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Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


Robert Randall wrote:
Here's the deal... I think people that say so much about the meaning of something as simple as that portrait, are generally full of crap. It wouldn't bother me if the audience was a bunch of socialite divas, because everyone knows they expect to hear a load of crap. But it's you, supporting a load of crap in here, in a transparent attempt to be held in higher esteem, all the while misleading the people reading the crap you spew. There is nothing magical about the process in that picture. There is nothing metaphysical about that picture. There is nothing transcendent about that picture. It doesn't need any more description other than to say it's a nice picture. Only a shill with an agenda would believe anything more than that.

But, you do have to admit one thing; I gave you yet another opportunity to name drop. I'm actually surprised you didn't post up some of your head shots for more ink.
Fred Greissing wrote:
So who exactly am I a shill for?

You shill for your monumental ego.

Fred Greissing wrote:
What is it that brings you to tear apart a photographer like Barry Lategan, one of the top 10 fashion photographers of the 60s and 70s, and why so offensively.... and later you say you had never heard of him. Throwing such venom out at an man that is many years our senior.

Deflection is always a sign of weak character.

It's difficult to entertain an honest conversation with someone like you. You know exactly what I said and what I meant, yet you insist on making it a broader stroke than it was in the hopes that I'll stumble and fall into the shit pile you're trying to build for me. But, on the offhand chance that you might be as stupid as you're trying to imply, I'll explain it once again for the short bus side of you.

The picture of Twiggy that you linked is pleasant; it is nothing more than that. It isn't worth a conversation that would make Jesus blush, it isn't any of the things he hyped... it's just a pleasant picture. But, I'll dissect his video a bit further in the hope you'll finally be able to understand.

"Photogeny is a very difficult word to explain in terms of how a photograph conveys acceptance, approval, acknowledgement."

Photogeny is the obscure name given to photography before it was called photography. It's derivation is English, and it is so out of date the only reference to it that you will find is that it is obscure. That wasn't so difficult. I find that people who resort to these kinds of shenanigans are often trying to message their egos.

"She transcended all that superciliousness"

She was 16 at the time, and that sounds like a line one of our own GWCs would use to get into the pants of the next model. Pure bullshit.

"I said to her just sit down and look at me"

The one thing he said that made any sense, and wasn't bullshit.

"I faced the camera exactly at eye level with her, so that she was looking on equality, rather than being looked at from above or the side."

Good Lord, what a load of crap.

"I was inspired by the re-nay-sance, by the impressionists, who posed their models in quiet, almost static poses."

I say he was trying to get rid of her as quickly as possible because she probably wasn't paying him much, and he didn't realize he was going to have to cover such an "Iconic" snapshot with so much bullshit at a later date. I find that people who resort to these kinds of shenanigans are often trying to message their egos.

"at the age of 16 there is an awareness, a consciousness, and that's something i use as a word of photogenny"

Call me jaded, but I sense a white knight that's looking for oral when I read crap like that.

"it's extraordinary because its mine, how iconic this has become"

He seemed genuinely surprised by the reaction life has had to his picture. It was almost enough to cut him some slack... but not quite.


Fred Greissing wrote:
Here is one thing for to think about.
Twiggy became a supermodel. Many say the first supermodel.
So she worked with many of the great photographers of her time... yet it is through Barry Lategan's photos that she is remembered today and not only her first images with him.

Quite possibly you remember her through his pictures, and there might be a few others like you. I was in my late teens when she became popular, and up until you referenced that link, I had never heard of the guy. To say he was one of the top 10 photographers of the 60's and 70's smacks of a MM popularity poll. Statements like that always make me wonder who 11 was. Just stupid. I think people that need lists like this secretly believe they are on them.

Fred Greissing wrote:
I think it is safe to say that Grace Coddington is one of the greats of the Fashion World. She thought the world of Barry Lategan. They worked together many years...

I've never heard of Grace Coddington. I wonder if she's the model he met right after Twiggy?

Fred Greissing wrote:
Here is an article that describes some of their collaboration.

http://moreintelligentlife.com/content/ … ?page=full
Fred Greissing wrote:
Grace photographed by Barry lategan when she was "just" a model.

I got two things from that article...

this,

"The sessions took place in Barry’s tranquil, panelled studio, with its scent of sandalwood and Mozart playing faintly in the background. We’d linger over lunch, usually salads and flans ordered from Robert Carrier’s shop, and Barry would talk earnestly about a new play or exhibition he’d seen."


