Published: Tuesday 26th of September 2006 09:39:54 AM
It's funny you ask. I am trying to get beyond the "stigma" of this whole manipulation thing. It's still out in terms of a overwhelming consensus. In this show, I tried to the best of my ability, to limit myself to what I could have done in a darkroom and not much more. This particular image does not count as it was not in the show. However, the digital darkroom lifts the curtain off the possibilities. Traditionalists/purists will argue for a long time to come about digital photography. But as I've stated in my bio, I remind my fellow photographers who don't take kindly to digital that when photography first came along, our painter brothers thought photographers were hacks and that photography was not an "art." So where does that put digital? I want to explore my images within the digital realm! I feel almost that I have to hide my efforts, that somehow it's wrong, that's it's not art. I don't type in keystrokes to create nor manipulate my images, I still have to have a hands on experience, I still have to have knowledge of software, I still have to have the ability to compose an image, to make choices regarding exposure, aperture, etc. That was the long answer to a simpler question. Many people asked what I had done to certain images when in fact, I had done very minimal things. It reminds me of something that would make me crazy when I was younger: Someone would find one of my images attractive and say: "what a nice picture, what kind of camera do you have?" That's right, I had nothing to do with it... I say do what you want, if people relate to it, great, if they don't, did it fulfill a need and desire in you? Okay, I am now stepping off my soapbox...
JH de Beer (RSA)
Paul I hear you, and agree with you most of the time. I'm still pondering a decent and worthy response: it's going to take some time. I'll be back... ;-)
JH de Beer (RSA)
Paul A photo of a photo - you know I love it. This one is great, and the choice of your fire photo in the background couldn't be better. I'm glad it went well (according to the critics as you say). I'm interested to know one thing though. In doing a show like this, what is the best practice with regards to manipulation v not-manipulated. Does anything go? Or do the viewers accept that it is straight photography, and you have to specify in some way if it's not? Thanks JH
So, this is the exhibition! Congratulations, Paul! Nothing shows here that you'd been rushing for the last pictures and setting of lights! You look perfectly calm and in control after the show! Well, I was attracted by this image, which is great, and read the comment with interest. I think of course that lots of us who first experienced film long ago ask themselves the same questions about digital. Actually, I like the purist's way and make the most out of a situation or moment without changing anything afterwards and do a lot of that, but I also like people who perform incredible things with PS. I too think the only thing that matters here is freedom. Art is freedom and experiment. Just like you, I still have a lot to learn about digital ( and all the other things too ) and I consider digital as a wonderful tool for photographers, even though it doesn't prevent me from trying sometimes to find back the sensations I had when I used to take pictures with my father's Rolleiflex back in the early 70s. As you put it, some painters rejected photography in the beginning, but others also used it and interaction soon worked between painters and photographers. I visited Toulouse Lautrec's museum last summer, and you can see that in the way some of his drawings and paintings were composed. This is fabulous. Vive la liberte! Paul, thank you very much for sharing your great experience and pictures on this site.
Thank you, Laurent: Just for the record, this picture was taken the night before closing, at 3 a.m. I was calm by then :-) This was two weeks after opening night which I barely remember... I look forward to many more conversations. All the best, Paul.
JH de Beer (RSA)
Been a while Hi Paul It's been a while since I've bee active on PN. Hope everything is going well. Reading the post above, I think for me the debate has gone away. The only question I'm left with is where am I ever going to find time to really do photography? ;-) I'll stop by again. Cheers JH
You're always worth the wait, Kent! Thank you so much for the kind words. They come at a good time. I appreciate and agree on your thoughts above with respect to the digital, purist, manipulation, etc., thing. I couldn't agree more that no matter what, an image is manipulated in one form or another. Someday, hopefully soon, it won't be an issue. Once more, thank you!
I just like this shot. It?s a nice pose and capture of the exhibiting artist man. As for the old topic of photography, digital, art, purists etc. It?s pretty cut and dried for me. There?s not much to debate. Its all art and each is an artist?s interpretation through a medium, which is an extension of the former. Without question one can recognize and acknowledge the challenge and beauty of the pure, unmanipulated (this term needs to be used loosely because after all even the purist photograph has been manipulated by emulsions, chemicals and machine, so come on everybody) photograph, aesthetics aside. I?ve always appreciated your work Paul. The creative spirit and humor that is woven into the Paul package has been the reward as well.