Didn't Ansel Adams called it the "Fuzzy wuzzies"?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Mainecoonmaniac, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. faberryman

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    There is general previsualization of an image, and differently, previsualization in terms of gray scale, which is a subset, and the subject of the zone system. Often the two are conflated.
     
  2. jtk

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    The Zone System involves two main disciplines, one of which is linear/technical and one of which is a learned way to see: previsualization. Learning the technical requires initial ability to identify a few B&W zones in colorful reality...eventually the photographer learns to previsualize the print, which is the great goal of Zone System. None of this is initially easy but it's easy to get distracted by the linear/technical aspect, forgetting about the goal. If a person can visualize the scene in B&W and render it the way he/she wants, that's Zone System in action.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

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    Mortensen according to what was presented was better suited for painting background scenes. I view the painterly movement as a failed effort to make film look like paintings. If I wanted my work to look like paintings, I would have picked up a paint brush instead of a camera.
     
  4. jtk

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    Thanks for expanding on your response.

    Does that apply to alternative processes, toy cameras, intentional in-camera multiple exposures, intentional blurred movement as well? Not a trick question, I'm genuinely interested.
     
  5. Sirius Glass

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    I am not interested in those for myself. I have seen some good work with those but never with wood nymphs, trolls, satyrs, gremlins, sprites or virgins.
     
  6. Arklatexian

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    If I thought that all there was to painting was to pick up a paint brush and start painting and had been correct, I would have saved a lot of money. But I found it is much harder than that and photography much easier. Just lazy, I guess. Instead, I view Pictorial Photography as an attempt to express my feelings about the subject with photography. In my opinion AA was one of maybe two in F64 to be able to do that. Maybe the other was Dorothea Lang but was she ever made a member? I don't think so. So I must pick someone else. Who could it be?......Regards!
     
  7. Sirius Glass

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    I can draw and paint, I choose to do only photography unless I need to do a mechanical drawing for a custom part. I sometimes do sketches for part fabrication.
     
  8. Arklatexian

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    I can't draw and I can't paint so that means I had to settle for (oh woe is me) photography and I have a heck of a time doing that in a satisfactory manner TO ME!. I have done all of the mechanical drawings that my company has required. None of it was what I call "Free-hand" drawing.......Regards!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  9. Arklatexian

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    I was around in those days and unless you experienced it you would not believe the amount of war hysteria that existed. Before Pearl Harbor in Spring of 1940, the Louisiana National Guard was nationalized and within days after Pearl Harbor, some of its members were manning AAguns on Point Loma at San Diego. They kept watch of the Ocean, fully expecting the Japanese fleet to be on the horizon. Their orders were, if they saw the fleet, they were to head to the mountain passes behind San Diego where they might could stop the Japanese which they could not do at Point Loma.. A close friend of mine (dead now) was in one of those gun crews. It was during that period that the Japanese were interned. By the way, there were internment camps in states like Arkansas also. Remember not all the Japanese lived on the West Coast. What we have now is 20/20 hindsight.....Regarding Emerson is a good point. but would require reading and you know how unpopular that is......Regards!
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  10. alentine

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    Well written, agree 100%.
    The rest of this post is to this thread:
    The funniest thing about the lawsuit of AA which only became widespread may be 10 years ago, is that AA would sit in front of a wide screen(without his apron) enjoying clicking buttons in Photoshop, then appear in media claiming that he invented the most ingenuity way of making photos, while he actually refused doing double exposure and even bracketing exposure, along with other weak manipulation of photos.
    It's really unjust to put AA into this inquest.
    AA school of photography, is about making/creating/hand crafting/transforming subject light(Not just transferring), into a final creative fine art timeless Print(in its own right, regardless subject/time), using subject/light/camera/film as just tools, by genuine photographic optical methods, toward making that Print.
    It's not a school about just taking/capturing/transferring subject or faking print.
    While a real subject is necessity, it's not the ultimate target of AA school, and this is one point to differentiate it from Straight photography. The other point is, the meticulous robust darkroom methods that adopted by AA school but Not by Straight photography.
    AA school is a faithful handcrafting art to its final handcrafted Print by genuine optical photographic means(from A to Z), not faithful to the subject or time per se(not decisive moment).
    AA school does not(never ever) embrace faking subject/print(like Pictorial) or capturing subject straight(like straight photography) or adopting non-optical methods or non-hand crafting(like digital) methods of photo manipulation. Take it or leave it.
    We may adopt other names or even creat it for other photo uses, no problem at all.
    It's even more honest than changing "PHOTOGRAPHY"(after 150 years) to analogue photography, traditional photography, darkroom photography or film photography!
    Lots of names we have actually that are more appropriate and technically compatible and may used for other schools of photography; photojournalism, documentary, taking photos, snap shooting, pictorial, digital photography, straight photography and decisive moment photography, etc...etc..., just saying some.
    Why at the present time(and since awhile of history), the desire to change or skew the Sole/Concepts of the most influential photographic school in history?
    It's really unjust to put AA or his school into any inquisition, just because the predominating photo manipulation style at present time is perceived contradicting with AA school in pieces as with its whole! Accept it or reject it, yes, but do not please skew AA school's principles or concepts.
    AA refused all weak manipulations of photos(not only Pictorial Collage), including double exposure and exposure bracketing(mentioned specifically in his books).
    And from the same standing point, AA refused at the end days of his life to publish his color work at similar level as done with B&W work.
    I believe, the current big names from this school, like John Sexton through published work and editorials, testifying AA school purity and its significant influence on photographers as well as public, generation after generation.
     
