What makes a great picture, better than a good picture?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by fk319, Jul 15, 2005.

  1. What makes a great picture, better than a good picture?
    An OK picture is one that is technically correct, ie. in focus,
    balanced both visually and in color. A good picture to me, is one
    that stirs up an emotion, feeling, tells a story, etc.
    But, what seperates a good picture from a great picture?
     
  2. Frank, I think a great photograph transends it's own time and place ,and is just as good
    (great) 10, 20 ,100 years from the time it was taken. It can also be because of the subject
    matter is so compelling that the subject overcomes any inperfections in the photograph.
    Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald comes to mind.
    Many of the Great photographs I have seen, tell the story, and make you feel something
    with just that one Image. When
    nothing can be added or taken away in a image to make it better , that is a great shot. I
    sometimes wish I was at the time and place when I see a good shot ,so I could shoot it
    myself , a Great shot is one that I just wish was mine.
     
  3. An OK picture doesn't need to be technically correct. A good picture doesn't need to be technically correct. A great picture doesn't need to be technically correct. None of the technical mambo-jumbo actually has much to do with photography. It's just the necessary evil to get the image. Many, if not most better-known photographers broke all the technical and societal norms they could break to get their images. Winogrand, Klein, Frank, Lange, Arbus, Brandt, Friedlander, just to name a few.

    All that's important is your reaction to the photograph. You, have to decide if it works for you. Something that looks great to you, maybe OK or poor to someone else. Also, very often, if not most of the time the good end-result of the whole process looks completely different from what you intended when you took the photo. Sometimes most of the work to get the image is done in editing phase.
     
  4. I think this question is impossible to answer for all great photographs. But that doesn't stop me from taking a stab at it...

    I would say a great photograph has coherent energy. There are many dimensions by which we judge and interpret photos and in a great photo, all aspects contribute to the overall experience of the photo...the composition, the use of light, color, what's in the shot, what isn't, the subject matter, the relationship of the photo to the times in which it was taken, the life circumstances of the photographer, the relationship between the photographer and the photo, etc, etc, etc.

    Or, put another way, "What makes a great picture better than a good picture?". Duh. A great picture is great. A good one isn't. If the great picture weren't so great, it would only be good. Or even mediocre.

    Or, "It's great because we say it is.". There is agreement on its greatness. Nothing more, nothing less. "Ah", you say, "but if a photo truly is great, there wouldn't be complete agreement about its greatness, for one aspect of a great photo is that it challenges the viewer, and some people just wouldn't get it." So a photograph's greatness may be both self-limiting and subject to change over time as certainly who the bestowers of greatness are will change over the years.

    So. Who's opinion are you going to trust?

    Then, of course, there's the question of exactly what you mean by "great". Once you answer that, you're half way there.
     
  5. mg

    mg

    I would say this:

    1) A great photo is first a subjective thing only in one sense: we
    have favorite subjects and different interests. Therefore, up to a
    point, there is a limit for each and every one of us in the ability to
    appreciate photos of a given genre. I, for example, believe I can
    appreciate many pictures in many genres, but I still have to
    confess, that I seldom find a great photo that's a sunset or a
    photo of a bird, a cat or a dog. This is simply because such
    pictures, even very well done, very rarely grab me. (As a
    side-note, I try as much as possible to leave these personal
    likes and dislikes aside when I rate or comment pictures on
    Photo.net, which I think is necessary to be fair.)

    2) A great photo is: a photo in which the form matches the
    content, so that the essence of the subject and the message
    regarding the subject matter (if any) can be brought forwards in a
    coherent and powerful manner, for all to see.

    "Art doesn't reproduce what's visible, it makes new thinks
    visible", said Paul Klee (poor translation, sorry). I agree, and I'd
    say that a great picture presents us with the essence of its
    subject. regards.
     
  6. The declension of the word 'great' in this context is... What I like is a great picture. What you like is a good picture. What he, she or it likes is a lousy picture.
    00CtTQ-24693484.jpg
     
  7. "But, what seperates a good picture from a great picture?"

    The person making the pronouncement.
     
  8. Oh my giddy aunt, that's the second time in as many months that I find myself agreeing with Thomas - time for a lie down.......
    00CtcH-24698284.JPG
     
  9. I can't define it, but look at 'Tomoko and his Mother' by W Eugene Smith from his 'Minamata' series. That photograph has greatness.
     
  10. mg

    mg

    Chris, did youmean this picture...?

    http://www.masters-of-photography.com/S/smith/smith_minamat
    a.html

    If so, it has a different title, but yes, it's an amazing picture.

    Here's another one I love by E. Smith...:

    http://www.masters-of-photography.com/S/smith/smith_wake.ht
    ml
     
  11. mg

    mg

    ww.masters-of-photography.com/S/smith/smith_minamata.html


    If so, it has a different title, but yes, it's an amazing picture.


    Here's another one I love by E. Smith...:


    www.masters-of-photography.com/S/smith/smith_wake.html
     
  12. mg

    mg

    Well, I can't seemtopaste these links properly, but you'll hopefully
    see what I mean and get there...:)
     
  13. simply put - resonance.
     
