Photography. Art or Crap?

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  • 09-20-2004, 04:16 PM
    Photo-John
    It's not an either or situation
    Kit-
    I understand your concern. But this doesn't need to an either/or situation. PhotographyREVIEW is a big site with lots of people. Just because we add something new doesn't mean that everyone will abandon the old standbys - like the ViewFinder forum. Personally, no matter what we've added to the site, I find I come back to ViewFinder to share most stuff. It's our living room. It's where most of my friends are. But not all my needs are met in the living room. And why should I have to go to a completely different site to get what I need?

    I've found that posting serious, art-related stuff on ViewFinder usually doesn't work. People aren't interested, don't understand, or are just focused on other things. I would like a place for artists on the site. It should bring in new blood and inspire people with artistic tendencies. I don't see it as an exclusive club for a few elite. Like the rest of the site, it should welcome everyone. But it should have a different approach, language, and paradigm for discussing photos. It shouldn't compete with the Photo Critique forum, either. Ideally, it will be more about breaking down and discussing meaning and symbolism than lighting, exposure, composition, etc.

    Beginners are always welcome. If they have questions about exposure, what camera to buy, or just want to share photos, there are places for them to do that. No one wants to change that. But if someone comes here and wants to talk about art and meaning in photography, it would be nice to have a place for them to do that without anyone telling them their exposure is wrong or they need a different lens. And if beginners want to post on the Art Photography forum, that's great. They're images will just be looked at and discussed in a different way. And if tey're looking for technical help, they'll be directed to the correct forum. It's no big deal.

    I promise.
  • 09-20-2004, 04:20 PM
    shesells
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Irakly Shanidze
    Kit, you are mistaken. I really hope that the new forum will be as comfortable for beginnners as for experienced photographers. The key idea here is that there are different types of beginners: those who have artistic vision, and those who need it developed. There is the third type, though: people who do not need an artistic vision, but they by default will not be interested in the Art Forum. They will gradually develop skills that will make their photography more... let's say... predictable in terms of obtainability of desired results, but its artistic value will not improve. I am not saying that they are bad people, all I am saying is that I am not interested in seeing their photographic work, that's all.
    I am trying to help, and I will put in the new forum as much energy as I was putting it the old one, and I truly hope that it will help many people discover something that they have never thought of about photography.
    Irakly

