What difference does it make if you really know your subject?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Julie H, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    @julie, your Hardy post is a little disingenuous. GEH did a helluva lot to further
    Ramanujan's career
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  2. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    I'm sure you never meant 2b disengenioud
     
  3. <br><br>
    ... there you go again, reading my quote-laden post. "Just say No." — Nancy Reagan
     
  4. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    why do i have a green triangle next to my avatar?
     
  5. Hover your mouse cursor over the green triangle and it says "Online Now".
     
  6. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    Thanks, Tim
     
  7. The more someone in a forum posts lofty worded quotes from obscure authors only known by the poster, the more it indicates the poster more admires the performance of the author over communicating anything having to do with the original topic. We don't need an opinion from Julie. We need an explanation why her quotes are relevant to the topic.
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    Writing eloquently doesn't necessarily translate to effective communication. I had to read several times over Julie's quotes and I got nothing I could relate to this topic much less photography.
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    Julie, could you respect the readers in this forum a little bit more by explaining why those quotes relate to this topic?
     
  8. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    the
    then don't quote *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#*
     
  9. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    that gibberish between the two outermost "*" is pnet's translation of a rude word.

    chuckles to oneself
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2017
  10. <br><br>
    Why? My time is as valuable as yours. I give as much as I want to and no more. If you don't get anything from my posts, just skip them. Really, it's easy as pie. Turn your eyes to the next post and be don't worry; be happy. I won't harangue you for not respecting my writing.
     
  11. Didn't say I didn't respect your quotes. I said I don't understand how they relate to the topic. I can see we're not going to get anywhere with this so I'll just drop it and move on.
     
  12. <br><br>
    No and it sounds really good (you know I'm a book addict ... happily anticipating a new purchase). I do have a stack of Baudrillard which I now have an excuse to rummage through. I don't have anything specific on Luc Delahaye but I bump into him all over the place in essays and collection books. Anyway, I will be very interested to hear what you get out of the book. Thinking also of Michael Wolf's book (I think that's right) of squashed passengers on the subway. Also thinking of Bakhtin, whose books I'm currently reading: on how we can't ever be other because "I" is always the perceptual embracer that can't be embraced.
    <br><br>
    The "frontal stare" reminds me of Thomas Ruff's portrait thing, but he used acquaintances, not strangers.
    <br><br>
    Please post as you read. Thanks.
     
  13. This, below, is Jan Avgikos writing about Katy Grannan's Model American project:
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    "There is no guise of objectivity in Grannan's art. Rather, her portraits are freighted with personal issues — hers, theirs, and ours — that emerge through the quasi-collaborative terms of engagement that she stipulates and that shape her interactions with her models. For a brief time, she and they become intimate strangers, mirroring each other's motivations and creating a drama that draws us in as the viewer and gives us a prominent role to play.
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    "Anonymity is a pervasive, if not permanent, state in the sociology of Grannan's art. Typically, she puts brief ads in small-town newspapers, giving little information other than that she's a female photographer, who would like to photograph you in your home or surroundings, and her telephone number. The respondent must be not only willing to be photographed — in a private manner by someone who may or may not be who she says she is (a professional artist) — but also motivated enough to contact her and follow through with arrangements made over the phone. By identifying herself as female, Grannan enables her potential subject to make a series of assumptions; a female photographer might be more sympathetic than a male; inviting a female, rather than a male, stranger into your home might involve less risk of harm."
    <br><br>
    [ ... ]
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    " ... ultimately, whom we judge her subjects to be has everything to do with how much we're willing to acknowledge the ordinariness of our own lives and how much we're prepared to identify with people who decide, for one reason or another, to take Grannan into their confidence and to reveal themselves to a perfect stranger. Lest we forget — everyone has something to hide."
    <br><br>
    [ ... ]
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    "Grannan works with her models collaboratively to decide how they want to be photographed. They make many of the decisions together: What will they wear? Will they be clothed or nude? What sort of poses will they strike? What do they want to reveal about themselves? Who do they want to be? 'How comfortable are your subjects with the actual progress of being photographed by you?' I asked Grannan in a recent conversation. We had been talking about what actually happens when she meets people for (what amounts to) the first and last time, excluding one or two phone conversations. I wanted to know what sort of apparatus they confront.
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    [line break added] "She explained that she shows up without a crew, or even an assistant. She's as low-key as she can be, except for the fact that her setup demands a certain amount of support gear — primarily a tripod and lights. In addition she might use a fan, a stepladder, or other low-tech means to achieve the desired result. She also mentioned that she has an impression of herself in the process of setting up the photograph as physically a bit awkward, which she speculates might suggest to her subject that they share some sort of parity — an idea that's never far from my mind as we gaze upon her finished portraits."
    <br><br>
    [ ... ]
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    "... The truths these photographs embody ... have to do with the defiance of her subjects to contradict the status quo, to take up with a stranger, to live dangerously, and to offer themselves up to the camera (no matter how uncomfortable) as a means of self-discovery. [ ... ] The willfulness of Grannan's subjects — to recognize the importance of representation and to go along for the ride with the artist, even if it feels like something they shouldn't be doing — is at the heart of what we champion in art."
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    ******************************************************​
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    I'm thinking, if I find the time, I might look at Bruce Davidson's classic Subway tomorrow — as it relates to what Phil may post and also how it contrasts to Grannans' approach and work.
     