  14. This kind of question, which begs for judgement, is only answerable in context of
    whichever elite bestows the distinction. But we might broadly agree that the destruction of
    the Hindenburg, the shooting of Oswald, the Vietnamese child running towards us in
    flames; these are great because they transcend words to describe history as only the
    wince of a man who's just been shot in the abdomen can convey.
     
  15. What makes a great picture, better than a good picture? Someone like me who's the...........
    00CtsA-24703484.jpg
     
  16. "...these are great because they transcend words to describe history as only the wince of a man who's just been shot in the abdomen can convey."

    Not discounting what you wrote but what you described were memorable photojournalist images as opposed to a great image. Does an image have to be memorable in order to be great and based upon your above can only photojournalist images be great?
     
  17. "Oh my giddy aunt, that's the second time..."

    My apologies. I'll try and be more careful in the future:)
     
  18. Of course anyone thinks they are better than the dogs bollocks....show me.

    Anyone can talk a load of dogs bollocks.....but it's about doing it,don't you think
     
  19. There's a simple thought for the sad.
     
  20. Without wanting to appear too rude....do any of you take photos?

    Or am i talking to a bunch of aging rocking chair movers?

    Proper question.
     
  21. Photojournalism photographs are not the only photos that are great. But in most cases it's published photos that everyone here sees. I am sure there are Great photos in peoples basements,and portfolios , but not as many people are affected by them, if they are never seen . One good thing about Photonet, is that I get to see many great photos that would never be published.
     
  22. If we agree that the idea of great can only apply to an agency that has demonstrated its
    motive power...like Newtonian Physics, or Mahatma Ghandi, then what is locked up in the
    attic, just like a world-class-quality athelete who never competed is out of the running.
    Abe Lincoln would never have had a chance at greatness if he hadn't attained the reins of
    power.
     
  23. Marc,

    Yes, that's the photograph.

    It rates up there with the great paintings of the Renaissance.
     
  24. "Or am i talking to a bunch of aging rocking chair movers?" Can't answer for the rest of them, Allen, but I have been known to soup a little HP5......
    00Cu2d-24706384.jpg
     
  25. "Without wanting to appear too rude....do any of you take photos?"

    I guess if one were to click on a name, you'd get an answer now, wouldn't ya.
     
  26. "...then what is locked up in the attic, just like a world-class-quality athelete who never competed is out of the running."

    Photography is not a political or athletic venue and even if seen by nobody, if it has the necessary unstated qualities, it still qualifies, sung or unsung because it, by it's very existance, is. A photograph does not need, once created, the light of day (recognition or approval of aesthetics) to be great as the greatness of an image transends human acknowledgement.
     
  27. If human acknowledgement is beside the point, what is it that makes it great? Or, is it a
    matter of things coming together in such a way that transcends the photographer's own
    understanding or ability to otherwise describe?

    But I still stick to my assertion that the ideal of greatness is a result of social consensus
    invested in a transitional object (or fetish, if you will).

    I'm reminded of the tree in the forest riddle. As the abstract notion of greatness can only
    be grasped by someone with a certain degree of education and maturity (infants need not
    apply), so without a creature nearby with ears, the tree's fall is silent, producing only a
    change in the electromagnetic spectrum. Sound is an experience my brain makes out of its
    sensitivity to such changes plus its own coloration, overapplied like a color wash.
    Everything I experience upon beholding an image, likewise, goes on between the ears.
     
  28. I would like to thank all of you for your time and imput. I have a much better idea of how I can achive better pictures.
     
  29. "...what is it that makes it great?"

    "Sound" waves are generated, with or without anybody's permission and it's the same thing with photography as no one needs to be present to detect the "sound" waves created in order for them to exist.

    Primary definition of sound from dictionary.reference.com:

    "Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing."

    Only dopy instructors in a university class room will argue this question when the definition of "sound" is very clear. Way down in the tertiary meaning, one finds the element of the detection process.

    "The sensation stimulated in the organs of hearing by such vibrations in the air or other medium."

    If the Universe ceased to exist, would all of the greatness that had transpired during it's existance, no longer being perceived, no longer have happened. The point, it does not have to be perceived in order for it to exist, even if the Universe ceases to exist.

    A great photographic image trancendes egocentricity. If a great image is "discovered," hiding in a closet, was it not a great image before being declared a great image? In the case of photography, greatness does not require acknowledgement, to be.
     
  30. I'd say it's the same thing that makes a movie, book, painting, etc. "great" - the amount of emotion it elicits from the viewer. But I personally believe a "great" shot must also be technically sound (not necessarily "perfect"). I've taken more "great" out-of-focus shots than I care to recall, thus relegating them from greatness to garbage. Nonetheless, a given photo may be great to some viewers, but if it is "great" to enough of them, or the right ones, then it earns the badge of greatness for all eternity.
     