And the fact that more often than not, no matter how much you might suck, it comes down to who you know.

I din't include that abomination of paisley because I couldn't stand the thought of having to look at it again.


In closing, and as an accommodation of your inability to discern the meaning in anything I write, I say this...

I don't know much about Barry or Grace.
The picture of Twiggy is a nice picture.
Based on the video I watched, and the posts I've read about Nikon, Barry seems as filled with himself as some others I've run into.
You probably like flans, and know who Robert Carrier is.

Mar 08 14 08:55 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


Al Lock Photography wrote:

From a guy whose avatar is of someone staring blankly (with eyes wide) into a camera lens...

First of all, if you think that my avatar is conveying a blank stare, you're blind.

If you think I said my photographs are better than Barry's or anyone else's, you don't know how to read.

If you believe I think a portrait of someone doing nothing but staring into the camera isn't worthy of viewing, again, you don't know how to read.

If you think I said Barry was a bad photographer, again, you can't read.

If, however, you think that I have no time for bullshit, then you do know how to read.

Mar 08 14 09:02 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,406
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Aren't these great photographers the ones we only hear about, the ones that have whored the internet, created some sorts of self publicity blogs or become an editors favourite.

What of the ones who don't seek adulation and public exposure in a big way example being Brian Duffy who kept a low profile, never had an exhibition nor publicised himself and was by far the better photographer from that era.
Mar 08 14 09:08 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,130
New York, New York, US


The Something Guy wrote:
Aren't these great photographers the ones we only hear about, the ones that have whored the internet, created some sorts of self publicity blogs or become an editors favourite.

What of the ones who don't seek adulation and public exposure in a big way example being Brian Duffy who kept a low profile, never had an exhibition nor publicised himself and was by far the better photographer from that era.

I would certainly include Duffy in the commercial realm, of course.  He's one of my favorite photographers of all time.

Again, I think we're having two distinctly different conversations in this thread.  The former that you mention wouldn't be on my list unless they had done significantly more than that, no matter how good their work.  Great, to me and a couple of others in this thread, means much more than just producing good images. 

But the duck does not speak to the goose, so I don't think we can even begin to have a baseline by which to form a discussion.

Mar 08 14 09:14 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,130
New York, New York, US


Dan OMell wrote:
great photographers are the obsessive virtual painters, looking a bit more at the dark side of things... that's why wedding photographers usually don't qualify. because everything absolutely beautiful and perfect is ALWAYS tragic. immortally tragic.

good photographers are the virtual painters that exaggerate and purify things and/or find the funny side in everything around. the best of them produce the iconic ads and commercials.

all other people are professionals and hobbists.

photography is not about a picture, rather the idea


IMHO
smile

Oh, and I'm just a shitty hobbist speaking as an observer, and not a judge.

Very good observation

Mar 08 14 09:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Al Lock Photography
Posts: 15,832
Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand


Robert Randall wrote:
First of all, if you think that my avatar is conveying a blank stare, you're blind.

If you think I said my photographs are better than Barry's or anyone else's, you don't know how to read.

If you believe I think a portrait of someone doing nothing but staring into the camera isn't worthy of viewing, again, you don't know how to read.

If you think I said Barry was a bad photographer, again, you can't read.

If, however, you think that I have no time for bullshit, then you do know how to read.

"Staring blankly", unless the subject is actually blind - is subjective.

My comment was to point out that your comments were rather ironic given that the very same description CAN be used to describe your avatar - after all, it is subjective. The fact that you think someone is blind who describes your avatar that way while you describe other photographs that way might say something to your inability to see what others see.

Mar 08 14 10:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


Al Lock Photography wrote:
"Staring blankly", unless the subject is actually blind - is subjective.

My comment was to point out that your comments were rather ironic given that the very same description CAN be used to describe your avatar - after all, it is subjective. The fact that you think someone is blind who describes your avatar that way while you describe other photographs that way might say something to your inability to see what others see.

I think you're trying to stir up a soup that doesn't exist. The picture of Twiggy was absolutely expressionless, as is this one, which I took, and am perfectly capable of seeing has no expression.

http://photos.modelmayhem.com/photos/130313/15/5140fdd558aaf_m.jpg
My avatar is showing an expression, which you are free to assume means anything you like, but it is an expression. To argue it isn't, is stupid. To argue I can't tell the difference, is either stupid or inflammatory.

