Consequences of Fatali incident

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by qtluong, Apr 1, 2001.

  1. Some of you have expressed disappointment over the deletion of the thread "Fatali, View Camera, and disgust", which generated close to 50 answers (the record so far, what does this say about the LF forum ?). I felt that this thread started with an artificial controversy because it was assumed that Steve Simmons was aware of the incident while he actually was not, and degenerated into litigious and personal attacks (which are not permitted by the forum's charter). I do feel that many of the points debated in this thread were of importance to us, but the problem is that when posters begin to attack each other, if you selectively delete postings, you incur the risk of being unfair to some participants or making the thread a mess to follow.
    Some of these points include: the responsability of mags and what gets published, ethics in nature photography, what actually happens to the Delicate Arch site, the damage done to photography in the National Parks, legal issues such as access restrictions or charges against Fatali, etc.. Feel free to post your opinions on those topics, but since they are more sensitive and emotional than the superiority of Boss screens over Fresnels, please be very careful with your words.
    NB: For future reference, the deleted thread "Fatali, View Camera, and disgust" expressed anger at the fact that Fatali published a cover article in View Camera in which he insists on his integrity and the purity of his images, while he was recently caught using artificial, damaging, and illegal techniques at the Delicate Arch. This was reported in several media and discussed at length in the following threads in this forum and in photo.net:
    • http://hv.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg.tcl?msg_id=003y29
    • http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=0016TC
    • http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00195K
     
  2. I will post here as I put up the first question on Photo.net. I heard
    of the incident on the news from Salt Lake City on the radio while
    printing in my darkroom in Northern Utah. I read of it in the Deseret
    News or Salt Lake Tribune as well. I posted the question and tried to
    be noncommital as we did not have all the information, just news
    reports with their immediacy.
    I did contact Arizona Highways, Friends of Arizona Highways, the
    National Park Service head ranger in Arches National Park and Michael
    Fatali himself, among others.
    After reading of it and talking with those involved, it came down to
    Michael using a lighting technique and having it backfire on him. He
    did not plan on damage but once he found it had happened, he called
    the rangers at Arches National Park & asked what he had to do to make
    it good with them. To date, no criminal charges have been filed.
    Maybe none will ever be, we will have to wait & see.
    Yes, he broke the law. Just as almost everyone else does in speeding
    in the park. He did a lighting demo to a tour group he was leading.
    In hindsight, he admits he screwed up. It happens. He has taken
    responsibility and it is now between him and the Park Service.

    <p>

    His ethics may well be questioned by many, but regardless he takes
    some of the finest images possible. He does it with an 8x10 view
    camera. He tried a lighting technique and it backfired, and he will
    pay for that the rest of his career. But, as for actual damage
    done... I looked for the marks two weeks ago and didn't see them.
    Others have looked and some find them while others don't. They are
    pretty small. If a park consultant removed them I am sure Michael
    will pay the bill. He had not backed away from responsibility.

    <p>

    If some find his actions so reprehensible, don't purchase his
    photographs. Don't read his articles. Don't patronize his galleries.
    He made a mistake, nothing more. No one died. No whales or dolphins
    were killed and Delicate Arch is still there for our illustrious Utah
    Governor to market while introducing whirling disease into our States
    trout population. Right now, there is little damage anyone can point
    to other than the the psyche of those calling for Michaels head on a
    stick.

    <p>

    I will leave it alone and let him get on with his career.

    <p>

    As for Steve Simmons & Veiw Camera magazine. I have absolutely NO
    problem with his featuring the images of one of the premier Large
    Format photographers of today in his magazine. I bet he follows up,
    now that he knows there was a controversy, with an interview with
    Michael. I doubt either of them will duck the issue. (and personally,
    I hope he prints the photo or photos shot using the lighting
    technique so we can judge for outselves the image) Steve doesn't duck
    controversy nor does he market it to sell magazines. If he thinks it
    should be covered & Michael is agreeable to an interview I bet we see
    on in View Camera soon. I hope so. We can all learn from it and by
    shining a light on the issue a lot more will learn from Michaels
    mistake.

