. Goal: Crop the **** of the same picture over and over again until you are satisfied, time 4 hours, coffebreak, examples of course participants, discussion of their results, time 4 hours, finito.

Tuesday: Learning to see: Goal: Jabber endlessly about aspects of vision, color, b&w, rule of thirds, golden cut, emotional intelligence, what works what doesn't, show slides of blah blah blah blah Time 4 hours, coffebreak, continue to jabber about the same, but now use famous artist and quote them, show film clips, make a visional excercise, have them run around a cylindrical shaped granit block that is placed in a room with evenly illuminated 5000 Kelvin light and 18% Gray painted walls and ceiling, let them search the right angle to photograph it. <grins> Discuss why each participant choose their particular angle.

Oh yeah, not to forget to provide a certificate "Joe Sixpack" finished the Course of Excellence in Fineart summa *** laude....and some vouchers for follow up courses at a reduced price, and not to forget to sell them your own large format prints at a special course participants reduced price, individually signatured of course blah blah blah....

LOL

I tell you, there are a lot out there on that level and charge you through the nose.

The friendly place, we have in deed here, and a heck of a lot of nice people with a wealth of knowledge willing to share.

Georg R. Baumann
June 6th, 2007, 06:59 PM
ROFLMAO summa c_u_m laude is obviously on the black list of rude words. Hehehehe

Jay Hoss
June 6th, 2007, 07:08 PM
Georg,

Where do I sign up and do you take checks? Too funny, yet so true.

Georg R. Baumann
June 6th, 2007, 07:12 PM
LOL.... no cheks, only cash or Visa, 50% 1 week before course starts, 50% on day one. <grins>

100% money back garantee if you are not satisfied, please adress any issues to my friend here <pointing towards a drunken 30 stone sumo wrestler>

Klaus Esser
June 6th, 2007, 07:17 PM
The web is crammed with so much data on the best digicams, dslr's and lenses. We see MTF curves stacked in 3D, the practice becomes like a ceremony from an ancient religion, observed by the faithful oblvious the world outside pulsating with passion to wrap ones arms around.

Cameras are for taking pictures.

How do you feel about the courses, gurus, seminars and tours? wonderful or exploitative? How much is too much? Are we doing too much of this and accepting the self annointed priests?

Why not just find someone to shoot pictures with and then see if they work? Isn't that what counts? The mjuseums and galleries have examples of what has worked in the past. what more do we need...besides a friendly place to share?

Asher


Asher - you seem to be able to look into my heart . . ;-)

I sometimes - far too often - realise people in fora respond at picture´s technical aspects or even cry out when a shot (as my "water-house") seem to be one or two pixels out of strong vertical . . no word about the PICTURE . .
I always believed that´s a typical german bullshit - no: it seems to be international (nearly a G8 summit of bad taste and technological fixture of deeply irritated minds . . ;-) )

Where i can, i praise the word of the good picture which doesn´t have to be sharp or correct exposed - it will ever be a good picture.
In times of every numb´s ability to automatic-fire a digi, fewer and fewer people want to hear those praises . . if it´s not sharp, it´s not good.

This is one of very rare fora, where things like taste and feelings rule over sharpness and correct exposure. Photography is a philosophical interpretation of the world´s moments in a fraction of time.
All is in a very short moment - there could be so much, there can happen so much in this very short time which is an adventure to see, to search, to feel. Who the hell cares for technical aspects!?

I believe, people who are fixed at technical aspects show a kind of anxiety to let go their structured and linear thinking and acting. The surreal, the interpretative (?), the non-fixed - that´s all frightening
minds of little self-consciousness. And being unconscious is a sign of our times!

best, Klaus

Asher Kelman
June 6th, 2007, 07:18 PM
Just a thought, how much could one really learn from Ansel Adams in 1 day with lunch and discussion break in a class with 12 to 20 people?

Asher

Jack_Flesher
June 6th, 2007, 07:34 PM
How do you feel about the courses, gurus, seminars and tours? wonderful or exploitative? How much is too much? Are we doing too much of this and accepting the self annointed priests?

Why not just find someone to shoot pictures with and then see if they work? Isn't that what counts?

