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Thursday, 27 December 2012

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I'm not sure if this is off topic or not, but one of the most beautiful pieces of art I have ever experienced is Anthony Gormley's Another Place at Crosby Beach near Liverpool in the UK. Part of the very meaning of it is that it is transient. Worth a Google, at the very least, but ideally worth a trip. And bring a camera - you can't go wrong.

One might consider Broomberg and Chanarin and their piece "The Day That Nobody Died." It's an interesting (or ridiculous) photographic documentation of war--one in which the idea is more important than the medium or process. No camera was used in its creation, and yet it is a photograph, no?

Is this too far afield into the realm of art (or tomfoolery)? Too tangential to your main point?

Here are two of my favorite quotes relative to this subject -- one from Picasso, and one from Orson Welles.

“Forcing yourself to use restricted means is the sort of restraint that liberates invention. It obliges you to make a kind of progress that you can’t even imagine in advance.” -- Picasso

“The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.”
-- Orson Welles

Not passing judgment in any way, there are lots of people for whom the photo hobby IS the equipment. Let's face it, these are cool toys. :)

Mike, it's about artists, are you an artist ? Of course, such a brief sentence can never reflect the complexity of the real world, and you will always find exceptions. But I feel that it's quite right, when you consider artists and define creativity as an ability to create art.
Does a new pot inspire a cook ? Not really. Can it inspire a hobbyist ? I think yes, because gear can be a kind of adult's toy.
But an artist does not care about toys, he cares about expressing himself. That's the difference.

By the way, have you ever made an outstanding photograph while playing with a new gear ?

Absolute statements are never true . . . mostly :)

Miroslav Tichy?

I can only speak from my own experiencxe. As I have been able to acquire better equipment and software the quality of my output has dramatically increased. I just want to throw out the "junk" I used to think was good. If I could afford even better stuff, I would - I think I have the capacity to make a good instrument sing.

... who's that fellow who makes sculptures with stones out in the woods expecting them to decay beautifully?

Andy Goldsworthy may be the most well-known. Of course, he also photographs his works before they disappear. :-)

Some examples can be found on Google.

The "fellow who makes sculptures with stones out in the woods expecting them to decay beautifully" would be Andy Goldsworthy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Goldsworthy). And stunning they are!

By your definition, people who create photograms and other camera-less images are not real photographers. Ana Akins was one of the early practitioners of photograms using photo paper (cyanotypes) to create prints of algae. Maybe the definition of photographer should be broadened to be those who use light-sensitive material to create images.

You're likely thinking of Andy Goldsworthy, who makes art from rocks, driftwood, leaves, icicles, and anything else to be found on site. Most if his work decays, sometimes in seconds, sometimes in years, but is usually recorded with drawings and photographs that he sells. "Rivers and Tides" is a great documentary from a decade ago that made Goldsworthy's work familiar to me and many others who would have never been able to see it in place. I can't think of any film that better documents the creative processes of a significant artist without being the least bit dull or pretentious. It doesn't hurt that the work is so gorgeous. In recent years Goldsworthy has become a very big name in the art world and been commissioned to make more stable work.

The "sculptures with stones out in the woods expecting them to decay beautifully" may refer to Andy Goldsworthy.

Cheers.

"photographer" might be "someone who uses a camera to create something." I've been trying to think of exceptions, but I'm not coming up with any just off the top of my head.

Well there are photograms
http://www.geh.org/amico2000/htmlsrc/index.html

There are folks who just make a hole in the wall of a building to create a giant pinhole camera, but since camera=room I guess that counts as using a camera.
http://www.alternativephotography.com/wp/photographers/the-worlds-largest-pinhole-photograph

How about Nick Veasey's X-rays ?
http://www.nickveasey.com/

And Leica ( the other Leica company , not the camera Leica company) make those 3d laser scanners like the Leica HDS6200 that make some interesting photographs. Not to be confused with things like flatbed scanners , more like a drum scanner if anything.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lL-HCZPf3ko

Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, George Grosz and John Heartfield certainly didn't need cameras for their photographic work.

Oh and Holograms? Nothing camera or or even aperture like in Holograms.

And does Richard Prince even own a camera?

BTW Willem de Kooning used safflower oil in some of his late paintings, you can almost see them run.

