Sharpness is a bourgeois concept?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by gzhuang, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. gzhuang

    gzhuang Inactive

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    Henri Cartier Bresson ... Enjoy :tongue:

    [video=youtube;8TiAsvYgyqU]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8TiAsvYgyqU[/video]
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    Imperfection is fun.
     
  3. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Member

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    so are composition rules:smile:
     
  4. Richard S. (rich815)

    Richard S. (rich815) Member

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    I go both ways... :smile:
     
  5. blansky

    blansky Member

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    Haven't had time to watch very far into it but it seems like the Volks-camera.

    Photography for the masses.

    I will watch the whole thing, but what immediately comes to mind is the cell phone camera, the everyman camera.

    Lots of good things here but also the downside is that photographs no longer are special when everyone takes them.

    You could argue that's a good thing or a bad thing, but one thing it is, as a professional, this phenomena has removed the professional to some extent from the marketplace.

    Again that is good or bad depending on your point of view.

    As spectator or amateur photographer, the more the merrier perhaps, but as a pro it's a problem.

    As a career, photography generally meant that you got some equipment, got some training, got some business sense, then entered the marketplace and how good you were may to some extent have set your financial level. But everyone knows, ANYBODY can take A great picture, not consistently but ANYBODY can take a picture that someone would find good, or interesting or sometimes exceptional. But generally not consistently.

    So in other words with only a few people (a small percentage of the population) taking pictures meant that the pro could earn a living. But if EVERYONE is taking pictures, then the marketplace is swamped, partly because social media for no cost, has allowed them to exhibit. And an industry is overwhelmed.

    If everyone was a doctor, doctors as a paying profession would fail, if everyone was a lawyer, the profession would fail.

    Journalism is experiencing this the same as the professional photographer.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2016
  6. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    Which happened when that damned Eastman chap invented box cameras with roll film.



    www.johns-old-cameras.blogspot.co.uk
     
  7. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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  8. blansky

    blansky Member

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    Which is obviously true. But to the same extent as today's cellphone cameras?

    Always handy, always accessible and ease of distribution of the pictures?

    Not quite.
     
  9. pdeeh

    pdeeh Member

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    damn looms, ruined everything
     
  10. Peltigera

    Peltigera Member

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    According to the tin-type photographers at beach resorts, it was exactly the same. Finished them off completely - the entire profession.
     
  11. blockend

    blockend Member

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    In the 1980s and early 90s I remember trying to turn my friends onto Lomo, Smena, Lubitel, Orwo, but they thought I was a cheapskate and stuck with their Nikons and Leicas. Even further back in the late 70s I knew people who were seriously shooting Dianas and box cameras. Lomography's genius (or plain old business nous) was to take a serious art photography niche and sell the idea to young hipsters to create a mass movement. The really smart move was to market decades old technology at sell it at new technology prices.

    It took me a while to realise that the whole point was to buy the cameras at boutique prices, and not find the same thing at a shop that sold whoopee cushions, water pistols and rubber spiders. When that clicked I realised Lomography understood the youthful market better than I could dream of, and photography was merely a carrier signal for a much bigger idea.
     
  12. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Member

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    But... that's what digital disruption is all about. If you think you're immune because you use it, you're not. Often an entertainingly righteous exercise in idealism to note when it happens to someone else, it's far less so when it hits closer to home.

    What's the truism? It's always easy to be idealistic on a full stomach. Empty stomachs know a different reality.

    Ken
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    I can envisage a time when almost everything from every angle is recorded as an image and when that time comes, someone may look at an Atget image and think compared to the zillion images I have seen thus far, that is rather special. Why should it be that be that technological progression is not in step with chronological progression?
     
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  15. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Member

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    HCB was bourgeois himself. Like many with left, socialist declarations without living to it by themselves. We did our part in USSR, while bourgeois like HCB where wealthy from childhood. But I respect him for his war time.

    Sharpness is concept of gearheads. You might be not bourgeois, but gearhead. Gearheads likes dirt cheap by all means И-61Л/Д, but mostly because they think it is sharp.

    I have Leica, don't want any Nikon and keeping Smena-8M, which has fine, sharp lens with character. So has Lubitel-2, for example. Any lens needs to be aligned to be sharp. And it was main problem with LOMO. Alignment was DIY concept with LOMO. Lenses comparing to Holga, Diana aren't primitive plastic, but good copies of common lens formulas.

    We need revolution, Maidan in Ontario here, BTW.

    Salut comarades! Ko.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2016
  16. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Sharp enough. If it said Zeiss Softar on the front it would cost £716.50
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I only watched the beginning. What is important is that people see value in using film and enjoying it. Some like the f/64 group everything is sharp, there are the pictorialists, there are those who like abstract shapes, ... it does not matter as long as one enjoys what they are doing.
     
  18. blansky

    blansky Member

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    My point wasn't really sour grapes but merely an observation of an industry that I've intimately known for 40 years.

    If everyone has something or does something, that something loses its value and mystique.

    If everyone does tin types, then tin types are "common". If everyone shot film and could mass display it, then film photography would lose its specialness.

    If everyone shoots Lomos, then they are no longer special.

    I believe your field is IT. If only a few thousand people can now write great code, and in 10 years, computers are writing code instead, then writing code becomes a lost field of endeavor. I'm sure it I'll happen.
     
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  19. RobC

    RobC Member

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    I believe HCB made the "sharpness is a bourgeois concept" to Helmut Newton as a facetious remark. I wouldn't take it too seriously.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2016
  20. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    I do not.
     
  21. blockend

    blockend Member

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    HCB prints aren't especially sharp, but they are very good. As he was shooting 100 ASA film much of the time, sharp wasn't always an option.
     
  22. blansky

    blansky Member

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    And wasn't the sharpness fetish a product of the f64 group in response to the pictorialist romanticism that pre dated it.
     
  23. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Exactly! The beautiful thing about photography (especially film photography) is how many different things you can do with it. What floats one person's boat won't float anothers, but there is enough water for everyone.
     
  24. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    exactly !

    its the fun-factor that matters .. once its no longer fun, whats the point ?
     
  25. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    <*sigh*> Sometimes — often, I'm glad for the beauty of a pinhole camera. Wonder what HCB would have thought of using one of those in his romantic, idealist moments...
     
  26. wudyng

    wudyng Member

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    cool
     
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