    Irakly, I am very much interested in having an Art Forum. Thank you for trying to help get that established. I'm sorry if I misunderstood you and I'm really upset over this whole thing. I never ever get in fights even in real life unless I'm defending the underdog. I guess I saw you as a bully and felt you were insulting good people. I would like to get to know you better and see what others see in you. Thanks for taking the time to answer when I was irate. It all sounds promising and you do seem sincere. I apologise for jumping to conclusions, and no I don't really think you were trying to use anyone. I was wrong.
    Kit
  • 09-20-2004, 05:50 PM
    Outdoorsman
    This is probably the most wasted thread I've ever seen on this site. I personally take great offense to all of the statement made by Irakly Shanidze. And I would expect a very sincere and thorough apology from him to all members of this site. I have absolutely no respect for him, and I would hope he is removed from this site permanently. I'm not going to sugar coat this- he's just not the kind of person we need here. I will refrain from name-calling, since I would end up listing every name there is. Normally I would premise a post like this with "I'm sorry but..." But I'm not sorry- Irakly should be sorry. You don't come into our little world here and start trashing on us expect us to not get royally pissed off. And I'm quite impressed with everyone remaining so decent and humane over this one- a real tribute to the quality of character of the members here. People like Irakly are so below us, you have to dig to find them. I for one will not be kind or constructive- Irakly simply needs to go. Period.
    There, I'm done...
  • 09-20-2004, 06:34 PM
    Photo-John
    Have You Read The Whole Thing?
    A lot of people felt insulted by Irakly's original post. But from your response I'm guessing you haven't read through the whole thing. I apologize if I'm wrong. In any case, I don't believe it's as simple and black and white as you seem to be seeing it. I think the initial post might have been worded better. But for me, this is one of the best discussions I've seen here for a long time.
  • 09-20-2004, 07:11 PM
    Irakly Shanidze
    Awesome :D Would you like to step oudside? It is always an immense pleasure for me to read posts where someone speaks for everyone else just to create an illusion of his words having some bearing. Good job, bro. If this thread results in the Art Forum, I wll be extatic, not sorry. I genuinely want to help here, and I will stay to do that. If you have a problem with that, just try some breathing technique, or cold shower and read this thread again before calling it wasted. If it does not help, well... I have heard some people hit their heads against the wall until it helps. I can only hope that you won't need such anradical form of anger management.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Outdoorsman
    This is probably the most wasted thread I've ever seen on this site. I personally take great offense to all of the statement made by Irakly Shanidze. And I would expect a very sincere and thorough apology from him to all members of this site. I have absolutely no respect for him, and I would hope he is removed from this site permanently. I'm not going to sugar coat this- he's just not the kind of person we need here. I will refrain from name-calling, since I would end up listing every name there is. Normally I would premise a post like this with "I'm sorry but..." But I'm not sorry- Irakly should be sorry. You don't come into our little world here and start trashing on us expect us to not get royally pissed off. And I'm quite impressed with everyone remaining so decent and humane over this one- a real tribute to the quality of character of the members here. People like Irakly are so below us, you have to dig to find them. I for one will not be kind or constructive- Irakly simply needs to go. Period.
    There, I'm done...

  • 09-20-2004, 07:14 PM
    Irakly Shanidze
    Kit, no hard feelings. I am sure that we will be able to build something outstanding and unusual here with our mutual effort.
    Irakly

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by shesells
    Irakly, I am very much interested in having an Art Forum. Thank you for trying to help get that established. I'm sorry if I misunderstood you and I'm really upset over this whole thing. I never ever get in fights even in real life unless I'm defending the underdog. I guess I saw you as a bully and felt you were insulting good people. I would like to get to know you better and see what others see in you. Thanks for taking the time to answer when I was irate. It all sounds promising and you do seem sincere. I apologise for jumping to conclusions, and no I don't really think you were trying to use anyone. I was wrong.
    Kit

  • 09-20-2004, 08:58 PM
    walterick
    A basic philosophy question:
    If you're going to start an Art forum and discuss meaning, don't we need to define "art" and "meaning?" Seems to me there are as many definitions of "art" as there are people out there.

    Just a jumping-off point
    (PJ you were a philo major right? :) )

    Rick
  • 09-21-2004, 06:00 AM
    shesells
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Irakly Shanidze
    Awesome :D Would you like to step oudside? It is always an immense pleasure for me to read posts where someone speaks for everyone else just to create an illusion of his words having some bearing. Good job, bro. If this thread results in the Art Forum, I wll be extatic, not sorry. I genuinely want to help here, and I will stay to do that. If you have a problem with that, just try some breathing technique, or cold shower and read this thread again before calling it wasted. If it does not help, well... I have heard some people hit their heads against the wall until it helps. I can only hope that you won't need such anradical form of anger management.

    This is in defence of Outdoorman...I'm defending his right to be hurt by your words.


    Geez Irakly, can't you give an inch? I have given you the benefit of the doubt, even to the point of apologizing for reading you wrong. Everyone came to your defence and made sure that it was understood what your true meaning was. Everyone but you. Are you a spoiled little brat? The truth is, you were rude in a big way. Can't you be a man and admit it? I know you didn't mean it the way it sounds but you did step on some toes. Please don't abuse someone then cut them down for being upset. Let's all be friends.
    Kit
  • 09-21-2004, 08:10 AM
    Irakly Shanidze
    Kit, in that first post I was vervy very careful not to offend anyone personally, and I certainly did not want to. In general, getting offended and strart acting irrational is a much easier tactics than trying to address an issue. I know that negative reinforcement is not a welcome technique in this country school system, but we are not ten-year-olds. Yes, I am a man and no I am not a spoiled brat, honestly. I need some coffee to write something more persuasive, sorry...