  31. "Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas, with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing." Way down in the tertiary meaning, one finds the element of the detection process. "The sensation stimulated in the organs of hearing by such vibrations in the air or other medium." However, up in the primary meaning, we see that only vibrations "capable of being detected by human organs of hearing," qualify as sound. By your notion, there's an objective world of unargueably assigned value, not managed by our individual or collective selves. What is our role, then? To either recognize and acknowledge the obvious (upon encountering the misplaced picture, we simply 'get it') or risk seeming ignorant or dull? How, 'bout this for a scenario: Two thousand years from now, an archaeological survey from another planet digs up Steiglitz's Steerage (or substitute your own candidate). Without the missing content of the picture, what we bring to it in terms of life context and empathy, it's a rather lovely but pointless exercise in aesthetics. How are the aliens to know about survival and striving in the way we do. Now, if this photo were to become a window into all that for these hypothetical blank-slates, your argument would have some powerful evidence.
    00Cv3T-24729684.jpg
     
  32. "However, up in the primary meaning, we see that only vibrations "capable of being detected by human organs of hearing," qualify as sound."

    "...with frequencies in the approximate range of 20 to 20,000 hertz, capable of being detected by human organs of hearing."

    The above is not intended on making the definition humancentric but to only make comment that the above is the generally accepted range of human hearing, it does not limit the definition of sound to only humans as the range of dogs could have been put in the above's place.

    "Vibrations transmitted through an elastic solid or a liquid or gas,..."

    The above primary segment is the definition of sound.

    "What is our role, then?"

    To get in touch with our spiritual self, grow old and die as everything else is egocentric/superfluous.

    "How are the aliens to know about survival and striving in the way we do."

    Aliens?

    I could care what some dopey alien might think of our society or worldly social structure for that's their problem, not mine:)

    "...or risk seeming ignorant or dull?"

    Neither is a bad thing as we're all ignorant and in the presents of the right company, would be also considered dull:)

    Leave it to say, the Chicken came first, the question of a standing glass of water implies an action of coming or going as a great image stands on it's own, with or without one's permission:)
     
  33. Not that I'm an expert by any means...but to me it's a matter of the person...the subject...and the picture itself. The great picture captures some essence of time...an old fond memory....a major event...whatever the person viewing it perceives viewing that picture to be. Is there a reaction to it?...Does it make the person happy, sad, mad,...ect. In otherwords you have the abililty with that photograph to teleport, (so to speak), even one person to that space and time to where that picture was taken...to me is a great picture.
     
  34. Hi,

    To me, a great photo is one that makes me cry, laugh, think too much, or otherwise floods my emotions. The opposite of a great picture would be a technically perfect shot of a test target.
    The combination of perfect technique and the eternal moment we
    refer to as emotion, will in my mind produce something better than a great photo. That is what drives me, because when I see it in people
    or on paper, I am totally amazed. I love that buzz in life.

    A photo of the Pope is not my cup a T. I prefer the work of Tim Page.

    Cheers.
     
  35. "To get in touch with our spiritual self, grow old and die as everything else is egocentric/
    superfluous."

    Well, here we agree.

    The need for a defining context, however, for any value judgement, from 'great' to 'stinks,'
    remains. Now, you don't care what an alien might think. But that statement contradicts the
    assertion that the greatness resides in the image. Because the hypothetical alien is
    divorced from the human context, its opinion is disqualified. Put another way, radio can't
    exist until a receiver with a tuning mechanism is made part of the system. A transmitter
    alone would not be a useful invention at all.

    But, if this is a chicken and egg discussion, in other words, irrelevant in the face of the
    continuing plethora of chicken parts and cartons of eggs we consume, perhaps the
    discussion best shifts to another angle.

    After the great Henri Cartier Bresson died, I read an interview where he said that the
    photos in and of themselves, held little interest for him. He went on to describe a moment
    way after he stopped shooting, when, in an art museum, he spotted another one of his
    decisive moments, He approached the subjects sitting on a bench and quietly motioned
    for one to scoot over. He then raised his hands to his face in a 'snapshot' gesture and
    'took the picture.' This, for him had always been enough, his own private celebration of
    what he could see and understand. No 'chicken and egg' musings for him, only because he
    felt it irrelevant.
     
  36. "But, what seperates a good picture from a great picture?"
    "The person making the pronouncement."

    "The need for a defining context, however, for any value judgement, from 'great' to 'stinks,' remains. Now, you don't care what an alien might think. But that statement contradicts the assertion that the greatness resides in the image. Because the hypothetical alien is divorced from the human context, its opinion is disqualified. Put another way, radio can't exist until a receiver with a tuning mechanism is made part of the system. A transmitter alone would not be a useful invention at all."

    I agree with your above via my earlier comment.

    "No 'chicken and egg' musings for him, only because he felt it irrelevant."

    Ahhhh!!! The wonderment of the noteables. The greatness of an image has nothing to do with Henri (On-Ree) but has to do with the person making the connection or pronouncement as to the image in question. Chicken, eggs or greatness, it doesn't matter.

    There's gotta be something great about a velvet Elvis painting as hundreds of thousands have been sold. So it's in the perception of the who, making the pronouncement.
     
