There is no way anyone can win the social-networking arms race. It’s time to scale back. It’s time to realize that social-networking sites come with only one guarantee: You’re going to spend a lot of time on them - time that you could have spent on your own photography.
"Stick a bunch of photographers together and half the time they will start arguing about what is real, what is true, what is art, what is documentary, what is ethical, what is allowed (not much), what isn’t allowed (almost everything), what is elitist, what isn’t. These are all vitally important issues, but there is only so much time of the day that one should spend on them."
Went to this photobook meetup on friday, organized by Bryan Formhals, Joerg Colberg, and Noah Kalina. I brought the Gabriel Orozco book. Here’s a photo of my presenting it, an odd mid-sentence expression on my face.
Can’t wait ‘till the next photobook event!
Here’s a partial list of the books that were presented (next time we’ll make sure to get a full list.)
"The most interesting bloggers and editors write about the projects and work they’re featuring. They tell us why it’s important, why they appreciate it or an idea it evokes. As a photographer telling the stories behind the photos, adding context, narrative and generally presenting your audience with something new and original about the work will be more engaging, and more creatively rewarding for yourself I believe. That’s what I’d like to see more of from photographers and publishers and I don’t think I’m alone. We should strive to not only showcase the work, but to provide new insights and stories about it."
"It seems like half the people on the Internet have come down with the web equivalent of Asperger’s Syndrome: they think that they may blindly speak the truth as they see it with no regard to other people’s feelings and that people should not take offense simply because they are speaking their mind. Well, sorry, Charlie, that’s not how people work. At least, not the emotionally whole ones. Artists can’t expect everyone to like their work. But their audience also has no reason to expect the artist to accept obnoxious and gratuitously rude behavior."
In any event the quote from the New Yorker article about fiction writers needing to be young seems blatantly wrong to me. Fiction writing might merely share with photography a simple expedient—that it tends to be one of the things people try when they’re young and hopeful, before they get practical and more seriously pursue the demands of living. You know, like being a musician or an actor. It’s not that young people do better, it’s that young people feel they have plenty time to waste working on impractical things like art photography even in the absence of any material encouragement. I might frame a different question…the way I put it in the header to this post.
Generally, though, I do agree with Alec Soth when he says, “Of course I’d mention the exceptions, but taken as a whole, photographic greatness seems to me to be a young person’s game.” Seems that way to me too—as a generality/stereotype. One thing that’s always struck me is that young photographers in the flush of a youthful period of activity and production always think they’re ramping up to an even greater future, when for most of them the “future” is right then—that is, the period they’re in then is their most productive period. The problem more than anything is getting people to take themselves seriously and work harder at what they’re doing, whatever age they are. That hasn’t been the problem for Mr. Soth, but he’s the exception there.
“I’m interested in the next big thing, and I’m interested in the classics. But I think I’m even more interested in the Thomas Struths - photographers too old to be one of the young guns and too young to be one of the old timers: The mid-career artists. You can find all kinds of interesting developments here. You can find life experience entering work, you can find artists re-shaping earlier work to produce more mature variants, you can find artists making experiments grounded in experience and in a willingness to grow. Watch, for example, the documentary What Remains about Sally Mann, and you’ll find out what I’m talking about.” - Joerg Colberg
I think a lot of people who take photographs like that, they don’t know how to enjoy things without a camera. They use that as a way to have a good time—that’s what they think a good time is, because they don’t know how to have a good time, basically.
Tumblr Tourism is a ‘Follower Post’ we intend to issue each Friday that will highlight the work of those who follow this blog. We’re humbled by your interest in The Tourist and intend to reciprocate this interest by promoting the work of our Followers (as well as linking to their individual Tumblr accounts). In theory, we’ll utilize a mosaic of four images (as pictured above) to introduce work and the respective artist that created it. So, let’s try this puppy out! Paolo Giacco (top left) is an emerging Toronto-area photographer with an eye for quiet scenes (who first picked up a camera last December). Kansas City-based photographer Patrice Jackson (top right) excels at documentary-styled portraiture that is often whimsical and captures introspection within her subjects. Brooks Reynolds (bottom left) is a photographer from Burlington, ON that combines thoughtful mise-en-scène with technical mastery to produce exceptionally sharp portraits. Nina Perlman is a New York-based photographer whose wonderfully warm work brims with lovely, saturated colors. Hope you liked the first installment of Tumblr Tourism. Let us know your thoughts!
“What I’m trying to get at here is that it takes a bit more than owning a camera to be a photographer or at least a certain type of photographer. We might all be photographers, but it takes a bit more than owning an 8x10 view camera to produce images people like Larry Gagosian will be happy to sell for a lot of money. Ownership of an 8x10 view camera is not what makes a master photographer what s/he is. Even the basic skills it takes to produce a photo with such a beast won’t do.
So the answer seems incredibly mundane: The role of the professional has not changed at all, and it will not change. You could argue that what has changed is that it’s much easier now for anyone to become one such professional. But even that doesn’t seem to obvious (it sounds good, though).
It’s funny that photography seems to be the only area I can think of where you magically join the guild (so to speak) merely on the basis of owning the tools. Isn’t it funny that you never hear writers worry about the fact that everybody knows how to write? ”
"However, what about the emotional connection that we have with our subject matter? Can that have anything to do with our disappointment? My answer is yes.Think about it. When are the times that we experience the biggest disappointment? It’s when we have the highest expectations and emotional investment or response from a situation. If something doesn’t happen exactly the way we want it to, we often find ourselves let down by how the situation actually transpired. That’s human nature, and since creative photography is so closely tuned to our inner selves, it’s only natural to think that the same thing can happen to our image making. We tend to seek out and photograph those subjects that evoke a strong emotional response within ourselves, and the images that we make of those subjects usually end up being our best photographs. However, as is often the case with beginning photographers, they can also be our worst, most uninspired images. Why? because we’re unable to separate our emotional attachment to a subject from the craft of how to make a good photograph, or we fail to produce an image that speaks to that emotional attachment. It’s also because we sometimes forget that a strong photograph is not simply an exact copy of the subject, it’s a symbolic representation of the subject matter that’s designed to invoke an emotional response from us and our viewers. A good photograph isn’t just a picture of “the thing” or “the place,” it tells a story and transports us to a different time and place. It causes us to think “why,” “how,” “where” and “what if?”"