Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs Part 7 – 
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  • Terry Gipson
    Terry Gipson
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    Posts: 9
    New Article Announcements & Discussions
    on: February 6, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Another thought-provoking article! Thank you.

    After chewing on these ideas for the last few days, I have decided that the ballast that I need to let go is the need to identify myself as a photographer. Instead a better identifier is that I have become an artist, who starts his work with a camera.

    Terry
    Colorado USA
    [email protected]
    www.terrygipsonphotography.com

    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Mike Nelson Pedde
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    Posts: 448
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs Part 7 – 
Lachez du Lest
    Reply #1 on: February 6, 2020 at 5:19 pm

    I remember a talk from Robert Bateman once where he outlined pretty restrictive views on what constitutes an artist. In his opinion, photographers are not artists. Neither are musicians, nor dancers. Not sure about sculptors. Needless to say, I disagree with him on that. Artists create. Perhaps better to think of kung fu, which many (inappropriately) identify with Chinese martial arts (that’s wushu). Kung fu refers to taking what one does and elevating it to an art form. In those terms, Stradivarius’ kung fu was the violin. Yours can begin with the camera. 🙂

    Mike.

    _____
    Mike Nelson Pedde
    Victoria, BC
    https://www.wolfnowl.com/

    Terry Gipson
    Terry Gipson
    Participant
    Posts: 9
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs Part 7 – 
Lachez du Lest
    Reply #2 on: February 6, 2020 at 10:01 pm

    Lance Lewin’s comments to my article about categorization of different forms of images stuck with me in an awkward way. To not be considered a photographer after decades of taking pictures with a camera is like removing the basis of identity as one who takes pictures.

    Alain’s article then brought up timely points about consider letting go of some baggage. The more I thought about it, perhaps I needed to let go of the identity of being a photographer and accept some other designation for my journey and work, such as simply an artist. I really don’t care about categorizations, but “artist” is broad enough to encompass a lot of activity and allow some wiggle room for artistic identity.

    To consider myself just as “an artist who uses a camera” has a vaguely freeing feeling to it. I have been important in life before. I really don’t want that burden as I go forward. Striving to be a photographer amid many others much better than I generated unnecessary angst about my work.

    So now I can just move on. Thanks to Lance and Alain

    Terry
    Colorado USA
    [email protected]
    www.terrygipsonphotography.com

    Alain Briot
    Alain Briot
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    Posts: 7
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs Part 7 – 
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    Reply #3 on: February 7, 2020 at 1:05 pm

    For me ‘artist’ is a profession with all the implications that come with it: training, purpose, activities, responsibilities and, directly relevant to this conversation, title.  Artist is the title on my business card.  It was that when I did painting, it is that now that I do photography.  In that respect I see no differences between painting and photography.  I was not just a painter and I am not just a photographer.  Artist is a more liberal term, a term more encompassing of the different activities I conduct.  Painters paint and photographers photograph.  Artists create art unrestrictive of the medium they use at any given time. I painted and drew.  Now I create photographic images.  However I also write, teach, reflect, collect art and live a lifestyle centered around art.  Artist fits the bill much better for me as a professional title.  I also use the French spelling, Artiste. Why? Because I like it. I regularly meet people, many of them students, who have a hard time calling themselves ‘artists.’  When doing so they feel they are performing an act of self-knighthood,  giving themselves a title they have neither earned or deserved.  This feeling may be true or it may be false, it all depends on the specific situation a person is in.  However this feeling misses an important aspect of accepting a title.  This  aspect is the responsibilities that come with this title, in this specific instance the responsibilities that come with being an artist.  Being an artist is not just a title, not just a name I was given or I gave myself.  It is a set of responsibilities, ‘things’ for lack of a better name, that I had to do once I took this title. Pride is involved, even required I must say.  Seriousness of purpose is also required.  I would not call myself a lawyer without being dedicated to the study and practice of the law.  I would not call myself a doctor with being dedicated to the pratice and study of medicine.  I would not call myself an engineer, a chef, a mechanic or any other professional title without being dedicated to the study and practice of these professions as well as accepting of the responsibilities and duties that they entail. At a time when, if we believe the social roar, ‘everyone is a photographer because everyone has a cell phone camera,’ being willing to both accept and meet the responsibilities that come with the acceptance of a professional title come at the forefront of my attention.  In fact they may be more important than they have ever been because they are the aspect of photography that is lacking in many practitioners.  Just taking a photograph is not enough to call myself a photographer and even less an artist.  I must do more than that.  I must take on more responsibilities than just pressing a button, posting my photographs on the web and waiting for likes, hearts, thumbs up, emoticons and other social media responses. I see my artistic responsibilities as being multi-faceted. It is for this reason that I write extensively, focusing on the challenges I faced and continue to face as an artist.  It is for this reason that I create photographs that depict my feelings towards a subject and not the literal subject. It is for this reason that I teach, focusing on both artistic and technical aspects with an emphasis on the person, on the development of a unique personal style, on the expression of the artist’s true personality. It is for this  reason I do all the other things that I do.  I feel compelled to do so because for me this is a serious endeavor to which I am fully committed.