MacLeod's comment is self-contradictory. As an artist becomes more focused on his central work, the numbers of tools may go down, but the tools remaining become more important, extensions of himself...and therefore, there's a correlation. If he'd said there's no correlation between creativity and "amount of equipment," I'd be tempted to agree. As a painter, I can tell you that I suspect I could get along with about a dozen tubes of paint, but I have about fifty. Or maybe eighty -- I never really counted. The other thirty-eight or sixty-eight or whatever make things easier. If you have a nice red with a blue tendency, and a nice blue with a red tendency, you can make a nice bright violet, but life is easier if you have a tube of nice bright violet and start your mixing there.

I have no problem with people who create art with a use-by date, but I hate sloppiness or a lack of craftsmanship which causes work to fall apart when it doesn't have to, and wasn't intended to. I know more about the technical aspects of painting than I do about photography, but if you make and sell silver prints, there is no reason not to properly fix them; and you basically can't convince me that blooming brown spots on a silver-print landscape is what the artist intended, even if the artist himself tells me so (unless he'd told me in advance; then I'd believe him, but I wouldn't buy a print.)

All that said, I know what MacLeod is talking about. In photography, he'd be talking about most of what you see on Digital Photography Review and much of what you see on Luminous Landscape forums -- endless rumination about equipment and specs and blah blah blah...

I think most really good photo artists could probably put their DSLR on "A"and do really good work, and what camera they used would be nearly irrelevant.

Hello, Mike. Glad to see you back in action!

"...who's that fellow who makes sculptures with stones out in the woods expecting them to decay beautifully?"

You're probably thinking of Andy Goldsworthy. He's not the only one, but he is probably the best photographer in that idiom. Interesting, in this context, that most people familiar with his work know it solely through his camera.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Goldsworthy

"...a decent working definition of "photographer" might be "someone who uses a camera to create something." I've been trying to think of exceptions, but I'm not coming up with any just off the top of my head."

One could argue that one of Thomas Hudson Reeve's folded printing papers is technically a camera (he seems to be of that opinion), but he's the closest thing I know of to a photographer who works without gear, or at least the minimum possible.

http://www.papercams.com/about.html

(I bookmarked his page to shame myself out of bouts of gear lust, but conveniently keep forgetting to look.)

Photographer without a camera. How about Man Ray and his photo grams, of course he was also pretty good with a camera

Photography is inherently a technologically based art and a technologically limited one. Without technological improvement, photographic aesthetics stagnate.

As technology improves or, as in the current transition to digital imaging, when technology makes a disruptive major leap, quite new aesthetic possibilities arise. Hence, improved equipment often matters more than we might initially imagine.

One example would be the recent qualitative improvement in color imaging made under very dim available light conditions, something that's only recently become feasible. As high ISO performance improves, "straight" photos made at ISO 3200 and higher often show a rather new and interesting look, particularly when several different types of artificial lighting produce mixed colorations.

Another example would be "not quite black and white", full RGB spectrum digital images that initially have the ambiance of traditional black and white photography due to choice of subject and lighting, but where more subtle naturally colored aspects become evident upon closer reading, including the appearance of subtle color washes in apparently grey areas and small areas of true color within a larger mass of apparently grey but full RGB spectrum tones.

So Weston, Harry Callahan and Adams didn't need to drag all those heavy cameras around? They could have done as well with a 35mm or a cell-phone?
I dunno, I think not.

I think the statement holds water to a point but then it all flies to hell the way it's phrased, it's not so cut and dried.

Tell a guitar player or a drummer or a violinist this and they'll laugh at you.

It's funny that he makes reference to "equipment ownership"..bit of a puzzle there and it kind of implies volumes of equipment. I understand that.

As I moved through my life and career my equipment pile got whittled away to 3 basic formats with one camera in each format and a very modest number of lenses.

Picasso is absolutely right though...restriction is your friend, rules, structure, limitations are very important and can cause incredible things to happen. I can't work without them. I think what Picasso is saying is very different from what MacLeod is trying to say.

I got into a HUGE fight with my Sister In Law about this last summer at a bar. wow. She sees herself as a free spirit, no rules, structure is bad, limitations-unhealthy. I was talking with a friend of mine who was with us about musical genre and art and stuff and how it's interesting to me how these simple structures can give way to so many different interpretations on a regional basis in the various forms etc. Mostly rock and roll.

She blurted that she hates rules, that rules are what has ruined our society and people who follow rules are closed minded..huh?

She's a gardener and has quite a gorgeous garden, it's her creative outlet. i said,"well, aren't there certain rules that you have to follow when you plan your plantings..like sun, wind, shade, size and all that?". Man, she got PISSED off and started going off on me."I dont follow RUULLES ever when im gardening..there no RULES". I couldn't really say a word as she lit into me..i got up and went outside and bummed a smoke off a guy and sat on the curb wondering what had just happened.

