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  #1  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 09:09 PM
Charles L Webster Charles L Webster is offline
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Default Inspring photographer

In line with my posts about photography as Art, I suggest you look at the work of Desiree Dolron (www.desireedolron.com).

I think her work is extremely good, very very well crafted, and well deserving of the label Art.

I became familiar with her work when she shot three pictures for a recent Louis Vuitton ad campaign that appeared on the back cover of Time magazine. Is that Art or commerce?

I can't find the pictures online, sorry.



Asher, feel free to move this over to the never-ending "Photography as Art" thread if you wish.
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  #2  
Old April 22nd, 2010, 10:28 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Yes Charles,

The work is indeed remarkable.



© Desiree Dolron Xteriors #3 in a series of 11 pictures.

shown in accordance with "Fair use doctrine for editorial comment"


Without seeing it we can't comment. I will read reviews after I write so as not to be influenced. I find her work brilliantly prepared in the same way that Loretta Lux plans her subjects and the space she puts them in although the results are entirely different. Desiree spends a lot of effort designing or choosing where shape and texture of collars and folds remind us of clothes of nuns or women of some Venetian family. Then we realize that the pictures have a sensuality by displaying the body in parts of the clothing that are now delicate and transparent as if she is putting on display the sexuality available but held back. This girl has such a high neck, that there's utterly no room for one single ray of light to hit her breasts. Yet if we follow the series, this is to set us up to thinking of guarded virginity when there's actually a tease through the lace, as if we are looking at the texture of the curtain on a confessional. The partially transparent material is the line between holiness and sin.

Desiree shows faces that have been made porcelain. The hair is carefully shaped, braided or woven with not a single wisp out of place. The perfect complexion and hair gives a disciplined look and the expression of open eyed direct gaze is strong, but has a soft receptive quality too. She looks at us knowing she is perfect and beautiful.

So how does this add up? For sure it's impressive and a tour de force in planning, architecture of the face and hair styles as well as clothes. It's also macabre and frightening as if she has come from the dead for what purpose I don't know.

Asher
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  #3  
Old April 23rd, 2010, 09:34 AM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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Yes, Charles. Desiree Dolron's work is quite arresting, more so in-person.

She's among a group of Dutch photographic artists who came to attention mainly in the past decade. Her "Xteriors" series echoes loudly to 16th century Dutch painting. Unfortunately, because it was such a powerful introduction it threatens to typecast her forever. Her other work, which is also quite good but also less focused and sometimes too similar to others', has not found such a strong following.

The art world is a very fickle place. (And that, by the way, is the primary aesthetic and commercial domain of this work, rather than pure photography.)
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  #4  
Old April 23rd, 2010, 08:30 PM
Maris Rusis Maris Rusis is offline
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Evocatively crafted electronic files, truly art in the best sense.

I wonder what input sources, what processes and transformations, were used to make them.
And I wonder if there is a physical output medium involved or are these specifically screen-lookers.
Where is Desiree Dolron in all of this? Does she make these pictures, whatever they are, by her personal singular labour? Or does she confer artistic benediction on products fashioned by a workshop of talented people surrogated to her purposes.

With pictures like these just looking is not enough.
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Old April 23rd, 2010, 09:13 PM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maris Rusis View Post
...
Where is Desiree Dolron in all of this? Does she make these pictures, whatever they are, by her personal singular labour? Or does she confer artistic benediction on products fashioned by a workshop of talented people surrogated to her purposes.
Desiree Dolron is a very prominent art photographer and these are photographs she made. I believe she shoot much of her work on film but have no knowledge of her post work. The limited prints of the "cover" image on her site sold for approximately $40,000 (when they were available). They'll certainly re-sell for many times that.

So no, these are not Jeff Koons works, if that's what you're suggesting.
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  #6  
Old April 23rd, 2010, 11:27 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maris Rusis View Post
Evocatively crafted electronic files, truly art in the best sense.

I wonder what input sources, what processes and transformations, were used to make them.
And I wonder if there is a physical output medium involved or are these specifically screen-lookers.
Where is Desiree Dolron in all of this? Does she make these pictures, whatever they are, by her personal singular labour? Or does she confer artistic benediction on products fashioned by a workshop of talented people surrogated to her purposes.