    <p>

    And before those answers start coming about Michael "BREAKING THE
    LAW". Remember that when you come to Utah to see the burning arch,
    that any sexual relationships outside marriage can get you hard jail
    time here. That bringing in a bottle of beer or cigarettes can get
    you prosecuted in Utah for tax evasion. Photographing a nude or
    partially clad model can get you prosecuted by the States new Porn
    Czar. A lot of things are against the law and are ignored, not known
    or not enforced. If burning a dura-flame (the lighting log of the
    Gods?) log is the worst thing you do while visiting, you are probably
    lucky.

    <p>

    It was a mistake. A stupid one, but still a mistake. Over reaction is
    just as stupid.
     
  3. Without trying to sound cynical, but I'd say Fatali has received lots
    of free publicity here! I will have to inspect the burn marks myself
    before making any judgement on the matter...
     
  4. The Fatali incident demonstrates the "power" of a photograph to raise
    emotions, concerns, points of view, et al. No other medium other than
    the pen has historically demonstated this ability--not disregarding
    the internet. One only has to look at the broad History of
    Photography, worldwide, to see the impact a specific photo has had on
    society.

    <p>

    Is it precisely this ability which perhaps draws some of us to
    photography?????

    <p>

    At this point, I have not formulated an opinion but am studying the
    issues raised.

    <p>

    an observer, with respect,

    <p>

    Raymond A. Bleesz
     
  5. Dan, you are directly on target. Well said.
     
  6. That was nicely said, Dan!
     
  7. Dan,

    <p>

    You seem to have covered all the bases for what should be done to
    understand what truly happened. However, I disagreed in the past and
    still do that we are missing the point!!!!

    <p>

    Breaking the law where it doesn't impact other people is
    a "mistake". Breaking the law where it damages a natural wonder
    (regardless of your perspective on how it is used in the state for
    political reasons) is more than that. It is your approach to life,
    your comment on responsibility, it is your character!! That is the
    piece that is disturbing because if you have it in you to do it in
    the first place, then it will rear its ugly head again.
     
  8. At least now we know why the Anasazi et al. left the area: they made
    the same fatal Fatali error- making fires where they shouldn't. And
    the're gone, forever.
     
  9. Cindy, and others who feel as she does, I can easily understand your
    viewpoint. What Michael did was wrong. But, it is wrong because a
    regulation says it was wrong and for no other reason. The lighting of
    the fire, not the subsequent damage that is.
    In looking at the stories and talking with Michael it is clear that
    no harm was intended. Roasting pans were carried in so the logs would
    not harm the sandstone. The damage was done in stamping out he fires
    and tracking the residue on the sandstone.
    Wrong? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Criminally neglegent? I think you would have
    a difficult time convicting anyone on this one other than with a
    strict interpretation of any applicable laws. Just as you would have
    a tough time prosecuting jaywalkers... even when one got hurt.

    <p>

    I think the biggest casualty is to the reputation of Michael Fatali.
    In the eyes of many he will never recover. Others won't care one way
    or another.

    <p>

    I see it more as an attempt to replicate what might have been seen
    in centuries past as fires were burned at night near the arch. And
    the archeological evidence is that this has been done. In using
    a "natural" light source I can easily see an attempt to get
    a 'natural light' image rather than on lit by strobes. And as has
    been said in many places, this is a technique used by more than a few
    nature photographers.

    <p>

    As to whether Michael and others will light like this in the future,
    who knows? If so, I bet most will be a lot more careful when doing
    so. I am not surprised at the reactions to what happened, but I am
    disturbed by those advocating a literal death penalty for a mistake.
    The guy didn't blow up a building nor did he hire a helicopter and
    start shooting cows like some ranchers in Escalante. He lit an icon
    with 'un' natural firelight & stained the rock with footprints when
    putting the fires out after his exposures were done. Nothing more.

    <p>

    I would even suspect that if the NPS has been approached ahead of
    time, permission might have been given to light it, under
    supervision. Sadly, now whomever comes next & asks will probably be
    denied. The real tragedy is in the loss of trust the rest of us face
    as a result. We pick & choose the laws we want to obey, from speeding
    to hiking cross country to camping too near a stream or lake. Most of
    the time no harm results. But when it does we sure hear about it.
    That is the case here, nothing more.