Mar 08 14 11:43 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
CHAD ALAN
Posts: 3,351
Los Angeles, California, US


The greatness of this thread, took a disappointing turn.
Mar 08 14 11:52 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Robert Randall
Posts: 13,842
Chicago, Illinois, US


CHAD ALAN wrote:
The greatness of this thread, took a disappointing turn.

You're right, and it was me that wrecked it. I'll bow out now with an apology to all of you that wanted to share their thoughts.

Mar 08 14 01:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


CHAD ALAN wrote:
The greatness of this thread, took a disappointing turn.

Are you really surprised ?

Mar 08 14 01:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Natalia_Taffarel
Posts: 7,665
Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, Argentina


Robert Randall wrote:

You're right, and it was me that wrecked it. I'll bow out now with an apology to all of you that wanted to share their thoughts.

You calling out bullshit is not something that stops others from sharing thoughts.

Any debate is good debate

Mar 08 14 01:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,379
Glens Falls, New York, US


Zack Zoll wrote:
If you Google 'Barry Lategan', almost every link mentions Twiggy, and several of the links are actually for sites about Twiggy.  That's the very definition of a one-hit wonder.
Fred Greissing wrote:
Barry Lategan a one hit wonder?

Lets see..
(list of stuff)

Sorry, doesn't matter.  He's still known almost entirely for his Twiggy images, even by knowledgeable photographers.  A 'one hit wonder' isn't someone that only did one thing - it's someone that only had one massive success, and is forever defined by it.

Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
I know about Van Eyck, and before watching this, I would have agreed with you. Now I do not. What Vermeer did went way beyond. Check out the film, it's fantastic, then we can discuss!

Will do!  Also ...

Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
But the duck does not speak to the goose ...

I love that expression.  I've never heard it before, but it is now going into my repertoire.  Not like I need any more obscure metaphors, but I love them so smile

Mar 08 14 03:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,406
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


CHAD ALAN wrote:
The greatness of this thread, took a disappointing turn.

It was in the title of the forum.

Mar 08 14 03:59 pm  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
CHAD ALAN
Posts: 3,351
Los Angeles, California, US


CHAD ALAN wrote:
The greatness of this thread, took a disappointing turn.
Robert Randall wrote:
You're right, and it was me that wrecked it. I'll bow out now with an apology to all of you that wanted to share their thoughts.

From what I remember, you've always shared good advice and opinion. I don't remember what happened, but this one just got to you I think. The other poster wasn't exactly an angel either.

It's fine smile

I love a good civil debate.

Mar 09 14 12:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,406
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Greatness is sometimes achievable in not what you know but who you know that gets you on that pedestal and may have little to do with talent.
Mar 09 14 04:30 am  Link  Quote 
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Photographer
Giacomo Cirrincioni
Posts: 21,130
New York, New York, US


The Something Guy wrote:
Greatness is sometimes achievable in not what you know but who you know that gets you on that pedestal and may have little to do with talent.

Is that greatness or is that success?  I would posit that they are two distinctly different things and, while they often go together, they are not intrinsically linked. 

It could also be a conflict in style. For example, in the art world we are still in a decidedly post-modern world and I am not, I'm a modernist. That often leads to me not loving work that is celebrated (but I still understand it).

Mar 09 14 05:33 am  Link  Quote 
Makeup Artist
ArtistryImage
Posts: 2,731
Washington, District of Columbia, US


On the concept of "greatness"?

In the true sense of what is distinguished, or eminent... Only our children's children's children will speak elegantly to this... a.k.a. what is timeless... that which endures... 

Latent throughout much of this are simply pleas for each individual's role models...

The lens of time, and only the lens of time will bear witness here... 

So funny the importance of fame... especially to the Alpha male/female...
Why in gods name is it of compelling merit to be the highest ranked?
For the more learned would suggest a review of Robert Ardrey's "The Territorial Imperative" 

This tome profoundly influenced Stanley Kubrick in his production of 2001: Space Odyssey...  a gifted visionary?  only time will tell...

All the best on your journeys...
Mar 09 14 07:50 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,406
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
Is that greatness or is that success?  I would posit that they are two distinctly different things and, while they often go together, they are not intrinsically linked.

Would Terry Richardson and Steven Meisel reached the dizzy heights of fame and some say greatness if not for their family connections within the industry giving them a big foot in the door.

Mar 09 14 11:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Select Models
Posts: 35,698
Upland, California, US


Giacomo Cirrincioni wrote:
Oh for fucks sake....