Elite athletes (and wanna be's) are usually trained to "pre-visualize" performing their event. That means to go through each step mentally, seeing themselves doing it in perfect form, and then going out and duplicating the pre-visualized actions as closely as possible. At least some artists apparently go through a similar process, resulting in a clear mental image, in advance, of the artwork they are creating. There is the story of the artist, (daVinci?) who when asked how he created a stone sculpture, said (approximately) "I see the figure in the stone, and just cut away what doesn't belong". Some artists I have spoken to tell me that they know pretty exactly what they want to create before they start. And they know exactly what they need to do it. But not all. Each one has their own way of working. For some, there is no specific set of required tools, for others lackof a technical capability creates great problems in generating what they have visualized. When I see these aphorisms being put out as gospel, I cringe. They speak for themselves, and probably for some others, but by no means for all. Creativity is not a formula, or a set process, so while one artist may achieve great results with minimal equipment, another may require greater resources to fulfill their vision. Thats the uniqueness of creativity-it isn't rule bound.(or always successful..) Why should photographers be different?

None. Zilch. Nada. I think the man was making a general point, in extremis. You can't take it literally and argue the small points and say he's being contradictory and absolutist. The point is, the fewer equipment, the better your focus on the process.

Limitation is liberation is not a new notion in art, Mike. Like your "one year with a 50mm", for example. It's like filmmakers who return to the same themes again and again, exploring essentially the same story from different angles, pov, morality. It may sound repetitive but the results can be fascinating and thought-provoking.

In photography I think there is often a relationship between creativity and tools. How many of the different types of photographic endeavour being attempted today could even have been imagined in the 19th century, for instance? New tools have both enabled and inspired a wealth of creativity during the last century and a half. Imagine trying to attempt photojournalism, street photography, or wildlife photography using daguerotypes and tell me that new tools have had no effect upon creativity.

Surely "creativity" is just a human characteristic that people have in greater or less measure. Very creative people will be able to apply their talent in many forms. So there's no direct link between creativity and equipment. However, people will use equipment to channel their creativity, and it could be that they find equipment that "suits" them, that enables their creativity in the most abundant way - so there is a link. GIve Robert Frank a view camera, or Ansel Adams a micro-compact digital and I'm sure they would manage to use it creatively, but perhaps it would not enable then to realise their creativity to the full?

I think there is some truth to Mr. MacLeod's statement, there is usually some kind of middle ground, at least for me there is, I need a certain amount of equipment to do my 'work' yet I don't want to be over burdened with gear, the trick is to find the right balance.

Why are photographers always moaning about their equipment? Musicians don't they want to play the finest instruments their money can buy. Can they make better music on lesser instruments than mere mortals? Sure they can. But the produced quality on better instruments is better.
For some reasons some photographers always pretend you can make the best pictures only with a card board box with a hole punched into it and a wet plate. C'mon grow up. And if you insist to make pictures with a card board box then at least use the best card board box and the best hole and the best wet plate your money can buy.

Mike,

If you don't know the "camera-less" images of Susan Derges and Garry Fabian Miller, you should probably check them out. Outstanding work.

Perhaps the minimal definition of a "photographer" is "someone who exposes light-sensitive materials"?

Mike

What Hugh wants to say is not that tools, or means, must be limited so that we get an amazing revelation from somewhere as a compensation. That would be too easy and everyone could be an amazing artist by throwing everything through the window. Much more difficult is to perceive a new level of usability for tools and situation at hands.

It is acceptance of life, and its means, acceptance of present situation, without much prancing and yelling around. That act of self-acceptance makes a person more content with the self, with the world, and from there one sees present tense more intensively and clearly, sees inherent possibilities in everything — rather than impediments.

Getting new things, and endless waiting for new things to come, makes one nervous, throws a person out of balance of present tense and shifts all attention into the future — 'in future lies salvation'. When mind works in the future, present tense is sacrificed, it instantly becomes 'ugly past', and with that thought our creative energy vanishes too.

The late John Hartford, banjo picker and fiddler extraordinaire, once said (in essence): "Your limitations define your style."

Hartford had a deep voice and set up his banjos tuned to a lower key than is usual for banjos. He would optimize the tone for the lower tuning, and the result was a distinctive sound.

On the flip side of the argument, I do not find that buying a better camera with more capabilities makes me a better photographer.

