Visualization

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by journeyman, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. journeyman

    journeyman TPF Noob!

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    Ansel Adams Wrote in the begining of his book, The Print.

    "...the final expression of the photographer's visualization- the print... a negative is only an intermediate step toward the finished print, and means little as an object itself. Much effort and control usually go into the making of the negative, not for the negatives's own sake, but in order to have the best possible "raw material" for printing.... it would be a serious error to assume that the print is merely a reflection of negative densities in positive form. The print values are not absolutely dictated by the negative, any more than the content of the negative is absolutely determined by the circumstances of the subject matter."

    These days it feel like that attitude is lost. Many instead snap away producing medicore images which are than spurced up in a computer program later. However the point being made is if you start with a medicore intial image then you will only yeild a medicore print.

    With all the modern advances in photography (moving to digital) The ease of everything being done for you has changed how people take photographs.

    It is easy these days to go for a walk and snap off pictures. Most of the time you end up with good looking images without much thought. It is harder to visulize an image in your head and wait until the exact moment when the possibilty arises to achieve that image.

    The later is what I try to do and what photgraphy in essence means to me. For now I do not have the skill to achieve images I think of in my head so I save them away in a part of my brain until I can take the picture and do it justice.

    Photography is really what you make it and you get out what you put in. I just thought it would be nice to share what it means to me I may have rambled a bit and you might not care what i have to say but I wanted to say it so i did.


    "...the negative is similar to a musician's score, and the print to the performance of that score. The negative comes to life only when "preformed" as a print."

    I'll get off my soap box now.
     
  2. darin3200

    darin3200 TPF Noob!

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    Of couse people can take pretty pictures without much thought, but they don't amount to anything. Well planned and executed pics still look better regardless of technology
     
  3. Luke

    Luke TPF Noob!

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    unless you are good with the camera, you will amount to nothing, no amount of photoshop changes that, its a matter of the finished image, you cant change composition in PS, you can change light to an extent, but its painstaking, and much easier to simply get the shot first off. You think people want to hire some stooge that spends 30 hrs editing a friggin protrait?? You think war photographers can afford to just take happy snaps? i think the main group digital really affects, is landscape photography, it will become less about photos and more about photoshop. but hey, nobody likes landscape photographers. (joking)
    I choose to get the image first off, with no editin, but hey, thats just me.
     
  4. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    For me previsualization means imagining how I want the final print to look, keeping in mind all of my available tools (including in the darkroom or computer), techniques, and knowledge, and using them to create the photograph I imagine.

    Are you familiar with AA's "Moonrise over Hernandez"? I believe it's his best selling image. It's one of my favorites. If you get a chance to see a contact print of it you may be surprised to see how unexciting and mediocre it looks compared to the version that is shown on posters, prints, books, etc... The sky is murky gray instead of rich black. The tombstones don't shine in the setting sun. All of that was achieved by AA in post-processing. It just wasn't digital post-processing. You can read about how he "spruced it up" in the darkroom in the book "The Making of 40 Photographs". The manipulation is fairly extensive. Reading about how he took the photo he was driving down the road, saw it, jumped out of his car, made a guess for exposure to save the details of the moon, took a quick shot, and then the sun set. Compared to how an 8"x10" view camera is normally used it was almost a snapshot.

    The idea that digital means people fix photos later, and film means the photography starts and ends with the press of a shutter button is the result of people dropping film off at labs for decades, instead of doing the darkroom work themselves. I believe AA would have loved Photoshop were he still around today.
     
  5. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would agree. He was a master at darkroom manipulation, and he would probably have also enjoyed the manipulation afforded by sitting down in front of the PC.

    "The ease of everything being done for you" is not new. Kodak especially pressed that point back when Brownies were the camera of the day. I can't recall the actual sales pitch, but the point was for the consumer to just enjoy taking quick and painless shots (albeit not as a quick and painless as with today's digicams, but you get the idea), send in the film "and let us do the rest!". The fact that digital omits a great deal of reliance upon third parties to print out snapshots has served only to aid in the vanishing of many pro labs, and that is definitely a shame. However, anyone with a decent photo printer and a reasonable amount of expertise with PS can produce nice prints at home.

    Journeyman, you might be decrying the lack of thought that the average person uses when "going for a walk and snapping off images", and I appreciate that. But it's always existed, because just having a Brownie box, a 35mm, a digi P&S or even a Hassy does not a photographer make.

    It's good to be aware that cavalier attitudes exist towards what you regard as an art form, and that you have taken a stance that you will not buy into them. I applaud that attitude and hope you always get the shots you're after, whether you're working in the darkroom (my own personal love) or working on the PC. Long live the art and craft of beautiful image making! :thumbup:
     
  6. journeyman

    journeyman TPF Noob!

