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Jim Bullard

I just wrote my own blog post about this. I've been pondering why one would tie their sense of their individual style to the technical limitations of a given medium or in this case the limitations of a specific portion of the medium, a particular type of film. When we look at the larger art world most artists use different mediums routinely sometimes very different mediums. Think for a moment about Picasso who although known primarily as a painter also worked in such diverse mediums as sculpture and pottery. Like the vast majority of other painters he drew in pencil, charcoal, whatever. Granted the drawings of painters are usually preliminary to painted works but the point is that their 'style' is not tied rigidly to the medium to the point that they feel obliged to make the finished product look like a medium other that what it is. If they do so it is a matter of choice for aesthetic reasons, not something that they feel compelled to do to achieve a "consistency of look" to other work.

For my own work I have long believed (with apologies to Huey Lewis) the the heart of photography is seeing. My style derives not from the materials I use so much as the way I see, record and present the things I choose to photograph. The media and techniques I use to create my images are simply a matter of choosing among the options that are available to me which will result as nearly as possible in the result I am seeking.

In my early years I used a lot of Tri-X 35mm because it was the camera I could afford and the film that worked best over a broad range of lighting. If I could have shot a different ASA/ISO for every photograph choosing a lower speed and finer grain for more brightly lighted scenes I would have. I do a lot of photography while hiking. If I could find a camera that fit in my pocket and would provide the equivalent of ASA/ISO 50 8x10" film and I could afford it, you can bet that I'd use it. Art is in seeing and communication of our vision. The technology is just details

Wouter Brandsma

Technological progress is (unfortunately) irreversible I believe, but even when we need to use these technologically advanced tools up to who is it to decide to benefit or just cope with this progress? I for instance mainly use small digital cameras and I like making landscapes too. I just don't like "clean" noise free images, despite the fact that it is technologically all very well possible. Aesthetics determined by what I like, not determined by what is technologically possible.

I agree that art is seeing and communication of our vision, but technology is just a tool. Sometimes it is better that we don't conceive photography knowing what the photographer used.

Markus Spring

Hmm, I am not sure this question - as you pose it - is suitable for a 30 second survey. If you had asked if I like it or not, I could have given a short answer.

As I am not at home with the book in reach, I can't reconsider your statement in enough depth. I certainly noticed the grain, in some places I disapproved, in other I think it was even supportive. Mind you, I have no record as a large format photographer, but on the other hand I was long enough obsessed with sharpness and unhappy with all grain beyond ASA 25.

What is a much bigger flaw of 'Genesis' in my eyes are the many two-page spreads. Of course unavoidable in a portrait format book with mainly landscape-format images, but this decision I truly disapprove: Either you torture the book to make it lay flat or you try to trick your brain when attempting to see the full image. Nah - I had much preferred half the number of pictures, printed one per page on a big landscape-format page.


I haven't seen the book in question yet.

However, what's important to me is that a whole piece ... single image, exhibition set, or book/PDF/animated slideshow/whatever... looks finished, consistent, and all of a piece to give the best experience to a viewer. Anything else just seems unsatisfactory to me.

Merg Ross

I am not able to answer the poll as worded;please pardon the digression.

My preference is for consistency in both vision and technique. This is not to suggest that the two can not change in unison and be successful.

The beauty of a pristine landscape is best presented with a technique capable of capturing the nuances. Think Ansel Adams. Perhaps for the New Topographics work, a different technique would be appropriate.

Call me "old school"; you are correct!


I use small digital cameras for making landscapes. I don't like the new era noise free image. Oldies but goldies.

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