    <p>

    And, as I mentioned before, in talking with Michael he said "Whatever
    the cost or penalty, I will pay it." The guy does practice what he
    preaches, a respect for the land. He did not spend any time with
    anyone denying or lying or trying to get someone else to define 'what
    the meaning of is is'." He did it, plain and simple and he will face
    the consequences for the rest of his career.
     
  10. Dan, I largely agree with you, but with one exception. Your attempt
    to compare Fatali's actions with jaywalking or speeding tends to
    trivialize the issue. Fortunately the NPS didn't overreact, but they
    could have banned LF photography or required tripod permits, etc. In
    other words, this had the potential to have long-lasting impact, and
    for that reason I feel it was a reckless act, not just a trivial
    mistake.

    <p>

    By the way, I took a workshop from Fatali six years ago because I
    admired and respected his photography, and that hasn't changed.
    .
     
  11. Dan Smith wrote:

    <p>

    "...As for Steve Simmons & Veiw Camera magazine. I have absolutely NO
    problem with his featuring the images of one of the premier Large
    Format photographers of today in his magazine. I bet he follows up,
    now that he knows there was a controversy, with an interview with
    Michael. I doubt either of them will duck the issue."

    <p>

    I sent the following email to Steve Simmons:

    <p>

    "Dear Steve,

    <p>

    By this time I suppose you have received allot of mail on the Fatali
    piece in the last issue of View Camera. So I'll keep it short.
    Anyone can make a mistake. Mike made a really big one. He should
    have said something about it in the article. He _does not_ use only
    natural light; the Delicate Arch incident proves it.
    At the very least he should have admitted he did something very wrong
    and let the readership in on whatever he is doing to put things right.
    I don't think he should be sanctioned -- at least not forever. But
    he is really the only one who can put this thing to rest -- he ought
    to give his side of the story and answer some questions.

    <p>

    Jason Kefover"

    <p>

    Steve sent the following reply to me:

    <p>

    "It looks like the photos he sent to us were all available light.

    <p>

    steve simmons"

    <p>


    Jason Kefover
     
  12. Steve Simmons said:

    <p>

    "It looks like the photos he sent to us were all available light."

    <p>

    Notice the phrase "looks like". Can you be sure that no artificial
    light was used in the submitted photographs? Did you ask Fatali
    point-blank? Did he respond? Therein lies the problem!
     
  13. As a photographer I personally would like to see a follow up article
    in View Camera in which Fatali explains his actions and justifies his
    ‘natural light' technique to all photographers. As one other post in
    the now deleted thread pointed out, it seems, inadvertently, that
    Fatali has been rewarded for his actions. I feel strongly that the
    reason for the animosity towards Fatali is that he seems to be
    thumbing his nose at those who question his seemingly self righteous
    attitude when in my opinion he is no better than the tourist who
    throws his MGD bottle on the side of the road from his RV as he leaves
    Arches - now that HE is finished ‘using' the area, who cares about the
    others that may follow?
     
  14. First thing - I admire the fact that Michael stepped forward and is
    accepting responsibility for what happened. I have no reason to doubt
    him when he says that the occurrence was an unfortunate accident, and
    as long as he accepts whatever consequences (legal or otherwise) that
    result from his action, then I'm willing to let bygones be bygones.

    <p>

    Having said that however, I personally believe that his actions
    warrant the condemnation they’ve received and that criminal charges
    are certainly reasonable in a case like this. To suggest, as some
    have, that lack of intent means that no crime was committed is simply
    wrong. If someone walked up to Delicate Arch with a pan full of tar
    and ash and purposefully defaced it, there would be no argument from
    anyone that the perpetrator should be punished. The end result of
    Michael's incident is exactly the same; a natural monument in a
    national park was damaged. I’m not suggesting he be crucified for the
    crime, just punished appropriately.

    <p>

    Having read some of the things that Michael's written about his
    connection with nature and seeing his reactions to this incident, I
    suspect he'd tell you the same thing. I also suspect that, while he's
    probably tired of hearing about this whole thing, he probably
    realizes he deserves the condemnation he's received.

    <p>

    My ultimate beef may end up being with the government. I think it’s
    important that there be some consequence, and that the public be
    notified that this type of thing won’t be tolerated. If the damage is
    permanent, then fines would seem appropriate (the amount he made
    during this workshop, plus any costs associated with the cleanup,
    might be a good starting point). A temporary ban from the parks might
    also be reasonable.

