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The Photographer as an Artist? Master of What?

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I think there's a general resentment of creating "Art" without suffering, apprenticeship, hardship, labor, tuberculosis in an attic and mostly without "craft".

The worse sin it seems is to have vision without that magic possession, craft.

I think that "craft" can be purchased to serve one's vision. For an art project, I drew a design for one huge mass to be made in steel and one for a glass form to contain the steel. They were manufactured exactly to the mm. The parts were delivered and assembled and fitted together perfectly to make a great work. For this, I alone claim authorship, proving to me, at least, that vision is all that's needed to make art. That is vision with opportunity!

That attitude miffs people to the nth.

Asher :)
 

ron_hiner

New member
Is the difference between an artist and a craftsman simply this -- an artist provides the vision of the completed work, and the craftsman turns that vision into reality?

Then you can say that many artists serve as their own craftsmen. But does an artist that 'subcontracts' part or all of the craft make him or her less than of an artist?

I guess a purist would say that an artist must also be his/her own craftsman, and have complete control and mastery of the craft.

But that gets absurd when carried logically along... while a painter probably has to apply his/her own brush strokes to the canvas, does he also have to make the brush and paints to have complete control of the craft? Does a photographer have to make his/her own cameras and computers to have complete control of the craft?

Ok, those are extreme examples, but consider this: If I download and use Nicolas's photoshop actions and use it on my own photos, instead of writing my own actions, does that mean that I'm engaging Nicolas's craftmanship -- and therefore making me less of an artist?

Well, there we go. No answers, just more questions.

I've been toying with the idea for years that 'art' is the process of creation -- not the object of creation. A painting is not art, but merely a recording or rendering of the creative process. I've seen some brilliantly executed paintings that stir up emotions within -- and I've seen brilliantly executed prints of the same paintings that stir up the same emotions. Are the prints any less 'art' than the original? They are both just recordings of the artist's vision -- the result of the painter's or print maker's craft.

So, yes, I think 'purchased craft' is just fine... any means necessary to create the rendering of the artists vision is fine. It's the vision itself that is the artwork, not the execution.


Ron
 

Ray West

New member
Hi Asher,

Funny you should say that, I've also thought of encasing a large steel structure in glass, but I am not such a brilliant artist as you, since I can not afford to get it made.

I think you are moving the argument away from being an artist, into being a designer, architect or whatever, maybe a commissioner or patron of 'the arts'. Presumably you communicated your vision in some way to the artisans who actually made your vision a reality. Did they get it right first time, or did you adjust your vision after you had seen what they had achieved?

Best wishes,

Ray
 
Is it art if you commissioned someone else to construct it for you? Of course it is! It would be just as ridiculous to assert that it's not art if you used power tools on it instead of doing it by hand. I do think that artists that have a more visceral feel for their media bring a little something extra to the table though. My boyfriend Ken works in stone and doesn't consider it "art" until he's bled on it :) For him the art happens somewhere between envisioning it and shaping it. Here's an example of what he does (this one is made out of limestone and onyx)



Every piece of stone is different, so it's not just the shapes that matter, it's which part of the stone you use, and using one part of the stone might make it impossible to use another part for a certain area. It's a much more dynamic process than you might think. It is the artist that needs to separate which parts of the process they have to control to accomplish their vision and which parts they can let someone else do. In my opinion, some of the most interesting art comes from artists experimenting with a medium and discovering its nature. Ken made my favorite piece of his when he decide to see what would happen if he polished a piece of slate. The result was a gorgeous satiny stone with coppery veins which inspired him to do something different from what he had originally planned for that slate.

If you've never mushed some clay in your hands, or melted some glass, or fiddled with all the different layer modes in Photoshop, I think you're really limiting your vision. Would "Moonrise Over Hernandez" be the same image if Ansel had a person next to him take the picture? Can you completely envision a fine art photograph without understanding light, and depth of field and what is possible in post processing? I honestly mean that as a question that I'm not sure I know the answer to... my feeling is that the media is an integral part of the art and if you don't understand the media well, the art isn't everything it could be.

