b craw

b craw

Lives in United States Modesto, CA, United States
Works as a Artist and Instructor
Has a website at bradcraw.com
Joined on Jul 21, 2013
About me:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bcraw/

Comments

Total: 1114, showing: 1 – 20
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On article Composition tips: simplification and negative space (85 comments in total)
In reply to:

tvstaff: How would one describe elephant exctement at the circus? Is there a proper way it should fall to the ground. Once on the ground..... Analysis of art is pretentious, self serving, ego centric and biased. How you like your elephant excrement to look in the middle of the winter on a blank sheet of white paper should determine your elephant poop techniques. Analysis starts with "Anal".... for a reason ;)

Can we over-cook a dialog about formal concerns in art; run headlong into dense jargon? Certainly.

Does this mean that any discussion of visual mechanics (or anything relating to art) is 'pretense'? Such a declaration seems a bit silly.

Link | Posted on Aug 6, 2017 at 23:33 UTC
On article Composition tips: simplification and negative space (85 comments in total)
In reply to:

cosinaphile: art is what I like or what I say it is.... is a common misconception...what this guy is trying to make you think more deeply in a visual language you can internalize and eventually command
remember the lesson of learning to ride a bike .... you waver and struggle to keep balance to not fall over and not shake the front wheel back and forth....and then finally all the uncertainty falls away and riding effortlessly come from within... without consciously analyzing balance.

but first, you learn ... you don't arrogantly suggest bike riding knowledge is just what you say it is ... but you can't do one without the other .., in art... bike riding or motorcycle maintenance

learning about art and visual dynamics can be learned.... I'm amazed that anyone should think it otherwise

..

whats most amazing to me is how some people are so sure that something they don't know does not need to be learned
?...what other human quest is so flippant and without knowledge or principles ???

I enjoy your analogy, as long as we acknowledge that the visual mechanics of art might present as someone riding a bicycle in an unorthodox, perhaps even perplexing, manner.

Link | Posted on Aug 6, 2017 at 23:22 UTC
On article Composition tips: simplification and negative space (85 comments in total)
In reply to:

b craw: Ted does a pretty good job here presenting figure/ground relationship(s) and the general effect of 'simplification' in an approachable, conversational tone. As an academic with years addressing the subject of composition, I could quibble over some detail - particularly the conflation of some terminology - but choose not to go into that here. Largely the general dialog and considerations are good ones, aided by including examples of work by photographers employing a reduced economy of elements and minimalism in their work. And I think these types of examples help to show that there can often be a rich range of approaches to form, from that which appears very calculated to that which seems to draw more from intuition.

(Cont.)

My experience in teaching photography has been that, whatever the reason, students tend to think about composition as 'framing', almost exclusively. (And in this way, rule of thirds or golden ratio are viewed as dogmatic template rather than suggestion) It has always been a bit of effort to get them to regard the wider group of concerns that constitute composition - the various potential elements and organizational principles that can present in photographic 'form', and, very importantly, how that impacts the reading of overall 'content'.

Link | Posted on Aug 6, 2017 at 23:07 UTC
On article Composition tips: simplification and negative space (85 comments in total)

Ted does a pretty good job here presenting figure/ground relationship(s) and the general effect of 'simplification' in an approachable, conversational tone. As an academic with years addressing the subject of composition, I could quibble over some detail - particularly the conflation of some terminology - but choose not to go into that here. Largely the general dialog and considerations are good ones, aided by including examples of work by photographers employing a reduced economy of elements and minimalism in their work. And I think these types of examples help to show that there can often be a rich range of approaches to form, from that which appears very calculated to that which seems to draw more from intuition.

Link | Posted on Aug 6, 2017 at 23:06 UTC as 6th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Magnar W: Many photographers don't know why art is something else than commersial photography or amateur photography. They 'know' that art is 'fake', they don't even have to argue, and they typicelly claim that they themselves or their children could have done much better! All this even without examining what modern art is, it's present status, or how photography is used as a technique and a medium by those highly trained artists who are critically and analytically looking into 'our' medium - those who work within the tradition called art and the field called contemprorary art.

Why not just check out what this is all about before commenting?