  37. Ahhhh!!! The wonderment of the noteables. The greatness of an image has nothing to do with Henri (On-Ree) but has to do with the person making the connection or pronouncement as to the image in question. Chicken, eggs or greatness, it doesn't matter. It was ON-Ree himself who saw the potential in what he witnessed. He only put it on film because he had to do something (as we all do) to be useful in order to earn a living. He was the consumate process person. It is the judgement of the rest of us, either expertly articulated or quietly accepted, that defines HCB as great. There's gotta be something great about a velvet Elvis painting as hundreds of thousands have been sold. So it's in the perception of the who, making the pronouncement. The proud owner of the Elvis on velvet might have a glowing opinion of his possession, but more educated and tasteful sensibilities (elites, in other words) would not accept that judgement. And since it is the elites who have access to media and book publishing, etc., their opinions carry a certain weight. Pressed for hard evidence of the basis for their disdain, the elitists may cite the sheer number of Elvis paintings and their lack of individual vision. How' bout Elvis himself? Great? If there had been no African diaspora, what chance would a Memphis rockabilly have had at interpreting Black roadhouse blues into music just exciting and controversial enough to make him a star but not rough enough to ban him entirely? And, if he had come of age merely a few years before or after he did, he'd have missed the boat. The culture would have moved on without him. Is there such a thing as circumstantial greatness? INW: the era making the individual more than the individual shaping the era?
    00CwUO-24762184.jpg
     
  38. "Pressed for hard evidence of the basis for their disdain, the elitists may cite the sheer number of Elvis paintings and their lack of individual vision."

    LOL! Thanks for the chuckle. LOL!

    After your above, we'll leave you with the last word as it seems we're pretty much on the same page with our comments.
     
  39. Christopher Alexander (the architect) attempts an answer to this question in his book "A foreshadowing of twenty-first century art". He discusses it in the context of his collection of Persian carpets.

    Here's an excerpt from his argument:

    "The great carpets - the ones which are most valuable, most profound - are, quite simply, the carpets which acheive the greatest degree of ... wholeness within themselves.

    It is, of course, essential for this thesis that the quality of wholeness not merely be a matter of preference or taste for different observers, but instead a definite, tangible, and objective quality, which really does exist to a greater or lesser degree in any given carpet.

    ... It takes experience to see [wholeness in carpets]. People who are looking at carpets for the first time, will not, generally be able to see it very accurately. even people who have been looking at carpets for several years, will often not yet see it clearly. It is, nonetheless, an objective quality, which exists in the carpets to a definite degree.

    To study wholeness, we must have an empirical way of distinguishing it from preference...

    In order to see through the overlay of preferences which inevitably exists in each of us, we must construct a question which is so concrete, that it shocks the system, and forces a direct, more true, and more accurate response, because it makes no room for overlays of preference. In the last few years, I have experimented with many questions of this kind, and have found one, which serves this purpose rather well. The question asks: 'If you had to choose one of these two carpets, as a picture of your own self, then which one of the two carpets would you choose.'"

    This seems kinda silly until you try it.... at which point you might be surprised.
     
  40. "... It takes experience to see [wholeness in carpets]. People who are looking at carpets for the first time, will not, generally be able to see it very accurately. even people who have been looking at carpets for several years, will often not yet see it clearly. It is, nonetheless, an objective quality, which exists in the carpets to a definite degree. "

    You've described, in clear terms, a subjective, you must be taught to see things my way, process and then claimed "an innocent objective quality,"

    It's all a subjective evaluative, both culturally and personally, process, exemplified by fake art. If one doesn't know it's a fake and they "think" they're buying an original, they're happy. They're not buying the uniqueness of the object, they're buying the concept or rarity of the object because someone else before them has said that it was special.

    Ahhhhh, the deluded wonders of the elitist egocentric materialistic progressive humanist world. :) LOL :)

    ('The question asks: 'If you had to choose one of these two carpets, as a picture of your own self, then which one of the two carpets would you choose.')

    And then you get a Bozo like me who says "Shoot me then cause neither represents me so I ain't choosin." "Got any others?" Nope. Nope, Nope. Heck. None of these represent me. Got any with a Bengal Tiger on them? :)
     
  41. So you haven't tried it, right?

    I can't figure out what position you're taking here, by the way. It seems to be something like "there is no standard of merit in any creative endeavor, therefore there is no actual merit in the products of such an endeavor, therefore attempts to sell those products is a fraud and can only succeed based on creation of an impresssion of rarity." But I can't imagine that this is your actual position, because if it were I don't understand why you'd visit this forum, or any of the rest of Photo.net, at all. What am I missing?
     
  42. What makes a great picture, better than a good picture? You. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Be proud of your work.
    00CxRF-24778284.jpg
     
  43. "So you haven't tried it, right?"

    What? Making a choice between two rugs? I make choices all day long, so the question, to me, is lame cause one makes choices based upon what's before them at any particular time and point and then gets on with it. If neither rug represents "...a picture of your own self, I'm not so weak in the brain as to find need in making a choice. I'm going to say, I'm not making a choice and then getting on with life. You play the "game." :)

    "I can't figure out what position you're taking here,..."

    I'm taking the position that no one is immune to the act of getting lost and even Christopher Alexander can do so just as easily as everybody else and just because one comes up with an unrealistic idea (game) which consists of providing only two choices doesn't mean that everybody has to play their psuedo intellectual childish "game." When I was twenty, I experienced this sort of nonsense; gratefully, I'm waaaaaaay past this sort of behavior and want nothing to do with going back in time and revisiting this sort of behavior.

    Growing old is such a wonderful thing to do.
     
  44. Interesting non-answers.

    It's clear that the correct answer to #1 is that you haven't tried it - which is fine; wilful ignorance is no better or worse than jaded cynicism, really.

