Friday, April 27

A Mist of Tower Bells


Nearing Vienna
A mist of tower bells
Glazed the Rhine
Snuggling into ears,
Muscle, and
Feeling.

I still haven't figured out how to use GPS feature on my 7D Mark II. From the date and time our Teeming River Cruise boat was maybe ten miles west of Vienna. The sky was clearing and the bells pealed. Our boat was so silent that only the waves lapping against the shore added a percussion line. Pretty moment, very typical, but nothing much deeper. Hmmmm... perhaps if I'd dropped a nude couple climbing the trees? Howzabout I dyed the two yellow? Is beauty alone sufficient excuse for making an image 

I think we use beauty up quickly. There's something about it that wears out fast. Even when the original moment startles, its image rarely invites a return to study or enjoy it. 

Oh well. You all know that i'm an Alien Skin beta tester. And I totally enjoy using their newest sophisticated application. But just now the lure of Topaz's new Impression offers so many options to dig into an image. Fact is that the two apps are powerfully complimentary. I finished this image in Alien Skin's Polaroid, creating a romantically subdued palette that I have no other way of accessing. 

A few years ago, a friend told me that she thought filters were merely devices to save a bad image. No, she's wrong. No one charges that a larger bristle brush is what is necessary to save a mediocre oil painting. Filters are tools. I've never found one that allows a miraculous one click redemptive overlay. Instead I employ my large collection of filters to work upon parts or an image - or a feeling. 

Perhaps I'm just paranoid? And yet the same folks who abhor post processing techniques are gear heads anxious to talk about the latest lens, camera body, or light array. Is this an ideological thing: progressives anxious to find new tools, conservatives determined to protect tradition? Wuddaya think? 

1 comment:

Cedric Canard said...

Interesting thought. The reality is that it is becoming rather easy to make good photographs. In fact, I kinda agree with your friend, making a good photograph these days may just be a matter of picking the right filter, the right preset, the right profile or whatever. I also think that the old adage of "nothing can save a bad picture" is unadulterated BS. It may have been true once upon a time but now, as long as you can see beyond the badness, well, anything's possible.
Of course all that might get you is a good photo. But that's gotta be nice right. It gives us "feels" as they say. Feel-good art is what we have these days. Maybe it's what the world needs. Who am I to say?
But for me, if we're talking art now, it shouldn't be about protecting tradition. If anything, the great art, as opposed to just the good art, spits in the face of tradition. Great art is dangerous, unpredictable, vulnerable, maybe even desperate. It's going to be loathed and ridiculed by most and appreciated only by the visionaries. It might use new tools or it might use old tools but not for the sake of progress or tradition, or the tools or the "feels" but rather for its own sake, its own freedom, its own existence.
But hey, what do I know? I probably wouldn't know dangerous art if it bitch-slapped me in the face. You might wonder if you're paranoid but I know I'm a sandwich short of a picnic.