With pictures like these just looking is not enough.
Well, Maris, then what would you say of Annie Leibovitz using a retoucher for extensive preparation her works?

Asher
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  #7  
Old April 24th, 2010, 07:29 PM
Charles L Webster Charles L Webster is offline
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Default The Louis Vuitton campaign

I finally found time to scan the LV ads I saved from the Time magazines in which they appeared.

First "The Seamstress with the Linen Thread and Beeswax" - sorry about the image size, I can't figure out how to clear the too large version from my server cache.



Copied and posted under the Fair Use clause of Copyright law. Copyright Louis Vuitton and others.

Second "The Craftsman with his Brush"



And third "The Young Woman and the Tiny Folds"



I think the company did well to select Dolron and her "Flemish master" style of photography. The pictures evoke an old-world craftman's approach to making the product. Whether it is true or not.

I am particularly taken with Dolron's precise control of the light and her use of dark costumes (seen also in the portrait Asher posted earlier in the thread) to bring emphasis to the face, hands, and work space.

Dolron's other portraits have a more "unearthly" or "other worldly" quality that is missing from these, commercial pictures.

Some of her other work can be disturbing, and I'm having trouble understanding how both styles come from the same photographer.

<Chas>
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  #8  
Old April 27th, 2010, 12:46 AM
Maris Rusis Maris Rusis is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Well, Maris, then what would you say of Annie Leibovitz using a retoucher for extensive preparation her works?

Asher
As far as I can distill it Annie Leibovitz is very active among the models, sets, lights, make-up artists, assistants, and designers that she bends, wheedles, persuades, bullies, and badgers to march in step to whatever end point she has in mind. After the camera clicks she has nothing to do but hector the picture makers and retouchers into turning out product that enhances her reputation.

Annie is a genius of the first order but her talent is not that of a photographer but rather an impresario. Remember Felix Tournachon, alais Nadar, was one of the most prestigious photographers of the nineteenth century but beyond his youth scarcely touched a camera or made pictures. He had "operators" to do that while he schmoosed clients. Annie Liebovitz may well turn out to be greater than Nadar!

It is a defect of photographic scholarship going back at least to Beaumont Newhall's History that there is no word for people famous in photography who don't actually make photographs. Beaumont had to call them something and "photographers" was it. Modern critical thought hasn't twigged to the irony, I guess.
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  #9  
Old April 27th, 2010, 12:25 PM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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What's your point, Maris? Frankly, you read like a rather angry, frustrated fellow. Is that your intention?
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  #10  
Old April 27th, 2010, 04:54 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Tanaka View Post
What's your point, Maris? Frankly, you read like a rather angry, frustrated fellow. Is that your intention?
Ken,

I'd like to jump ahead, if I can be so bold and pave the way for the surprise. Maris is a B&W film photographer who has very strong views on what photography must be to be "real photography". It's a philosophy the eschews forms of recording light coming into the camera that are not dependent of the light forming marks within the matrix of paper of film in the camera as a pencil might embed its mark in paper. When the film or paper is developed, the silver is actually dispersed in the medium and bonded there. So, one could claim, that unlike "sprayed-on ink", the marks that make up an image are actually being drawn as if with pencil or charcoal using a camera obscura. That's what "real photography would be limited too, according to Maris' point of view, "drawing with light".

My own feeling is this is a pedantic narrow view of photography and I'd say simply that photograph involves the reaction of light with a medium such that the energy of photons is transferred to sensitive surface which react in proportion to the intensity of the light to directly or indirectly build and image. I do not mind what records the light. coffee, mixtures of different chemicals or photocells. I just want the image. The same with the final delivered image. I just want to see it in a way that's agreeable. So it could be as a sliver gelatin print, blobs of pant of the right hue and tonality or a giant plasma screen in a gallery.

So that's the background to Maris' positon, as I see it, the perspective of a devoted and even obsessional B&W darkroom guy who demands the photographers fingers are handling the wet paper. But I have no problem seeing his view as a segment of what I call photography.

I don't require anything close to the technical mastery or a tour de force effort in manipulating the light from an enlarger or agitating the developer myself, as Maris might demand and respects. Rather I want ideas and feelings where they should be for a given work, but respect and admire craftsmanship too.