An insightful response to an enlightening post.  MM definitely needs a lot more 'Forum Guidance' like this... wink... lol

Mar 09 14 12:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Amul La La
Posts: 805
Plymouth, England, United Kingdom


Great photographs.
Mar 09 14 12:36 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Fred Greissing
Posts: 6,326
Los Angeles, California, US


Robert Randall wrote:

Robert Randall wrote:
Here's the deal... I think people that say so much about the meaning of something as simple as that portrait, are generally full of crap. It wouldn't bother me if the audience was a bunch of socialite divas, because everyone knows they expect to hear a load of crap. But it's you, supporting a load of crap in here, in a transparent attempt to be held in higher esteem, all the while misleading the people reading the crap you spew. There is nothing magical about the process in that picture. There is nothing metaphysical about that picture. There is nothing transcendent about that picture. It doesn't need any more description other than to say it's a nice picture. Only a shill with an agenda would believe anything more than that.

But, you do have to admit one thing; I gave you yet another opportunity to name drop. I'm actually surprised you didn't post up some of your head shots for more ink.
Fred Greissing wrote:
So who exactly am I a shill for?

You shill for your monumental ego.

Fred Greissing wrote:
What is it that brings you to tear apart a photographer like Barry Lategan, one of the top 10 fashion photographers of the 60s and 70s, and why so offensively.... and later you say you had never heard of him. Throwing such venom out at an man that is many years our senior.

Deflection is always a sign of weak character.

It's difficult to entertain an honest conversation with someone like you. You know exactly what I said and what I meant, yet you insist on making it a broader stroke than it was in the hopes that I'll stumble and fall into the shit pile you're trying to build for me. But, on the offhand chance that you might be as stupid as you're trying to imply, I'll explain it once again for the short bus side of you.

The picture of Twiggy that you linked is pleasant; it is nothing more than that. It isn't worth a conversation that would make Jesus blush, it isn't any of the things he hyped... it's just a pleasant picture. But, I'll dissect his video a bit further in the hope you'll finally be able to understand.

"Photogeny is a very difficult word to explain in terms of how a photograph conveys acceptance, approval, acknowledgement."

Photogeny is the obscure name given to photography before it was called photography. It's derivation is English, and it is so out of date the only reference to it that you will find is that it is obscure. That wasn't so difficult. I find that people who resort to these kinds of shenanigans are often trying to message their egos.

"She transcended all that superciliousness"

She was 16 at the time, and that sounds like a line one of our own GWCs would use to get into the pants of the next model. Pure bullshit.

"I said to her just sit down and look at me"

The one thing he said that made any sense, and wasn't bullshit.

"I faced the camera exactly at eye level with her, so that she was looking on equality, rather than being looked at from above or the side."

Good Lord, what a load of crap.

"I was inspired by the re-nay-sance, by the impressionists, who posed their models in quiet, almost static poses."

I say he was trying to get rid of her as quickly as possible because she probably wasn't paying him much, and he didn't realize he was going to have to cover such an "Iconic" snapshot with so much bullshit at a later date. I find that people who resort to these kinds of shenanigans are often trying to message their egos.

"at the age of 16 there is an awareness, a consciousness, and that's something i use as a word of photogenny"

Call me jaded, but I sense a white knight that's looking for oral when I read crap like that.

"it's extraordinary because its mine, how iconic this has become"

He seemed genuinely surprised by the reaction life has had to his picture. It was almost enough to cut him some slack... but not quite.


Fred Greissing wrote:
Here is one thing for to think about.
Twiggy became a supermodel. Many say the first supermodel.
So she worked with many of the great photographers of her time... yet it is through Barry Lategan's photos that she is remembered today and not only her first images with him.

Quite possibly you remember her through his pictures, and there might be a few others like you. I was in my late teens when she became popular, and up until you referenced that link, I had never heard of the guy. To say he was one of the top 10 photographers of the 60's and 70's smacks of a MM popularity poll. Statements like that always make me wonder who 11 was. Just stupid. I think people that need lists like this secretly believe they are on them.


I've never heard of Grace Coddington. I wonder if she's the model he met right after Twiggy?


I got two things from that article...

this,

"The sessions took place in Barry’s tranquil, panelled studio, with its scent of sandalwood and Mozart playing faintly in the background. We’d linger over lunch, usually salads and flans ordered from Robert Carrier’s shop, and Barry would talk earnestly about a new play or exhibition he’d seen."


