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Thread: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

  1. #31

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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    Let's expand this idea a bit, exploring the meaning of "medium."

    Painting has oil, watercolor, fresco, tempura, etc. on a number of different kinds of substrates. Each of these entails different techniques and materials that have to be mastered.

    Sculpting in clay, bronze, marble all have their different techniques too.

    On to photography: Daguerreotype, Ambrotype, silver-gelatin, platinum-palladium, carbon, etc. Color too, in it's many guises from Cibachrome to R4 to Fuji Crystal Archive. Now we have digital capture and subsequent post-processing (which gets displayed on a screen or printed on paper, etc,. all of which are media) with it's own set of possibilities and challenges. All different.

    I think it's apparent from these few examples that each medium has its own inherent techniques, possibilities and constraints. Working within any single medium imposes these possibilities and constraints on the artist/craftsperson. How well one uses a medium to express and communicate is inextricably linked to the medium itself and the artist's mastery of its attendant techniques. What is possible in one medium is not in another. The choice of what medium to work in is important too. Some media have very different expressive possibilities than others (obvious case in point: color has possibilities that black-and-white doesn't).

    So, does the medium influence the work and the viewers' appreciation of it? I would say, yes, indeed. And the more educated the viewer is concerning the technicalities of the medium, the more potential for appreciation of excellence they bring to a given work. I don't really think that artistic expression can be separated from the medium any more than logical concepts can be separated from language. The one without the other is either meaningless or inexpressible.

    Best,

    Doremus

  2. #32
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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    Let's expand this idea a bit, exploring the meaning of "medium."

    Painting has oil, watercolor, fresco, tempura, etc. on a number of different kinds of substrates. Each of these entails different techniques and materials that have to be mastered.

    Sculpting in clay, bronze, marble all have their different techniques too.

    On to photography: Daguerreotype, Ambrotype, silver-gelatin, platinum-palladium, carbon, etc. Color too, in it's many guises from Cibachrome to R4 to Fuji Crystal Archive. Now we have digital capture and subsequent post-processing (which gets displayed on a screen or printed on paper, etc,. all of which are media) with it's own set of possibilities and challenges. All different.

    I think it's apparent from these few examples that each medium has its own inherent techniques, possibilities and constraints. Working within any single medium imposes these possibilities and constraints on the artist/craftsperson. How well one uses a medium to express and communicate is inextricably linked to the medium itself and the artist's mastery of its attendant techniques. What is possible in one medium is not in another. The choice of what medium to work in is important too. Some media have very different expressive possibilities than others (obvious case in point: color has possibilities that black-and-white doesn't).

    So, does the medium influence the work and the viewers' appreciation of it? I would say, yes, indeed. And the more educated the viewer is concerning the technicalities of the medium, the more potential for appreciation of excellence they bring to a given work. I don't really think that artistic expression can be separated from the medium any more than logical concepts can be separated from language. The one without the other is either meaningless or inexpressible.

    Best,

    Doremus
    Yes, but in response to the original title of this thread, the choice of medium doesn't affect my opinion of it (and the thread specifies photography, not painting, sculpture, etc). It is the final photo that I would judge.

  3. #33
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    In my way of thinking (YMMD) the 'final photo' exists as a medium..to judge the photo is to judge the medium in which it was created.

    To judge a photograph solely by the image is to judge the ocean by the its surface only.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  4. #34
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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    In my way of thinking (YMMD) the 'final photo' exists as a medium..to judge the photo is to judge the medium in which it was created.

    To judge a photograph solely by the image is to judge the ocean by the its surface only.
    So does that affect your opinion of it?

  5. #35

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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    Marshal McLuhan’s 1964 breakthrough book “Understanding Media” famously said that a medium and its characteristics can affect audiences apart from its substance: “The medium is the message.”

    Sandy
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  6. #36
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    Mastery of any given medium does make a difference. And some media do seem more amenable to commitment and TLC than others. Even making a chisel, a Japanese sword maker thinks a lot differently than Stanley Junk Corporation. And in that respect, something which inherently slows you down might turn out a lot more interesting than something mechanically or digitally spit out in endless quantities. I'm a printmaker; but even in that capacity, don't regard an image as complete until it's not only printed by me personally, but precisely trimmed and mounted by me too.

  7. #37

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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    The medium is the messenger, The medium is NOT the message.

    Discuss,
    Bernice


    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post

    ďThe medium is the message.Ē

    Sandy

  8. #38

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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doremus Scudder View Post
    Let's expand this idea a bit, exploring the meaning of "medium."

    Painting has oil, watercolor, fresco, tempura, etc. on a number of different kinds of substrates. Each of these entails different techniques and materials that have to be mastered.

    Sculpting in clay, bronze, marble all have their different techniques too.

    On to photography: Daguerreotype, Ambrotype, silver-gelatin, platinum-palladium, carbon, etc. Color too, in it's many guises from Cibachrome to R4 to Fuji Crystal Archive. Now we have digital capture and subsequent post-processing (which gets displayed on a screen or printed on paper, etc,. all of which are media) with it's own set of possibilities and challenges. All different.

    I think it's apparent from these few examples that each medium has its own inherent techniques, possibilities and constraints. Working within any single medium imposes these possibilities and constraints on the artist/craftsperson. How well one uses a medium to express and communicate is inextricably linked to the medium itself and the artist's mastery of its attendant techniques. What is possible in one medium is not in another. The choice of what medium to work in is important too. Some media have very different expressive possibilities than others (obvious case in point: color has possibilities that black-and-white doesn't).

    So, does the medium influence the work and the viewers' appreciation of it? I would say, yes, indeed. And the more educated the viewer is concerning the technicalities of the medium, the more potential for appreciation of excellence they bring to a given work. I don't really think that artistic expression can be separated from the medium any more than logical concepts can be separated from language. The one without the other is either meaningless or inexpressible.

    Best,

    Doremus
    Those are interesting points! I hadn't thought about how other art forms are affected by their mediums, such as different paint types like you said. They all have different nuances that change the creation process before the final product is presented. Though photography may have less obvious nuances, each camera's medium and photographer's process will result in a slightly different image than the next.

    I wouldn't say that one medium is better than the other, but that each medium (and photographer) will provide a different look and feel to it than other mediums. For example, some people prefer the grain from film, others do not. Sometimes film grain really adds to the creativity in a photo, sometimes it does not. It depends on the photographer's (and viewer's) preferences. Just like whether a painter or viewer prefers a certain style of painting.

  9. #39

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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bernice Loui View Post
    The medium is the messenger, The medium is NOT the message.
    According to a quick search, it is "message", not "messenger." I can see why both fit though.

  10. #40

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    Re: Does a Photograph's medium change your opinion of it?

    Photographic equipment/Image making process -vs- expressive image content _?_
    Discuss.

    Bernice

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