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by shesells
    This is in defence of Outdoorman...I'm defending his right to be hurt by your words.


    Geez Irakly, can't you give an inch? I have given you the benefit of the doubt, even to the point of apologizing for reading you wrong. Everyone came to your defence and made sure that it was understood what your true meaning was. Everyone but you. Are you a spoiled little brat? The truth is, you were rude in a big way. Can't you be a man and admit it? I know you didn't mean it the way it sounds but you did step on some toes. Please don't abuse someone then cut them down for being upset. Let's all be friends.
    Kit

  • 09-21-2004, 08:13 AM
    Irakly Shanidze
    I think this question will be a perfect opening for the Art Forum :) Many people have their opinion on this topic. Some of these opinions are educated, some are intuitive, and for both parties it will be a great educational experience to hear the other side.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by walterick
    If you're going to start an Art forum and discuss meaning, don't we need to define "art" and "meaning?" Seems to me there are as many definitions of "art" as there are people out there.

    Just a jumping-off point
    (PJ you were a philo major right? :) )

    Rick

  • 09-21-2004, 08:31 AM
    shesells
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Irakly Shanidze
    Kit, in that first post I was vervy very careful not to offend anyone personally, and I certainly did not want to. In general, getting offended and strart acting irrational is a much easier tactics than trying to address an issue. I know that negative reinforcement is not a welcome technique in this country school system, but we are not ten-year-olds. Yes, I am a man and no I am not a spoiled brat, honestly. I need some coffee to write something more persuasive, sorry...

    Irakly, Irakly,Irakly... Everytime I read another of your responses, I begin to think you will never get it.

    Just let me use your answer to Outdoorsman as an example. You begin by using passive aggressive behaviour to leave your opponent bleeding all over the screen.. ie:"It is always an immense pleasure for me to read posts where someone speaks for everyone else just to create an illusion of his words having some bearing".

    You then move on to sarcasm to finish him off.. ie "If you have a problem with that, just try some breathing technique, or cold shower and read this thread again before calling it wasted. If it does not help, well... I have heard some people hit their heads against the wall until it helps. I can only hope that you won't need such anradical form of anger management."

    What you don't seem able to do is look at the other persons point of view. If quite a few people were offended it should make you think " Hmm, maybe that does sound a bit harsh". Could you possibly work on that? Or, just keep denying that there is any problem and expect everyone to accept you with open arms. In spite it all, I like you. God only knows why, maybe you're a challenge. lol
    Kit
  • 09-21-2004, 08:31 AM
    Asylum Steve
    Irakly, the more I think about it...
    ...the more excited I am about the idea of having this new forum.

    Being immersed in art communities most of my career, it's been my experience that sharing opinions and experiences about the kinds of topics we will most likely talk about will only lead to positive things, and hopefully enlightenment for many of the members here.

    I think ignorance is one of the greatest enemies of art and self-expression. People fear (or are at least less tolerant) of ideas and methods they don't understand.

    Yes, the art world is full of bs, and the photographic side of it is no exception, but it's only when we are exposed to a great variety of opinions and ideas that we can begin to sift through it all, sort out what we agree with and what we don't, and get a clearer view of the direction we need to go to continue our own individual journeys as artists.

    I think this new forum has the potential to benefit a great amount of people and provide a type of inspiration unlike anything else on this site.

    I also agree that you are the perfect choice to moderate it!

    When do we start??? :cool:
  • 09-21-2004, 11:41 AM
    Irakly Shanidze
    How 'bout tomorrow? :) Today would be good too, but PJ isn't THAT quick :)

    When do we start??? :cool:[/QUOTE]
  • 09-21-2004, 07:43 PM
    walterick
    Allow me to restructure my question:
    Upon <i>which</i> definition of "Art" will this forum be based?

