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Doc Henry

I like film...(open thread)

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You know when you are spoiled with New York-ness when you find yourself shooting it like this

LOL

Think 1am at a smokey pub with large walls

- Last Week - 

Pre-Dawn Foggy morning; 2 minute exposure, wide-open bokeh;  painterly intent

Ektar 6x9

Linhof Technika Press 23, Zeiss Biogon 53mm

bokehlicious.jpg

 

Consider the blur in the context of fragmentation and indeterminacy. How does it work, or not?

Pre-Dawn Foggy Morning! Oh, how this nudges the aesthetic art needle on the cool-art-ometer right into the red. Blur gray punctuated with just enough bokeh and cadmium yellow water reflection. It all works. Yes, your “painterly intent” comes home. See your Ektar Bokehlicious Foggy Skyline #50933, also. But, there’s something that photography does with the blur that goes beyond painting when we frame it in the context of fragmentation and indeterminacy.

I remember being impressed years ago with an exhibit at SFMOMA of large blurry black-and-white portraits, and after a little search, I think it was Bill Jacobson in 1995 and his Interim Portraits. The farther I was from the photographs, the more distinct they seemed; and yet, the closer, the less distinct. I was mentally refocusing the image in my mind, trying to make the features of the portrait clear, which was impossible, of course.

The blur raises the issue of ambiguity, usually defined in terms of lacking definition or clarity. However, blur can be conversely a purposeful, clear statement of ambiguity. What are some of the conventions of blur? Characteristics? What is meant by blur? What does blur insinuate?

 

We know well the characteristics of blur. There’s blur with a stationary camera focused to photograph a moving subject with a slow shutter speed (your ADOX #50848 and #50976). As a footnote, blur with ADOX introduces a distinct granularity to color. Philipus with Ektar blurs in #50986 and #50998 renders a different ghostly transparency with his horizontal “Whoosh!”, as he calls it. There’s blur with a moving camera to photograph a moving subject in focus. Blur of a subject photographed out of focus. Blur by blowup and grain, and so forth. Of course, there is blur using filters, shallow DOF, and special lenses like the Thambar-M. I remember getting something like the Thambar effect with my Nikon F by double exposing a stationary subject, first slightly out of focus, then in focus. Very limited. Then, there is always the unexpected like your Flatiron Building blur #51114 that reads like a multiple exposure, plus blur, in monochrome.

 

Always at issue is how much blur. At what point does it look accidental rather than intentional? At what point does the fragmentation of the blur risk unintelligibility and the subject is no longer recognizable? It is notable that William Klein’s Big Blowup, Grainy Woman’s Face, New York (1955) pre-dated Gerhard Richter’s blurry Mao (1968), painted from a photograph. Both are blurry, but Klein’s is the result of blowup and grain, whereas Richter’s painting uses continuous tone diffusion by feathering the paint with a brush while the painting is still wet. Richter then reproduced paintings like this by collotype. Just this last Monday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I saw up very close Richter’s blur portrait Painting Wachenfeld (104-3), 1966. No evidence of brush strokes, per se. Very flat, smooth gradations of warm gray characteristic of his 60’s gray paintings. Ohne Farbe (Without Color) is the title of one monograph of these gray paintings, and another title, Gerhard Richter: Volker Bradke, centers on blur painting as well as a short OOF black-and-white film on DVD. There’s also Unscharf nach Gerhard Richter (difficult to find and expensive), which covers a number of blur photographer/artists for Google search: Pablo Alonso, David Armstrong, Bill Jacobson, Wolfgang Kessler, Michael Wesely, Maxine Henryson, and more.

 

Michelangelo Antonioni in Blowup dramatizes how recognition of an image is blurred by extreme blow up. He also demonstrates that the closer one’s view is to the blow-up, the less one can recognize. In other words, the photograph becomes too fragmented as a result of the blur to recognize. The erosion of recognizability invites indeterminacy; what we cannot comprehend leads precariously into the territory that has no ending. Blur in this theatre of fragmentation and indeterminacy, though, can be provocative, but it can risk boredom, too. It pays to be mindful of the tagline of advertising: “You cannot afford to be boring.” Antonioni uses it to create suspense.

 

In Seymour Chatman’s Michelangelo Antonioni: The Complete Films (Taschen), there is a very brief chapter on Antonioni’s abstract paintings of mountains. Antonioni says, “The process of ‘The Enchanted Mountains’ wholly consists in enlargement. It is the enlargement that discloses in detail the invisible material in the original picture. It is a process similar to the one that arises in Blow-Up. In addition to this, it was a very interesting experience for me as a director, even if it never occurred to me to think that I took part in the world of art because I couldn’t say what form of art I could assign these objects to.“

Memory as a blur; blur as a memory. This is one of the pre-occupations of Bill Jacobson’s work. Visual blur is the paradox of constantly becoming, yet never becoming. Coincidentally, one of the photographers who provided stills for Blow-Up also worked with David Lean on The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Notes on Robert Rauschenberg’s Blur

Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing: The statement of an artist who creates art by erasing the work of another artist. Rauschenberg at once challenges the idea of what constitutes art. Is this then a metaphor what art artists attempt to do in “erasing” the ideas/art of others to re-invision their own ideas/art. Paradoxically, the erasure leaves the trace of the original and really becomes a statement about the process of making art as a conceptualized product. How does the blur in photography approach this status?

