Oh Fatali, you Devil!

Discussion in 'Large Format' started by michael_phlin_jahapne, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. I think Michael Fatali is one of the *best* color/Ilfochrome
    masters alive. He should not be shunned. I'm thrilled to see that
    he's got new work out. What better way to do penance than
    making wondrous photographs. He's better than somber
    Christopher Burkett or Dykinga's lousy cliched abominations.
    He's a true artist, faults and all. I met the guy and he was really
    nice we chatted a while about photography and God. He's the
    real deal. He lives his words and images. And he's not one of
    those egotistical, preachy know it alls, either. And he does
    respect nature, nevermind his errors. Amen.

    Peace out,

    Thursty
     
  2. I like his work, but I'm more than a little offput by his flowery rhetoric, reminding me of televangelism and snake oil. I'm glad to hear that he's the real thing. Anyone can make a mistake; let's hope he learned something.
     
  3. His work very much reminds me of that guy who calls himself the
    "Painter of Light™"<P>For someone who signs off with "Peace
    out" you sure have a nasty & hostile attitude towards others.
     
  4. Ain't it Grand?
     
  5. No doubt Jack Dykinga will have trouble sleeping tonight, as will the thousands of people that have bought his images because they thought they were beautiful. Perhaps Jack will have the opportunity of attending some of Mr. Strom's world-famous workshops so he can learn how to take pictures.
     
  6. Chill out guys!

    I have right to my opinion. I spend more than 40 hours a week
    pursuing my craft. That'son top of a full time job. I work in a super
    market. Its not easy. Am I an angry grump? Well, yes. The world
    is often not kind. I take solace in my world of images. I've seen
    photographs that make me smile or cry. Many of mine just make
    me cry because I messed up the focus. I think there is a lot of
    work out there that does not run very deep. Its merely trying to
    look flashy and slick--like it should run in a glossy magazine. It
    doesn't grab me emotionally, like an Ansel, Minor White, Sexton
    or Callahan. It makes me sad that more personal work is not
    more celebrated or recognized. Like, push the envelope, work
    your soul into it, you know?

    As for workshops, maybe some day I'll run one, I don't know. I'm
    going to have a show soon. I'll see how that goes.

    Peace,

    Thursty
     
  7. So, in your conversations about photography and God, which one fared better, and did you reach any conclusions about either? I've ALWAYS respected nature, but few "nevermind" my errors, and many are CONSTANTLY reminding me of them. What to do?
     
  8. I checked out Fatali's website. Nice stuff. He sounds like a lot of new age business people. It's just part of the marketing. Beyond that though he has stunning work. Thursty, chill man. You don't have to slag others to boost your boy. He can rise above them himself, at least as far as his admirers are concerned.

    I would love to see some of your photographs. Why don't you post some? I'm not much better my self, I've had little time to do a bunch of scanning. But I promise you show me yours and I'll show you mine.

    Eric
     
  9. "...reminding me of televangelism and snake oil."

    Bill must be into redundancy.
     
  10. Thurston,
    so...uh...whats wrong with me? I like Chris Burkett's work! I've never met him but from interviews he seems like the "real deal." Dykinga's cliched abominations? Are they cliched because they remind us of Arizona Highway's stunning landscapes? I think they refer to someone who starts a "cliche" as being "original" but I could be wrong.
    As far as Fatali's sins are concerned, I haven't seen the damage done but I've read accounts and I confess to being puzzeled. Using an open fire to light up a landscape is A) Really an intrigueing idea if it can be done without harming the enviornment, and B) A really bad mistake if it damages anything. ( This is really disturbing but not nearly as bad as the scientist who cut down the oldest bristlecone pine just to see how old it was. That guy ought to be making "Yosemite" license plates or building government office furniture. Perhaps someone will burn an efigy of the fellow and we can all take pictures of a Bristlecone utilizing the firelight?) Since both activities---conducting a photographer's workshop for profit and felling a tree for research would have to be permitted, both being conducted on park land, I have to believe that the permit review process for commercial activities conducted on enviormentally sensitive government land is at best non-existant or at worse, criminally negligent.
    I think Fatali isn't as widely published today because of the boycott by enviornmentalists, but his photographs will stand on thier own merits and if 'art" is his objective I think the best test is the test of time.
     