    I have an inkling that unless the term "art" is defined objectively from the point of view of the forum it will be get flooded with pictures of "art" that don't meet your criteria for art. In other words, upon whose criterion do you judge? I think this may lead to a little confusion, anger, and perhaps a little sense of disenchanment? Isn't that what art should <i>not</i> be about?

    In other words, how do we tell the man whose art is pictures of his grandaughter eating dinner or the girl whose art is pictures of her paintings that they're not doing "art?" By whose criteria do you discriminate?

    By all means, do not take this as an attack, anyone. I am simply trying to get an understanding of what we are going to manifest before we do so.

    Thanks for playing,
    Rick
  • 09-21-2004, 08:21 PM
    opus
    I've been trying to remember who it is I talked to about this. I don't suppose it matters, but I wish I could remember. Anyway, I recently told someone that I just cannot view photography as the kind of art I'd want to hang on my walls. I was recently viewing a gallery of amazing photographs taken by true professionals, but among them all there was only ONE that I would want on my wall. Of all the photos I've seen, I don't like them as "art". But the person I was talking to ONLY likes photos as art.

    I guess what I'm saying is, if I were to post something I considered "art", it would most likely have some heavy-handed ps work done to it. And probably most people here wouldn't like it for that reason. But I would. So then what?
  • 09-21-2004, 08:46 PM
    Asylum Steve
    Kelly, you're generalizing big time...
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by kellybean
    I guess what I'm saying is, if I were to post something I considered "art", it would most likely have some heavy-handed ps work done to it. And probably most people here wouldn't like it for that reason. But I would. So then what?

    Not only do I NOT think that is true, but the big question is: why would you care???

    I think we'll find that EVERYONE has a slightly different opinion about photographic art, and our members will most likely fall into smaller groups that will prefer a variety of styles and techniques, including heavily treated images.

    To be an artist, you should at some point have strong convictions about your work, and that means either not caring what others think, or at least chosing whose opinions you respect and disregarding the others.

    Of course the third choice is knowing your sh*t well enough to be able to argue with those that put it down and explain to them that they're wrong.

    For me, that's the most fun... :D
  • 09-21-2004, 09:14 PM
    Outdoorsman
    Okay, okay...
    My initial reaction to the first post here was anger. I do not like being insulted. No one does. And I'm also your typical male-- I would use force to solve a problem and then try talking. When someone crosses me I let them have it full force, right between the eyes, so to speak. I do not care for euphemisms. So my reply was, of course, immature, rash, and unpleasant. And I stand behind everything I said, won't apologize, won't take it back. If I said it then, I meant it, and I still mean it.
    Now, I actually did read the whole thread (took a while) and I completely agree that the new forum should be created. I will very much enjoy seeing its inception as well as its evolution over time. There is a more "artsy" side to photograhy that isn't being represented on this site, and the new forum will really help to round out this site's alerady excellent offerings.
    The question of photography being art/not being art is not one I will pretend to have an answer to. I would consider it a form of expression, but I can't define it further. I am a humble, undereducated yokel. I have an aesthetic appreciation of the scenes I find myself in, and that's about as much as I can say I know about art. I see things that I like and I try to capture those scenes to bring back and share with others. There are too many people living in front of their monitors or TVs, clicking away on the mouse and jabbing the buttons on a game controller. I use the name Outdoorsman because I feel we need to get off our asses and see the real world out there. There is a time and a place for technology, but all the time isn't it. Take away all your technology, and who are you? I don't feel we should be defined by the stuff we've acquired.
    All right, that's enough. The soapbox is officially closed now. Thanks for putting up with my temper, everyone.
  • 09-21-2004, 09:26 PM
    walterick
    Kelly, good question.
    Does your "heavy-handed" art make it into the PR Art forum/gallery? Or not? Does it depend on the tastes of the moderator? Or of a group of moderators? If one of the moderators has a bad taste for digital, does it get left out? If you then took that same image to a "digital" art forum does it get celebrated?

