momus - I don't know what kind of germ-free plexiglas bubble you live in. Painters don't fuss over things, or argue over medium issues? Heck, Manet got into a sword duel with another painter due to a technique philosophy debate. And they were both Impressionists. Factor in competing schools of painting, and things have often gotten nasty for centuries. Then add in art critics fishing for attention, and it really gets interesting. I was just given a lovely picture book and biography of Georgia O'Keefe's work, which included quotes from certain art critics of her time who utterly trashed her style and brushwork as worthless. She had outspoken strong opinions of her own. The art world is inherently contentious. They have strong individual perspectives and argue over even brushes, just like house painters. Even concrete workers argue over which trowel or float is best. Why should photography be any different?
Prior to retirement, one of my job roles was distributing one of the largest selections of true high-end power tools in the country (not the kinds of toys Cheapo Depot sells). Craftsmen, cabinet shops, and contractors had differing strong opinions and reasons for those differences. That's why a real selection was necessary. Surfboard makers would even fly in from the Hawaiian Islands; and I once had to break up a fight in the line between two of them due to diametrically different philosophies. California-style synthetic board makers were performance and production oriented, and that dictated their tools. Traditional long board makers had an almost Zen meditative mentality to how they both made boards of native trees, and how they surfed. And both schools outright despised those who made uber-expensive furniture-style boards meant to be hung above mantles in rich collectors vacation homes. Just one example among many.
That "male thing" dominates Photrio, but in my world half of the people are women, and most of them make photographs.I would suggest that what you are describing extends outside of photography and is easily observed in other endeavors and IMO it is largely a male thing.
Vaugn's made a valid point, IMO.
However I'm on the brink of concluding that photographers are not "artists" and that our work isn't "art." I think Job #1 is to make images that connect in some way, no matter how insignificantly.
Most of my own photography has been drifting away from "easy to label" but my most gratifying recently has been a technically well-done inkjet print of my digital photo of Comb Ridge, in Utah.
Filling the frame with enough of the 90(?) mile long ridge to support the archaeological story was tough, and only somebody who knew that story would see more than a geological reality, so it's important to let people know what they're seeing. Otherwise they'll miss the point.
It more-or-less connects Bears Ears with Chaco Canyon, which is/was a big deal to the "Anazasi" people, who (it's thought) lit fires along that ridge to communicate from group to group across that vast distance.
That "male thing" dominates Photrio, but in my world half of the people are women, and most of them make photographs.
It would probably be correct to say film photography is nearly exclusively an elderly male thing.
Even good intentions aren’t enough in the painting world but unintended consequences might be OK:
“Botched Restoration of Jesus Fresco Miraculously Saves Spanish Town”
Poor girl at a coffee shop I go to. I gave her my work record to take on an adventure, was showing her how to load it, and another customer came in and saw. Asked her about it, told me he was a pro, spotted my other camera, and started telling me about his gear and what he used in the film days...
Girl is standing by the register, waiting to take the guy's order and finish playing with the camera, but he kept "just a sec..." ing her as he had to finish this story or that about the F3 (which I had on me) and how he used it and when he went to an F5 and everything. She was trying so hard to be polite, eyes darting back and forth betwen us, not sure what was going on, but dammit that guy had to tell me EVERYTHING.
In his defense, I did note out of the corner of her eye she quietly snapped an instagram photo of the work record to send to a buddy. She's the same, just has fewer years of being excited about the gear to express.
I'm gonna agree with this here. I'm involved in other hobbies aside from photography. The level of fussiness and obsessing over gear is incredible. Go as a guitarist what strings they prefer, or a woodwind player about their reeds, a bicyclist about their tires and an R/C flyers about their propellers.
Photographers are not unique.
In your environment that may be the case. There is a whole bunch of different environments out there, and very little consistency between them.
The photographic mainstream is like a river, which used to be large, deep, and full of film based users.
It is now large, mostly fast and shallow, and mostly not film based.
But there are still eddies and shadowed obstructions, where the film based photographers rest before continuing their journey. And of course some of those film based photograph are old, and many of those old photographers are male.
Setting up pecking orders seems to be part of the human condition. In the art world, the top of the heap tends to be those who paint with oil or do bronzes. I asked one of my art professors where drawing, my preferred practice, fits in and she said at the bottom since that’s what gets painted over. Pretty funny.
And, that pecking order is also tied to conspicuous consumption. My ‘83 Volvo wagon gets me everywhere I want to go and has for well-over 35 years but my friends who drive Porsches have a different attitude about such things.
I am a very avid baker of artisan breads and when I remodeled my kitchen I bought the least expensive stove I could find that had a convection oven, around $400. It works great. A friend bought a European import stove of some kind that cost over $10,000. The bread out of that oven isn’t any better than mine.
But this is what keeps the economy going so I’m all for it.
I downgraded from a $30k oven in a professional setting, back to the 'ol Dutch oven. Hope to get back into the bakery at some point.
I did build a steam injector out of copper pipes and a pressure cooker back in the day. Lot's of fun. Kind of crazy. Bread came out great.
Yep, I use a Dutch oven as well and have seen those set ups where they inject steam with a modified pressure cooker. I’ve thought about it but the Dutch oven works pretty well. However, I am looking at the ones where they are inverted, that is, where the bottom is flat and the lid is bulbous. I think they are called a “double dutch oven” like the one Lodge makes. It allows the loaf to be more easily loaded without risk of deflating it in the process.
I've been making images for well over half a century. Before photography, I did etchings, block prints, paintings, all that. Still do. Photographers are different than artists though, no matter what your definition of the word artist may be. Other than the usual categories like print, original vs multiples, silkscreen vs drypoint, etc, no one really cares about how an image was made. It's just about the image.
But photography is full of specious definitions and categories. 35mm, MF, LF, Ultra LF, digital, traditional, hybrid, wet plate, and on and on. Why? Isn't it always about whether or not the image works for someone, or doesn't? I truly don't understand why it is this way, and I've been taking photos for decades. The viewer doesn't care either. So why do we?
I had an "interesting" discussion w/ someone on this subject in the AIRBNB where we're staying. One of the other guest asked me, what were you and so and so arguing about, it seemed pretty heated? I replied, believe it or not, it was about digital vs film. They just looked at me like I was an idiot. Maybe because it IS idiotic.
Why should a subject like this result in people drawing lines in the sand? Everyone here know what happens when this subject comes up too. It almost always leads to a big argument. Does anyone think that painters fuss over whether a work is made w/ oil based oil paint, or the newer water based oil paints? That never, ever happens. People are only concerned about the image, and secondarily how it was made. I think as photographers we're very insecure, deep inside. Why, I don't know, but I can't think of any other reason. It's stupid, isn't it? No one ever says, oh, you're working in fresco? That is SO old fashioned. SO old school. They say, great piece. Or, I hate it, what WERE you thinking when you did that? You know, they have relevant comments. To dismiss a work because of the medium that it's in is beyond dumb.
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