    As to #2, nowhere in your condescension towards Alexander or your own younger self is there any hint of whether you believe that there is any such thing as artistic merit - which is, as far as I can tell, the subject of the thread. Do you not have an opinion? Do you have one which you don't want to discuss?
     
  45. "Pressed for hard evidence of the basis for their disdain, the elitists may cite the sheer
    number of Elvis paintings and their lack of individual vision."
    LOL! Thanks for the chuckle. LOL!

    After your above, we'll leave you with the last word as it seems we're pretty much on the
    same page with our comments."

    We'll leave you with the last word? Who is this we? The imperial we of Queen Victoria? (We
    are not amused.)
     
  46. "Interesting non-answers."

    It was an answer, it's just that it was an answer which you didn't like.

    "As to #2, nowhere in your condescension towards Alexander"

    Nowhere in my comment was there any condecension towards Alexander as anybody is capable of getting lost, intellectual, pronouncer of noted comment or otherwise.

    "Do you not have an opinion?"

    I do and it's been stated. It's just that my opinion, doesn't work for you.

    "Do you have one which you don't want to discuss?"

    Considering how many times I've willingly discussed my "opinion".....

    My opinion below:

    I've found, in my studies, that there's no such thing as a valid critique in regard to contemporary art; the basis of which is an undefinable word.

    Great is nothing more than an image which resonates with the current viewer for the viewer completes the process, not the creator of the image. The wider the scope of resonation, the greater the power of the image. But is resonation the only key? Shrug; I think yes as everything else just leads up to the act of resonation. "Ding!" "Ring that bell!"

    I've found noted contemporary art is a commercial sham propagated on the unsuspecting who are easily fooled emotionally by the ruling junta and buying into the nonsense is an educational requirement furthering the base of fools. Also, for the most part, it's moral basis is as corrupt as the day is long but don't tell anyone here that as one-way tickets are easy to find and willingly shared with miscreants around these hallowed halls.

    Maybe if one were to go back and study the politics of Titian's portraits and not his brush strokes;

    http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/titian/

    http://www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/gg23/gg23-41365.0.html

    or the underlying thesis of Manet's Olympia instead of the superficiality of this most "shockingly" objectification of a nude painting,

    http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/manet/olympia/olympia.jpg

    they'd better understand.

    A couple of the purest of hearts, I've read about in the contemporary photographic world.

    http://photography.about.com/library/weekly/aa102300a.htm

    http://photography.about.com/library/dop/bldop_darbus.htm

    I'll leave off the list the two who I consider the most corrupt.

    My favorite photographic anti-hero has to be Serrano as he, to me, set the floor for others to try and break through.

    I don't buy into the artistic doo dah and nonsense, even if it does come under the sacred banner of art. Make art, enjoy and share life with those who share the same space of your existence and maybe, just maybe, find one will find decent inexpensive bottle of wine in the process as in the end, none of it matters.

    I hope my above helps in what ever it is you're wanting to understand.
     
  47. "I don't buy into the artistic doo dah and nonsense, even if it does come under the sacred banner of art. Make art, enjoy and share life with those who share the same space of your existence and maybe, just maybe, find one will find decent inexpensive bottle of wine in the process as in the end, none of it matters."

    Boy, goofed that above up.

    Make art, enjoy and share life with those who share the same space of your existence and maybe, just maybe, one will find a decent inexpensive bottle of wine in the process for in the end, none of it matters.
     
  48. "(We are not amused.)"

    Tis a shame as you seem like a pretty good crowd:)
     
  49. That was an answer, Thomas, and it was what I was looking for - thank you.
     
  50. We may not be amused, but boy are 'we' confused.

    Which is it, Thomas:

    "if it has the necessary unstated qualities, it still qualifies, sung or unsung because it, by
    it's very existance, is. A photograph does not need, once created, the light of day
    (recognition or approval of aesthetics) to be great as the greatness of an image transends
    human acknowledgement."

    Or:

    "Great is nothing more than an image which resonates with the current viewer for the
    viewer completes the process, not the creator of the image. The wider the scope of
    resonation, the greater the power of the image. But is resonation the only key? Shrug; I
    think yes as everything else just leads up to the act of resonation. "Ding!" "Ring that bell!"
     
  51. Alfred Stieglitz Steerage

    With all due respects to him don't you think the posted snap...well, just a snap. My old gran could have done just as well.

    Think i prefer my out of focus bird shot.
     
  52. "Art doesn't reproduce what's visible, it makes new thinks visible", said Paul Klee

    Really. I think he's work is amazingly boring.Just an opinion...someone with pockets full of money liked him.

    it makes new thinks visible", Sort of like a fairy at the bottom of your garden.
     
  53. "Which is it, Thomas:"

    It's both. Why? Cause it's the "ability" to resonate. An image does not have to be seen to have this ability.
     