And the fact that more often than not, no matter how much you might suck, it comes down to who you know.

I din't include that abomination of paisley because I couldn't stand the thought of having to look at it again.


In closing, and as an accommodation of your inability to discern the meaning in anything I write, I say this...

I don't know much about Barry or Grace.
The picture of Twiggy is a nice picture.
Based on the video I watched, and the posts I've read about Nikon, Barry seems as filled with himself as some others I've run into.
You probably like flans, and know who Robert Carrier is.

You certainly are one angry man.
If instead of getting all worked up when watching the short video about Barry Lategan's photograph of Twiggy you had listened a bit more of an opened minded manner you may have grasped a bit more.

The funniest part of your response is about "photogeny".... I guess a quick visit to an internet dictionary made you an expert on the obscure word. Photogeny was a word used to describe the very earliest light capturing that went on to be photography. Could be described as the generation of imagery from light.

But you see that is not at all what he was talking about. He was talking about Photogenie (with an accent on the first e). Photogenie is a totally different thing. It is the part of photography, both still and motion, that cannot be reduced to words. That is why so many critics especially the angered one have problems with it. After all the critic is one who's weapon of choice is words.

for the more open minded readers of this thread here is an article about photogenie.

[iurl] http://twitchfilm.com/2011/03/cinema-ac … genie.html[/url]

But also not knowing who Grace Coddington is.. Yet you feel qualified to spew venom about fashion photographers. One can't have much of an understanding about fashion photography without knowing at least a bit about the world of fashion.
she is a legend in Fashion. At the ripe age of about 70 I think... She is the Creative Director of Vogue USA. Before that she was photo editor for British Vogue.

It's also rather silly that you imply that Barry Lategan's success was all about who he knew because she new Barry. He worked for Vogue before she was even a junior editor...

Barry Lategan Pirelli Calander shot about 30 years ago..

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lx51opFovW1r81b2wo1_1280.jpg

Mar 09 14 11:31 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TJ Photo
Posts: 84
Pomona, California, US


Responding to the OP, Natalia, whose lengthy reply to my second post is just too much to quote entirely here, I'll try to say something further about the definition of greatness that's been largely missing in this long thread.

I think I explained a bit of my objection to your original posting here, which mostly places the emphasis on technical aspects of an image, or what you continued to insist were "rules" one has to follow to make a great image.  You asked what's missing. The answer is vision, substance, heart.  You did emphasize rules and little else.  Great images may show technical excellence and satisfy the visual standards you seem to be looking for, but those qualities are just the minor elements of a great image, not the guts.

Then, when I asked for a more focused and articulate definition of greatness, you said that was a bad approach because "the debate would shift to personal taste." That's completely wrong.  We've had so much diffuse debate here, with many tangents running far afield from the point, precisely because there's been so little attempt to define the term at the core of the discussion.  If we can't define "great" with some clarity and universality, there's nothing but subjective opinion or taste, which some posters have actually claimed is always the case.  Again that's seriously wrong. 

There's always a matter of personal taste in deciding what we like, but not so much in what we can call "great" and reach consensus on in a group of reasonably intelligent and perceptive people.  We all tend to use the term "great" very loosely these days, and I'm sometimes guilty of that as well.  You list Cartier-Bresson, Steven Meisel and Helmut Newton as "great photographers" with different styles.  I think Cartier-Bresson produced many images I believe are great, but also far too many undistinguished images, and he didn't seem all that clear on what was good, bad or mediocre in his output.  Meisel and Newton have some strong images but not many "great" ones, and in Newton's case the work is far below the critical hype.

So back to a definition.  Greatness is in the combination of vision, meaning and powerful visual effect.  A great artist is one who produces a compelling creation that goes far beyond the ordinary, expressing the most profound human ideas and emotions in a vision that is unique to them but speaks to all of us.  They do this consistently and with deep conviction, not with casual or banal sentiments and style.  Their work is complex enough, rich enough, that each time we come back to it the image yields new meaning, new pleasure as we explore it and bring our experience to it.  If an image, or an entire artist's work is easily scanned and exhausted on one or two viewings, it can't qualify as great.  If its content is limited and superficial, it can't qualify as great.  There are not many who fit this description, and that's why they're treasured most.
Mar 10 14 12:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,406
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Their great if you think their great a bit like art if you think it's art.
Mar 10 14 02:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mikey McMichaels
Posts: 2,091
New York, New York, US


Robert Randall wrote:
There is no skill or magic in making someone stare blankly into a camera lens, and yes, I could do that with my eyes closed. I would think you could too, but then again, you don't seem to think much of what I think.