Uta Barth’s Blur

First off, Uta Barth is a “conceptual photographer” and was awarded $500,000 and named MacArthur Fellow for 2012. Her photographs are characterized by the lack of a subject and are concerned with the “ambient and the peripheral.” She says that her objective is “to make the viewer aware of the perceptual process” and not focus on the content of the photograph per se but rather “to become immersed and fully invested in their own perception.“ So, for her, the photograph is not about an object but paradoxically about the process of perceiving the object. It is obvious that she is borrowing from Jackson Pollock in that his painting is evidence of the action the painter executed in making the painting. At the same time, Barth employs fragment theory in that her work presents photographic fragments that are in perceptual transit and can never reach completion or wholeness. Her photographs are provocative fragments purposely left unfinished, out of focus, indiscernible, so as to invite the personal dialogue of a viewer to imagine the completed image in focus. A Barth photograph is the beginning of an ambiguous conversation seeking clarity. What is clear is that she was awarded $500,000 for the conversation.

Well, I have run on a bit (slightly) with my notes on the blur, and now it’s time to can the words and pick up the camera

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Consider the blur in the context of fragmentation and indeterminacy. How does it work, or not?

Pre-Dawn Foggy Morning! Oh, how this nudges the aesthetic art needle on the cool-art-ometer right into the red. Blur gray punctuated with just enough bokeh and cadmium yellow water reflection. It all works. Yes, your “painterly intent” comes home. See your Ektar Bokehlicious Foggy Skyline #50933, also. But, there’s something that photography does with the blur that goes beyond painting when we frame it in the context of fragmentation and indeterminacy.

I remember being impressed years ago with an exhibit at SFMOMA of large blurry black-and-white portraits, and after a little search, I think it was Bill Jacobson in 1995 and his Interim Portraits. The farther I was from the photographs, the more distinct they seemed; and yet, the closer, the less distinct. I was mentally refocusing the image in my mind, trying to make the features of the portrait clear, which was impossible, of course.

The blur raises the issue of ambiguity, usually defined in terms of lacking definition or clarity. However, blur can be conversely a purposeful, clear statement of ambiguity. What are some of the conventions of blur? Characteristics? What is meant by blur? What does blur insinuate?

 

We know well the characteristics of blur. There’s blur with a stationary camera focused to photograph a moving subject with a slow shutter speed (your ADOX #50848 and #50976). As a footnote, blur with ADOX introduces a distinct granularity to color. Philipus with Ektar blurs in #50986 and #50998 renders a different ghostly transparency with his horizontal “Whoosh!”, as he calls it. There’s blur with a moving camera to photograph a moving subject in focus. Blur of a subject photographed out of focus. Blur by blowup and grain, and so forth. Of course, there is blur using filters, shallow DOF, and special lenses like the Thambar-M. I remember getting something like the Thambar effect with my Nikon F by double exposing a stationary subject, first slightly out of focus, then in focus. Very limited. Then, there is always the unexpected like your Flatiron Building blur #51114 that reads like a multiple exposure, plus blur, in monochrome.

 

Always at issue is how much blur. At what point does it look accidental rather than intentional? At what point does the fragmentation of the blur risk unintelligibility and the subject is no longer recognizable? It is notable that William Klein’s Big Blowup, Grainy Woman’s Face, New York (1955) pre-dated Gerhard Richter’s blurry Mao (1968), painted from a photograph. Both are blurry, but Klein’s is the result of blowup and grain, whereas Richter’s painting uses continuous tone diffusion by feathering the paint with a brush while the painting is still wet. Richter then reproduced paintings like this by collotype. Just this last Monday at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, I saw up very close Richter’s blur portrait Painting Wachenfeld (104-3), 1966. No evidence of brush strokes, per se. Very flat, smooth gradations of warm gray characteristic of his 60’s gray paintings. Ohne Farbe (Without Color) is the title of one monograph of these gray paintings, and another title, Gerhard Richter: Volker Bradke, centers on blur painting as well as a short OOF black-and-white film on DVD. There’s also Unscharf nach Gerhard Richter (difficult to find and expensive), which covers a number of blur photographer/artists for Google search: Pablo Alonso, David Armstrong, Bill Jacobson, Wolfgang Kessler, Michael Wesely, Maxine Henryson, and more.

 

Michelangelo Antonioni in Blowup dramatizes how recognition of an image is blurred by extreme blow up. He also demonstrates that the closer one’s view is to the blow-up, the less one can recognize. In other words, the photograph becomes too fragmented as a result of the blur to recognize. The erosion of recognizability invites indeterminacy; what we cannot comprehend leads precariously into the territory that has no ending. Blur in this theatre of fragmentation and indeterminacy, though, can be provocative, but it can risk boredom, too. It pays to be mindful of the tagline of advertising: “You cannot afford to be boring.” Antonioni uses it to create suspense.

