Each medium of expression imposes its own limitations on the artist——limitations inherent in the tools, materials, or processes he employs. In the older art forms these natural confines are so well established they are taken for granted. We select music or dancing, sculpture or writing because we feel that within the frame of that particular medium we can best express whatever it is we have to say. In order to understand why this is so, we must examine briefly the historical background of this youngest of the graphic arts.
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This reading began with information about Edward Weston. It explains that he favored simplicity in photographs and did not approve of editing his images, and preferred the pre-visualization of an image.
They were deemed unconventional and excluded from museums and so they started their own exhibitions. Although creative expressionism can create limitations, I believe that it is still a useful tool in expressing oneself as the reading states. The reading continues by explaining that the photo-painting standard, in which a photographer tries to capture painting-like images, actually diminishes the art of photography. The reading explains that photography is unique because although the brightness of a photo during development, it is an instant capturing of a moment that cannot be changed such as a sculpture.
However, this cannot be taught, and it will only come through experience. However, this is done with simplicity in which only the basic, necessary equipment is needed, and where there are no rules to follow, but to capture your point of view of the world. Like Like. For me personally, I found that this article served as a basic history lesson of photography which followed various movements and views on the subject over time.
This is then later connected within the article to the root cause of the art forms misconception. What separates photography from other practices such as painting and sculpture is time. Photos take seconds to create whereas the aforementioned branches of art can take years.
This perpetuates the notion that it is an easy process when in fact, the opposite could not be more true as exemplified by Edward Weston. With all this said, however, I do believe that much of the power of weight of the piece comes down to the strength of the original image.
A bad photo is a bad photo and what little experience I have working with a film camera has taught me that trying to get a good photo the first time is difficult and worth working for. The reading focused on photography and how the methods and results differ from that of painting. The opening paragraph focuses on photographer Edward Weston and how he was part of a group that focused less on using photography as a way to imitate painting, but to have photography develop its own art style.
The text focuses on the idea of pre-visualization, how a photographer must realize the photograph in their own head before they actually capture the image. The reading makes a point to say that photography is more honest than painting, which is why pre-visualization is so important, because a photograph should be revealing but not superficial. There are plenty of photographs on the internet that either accidentally or purposefully, appear to look like paintings from certain eras.
To me it serves as a reminder that even though paintings seem to elevate rather than imitate life, life is full of moments that seemingly elevate themselves. One thing that I found interesting in this reading was distinction between painting, sculpture, or architecture; and photography.
I had never thought about how that in those mediums the artist can spend as long as the want on a piece, changing it as they go, but in photography, the process is much faster. Once the photo is taken, it is taken and that is how it is. I also understand better how there are so many options for photographing just one thing. The reading talked about how there are almost infinite ways capture something by changing the angle, shutter speed, lighting, aperture, development time, etc.
By sticking with one method of photography and artist can get really good at capturing the subject just as they want to. Another part of the reading I found interesting was how that when photography started, people were using it like they used painting.
It was not until a little later that people realized that this was a new tool that could be used all on its own. New amazing things could be created that were not possible with past mediums. This relates to another class that I am taking. It is about virtual reality. In the last class we discussed how right now people are using virtual reality in the context of what we already know such as television.
We do not know yet what can be created with this new technology that was not possible with the old technology. It took people like Edward Weston to challenge the status quo with photography. I believe that is what virtual reality needs today. His home is filled with art of every kind ranging from painted flower pots to massive silver gelatin prints, and he even has an entire room filled with paintings from the bottom floor reaching to the ceiling. I feel as though I have a personal connection with some of his most recent work that he shot at the Point Lobos area in Carmel, CA, because I did a lot of my growing up in Monterey.
Seeing his work reminds me of home, and the memories I have there. All this being said in regards to the article, I am able to understand his thought process more clearly now.
The idea that a camera simply provides a canvas in order for something more to be created is intriguing and explains his stylings more. Edward Weston was pushing limits past the average photograph, and this must be why his artwork is widely appreciated. After reading this article I understand more how taking a photo is considered to be art. The way in which the photograph is taken is the process unlike a painting or a drawing in which the process itself is the action of painting or drawing.
For photography the process leads up to the photograph. A photographer may spend hours trying to find the perfect lighting, and then setting the camera to the accurate settings. These things that lead up to the photograph is the process that makes every photo unique, because every photographer will have a different angle in mind. Edward Weston accomplished this and then went even further to manipulate his photographs to make them even more unique. Rather than being created slowly like a painting or a sculpture, photography is created instantaneously.
