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Author Topic: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!  (Read 7387 times)

TW

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Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« on: October 16, 2012, 04:19:05 PM »
http://kenrockwell.com/tech/photography-most-disrespected-art-form.htm


I don't think I could have said it better myself. I know this is a GEAR site, but it always pays to keep things in perspective. Well said, KW.
35+ years of Canon gear...good grief! Still have 2 FTb cameras in working order, too!

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Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« on: October 16, 2012, 04:19:05 PM »

RLPhoto

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2012, 04:31:49 PM »
http://kenrockwell.com/tech/photography-most-disrespected-art-form.htm


I don't think I could have said it better myself. I know this is a GEAR site, but it always pays to keep things in perspective. Well said, KW.


Ken, You've earned some of my respect back. ;D
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bdunbar79

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2012, 11:15:55 PM »
I am still getting tired though, of the "it doesn't matter what camera you have" crap.  Yes it does.  If it didn't you wouldn't see arguments about the lack of features on the 6D, you wouldn't see the D800 threads, and you certainly wouldn't be buying a 1DX.  Why don't we all go buy 20D's, a nifty fifty, have dinner together with candlelight and wine, and then go for an evening walk holding hands?  Afterall, we have all we need!!

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2012, 11:26:09 PM »
I am still getting tired though, of the "it doesn't matter what camera you have" crap.  Yes it does.  If it didn't you wouldn't see arguments about the lack of features on the 6D, you wouldn't see the D800 threads, and you certainly wouldn't be buying a 1DX.  Why don't we all go buy 20D's, a nifty fifty, have dinner together with candlelight and wine, and then go for an evening walk holding hands?  Afterall, we have all we need!!
Given a choice, I'd take a 20D with a good lens versus a 5D MK III and a 35-80mm lens. 
 
A body does make a difference, but not as much as the glass.  The bonus being that for those with a lot of glass, a upgrade to the body gives a boost to all of their glass with relatively little cost.  However, a cell phone camera more and more seems to be used to capture the really newsworthy images and not DSLR's.  Thats simply because they are with so many people all the time.  Just having a camera with you can be better than the best camera at home safely locked in your vault.

RLPhoto

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2012, 11:54:59 PM »
I am still getting tired though, of the "it doesn't matter what camera you have" crap.  Yes it does.  If it didn't you wouldn't see arguments about the lack of features on the 6D, you wouldn't see the D800 threads, and you certainly wouldn't be buying a 1DX.  Why don't we all go buy 20D's, a nifty fifty, have dinner together with candlelight and wine, and then go for an evening walk holding hands?  Afterall, we have all we need!!

But, Its true. Your camera doesn't matter.  ;D
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kennephoto

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2012, 12:38:20 AM »
Isn't there a difference between art and hobby too?  I doubt everyone that holds a camera aims to be considered an artist. Art is sure an odd thing to define these days. I guess I'm just a bit confused by what mr Rockwell was venting about, can't you create better art if you know how to use your tools and having better equipment? Would we have the Mona Lisa if you had only a cave wall and finger paint? Pretty sure you need talent and tools to create art. Maybe photography gets a bad rap because its easy and very accessible to take a photo with today's technology I'm sure there's plenty of people painting things that people may not classify as art but I bet those kindergartener's parents would love their painting! Sure you designed and built a magnificent building but I bet I could take a cool photo of it that would outlast the lifespan of the building. I'd say enjoy what you do and create, I'm sure there's someone that will enjoy what you made and if you want expensive tools to create what you want more power too ya! I love cameras and photography and I hope I have many different cameras, lens, photographs that will be with me till I die!
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sanj

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2012, 01:37:33 AM »
Isn't there a difference between art and hobby too?  I doubt everyone that holds a camera aims to be considered an artist. Art is sure an odd thing to define these days. I guess I'm just a bit confused by what mr Rockwell was venting about, can't you create better art if you know how to use your tools and having better equipment? Would we have the Mona Lisa if you had only a cave wall and finger paint? Pretty sure you need talent and tools to create art. Maybe photography gets a bad rap because its easy and very accessible to take a photo with today's technology I'm sure there's plenty of people painting things that people may not classify as art but I bet those kindergartener's parents would love their painting! Sure you designed and built a magnificent building but I bet I could take a cool photo of it that would outlast the lifespan of the building. I'd say enjoy what you do and create, I'm sure there's someone that will enjoy what you made and if you want expensive tools to create what you want more power too ya! I love cameras and photography and I hope I have many different cameras, lens, photographs that will be with me till I die!

There is lots of truth to what you are saying.

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2012, 01:37:33 AM »

dirtcastle

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2012, 02:13:34 AM »
One of the cool things about photography is that it involves a balance of art and science.

It is perfectly OK to enjoy the technical side of photography and not worry about the artistic merits of your photos. A lot of people assume that we should all try to be better at the artistic side of photography. But that's a bunch of crap. Photography can be whatever you want it to be. :-)

tnargs

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2012, 02:31:35 AM »
Isn't there a difference between art and hobby too?  ...