    <p>

    If the damage isn’t permanent (in the sense of our lifetimes) then
    I’d be perfectly happy with the park service working a deal with
    Michael to pay repair costs. Since Michael has been cooperative, I
    would even support allowing him to pay these costs off in trade for
    limited usage rights to some of his work (the park service has some
    pretty lousy photos gracing the pages of some of their pamphlets and
    educational material).

    <p>

    Sorry, getting a little carried away with the creative sentencing. My
    point is, some form of punishment is necessary and it needs to be
    made very clear that vandalism, whether intentional or not, will
    absolutely NOT be tolerated.

    <p>

    As for the VC article - I was very disappointed that there was no
    mention of the incident in the piece. I skimmed the article while
    waiting in line at my local bookstore and I very nearly put the
    magazine back on the rack when I noticed that it wasn't mentioned. Not
    mentioning the incident seemed awfully disingenuous considering the
    tone of what WAS written. Still, I can’t fault Steve if he really had
    no knowledge of what happened and I can’t really fault Michael for
    not wanting to bring the topic up in what was intended as a positive
    article about his work. Now that Steve knows, it’s quite possible
    he’ll mention something about it in an upcoming issue. That’s even
    more likely if he receives enough feedback from people who feel the
    oversight needs to be addressed.

    <p>

    In the meantime, we can all use incidents like this as a reminder to
    be careful in what we do. Best intentions can often backfire, and
    it’s important to think about these things long and hard. Ethical and
    moral questions arise as well; would each of us have taken the same
    responsibility for our actions as Michael has?

    <p>

    On a lighter note, maybe it's time we reevaluate the motto that many
    of us have when in the outdoors?

    <p>

    (something about leaving only footprints...)
     
  15. mine's been amended... I installed a "cigarette butt" clause.
     
  16. mine's been amended...I installed a "skeletons of cigarette butt
    droppers" clause.
     
  17. Andy...you put it short and sweet! Besides my disappointment and
    anger, I am feeling duped! Only a few years back was my first trip
    to Utah, and the delightful trip through Fatali's gallery. I was
    literally in awe of his pictures...most specifically his lighting.
    It was almost angelic in many of his pictures and there was plenty
    of "no filters used" on many of the pictures. I was fortunate enough
    in the following years to experience the slot canyons, view Bryce and
    wonder at Arches. And through it all, the spectacularness of his
    photos stayed in my mind as I saw MY pictures as a distinct contrast
    of indistinguishable dark and bright! What disappoints the most is
    that I had such respect for the man...how could you take such lovely
    photos and inspire such feeling if you did not love and respect the
    landscape? That is why the "act" is in such contrast to the "image"
    he portrays. And also the question in puts to mind as to how all of
    his shots have been achieved. Definitely more than a seed of
    doubt.....
     
  18. Cindy, I can understand your desappointment, but look things straight: Do you know any man or woman that
    has never failed? Maybe the fault is that you considered Mike as an angel and now he is suddenly a demon just
    because he desappointed you? Look at great men from the Bible: Moses, David, Salomon, just to name the few
    everyone knows. They all were great people and have left us an invaluable heritage. But they all made some
    silly mistakes and lost the confidence of their people at some point. They were confronted, punished, and
    learned from their mistakes and were reinforced in their integrity through that suffering. Look at the
    presidents of the United States: Do you know one who has never made a mistake? I mean we are men and
    making mistakes is just part of our nature. I have visited Michael's galleries too and love his work. I admire his
    technique and skills. But I am not lifting him up to a level of godliness, therefore when I learned his mishap I was
    sorry for him but this did not affect my respect for him as a person or as a photographer. Wether he has been
    using lighting techniques for his magnificent slot canyons pictures or not, I don't know. What I know is that it is
    absolutely possible to make such images without any artificial lighting techniques, with multiexposures or simply
    by dodging and burning in the darkroom. Also I never noticed any artificial effect or shades produced by a light
    source on any of his images. What his group did at Delicate Arch was night photography. I don't think he would
    have mentioned this image was made in natural lights for who could believe it! So, as far as I am concerned, I
    will not question his integrity on his passed work just because this happened. It would be quite unfair. The
    story does not even tell us if he has made a picture himself or if this was just an opportunity for the tour he
    was leading to make some unusual pictures. If Michael had cheated in the past as some suggested, would he
    now share his cheating techniques with groups of unknown photographers? These accusations seem too easy.
    So far for me all we can accuse Mike of is what the NP services would charge him for, that is illegal fires and
    footprints in a NL Park. Why would we want to destroy such a good photographer reputation? What's the
    benefit of it? People who try to do this should be a little more aware of their motives and not expose their bad
    face for everyone to see.
     