-Colleen
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Is the difference between an artist and a craftsman simply this -- an artist provides the vision of the completed work, and the craftsman turns that vision into reality?
Yes, Ron, I think that's it.

The crafts part covers a lot. This includes assembling resources, which could be anything from a stick of charcoal, camel hair brush to a Zeiss lens, piano, or urinal a print house or else a whole orchestra. All these essential components could be made by the artist or through a craftsman's services! From the days of cave paintings, no doubt artists used pigments collected, ground and purified from rocks, molluscs, plants and other sources. So craftsmanship at least led to a store of shared resources for an individual or cooperating artists to use. I admire anyone making tools or material for their work. That, however, to me at least, is optional.

Then you can say that many artists serve as their own craftsmen. But does an artist that 'subcontracts' part or all of the craft make him or her less than of an artist?

I guess a purist would say that an artist must also be his/her own craftsman, and have complete control and mastery of the craft. But that gets absurd when carried logically along... while a painter probably has to apply his/her own brush strokes to the canvas, does he also have to make the brush and paints to have complete control of the craft? Does a photographer have to make his/her own cameras and computers to have complete control of the craft?
We'd obviously be more impressed by a painter who makes his own brushes from camels he hand feeds and then grinds up rocks or collects molluscs off the Lebanese coast for the perfect purple hue. Of course we are always stunned each time we experience the David a sculpture by Michaelangelo. Similarly with Ansel Adams, it's the alloy of mind, matter and craft that define their brand of excellence.

I've been toying with the idea for years that 'art' is the process of creation -- not the object of creation. A painting is not art, but merely a recording or rendering of the creative process. I've seen some brilliantly executed paintings that stir up emotions within -- and I've seen brilliantly executed prints of the same paintings that stir up the same emotions. Are the prints any less 'art' than the original? They are both just recordings of the artist's vision -- the result of the painter's or print maker's craft.
Ron, that's two further topics! They "are art as a recording/rendering of a process" and then the "value of copies of originals". These are important enough to cover in separate threads. Let's look at these topics down the road!

So, yes, I think 'purchased craft' is just fine... any means necessary to create the rendering of the artists vision is fine. It's the vision itself that is the artwork, not the execution.
We agree, but I am only beginning to imagine the consequences of thinking this way!

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Asher,

Funny you should say that, I've also thought of encasing a large steel structure in glass, but I am not such a brilliant artist as you, since I can not afford to get it made.
Thanks Ray,

I'll take that as a kind compliment but I'm also insightful and self-critical enough to question all the suppositions implied.

I think you are moving the argument away from being an artist, into being a designer, architect or whatever, maybe a commissioner or patron of 'the arts'. Presumably you communicated your vision in some way to the artisans who actually made your vision a reality. Did they get it right first time, or did you adjust your vision after you had seen what they had achieved?
Well Ray, I'm just trying to clarify for myself the relative contribution of craft to an artists work. Should a work that has more technically expert craft from the hands of the artist be considered superior and valued more. The market is not clear on this.

I have done two such projects.

One was executed perfectly, except the glass shattered in annealing the first attempt. If it happens again I'll photograph it!

In the second project, a 72 foot curved steel-sheathed laminated wooden beam required 3 painfully difficult versions of steel to avoid lines or ripples and to withstand cycles of heating and cooling in the Californai sun. My vision was adjusted as work progressed, most concerning seams, use of rivets versus partly floating panels and so forth.

For the wood beam alone, I devised the structure, 18 layers of 1/8" marine finished plywood curved within mm to a specific shape. I personally supervised every stage and was up on scaffolding for each day. There's no way I could have layed out the wood, laminated, routed etc to any degree of quality myself. For that I hired a carpenter who specialized in custom curved wooden staircases and boat carpentry. Several times he arrived so stoned that I had him sleep off on the grass. I had this horrible vision of parts of his body splashed over the power saw.