 

In Seymour Chatman’s Michelangelo Antonioni: The Complete Films (Taschen), there is a very brief chapter on Antonioni’s abstract paintings of mountains. Antonioni says, “The process of ‘The Enchanted Mountains’ wholly consists in enlargement. It is the enlargement that discloses in detail the invisible material in the original picture. It is a process similar to the one that arises in Blow-Up. In addition to this, it was a very interesting experience for me as a director, even if it never occurred to me to think that I took part in the world of art because I couldn’t say what form of art I could assign these objects to.“

Memory as a blur; blur as a memory. This is one of the pre-occupations of Bill Jacobson’s work. Visual blur is the paradox of constantly becoming, yet never becoming. Coincidentally, one of the photographers who provided stills for Blow-Up also worked with David Lean on The Bridge on the River Kwai.

Notes on Robert Rauschenberg’s Blur

Rauschenberg’s Erased de Kooning Drawing: The statement of an artist who creates art by erasing the work of another artist. Rauschenberg at once challenges the idea of what constitutes art. Is this then a metaphor what art artists attempt to do in “erasing” the ideas/art of others to re-invision their own ideas/art. Paradoxically, the erasure leaves the trace of the original and really becomes a statement about the process of making art as a conceptualized product. How does the blur in photography approach this status?

Uta Barth’s Blur

First off, Uta Barth is a “conceptual photographer” and was awarded $500,000 and named MacArthur Fellow for 2012. Her photographs are characterized by the lack of a subject and are concerned with the “ambient and the peripheral.” She says that her objective is “to make the viewer aware of the perceptual process” and not focus on the content of the photograph per se but rather “to become immersed and fully invested in their own perception.“ So, for her, the photograph is not about an object but paradoxically about the process of perceiving the object. It is obvious that she is borrowing from Jackson Pollock in that his painting is evidence of the action the painter executed in making the painting. At the same time, Barth employs fragment theory in that her work presents photographic fragments that are in perceptual transit and can never reach completion or wholeness. Her photographs are provocative fragments purposely left unfinished, out of focus, indiscernible, so as to invite the personal dialogue of a viewer to imagine the completed image in focus. A Barth photograph is the beginning of an ambiguous conversation seeking clarity. What is clear is that she was awarded $500,000 for the conversation.

Well, I have run on a bit (slightly) with my notes on the blur, and now it’s time to can the words and pick up the camera

 

Rog - You are a master of articulation.  I sincerely appreciate you imparting your deep knowledge and insights.  It is a huge source of value and richness and thank you for being a part of this tremendous thread-community!

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Rog - You are a master of articulation.  I sincerely appreciate you imparting your deep knowledge and insights.  It is a huge source of value and richness and thank you for being a part of this tremendous thread-community!

Sometimes when I am given a form to fill out, I find myself checking the box “other.“ It is a way of saying that of all the things to consider on the form, there is something “other” that may have been missed, and the “other“ box will cover it. To enter this discussion Forum, I get to click off the “other” box, then to compound my joy, I get to say, “I like film!” You betcha! Where else do I get to learn something new every day from all over the planet? I love this crowd and the 24/7 showtime, the Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah of “Hey, I never thought of that!“ The creative flair on this thread gets all of my applause. Rog

 

Thanks to everyone for keeping the limelight burning.

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I had a meeting across the river.  After, I decided to take the rest of the afternoon off with my SWC.

 

"A Walk Around the Oculus"

Hasselblad SWC/M

TMAX 100 - HC110 B @20C

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An afternoon well spent Marc.

Gary

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very inspiring, Marc.  I am due to do a series on the Oculus with my SWC.  I assume you did not use a tripod, right?

I had a meeting across the river.  After, I decided to take the rest of the afternoon off with my SWC.

 

"A Walk Around the Oculus"

Hasselblad SWC/M

TMAX 100 - HC110 B @20C

 

 

 2018-06-22-0002 by Marc Tauber, on Flickr

 

 

 2018-06-22-0009 by Marc Tauber, on Flickr

 

 

2018-06-22-0012 by Marc Tauber, on Flickr

 

 

2018-06-22-R2-0008 by Marc Tauber, on Flickr

 

 

2018-06-22-R2-0005 by Marc Tauber, on Flickr

 

 

2018-06-22-R2-0011 by Marc Tauber, on Flickr

 

Very eerie - I like it!

St Michael's Church on Brent Tor. Probably not the best place to be a gravedigger.

Leica MP
50mm elmar-m f2.8
Heliopan 22
Adox Silvermax

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St. Paul's Cathedral from the Millennium Bridge
Zeiss Nettar, Lomo XPro 200
 
An interesting film, this is my first time using it, I need to shoot several more rolls and experiment with exposure.
 
 

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A kid in a candy store, was I 

Portra 160

The Girl with the Dracula Tattoo. This trio is a triangle that defies Euclidean geometry: spectral cinders, smoldering hellos, and cerulean blue lipstick. This is a style magazine of poetry on the street. Do we hear Inarritu's jazz drummer from Birdman in the background? There are times when it all intersects in your favor and gravity is your friend, keeping it all in place for that split-second wink of the Miller camera. Kudos!

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