Amen Asher! I consider photography a "doing" activity, not a sit around and yak about it discussion topic -- though admittedly I do my fair share of yak-ing about it when I can't be doing :)

As for the gurus, my experience is there are two distinct types and not much in-between... The exploitative who are usually also self-aggrandizing and only so-so imagists, versus those who are worth it, generally being more humble and yet are truly skilled artists...

Cheers,

Kathy Rappaport
June 6th, 2007, 08:21 PM
Yes, but there is a difference here - this is a true global community of artists who use the medium of photography. We are artists who can freely discuss, teach and create and encourage. There is intelligence and respect here.

We need all the input to have the ability to create our own individual visons of art. Some here have the ability to gather and work together in person too.

Asher Kelman
June 6th, 2007, 08:42 PM
Yes, but there is a difference here - this is a true global community of artists who use the medium of photography. We are artists who can freely discuss, teach and create and encourage. There is intelligence and respect here.

We need all the input to have the ability to create our own individual visons of art. Some here have the ability to gather and work together in person too.
Kathy,

This is what I have told my sons and what I tell each person that models.

"Always carry your own passport, your ideas, your values, your belief in your own worth. Then, you are strong enough to respect others. Now, you are ready, stamp your own passport!"

Asher

Georg R. Baumann
June 6th, 2007, 08:58 PM
Here an example for something I consider positive; this chap here, President of Magnum:

http://www.adf.de/events/sommerakademie_franklin.html

Offers a 3 day course, in the beautiful setting of the Watercastle Dyke in germany, costs 180 Euro including lodging and food. 10 People only.

The way it works is that one has to supply his work, and a jury decides whether you are invited.

I like that, and I just supplied some of my pictures, whish me luck..... Asher, if I should get invited, I make sure Stuart visits us here! <smile>

Paul Bestwick
June 6th, 2007, 09:00 PM
Hey Georg,

I am going to run a course. Payments are 50% upon booking. 50% upon confirmation of acceptance & a final 50% two weeks prior to commencement.

Cheers,

Paul

Georg R. Baumann
June 6th, 2007, 09:11 PM
hehehehe, problem is if you take a course with Paul you end up married, and THAT is costly. LOL

Kathy Rappaport
June 6th, 2007, 11:48 PM
Asher - I love that quotation. So true!

Asher Kelman
June 7th, 2007, 12:06 AM
Vielen Nachwuchsfotografen fehlt in ihrer Ausbildung entweder der praktische Bezug oder der Zugang zu zeitgemäßen, digitalen Arbeitsmitteln.
Fotografie-Studenten, Auszubildenden und Assistenten bietet der adf im Rahmen seiner Sommerakademie Information und Inspiration in geballter Form in drei hochkarätig besetzen Kreativ-Workshops.
Teilnehmerzahl je Workshop: max. 10 Teilnehmer
Kosten inkl. Unterbringung und Verpflegung: 180 Euro je Teilnehmer (bei individueller Anreise)
Unterbringung der Teilnehmer in einem benachbarten Kloster (einfache Einzelzimmer)
Teilnehmer bewerben sich mit Arbeitsproben um einen Workshopplatz, und das geht so:
Registrieren Sie sich, falls noch nicht geschehen, bei der adf Online Galerie.
Danach (nach Erhalt und Bestätigung der automatischen Registrierungsmail) können Sie Ihre Arbeitsproben in die Online Galerie hochladen.
Die Referenten wählen nach dem Anmeldeschluss ihre Teilnehmer anhand der Online Galerie aus

Right! now I understand!! :)

But George, will there be a certificate?

Asher

Cem_Usakligil
June 7th, 2007, 03:28 AM
Hi Asher, All,

Great discussion, great ideas, great responses. <big smile>

..."Always carry your own passport, your ideas, your values, your belief in your own worth. Then, you are strong enough to respect others. Now, you are ready, stamp your own passport!"...
This is great advice, must remember that. May we quote you elsewhere on this Asher?