For the steel I had to learn on the job what design I could come up with that could be made to the final structure I wanted and withstand the elements without distortion or damage.

However, at each stage, without my mind controlling what was being made and to what standards and on the spot modifications, my vision would not have been implemented. Without skilled craftsmen, all the resources assembled would have been utterly squandered. There was no way I could have delivered what I imagined without the craftsmen I hired.

So in the first case, my needs were such that I could explicitly describe what I wanted and as long as I paid the price, could get the components made perfectly first time. This is immediately impressive and viewers receive it well.

In the second case, it's assumed I didn't do it!

I, however, take full credit for both!

Am I right?

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
There are many courses, retreats and whole sets of DVDs for thousands of dollars to "Master" various aspects of photography. But what so we really need?

Must we really have any craftsman skill at all? Is mastery of some technique required? Or maybe, do we just need to think, have ideas and get them executed according to our taste.

Sketch the scene, an art director, a set designer, have a set made, get the actors together, the lighting done and arrive to press the button and send it off to the retouching artist for "finishing"?

Annie Leibovitz can do that and is the photographer and artist.

So, what then do we need to be a successful photographer like Annie who's followed and collected?

Asher
 
I, of course, be less sure of anything that's said about craftsmanship and art. The 1st point everybody is agree with is that once you get the idea, you're the artist whatever you build it or not. But, what if, you cannot find anyone to build the stuff for you? It will stay a sketch somewhere and your vision will be useless. And it's not forbidden to be both craftsman and artist either, and I think it's better for your vision anyway, because you know where you are going, you know your limitations, and you fit your thoughts with what you are able to do, and if you are able to do is not enough, you can learn new skill. What prevents you from learning welding? Nothing. Maybe it's too much for the example :) ...And for the one time you say that the art piece was built exactly as it was designed, how many less talented artists left one piece of the design to the craftsman. That I was trying to explain to Ken on this thread, with my own story.

http://www.openphotographyforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11829&page=3.

Anyway for me, and I don't know why, It's more important in photography to be a printer (even a average one) because it what make you stand from the crowd when you frame your shot in your mind. I must say that my "career" as a printer helped me more in my photography than my studio courses.
And now, you know, everybody, I mean any celeb' is a wannabee photographer...One day even Paris Hilton will be one (the day she'll find out what that bloody LCD screen is for....retouching make-up? uh? dunno). What makes them more bankable as artists as you? name? Your only power against that is your skill, your hands, your background. This way of things makes everybody in the street (the average customer) think that it's so easy to be a photographer...everybody can be one, I think but it's only my opinion that one must show that it isn't just a matter of pushing the button... My two cents.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
One must show that it isn't just a matter of pushing the button...

........................


One day even Paris Hilton will be one (the day she'll find out what that bloody LCD screen is for....retouching make-up? uh? dunno). What makes them more bankable as artists as you? name? Your only power against that is your skill, your hands, your background. This way of things makes everybody in the street (the average customer) think that it's so easy to be a photographer...everybody can be one, I think but it's only my opinion that one must show that it isn't just a matter of pushing the button... My two cents.
"One must show that it isn't just a matter of pushing the button..."

That, Sandrine is a good point. I say that an artist fingerprints on the work must be evident.

Asher
 
Of course, If I had to print some very good Ilfochrome stuff. I'd leave that to Roland Duffau, But I think I'll beg for an invitation. :) I don't want to be left with a good piece of print without having my fingerprint even if it's on the coffee mug.
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Gang,

Making no contribution here at all, I still wanted to comment that this thread exemplifies the best and highest working, and work, of this forum.

Asher, I like best your story about the wood and steel sculpture.