Diving into this field is exciting and challenging, and what I have found has surprised me over and over again, made me question how I look at and how I read photographs and other kinds of visual work, and learned me a lot more about pictures, also about my core interest, photography! ;-)

@Docno
Certainly the polemic evidenced in Duchamp (and many other artists of the time) is not in dispute - this work was instrumental in shaping new ways to look at art. Postmodernism and Post-structuralism didn't emerge as fully-throated theories until much later, but Duchamp, most definitely is a very important progenitor of a critical shift in art from largely aesthetic-dominant concerns to concerns about the nature of representation and - by extension - originality, authorship, etc. And this is a primary tension characterizing so much notable work of the later half of the twentieth century - Kosuth, Warhol, Levine, Sherman, etc.

Where I think Ultan is wrong is in suggesting that there exists an institutional agenda "to destroy the idea of beauty itself, of objectivity, of standards, of Western culture." My experience - going on two decades now - with the hydra of art academia leads me to believe that such a concerted manipulation of ideology for political ends, is quite unlikely.

Link | Posted on Mar 16, 2017 at 21:15 UTC
In reply to:

Magnar W: Many photographers don't know why art is something else than commersial photography or amateur photography. They 'know' that art is 'fake', they don't even have to argue, and they typicelly claim that they themselves or their children could have done much better! All this even without examining what modern art is, it's present status, or how photography is used as a technique and a medium by those highly trained artists who are critically and analytically looking into 'our' medium - those who work within the tradition called art and the field called contemprorary art.

Why not just check out what this is all about before commenting?

Diving into this field is exciting and challenging, and what I have found has surprised me over and over again, made me question how I look at and how I read photographs and other kinds of visual work, and learned me a lot more about pictures, also about my core interest, photography! ;-)

Ultan you write: "The aim of these people and their patrons is to destroy the idea of beauty itself, of objectivity, of standards, of Western culture. It is a mode of warfare designed to atomize, to alienate, to make ugly, to destroy the spirit of the target peoples so they can more easily be persuaded to commit national suicide."

That is a truly jaundiced statement, and one likely to take days to unpack should anyone really dare to. What evidence might you present for the existence of such a cabal, past or present? I'm an art academic. Perhaps I am just not being invited to the juicier meetings wherein colleagues are conspiring, with singular intent, against the idea of beauty.

Link | Posted on Mar 14, 2017 at 10:42 UTC
On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (223 comments in total)
In reply to:

dialstatic: I can't shake the feeling that it's too 'manipulated' (the process I mean). It's a matter of taste, I guess.

In any case I found the tutorial interesting to read and clearly written, and the end result very beautiful. Thanks DPR!

And, to be fair, short dof technique runs an equal risk of becoming mannerism. Best means of avoidance seems to foster a healthy internal dialog within photographer as to the appropriateness of technique in service to conceptual intent.

But, hey, there are times (and it is good for development) when technique and visual effects are just a playground. And a good deal of photography comes down to Uncle Jack feeling he is getting the most out of his new full-frame DSLR by riffling through every chic technique relating to exposure and post-process. I have no real interest in peeing on that parade.

Link | Posted on May 31, 2016 at 20:19 UTC
On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (223 comments in total)
In reply to:

dialstatic: I can't shake the feeling that it's too 'manipulated' (the process I mean). It's a matter of taste, I guess.

In any case I found the tutorial interesting to read and clearly written, and the end result very beautiful. Thanks DPR!

Androole:
In its opposition to much of the pictorialism that dominated early twentieth-century photography, Group f/64 was philosophically polemical. Long depth-of-field was just one prominent characteristic of a more 'straight' approach to media ('straight' acknowledged as a potentially problematic construct). As opposed to the overarching conceptual premises of Group f/64, much of contemporary landscape photography operates devoid of concept, a simple exercise of mannerist aesthetic motifs and technique.

But your point is taken. Clear focus throughout the frame is not the cliche. But something in so much contemporary landscape photography method - that rather uncritical veneer-like process e.g. focus stacking + saccharine color + predicatably detailed foreground object(s) - is.

