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I Can, and why I do it

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Discussion of "But is it Art" and Goerg Baumann's reply: "I Can, and why I do it"

BTW how did it become Carol's tree?
....was a gift. ;)

....... I chose this tree now to be the object to learn on how to use these new seven lenses I will take delivery soon. From 7-14mm f4 wide angle, macro, fisheye, all kinda stuff up to 1000mm f3.5 tele, I will spend a whole day there shooting this tree.

.......If memory serves itg was after one of those more serious January storms when I was spending some time with Tanka on this side of the bay when I saw it there the first time.

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Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Georg,

At first everything seems still. Yet we are drawn in. So let's just follow our interest and see what happens.

I really like the array of rocks and textures in the above. The milky misty foam of the waters edge penetrates between gravestone shapes set up by some force to prevent ships landing. These rows of protruding red rectangular rocks sloping to the left provide a visual demarkation between the round rocks on the shore and the sea to the horizon.

Trapped in the foreground amongst round boulders, worn tree trees, long stripped of bark by the rough waters, are bleached by the sun and home to no doubt countless life.

The very foreground rocks show a fine surface structure with moss or lichen so this place is on the edge of life and great forces of nature.

I sea a giant fish with a gaping mouth in the lower right corner.

I look back to the left and a head of a seal or walrus is thrusting upwards.

Gradually one realizes that the water is alive and there's now the sound of rushing and receding waters swirling between the gravestones.

Now someone might ask, "But is it art?"


BTW, please release the picture from the prison of the tight frame.

Either no frame or else a huge white matte.

Art lives and breathes. That requires creating or at least allowing a context. Are we sellling the frame or making the picture show to its best?
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Ray West

New member
The following, I have lifted from another posting by Georg, I wanted it to stand alone, engraved on the front of every camera bag, or wherever. I think it beautifully summarizes why so many folk are trying, that sometimes, nothing else matters - so here it is. This also replaces Georg Baumann's original post which appears to have been accidentally lost.

Georg Baumann wrote:

Is it art?

I have no idea, and I don't care, I am just a guy with a camera who spends all the time I can outdoors. I shoot instinctively, I do not normally plan shootings, I walk.

I walk long hours, sometimes I come home after a 8 hours with a single picture only, and even this may end up in the trash. Sometimes I walk for 30 minutes and come back with 20 pictures. I am a walker. I often forget the camera around my neck. LOL I often intend to go out and shoot pictures, and simply forgot that I have a camera with me. Nature draws me in it's magic appearance all around here, I am the happiest chap when I can be outside and walk for hours, not a single soul that I meet. No noise other than the animals and the wind around me, no cars, no humans with their constant chatter, like a flock of geese it sounds to me in the cities. Hehehe.

Because I have to deal with business sides, I spend long hours on the phone and the computer, it drains me, sucks me dry often. When I am out and about, it takes 2 hours or so, and all that stuff falls of my shoulders and I am where I feel content the most, outdoors, open spaces, the sky above me, the wind in my face.

We strive to go to Mars and beyond, and the fascinating that is, it is all here, all around us, the magic of creation, in the little things and the big things, the grashalms and the mountains, it is all here.

It is magic to be alive!

My heart is pumping like crazy, I climbed that bloody steep dune right up to the ridge, sweat purs down my forhead, the sand is as deep as fresh and powdery snow in the alps, the backpack cuts deep into my shoulders, finally I am up there, I sit down and grin like a child. A seagull landsw 10 feet away from me and seems not to be bothered about my presence. No ships on the horizon, the ocean is calm today, a gentle breeze dries the sweat in my face. I wish I could share this moment with the whole world....

I think....if one of these days I succeed to bring a little of that magic to people with my photographs, I think by then I will call myself a photographer....
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Kathy Rappaport

pro member
I can and Why I do it Comments

George -

Why did I not see that post before? That is really magnificient. It's why I will walk the streets and alleys of places all over in freezing weather and as last summer 115 in Greece. Or why I will shoot a wedding with all the personalities involved taking maybe a 1000 images with all the before and after stress. Oh that urgency to see and find light, expressions, angles and poses. Oh the excitement of reading something that really sums it up so well.

