Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2008/03/12

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Subject: [Leica] Not Buying M8
From: chs2018 at (Chris Saganich)
Date: Wed Mar 12 10:41:01 2008
References: <> <> <> <> <>

At 12:01 PM 3/12/2008, you wrote:
>I find this discussion quite interesting, not so much for the film
>vs. digital aspect; as the capture/integrity/expression aspects.
>On Mar 12, 2008, at 10:14 AM, Chris Saganich wrote:
>>The shutter doesn't conclude the vision Sonny.
>When discussing transparencies; or the purest sense of perfect
>photographic technique with visioning value placement, composition
>and decisive moment on the film negative or positive - - the shutter
>does conclude the vision. The score has been written.
>Everything done after that relates to performing the score.

Yes this would be the purest form of extension of vision as explained by 
White, Weston, Adams, etc

>>  Concept of vision is brought into the processing in order to
>>reproduce the reality that was experienced.
>Here we move from the pure image capture to the subjective world of
>perceived reality and the enhancement there of. The very choice of
>B&W or color film (not to mention which color film) all move towards
>the painterly, the interpretive, the expressive and further and
>further from the "real."

It is another interesting problem, Why do people take pictures?  Isn't it 
rewarding to sit and look at a sunset, a mountain, a flower, and having an 
image certainly isn't better.  Reminds me of something I witnesses a few 
years ago.  I was in Muir Woods in San Fran area wondering on the trail 
when I spied this magnificent bird just wandering around.  I had my camera 
etc but didn't care to take a photograph I was happy just leaning on the 
rail watching this bird.  Along comes a group of three people who see the 
same bird.  They stop next to me to look and immediately one fellow takes a 
picture with his digital camera.  Then all three of them crowded around the 
camera to look at the image he just took while the magnificent bird was 
still a few yards away.  They repeated this a few times paying more 
attention to the image on the screen then the actual bird.  This bothered 
me and was the first indication that digital photography was somehow a 
greater departure from traditional photography then I had previously 
suspected.  Do we really prefer the subjective over the real?  Sounds like 
a question for Nietzsche,  one could not have a will to power without a 
subjective world.

For the sake of simplicity I like to forego subjective reality issues in 
images and concentrate on the concept of the photographer.  Is the image 
more painterly or more an extension of vision, or hopelessly confused?  All 
the choices which are made can lead the viewer to some conclusions about 
the photographer since in the end it is all about the photographer 
anyway.  I've always felt that the photographer is by default always the 
subject of his images regardless of what he points his camera at.  It's all 
creative self exploration in the end to me.  This is why I like it, it's 
always about ME!

>>If the image is altered by introducing painterly aspects then there
>>is a  conceptual commingling where the artist is attempting to
>>purge the reality from the image because they can't deal with it or
>I'd submit that removing motion, applying the still frame to 2
>dimensional paper, whether in black & white, fuji color, velvia,
>kodak gold or whatever other emulsion has already conceptually
>commingled and purged - 'tis only a question of degree. And that will
>always be subjective.

The painterly aspects have been the subject of much discussion.  What are 
they?  The question also involves what is the intention of the 
photographer.  Painterly concepts tend to reveal the artists hand in the 
image.  So extensive dodging, and burning to the point that it is 
noticeable qualifies,  mat surface, solarization, reticulation, the use of 
filters to overly dramatize a scene, infrared film is another one.  Most of 
these occur on a continuum, on one end it is not painterly on the other end 
it is.  What was the artist trying to do?  Did he over do it? Not do it 
enough?  Did he do violence to his image?  Most of the images people here 
present do not fall into the painterly concepts to my eye.  The intention 
is to extend the moment the shutter snapped into a form which can be shared 
by other like minded folks.

>>Totally different from dodging and burning and contrast
>>manipulation.  What is the artist bringing attention to, the
>>reality of the subject or his/her handwork?
>Always both. Always form and content. The viewer decides if it works;
>if it moves one to feel and or appreciate what the photographer has
Indeed, the viewer decides.  I don't believe one is wrong or right, many 
photographers manage beautiful handwork with photographs.  Others 
manipulate vision, or alter subjective reality, to appropriate effect.  In 
the latter case in the digital world such manipulation are often passed off 
as subjective reality

>>The classic example is Adams use of value control both in the
>>camera and in the darkroom.  His intention was to get far away from
>>the painterly concepts.
>I believe that Adam's extreme concentration on value control is quite
>literally brings the painterly concepts to photography - not in the
>pictorial sense - but in the control of technique intrinsic to the
>medium in question.

It is a good subject for debate.

>Fond regards,
>Picture A Week -
>Leica Users Group.
>See for more information

Chris Saganich, MS, Sr. Physicist
Weill Medical College of Cornell University
New York Presbyterian Hospital
Ph. 212.746.6964
Fax. 212.746.4800
Office A-0049 

Replies: Reply from imagist3 at (Lottermoser George) ([Leica] Not Buying M8)
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