...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....
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
- "Seeing skills" you refer too and
- 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:
- "Seeing skills"
- Imagination of what must be materialized n a physical form.
- 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!