And an even bigger difference between art and profession!

notapro

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2012, 02:49:44 AM »
Rockwell’s article and the forum comments allude directly or indirectly to the question, “What is photography?”  Is it a hobby?  Is it is a tool used in work (e.g., photojournalism, medicine, law enforcement, etc.)?  Is it purely a means of diversion?  Certainly, these are things photography can be.  For some persons, photographing an object is merely utilitarian (e.g., photographing one’s possessions for insurance purposes).  Accounting exhaustively for photography’s “reason for being” or “use” could be difficult, as the reasons for “doing” photography are myriad.

But Rockwell speaks of photography as art, and it is in that sense that he holds “the camera doesn’t matter “.  Kennephoto, in an earlier reply, raises the issues of context and status, namely, whether children’s paintings in Kindergarten are art, as well as whether any given person with a camera considers herself or himself an artist.  Context and status are crucial to Rockwell’s article.  If one is an artist, then one’s purpose is to create an artwork and to have it displayed or appreciated in an appropriate context (e.g., a gallery, museum, exhibition, or other like setting).  An appropriate context could also include an art class on photography where students and instructors critique the artist’s work according to norms proper and relevant.

Consequently, for photography qua photography, vision–to use Rockwell’s word–is paramount for an artwork or set of artworks (i.e., one’s photographs), and one’s vision (purpose, intent) guides one’s choices in tools, media, and other resources in realizing his or her art.  A camera or other equipment may “matter” to a photographer-as-artist to the extent that the equipment allows a photographer to represent, emote, or otherwise communicate his or her vision.  It seems reasonable to affirm, then, that, *by themselves*, “cameras don’t matter” for photography qua photography.

This is the sense I gather from Rockwell’s piece in connection with “the camera doesn’t matter” issue, and I think it is one that makes for interesting and reflective forum comments.  Rockwell is making reference to photography as art–or at least to moments when photography is done as art–and not to photography in an exclusively extra-artistic context.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 09:46:00 AM by notapro »

pwp

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #10 on: October 17, 2012, 02:56:30 AM »
I am still getting tired though, of the "it doesn't matter what camera you have" crap.  Yes it does.  If it didn't you wouldn't see arguments about the lack of features on the 6D, you wouldn't see the D800 threads, and you certainly wouldn't be buying a 1DX.  Why don't we all go buy 20D's, a nifty fifty, have dinner together with candlelight and wine, and then go for an evening walk holding hands?  After all, we have all we need!!

Maybe, but perhaps over-simplified. Certainly for most commercial work it's important to have high quality body & glass, not to mention the perception issue. I don't think a client would be that thrilled to see you turn up to a job with an S95 or a 20D with a nifty fifty. And sure...why not travel first class?

But there is the dimension to the argument that goes like this. I'd prefer to see an absolute knock-out image that just nails the moment and delivers pure magic ahead of an uninspiring, yet technically perfect image. Look to some of the extraordinary images shot on iPhones or Lomo or Holga, and 20D for that matter. This is also a simplification, but you get the drift. 

I've said it before....content is king.

-PW

dirtcastle

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2012, 03:01:39 AM »
I've said it before....content is king.

I would say context is king, because the perception of content is influenced by context. And context is all about purpose. And this is why we will never come to a consensus on this issue, because we are all responding to Ken's article with different purposes, influenced by our personal contexts.

Aglet

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 03:31:44 AM »
An odd analogy but here's mine:

Cameras are a lot like computers.
You can use them for a multitude of purposes, some of which can be artistic.

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2012, 03:31:44 AM »

verysimplejason

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2012, 04:19:37 AM »
"Content is King".  E.g., Once I participated in a impromptu photo contest with just a fresh 500D and an 18-55mm.  Almost everybody is using a 7D, 5D2 and other highly rated cameras but still I emerged as a 3rd placer.  Even better, 2nd place went to somebody using just an IPHONE.  I'm still a fresh photographer at that time having my camera with me for only 3 months.

What I'm trying to say is in this digital age of ours, the technology gap in-between cameras especially DSLRs are not so pronounced unless you print big pictures or you pixel-peep.  I would not even go to those intentional underexposing/overexposing done just to demonstrate the superiority of one sensor to another.  As any other art, photography is subjective but the content is the real substance that constitutes the beauty of this art.  It's all about your tool but how you use your tool.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 04:22:38 AM by verysimplejason »

koolman

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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 04:32:15 AM »
It seems like photography means different things to different people.

To some, it is an expression of serious art, like painting or sculpting.

However for many of us, it is a much more casual. We walk around and snap interesting pictures. As we get more experience we get better results.

What Rockwell and many others of this following mean by "your camera doesn't matter" translates to "you can express your imagination and creativity with any camera".

It also emulates the reality of today's camera's - where even the entry level of p&s can produce very nice results.

I was in a photo store the other day watching a woman choose photos for development on a photo kiosk. The pictures struck me as very well done. Nice, colors, light, composition, and overall IQ.

I couldn't help but ask what she shot them with.

She showed me a p&s nikon from about 3 years ago!!


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Re: Rockwell knocks one out of the park (no kidding)!
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2012, 04:32:15 AM »