  11. I'm afraid I find it all a bit ho hum...

    It's really all (along with the other photographers mentioned) just variations on the old rocks, trees, lakes and flowers - and all just very "pretty".

    It's hard to find anyone who has done anything new and exciting along these lines since Weston... most of it just seems derivative,
     
  12. amen tim...

    a-bleepin'-men,

    me
     
  13. I'm afraid I have to agree with Tim as well. It was actually somewhat cathartic for me to look at Fatali's work. Here I was looking at pictures with perfect colors and composition and I was utterly unmoved and uninterested in all but one of them. So, says I, "Beauty alone is not enough." What is enough perhaps I have yet to discover. But at least now I know one direction I don't want to go.
    In conclusion, I would have to say that Fatali is to photography what Thomas Kinkade is to art. Pretty, popular, but ultimately saccharine.
    By the way, to anyone crying "sour grapes", I humbly admit my admiration for Fatali's technical talents, but that's all I admire.
     
  14. From Fatali's site:
    I use only natural light for all the images made for the gallery collection of handmade photographic prints. To me, using nature's light is the best way to express the wonders of natural phenomena.
    Them duralogs sure put out a lot of "natural light" no?
    I agree with Tim, I had the opportunity to visit his Page, AZ gallerie, and as John stated, awsome technical ability but for my taste unispiring photographs. I think a lot has to do with the size of his prints, I have to admit, when I saw one of them 5x10 feet print he had at the Hotel in Page I was impressed. So I visited the gallerie, the prints there were on the 20x24 to 30x36 size, and I came out a disappointed. Thought I was going to have to take an insulin shot to counteract all that sweetness.
    Now that Tim metioned could it be that all this has been photographed so much that it has lost meaning? have we become so yaded that we fail to admire the beauty of this, since we have seen it so much?
    While I was there, I visited the slot canyons, the dam, the horseshoe river bend, the rainbow bridge and to be honest I only took one pic of the canyons. All I could think was "heck, Adams,Barbaum et-al have taken so many great pictures of this, why do I bother?" Since I was there I figure what the heck I'll take one pic, but all in all I am happy with my desicion to keep my camera in the bag and just enjoy the place!
     
  15. Bravo and well said Jorge. When I recently went through Yosemite I also left the camera in the car for two reasons. First, I did not have as much time as I felt necessary to "link" up emotionally with the area. Secondly, the subliminal images of those ahead of me was so dominant that I kept asking myself why? Like you I just took it all in without expectations and it was wonderful.

    As far as Fatali goes, I agree it is mostly uninspiring and falls into the category of photography for the high rollers. Did you see what he posts as prices? Good for him if he can get it. And when you read into the technicals he posts how many hours or days he spent to get the right light. Why? This adds nothing to the equation and I can only conclude that he either wants to justify his prices or try to promote himself for cultural icon status. The photography should stand on its own - period. As far as the artificial light incident, I hope he learned his lesson.

    If you want to make him your hero Thurston, have at it. The true test of art is if it stands the test of time. Pretty is a short term thing and not enough over the long haul IMHO.
     
  16. Fatali, Ansel Adams et al. Boring Boring Boring! Technical masters, yes. Self promoting fools however, for the most part. The reason you fell frustration driving through yosemite or the canyon country looking for a photo is because it's all been documented before in a beautiful and wonderfully technical manner. How can you replicate, let alone surpass those masters of photography? Their work is nice if you've never been there because you can view all its beauty by someone that has, and knows how to point the camera in the right direction. However, you as the modern day johnny-come lately photographer are left with the scraps. The scraps though, are wonderfull bones filled with meaty oportunities to show the place in a unique and meaningful way. It may take more efort than those before you have exerted, but the rewards will be sweet.
    go forth
     
