The Camera Matters.

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
howardroark
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Re: The Camera Matters.
In reply to Jeff_Donald, 7 months ago

Jeff_Donald wrote:

I have a great many artist friends (painters, sculptors, potters, photographers etc.), having taught at a local art center for years. When I visit their home or studio conversation always gets around to their latest work. However, they say "Let me show you my latest painting," not "let me show what I did with my new paint brush."

And yet there is typically a certain type of paint or application method or size or something that they do tend to concentrate on.  Painting involves some different elements that might be kind of difficult to line up with a photographic analog.  Still, the truth is photography is a much more democratic art form because people don't need much skill to get started.  Painting doesn't have a "Green Square" mode on it anywhere.    And it also depends on who they're talking to.  I don't tell random friends about how some new equipment helped me get this shot or that shot, but if I'm getting detailed about the shot then the equipment is a perfectly valid topic....in painting inspiration can be everything from real to imaginary and then your materials can cover a lot of ground.  In photography you only have the real to use and it can take a very specific capability to get a shot.

Photographers almost always show what they have done in relationship to their newest lens or body. Most other artists find that quite odd. The relationship between the photographer and camera is vastly different from the relationship between sculptor and hammer. Both tools are essential to the process, but relationship ends there for the sculptor. While the photographer has almost a romantic link to the camera.

I'm not sure that's where the relationship ends for the sculptor, but there is a much greater burden of creation on the artist himself creating something from nothing than the photographer using something very complex to relate to a subject that is unavoidably and completely real.  In other words, I can't go take a picture of a dragon or a dead person but an artist can create either one with a great deal of creative energy that originates completely from within.  Perhaps the connection some artist have to their art is just a bit different than a photographer and his photographs.  I'd imagine there are plenty of photographers that don't talk much about their gear when explaining the emotion and inspiration behind a photograph.

The photographer's relationship to the camera is more similar to the musician with his instrument. It's interesting that Ansel almost became a concert pianist.

Excellent analogy, although reality is much less flexible than the notes coming out of piano in terms of creative license.

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