  11. jtk

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    Imogene Cunningham.
     
  12. DREW WILEY

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    Such people were intertwined, even by marriage. Ron Partridge assisted both Dorothea and Ansel, and did his own printing well into his 90's. I saw his son in law every week, who filled me in on the who was married to who stuff - a bit complicated for me to remember. Then there was the Maynard Dixon legacy - a real painter in the middle of it all. A different regular kept me updated on the Weston clan. A relatively small circle at one time. Some of them like Dorothea could be real eccentrics - a dreaded "stalker" with a camera; but such wonderful results! I was at her house once, and that in relation to a construction issue caused by one of those gorgeous big live oaks specifically identifiable in the old photos.
     
  13. jtk

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    Important memories of connected people!

    I supervised Ciba printing at Faulkner Color Lab for a Rondal Partridge project...was a great idea, but against advice he screwed it up by dry mounting the Ciba prints he intended to assemble as a multi-panel folding shoji screen. One sad part of that was that he had a buyer lined up and couldn't afford to have the whole thing re-printed.
     
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  15. DREW WILEY

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    Ouch! Didn't know Rondal worked in color at all. I always did my own framing and had my own proprietary method of mounting big Cibas, which was visually outstanding but an expensive headache to do. Eventually truly flat mounting substrates came along, plus thin adhesive foils. I still have my roller press, now handy for analogous Fuji Supergloss prints or even RC mounting, though I haven't done any color printing lately. Still have one box of Ciba in the freezer plus the P3 chem.
    Wonder if it's still any good - the highlights will probably cross badly. No time anyway. I'm way behind drymounting my b&w fiber prints.
     
  16. jtk

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    For what it's worth, when processing my own Ciba prints I used Dektol instead of Ciba's dev...same dilution I used for most B&W (whatever that was). Knocked contrast down almost to Ektacolor level and looks good today after all those years. Ciba prints never were as good as Ektacolor with a good interneg but I used a lot of big Ciba transparencies for rear-lit exhibits. Mounted em' directly onto the white lucite with spray adhesive directly onto the transparencies...evidence of the adhesive vanished and the exhibits lasted plenty long.

    Rondal's Ciba-printed photos were all studies of plants...ferns, bird of paradise etc. Would have been nice on shoji screens.
     
  17. DREW WILEY

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    I only used substitute dev like Selectol Soft when I wanted a kind of off-color look. It worked well on the first generation of Ciba paper, not the second. I got very good at masking not only for contrast but hue control. Later I started making very precise 8X10 master printing dupes from masked originals. A lot of time work that would have been financially unrealistic for any commercial lab, plus some specialized gear they didn't have. Those printing masters are now nice for generating 8X10 contact internegs for RA4 printing if I wish, though I do this only once in awhile. Just going out and shooting new color neg shots is easier. Spray adhesives were horribly unhealthy. I set up a suitable safe spray booth just to experiment. If any residual solvent was active, and you hung the Ciba in sunlight, it would fade in a week! The same method hung indoors in ordinary tungsten lighting looks good to this day. So some nasty chemicals indeed, with a hyper relation to UV while still outgassing. Those spray adhesives have outright killed a lot of people in the pro framing trade as well as insulation work. But it was a way to hang a polyester print as smooth as a mirror. I made my own backing laminations, but other than the test experiment noted above, never tried sprays again. Wonder if Rondal's still-life Cibas were inspired by Don Worth? - his big Ciba prints simply sagged in the frame suspended from hinge strips, with no serious attempt to make them stay flat. But they did effectively showcase the potential of the medium for extreme detail. I wasn't thrilled by the 2D subject matter.
     
