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Wednesday, 08 July 2009


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Doing the interview with Alain was great fun. Watch out, we'll soon post a second part to it. Thanks for posting this Mike.

In light of the Edgar Martin brouhaha, I thought Briot's statement "If I don't manipulate I do something wrong" was interesting. Different strokes for different folks.

"Different strokes for different folks."

Not really. There are just different kinds of photography. Same as the standard for an academic paper and a short story are very different; what's allowable as well as desirable for one isn't necessarily so for the other...either way. It's not to say one's "better" than the other, it's just that there are different expectations and different standards.


Mike, it also depends on what you mean with "manipulation". If I remember Briot's essays over on LL correctly, he's talking about colour, contrast and so on.

Besides, even if he's not talking just about that... if you do a landscape photo and there's a bit of an electricity pylon intruding from the left edge, do you leave the bit in or clone it out? I'd clone it out. Landscape photography is more related to painting than to news/documentary photography anyway.

Txs for that great link. Very insipirational.

As a photographer and an artist Alain Briot is quite the salesperson.

I relate to what erlik just said "...and there's a bit of..." - the key here is a bit, a blip, a minor disturbance. If there is a pylon cutting across the center of my image, well, I wouldn't have shot it from that angle.

But Alain, a radically honest person, says what he does. As for Mr. Martins, the article(s) mention he says he never photoshops his images.

I am surprised people are not discussing this more.

His not being honest (reputedly, we did not have a real chance to hear him) is less interesting to me than NYT, or anyone else's fascination with his spiel about long exposures and no-photoshop.

Is no-photoshop in?

Erlik, I think Alain writes quite often about manipulations that move far beyond "colour and contrast": "In fact I clone, change the colors, alter the contrast, and even remove houses that look ugly in the middle of a pristine wilderness.”


And if you would clone out an electricity pylon, you're only proving Mike's point that "there are different expectations and different standards for different kinds of photography."

For example with regard to the Edgar Martins brouhaha, cloning out the electricity pylon would not meet a newspaper's standards but would meet those of the landscape-art galleries that sell Briot's photographs.

Heh, am I detecting a (slight) Southern slur in Briot's voice?

Alain Briot comes across well in this interview, unfortunately his articles for LL have for the most part been sleep inducing as he tends to belabour the point,probably something a good editor would fix.
As regards his need to share his knowledge of his art I'm afraid it comes at quite a price in monetary terms.

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