Every ingredient in the route to a work is important. It is neither practical not valuable to somehow score them. How many points do we give to the guys that helped carry Mathew Brady's rig? How many points to the "A" camera focus puller of a fabulous feature film, or the grip that maneuvered the crane to fulfill a director's insight? How much to the "tweeners" in traditional animation, who drew the frames interpolated between (!) those drawn by the master animators themselves

Still, history likes to give all the credit to the "leader" who, in fact often supplies the "indispensable" ingredient. Some one else could have carried Brady's rig.

It may be fascinating to know who actually pushed the shutter release of a Weston exposure, or who gave Rembrandt his first set of paints when he was a kid, or who gave Doug Kerr a discarded telephone dial at the age of twelve*.

But we are powerless to apply some system of weighting to score their individual contributions. What is important is that we recognize that there are such things.

Best regards,

Doug

* Fred Brett, who lived across from who he described as a "weird Air Force Lieutenant", whose name was Curtis LeMay.
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
I''m not entirely confident I follow the main theme of this three-year-old thread, so I'll just start with this interrogative from Asher:

There are many courses, retreats and whole sets of DVDs for thousands of dollars to "Master" various aspects of photography. But what so we really need?
...and this response from Sandrine:
It's more important in photography to be a printer (even a average one) because it what make you stand from the crowd when you frame your shot in your mind.
I understand Sandrine's sentiment. The final act of turning a photograph into a tangible thing can be a powerful process, whether accomplished with photons or electrons.

But let's remain in sight of shore; if you cannot record images that reflect your intended expressions nothing else matters. As an apt analogy, if you're a weak writer a $100,000 investment in book design won't make you any better.

Your basic camera skills --with any camera--, your basic seeing skills, the breadth and depth of your imagination long before you even pick up a camera, those are the most powerfully deterministic factors in your success in photography. Dog poop painted a gorgeous, deep shade of red is still....
 
For the moment I doing all my photography with a Lumix TZ4 (149 euros), because i cannot afford the camera I want. I'm not really a photographer at the moment. I'm at the edge (photoshop stuff). Whatever one may think of my pictures, the fact that my camera is just automatic just makes me moan because if I want something I got to fake it with the zoom, the exposure corrector, the use of flash ou not and because the lens quality is not good enough...but it doesn't prevent me from doing what I want...But I know that I'll never sell any of these pictures (to be honest, I don't even try).
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
...and this response from Sandrine:

I understand Sandrine's sentiment. The final act of turning a photograph into a tangible thing can be a powerful process, whether accomplished with photons or electrons.

But let's remain in sight of shore; if you cannot record images that reflect your intended expressions nothing else matters. As an apt analogy, if you're a weak writer a $100,000 investment in book design won't make you any better.

Your basic camera skills --with any camera--, your basic seeing skills, the breadth and depth of your imagination long before you even pick up a camera, those are the most powerfully deterministic factors in your success in photography. Dog poop painted a gorgeous, deep shade of red is still....
Ken,

Putting aside the memento, catalog, scientific and documentary jobs of photography, we're left with Photography for Art.

Those basic camera skills you refer to apply to all photography. But for artistic photography, today there are trained camera technicians who set up the lights and the camera according to the plan for that work. Now that's the dangerous area! That's where the photographer should know what he really needs or else, IMHO, we have a big question as to who the artist really is.

A decade ago, when I rented a 20"x24" Polaroid camera, I built the set, posed the models but the technician did the camera settings! I prepared by taking the pictures first with my Canon digicam and when it was right, I clicked the shutter. It disturbed me very much that I needed the help to use the camera and develop the film. Even the lighting was standard and I hardly altered! However, I'm proud of the pictures. I feel I still deserve the title of "The Photographer" of my set of giant Polaroids. Am I indeed correct in this assertion?

So ultimately, after we shave down to the minimum the photographer's responsibility, what must we be left with to clam authorsihip of a work?

Let's start with what seems to be your stated minimum as, to me, it's exemplary:

" your basic seeing skills, the breadth and depth of your imagination long before you even pick up a camera, those are the most powerfully deterministic factors in your success in photography."