  18. jtk

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    Never saw Don Worth's Cibas tho in 67 when a grad student at San Francisco State I did ask his advice about a Mendocino Art Center class ...I had just become aware of photo as a serious activity of some sort ...from Worth...or was it Welpott?... i became vaguely aware of Minor Whites approach to photo education. Decided to take the class that summer, bought an Exacta 66 since I guessed my Mamiya Sekor might be junque..moved to Mendocino a year later.

    Drew, whats your story ?
     
  19. DREW WILEY

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    I couldn't afford anything but 35mm until I was about 30 and had already bought a house. Then bought a 4x5 Sinar and Omega enlarger; installed it in a carpeted bedroom with the window blocked out. It was right around when Ciba first came out. I set up a 20x24 drum in the bathroom, and developed masks in the furnace closet. I took to color printing like a duck to water, got noticed rather quickly by the usual suspects in Carmel and had some nice gigs down there, one or two in SF too. I've never sold a print in my life to a tourist, mostly collector types and the wealthy. Got a burst of income when I needed it most. But several years afterwards I took up black and white and had already begun building a serious darkroom, complete with frame shop. Kept a day job with a major construction supply house which cast its blessing on my moonlighting doing architectural photography and color consultation, since it brought them a lot of extra business. Recently retired. Haven't had time or energy to bother exhibiting for a long time now. Last one was a big public gig split with AA immediately after his death. But have sold prints over the years, done a few serious portrait commission, a lot of forensic photography, mostly art-fraud related, photo restoration, deluxe portfolios for architects and contractors, etc. Have continued to shoot and print a lot of landscape stuff. I'm basically an outdoorsman.
     
  20. jtk

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    I admire your determination to focus so intently on art photo. :D
     
  21. DREW WILEY

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    Well, I didn't want to pander to either museum fads or dumbed-down postcardy themes. A few museum types wanted to personally represent me on commission, but as I note on another thread, I'm sensitive to color chem so have deliberately kept my color output at a very conservative pace. As you no doubt know, the Bay Area is not a realistic place to set up a gallery these days unless one is independently wealthy. My wife still has quite a few good years to her career, so doubt we'll relocate. It would be utter hell to uproot and relocate all the darkroom gear anyway. My first rep is tied down due a family
    health condition. I'm meeting him for lunch next week. He started his career introducing modernist Chinese painters to US
    museum venues, but alternately got into high-end woodworking, including the most expensive new wooden home in the world
    (craftsman-style, for Ellison), and more recently a PBS documentary on Ming construction techniques in the Forbidden City.
    Now stuck at home he's making scale models of Ming temples. Those buildings were highly earthquake-resistant, so there is a lot of engineering interesest in them and representative models. My own early prints were rather Zen-like, so guess that attracted his attention.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2018
  22. jtk

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    Drew, you and I made watershed decisions about photography. You decided to make precious objects, I decided to ally myself with other graphic professionals (e.g. designers, advertising agency art directors) and other clients with equally important professions...such as architects, manufacturers, wine makers...

    Sounds like we both relied somewhat/sometimes on women and/or day jobs to pay the bills , rather than being totally dependent on our photography :cool:
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2018
  23. DREW WILEY

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    Well, it was all interrelated. People who hired me to do a technical consultation (or knew me in that capacity from my day job - I wore a lot of different hats) sometimes ended up buying prints from me. Or prints were exchanged for services. I exchanged a cabinet shop a print for a huge custom hardwood flat file, for example. Architects hired me on the side for big projects even though they also got me for free during work hours. That would spin off into project portfolio work, next into
    maybe a portrait commission from the same party, then maybe the sale of decor prints. But at a certain point I had to choose my battles and not burn the candle at both ends. Bay Area traffic got more hectic and I got married. So had to stay more home-centered, except for fun travel. Some of the company photography I did myself, provided they paid me per print (not job) just like everyone else. If someone didn't want to pay a premium for my own darkroom work, it went to the big lab
    in town. Hard to say about "relying on women". My wife has three degrees, and going back to school can be darn expensive; but we never borrowed a dime, and after awhile all those rounds of education paid off. But she's like me and goes nuts if she's not constantly learning new things.
     
  24. Berkeley Mike

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    Most excellent!
     
  25. jtk

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    Yes....multiple hats, multiple decisions, multiple egos, multiple kinds of dues to pay, different realities around mates, various kinds of payoff.

    I have generally embraced (or accepted) change. Left the Bay Area joyfully, moved to NM essentially for fresh cultural air. Have rarely worked for anybody else (Faulkner was 3 years, longest job in my life). Not always fun, but that's the horse I've chosen.
    Alan Watts: The Wisdom Of Insecurity.
     
  26. RalphLambrecht

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    paper negatives do not require thin paper because,it's not used as a print-through negative; the 'negative' is copy printed emulsion to emulsion to create the positive; works well with standard paper thicknesses RC or FB.
     
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