  19. After finally reading the View Camera Fatali article yesterday I've
    decided that Fatali's real crime is his prose.
     
  20. I think chris is right Fatali`s writing is much worse than a few burn
    marks on a stupid rock.not to mention the super saturation in his
    photos, they actually hurt my eyes.-J
     
  21. who the hell is Michael Fatali. Call me ignorant but I never heard of
    him before this stink, and I've still never seen one of his photos
     
  22. Wayne:
    Unlike my friend and a very good landscape photographer Paul
    Schilliger(here above), I am not a frequent contributor to this
    forum. However, I allow myself: IMHO, Mr. Fatali is without any doubt
    an accomplished professional - excellent photographer and intelligent
    marketer of his work. He found his market niche and knows how to
    exploit it, which already justifies enough his success. I never saw
    his prints, but what one can see on his web site could not be
    achieved without professional skills, clear objectives, steady
    commitment, hard work and last, (and I would be tempted to omit) but
    not least, a clearly above average talent (talent without other
    qualities is usually worthless). Then, I personally prefer learning
    from his pictures about the clarity of composition, handling
    textures, light, colors, and other things, to speaking ill of him.

    <p>

    It was surely a wise decision to delete the previous thread, in which
    some people went perhaps further then they initially wanted. In one
    of my previous professional lives I was musician, and I still
    remember one joke. The question was: "Two musicians met and talked
    about a third one. Do you know why it was strange? HUH? They did not
    run him down!" Much of this "Fatali's Fault" story reminds me, sadly
    enough, of that joke.

    <p>

    You can use the link to see, IMHO, a wonderful example of Mr.
    Fatali's work: http://www.fatali.com/gallery/nr/nr12.html
     
  23. And if his prose wasn't bad enough, what about the titles he's given
    his images? "Heaven's Gate"? "Mystic Waters"? "Golden Ages?" I'm
    not particularly wild about the photos that VC ran with the article,
    either, although I've liked the few prints of his that I've seen in
    person.
     
  24. Emil,

    <p>

    yes, that's a nice photo and we should give Fatali credit for
    "f8/being there" having a good sense of compostion and knowing how his
    film would perform.. but we all should do that, didn't god do the
    majority of the work in that one?... Fatali should get the credit for
    capturing it onto film but the photo isn't splendiferous... the
    subject is. Give any decent photog a helicopter ride over that sucker
    and see what happens...Fatali's prose would make you think he willed
    the subject into being. That's all we're saying.
     
  25. Trib, I am not so naive that I cannot tell apart what is the
    subject's beauty and what is the photographer's merit. I would bet
    that at least some decent photographers already had helicopter rides
    over "that sucker". I wonder what they brought back. I suppose that
    there are other good pictures of that place in some image bank. They
    are surely not identical... and they are not a part of a same body of
    work.
    Being there, having a sense of composition and knowing how the film
    will react does not make a Fatali (or, without any comparison, a Haas
    or a Porter ...)from just anybody. I think that the worth of
    somebody's work cannot be represented by one or even several pictures
    but resides in the homogeneity and constancy of what he achieved. I
    do not base my appreciation of Mr.Fatali's work either on that
    particular picture or on his choice of subjects in general. I
    consider his personal way to treat them and his ability to distil
    from them an abstract harmony that is rare to find in pictures of
    many other, even well known and praised photographers, and that goes
    way beyond merely skillful reproduction of a "splendiferous" subject.
    In that sense, I dare to say that at least some of Mr. Fatali's
    pictures are and will remain pieces of art, no matter what titles he
    gives them or what he writes about them. If you folks need to put it
    this way, then imagine what the world would be if the only sin
    perpetraded in God's name were Mr. Fatali's writings.... To make this
    long story short, I have a suggestion: let people who hate Mr.
    Fatali's prose go out there, make better pictures than he does, give
    them better names, market them better and make Mr. Fatali a miserably
    forgotten photographer... Any volunteers?
     