...But George, will there be a certificate?..
But of course! As a matter of fact, Georg wil write his own certifcate! :-)

Cheers,

Cem_Usakligil
June 7th, 2007, 03:41 AM
...I like that, and I just supplied some of my pictures, whish me luck.....
I wish you all the luck you can get Georg. Knowing your portfolio a bit, I doubt you'll need it after all <smile>.

Cheers,

Klaus Esser
June 7th, 2007, 06:11 AM
Knowing your portfolio a bit, I doubt you'll need it after all <smile>.

Cheers,

RIGHT! Keep going your own way, Georg - it´s a damn good one.

best, Klaus

Georg R. Baumann
June 7th, 2007, 06:58 AM
You guys are very nice in deed. Thanks for your encouraging words! <smile>

Asher, the link I posted above opens the interesting biography of Stuart on my computer in english.

Stuart offfers, this obviously sponsored course to aspiring photographers and he is the president of magnum photos: http://agency.magnumphotos.com/about/about.aspx

Frankly, and you know that <grins>, I give a Bull about certificates, Hell I was training AiKiDo for countless years and refused to participate in Dan Exams, something my trainer accepted for the reasons I gave him, I would have been 4th Dan by now, but I never cared about it, I always trained in my white outfit, not to be distinguished from any other student, distinguished in training, yes! <smile>

What I care about is that Stuart seems to have a similiar line of thoughts, he cares for the environment and this is a great part of his photographic work. Franklin is currently working on a long-term project on Europe’s changing landscapes, focusing in particular on the climate and on patterns of transformation. ....His coverage of the Sahel famine from 1984-85 won him acclaim, but Franklin is perhaps best known for his celebrated photograph of a man defying a tank in Tiananmen Square, China in 1989, which won him a World Press Photo award
I have little doubts that I would benefit from a 3 day course, part of this is that he explains his workflow from RAW to fine art print on exactly the printer that I consider to purchase, HP Z3100, this makes it even more interesting. I see it the same way I saw my courses with Leonard Bernstein, I never intended to copycat Bernstein, many did, but my learning from him has formed my views on music in parts. I guess, one has to be careful what teachers he chooses to influence him, at least I try this.

I never participated in any workshop, and the guys credentials are more than I know of the most courses on offer. LOL

2002 Ph.D Geography, University of Oxford, Oxford, England
1997 Bachelor of Arts (Geography) University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
1979 Bachelor of Arts (Photography and Film), West Surrey College of Art and Design, Surrey, Ukweden

Awards
1997 Gibbs Prize for geography, University of Oxford
1989 World Press Photo Award
1987 Tom Hopkinson Award
1985 Christian Aid Award for Humanitarian Photography
Exhibitions
2005 Hôtel Afrique - Pitzhanger Gallery, London, UK
2004 The Coast Exposed - National Maritime Museum, London, UK
2000 The Time of Trees - Octagon Gallery, Bath, UK; Trussardi Gallery, Milan, Italy
1993 Tale of Two Cities - Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, UK
1990 London - The Photographers' Gallery, London, UK
Books
2005 Sea Fever, Bardwell Press, UK
2003 The Dynamic City, Mondadori, Italy
2000 The Time of Trees, Leonardo Arte, Italy
1990 Tiananmen Square, A.J. Vine, UK

However, frankly, I doubt that my contributions will impress the Jury and allow me to participate, then again, if you are not in, you can't win. The choice for the pictures I submitted was made in 2 minutes. <smile> They are really questionable on technical aspects, no doubts, but they reflect my attempts so far, you know most of them I guess:

http://www.adf.de/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=49013

Winston Mitchell
June 7th, 2007, 11:02 AM
Thanks to all for the dose of fresh air.

Asher Kelman
June 7th, 2007, 02:00 PM
Georg,

I'm happy for you and proud that you submit and put yourself out to be included. I must admit a twang of jealosy! Just a little one!

Asher

Georg R. Baumann
June 8th, 2007, 05:53 AM
Thanks, but why jealous? I am sure you have a well equiped park of cameras and lenses available that I can only dream of.