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    Now hold on I think we've gotten the idea here. I wasn't knocking digital camera at all. I was merely stating that with modern technology it seems many just point and shoot and spruce up a little and bingo.

    I know there have been people like this all throughout the history of a wide spread aviable photography, but the man distinction was they were not passing it off as art. The brownie cameras much like a modern day disposable was for capturing family moment not for making stunning piece of art.

    Like Terri said it is the caviler attitude i was making a statment about and I;m aware it's always been there, but I don't think it has been so common ever before in the art region of photography.

    I bet Ansel Adams would have loved photoshop to, and he'd proably be a pro at using it.
     
  7. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Photography is a journey. We can make judgments and we can speak of how the true "defenders of the craft" are dead. Point is that everybody takes photography on different levels. Not like one is better then the other they are just different.
     
  8. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is the part i have a problem with..... its simply not true..... i understand the point you've made about composition etc..... but i may take a photograph that i know i'll have to work on with post processing to make it any good..... i.e i'll underexpose to get a better sky..... i may include something in the composition that i know im going to edit out later..... i may sacrifice good contrast to pic up some wanted reflection or detail..... all of this is done with knowledge that i am going to use photoshop.....

    If i didnt.... and just printed the pic straight from the cam..... it would look awful..... some images i'v altered almoast everything..... including composition (yes you can change composition..... by using the crop tool)..... to make an avarage pic..... into a good print.

    This is an ongoing issue people have with photography right now...... I think mainly because of the film/digital crossover..... but in future it will not be mentioned as much.... because it will be more excepted that computers DO play a part in photog.... and its what you say is your final image that counts.... not how you got there.

    This is a good statement :thumbup:
     
  9. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I agree with KS and Archangel. Post-processing, whether darkroom burning/dodging/VC-filtering or PS digital massaging, can be [and in my b&w work, is] a part of the initial visualization.
     
  10. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    More to the point is, PS cannot, any more than dark room wizardry, make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. We all understand and appreciate the need for post processing once an image has been captured, regardless of the medium.

    But a beautifully exposed, sharply focused (or ethereally diffused) picture of say, a fire hydrant, doesn't elevate it into fine art. I think it's more the mindset that a basic snapshot is suddenly vaulted into something more because it's been, say, taken with an IR filter is the fundamental offense.

    But I repeat, that attitude has always been there, it's just so much easier to manipulate one's one images at home with digicams and PS. Having a darkroom at home was never a common household item even when film was THE only option. Not that many people worked on their backyard snapshots thinking they would end up with "fine art".

    Craig is correct when he says everyone takes pictures at various levels, but PS seems to come with a subtle whisper and wink that, just by having it, anyone can become a great photographer, or a professional. Nowadays, in the mainstream market, the camera itself seems to have been made second fiddle to a software program.
     
  11. Arch

    Arch Damn You! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    This is the real issue....
    What i was saying about computers and digital being more excepted as an art form which is accessible to amatures...... to anyone..... this is unavoidable......

    The exact same thing has already happened in the graphic design field..... it is now excepted that if you have no qualifications as such, but can build decent websites and put a logo together, you CAN be a graphic designer.....

    I have friends that are designers with either minimal or no qualifications..... were as i had to spend 5 years getting a good qualification..... and i still dont build websites.......;)
    The need for highly trained people who know about all the old rules of design is second fiddle to the new age of computer wizards......
    Its something i have to accept...... the technology has overtaken the traditional need for qualifications and knowledge.......
    This will happen (is happening) with photography...... and unfortunatly there's not much a well trained darkroom photog can do about it......(except keep up).......

    One thing that seperates a good photog/designer for the 'wiz kids' is the artistic knowledge and consistancy........ but its always possible for the 'wiz kids' to get the 'wow' factor from viewers by using these new techniques..... and of course there is nothing stoppping 'wiz kids' from improving their artistic eye and eventually surpass the competition.
     
  12. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Depends on what you are doing with photography. Someone like Matt has found a way to make both mediums work for him, but then he is a working pro. It is in his best interest to "keep up".

    Despite what the manufacturers would have everyone believe, ;) there remain thousands upon thousands of analog users who happen to also be "well trained darkroom photogs" who simply don't give a flip about digital. It doesn't mean anything to them and it doesn't change their style.

    Pre visualization can be anyone's friend who wants to take the time to know their camera, and try to use it properly....regardless of the medium they are using.

    btw, Arch - I also believe that eventually having the training and knowing how to apply it will win out over anyone who has a more "flash in the pan" handle on the latest gee-whizz technology.....so here's hoping you stay the course in your chosen field! ;) That must be hard for you to witness.
     

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