It annoys me mightily that I can't buy talent.

Hi Mike,

This ties in nicely;
http://zenpencils.com/comic/97-charles-bukowski-air-and-light-and-time-and-space/

In the UK there is a strong tradition of Land Art, with wooden sculptures in woods and forests. Jamie Heddon's 'magic walk' in Haldon forest, David Nash's 'Wooden Boulder'
http://www.sculpture.org/documents/scmag01/dec01/nash/nash.shtml , etc.
(one of my few projects is to dig out photos from the '80s of the magic walk as there is little info on the 'net).

best wishes phil

The statement seems about right. I can't see that there's any connection between equipment and creativity. People would like to think that there was, but new/different equipment is only a spur to taking pictures when you might not have, not creativity. Buying new equipment even a camera bag, just gets you out of the house with your camera ready. There is no connect to creativity itself. The equipment only matters if you have to take a certain type of picture, usually only the problem of the pro.
"Photography is inherently a technologically based art and a technologically limited one. Without technological improvement, photographic aesthetics stagnate." I have to totally disagree with that Joe k. That (to me) is an illusion not connected to creativity at all. Again, having a new low light camera just gets you out of the house at night. Not connected to creativity at all. If if a photographer has to rely on tech improvements for creativity, then it's over.We might as well pack up the whole art form. Look at it in reverse, can you really say that the photographers who didn't have this were less creative? Of course not. It's just creativity within different paramaters.

Also John C, "MacLeod's comment is self-contradictory. As an artist becomes more focused on his central work, the numbers of tools may go down, but the tools remaining become more important, extensions of himself...and therefore, there's a correlation."
This also is an illusion for mine. That the tools are more second nature to a photographer is not connected to their creativity at all.

Saying equipment does not matter is sheer arrogance.

Richard Wagner, whose 200th birthday will be celebrated in 2013, even invented an instrument himself, the Wagner tuba (which in reality is not a tuba), because he needed it for his creations.

The warnings against equipment fetishism and gear acquisition syndrome are justified, but this does not mean one should underestimate the value of equipment.

Mike, your post is about (at least) 2 different things. First there's the tools part. Artists' relationships with their tools are as varied as artists. MacLeod's quote (hardly an authority...) does speak to one mode, but the point made above about honing and importance is very true. But many artists continue to find things well into their careers to experiment with.

The other part of your post has to do with ephemerality of materials. There are indeed some examples of failed experimental methods over the centuries, and you picked 2 good ones, but the Starn twins' early work was another case entirely, and this has to do with the generally experimental nature of art itself for at least 100 years now. Visual art tends to serve some different functions (although one function is at least exactly the same as always, the demonstration of the wealth of the buyer...) than it did in previous eras, and some of these functions parallel the diversity and rapidity of technological advances, but in the non-practical/functional realm.

This is in some ways a reflection of these changes in "modern" life, and in others a critique, and in others simply an exploratory delving into the unknown. They are also of course continued, but much more rapid, exercises in taste and style within the overarching tastes and styles of fashion in all its facets of life , which through technological advances of manufacture and dissemination are themselves far more rapid. Thus, making something stuck together with tape or bungee cords without regard to the future makes perfect sense as one means of creation. Goldsworthy's ephemeral creations (which he goes to great pains to document)are another reaction, but one more attuned to environmentalism, earth art and conceptualism---and btw with a tradition behind it of more interesting but less pretty work by people like Richard Long, for instance. This latter bit is much less about tools in the way the origin quote had it---in fact the tools are almost beside the point in an essential way.

Um . . . No mention of Polaroids yet? Especially color Polaroids, which were used by Kertesz and others, and fade to oblivion over relatively short time frames. Artists who used Polaroids know of the stability problems inherent in their work, and even most consumers understand that Polaroids are impermanent. As someone who learned photography on a Polaroid 180, it's been a concern of mine, although I originally embraced the idea of creating mere ephemera (think Snapchat).

As far as equipment/creativity goes, I think it's rare that an artist is equally successful with a broad range of techniques and "equipment," whatever that term means in a particular medium. Figuring out what works for each artist, however, requires experimentation and contempt for your materials, so I don't think chasing after equipment is a big problem for amateurs still finding their way.