100% true, but there is skill around that.

I get some amazing music photos because of the access I can get and the relationships with the people in them. Some of that is purely social, some has to do with selecting and presenting previous work in a way that gets me accepted. Some is knowing what situations are good to have access to.

Onces there, the technical part truly can be done with your eyes closed. In fact, I shoot at least 50% of the time without looking through the viewfinder so that I can pay attention to what's happening and deciding what I want to shoot.


In sound recording (music) the act of recording has several defined roles - writer, performer, engineer, producer. In some cases, each role is handled by a specialist and others someone can handle more than one - producer/engineer, writer/producer etc.

In light recording (photography) those same concepts happen, but we don't quite make the same distinctions. Performer/model/subject, yes. Art director/creative director/editor as producer, maybe. But the rest is all categorized as "photographer".

Is a "camera operator" a photographer? Is the writer of the photo a photographer - meaning the person who conceives of the underlying story that you record with the camera (like a song).

Is Gregory Crewdson a photographer?


It sounds like this guy is the photographic equivalent of Geoff Emerick.

Mar 10 14 03:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mikey McMichaels
Posts: 2,091
New York, New York, US


The Something Guy wrote:

Would Terry Richardson and Steven Meisel reached the dizzy heights of fame and some say greatness if not for their family connections within the industry giving them a big foot in the door.

I would say, yes. Most people who get a break that way don't have that kind of success. No one continues hiring people they don't believe in for as long as they've been working at the level they do. No one is going out on a limb for someone's kid more than once.

There's also the fact that a kid growing up with access to a parent working at a very high level has other advantages besides nepotism.


There are certain musicians who I wonder if there was any way for them not to end up where they are today. They're so good, that I think even if they played to an empty club, they are so compelling that the bartender would invite friends to the next show as a favor to the friend and who then feels so compelled the spread the word.

Mar 10 14 03:17 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
L A U B E N H E I M E R
Posts: 8,546
Seattle, Washington, US


Mikey McMichaels wrote:

100% true, but there is skill around that.

I get some amazing music photos because of the access I can get and the relationships with the people in them. Some of that is purely social, some has to do with selecting and presenting previous work in a way that gets me accepted. Some is knowing what situations are good to have access to.

Onces there, the technical part truly can be done with your eyes closed. In fact, I shoot at least 50% of the time without looking through the viewfinder so that I can pay attention to what's happening and deciding what I want to shoot.


In sound recording (music) the act of recording has several defined roles - writer, performer, engineer, producer. In some cases, each role is handled by a specialist and others someone can handle more than one - producer/engineer, writer/producer etc.

In light recording (photography) those same concepts happen, but we don't quite make the same distinctions. Performer/model/subject, yes. Art director/creative director/editor as producer, maybe. But the rest is all categorized as "photographer".

Is a "camera operator" a photographer? Is the writer of the photo a photographer - meaning the person who conceives of the underlying story that you record with the camera (like a song).

Is Gregory Crewdson a photographer?


It sounds like this guy is the photographic equivalent of Geoff Emerick.

it doesn't matter to me if gregory crewdson is a photographer or not. i consider him an artist that creates amazing work. that's all that matters to me.

Mar 10 14 03:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
WIP
Posts: 15,406
Cheltenham, England, United Kingdom


Mikey McMichaels wrote:
I would say, yes.
.

So how would TR get into the business ? without all those introduction's and connections from his father Bob who was shooting celebs and Vogue.
It was also Terry's mother that got him into photography she was the one who arranged him to be an assistant .... not Terry of his back.

Mar 10 14 03:42 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,379
Glens Falls, New York, US


Mikey McMichaels wrote:
I get some amazing music photos because of the access I can get and the relationships with the people in them. Some of that is purely social, some has to do with selecting and presenting previous work in a way that gets me accepted. Some is knowing what situations are good to have access to.

Onces there, the technical part truly can be done with your eyes closed. In fact, I shoot at least 50% of the time without looking through the viewfinder so that I can pay attention to what's happening and deciding what I want to shoot.
Mikey McMichaels wrote:
There's also the fact that a kid growing up with access to a parent working at a very high level has other advantages besides nepotism.