Artistic photography must, to my mind, be an expression of a mind materialized physcally in the picture. So this I add basic

  1. "Seeing skills" you refer too and

  2. Imagination of what must be materialized in a physical form.

There's one additional factor that I thin should be considered. It relates to the possibility of openness of an artist to new experience. Does the artist react to the presence of the developing art? Or can the photograph be just given to the printer to print? So here's that third point, an it's related to parenting and being open to the needs of one's offsprng:

  1. "Seeing skills"

  2. Imagination of what must be materialized n a physical form.

  3. Iterative dialog: We should respond to it's physicality as it forms . We should be prepared to alter even the governing ideas and design to meet the needs of the artwork, as if it were a living being, with needs and a mind of its own.,

Then, the use of all the technical resources and assistants will be governed by the mind of the photographer and he/she deserves the accolades. Otherwise, it's really the technician who is the author not one of us!

Asher
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
Asher,
Whoa! I'm not referring to Hollywood union crew ad photography. Or even Greg Crewdson-style excessive production. That's a different discussion, albeit sharing some space.

No, I'm not talking about set management. I'm talking about the 99.999% of camera owners who walk around with a camera every so often.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Pondering hiring technical competence!

Asher,
Whoa! I'm not referring to Hollywood union crew ad photography. Or even Greg Crewdson-style excessive production. That's a different discussion, albeit sharing some space.

No, I'm not talking about set management. I'm talking about even the 99.999% of camera owners who walk around with a camera every so often.
That's funny Ken! Of course, most of photography is just for fun. However, I'm referring to the minimum requirements we must meet for artistic photography to meet our own, a gallery owner or other client's needs.

Let's focus on those of us who would compete for wall space in someone's home or a gallery: You provided 2 key elements that we need at a minimum to have a chance of being successful: Technical resources* and imagination. I added openness to iterative changes during the making of art.

Since technical resources can be hired, my cautionary question arises: "Who's the true author when one hires a talented photography technician?"

I refer to just today's very common use of photography technicians (plus, of course, the makeup artist, hair stylist, perhaps and folk to move stuff around, LOL! (No giant team. Yes, the big fashion guys can have teams of 20-30 people, not I). Technicians with their high skill set and excellent training in the arts, (often from Brooks Institute here in S. CA), could essentially take over the work, if one asked. That's where I worry that the photographer might not be really the author. This is something we should be aware of and so maintain one's artistic control over every stage.

Although folk reading this might say , "Technician running the show? That's a joke! That would never apply to me!" That's because you may not have enough work, right now, to make you need to get assistance. As you expand your work load, for sure, you will face this dilemma.

Asher

*You did not state that the camera techniques may can be hired for the shoot, instead of mastered onesel
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
I think my train of thought is on completely different tracks than yours, Asher. You've posted 7 of the 16 comments in this thread so I'm just going to disembark.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Ken,

The train of the first post is for art not just snaps of family, friends and travels.

You refer to the "99.999%" of folk having camera that do not go on our journey to make art. That's our diversion point, I believe. Still the minimum requirements you put forward apply for anyone using a camera to express themselves well.

Asher
 

charlotte thompson

Well-known member
AMen Asher-

who can define art- Who in the world really has the whereforare to believe "They" can define art!
silly that!

Art- beckons to no one yet all- it is a very touchable spirit that surrounds us
yet untangible-


well- that's my definition of knowing and not knowing- I read like a politician- ahhhhhhhh the risk of it all-

Charlotte-
 

Leonardo Boher

pro member
Is the difference between an artist and a craftsman simply this -- an artist provides the vision of the completed work, and the craftsman turns that vision into reality?