  17. Michael K:
    Yes I saw the prices,I dont mind this that much. If people want to spend this kind of money for these prints, hey to each his own! Like you I find ridiculous the "waiting for the light" statement. Hell his year most have 2000 days he spends so much time waiting. Who was it that said, "just because it was hard to make the picture does not make it good"?
    Bill M and Mike A:
    No sour grapes at all, although I only do B&W I can appreciate the beauty of a color print well done. Due to my work I had to travel all over the country and had the oportunity to see many galleries. Some of the most beautiful color prints I have ever seen were those by Elliot Porter, have any of you seen those? When you do then go back and look at Fatalis work and tell me sincerely it is not just Ho Hum....BTW if you think, ah well Elliot is dead, then go look at the work in color put out by John Charles Woods (of which by the way he is not so well known for) I had the opportunity to see one print he made of a marine algae, men this little 5x7 print was infinitly much better than anything Fatali has done!
    Now to the challange Mike put down on the forum, as someone in another thread said I will show you mine if you show me yours! Expressing an opinion on this forum, and specially if you have had many years of experience is not sour grapes, is just that, expressing our opinion. Fatali is a great technician, and a master of self promotion, hell even his f***k ups gave him a lot of publicity. But lets remember that good exposure and great sales do not necessarily mean exceptional work. John Charles Woods, whom I mentioned before is almost an unknown if it was not for his book, and he puts out some of the most beautiful color and B&W prints, sadly he is not very good a promoting himself and to be honest when I met him I thought he was a little arrogant. I hope with this tirade I have impresed on you that many of us here can appreciate beautiful work without jealousy and yes with a littly envy! When I first saw Caponigros prints I said to myself, "men, I wish I could print like this" So no not sour grapes, just exposure to other peoples work and knowledge is what at least in my case has formed my opinion of Fatali's work.
     
  18. I detect an honest difference of opinion. I happen to own several of Dr. Porter's beautiful and subtle dye transfer prints, but I also like Fatali's work (I don't own any, and wouldn't consider paying the prices that he asks). Thank God we're not calling each other names about it.
     
  19. > I agree with Bill.
    > I'd like to see some photographs from these people running off at
    > the mouth.
    > Fatali's works is excellent.

    Certainly it's excellent, but technically excellent. It lacks vision or depth, for want of better words. Explain to me how his work is different from any of maybe half a dozen or more people photographing the same sorts of places? And if it's not different, if it doesn't take a new, fresh view, say something new, then what's the point of it? Repetition? He's really just re-doing what Elliot Porter already did years before.
     
  20. I detect an honest difference of opinion. I happen to own several of Dr. Porter's beautiful and subtle dye transfer prints, but I also like Fatali's work (I don't own any, and wouldn't consider paying the prices that he asks). Thank God we're not calling each other names about it.
    Yep I agree, just curious thought, your Porter prints are probably worth as much if not more than Fatali's, why then did you buy them and not Fatali's? Could it be because you found Porter's work more satisfying? That is all we are saying, Fatali's work is pretty, but at least in my case it was not "wow I wish I could photograph like this".
     
  21. Jorge, great prints haven't always been so high priced. I paid $125 for the Porter dyes, and $700 for the Adams Moonrise which hung in his 1975 Witkin Gallery show. A couple of years later I couldn't afford $10,000 for one of the original Weston Pepper #30s (oh, had I but known!).
     
  22. Bill: <p>
    You are right, if you pick the right prints at the right time you can have some steals, I think that is not much the case anymore, but there are some good deals still to be had, like you I wish I had bought a Michel Kenna print when it was $350, now forget it!
    OTH, let me ask you this, if you could only buy one print for $5 dollars, and it was only one, either a Porter or a Fatali, which one would you buy? Or let me put it another way, if you had the $10,000 for either a the Weston pepper, or a Fatali, again wich one would you get? <p>
    BTW you bought the Adams Moonrise for $700. Was this on 1975? if so, $700 dollars back then was a pretty steep price for a print. So I think you do pay the money for something you find that moves you. I saw in the Fatali gallerie many 8x10 etc, that were rather cheap, sort of like big post cards, did not get one even as a that.....
     