Link | Posted on May 31, 2016 at 19:32 UTC
On article Looking Sharp: A focus stacking tutorial (223 comments in total)
In reply to:

dialstatic: I can't shake the feeling that it's too 'manipulated' (the process I mean). It's a matter of taste, I guess.

In any case I found the tutorial interesting to read and clearly written, and the end result very beautiful. Thanks DPR!

I'll never be comfortable arguing for a more 'pure' approach to the medium, as such perspectives are often based in arbitrary declaration or structural fallacy. And yet, I'd be lying if I said that focus stacking doesn't seem a reasonably good candidate to become to contemporary landscape photography what faux-wood paneling was to interior design in the 1970's.

None of this to disparage Mr. Williams' effort here; a pretty concise and effective walk-through of technique.

Link | Posted on May 31, 2016 at 09:51 UTC
In reply to:

b craw: I should first state that I am appreciative and generally supportive of any tutorial content that affords photographers the opportunity to experiment with technique(s) in the broadest sense.

That said, as a photography educator of some years now, what I witness as lacking in on-line content is much resembling a critical dialog about 'why' or 'when' certain techniques appropriately serves conceptual objectives. While observing the Orton-effect is by no means new, it joins a host of other mannerist tendencies with contemporary landscape photographery, framing an increasingly masturbatory aesthetic prevalent, particularly in the most commercial contexts. My expectation is that leading wave of current photographers, whether doing commercial work or otherwise, will push the medium in new and unexpected ways by questioning popular method(s). And this seems evidenced by so many of the important figures in history of photography (or art) as to be a statement of the obvious. But, even photographers simply endeavoring to reach for a personal voice (without grander ambition within the development of the medium), I have to encourage a healthy push-back against any trending 'look' to a photograph.

Chris M Williams:

Thank you for the Guy Tal reference; I am enjoying reading an interview of him and looking at his work more closely.

Link | Posted on May 10, 2016 at 21:55 UTC
In reply to:

b craw: I should first state that I am appreciative and generally supportive of any tutorial content that affords photographers the opportunity to experiment with technique(s) in the broadest sense.

That said, as a photography educator of some years now, what I witness as lacking in on-line content is much resembling a critical dialog about 'why' or 'when' certain techniques appropriately serves conceptual objectives. While observing the Orton-effect is by no means new, it joins a host of other mannerist tendencies with contemporary landscape photographery, framing an increasingly masturbatory aesthetic prevalent, particularly in the most commercial contexts. My expectation is that leading wave of current photographers, whether doing commercial work or otherwise, will push the medium in new and unexpected ways by questioning popular method(s). And this seems evidenced by so many of the important figures in history of photography (or art) as to be a statement of the obvious. But, even photographers simply endeavoring to reach for a personal voice (without grander ambition within the development of the medium), I have to encourage a healthy push-back against any trending 'look' to a photograph.

SmilerGrogan:

I think if we're not careful, we might present a false exclusivity to process. Certainly, as one is starting in any creative craft, mimicking technique is often a stage of development, and can ultimately inform more personal or sophisticated content. If one engages in a mindful play with technique, who is to say where that may lead? Process, in the broadest sense, is potentially very fluid.

What underpins my original comment is that technique is often used without much consideration, and as such promotes veins of aesthetic mannerism that do little to push the medium forward.

Link | Posted on May 10, 2016 at 21:50 UTC

I should first state that I am appreciative and generally supportive of any tutorial content that affords photographers the opportunity to experiment with technique(s) in the broadest sense.

That said, as a photography educator of some years now, what I witness as lacking in on-line content is much resembling a critical dialog about 'why' or 'when' certain techniques appropriately serves conceptual objectives. While observing the Orton-effect is by no means new, it joins a host of other mannerist tendencies with contemporary landscape photographery, framing an increasingly masturbatory aesthetic prevalent, particularly in the most commercial contexts. My expectation is that leading wave of current photographers, whether doing commercial work or otherwise, will push the medium in new and unexpected ways by questioning popular method(s). And this seems evidenced by so many of the important figures in history of photography (or art) as to be a statement of the obvious. But, even photographers simply endeavoring to reach for a personal voice (without grander ambition within the development of the medium), I have to encourage a healthy push-back against any trending 'look' to a photograph.