I don't mind machine prints if they work for me. I do everything myself. However, I'd have no problem having a technician help me extract my images from the backgrounds as I need time to sleep! My pictures are not "organized" by me, if someone retouches or an assistant sets up my lighting pattern that I prescribe. I'm always still the the photographer. No less Annie for her work. I think Annie is still the photographer and not merely a super-talented impresario!

Asher
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  #11  
Old April 28th, 2010, 10:01 PM
Ken Tanaka Ken Tanaka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Ken,

I'd like to jump ahead, if I can be so bold and pave the way for the surprise. Maris is a B&W film photographer who has very strong views on what photography must be to be "real photography". It's a philosophy the eschews forms of recording light coming into the camera that are not dependent of the light forming marks within the matrix of paper of film in the camera as a pencil might embed its mark in paper.
If accurate, how sad. How limiting. How narrow. How stagnant.

But I'll not make such an attribution to Maris unless I read such remarks from Maris himself.

By the way, I'm reasonably confident that Desiree Dolron actually shoots large-format film, probably then scans and retouches, and has a lab produce C-Prints often bonded to board or aluminum.
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  #12  
Old April 29th, 2010, 06:54 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Asher,

Firstly, let me say what a wondrous series this is. The different contributors all see, through different prisms, the complex organizational and intellectual structure thorough which every work of art is attained, finally illuminating the "role of the artist". We must consider, for example, how Rembrandt's pigments were made, and who built his easels, and even who fixed the furniture in his home while he was painting. (I'm sure art historians "know" all this; I merely used it as a metaphor.)

Now to your discussion of "what constitutes photography". I share your urging that "we" not accept some narrow view.

Taken to a limit, the vision of "drawing the image of the scene with light" might apply only to modes in which the finished image comes right out of the camera, on the originally exposed medium (as in postcard cameras - even B/W Polaroid photography wouldn't count, owing to the N/P transfer that takes place in the "packet"). This extremely narrow view is breached even by the making of silver halide prints with an enlarger, for God's sake.

Then, moving toward another end of the continuum, we must recall that, when using a "laser" printer to render an image, "drawing with light" in fact goes on inside (albeit not directly onto the deliverable medium). One of the most comforting aspects of some of my earlier LaserJet printers was the comforting whine of the mirror drum as it "spun up" in preparation for its contributing to the "drawing". (The newer models are so silent I am denied the frisson this always used to bring, or perhaps my frisseur is merely getting jaded.)
[Whew, it isn't. I just tested it with Brahms' "Variations on a Theme by Haydn".]
Naturally, as always, the thread eventually gets into the "why do you think I think he thought she thought I meant" mode. I think it is a creature of salon.

Then there's always the matter of epistemic closure, which I read is now being invoked as a disputed mechanism of modern partisan political "thought". How wonderful that our species is able to think about thinking - even to think about thinking about thinking.

Well, on to breakfast, and then off to meet with Carla's publicist. And yes, she "wrote" her book - and I'm sure "writing" with light is involved in its production.

Press on, all.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #13  
Old February 2nd, 2013, 10:18 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles L Webster View Post
I finally found time to scan the LV ads I saved from the Time magazines in which they appeared.

First "The Seamstress with the Linen Thread and Beeswax" - sorry about the image size, I can't figure out how to clear the too large version from my server cache.



Copied and posted under the Fair Use clause of Copyright law. Copyright Louis Vuitton and others.

Second "The Craftsman with his Brush"



And third "The Young Woman and the Tiny Folds"


I think the company did well to select Dolron and her "Flemish master" style of photography. The pictures evoke an old-world craftman's approach to making the product. Whether it is true or not.

I am particularly taken with Dolron's precise control of the light and her use of dark costumes (seen also in the portrait Asher posted earlier in the thread) to bring emphasis to the face, hands, and work space.

Dolron's other portraits have a more "unearthly" or "other worldly" quality that is missing from these, commercial pictures.

Some of her other work can be disturbing, and I'm having trouble understanding how both styles come from the same photographer.

<Chas>

Charles has chosen some of Dolron's most impressive old world pictures. I find them hauntingly seductive.

Could anyone reconstruct this lighting for us? Also how would you process the images?