I might agree that equipment has no direct correlation to creativity in photography, however I'd point out two things; that 'limiting oneself' doesn't map directly to banding, excessive high-ISO chroma noise, erratic and inaccurate AF (when depending on AF,) and general lack of control over the device. These things get in the way of creativity. The best tools get out of the way. 'Limiting oneself' in the realm of photography can be done by using one prime lens, taking only one shot per day, sticking to manual focus..... etc. Artificial limitations brought by digital deficiencies are probably not what Hugh MacLeod had in mind when he made that quote (or Orson Welles and Picasso in the quotes posted by Dave Jenkins.)

The second thing I'd point out is that it's not always about creativity, 100% of the time. Sometimes it's about recording the moment quickly and accurately, with the best possible image quality so that we can share our work with others that might appreciate that casual technical excellence. A family shoot in low-light, shooting an evening hockey or soccer game... things like these are a struggle with a P&S for example, and tend to get easier as you move up the equipment ladder.

Joe Kashi wrote:

"Photography is inherently a technologically based art and a technologically limited one"

You could say that about painting or drawing.

"Without technological improvement, photographic aesthetics stagnate."

Crikey - what a dismal prospect that would be. But of course it will sell lots of new cameras

As my buddy Harold would say, this is the "bunk". Whatever you need to do what you're doing and feel good doing it. I've met both fine artist, and fine art photographers who were both absolutely dependent on using the perfect tool, or couldn't care less if they were painting with house paint and a 2 dollar brush, or using a 3 megapixel point-and-shoot. It's up to the arteest!

A bad workman blames his tools.

Good workmen don't have bad tools.

As an artist/photographer/woodworker/carver/gilder, the amount of tools has increased. Many of these tools seldom see any use, due to their specialized nature, but having access to them can make a large difference in any one projects profitability. Efficiency, safety, and the ability to accomplish my intent are why I own many high quality tools; the creativity comes from me. Owning three shades of dry yellow ochre doesn't mean I'll use them all at once, but their subtle variety means they will get used at some point.

As to the Piccaso/Wells quotes, as an exercise, fine, but in terms of making a living, no, the materials and methods of any particular medium impose their own limitations, thank you.

The truth is I don't see painters discussing the best oils, canvas or brushes brands on foruns, or writers debating the virtues of HP's keyboards over Asus'. The quotation from Hugh MacLeod can be read as a natural reaction to the gear craze that affects many photographers. It is true that many people traded their artistic purposes - at least those who had them - for big sensors, high ISOs and fast lenses. People tend to focus more on gear than in actually creating.
It is also true, however, that mediocre equipment can be an obstacle to creativity. Anyone who has ever shot with a point-and-shoot knows that. Inferior gear doesn't allow you to expand your expression. Look at the great photographers of all time: they all used the best equipment available. Cartier-Bresson, Koudelka and Winogrand all had Leicas, which were the best cameras available at the peak of their careers.
However, equipment is a means to an end. Just that. It is important because it allows us to give free rein to our creativity, but it shouldn't become an end itself. In this sense I can grasp what MacLeod was stating - though I reckon it is an hyperbole.

How about this for a logic cascade?

Although creativity is most dependent on the relatively freestanding personal attribute of imagination, it does need a medium for expression.

The richness of a medium will affect its potential for creative expression. A palette of eight colors offers vastly more potential for creative exploration that one of only four.

Equipment represents the implementation of medium. This equipment might be as basic as tubes of paint pigments and styles of brushes or as complex as a digital camera. That is, equipment represents the technology through which creativity can be expressed.

Therefore it is logical to conclude that while creativity, as analogous to potential energy, is independent of technology it does rely on technology for expression, its conversion to a kinetic state. Consequently creativity and equipment (as media) are indisputably linked, although not in any firm statistical correlation.

More to the point am I suggesting that better cameras produce "better" photography or photographers? No, not necessarily. Most of us take the same pictures with whatever camera we use. But it is hard to dispute that a creative mind in need of making close-range images will benefit from having a good macro lens, eh?

Sorry, but I feel the majority of your blog is focused on equipment and its worship. There's a lot about creativity, but a lot more about gear and technique (including virtually all of Ctein's writing).

Your argument about the instability of some paintings is a prime example of elevating technique over art: this instability may limit viewer's enjoyment of the work in certain venues hundreds of years down the line, but it has nothing to do with the merit of the work itself. All art, because it is embodied in a physical object, is subject to the vicisitudes of time, weather, rust and mold. Some more than others, but that is not an aesthetic or conceptual issue.

A musician and his instrument of choice.
Toots Thielemans, sans harmonica, whistling.
A singer and her vocal cords?