Link | Posted on May 10, 2016 at 08:22 UTC as 25th comment | 7 replies
On article CP+ 2016: Things we found that had been cut in half (136 comments in total)
In reply to:

AndroC: Just how do they actually do this? How can they get such a clean cut section? Very fine bandsaw blades? It has always puzzled me.

That link was copied from GRUBERND post.

Link | Posted on Mar 1, 2016 at 07:48 UTC
On article CP+ 2016: Things we found that had been cut in half (136 comments in total)
In reply to:

AndroC: Just how do they actually do this? How can they get such a clean cut section? Very fine bandsaw blades? It has always puzzled me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jruSfx3ztjw

Link | Posted on Mar 1, 2016 at 07:44 UTC
On article Pride and joy: shooting the Olympus PEN-F in Austin (261 comments in total)
In reply to:

elefteriadis alexandros: Art mode and filter is just to distract from the real problem, its small format without control in DOF. All pictures look flat because the lens mm its to low for 3D looking pictures, i miss the medium format quality.

Bokeh Whores - I saw them in '92 at the Roxy (opened for Mudhoney); they were fantastic!

Link | Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 06:46 UTC
On article Pride and joy: shooting the Olympus PEN-F in Austin (261 comments in total)

A really lovely sample gallery.

Link | Posted on Jan 28, 2016 at 06:42 UTC as 31st comment | 1 reply
On article PIX 2015: A conversation with Devin Allen (18 comments in total)
In reply to:

Snapper2013: Ok just a little CC regarding the first photo. The photo is good but that streetlight growing out of the man's head should have been removed.

Just sayin....

Jordan,

Although it might stand as a well-intentioned praxis of 'photojournalism', your assertion as to the clarity of transgression is a bit lacking for historical context. The truth is that many images (photographs) observed as foundational to documentary photographic practice were altered (often for formal reasons)...not unlike the suggestion made here. One such example is the most iconic of Dorothea Lange's depression-era photographs, later to become widely known as 'Migrant Mother' (1936). This image was retouched prior to publication, removing the main subject's thumb from the lower right portion of the frame. Other unrelated controversy of the misrepresentation in this image set aside, one can make make a fairly convincing argument that such an alteration did no more harm to the image than cropping would have.

Link | Posted on Jan 5, 2016 at 10:58 UTC
On article PIX 2015: A conversation with Devin Allen (18 comments in total)
In reply to:

b craw: We tend to build little convenient boxes to reinforce existing mindsets; and we will find the media to support this. Much respect to Mr. Allen and his attempts to build bridges of dialog. Really encouraged by all forms of such mindfulness.

Thank you for reminding me that a powerful image can sometimes cut through the noise and lend a bit of insight.

Link | Posted on Jan 3, 2016 at 10:33 UTC
On article PIX 2015: A conversation with Devin Allen (18 comments in total)

We tend to build little convenient boxes to reinforce existing mindsets; and we will find the media to support this. Much respect to Mr. Allen and his attempts to build bridges of dialog. Really encouraged by all forms of such mindfulness.

Link | Posted on Jan 3, 2016 at 10:23 UTC as 8th comment | 1 reply
In reply to:

Banh Mi: Not sure why pick Fuji, I had fuji X-T10 , and I had 56mm 1.2 , focus is crap, everything is crap. body + everything feel like plastic, cheap build... Even the Canon EF 50mm 1.8 STM is much better build. I recommend all others brand, except fuji. All of all, the sensor of Fuji give me not sharp photo like: A7, Canon, nikon, Samsung Nx, Olympus, and even my GM5 + Mitakon 25mm 0.95, beat that Jufi 56mm 1.2 easy on sharpness. I also agree with colors of fuji and JPG, but then Lightroom is better, and who the hell shoot JPG ? A Man shoot raw. P/S: Fujifilm cheap build, slow focus, but .. price is too high compare to other brands.

Xeriwthe:

The second quote is taken from the Panasonic GM5 review, authored by Allison Johnson.

Link | Posted on Dec 26, 2015 at 19:28 UTC
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