  23. I don't understand why it is considered a sin to make a pretty photograph. So what if it's all been done before? Seeing if you can do it as well is the first step toward learning to make it better. Not every photograph has to be an earth shattering new revelation. Hell, what's wrong with just having a little fun and enjoying photography? Why be so anal retentive?
    I'm not a technical photographer and the results frequently confirm that. I ENJOY it though. If I had to become mired down with the pressure of making the definative photograph that is going to please everybody, well, I just don't need that kind of pressure.
    Why criticise these successful photographers? Some of the arguments sound like they are based on envy of certain photographer's success. If you don't like thier work, don't buy it. Don't look at it. If they somehow survive and are successful, I guess your opinion doesn't matter. Someone likes thier photographs. Maybe thier customers are just too stupid to see them as the phony frauds they are. Maybe you are the only one that sees through all that lack of talent. Sorry if I offend anyone, but nitpicking and trying to discredit other's talent annoys me.
     
  24. As for the work in question, if you don't like it and think it has all already been done, thats fine. It might be that landscapes are not for you. It is not about just pointing the camera in the right direction, and just because a location has been photographed before does not mean that "it has all been done."
     
  25. > As for the work in question, if you don't like it and think it
    > has all already
    > been done, thats fine. It might be that landscapes are not for
    > you. It is not
    > about just pointing the camera in the right direction, and just because a
    > location has been photographed before does not mean that "it has all been
    > done." These types of statements do demonstrate a very narrow
    > minded point of
    > view.

    Absolutley - there is always much more to be done in any given landscape - the gift of genious and originality comes in seeing it. But for someone who is selling themselves as a professional landscape photographer/artist to point their camera at a scene and take pictures which are so very similar to a lot of work that's been done already demosntrates a real lack of originality.

    In some way, probably (and ironically) the most orignal think Fatali has done is his little "performance art" peice of setting fire to those logs - they were "man made" logs for one thing, which amusing in itself... and what he did probably made a greater comment on the human impact on wilderness than anything else I've seen of his.

    By contrast can someone explain to me the real substansive difference between this

    http://www.fatali.com/gallery/SlotCanyons/Vortex.html

    and this

    http://www.nigelturnerphotography.com/Gallery2Antelope3.htm


    or

    http://www.nigelturnerphotography.com/Gallery2Antelope1.htm

    and this

    http://www.fatali.com/gallery/SlotCanyons/ForbiddenDreams.html

    This is what I mean by derivative, doing what's already been done. though by who of who I have no idea.

    By contrast, I find Thomas Struths LF colour images of Yosemite and such much more interesting. (as an aside, why do so many ladnscape photographs seem to go to such pains to exclude the obvious human element and impact in a scene? The crowds in Yosemite, the "people mover" bus convoys and so on... maybe that's why I like Misrach too)

    tim
     
  26. Jonathan:
    In a way I think you agree with us, is not that "all has been done before", but what I have seen of Fatali is very redundant. If you go to Yosemite, Yellostone, etc, and you have an original point of view, by all means take the photo and show it and be proud of it, OTH if you take one more pic of el Capitan, well....we all have seen that, no?
    Wes:
    Nobody is saying that making a pretty photo is a sin, hell I have made many of them, specially as a beguinner. Who can resist taking the camera out and setting a flower shot....?:)
    But when I go back and look at them, ah men! they are so boring! they have no "drama" no cohesion that brings all elements together....and just to demonstrate my point I will upload a pic which I think is pretty, but boring.
    If you don't like thier work, don't buy it. Don't look at it.
    If you dont look at it, how are you going to make an informed opinion? I certainly did not buy it, but if I am going to express and opinion on someones work I guess I owe the photographer/artist the courtesy to see his work in person and real life, not on a pc monitor.
     