While I get more and more frustrated with the limitations of a 5MP camera, you probably shoot with horseman in the morning and with hasselblad in the evening. <grins>

Jay Hoss
June 8th, 2007, 12:08 PM
I think Asher uses this camera (http://www.roundshot.ch/xml_1/internet/de/application/d438/d925/f934.cfm) instead....

Georg R. Baumann
June 8th, 2007, 02:58 PM
A beauty isn't it?

Jay Hoss
June 8th, 2007, 03:24 PM
Georg,

It sure is. I do a lot of large group photography and wish I could justify the expense. Someday...someday.

Asher Kelman
June 8th, 2007, 03:31 PM
So give us you view to what is good photography!

Asher

Georg R. Baumann
June 8th, 2007, 04:05 PM
Good photography in my book.... triggers a variety of reactions in the observer, which reaction in the end is down to the observers individuality, but, and this is the crux, it triggers.....

Good photography can tell a whole story in a single photo, can trigger emotions from the whole human spectrum, and certainly is not boring to look at twice, or a dozen times, or a thousand times.

Good photography can be taken with a 5 dollar cam from wallmart including development.

But if there is such thing as good photography, something I am not 100% sure about, what is bad photography?

I intend to think photography and music, both have at leats one important thing in common, they are reflections of the times we live in, in particular the social-political-economical circumstances.

I remember that I had to write about Sir Francis Vincent Zappa, and I chose to compare him with Scarlatti and Wagner, to the disgust of my professor at this time I might add <develish grin> Zappa was the opposite of what Scarlatti and Wagner stood for, but, and this I had to prove, his genius was no lesser, in my book his genius was even more intense and equipped with a sense of "thinking free", something Domenico and Richard surely lacked of.

What is a good composition, again this only can be answered in knowing what a bad composition is, and to answer this, we define parameters that give us guidelines and boundaries to judge.

Is that the right thing to do? Not nessecarily, but it helps immensly. <grins>

But what is the importance of all that? I really wonder.... is it not the most rewarding to show one of your pictures to your Lady Love and she is in total aww, and if that is so, would it matter if the whole world tells you this is a bad photography? <smile>

What is the value of a composition/photography? This, I think can be answewred regardless any categories of good/bad, becuased this comes down to other aspects. For example, for round about 24 hours, some people in Britain had pictures of Princess Diana in their camera, they captuyred her in her car after the accident. Had she surrvived, one major editor and I quote; "was willing to pay in excess of 100,000 Sterling" for some films. But she died, and british life dictated that such photos should nbot be shown to the public, and in a fraction of a second they were worth a flying Bull. So far financial values of photography.

I have been around artist and galleries quite some time, and the art market, well <LOL> this is even worse!

But what about the other values?

What about someone coming into the postoffice here and coincidently finding a picture of his great grandmother on the wall, just because our postmaster is such a sensible collector of old pictures. This picture raises in value, mulitfold in a heartbeat, beyond financial means.

What is outstanding photography?.... Rare.... very, very flippin rare.

Just typing as thoughts come to mind here....

Georg R. Baumann
June 8th, 2007, 04:08 PM
Hey Jay,

I am 100% sure I read somewhere that you can rent them!

Jay Hoss
June 8th, 2007, 04:13 PM
Asher,

My business view of what good photography is....a client whom is happy and pays in full. From a personal stand point, good or exceptional photography is an image that evokes emotion and one that leaves the viewer wanting more. I've tried to grasp this concept my entire photographic life and at times feel I've achieved it. Though many times I've fallen short and as of late (ie - five years) have been in a creative rut with my personal photography. Business wise, I'm a lab rat. I spend countless hours jockeying a photo printer (RA4) and color correcting thousands upon thousands of images for printing and fulfillment. Not to make excuses but living and breathing photography for my lively hood sure seems to drain my creative juices.

Georg R. Baumann
June 8th, 2007, 05:48 PM
... still sitting here thinking about that....

Music, it has changed beyond recognition due to the fact that a bunch of clavin klein underwear marketing yuppies and intellectual property solicitors took over the industry, and the quick buck is all that counts. Quality? Don't get me started, it summits in totally insane loudness competitions of audio engineers, whereby, technique follows demand which is dicated by the above mentioned calvin klein yuppies.