  26. Fatali is a mediocre photog with incredibly bad taste.Richard Misrach
    has shot the same type of subject matter and has a far more
    interesting take on it. I think the real discussion should be which
    is worse his prose or his titles?-J
     
  27. Pardon if this goes on to long. Probably belongs in another thread...

    <p>

    's far 's I'm concerned, "Art" is a guy who lives behind the bowling
    alley.

    <p>

    And to paraphrase the heck out of something Dave Jenkins wrote on the
    Phil of Phot Phorum:

    <p>

    "... only history can judge whether our work is art. To call oneself
    an artist is the sure sign of a "wannabe."...Sic transit gloria
    mundi -- "So passes the glory of this world."...Ultimately it doesn't
    matter what you or I think of ourselves or our work. Only the work
    matters, and if it is good it will endure...In our culture many want
    to be "artists" because "artists" have status...To those who say to
    themselves, "Hot dog! I did an art! I'm an artist!" I would ask one
    question: is the work any better because you call it art?"

    <p>

    And this is so good and so relevant I have to pass it on:

    <p>

    http://www.afterimagegallery.com/website.htm

    <p>

    *Below is an entertaining word exercise (which actually can be done
    for any field of endeavor). To achieve the usual jargon used in these
    landscape photographer artist's statements, place any three words in
    the table together, placing a word from the first row first, one from
    the second row second and one from the third row last.

    <p>


    universal all-encompassing transcendent mystical deepening glowing
    unchanging

    <p>


    photographic visionary luminous spiritual life-affirming artistic
    intrinsic

    <p>


    insight reality perception experience concept unveiling realization
     
  28. Burning the rock may be the only interesting thing that Fatali ever
    did. The marks on the rock can not be as unappealing as the over
    saturated and over dramatic photos and writing that I have seen.
     
  29. Sour Grapes, the lot of ye. You'd criticize Ansel because "Clearing
    Winter Storm" wasn't made at noon on the 4th of July.
     
  30. Well here we go again. A bunch of wannabe photographers with
    apparently no inkling of what a good color landscape photogragraph is
    about. For those(it seems most of the subscribers here) who don't know
    much about color printing, Michael doesn't use filtration in the
    exposing of the film. He doesn't have to. All of this beautiful color
    work is done in the darkroom. Just like most color printers. And what
    most of you fail to realize is that these images were taken at the
    most advantageous moments when the light was already incredible.
    The shot of the maze district is not an ariel but taken from Dead
    Horse Point on the Island in the Sky. Over saturated? I and many
    others say beautiful. Mr. Fatali is a very accomplished photographer.
    Few are his equal. Misrach doesn't take this type of image. He hasn't
    been to these places and shot these types of images. His Cantos
    series are very different from Fatali's work. He uses a pastel
    theme in his work. His use of color is quite different. The only thing
    these two artists have in common is their love of the land and their
    printing techniques. It is quite appearent that most of you know
    little or nothing about Michael Fatali, the man. Or you wouldn't write
    what you do. Michael runs a bussiness. Plain and simple. He has a
    marketing strategy. Who are you to judge his bussiness practices? His
    writing? It's how he feels. It's how he learned to express himself. He
    made a mistake trying to simulate the light that the native american
    indians saw The Arch by when they camped in the bowl over thousands of
    years. He took every precaution but failed to realize the was tracking
    the ash from the logs onto the slickrock. You can't find a trace of
    the damage now. The damage wasn't permanent. So quit harping on
    something you apparently know little about. James
     
  31. Amen, James.
     
  32. I do not dispute that Michael Fatali is a highly skilled maker of
    picturesque and decorative images that apparently appeal to many,
    that he accomplishes what few others can, and that he has developed a
    marketing strategy that seems to have achieved success by aiming at a
    certain new-age sensibility. I agree, therefore, that anyone who
    says that Fatali is just pointing his camera and taking what is there-
    -as if no skill or work was involved--is talking nonsense. None of
    that puts Fatali beyond criticism. Fatali is not a school child
    whose work should be greeted only with affirmation. He has put his
    images and prose into public view and has marketed them, and
    therefore has surrendered his immunity from criticism.
     