  27. 'can someone explain to me the real substansive difference between this...'

    It certainly looks like they use the same web-designer...
     
  28. You see, I like this look at El Cap Jorge - but I know it won't be to everyones taste.

    http://www.maxhetzler.com/index.php?pn=artists&id=1&exhibition_id=1

    For one thing (among many others) from every other picture I've ever seen, you would never know there was a road that close...
     
  29. Ah Tim, exactly the point! This is an original, not seen view of the El Capitan, even if it is not to some people taste, it is still an original shot, now if this was taken from the valley...well ...Ho Hum...no? Point well taken Tim.
     
  30. Jorge,

    Yes and no. From your previous post it seamed as if you were saying that one should not even attempt to shoot some locations because it had all been done, but since you clarified, I can see that is not the case. I think originality is a difficult question when applied to any area of photography. Landscapes are no exception. This is in part why I think modern digital dark room techniques are so popular. It is now easier to manipulate images than ever before. No expense in paper for each try as in the past. But is different original? I don't think so. Nor do I think that you have to be the first or in the group of the first to do things to be original. Weston and Adams were abandoning the pictorialist techniques used into the 20's and this is one reason their work was thought to be very original. Many modern landscape photographers, including Fatali have to some extent modeled their style on Adams and others. This approach has been around for a long time, but the approach does not necessarly rob one's work of originality. I don't have the answer, and I think it comes down to opinion.

    Tim, I see one commonality between the photos in the links you referenced. Slot Canyon. The location is the same, but the treatment of it is very different in those photos. The movement of tone and color through the photos is totally different, and creates a different feel to each. Again, I think it comes down to opinion, and we differ on this.
     
  31. Tim,
    The image of El Cap as with all the other pics were just
    snapshots which have been taken over and over again, there are
    not original, not new, not art, not very well done in fact. We have
    all seen them from our friends and relatives. Poor quality and
    uninspired photos do not make art art either (thank god that the
    Kobal awards are finished!!!!).
     
  32. > The image of El Cap as with all the other pics were just
    > snapshots which
    > have been taken over and over again, there are
    > not original, not new, not art,
    > not very well done in fact. We have
    > all seen them from our friends and
    > relatives. Poor quality and
    > uninspired photos do not make art art either


    ahh, the old my friend, grandmother, dog could take a better snapshot argument - when in fact, it's unlikely they could take a better picture at all.

    I'm not sure who or what decides what art is art, or what photography is art, but if it's what sells in theg galleries and hangs in the museums, then this work will probably set you back 20 to 50 grand for starters (and more at auction), and it's what you'll see hanging in the MOMA and the Tate Modern (and very good they look tooo...). Of course, if you're friends and relaives can take pictures like this, I'd suggest they are missing an opportunity to make some big bucks!

    There are a good many people (and I admit to being among them) who consider Struth to be one of todays foremost photographers. And I must say I find his work both well done, original, intriguing and inspired. It's certainly different to what we've been discussing, and I know some won't get it. But then I find St. Ansel generally boring, apart from moonrise, which is probably his least controlled and characterisatic shot.

    I happen to like Struths type of work and his explorations of phtography
     
  33. Jorge, I like the tree photograph. It may look boring to you, but it was new to me and I haven't seen it long enough to be bored with it.

    I'd like to add a comment about photographers in general. Maybe they haven't been able to sell the work they enjoy doing, and have settled on producing a product that sells. Maybe it's not truly art, but if they have found a way to make a living through photography, more power to them.

    I worked with a guy that criticised my interest in photography. He claimed there was nothing left to photograph, it had all been done before. He went on to tell me he'd like to be a writer. I could have tried to burst his bubble and told him not to bother, the words had all been used before. I have sold some of my photography. He has never seen a single word he has written published.

