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Archive 2013 · Are the "Greats" Still Relevant?
  
 
BigIronCruiser
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p.2 #1 · Are the "Greats" Still Relevant?


form wrote:
Before the calculator, we had only our minds and other non-digital implements to figure out mathematic equations, so our minds naturally had more practice and were more efficient at it.


Engineering students had slide rules, and they usually understood the mathematics and logic that allowed them to work. Most people, sadly, use calculator's today without understanding anything about the numbers that get puked out.

There's a lot to be learned from the past, and most of it is still applicable. Sunlight, for instance, comes through windows today just like it did 500 years ago. It still makes the same highlights and shadows. The old masters created paintings that illustrate the effective use of posing and light, and old-school photographers did the same. They left us with treasure chest's that were filled with imagination and creativity. This painting by Diego Velasquez, for example, is still relevant, even though it was created 350 years ago. His use of lighting, posing and mirrors to add dimension and believability just blows me away. Old, but not forgotten.







Feb 16, 2013 at 05:05 PM
dhp_sf
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p.2 #2 · Are the "Greats" Still Relevant?


In a lot of creative industries there are "greats" from the past that the experts of a given field will understand references to. With something like photography that is incredibly accessible, you're going to have those who care about the past and those who don't. You'll have those who are inspired by their contemporaries or they are perfectly happy doing whatever they do without outside influence. My opinion is that the "greats" will ALWAYS be relevant, but maybe not as directly as they once were. If someone studies the work of Chuck Anerino down the stretch, they will be indirectly studying the works of those who influenced him. Same goes for anyone else that is a contemporary inspiration.

By putting readily available equipment in the hands of amateurs and enthusiasts, I think it is rational to expect general mediocrity. However, I think that having this accessible actually raises the bar more. I see a beautiful drawing, and I try to draw the same thing. It is terrible. I appreciate the original much more. I watch golfers on TV and it looks so easy. I go to the driving range and can't hit a ball straight (if I hit it at all). I appreciate the pros that much more. Same thing with photography. When I first began looking at photography, I began appreciating the more bold and untraditional more. I became LESS impressed with constant shallow depth of field. I became more appreciative of total control of the image--because I found it was harder than I thought, even though the technology is readily available.

Ultimately, the near-universal availability of tools is at the disposal of the general public, I think the end result is that there will be 1) MUCH more mediocre work in the field and 2) HIGHER value and standards for the upper echelon.

Anyway, that's my take. I have heard many names of the greats, but I never have really taken the time to study them as much as I maybe should. But I study the work of contemporaries who I know were heavily influenced by the "greats."



Feb 16, 2013 at 07:21 PM
Prettym1k3
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p.2 #3 · Are the "Greats" Still Relevant?


My simple response? History is ALWAYS relevant. Always.

But some of the current "greats" I just don't see as being very great anymore. I won't name names, but their style doesn't speak to me, and their images are so traditional, that I know someone's dad from the Hamptons hired him/her, but dude... that stuff is dull and boring.



Feb 20, 2013 at 06:17 PM
ichiban
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p.2 #4 · Are the "Greats" Still Relevant?


and chuck single handedly shut down magnumphotos.com's server.


Feb 20, 2013 at 06:23 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



TheGE
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p.2 #5 · Are the "Greats" Still Relevant?


Past greats are teachers.

Sometimes an influence comes from their work. As a former art student for example, I spent hours looking at Masters, deconstructing their work.

But there's something else. And it's not gleaned from looking at the work. It's the wisdom, the insight, they acquired which they pass on.

For example, Richard Avedon once said if you go into a photo session and come out with what you hoped for - it's a failure. Maybe I would've realized that sooner or later. Maybe not ever.



Feb 21, 2013 at 04:47 AM
boingyman
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p.2 #6 · Are the "Greats" Still Relevant?


I'm not a wedding photographer, just a lurker, but here are my thoughts. Many of the greats you mentioned are street photographers the traditional/purist form. IMO being able to shoot really good street photography on a whole nother level is one of the most difficult genres in photography. Sometimes it takes many years to produce a body of work that's worth showing. I think wedding photographers in general can learn from these greats and be able to use this type of vision to improve. Putting emotion, shapes, lines, juxtaposition and just nailing that decicive moment all together in 1 or 2 photos of a entire set can really make a difference. I lurk many great wedding photographers blogs and I personally see it from time to time. Maybe not at the level of Bresson, but who is?


Feb 22, 2013 at 12:14 AM
ckhagen
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p.2 #7 · Are the "Greats" Still Relevant?


Every time I see the title of this thread I see "are the guests still relevant?" And I'm all like "whaaaat?".


Feb 22, 2013 at 02:57 AM
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