  33. "Michael runs a bussiness. Plain and simple."
    could not have said it better myself.

    <p>

    as for the comparison to Misrach they are similar they both shoot
    color landscapes of the west.the differnce is Misrach is good and
    does not need the gimmicky hyper saturation that is inherent to
    Fatalis work.-J
     
  34. Josh, I can't but tell you that your way of comparing one photographer to another is rather
    childish. We, the human
    race, were not made all out of the same mold. And this is why there is such a broad and rich
    diversity in the
    creative expression. Should we like it all? not at all! We take what we like and leave the rest for
    others who like it.

    <p>


    I am not a cultivated musician but to take an example, just because I love Bach and don't like
    Beethoven doesn't allow me to say the second is hopeless, does it? I would soon be confronted to
    people who think differently. Where does all that dirty hatred between races and religions come
    from? Should we let the world be teared apart by all that "one is superior to the other" *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#*?
    Giving lessons of moral is the last thing I should be doing and I hope you can bear with me.
    Photography is now recognized as an art and we all should consider ourselves as artists, and not
    merely goods producers or art consumers. Now, what definition would we give to the word artist? I
    will give my own: Someone who has developed skills to express to others a part of the personal
    heritage he has received in the way he perceives the world in and around him. Why do we do so?
    Maybe because we love the world and believe that putting in common our personal note will
    produce at the end a symphony that will please everyone (again, my own interpretation).
    See, I admire the work of Misrach, who
    by the way uses sometimes artificial lighting techniques. He is a very good photographer and I am
    glad some as you like his pictures. But, if I recognize his talent which is far above mine as a
    photographer, his pictures do not make me vibrate personally. It dosen't touch my fiber. As I said
    earlier it's a Bach against Beethoven type of comparison.

    <p>


    We could stick to more down to earth
    comparisons: how would you like choosing a car if the only choice was a russian car? Or even if the
    only choice was a Chevy? Everyone having your car wouldn't make it pleasant to own, would it? By
    the way, this is perhaps were the cold war originated: The Russians didn't like the kitsch and over
    saturated look of the Yankee's Chevies and the Yankees had disregard for the purely functional
    Russian cars. Maybe we could divide this forum in two sections: one for the Fatali type worshippers and the other for
    the Misrach type unconditionals. I'm sure this would make the two photographers laugh. Diversity is the distinctive
    particularity of our Blue Planet and that's why life is still beautiful. Let's not forget it!
     
  35. Perhaps I overstated earlier about Fatali's work. I commend anyone
    who is trying different things. Trying to light the arch in a
    different way was an interesting idea that apparently backfired.
    I just feel that most of what I have seen has been unsuccessful.
    Rather than the use of color complementing the work it only seems
    to distract. Now exaggerating colors has worked well in painting
    (Van Gogh, Gaugin, Kandinsky....) the list goes on and on. I'm sure
    this can be done successfully in photography I have just seen very
    few examples of it. The best thing about B&W photography is that very
    quickly the photos become about shapes and textures as well as the
    subject matter. In my opinion the color photographer has to be
    extremely careful to use color in such a way that adds to rather than
    takes away from the picture.
    The issue of the difficulty of what Fatali is doing isn't a valid
    point. There are many technically superior musicians and painters
    that accomplish nothing more than exersizes. Sometimes the most
    simple thing is much stronger than the most comlicated. Just being
    hard doesn't make you a good lover.
     
  36. Paul I was about to respond to your post but its not even worth it,
    because it does not make any sense. but I will say this just as Bach
    and Beethoven are both classical composer and can be compared in that
    they both are in the same genre of music. I would consider Misrach
    and Fatali to be in the same genre that was the basis of my
    comparsion. Also I think we can have a discussion without calling
    someones opinions "childish" or insulting their views. I disagree
    with you but I dont need to insult you to show that.-J
     
  37. Josh, I'm sorry if I called you names and insulted your opinions. But by saying F. is a mediocre photographer with
    incredibly bad taste, you should be prepared to get overreaction from guys who think differently, and who maybe
    feel insulted themselves in their own perception of photography. If Fatali's work is mediocre, then there are many
    well known and unknown photographers out there who should not even call themselves photographers any more. As
    for my post not being worth the reply, I'm glad you changed your mind.
     
