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Tag Archives: Art
Why the Hell is Photoshop So Controversial?
Photoshop: it’s a tool that, for some incredibly stupid reason, seems to be controversial. Some people love it, others hate, but the smart people know that it is just that – a tool to achieve and end-result. But what got us going this week was a comment from someone on Facebook regarding a photograph they had seen, “…wow, is it real or PS?”
C’mon, really? Just because a photograph has been through the Photoshop cycle, it ceases to be real? But that got us thinking – what does it really mean for a photograph to be “real”? Too many people confuse “real” with “realism”. Are Picasso’s works not “real” paintings because they don’t depict realistic subjects? You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who would take such a position. So why do we say that about photography and Photoshop? If I create a shallow depth of field through a lens choice that’s okay but if I add blur in Photoshop, then it’s not a real photograph? If I make a bride’s teeth whiter than they really are or, more to the point, than they appear because we’re under incandescent lighting, that’s not a real photograph but if the bride had her teeth whitened by a dentist, that’s okay?
This whole concept of post-production, regardless of the tool that’s used, has to stop. As long as the photographer/artist is trying to achieve an image that they see in their mind’s eye, why the hell should we care – or judge – how it was achieved? And we’re not even touching on the differences between using Photoshop to manually alter an image versus allowing a camera to do it outside of our control!
So, to all of you who believe that Photoshop renders a photograph “fake”, it’s time to allow your photography and creative vision to mature a bit.
What about photography before there was Photoshop? Today’s photographer is Kansuke Yamamoto (1914-1987), an early surrealist photographer from Japan. His work included several pieces on film that, today, we would accomplish with Photoshop or other digital imaging tools but, as a film photographer, Yamamoto did his post-production in the darkroom. Are these “real” photographs?
What happens when you let Tony choose the artist? You get a musician! Today we have Captain Beefheart. As long as we’re talking about art being real without requiring realism, the good captain is actually an excellent choice for an artist who inspires. Especially in the realm of surrealism. Let’s let Captain Beefheart have the last laugh today:
“It makes me itch to think of myself as Captain Beefheart. I don’t even have a boat.”
Visionaries – It’s a word that evokes a sense of artistry, focus, vision (d’uh) and, apparently, confusion…
Are There Visionaries in Photography?
The guys get down to discussing the finer points of the role of visionaries in photography until they realize that theymay not be talking about the same thing.
Still, the guys have a lively debate about whether or not we can recognize visionaries while they’re actively creating art or if we can only recognize their influence after they’re dead – or at the very least, after the influence is over. Kind of like a gambling streak in Vegas, right? You never know you’re on a streak, you only ever knew that your were on a streak.
And what about the tie, or bond, between visionaries and technology? Can technology create, or destroy, a person’s vision? Or is technology truly just a tool that visionaries can use to bring their vision to life?
Our artists, on one hand, could not be different. But you can easily argue that they are very similar if we look at each one’s influence in their respective worlds. Either way, they are truly visionaries, even if you hate their stuff.
Robert Mapplethorpe – love him or hate him, you can’t deny the importance that Mapplethorpe has had on the art world. Then, when you realize the time period in which he was most active, you can see see the boundaries that he had to cross and the limitations he had to break through. Definitely check out the documentary on him, Black White + Gray.
Emily Carr is one of Canada’s best known artists, was influenced by both modernism and post-impressionism and that is readily recognizable in her artwork. Her role as one of Canada’s artistic visionaries is still maintained and celebrated today, particularly in the province of British Columbia where she was also influenced by the indigenous peoples of the West Coast.
P.S. – Rick and Tony are totally wrong: Rob is freaking FUNNY!
Elisha and Anne: are you available next week?
Tony is out sick for this episode and it’s left to Rick and Rob to record the show. Listen to what happens when two guys with attention deficit issues try to remain focused on a conversation. Witness for yourself Rob’s amazing talent of taking 5 minutes to set up a 5 second answer or Rick giving an awesome answer that has nothing to do with the question.
It’s a rather personal show, with R² (that’s shorthand for Rick and Rob) discussing their goals for 2013, their regrets of the past year, and their dream assignment. Of course, there is the usual oddball stuff liberally strewn throughout.