Then you can say that many artists serve as their own craftsmen. But does an artist that 'subcontracts' part or all of the craft make him or her less than of an artist?
Well... I think the answer for this question is quite simple. All the artists have to borrow something or someone to make tangible what was an idea. For example, without the stone, wood, etc, the sculptor cannot exists. Without a photographic camera, the photographer cannot exists, without the paints and the canvas, the painter cannot exists, the mind without the body cannot use tools. So, there are many different ways to turn the ideas into something tangible. The camera, the wood, the paints are just tools and therefore, subcontracting someone makes that 'someone' becoming a tool as well. By these reasons I don't believe a subcontractor will be less artist for that.

I guess a purist would say that an artist must also be his/her own craftsman, and have complete control and mastery of the craft.

But that gets absurd when carried logically along... while a painter probably has to apply his/her own brush strokes to the canvas, does he also have to make the brush and paints to have complete control of the craft? Does a photographer have to make his/her own cameras and computers to have complete control of the craft?

Ok, those are extreme examples, but consider this: If I download and use Nicolas's photoshop actions and use it on my own photos, instead of writing my own actions, does that mean that I'm engaging Nicolas's craftmanship -- and therefore making me less of an artist?
There you're finding the same answer I wrote. But, regarding the last paragraph, if you use somebody else actions, you're becoming less artists because you're using the Nicola's way to see the world, not yours. In that case, Nicola is not your tool, all the opposite, you're his tool.

Well, there we go. No answers, just more questions.

I've been toying with the idea for years that 'art' is the process of creation -- not the object of creation. A painting is not art, but merely a recording or rendering of the creative process. I've seen some brilliantly executed paintings that stir up emotions within -- and I've seen brilliantly executed prints of the same paintings that stir up the same emotions. Are the prints any less 'art' than the original? They are both just recordings of the artist's vision -- the result of the painter's or print maker's craft.
I just cannot be more happy to read that someone else thought the same than me! I was thinking on that for a couple of years and found the answer few months ago exactly with the same words! Of curse there is no art on the painting, nor in the printer. Those are just recordings, as you say. The artists and the art are not divisible. Want to know the piece of art? Meet the artist ^^ because he is the piece of art :)

Mart :)
 

James Cook

New member
There are many courses, retreats and whole sets of DVDs for thousands of dollars to "Master" various aspects of photography. But what so we really need?

Must we really have any craftsman skill at all? Is mastery of some technique required? Or maybe, do we just need to think, have ideas and get them executed according to our taste.
Having the ideas, the visions and the ability to conceptualize how to put it all together are only a piece of the equation much of the time.

It only becomes art when it acquires a form that can be perceived by others.

Imagine Michaelangelo's David, if he lacked the craftsman skills with mallet and chisel. It would have been broken stone. Imagine the Sistine Chapel if he didn't know how to mix colors and to precisely apply them with his brushes.

I believe that (with possible exceptions that I can't think of) the artist requires a craftsman, usually himself/herself, to bring the vision to an appreciable condition. It's their vision that separates the artists form the multitudes of craftsmen, some of whom may actually be superior at the craft, but lack the vision.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Well... I think the answer for this question is quite simple. All the artists have to borrow something or someone to make tangible what was an idea. For example, without the stone, wood, etc, the sculptor cannot exists. Without a photographic camera, the photographer cannot exists, without the paints and the canvas, the painter cannot exists, the mind without the body cannot use tools. So, there are many different ways to turn the ideas into something tangible. The camera, the wood, the paints are just tools and therefore, subcontracting someone makes that 'someone' becoming a tool as well. By these reasons I don't believe a subcontractor will be less artist for that.
This extends the idea of subcontracting for supplies and tools, adding these to the additional craftsman one might hire to materialize the art in one's own mind. Great idea.


I just cannot be more happy to read that someone else thought the same than me! I was thinking on that for a couple of years and found the answer few months ago exactly with the same words! Of curse there is no art on the painting, nor in the printer. Those are just recordings, as you say. The artists and the art are not divisible. Want to know the piece of art? Meet the artist ^^ because he is the piece of art :)
This is a great comment for most art but not sufficient, perhaps, for some digital photography where the mage is sent as a file and then is interpreted by a master printer. The same is for music composition where the score is materialized by the orchestra an orchestra or a screenplay by a director.