It takes skill to achieve a great image without the luxury of time to correct, add to, or fix the pieces, which painting and sculpting allow. Because it is so immediate in nature, photography is honest and unconventional. Therefore, granted that nowadays it often implements the use of editing softwares, photography is its own complex art medium that is distinct from other mediums because of its instantaneous nature.
Especially when using film as opposed to digital cameras, it is vital to have an idea of what a photograph will look like. Agreeing with Weston, I think photographs should be deliberate and intentional in the way they look and are created. Thus, photographers have to visualize their world in relation to their lens so that their photographs capture the pieces of the world that they want, in the way in which they want. However, I also believe that it is completely acceptable to edit photographs after they are taken.
If an artist has an idea in mind, he or she has no reason to refrain from creating that desired image. This intrigued me, as I myself have been trained in fine arts for the past 3 years, and have pondered the same ideas myself while creating works in the painting studio. I have always believed in the art form of photography, and can appreciate is as I appreciate other works.
The authors argument very well opened my eyes to however, what makes photography very distinct from other forms of art. With time and training, the skill of painting is something that the artist can take control of.
With proper information, the painter can create their vision with time to perfect anything they dislike. This is unlike the photographer. Due to the forces of the natural world, there are some aspects of their art and final product in which they simply cannot control.
This makes me wonder, though, how much technology like photoshop and other programs used to edit photography has functioned to change this struggle. Surely, it will always be difficult to capture a moment with only a camera and no other tool.
But like the painter is trained to use his brush in order to properly manipulate color to create a convincing image, the trained photo editor could also do the same. Michael Mahammadie-Sabet. Weston urged photographers to carefully frame their subjects. He believed this process should happen as the photographer captures the image, not later in the darkroom; he was not a fan of color, hated photo-painting, and preferred simple equipment.
Composition is an important element of photography. However, Weston also hinted that photographers should not follow the rules of composition so closely or else the image might not look very natural. Instead, composition is more about creating the best way to present a certain subject. I also found it interesting how Weston explained just how different and unique photography is compared to other forms of art.
What sets photography apart is the recording process and the nature of the image. A photograph is taken in an instant, so it is different than painting or sculpture, where one can spend a lot of time in the process and make changes along the way. Although with photography, the camera captures the image in a split second, and the artwork is instantly finished.
So, the process of creating photographs is different than the process with other forms of art. This excerpt by Edward Weston asserts how different photography is, and argues the modest details that people overlook when criticizing photography as an art form.
Admittedly, some of his points were factors that I have not noticed, and have not properly credited to photographers. What resonated with me most was his description of the nature of the recording process. With other art forms sculpting, painting, etc. For a photographer, the art is captured in an instant, without any degree of manipulation during the capturing process. Additionally, with photography, the finished result must be planned.
Pointing at an object and mindlessly clicking a button is easily accomplished by many. I believe that a truly great artist is one who has mastered the ability to visualize what the subject looks like through the lens, and thoughtfully executing on that vision. I Found Edward Westons Article very interesting and enlightening. I thought it was interesting that he mentioned how early photography was not seen as an art form simply because it was the product of a machine and not an artist.
From the perspective of someone living in that time, where the only art that previously existed before was the product of painstaking hours upon hours of work building up an image, I can see how early photography was viewed as more of a mechanical process.
He mentions that saying photography is not art simply because it uses a machine is like vocalists telling musicians that what they are doing is not music because they are utilizing instruments.
I have always thought the true art of photography is seeing something in it simplest form and then capturing it through a photograph. I think the human eye acts as our camera first, then the actual camera is what allows us to make a photograph of it.
I think seeing photographically is what makes a photographer an artist. Not everyone has the eye for good composition, but those who do make great photographers. Photography is my biggest passion in life. I do not consider myself even close to being a professional, in fact I always question if I was even good at it.
What I took away from the article by Edward Weston is that it really shows how different photography is from the other graphic arts. Edward states that it is desperate from the others due to the fact that photography is an instantaneous recording process.
Prompt 2 – Edward Weston “Seeing Photographically”
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Edward Weston Seeing Photographically
Post a Comment. I had never before thought about the ways in which the growth of photography has affected the art of painting. As Weston states, "Photography has or will eventually, negate much painting—for which the painter should be deeply grateful; relieving him, as it were, from certain public demands: representation, objective seeing. Weston continues to explain how painters can always change their original pieces as they work, whether their minds change or they're unhappy with their work and they can take as much time as needed on a painting.