    I'm just a working class stiff. I spent the last twenty seven years operating heavy equipment. I recently had to quit working due to disability. My back is ruined and the rest of my body is shot too. I would have gladly played any kind of artsy fartsy games required if I could have made a living selling nature photography. I know of one such photographer that is doing just that. He has made a very successful business selling to the tourists. He lives in a beautiful area that is crawling with tourists. Most photographers would consider his work to be nothing but oversized glitsy postcards. The tourists have been feeding him for a very long time. They like what he is doing. I doubt if he worries too much about pleasing us as he makes another deposit in the bank.
     
  34. Wes:
    Jorge, I like the tree photograph. It may look boring to you, but it was new to me and I haven't seen it long enough to be bored with it.
    Thank for your kind comment, OTH hand you said somethin very true, you have not seen it long enough to be bored with it. If I purchase a print I want to be able to see it for years and still not be bored with it, marvel at the place, the technique, the tones, etc... you see my point now?
    I know of one such photographer that is doing just that. He has made a very successful business selling to the tourists. He lives in a beautiful area that is crawling with tourists. Most photographers would consider his work to be nothing but oversized glitsy postcards. The tourists have been feeding him for a very long time. They like what he is doing. I doubt if he worries too much about pleasing us as he makes another deposit in the bank.
    That is absolutely fine with me, but I bet he is not as pretentious as Fatali, or that he does not charge the many thousands of dollars that he does. I seriously doubt a tourist is going to shell more than a few hundred dollars for a print. Heck, I am with you all the way as far as the choice of occupation, but that is another topic. Look at the many other photogrpahers that take just as good pictures and are much more "relax" about their craft, how about Talbot, Dynka, etc..I never heard one of them say...ah men! to take this photograph I had to wait 10 years 3 days and 7 minutes.....lol....Which reminds me, when I visited the Fatali gallerie in Page, one of his assitants tired to impressed me with that same line, I was looking at a rather nice pic of the horseshoe bend, and he told me.."he had to wait for 2 years to get the right light for that shot" the pic was nothing special, nice but I though "jeezz, what a fool". At another pic I was looking he told me, "ah, he had to carry his 8x10 in an 80 pound backpack and rappel down the canyon" all I could think was, he must be in good shape, certainly did not impress me!
    One of the best quotes I have read on a photography book book was one made by that shock jock (whose name scapes me just now) who is also a pretty good photogrpaher (God I hate it when I forget names, Alzheimer is setting in!) anyway, to paraphrase he said of one of his pictures:" I explanied to the person I was showing the picture, how it took me 3 days walking with a back pack, rappeling down a mountain, waiting in the middle of a swarm of mosquitos for 1 hour, etc, etc, to which the person said, that is a nice pic! obviously this person did not give a damm as to how difficult it was to take the picture."
    IN the end I think we have highjacked this thread and have made it about the pretentiusness of Fatali, so I will go back to the original statement made by Thurston and comment, that for my taste I dont think Fatali is the best color photography, I think he is more hype than subtance and his work is just repetitive and for me boring. I have not seen an evolution in his work, if you look at a print he made 10 years ago and one he made yesterday, same old thing!
     
  35. Thank you Jeffrey! he was exactly who I was talking about, I might add I liked the book also.
     
  36. Is Fatlis stuff mere calendar fluff and/or is Gursky's work just overblown art world garbage? Which is a disgrace to the LF camera used to shoot it?
     
  37. Jorge, I have very few photographs I'm overly thrilled with. I may have been at the time and for a while afterward. I'll throw out photos I used to think were masterpieces. I think that means we are growing. We are more honest with ourselves as we learn to produce more meaningful photographs.
    I do agree with people's comments about Fatali's descriptions about how much time and effort he put into his photography. The photographs should be able to sell themselves without the added hype.
     
