MSA O/N Aug/September 2022 - "New Topographics photography"

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Don Heisz

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I think what's missing in this thread, and, perhaps, what Arthurwg is alluding to, is the social and political comment that was an essential part of that first wave of "New Topography" photographers.

So there is no social or political comment to be gathered from any photos posted in this thread. Nothing worthwhile here?
 

Alex Benjamin

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So there is no social or political comment to be gathered from any photos posted in this thread. Nothing worthwhile here?

Wow, you're in full drama mode, aren't you! 😁

Seriously, Don, you'll have to work harder than that to read any comment of the sort in what I wrote. I was talking about the discussion regarding "New Topography", more specifically, Arthurwg comments, i.e., the "movement" as it appeared following the original exhibit.

The point here being that if you want to be true to the original meaning of New Topography, i.e., photographs of a man-altered landscape, you have to show both the landscape and the alteration. Again: if you want to be true to the original meaning.

I was also pretty clear in my post (did you read it all the way?) in mentioning that the original meaning of "New Topography" has been replaced by another meaning, from "man-altered landscape" to "man-made landscape", that is, one in which there is no longer tension between the natural (or wilderness) and the artificial.

Now there are some really fine pictures in that style, and many in this thread. That some embed in their New-"New Topography" social or political comment is quite possible, although little of this has been mentioned in the thread by those who posted photographs. The only thing is that, for obvious reasons, that social and/or political comment will be different than the original one.
 

Pieter12

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A few from Robert Adams. Social or political commentary?

Stoneham, CO 1966.jpeg
North Denver.jpeg
Boys in a pickup, Simla, CO 1970.jpeg
 

Don Heisz

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Wow, you're in full drama mode, aren't you! 😁

Actually, I was. I had written a long comment that addressed all of the other things you mention, but deleted it favour of a more tongue-in-cheek one. I do think it preposterous to claim

Keep in mind, of the 6 photos you can see here, only two meet the basic criteria you set out - which is "you have to show both the landscape and the alteration" - and those 6 are from the original exhibition.

There has been a lot of after-the-fact noodle-gathering about these photos - with a fair amount of co-opting of them, also. My statement well above about photos taken in this thread probably stands true of most photos that ended up in that exhibition: people out looking to take photos because they liked to take photos. That doesn't mean the photos are meaningless or insignificant.

Also, if you think there is no tension between the human-made landscape and the wilderness, keep in mind that all the postwar infrastructure - all built so well and so quickly - is being eaten by nature and is all failing at exactly the same time - with no possibility of either the money or workforce to replace all of it as quickly as it fails. Take a look around and see how much of the "man-made landscape" is crumbling due to natural forces. In Montreal, it didn't take long for parts of the Olympic O to start raining down onto the sidewalk. See here.
 

MattKing

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From February this year - so "old". "Skytrain Topography"
Skytrain Topography - 47a-2022-02-21b.jpg
 

Don Heisz

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Pickup. Vestige of Lockdowns.
Newly shot on a Bronica ETR (hp5 in d76 1:1), enlarged onto my last sheet of Ilfomar 8x10 paper - single weight and so wrinkled, phone picture of the print, screen captured from Instagram.

1662975962187.png


It'll look more even if I iron it or mount it.
 

Arthurwg

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OK. According to Lewis Baltz, one of the leading practitioners of the New Topographics and a chief theorizer, had this to say:

"The conscious attempt to, if not eliminate, at least minimize the appearance of "style" informed this approach to photography, as did the programmatic rejection of most of the elements and devices traditionally employed to make the world seem "interesting" in photographs. These choices alone might might explain why New Topographics work so alienated photographic audiences, defeating as it did the very expectations that they had been taught to bring to photographs."
 
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Bertus

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It is October in the Netherlands so I can choose the winner for this MSA. First of all, thanks to all for the submitted photos. Also for the interesting discussions. It was a surprise to be able to choose from so many high quality entries. Mattking thanks for helping me get this MSA up and running while I was in hospital!! Unfortunately I can only name one winner and that makes it extra difficult to choose. There he goes..... Glen Canyon Dam by Roger Thoms is the winner and Roger can start the next MSA. Good luck everyone!
 
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MattKing

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It is October in the Netherlands so I can choose the winner for this MSA. First of all, thanks to all for the submitted photos. Also for the interesting discussions. It was a surprise to be able to choose from so many high quality entries. Mattking thanks for helping me get this MSA up and running while I was in hospital!! Unfortunately I can only name one winner and that makes it extra difficult to choose. There he goes..... Glen Canyon Dam by Roger Thoms is the winner and Roger can start the next MSA. Good luck everyone!

Excellent choice Bertus, and congratulations @Roger Thoms !
It's now up to you Roger. Reach out if you need assistance starting the new theme.
 

Roger Thoms

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It is October in the Netherlands so I can choose the winner for this MSA. First of all, thanks to all for the submitted photos. Also for the interesting discussions. It was a surprise to be able to choose from so many high quality entries. Mattking thanks for helping me get this MSA up and running while I was in hospital!! Unfortunately I can only name one winner and that makes it extra difficult to choose. There he goes..... Glen Canyon Dam by Roger Thoms is the winner and Roger can start the next MSA. Good luck everyone!

Wow, I’m totally honored, and pleasantly surprised, thanks Bertus. I‘ll choose a topic and get a new thread started this evening.

Roger
 

Roger Thoms

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Excellent choice Bertus, and congratulations @Roger Thoms !
It's now up to you Roger. Reach out if you need assistance starting the new theme.

Hey Matt, just posted a new thread for October. Check it out and make sure I didn’t screw anything up. Thanks!

Roger
 
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MattKing

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