Wednesday, June 13

What We Do

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"We are not here to do what has already been done." - Robert Henri, The Spirit Of Art P.12

I believe that each color, each shape, each pixel must be an exact record of what I conceived it to be at the moment I put it there. This is not an accurate reproduction of a place, it is an authentic rendering of an idea, feeling and sense of this place.

And that is all it is a record of.


advman said...

And sometimes not even that. When I take photographs, I react to an emotion that is triggered by a certain configuration of lines, shapes, colors, etc. I try to distill what captured that emotion, to reduce a scene to the one view that can possibly stand for the whole.

It is not always that I manage to do so, but from that ephemeral moment on when I pressed the button, the image begins a life of its own, and so does my perception of it. It is now not a representation anymore of what I felt then, it itself has now become the whole. It may trigger new and probably different emotions, and when I'm going to post-process it, it is not clear what will lead me, the emotion at the origin or what came afterwards.

And so it goes on. Finishing the image does not mean that it stops to evolve. Well, maybe it does and I don't :)

Ted Byrne said...

It is not so much that plagiarism dilutes ethics, rather it dilutes excitement. It's boring. Worse yet, it makes the original into a commodity, and commodities are banal. Plagiarism advances nothing.

But plagiarism demands a conscious effort. The phenomenon of multiple originality is something quite different. Yeah, get enough monkeys with enough keyboards and you'll eventually get all the works of Shakespeare. Maybe ONCE. Certainly not enough times to diminish Shakespeare's brilliance to the level of ho-hum.

But when tens of thousands of people armed with thinking cameras set out to copy Ansel Adams... soon no one will want to look again at an Adams creation.

Point is, it is Shakespeare's and Adams' LEVEL of contribution which should inspire, not their existing accomplishments. Those latter contributions have been made.

As for slavishly copying nature with a modern Nikon or Canon - what's the challenge to that? That is merely an exercise for photography students so that they can master their gear sufficiently that they can make it an instinctual extension of their ability to express emotion and idea.

Photographers who fail to transcend technique as an end in itself are tedious. In their plagiarism of moments they remain craftsmen. It is artists who interest me.

I don't simply want to mutter, "Wow!" I need to go, "Hmmmmmm?".