  54. "Alfred Stieglitz Steerage
    With all due respects to him don't you think the posted snap...well, just a snap. My old
    gran could have done just as well.
    "Art doesn't reproduce what's visible, it makes new thinks visible", said Paul Klee"

    I enjoyed seeing the Jackson Pollack canvases in the biopic of the same name. Then I saw
    the paintings were credited to a union local in the Bronx. And, sure, my kid could do that,
    etc. But Pollack made the first drip painting before anyone else thought of it. And the
    Steerage was a statement that photography could stand on its own feet as just as effective
    an artmaking tool as painting or sculpture. But no one before Stieglitz, including Stieglitz
    himself, wo started his career as a dedicated pictorialist, had made genre photos that
    spoke in the language of modernism. That was the contribution of the Steerage. Of course,
    today, many of us less-talented or prescient workers make very sophisticated snapshots.
    But we are toiling in a vineyard much cultivated and explored before we got there.
     
  55. "And the Steerage was a statement that photography could stand on its own feet as just as effective an artmaking tool as painting or sculpture."

    That's an interesting view point but let's see what Alfred, himself had to say about the image.

    http://www.artsmia.org/art_in_america/17_4.html

    The scene fascinated me: A round straw hat; the funnel leaning left, the stairway leaning right; the white drawbridge, its railings made of chain; white suspenders crossed on the back of a man below; circular iron machinery; a mast that cut into the sky, completing a triangle. I stood spellbound for a while. I saw shapes related to one another - a picture of shapes, and underlying it, a new vision that held me: simple people; the feeling of ship, ocean, sky; a sense of release that I was away from the mob called "rich." (Quoted in Dorothy Norman, Alfred Stieglitz: An American Seer (Middleton, N.Y.: Aperture, 1973) p. 76.)
     
  56. "a picture of shapes, and underlying it, a new vision that held me: simple people; the
    feeling of ship, ocean, sky; a sense of release that I was away from the mob called "rich."

    Quite a realization for Stieglitz. He is recalled as a rather proud and hidebound man. As he
    lay suffering a heart attack at his gallery in NYC, he saw visitors but would not seek
    medical care.

    There's so many ways you could read Stieglitz' statement. The phrase simple people
    sounds quaint and almost colonial. Stieglitz had money and was well-established in NYC
    as a printer. He walked away from business (after being given to understand that he'd have
    to print some jobs for free to keep his clients) with a condescending sneer: "While I respect
    both the Lawyer and the Policeman, I prefer other company."

    The 'mob called rich' was the smug culture he was born to, or maybe bred for. The
    aquisitive, striving immigrant population that had managed to get out of Europe with their
    money. Stieglitz was as deeply flawed as gifted a character, and thus subject to the usual
    blindnesses, malaprops, and difficulties in understanding and explaining his own
    experiences and views.
     
  57. picture of shapes, and underlying it, a new vision that held me: simple people; the feeling of ship, ocean, sky; a sense of release that I was away from the mob called "rich."

    A snap. You are creating a fairy story based on the banal.

    It lacks creativity, vision, and form and shape.

    A simple snap......get real.

    Anyone could have taken it, and probably everyone did.
     
  58. "Anyone could have taken it, and probably everyone did."

    What? Back in 1907?
     
  59. What? Back in 1907?

    Okay, you might have a point.Although my mate Harvey was doing some of his best work around about that time.
     
  60. Oi Herbert! I resemble that remark.....

    :)))
     
  61. Okay,your work is just as good as it was when you were in your early 40's in 1907.

    Happy now?
     
  62. That's better, young man. I like to see you showing respect for your elders.

    :)))
     
  63. A great picture makes me want to be a better person. I fall in love with it. It refreshes me. It renews in me the hope that, as I grow, life just gets more and more lovely.
     
  64. I fall in love with it. It refreshes me. It renews in me the hope that, as I grow, life just gets more and more lovely.

    How refreshing to hear such honest thoughts.

    And of course it's about developing that third eye to seek those hidden places which are perceived by the very few.

    I call it ?looking around corners?.
     
  65. But we are toiling in a vineyard much cultivated and explored before we got there.

    Really, i don't think so. Time moves on and photography...and everything else.

    Unfortunately most folks are hide bound in their ideas clinging to the past.......is that not the story of the majority of humanity.

    Innovation is generally condemned as it does not follow the conventions of the times; have a little think the majority of those innovator folk, in any field, died in poverty.

    Conservative is the name of the game in this world....folks like the word because they do not like change.

    Only by innovation has/does humanity moved forward.
     
  66. Lots of answers to the question, Mostly they all have validity. The "I know what I like" does not cut it. I would like to add a suggestion Certainly Emotion and Passion. Also, like a good dinner, film or experience, Does it taste good the morning after?
     
  67. photo or any piece of art could be great on some speciphic way and the cant compare with each other, Picasso is great? Rembrant is greta? i think they are both great but on diferent way,thats the same with photography,Douglas Keller , aug 03, 2005; 01:24 a.m.
    A great picture makes me want to be a better person. I fall in love with it. It refreshes me. It renews in me the hope that, as I grow, life just gets more and more lovely. i like what Douglas Keller said
    above "A great picture makes me want to be a better person. I fall in love with it. It refreshes me. It renews in me the hope that, as I grow, life just gets more and more lovely".
    and definately you have to feel emotion,to make you to think about it
     
  68. Allen and Zlatko ... that was kind of you to comment. My hope is that one day people will be better sustained by these simpler things ... like Beauty ... and Truth. This site is a pleasant testament to all of our bright futures. Cheers. :)
     
  69. Delete the forum quick cos it is pukingly boring.....

    Don't hold back,Peter, say what you mean.Jeez, i wish you would stop beating around the bush.