Ray - what a GREAT thing to make a sticky!
OK, now that I had my dinner, I would like to elaborate a little bit on the unexpected sticky Ray chose to produce. I must apologise for the following, mainly because it belongs to my own website and not to OPF's webpresence, but I feel it is needed to clarify that.

Oceanviewstudio's core competence is to create collectable art in deed.

However, I leave the judgement up to those who show an interest, I am just the one behind the lense, and printer, and mat cutter and so on, and of course and most of all, the fine artists under OVS's umbrella that will be exhibited over time.

In fact, we will not offer anything above 25 prints on each single work, often less than 25.

Concerning photography, it is our policy to destroy the raw files after the last edition has been sold, actually, I am struggling with my solicitor to manage the terms and conditions on that part at the moment.

If the last print of edition xyz is gone, the RAW file is gone as well. Your picture is damaged by your Parrot or anything down that road, I will not be able to supply you with another copy, ever!

Excuse my rant on that part, but I am trying to get a business of the ground here, and I do not wish to be understood as someone who does not care about art, what I do not care about is whether we are not understood as artists, plural because we will represent more than my own work as indicated above.

The bottom line is, I do arts my whole life, I breath it, I live it, from music to photography today, it has been an integer part of my existence since I am on that planet, and it will always be this way.

So please excuse my need to clarify this aspect, but I do care about arts, very much so! What I do not care about is what others think about it, not a smidge. Yeah, that is pretty blunt and as much as it is blunt it is true!

Art to me is a lifestyle, and I practise it since such a long time, I suppose I am tired to listen to the certainly educated and often eloquent, nevertheless inherent diarrhea some art critics, or such who dream of being one, produce for a living. No offense, really not meant to be, I welcome critic, in fact, I grow from good critic, but well, I guess you know what I mean, sure hope so.

Art in my world has a function, is a responsible task in a social context! In my own context it is about the fragility and the beauty of creation that surrounds me, this need not be the same for other artists we will represent, it is just my own function I see in arts.

I was on more gallery openings than leaves are on the copper beach in front of my house in the summer, put it this way, it is a big tree, with a lot of leaves, and frankly, less than a handfull I remember with a warm feeling and smile, the rest of them slowly but surely fades my memories for good! <grins>

Bottom line, I stand for every single word of what Ray quoted of me there, I am just a guy with a camera, and a studio and a few printers and a strong desire to create, and so on, the rest.... Not my judgement!

But one thing is for sure, whatever people say or do not say, I am out there tomorrow, with my camera. :)


Ray West

New member
I had hoped I'd made the original post a sticky, and that the thread was locked. In another thread someone asked how we knew when to stop photoshopping our images, when was enough - enough.

I locked the thread, or at least thought I had, because I thought what Georg had said was exactly right, that further comment would detract from it. I did not want my name associated with it, I wanted Georg's quote in big letters somewhere, to remind many of us, to give some context to what we do. It seems we will have to do some other thing.

Georg - quit while you're ahead - say no more - my tablet of stone is not big enough...

Best wishes,


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
"Res ipsa Loquitur" (The thing speaks for itself)

"But is it art"

My comment was after my description of a photograph coming alive with movement, creatures and sounds of the water, I thought gave the answer to the rhetorical question.

Of course it is art!

The fact that someone is Ireland walked away from his imperatives of commerce to find the beauty of the shoreline and then had the impulse or thought to make a picture, is the start of "art", which must externalize something from our mind.

That photograph works well to re-invoke some of that "moment of being there" is evidence, to me at least, of art. That ability to transcend time and place and donate to the world a small portion of one's inner experience is indeed art.

Art? Surely it's a creative externalization of one person's inner senses. It's embedded in something physical. The artist's creative intent, engraved in a physical medium, moves through time and space. It lives beyond the artist for him and us to re-experience. We react with a flurry of emotions and thoughts in unique combinations. That loan of the artists imagination and creative expression gives us pleasure and some satisfaction that we have looked through the artist's eyes and listened though his ears and walked with him for a short while in his special world. His art work asks us different questions of itself and ourselves depending on our own journeys and destinations.

So again, "Is it Art?"

"Res ipsa Loquitur" (The thing speaks for itself)

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