There are certain musicians who I wonder if there was any way for them not to end up where they are today. They're so good, that I think even if they played to an empty club, they are so compelling that the bartender would invite friends to the next show as a favor to the friend and who then feels so compelled the spread the word.
The Something Guy wrote:
So how would TR get into the business ? without all those introduction's and connections from his father Bob who was shooting celebs and Vogue.
It was also Terry's mother that got him into photography she was the one who arranged him to be an assistant .... not Terry of his back.

I think Mikey's point, spanned over the two replies, is that 'being a good photographer' encompasses much more than taking good pictures - at least as far as paid work is concerned.

I realize I'm about to make a hyperbolic argument, but bear with me here.  Imagine the best portrait photographer you've ever seen.  Now imagine that he(or she) has awful personal hygiene, is rude as hell, and doesn't get work turned in on time.  That person is probably not going to take a lot of great portraits due to their subject's(presumed) discomfort, and is not going to be recommended for too many jobs in the future.  In this case, our photographer's skill is nearly irrelevant, since there are other reasons why they cannot give the client what they want.

Trust me, I dislike Richardson as much(or more) as the next guy.  When I get a student that's really into him, I do everything in my power to turn them onto somebody else.  But the fact is that he grew up in a culture of editorial photography ... and while there are other photographers out there that are better(lots!), I don't think that his father pulled too many strings to get him where he is.

I wouldn't be surprised if he got his first few jobs because an editor knew his dad, assumed the apple didn't fall far from the tree, and figured that he could get TR for free because he was 'doing him a favour.'  Here was a guy that knew the business, they knew him, and because he was related to someone they've worked with, they had a perfectly good excuse to get him to work for free, rather than bothering to pay someone else.

I would have hired TR in that situation too.

Mar 10 14 05:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MMDesign
Posts: 18,647
Louisville, Kentucky, US


TJ Photo wrote:
... I think Cartier-Bresson produced many images I believe are great, but also far too many undistinguished images...

He was shooting history, not art.

Mar 10 14 05:30 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MMDesign
Posts: 18,647
Louisville, Kentucky, US


Zack Zoll wrote:
...When I get a student that's really into him, I do everything in my power to turn them onto somebody else...

And what makes you believe that your "art appreciation" is any better than theirs?

I'm asking not to be argumentative but to actually hear your response.

Mar 10 14 05:33 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mikey McMichaels
Posts: 2,091
New York, New York, US


L A U B E N H E I M E R wrote:

it doesn't matter to me if gregory crewdson is a photographer or not. i consider him an artist that creates amazing work. that's all that matters to me.

I agree that that's really all that matters. The issue is that many people get their identity from being a photographer. Those are the people who really care.

Mar 10 14 05:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mikey McMichaels
Posts: 2,091
New York, New York, US


The Something Guy wrote:

So how would TR get into the business ? without all those introduction's and connections from his father Bob who was shooting celebs and Vogue.
It was also Terry's mother that got him into photography she was the one who arranged him to be an assistant .... not Terry of his back.

The same way everyone else does.

Mar 10 14 05:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mikey McMichaels
Posts: 2,091
New York, New York, US


MMDesign wrote:

And what makes you believe that your "art appreciation" is any better than theirs?

I'm asking not to be argumentative but to actually hear your response.

It doesn't matter if his is better than anyone else's it's that he believes a student who sees that as something to aspire to needs to be guided to additional photographers.

Mar 10 14 06:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MMDesign
Posts: 18,647
Louisville, Kentucky, US


Mikey McMichaels wrote:

It doesn't matter if his is better than anyone else's it's that he believes a student who sees that as something to aspire to needs to be guided to additional photographers.

That doesn't make it right does it?

Mar 10 14 06:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mikey McMichaels
Posts: 2,091
New York, New York, US


MMDesign wrote:

That doesn't make it right does it?

I understand what you're getting at, but it's pretty hard for me to find fault in turning a student on to new photographers regardless of who they already know and like.


I think every teacher has a bias and it's not possible to learn objectively from any one teacher. If you want to learn via classes, you have to learn from many teachers and know their biases.

Mar 10 14 06:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MMDesign
Posts: 18,647
Louisville, Kentucky, US


Mikey McMichaels wrote:

I understand what you're getting at, but it's pretty hard for me to find fault in turning a student on to new photographers regardless of who they already know and like.


I think every teacher has a bias and it's not possible to learn objectively from any one teacher. If you want to learn via classes, you have to learn from many teachers and know their biases.