    Tempus Fugus, Peter.

    You can't help loving the old ding bat;).
     
  70. sometimes it moves backwards

    I'm no expert...

    But, from reading current scientific thinking, you can only go back in time from the point you started at.

    Banal conversation, really.
     
  71. "But, from reading current scientific thinking, you can only go back in time from the point you started at."

    And then you could never get back cause it never happened.

    Time travel is and will always be Science Fiction.
     
  72. Why? Cause time is a creation of humanity (psudeo) to mark their existance in the universe and doesn't exists anywhere else except in the mind of humans.
     
  73. Well, the human minds are a part of the physical universe and time clearly is a part of it or everything would be static, right?
     
  74. "and time clearly is a part of it or everything would be static, right?"

    Wrong. Why? Cause time is a concept that doesn't exist anywhere else except in the mind of humans to mark their existance. Prior to calenders, there wasn't even the concept of the continuum, just the reality of the sun rising and setting and folks not knowing why. Take the human concept of time out of the equation and time ceases to exist but the universe will continue as there's only the continuum.

    Humans can be so egocentric:)
     
  75. Just for you folks.........a bit of atmosphere and mood..
    00D8f9-25057384.jpg
     
  76. Hmm, not happy with that...lets try again
    00D8fd-25057784.jpg
     
  77. Thomas, what do you mean by the "continuum"? I get the feeling that you've read some BS in place of regular physics ...
     
  78. http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=continuum

    A dictionary is a horrible thing to waste.

    The complete term is "time-space continuum."

    Here's a bit more read on the matter.

    http://www.west.net/~ke6jqp/spacetime/spacetime.html

    Einstein, in his book on "Relativity" (pg 78) discusses it and refers to it as the "space-time continuum," So you'll need to reference Einstein and Relativity first before referring to Sci-Fi sources:)
     
  79. Thomas, time is a physical quantity and it is not just human imagination any more than the physical world itself is. Animals probably perceive time just as humans do, and even if no animals existed, the world would still go about its business. Making philosophy out of theoretical physics is just silly. Theoretical physics is just mathematical models of physical phenomina. Whether a model includes some physical quantity is irrelevant: it is just a model. And I am unaware of any model of e.g. mechanics which excludes time.
     
  80. "Thomas, time is a physical quantity and it is not just human imagination any more than the physical world itself is."

    Since time doesn't exist, except in the mind of humans, your argument comes under the heading of "non-sensical" philosophy and needs to be considered wishful thinking just as is the concept of "time-travel."

    Most folks have problems with the "fact" that time is a human construct so as to "define" their "existance" in the universe. Humanity "needs" this mental anchor to hold on to for emotional security purposes because they're unable to grasp the concept of timeless freefall.

    There is no "physical quanity" known as time. We made it up and have since created cesium vibration standards to enhance the accuracy of this concept to mark our existance and nothing more. The concept of time serves our technical purposes very well but that's the only purpose it serves. Blink humans out of existance and so will go the concept of time.

    http://tf.nist.gov/

    Wishing you well.
     
  81. Blink humans out of existence and so will go the concept of time.

    Metaphysic wild card theory that attempts to understand the fundamental nature of all reality.

    Theory without the concepts born of reality or practicality.
     
  82. Which drugs are you guys on? I want to be sure that I don't take the same accidentally.

    My recommendation is that you try to avoid letting your imagination take over and read a little science so that you get your feet on the ground instead of flying in the clouds.
     
  83. . Which drugs are you guys on?

    Hopefully, not make me' Mr Angry', and I'm really clever ' Drugs ',or 'I'll burst into tears if you don't think so', Ilky.

    You did mention drugs, Ilky.

    Temper, temper........this is a family friendly Forum.
     
  84. Everything that we know is based on our senses. The science that we have is based on observations. If you say that everything we observe would disappear if we did, and everything in the world outside us exists just in our minds, then there really is no way of finding out what the world is like.

    That's not in any way sound. We can only build our knowledge on experiments, and dismissing science just because there is a human element in all observation just doesn't lead anywhere.

    Since ideas which are not based on observations can not be proved right or wrong, they are not science. Since all observations which we use have a human element at the last stage, we only have human data to build our science on. All knowledge is just human observations. What point is there to say that "time doesn't exist" or "space doesn't exist" or "matter doesn't exist" or "the universe doesn't exist" or "god exists" when no observations can be made to prove such a thing.

    My temper is just fine, thanks, as fine as it can be. I just don't understand what you guys were taught at school, that's all.
     
  85. My temper is just fine, thanks, as fine as it can be Nice for you. I always liked Aristotle at school: inspired Alexandra to try to rule the universe. Chill out photo.....
    00DAAC-25088384.jpg
     
  86. Hey people, This string is good reading. I'm going to print it. But I feel the basic answer is: The mental act of making the choice "at that very moment" to record the image. Everything after that is just a reaction to the image.
     
  87. "Which drugs are you guys on?"

    When one runs out of argument, the name calling begins.