  38. Paul, let Josh call fatali a calendar pimp if he wants to... this
    stoopid PC "oh, let's do get along" crap is making me nauseaous... if
    Josh doesn't like it let him express himself in the most vitriolic way
    he can .... and you can bash Misrach if it pleases you, just don't let
    it pull your "fiber" out of tune...

    <p>

    and that rot about something "touching your fiber"? Please!!! what
    the hell is that? Can't you get it surgically removed? I know I
    would if it vibrated everytime I saw a fatali photo.
     
  39. I agree, this discussion is leading nowhere. Let's take a day out together pooring our sweat on mountain tracks, get
    to know each other, have fun and possibly take a few pictures but just for the fun of it. Sorry for talking bullshit.
     
  40. Emil,

    <p>

    Sorry, just saw yours... and in order to rebutt I'll need your
    definitions of "homogeneity and constancy of... yadda yadda" and of
    course the beautifully turned frag, "distilling abstract harmony"....
    so on and so forth...

    <p>

    thanks Lumberjack... I can deal with that..

    <p>

    love,

    <p>

    trib
     
  41. Hey Trib

    <p>

    Thanks. May I share your barf bag?

    <p>

    Love

    <p>

    Erik
     
  42. I am not a photographer so I cannot comment on Michael’s “technical”
    abilities. But I am a close friend and I can comment on Michael the
    man and I do know how Michael makes his photographs, having been in
    the field with him many times. Michael does NOT use artificial
    light, he has always said he doesn’t have to, that there is nothing
    that can improve what God has created. Michael packs an 80-90lb.
    pack into the most remote places, then he waits, sometimes days, or
    he returns over and over and over again. He is intimate with the
    places he photographs, he knows them through all the seasons, he
    loves them deeply. And that is what he is trying to portray, the
    magnificence of the land and how it touches his soul. Yes,
    Michael “runs” a business, but he doesn’t care about the money, what
    he does care about is sharing his passion. This is not just hype,
    this is the absolute truth. I worked for Michael last fall in his
    gallery in Springdale and even I was amazed at the impact his
    photographs had on the people who walked into his gallery. Because
    of the proximity to Zion Nat’l Park, people from all over the world
    visited the gallery, many had heard of Michael, but I would say most
    just discovered him for the first time. No one was untouched. All
    you have to do is stand in front of one of his images and you can see
    his soul. He has nothing to hide. He writes what he feels- no, he
    is not an accomplished author, he never went to school to learn to
    write, all he can do is express what is in his heart. He is totally
    honest, totally real, he doesn’t know how to be any other way. The
    incident at Arches has devastated him. He is the last person who
    would intentionally damage the land, the mission of his life is to
    preserve and protect and to share. From the very beginning he has
    taken total responsibility for his actions, he has spent hours with
    the NPS answering questions, trying to work with them to rectify what
    happened. I don’t understand all this negative energy that is
    directed at him, especially by people who don’t know him. Why is it
    that some people need to tear others down to feel good about
    themselves. Michael has never attacked another photographer, never
    criticized their work, and especially never attacked them
    personally. All he wants to do is let his work speak for him, and it
    does, straight to your heart if you’re willing to listen.
     
  43. "From the very beginning he has taken total responsibility for his actions, he has spent hours with the NPS answering questions, trying to work with them to rectify what happened. I don’t understand all this negative energy that is directed at him, especially by people who don’t know him."Kai Reed
    Well Kai, he wasn't exactly honest or took "total responsibility" with Steve Simmons of "View Camera" now did he?
    This is the crux of the problem: By setting himself up as a purist and then doing something incredibly stupid and artificial he is the one who has done the most damage to himself and his credibility. I have no doubt of the power of the guy's work or of his general integrity and well meaning asperations, but as Oscar Wilde put it: "the pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple".
     
  44. Thank you, Kai, for these words from your heart. As you suggest, many who have had harsh words and quick reaction
    did so because they did not know the man, nor the exact circumstances. It's sad that a sensible man like Michael was
    exposed to public condemnation and treated the way he was. There have been days I was shamed to be part of this
    forum, and not me only but many of us have always had much sympathy for him and wish him now courage to get
    over this sad story and keep doing his wonderful work and share his cheerful nature the way he has always done.
     

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