  38. Tim, without seeing the prints in person it is hard to form an opinion on Gursky's work. From the web site you posted I thought the photograph had a rather extreme contrast for color work and that the rock was rather washed out. Of course is hard to see the subtetly (sp?) of the print on a monitor. If it was me and the print does look like that I would have used a mask to print it, but hey thats me!<p>
    OTH from the little I saw of his work, and I will admit is the first time I have been exposed to it. I thought it was rather interesting, with a novell aproach to the same old tired scenes. Defenitly not a disgrace to the LF community...:))) <p>
     
  39. Wes:<p>
    On photogrpahy in general I agree with you 100%. After going back and reading your responses I have a couple of comments/questions. First I am sorry you feel we are nitpicking his talent, it is not my intention nor do I think is the intention of the others who have voiced their opinion, I and others have admitted he does have great technical ability. OTH doesnt it seem to you rather hypocritical that after all the hoopla about burning the duralogs, he is still using that "I only use natural light" phrase? <p>
    Ok, lets for a moment agree that no matter what his promotional approach is (either bad or good) he is a good photographer. You mentioned growth, how we are learning to do it better. With than in mind, I will state again, look at his prints made 10 years ago and look at his prints now, where is the growth? To me they all look the same.<p>
    I really would like to read your opinion as to why you like his prints so much. I know you were annoyed because you felt we were unjust, and to be honest the against camp has given many reason why we dont think the prints are anything special, but I have yet to read why these prints are exceptional.<p>
    In Thurstons case I beleive it was more finding out that a photographer that he admires turned out to be a rather nice guy, thus elevating his work in his eyes. Contrary to the buffon's opinion I am not attacking him personally, I do not know him, when I visited his gallerie he was on the phone and had no time for visitors, but his assitants were rather nice, helpful and even excited about being there. So I cannot say either way if he is "the real deal" as Thurston put it or not. All I can base my opinions is on the strenght of his photographs, and the "growth" as you well put it of his work.<p>
     
  40. I disagree that an artist's growth must be shown by a difference in his style. Once he develops his own style, his growth may well be in either the technical aspect of the ease and surety with which he carries out that style, or the vision to interpret that style more easily. We are seeing only his successes. It could be that 10 years ago there were 50 failures for every success, whereas now the successful shots may come often. There is very little difference in the style of St.Ansel's photographs over his 40 year career; his mastery and vision in the darkroom changed amazingly, however. Ten years isn't long enough to evaluate Fatali's evolution.
     
  41. Bill:
    his mastery and vision in the darkroom changed amazingly, however.
    I call that growth, dont you?
    BTW I agree with you completly, I remember once when I was in New Orleans I saw an Adams print of a statue with some derricks behind,(I dont recall the name of it) and I thought to myslef "well that is not that great!" then many years later I saw one of his prints of the Gran Tetons, and I was "WOW What an incredible print" I dont know if the Tetons print was made before the one for the statue, but it was kind of nice to know that not even St. Ansel put out spectacular work all of the time..:)).IMO I think Caponigro is a better printer, but that is another thread.
    The one big difference I see was that Adams was a true conservationist, he really cared not only for his craft, but for the environment and places he photographed. If Adams had used the same New age flowery rethoric, as you and Eric Rose put it, I dont think people would have minded. I just dont see Adams burning duralogs to light his scene though.
    But lets forget about that incident as Thurston said, please tell me what is it about his photographs you find so exceptional. In the end it is not how Fatali markets his work, but the strenght of it, and I still have yet to hear from you or Wes, or Jonathan what is it about his work you find so compeling. In the end I guess the reason we have spent so much time on this thread is to voice our opinions and learn from each other. We might agree to disagree in the end, but I would like to see if there is really something I might have missed that you guys see and I dont.
     
  42. I have been following this thread with some interest as there is one very
    important fact that no one has mentioned .... so ... although I seldom comment
    in this sort of thread here goes.

    It is just possible that the "shunning" of Fatali has little to do with the quality of
    his work and everything to do with his (hopefully now past) disregard for the
    preservation of the natural beauty he photographs. You can find the facts
    easily on the web and in the archives of this forum for that matter. For those
    who don't know here is a very short summary:

    "Michael Fatali, Springdale, also pleaded guilty to setting two fires in
    Canyonlands National Park in August 1997. "

    He set the fires as a "photographic technique" not to keep warm. etc. I am
    making no value judgement here and you need to read the news reports and
    make your own decision. This is simply to point out that there is a signifigant
    segment of the LF community that has little regard for his methods.