    "My recommendation is that you try to avoid letting your imagination take over and read a little science so that you get your feet on the ground instead of flying in the clouds."

    I posted an accepted definition, a thesis paper and the usage of the term "continuum" in a book written by Einstein himself. Went so far as to cite a page where he uses the term. This followed by support as to the use of Cesium for maintaining the US offical time clock and you state that I'm "flying in the clouds?"

    You so funny.

    If humanity were to blink out of existence, everything else would still be here except two things, humancentric thinking and time:)

    Wishing you well.
     
  88. Thomas, the "thesis paper" which you refer is just a web page, it is not a scientific paper.

    Could you point to the referred scientific paper where Einstein or your favorite scientist claims that time exists only in our imaginations but other parts of the physical reality ("everything else") would continue to exist when we're dead?

    (I did not run out of arguments, I just wanted to give you the option that you admit that you were not in your right minds when you wrote the above claims. As it is, it turns out you just don't know science or physics.)
     
  89. As to how a reference of the unit of time is maintained, how does this come into picture?
     
  90. "Could you point to the referred scientific paper where Einstein or your favorite scientist claims that time exists only in our imaginations but other parts of the physical reality ("everything else") would continue to exist when we're dead?"

    That's my contention, not anybody else's. You're comment had to do with Sci-fi which I'm not into. I don't do fiction. And bless you, no I'm not a physicist.

    It doesn't take a genius to know the whole of the universe keeps ticking, with or without our permission and anytime something is tied to the vibrations/oscillations of an object, (in this case, time), it's trying to tell you something; it's a construct.

    Time is a recent addition to humanity's awareness as it's clearly tied into the revolutions of the Earth around the Sun and as humanity grew in intellectual sophistication, so came the sophistication of breaking up the transient of the Earth around the Sun. At one time and point in Earth's history, the Sun actually revolved around the Earth:) But Galieo fixed that and now the Earth revolves around the Sun.

    Would time be the same on a plant revolving around a sun/star in Andromeda?

    The point, time, if it exists, would have to be homogeneously the same, black holes excepted, in the universe and if our concept of time is tied into Earth revolving around our Sun, then how could we time a time transient, if on another planet, in a galaxy far, far away? Would we use their version, our version or would we need a universal time converter?

    You see, humanities concept of time, being tied into Earth's revolutions around the Sun; 365.25 days/yr and slowing, the spin of the Earth, called one day because of the "sunrise/sunset" phenomenon and the arbitrary assignment of twenty-four latitudes (time zone) because of the Earth having an approximate circumference of twenty-four thousands miles and this equaling the speed in which the Earth spins on it's axis, is where our concept of time has come from.

    http://www.12x30.net/months.html

    http://www-istp.gsfc.nasa.gov/stargaze/Slatlong.htm

    It's all an easily identifiable construct as to where this pseudo phenomenon came from, what it's purpose is; "To define our existence in the Universe." and to understand that it doesn't exist, therefore it can't be controlled in the sense of calling it back or accelerating into it.

    It really isn't that difficult of a concept in which to perceive. People have gotten so caught up in the concept of time that they've forgotten, it never was real cause it's simply a sophisticated, human made, invention/concept/creation (whatever) based upon a spinning planet, orbiting a star while hanging out in a galaxy somewhere in the Universe and nothing more.

    I think the concept of time travel, "The Time Machine" and H.G. Wells were good for each other as that was real..... Sci-fi. :)
     
  91. Right! And gravity didn't exist until Isaac Newton came along. Uh huh.
     
  92. Thomas, you're confusing time with the unit of time. The unit of time is defined by humans, but the absence of humans does nothing to time itself. If we remove all references of 1 meter (the unit of distance) (e.g. markings on rulers etc.) from the world, nothing would happen to distances anywhere in the universe. They'd still be the same. Same with time, whether you define its unit to be one revolution of Earth around Sun or another planet around another star, it just doesn't matter at all to physics. It's just a matter of how units are defined. Time is not a second or a year, these are units of the physical quantity time.
     
  93. "Time is not a second or a year, these are units of the physical quantity time."

    Excellent point:) And just how are we suppose to recall time if it's undefined:) LOL LOL LOL

    You just made my point about how time is a contrived construct and without humans to define it, it doesn't exist. There's the continuum and nothing more.

    A dog can chase it's tail, I can't:)
     
  94. Nice photos, apart from the out of focus bird shot...and the over saturated thing.

    Fortunately tempus moves on and this thread will disappear.

    But, it was a sort of fun.....
     
  95. Think of it...when you are associating the word 'great' you are actually doing either of the
    two things....1) You really find it good, something 'You' have not seen before or 2)
    Nodding along because you know people call it great and there lies the answer. A photo
    by the great Masters has to be taken in context of the time when it was made....they may
    continue to exude the same charm or not...that won't change its greatness because
    'greatness' is like folklore....it never dies. So while There are probably a hundred Ansel-
    like photographers today they cannot ever match upto him because he not only did
    something beautiful...he did it first. So if you are searching for greatness try thinking on
    your own....a signature which sets you apart...thats the basic criterion...how high up the
    pedestal you will be put by people depends on how beautiful that signature is....but
    without the signature, that spark of newness/individuality there won't be any pedestal at
    all.
     

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