All these are instances of interpretation and performances. The artist's imagination and constructs come through but the experience enjoyed by the public is a rendering and each will be different and that's the intent and understanding of the artist in the first place! The artist imagines, predicts and accounts for a variety of ways the work will be expressed.

Photography can be like that as the atelier, with the finest intentions, executes the instructions of the photographer but might add nuances, to the delight of the photographer, that even photographer didn't perhaps realize were there.

Asher
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Having the ideas, the visions and the ability to conceptualize how to put it all together are only a piece of the equation much of the time.

It only becomes art when it acquires a form that can be perceived by others.
However, James, I think it's art when the artist stops struggling with the emerging form and recognizes it as a creation to be valued and respected. Then, it follows that "It only becomes art when it acquires a form that can be perceived by others."

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Asher,

Then, it follows that "It only becomes art when it acquires a form that can be perceived by others."
That fits well with U.S. copyright doctrine, which only recognizes works that have been "fixed". For example, although a choreographer may have in his head a precise vision of an entire ballet, if it has not been committed in some notation, it is not eligible as a work to be copyrighted. (Of course, the are a lot of subtleties in this, which keep lawyers busy!)

Best regards,

Doug
 
That's why you chose THAT printer! and not any printer, That's why we talk about John Batho AND Fresson. That's why in a sense they are both artists, one owning the idea, the other owning the science.
 
I don't know each of them that much to speak for them. I like the pictures of batho, because they truly evoke the sense of composition with colors to me. Back in the 90's anybody I knew would have printed them with an Ilfochrome or Duratrans...That's truly a sin to me, The Fresson process produces very soft images, but is far from dull. It's the exact thing that matches Batho images...It's like bread and butter. The Fresson process is a sort of Super power gum dichromate, very hard to achieve, that requires a precision out of this world. It's surprisingly cheap for the demanding effort.
 
That fits well with U.S. copyright doctrine, which only recognizes works that have been "fixed". For example, although a choreographer may have in his head a precise vision of an entire ballet, if it has not been committed in some notation, it is not eligible as a work to be copyrighted. (Of course, the are a lot of subtleties in this, which keep lawyers busy!)
Hi Doug,

That's correct. In fact that is at the basis of what makes the difference between the American way, and the European way of looking at the matter.

The signatories of the Berne convention version of copyright stress the intellectual property rights, which ultimately require some tangible form to facilitate the ownership claims, whereas the US version stresses the importance of the tangible form (to fascilitate determination of punitive damages?), which is what causes so much debate (about the weightings of the execution stages) ;-)

Material/processes can be patented and trademarked, intellectual ownership can be copyrighted.

The tangible form is linked to the copyright, but it is not the main subject. One cannot take a picture of a painting without violating the copyright (unless the picture making was commissioned). The tangible form is different, the intellectual property is not.

Cheers,
Bart
 

Doug Kerr

Well-known member
Hi, Bart,

That's correct. In fact that is at the basis of what makes the difference between the American way, and the European way of looking at the matter.

The signatories of the Berne convention version of copyright stress the intellectual property rights, which ultimately require some tangible form to facilitate the ownership claims, whereas the US version stresses the importance of the tangible form (to fascilitate determination of punitive damages?), which is what causes so much debate (about the weightings of the execution stages)
An interesting distinction.

One might be curious as to how this can be so, since the U.S has been a member of the Berne Convention since 1989.

However, Article 2(2) of the Berne Convention (1979 version) says:

"2 (2) It shall, however, be a matter for legislation in the countries of the Union to prescribe that works in general or any specified categories of works shall not be protected unless they have been fixed in some material form."​

I gather, from your comments that, while the U.S apparently has exercised its prerogative under Article 2(2) of the Convention, most European signatories have not - is that your understanding?

Thanks for your insight into this.

Best regards,

Doug
 
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