    I could ask the same question about nudity, industrial photography, photojournalism, or "snapshots"...

    <i>How do you know when it's art?</i>

    Still waiting for responses...

    thanks for playing.

    Rick
  • 09-21-2004, 09:28 PM
    opus
    That's true, Steve. I do have a strong opinion about my style of art.

    I definitely don't know my sh*t enough to argue it, but I do know when something moves me.
  • 09-22-2004, 06:49 AM
    shesells
    Hi guys..
    If a piece makes you feel, it's art. Everything else is decoration. So art can be different to all people because we all have reasons why certain things move us. I think we should all just strive to make things that bring feeling to others. Some peoples photography on this site has moved me, or inspired me to strive for more meaning in my art. When a kid draws a stick figure, to him it's art and who are we to judge. It means different things to different people. I'm sure that anyone that submits a photo piece to the forum will feel that it is art and we should be careful not to step on their feelings. This morning on the Today Show they referred to Bob Ross with his "happy little clouds" as a 'world renown artist'. Enough said.
    Art, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
    Kit
  • 09-22-2004, 08:37 AM
    Toot
    My two cents
    Why do we do anything creative. It is an expression of what we feel, see, touch, smell, etc. It is an expression of self. A way to show something that is within us. Some have 20/20 vision and can bring that through, while others want to express themselves, but never have been taught or shown how to do that properly. IMO I think it would be good to have two versions of critique. Or whatever you want to call it. One for the beginners who need a place to start and the do's and don't of the basics...with direction. Learning how to use a camera and equipment, to achieve the different effects, and their accomplishments. The other for the more serious person who wants to stretch that creativity to take it to a higher more professional level. More the perfectionist view.
    Speaking for myself, I really never knew anything about a camera until I started visiting this site, and listening to what everyone was saying. It helped me to understand better what I was doing and looking at. I still shoot crap, but under the right conditions...it looks pretty good. It is intimidating as a beginner to post something for critique and guidance, when you have other posts in there that are way above that level.
    To me ART is something created. Whether is be constructed or waiting for the perfect lighting conditions. Who knows....mainly it's in the eyes of the beholder. It will never satisfy everyone at the same time. If it stirs something inside of us or another, then we have achieved something.
    Just my two cents.
  • 09-22-2004, 12:02 PM
    Elysian
    One week later... still nothing... I wonder if we'll ever get this forum :D
  • 09-22-2004, 01:31 PM
    Asylum Steve
    Well, what I really meant...
    Kelly,

    I guess what I was trying to say before is that for this new forum to work, posters (especially those that are not bursting with confidence about their work) are going to have to take risks if they truely want to share their vision.

    Folks are bound to disagree about a lot of this, and the criticism will be flying from time to time I'm sure.

    That being said, the only assurance I can give you is that some of us will be watching your back, and by that I mean nobody will be made a fool of, and honest attempts at artsitic expression will always be acknowledged as such.

    And, in case you didn't already know, much of my art involves heavily treated images, so we'll be represented just fine... ;)
  • 09-22-2004, 01:54 PM
    Lara
    Quote:

    That being said, the only assurance I can give you is that some of us will be watching your back, and by that I mean nobody will be made a fool of, and honest attempts at artsitic expression will always be acknowledged as such.


    Well said Steve. This is what I believe a lot of the members concerns are. I'll be another of the people making certain nobody will be made to look foolish. In fact, I'm willing to bet you can count on all of the moderators to make sure it doesn't happen.


  • 09-22-2004, 02:01 PM
    opus
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Elysian
    One week later... still nothing... I wonder if we'll ever get this forum :D

    I've got an image just waiting to post there. :)