Photography, same counts here, the flood of cameras and the boom in this segmnent has created millions of "photographers", all have to show something, and guess what, for the fun of it I googled "What is good photography" and one of the links was attempting to explain "how to win photography competitions".

Both, music and photography can be art, or not, but if it is intended to be art, it sure came a long and rocky way, lots of work and countless sleepless nights are usually trademarks of such efforts.

In music we see programs like Garageband, Fruity Lopps etc., kinda "composing by numbers", in photography, we will come to that very soon as well, no doubt. Click here, click there, and uuuuhhh and ahhhh, and grooovey and ....well.... yaaaawn.

Premanufactured "can food", sterile and numb, but optimised for Joe Sixpack's positive feedback Illusion, "Ma look, I am an artist." <LOL> For those who don't know such programs, see, they are desigend to have someone sitting there with a mouse and clicking on presets that can be combined, like painting with numbers, drag and drop, cut and paste, you do not need to know anything about music at all, your instrument is the mouse! Click away and visually arrange stuff and there is your funk, your polka, your ____fill in any karaokee punk.

And Photography? Look at the desings and features, it has started already, not long and manual mode will disappear from some cameras, and is substituted by "HDR on Demand" or "Fine Art Programs 1-12"<LOL>

I guess my point is this, quality will be diluted towards mass consumption, already this has started big times, I would conclude, matter of fact is that more and more people have a camera and use it frequently, goof around with their pirate copy of photoshop and a phletora of other programs that they collect in an obsessive state of mind, but barely make it beyond the welcome screen regardless their cameras or the programs they use, hence the market will react to that and create the "Garageband" and "Fruity Loops" for photographers, stop, scratch that, and make that camera consumers.

I have examples of such in my peer group, people bying the latest "click_zoom_whack" and usually do not even bother reading the manual past the page where it is explained how to change the battery. Make no mistake, they payed 500 and more, but the pictograms on the mode wheel is all they ever encounter, sunshine, snow, night, sports, etc., and yeah of course, it doesn't take a week and I get the calls... how does this work, how does that work, however, RTFM is a good start. <grins>

"Ego shooter" is a good description for such cams I guess, LOL, inevitably they will post every single shot on Flicker and the likes in the desperate attempt to create a peer group that praises their every shot, and hell, this is how it works, praise mine I praise your's, "thanks for the ad" is a standard reply now on many such fora.

Sometimes I think the Internet is nothing but a great field study for applied psychiatry. <LOL>

Georg R. Baumann
June 9th, 2007, 02:57 AM
I think Asher uses this camera (http://www.roundshot.ch/xml_1/internet/de/application/d438/d925/f934.cfm) instead....


LOL, what the Hell, I just had to try:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am interested to write a review on the 6x17 in combination with LE1700.

Please advise under what circumstances a review can be arranged. I am located on the NW-Atlantik coast in Ireland, and I would like to shoot samples in Glenveagh National Park which is close by.

I would like to post this review on Dr. Asher Kelmans Open Photography Forum.

Aspects I would like to focus on is:

- Ease of use
- HDR

Best whishes

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Symphonic Photography
Multi Media Consulting

-Georg R.Baumann-
Dirlaught-Leitir
Co. Donegal-IRL
++353.7495.44241

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David J. Eves
June 11th, 2007, 01:34 AM
and at the end of it all... a photo is still worth a thousand words.


http://majikimaje.com/Eli-stone.jpg

Asher Kelman
June 11th, 2007, 08:23 AM
David,

Great reportage; talk about being embedded!

Asher

BTW. who pays for the damage? They weren'y actually involved in the mishap. or were they?

Also where's the ice? I thought whaling starts soon?

David J. Eves
June 11th, 2007, 11:23 AM
Whaling is April / May.. Whaling Festival starts TODAY !

i WILL HAVE NEW photos for you soon, shortly as in a few hours or less perhaps.

armed with my new panasonic 10.10 megapixel camea and a new Epson 1400, it is going to be a great day to go through 100 sheets of 13 x 19 paper !

Point Hope had 10 strikes, they landed just 3 whales.!

Ice is gone whailng is over for this year.