    Ted
     
  43. "The photographs should be able to sell themselves without the added hype."

    I think this point of view is why many never have their works anywhere but on their own walls. Hype and marketing are part of what it takes to sell effectively, and consistently over time. All the names we know and respect, even if you don't respect Fatali, are effective at hype and marketing. We could all learn something if we hope to become better at selling our work. I'm talking landscapes here but this could apply to any area of photographyor or art.

    I know several artist who do wonderful oils and water colors who produce only a limited number of works, very good works, but who hate and just won't do what is necessary to promote themselves. It is like oil and water. They hate it, but love their art.
     
  44. Hey Tim, dang man, didn't you see on Fatali's website how long he "waited for the light" on each photo? Shoot, some of them were YEARS in the making!!! How can you NOT respect a guy who stands by his camera for YEARS waiting for the sun to rise?

    ~cj (Seattle)
     
  45. Good job he doesn't work up here in the Arctic - when I lived in Tuktoyaktuk the sun went down in November and came up early February... At that rate he might have only taken one photograph in his career by now!!
     
  46. Good job he doesn't work up here in the Arctic - when I lived in Tuktoyaktuk the sun went down in November and came up early February... At that rate he might have only taken one photograph in his career by now!!
    LOL.....and probably would have frozen to death.....darn!
     
  47. Darn it, just back from vacation and got to the discussion late. If I could have just read it ahead of time I could have left the camera home and saved about 50 sheets of film! OK sour grapers, it's all about name recognition. Mine are technically there as are many others but if the title of this thread had been "Oh Galli, you devil....." it would have had about 3 hits and 0 responses. People will buy pictures and pay good prices if their investment is secured by a "name." And perhaps that's what Michael is best at and I'm worst at even if all other things were equal. So for now I'll settle for the enjoyment of excellence even if I have to give them away. I would add that saying there are "enough" pictures of God's magnificent creation is a dead end. There will never be enough. When I set up my camera and take those, in some insignificant way, I worship the Creator.
     
  48. ...and, after all that patient waiting for the light, the result is...

    (drum roll)

    (suspense builds),

    another perfectly perfect pristinely pristine SUNRISE SHOT!!!!!!!

    aggggggghhghghghghkkkkk (clunk).
     
  49. LOL...Ah Chris you should have joined the thread earlier, you are killing me...lol..
     
  50. The idea of including the human element in landscapes like Yosemite is hardly new. It may or may not be exciting, depending on your taste, but it isn't any "newer" than Fatali's photographs or any of the other landscape photographers mentioned in this thread. I can't imagine doing anything "new" in photography, if by "new" you mean "not done before." I don't know how many photographs have been made since Niepce pointed that box out his window but it must be in the hundreds of billions. Not likely that anyone is going to be doing anything "new" with that kind of history to contend with.
     
  51. ." I don't know how many photographs have been made since Niepce pointed that box out his window but it must be in the hundreds of billions. Not likely that anyone is going to be doing anything "new" with that kind of history to contend with.
    Although on the face of it true, I disagree with you, how many people have taken pictures of vegetables? I bet millions, but none like Weston, or flowers, even more millions but none or few like Mapplethorp. So IMO it is not that you take a pic of something "new" per se, but you see in a "new" way that not many people can. I am sure you have seen a photograph to a place you have been and said to yourself "damm why didnt I see that?" I know it has happened to me.
    Which brings us back to my beef with Fatali, is not that he is a bad photographer, it is more that his images are just so common.
     
  52. ...How can you replicate, let alone surpass those masters of photography?... -- Eric Mortensen
    I can't imagine why anyone would want to bother trying to "replicate or surpass" someone else's work, Just trying to photographically see things clearly the way I feel/ think/sense about them is a big enough challenge.
     

Share This Page