I agree with you, I really just wanted to hear his justification for believing his opinion was better than theirs. He's fairly eloquent, often verbose, but mostly interesting so I thought it might make him sharpen his pencil, as they say.

Mar 10 14 06:39 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Mikey McMichaels
Posts: 2,091
New York, New York, US


MMDesign wrote:

I agree with you, I really just wanted to hear his justification for believing his opinion was better than theirs. He's fairly eloquent, often verbose, but mostly interesting so I thought it might make him sharpen his pencil, as they say.

I think you may be projecting that he believes his opinion is better than theirs.

Mar 10 14 10:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Zack Zoll
Posts: 2,379
Glens Falls, New York, US


Mikey, thanks for the defense ... but I didn't believe MM meant any harm by it.

The main reason I don't want my students idolizing TR is because he's is one of the biggest names out there right now, and one of the few names that incoming students might actually know.  So I do everything I can to find more obscure photographers, and expose them to more stuff.  I assign a paper and a master's copy halfway through the semester, and the only students that get "big names" are the ones that have shown me in class that they aren't willing to do the research and put in the thought to analyze somebody like Daido Moriyama or Michael Schmidt.  Aside from a few random students that I feel really need to look at so-and-so, of course.

It's incredibly important for me to avoid teaching the 'standard' photographers.  I didn't realize how shitty my undergraduate photo education was until I started teaching myself; I had the standard photo courses, where there were only a half-dozen photographers that produced work since 1950.  I came to realize that teaching my students that way doesn't help them produce new and exciting work in their own style - it only teaches them to copy the 'old masters', and reinforces the (stupid) idea that it needs to be in black and white to be art.

How's that for verbose? wink

Mikey McMichaels wrote:
I think you may be projecting that he believes his opinion is better than theirs.

I know I'm about to be a dick and undo any good will I may have ... but I most certainly have a "better" opinion than my intro students do, since most of them don't know anything about anything.  That's not a knock on them - like I said, I still didn't know anything after I had my BA.  That's just how intro courses work.

My advanced students, maybe not so much.  I still fall back on the 'this is not a democracy' line, but only when they're trying to lead me on a tangent, or I'm trying to make them do something other than what they normally do.

Mar 10 14 11:52 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MMDesign
Posts: 18,647
Louisville, Kentucky, US


Zack Zoll wrote:
Mikey, thanks for the defense ... but I didn't believe MM meant any harm by it.

The main reason I don't want my students idolizing TR is because he's is one of the biggest names out there right now, and one of the few names that incoming students might actually know.  So I do everything I can to find more obscure photographers, and expose them to more stuff.  I assign a paper and a master's copy halfway through the semester, and the only students that get "big names" are the ones that have shown me in class that they aren't willing to do the research and put in the thought to analyze somebody like Daido Moriyama or Michael Schmidt.  Aside from a few random students that I feel really need to look at so-and-so, of course.

It's incredibly important for me to avoid teaching the 'standard' photographers.  I didn't realize how shitty my undergraduate photo education was until I started teaching myself; I had the standard photo courses, where there were only a half-dozen photographers that produced work since 1950.  I came to realize that teaching my students that way doesn't help them produce new and exciting work in their own style - it only teaches them to copy the 'old masters', and reinforces the (stupid) idea that it needs to be in black and white to be art.

How's that for verbose? wink


I know I'm about to be a dick and undo any good will I may have ... but I most certainly have a "better" opinion than my intro students do, since most of them don't know anything about anything.  That's not a knock on them - like I said, I still didn't know anything after I had my BA.  That's just how intro courses work.

My advanced students, maybe not so much.  I still fall back on the 'this is not a democracy' line, but only when they're trying to lead me on a tangent, or I'm trying to make them do something other than what they normally do.

Verbosity at a minimum, that's pretty much what I assumed would be your response and I would most likely do it the exact same.

While I'm not around herds of younger people like you are, the ones I am around are only familiar with the names that make the pop culture bits and bites. It's not just photographers either, it's like they have no history past 5 years.

Next time toss Boris Smelov into the mix. I really like his work and would like to know more about him so if you'd just send along their paper...

And sorry, I do disagree with one point... it really does have to be black & white.  smile

Mar 11 14 03:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Drew Smith Photography
Posts: 5,209
Nottingham, England, United Kingdom


A great photographer is somebody that takes great photographs.

Great photographs are images that provoke great emotion.

Great emotional responses to an image are subjective and personal.
Mar 11 14 04:31 am  Link  Quote 
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