Mike, your headline quote conveniently doesn't mention the cost of materials. Some pigments cost a great deal centuries ago, 15 foot blocks of marble don't come cheap and think of the cost of scaffolding for a huge fresco or the bill from a foundry casting a bronze. Just affording the materials means nothing of course, but without them nothing much is going to be achieved.

It may seem arrogant for the Starn twins to say "it's the conservator's problem" but is it equally as arrogant for me to throw out my dye-based printer because the print life is merely 70 years? I'll make a deal: if my work gets that much long-term attention by the time I'm nearing the end, I'll set someone up to reprint the faded ones. Perhaps by then curatorial practice will accept reprinting digital editions as part of show preparation? Or maybe the gallery would have banks of screens and cut out the archaic paper intermediary altogether.

For me, Sergey Maximishin's photo of Masha and Yasha ( http://www.maximishin.com/view.php?photo_id=952&screen=0&cat_id=63&action=images&lng= ) always reminds of the Last Supper.

@JeffGlass - you just reminded me that Ctein opined recently that "ideas are two a penny - technique is everything" ( from memory - I may be paraphrasing)

Well, the statement is partially self-contradictory. If an artist's tools decrease in number over time, and assuming that creativity changes over time as well, then that is a correlation. It would also be very illogical to assume that going on a mission of throwing out all one's toys will increase creativity - correlation is not causation!

I've never liked the argument that "you can take wonderful photos with a crappy old camera and single prime lens because zooming with your feet produces better results" - yeah maybe you can, but only the kind of photos that can arise from using that equipment, so your desires may well be frustrated in the process.

Noam, I think that the photo by Adi Nes is easily the best of the bunch of those kinds of photos. Actually, Adi Nes is one of the best photographers / artists around.

A clarification on "Cartier-Bresson, Koudelka and Winogrand all had Leicas".

Koudelka didn't use a Leica until after he left for France in 1971. His most famous work that would be Gypsies in the 1960s and Prague Spring in 1968 was shot on East German SLRs.

Koudelka in Czechoslovakia used a Pentacon Exakta IIa (?) SLR (from the DDR) and a Zeiss Jena (DDR) 25mm lens He also and normal lenses (35mm and 50mm).

He worked in a cinematography processing lab and used end cuts of the unexposed OWRO (high contrast -- defining his look) black and white movie film. During the Czech Spring in 1968 he'd load his two Exacta cameras (25mm and 35mm) with cine film in a darkroom (without a 35mm can he could load much mroe film ... perhaps 100 frames) then go out shoot film, come back unload and process. Reload the camera and go out again.

A Koudelka monograph says: "Jenicek ordered a 3.5-cm Zeiss [Jena] Flectogen lens from East Germany, and received a 25-mm instead. After the death of Jenicek he bought the lens from his widow. Josef subsequently used this lens for much of his work."

I wonder if he would have shot with the 25mm when working on his Gypsies work if that mistake hadn't been made. Or did he buy it because it was 25mm and he wanted to work close in without stepping back? I don't know. But his Prague Spring work would have looked different without that 25mm. Was anyone using lenses that wide in photojournalism before 1968?

I suspect the limitations he was under didn't seem to affect his best work. And it didn't need a Leica.

As a sidebar: sometimes knowing the equipment (camera, film and lenses) a photographer used is not just geekery but helps you do understand how they did the work and (perhaps sometimes) helps one to understand the work better. Art history does depend on technology even though it often hates to admit it.

"December notwithstanding, I like to think that this site is more about the creativity part and only secondarily about the equipment part, ..."

And your coronation for Camera of the Year will be... ;-)

[I really have to wait for my friend Ken to review his new RX1...oh, wait.... :-) Mike]

I really have to wait for my friend Ken to review his new RX1...oh, wait.... :-)

Mike

Dear Mike,
That Amazon link at the end is so subtle...

Thank you.

The most creative tool is our brain...gear can help but the idea has to come from inside...
robert
PS: just my idea, but please give a look at this video :http://vimeo.com/52711779

None, no, but I do think creativity is not equipment-bound, and lack of equipment/resources can push creativity (The Seventh Seal, Oulipo and more).

Christo is actually an interesting example when it comes to creativity and resources. Their installations are expensive. How do they come up with the money? By pre-visualizing the idea and making money out of sketches years ahead of the actual installation.

About photographer's obsession with tools in relation to other creators. The industry and the writers depend on each other, making it hard for average Joe to escape the tech hype. You don't see that in the violin business. Not to the same extent. That's also one of the reasons why I follow Mike's blog -- to read about photography but not the tech hype.

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