    Author of Mastering Landscape Photography and 3 other books.
    http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
    [email protected]

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Alain Briot.
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    Alain Briot
    Alain Briot
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs Part 7 – 
Lachez du Lest
    Reply #4 on: February 7, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    Author of Mastering Landscape Photography and 3 other books.
    http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
    [email protected]

    • This reply was modified 7 months, 2 weeks ago by Alain Briot.
    Lance Lewin
    Lance Lewin
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    Posts: 41
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs Part 7 – 
Lachez du Lest
    Reply #5 on: April 1, 2020 at 5:32 pm

    Hello, Terry, everyone. Been off the grid for some time and just saw this post: allow me to comment.

    Well, I am sure we will agree – for the most part – we are all experienced – and including the parameters suggested in Alain Briot outline above for what constitutes being titled a photographer: that is, for the sake of this discussion, we are all accustomed to using the camera and each of us have enjoyed a variety of experiences, instruction and experimentation to call ourselves “Photographers”.  Moving on.

    In the turn of the century, the term “Photographer-Painter” was used often to describe those photographers more equipped both in using the camera and searching, composing and capturing a scene/subject better, more lustrous and sometimes photographs that would “Prick” the viewer, as stated so eloquently by Roland Barthes in his 1980 landmark book, Camera Lucida, as a way of identifying a photograph of great interest that initiated an emotional reaction from the viewer. This included those who took part in the Pictorial photography movement, as well.  The point for many – how do you describe our (photographic) Art in a world that has moved decisively toward digital post-production software in finalizing a piece of fine art: how do we categorize the results? Are we Photographers or Digital Artists?

    In my opinion, and others included in discussions, (mostly from artist and patrons of the arts in Ellijay, Ga where I spend a lot of time as the gallery co-director), while using a digital image file (or scanned film negative) as the agency defining the core medium, illustrative and conceptualized style photographs are easily identified as Digital Art. For example, in a recent Digital Photography Exhibition at the Booth Western Museum in north Georgia, the guest curator stated: I am paraphrasing…’well, we can even say this is a Digital Art exhibition’…as every piece had a multitude of digital post-production tricks, accents and layering that revealed some of the best…Visual 2-D work I have seen! Incredible work!

    Alternatively, if an artist uses a variety of digital and non-digital approaches to their work, then these artists can present their work accordingly – I see no reason to attach a specific subtitle to a Photographer-Artist if they use multiple processes: present the work accordingly: that is, disclose the process, especially in exhibitions where both traditional and digital-concept work is presented side-by-side. In fact, we may even decide to call these heavily manipulated work – Multimedia (or photographic multimedia) – as do painters that use photography, acrylics, paper, leaf and assortment of lacquers that cover the canvas in creating a piece of fine art. A Point to Ponder, indeed.

    It is written and discussed with much debate or differences, if the Digital Photography Revolution (and some of its more elaborate iterations) has accelerated the (and allow me to use a phrase from Michael Rush’s book New Media in Art, ‘final Avant-garde of the Twentieth Century’.

    As I have posted here and elsewhere – allow me to reiterate – this is a deep and important discourse I hope continues to bring new insights to the table, that perhaps one day, we will see the light at the end of the photographic tunnel.

    (Attached image: my latest work from the ongoing series Intimate with Nature. Captured on Eastman Double-X/5222 film stock.)

    Thank you.

    Best regards,
    Lance A. Lewin

    Lance A. Lewin

    • This reply was modified 5 months, 2 weeks ago by Lance Lewin.
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    Alain Briot
    Alain Briot
    Participant
    Posts: 7
    Re: Creating Artistic Landscape Photographs Part 7 – 
Lachez du Lest
    Reply #6 on: April 1, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Hi Lance,

    Thank you for your comments.

    Alain

    Author of Mastering Landscape Photography and 3 other books.
    http://www.beautiful-landscape.com
    [email protected]

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