  14. Julie, I've been with Brad shooting and watching and joining in a little while he engages people and they really do relax and open up, if only briefly. Maybe its not an in-depth relation, but people do relax and talk about their lives. There's one guy who has religious posters about the evil of fornication that Brad has gotten to know and the guy is such a character. Point is if you want to do an in-depth exploration of another person, then you will have to invest some time with that person or persons, generally lots of time. Look at Helen Marks work, or Bruce Davidson. Bruce Davidson is so interesting because he remains friends with many of his subjects. As did Helen Marks. Brad, like other's I know, when they connect with someone on the street, especially if a local, he will find them and give them a print of their photo. Its just a way of approaching photography on the streets that has a great element of serendipity and jazz but also connection, respect and just plain fun and the pictures show the engagement. That's important. I only wish I was better at engaging with strangers and to engage them enough to take time to help with the photo. More of my stuff is candid and I like to really put a subject under a microscope because though I'm reticent to always engage, I do have an intense curiosity about people. But I feel its a lack in myself that I'm not more patient, less afraid and willing to chat up people more often and Im probably friendlier than most. Maybe its L.A. and Orange County as opposed to S.F. Yeah that's it. In the obverse, I know people that are highly respected street photographers that have a policy at never making eye contact or talking to a subject. So really there's no one approach to subject. But engaged photography will look different than candid photography.
     
  15. Uhooru, thank you for your extended description. I'm still thinking about it, but may I ask if you meant Mary Ellen Mark (who is wonderful) instead of Helen Marks? The names sound almost the same, thus my question.
    <br><br>
    The details about how Brad shoots are really interesting reference the difference that some sense of collaboration makes, as opposed to 'taking' without collaboration. If without verbal collaboration and/but the subject sees the photographer, there is an interaction that is ... not a collaboration? I think both cases are performances (verbal, nonverbal?) of a kind. Just thinking around your post. Again, thanks.
     
  16. <br><br>
    Supriyo, trying to keep the discussion to photos, I'm just thinking how art is often used as an excuse for bad photos. How many times have we all read a page full of insightful, honest yet negative critiques only to be told by the photographer or a defender of the photographer that it must be a great photo to have received such emotional responses. I don't buy it, except in the very rare case. Usually it's just a bad photo and the photographer deflects by bringing up how he must be ahead of his time, misunderstood, or getting others' juices flowing by getting them to make harsh negative comments.
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    Larry Clark, until I got more used to seeing such images, made me uncomfortable. Nan Goldin has made me uncomfortable. Scenes of war and the holocaust, of famine and urban violence can make me uncomfortable. The thing is, they make me uncomfortable in salient ways. The unsightliness of bad post processing where slider bars are pushed around like someone is playing a video game, may make me uncomfortable but not in a salient way.
     
  17. 'All women are humans' does not mean that all humans are women.
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    'All art makes me uncomfortable' does not mean that everything that makes me uncomfortable is art.
     
  18. <BR>

    Thanx, Barry.<BR><BR>

    Julie... I generally don't care for strict definitions, but for this particular discussion, I suppose the photographs I make could be set into three categories: 1) There's a subject in the distance that's seems interesting, who I then engage in conversation that usually lasts for awhile, and that leads me to making a few portraits, usually after moving the person to better light and environmental context; 2) A subject I approach with something like, "Mind if make a make a portrait of you?" and if get an OK or gesture, I make a quick portrait on the spot; and 3) I see a scene and interesting person in a situation at a particular moment, hopefully with a decent background/context and nice light, and then candidly (meaning without asking/gesturing for permission) make a photograph - sometimes the person sees me, sometimes they don't (it doesn't make much difference to me).<BR><BR>

    Of those three broad possibilities, the most satisfying to me is the first. That's because I enjoy talking to people in general, and in particular, learning something interesting about the person's life and neighborhood/surroundings. Still, there's a great deal of synergy between the above situations in that they all help in developing skills and a comfort level towards making photographs of people on the street in various situations.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2017
  19. <br><br>
    I know it doesn't. That's a fairly basic principle of logic.
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    Supriyo was analogizing the discomfort some people were feeling in this thread with the discomfort some people feel when they look at art. I was pointing out that they might be two different kinds and qualities of discomfort.
     
  20. <br><br>
    Brad, I don't know if I can get you to follow one of my meandering posts, but I'm going to do it anyway. Long ago (very long ago), I did sports photography for a university's Sports Information Dept. That meant any/all sports needs; events but also team shots and individual head shots. In that role, I was invisible. I did not exist; a photographer was baked into the circumstances. Nobody noticed me; I was there on the sidelines, on the floor, in the training room; on the wrestling mat, close enough to touch the combatants, but the spectators simply didn't see me. Photographers were part of the scenery.
    <br><br>
    However, when I was not in that role, if I was on a street in my smallish town with a big telephoto, I was most certainly not invisible. In that case, I was the event. I was the thing that was going on and people being photographed were in effect being asked to 'play the photography game,' which, nowadays, everybody knows how to do. They perform, but I also perform. In fact, if there is nothing 'going on' I'm the lead actor. Point being (I think ... if there is a point ... ) that I, as photographer became a major player in that kind of photography.
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    Taking this out of the street, though, if I'm at home with friends and relatives, there is no 'photography game' because everybody sees through any performance. They know what's being given and what's being withheld. Which means that what I 'put' into a picture (or choose to make into a picture) is more ... what's a good word? permanent? rooted? invariant? I expect I've lost you long since, so I'll stop.
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    Thanks very much for posting, Brad.
     

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