Do we get too obsessed by "real"?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,382
Re: Just for the cost of the frame …

Lightshow wrote:

Tom Caldwell wrote:

John Crowe wrote:

I hate getting involved in these, but what the heck, I am prepared for ridicule again.

I took art all through high school, did some engineering, and chose an education in Industrial Design instead of Architecture. I stopped painting 41 years ago and chose photography instead.

For ME photography is about real images printed on photographic paper to recreate the reality as much as possible. If one is going to print on canvas, and/or destroy a photographic image to make it look like a painting, then why not simply paint it in the first place.

On the opposite approach, I must say I am extremely impressed by those painters who paint images that look like photographs. That is an insane skill but I suspect I have more appreciation for the artist than the actual work.

All in all, I really should try painting and even rendering again, as my daughter has taken to it a bit over the past few years.

Having said that, I do like the colourful store front, but I think it could stand on it's own as an original photograph. Perhaps I sense a weakness in my own argument!

Your points are well made John.

In order to understand my motivation:

I think that I have some born-talent in composition skills. This I say in all modesty. I think that quite a lot of photographers either have or learn these skills.

All the learning in the world will never surpass pure talent, you can get close, I used to love drawing, but I have no talent, which is why I gravitated to Photography.

A well composed photograph can be so excellent that it hurts and we can all feel a pang of jealousy that we did not have the opportunity to make it ourselves. With our supercalafristic


Thanks,I am obviously a bit short on my “supercali” as well ….  

Woebegone camera and special lens with swirly bokeh of course. We are always so involved in our gear that we sometimes forget that even the simplest and most crude gear has made the most memorable images since man lived in caves and I am not just talking about painted art.

With early photographs the painters might have mentioned that the machine did all the work and therefore the result was talentless. Now perhaps adding art to a mechanical capture has become regarded as perhaps denying the skill that was used before the shutter button was pressed. Or are we still looking for the perfect camera gear that will make the most evocative image with utter reliability simply by pressing that button?

Unfortunately I have not had the spare time and also suspect that the talent is also missing for the serious artistic skills that my acquired (mental) composition skills would demand if I had become an artist. Nor have I ever been willing to live in a garret with my family fed hand to mouth waiting to become a recognised artist so that every painting would become worth a small fortune by the avid collectors of ‘my style’.

Taking photographic images and making them into art is something that I can do. They will never make me rich, but of course most art-painters will also not be rich either and at best they may have to supplement by teaching in order to make a living.

These processes allow me to experiment with style for my own satisfaction from images I captured photographically myself.

Eugene Atget, an early photographer in Paris, made a living by capturing images to sell to painters who would rather paint from them in their studio than sit for extended time in the open air. Maybe that is where I am coming from in a modern round-about manner?

It is also rather quaint that the famous artist has to mess around for years developing a style that investors might buy from their efforts and then spend the rest of their later careers replicating the style and making huge amounts of money. The famous sought-after artist has also to be a businessman. But most of the money is made by the astute investor after the artist is dead.

I chose a conventional career working as a professional in an area that I actually quite enjoyed - just as much as we must agree that the professional artist must necessarily enjoy what they do - even if they might never become rich -

As the saying goes, if you love what you do, you'll never work a day. I wish I listened to that advice.

it could also be classified as ‘a hobby’ and and displayed in local art shows and occasionally someone might like to pay something for it - even if it is only the cost of the frame

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Tom Caldwell

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