Asher
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  #14  
Old February 3rd, 2013, 10:38 AM
Antonio Correia Antonio Correia is offline
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Excellent discussion and images
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Old June 29th, 2017, 08:32 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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I want to revive this thread as the photography is so beautiful and mesmerizing!

Asher
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  #16  
Old June 30th, 2017, 05:31 AM
James Lemon James Lemon is offline
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"Fair Use is basically the right to quote a small part of something, but is often misunderstood as a right to use anything if you don't make money on it. In the United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holder. It's almost impossible to "quote a photograph" so fair use of photographs is not really possible".



Best, regards
James
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  #17  
Old June 30th, 2017, 08:19 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Lemon View Post
"Fair Use is basically the right to quote a small part of something, but is often misunderstood as a right to use anything if you don't make money on it. In the United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holder. It's almost impossible to "quote a photograph" so fair use of photographs is not really possible".



Best, regards
James
James,

Please write to me about this, just focus on the beauty of the work. You can start a new thread on the fair use for quoting images for editorial/academic comment, but, please allow and note that this thread is for the picture discussion only in terms of its appreciation.

Thanks,

Asher
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  #18  
Old June 30th, 2017, 10:17 AM
James Lemon James Lemon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
James,

Please write to me about this, just focus on the beauty of the work. You can start a new thread on the fair use for quoting images for editorial/academic comment, but, please allow and note that this thread is for the picture discussion only in terms of its appreciation.

Thanks,

Asher
Asher

The thread is posted under the heading Layback Cafe with a subtitle that reads 'let's chat". If folk were having breakfast in a cafe the conversation would not be confined to the quality of the breakfast or the coffee. I would think that folk would discuss other things like the weather or politics maybe mini skirts. No? Why not just limit the conversation to what's inside the frame of the pictures posted?

James
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  #19  
Old June 30th, 2017, 10:26 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maris Rusis View Post
As far as I can distill it Annie Leibovitz is very active among the models, sets, lights, make-up artists, assistants, and designers that she bends, wheedles, persuades, bullies, and badgers to march in step to whatever end point she has in mind. After the camera clicks she has nothing to do but hector the picture makers and retouchers into turning out product that enhances her reputation.

Annie is a genius of the first order but her talent is not that of a photographer but rather an impresario. Remember Felix Tournachon, alais Nadar, was one of the most prestigious photographers of the nineteenth century but beyond his youth scarcely touched a camera or made pictures. He had "operators" to do that while he schmoosed clients. Annie Liebovitz may well turn out to be greater than Nadar!

It is a defect of photographic scholarship going back at least to Beaumont Newhall's History that there is no word for people famous in photography who don't actually make photographs. Beaumont had to call them something and "photographers" was it. Modern critical thought hasn't twigged to the irony, I guess.

Maris,

I am rereading your ideas after a long interval. You are so right in describing photographers of the likes of Annie Lebowitz and "Impressarios" as they do cajole, persuade, seduce, bully and moguls a team of craftsmen and women to build and paint a lit scene where eye ordinary magic is conjured up and finally painted to completion in Photoshop and the like.

This is a tour de force that accomplished creatives use in other fields such as orchestral music or directing a movie or opera or building a monumental sculpture.

Still in simplicity we just label these Heros by a common title such as "photographer", "artist" or "maestro"!

What I like is that you do not minimize in any way the respect you have, (or we should have), for this outstanding, "photographer"!

Asher
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  #20  
Old June 30th, 2017, 12:28 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Asher, Maris,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Maris,

I am rereading your ideas after a long interval. You are so right in describing photographers of the likes of Annie Lebowitz and "Impressarios" as they do cajole, persuade, seduce, bully and moguls a team of craftsmen and women to build and paint a lit scene where eye ordinary magic is conjured up and finally painted to completion in Photoshop and the like.

This is a tour de force that accomplished creatives use in other fields such as orchestral music or directing a movie or opera or building a monumental sculpture.

Still in simplicity we just label these Heros by a common title such as "photographer", "artist" or "maestro"!

What I like is that you do not minimize in any way the respect you have, (or we should have), for this outstanding, "photographer"!
I fully agree.

In the film, and in fact TV production, worlds, we come closer to having words to describe what such people do to cause art to be created, but they are often ambiguous, and we continue to have new words created to attempt to overcome that "show runner", for example)!

Best regards,

Doug
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