BTW, since we forgot to do the opening segment, Rob was drinking whiskey and Rick was drinking his homebrew. So now you know.
What else do we talk about? Well:
- The difference between allowing mistakes and accepting mistakes
- How the business of photography interferes with the art of photography
- Can a style atrophy if you’re not careful?
- Buy stuff from our CafePress Store (it’s a recurring theme)
- Will Rob continue with figure studies in 2013?
- Why photography can still be a viable profession
- How the opening sequence to our first episode was like Masterpiece Theatre… on quaaludes
There’s neither a featured photographer nor artist this week but that will be back.
Happy New Year and, before we forget again, it’s absolutely critical that you never, ever… oh look, a puppy!
With all of the post-production being done on images these days, when does a photograph cease being a photograph? It’s a serious question with serious ramifications depending on who you are. We’re not saying that too much post-production can kill an image, but maybe it transforms it from a photograph into art!
Well, we’ve gotten back on track after Rob accidentally released the live show a week early and the three dimwitted hosts of this show took two weeks to figure it out! So, we’re back to our normal schedule (we think)! Tony and Rob had a great time in Vegas but it sure didn’t help us with the scheduling of shows. In fact, Tony was semi-MIA for this show as he is still in Vegas and heads home to Aussie-land tomorrow (Thursday). Safe travels, Tony!!
In Tony’s absence, our old friend Steven “The Grammar Nazi” Chappell joins us again as our guest co-host. And that makes for a great opportunity to discuss the role of post-production.
When does a photograph cease to be a photograph and can it still be art?
Rob is a fine art photographer, Rick is a portraiture photographer, and Steven is a photo journalist. Each of of the three guys has a different viewpoint of when too much post-production has occurred and you can no longer call the image a photograph. As you can imagine, Rob has the most lenient point of view and Steven has a far more rigid one. (Viewpoint, that is!!)
Nonetheless, we have a lively and good talk about it.
Today’s photographer is Giulio Sciorio, a commercial photographer based out of Miami and can be found at Small Camera, Big Picture. Rob and Giulio have appeared as panelists on Will Crockett’s Hybrid Hangout, including the latest video HH: Mirrorless Myths, True or False? One of the things that the guys immediately recognize in Giulio’s work is his ability to connect with his subjects. Don’t believe us? Check out the liveliness in the faces and eyes of his subjects!
(note from Rob) I know, I know, this is episode 26, not 25 like I opened the show with. I tell you, when I do this sober I fuck it up. But it is what it is. Maybe I need more education…
How Important is Education?
With much anticipation, Ted Forbes from The Art of Photography joins us for an excellent discussion on the role of education in photography. Do you need an academic degree? Sometimes, depending on what you want to do. Do you need some form of mentorship? Absolutely!
We normally write a bunch of stuff here to try to make what Rick, Tony, and Rob say seem more interesting (a Herculean task at times) but today, the podcast can stand on its own. If you’re thinking about getting a formal education or continuing with a more informal education or training, you definitely want to give this show a listen.
A huge thank you to Ted for being such a gracious guest and offering such great insight.
Ted talks about a family friend and successful photographer from the 70s and 80s, the late Greg Booth. We don’t have a link for Greg’s work but watch Ted’s show and he has a project in the work to start displaying Greg’s work.
Our artist is Akira Yoshizawa, the founder of modern Origami. Rob discovered Yoshizawa while watching the documentary, Between the Folds.
The Nude Model
An hour and a half? We could have kept this one going for hours!
Okay, we’re talking about nude photography again, just like we did back in episode 12. Well, not exactly like we did back then. Jayda, an art model that Rob recently worked with, drops by the show to answer the guys’ questions and offers her own insight into what it is like to be a nude model. She adds a whole new (and welcome) dynamic about the topic and you don’t have to listen to the three sausages talk about nudes!
Have you wondered what a model looks for when deciding to work with a photographer? Or to what level a model may want to collaborate on an image or in the entire shoot? Or what the model expects from the shoot? Or how awkward Rob, Tony, and Rick get when talking to a girl? Then this show will answer those questions, and more.
A huge thanks to Jayda for providing such a well-articulated insight into the life and world of one art model.
Folks, this show is a keeper!