Saturday, February 12, 2011

Your turn #3


It was nice to hear your comments! We'll keep that comment/discussion section as part of the regular lectures. Go ahead!

I'm closing this post Friday, February 18 @ 11pm.

36 comments:

Nessx007 said...

The concept of pictorialism seems to be the roots of our modern day photoshop age, where photographs are not only used in combination with elaborate graphic design, but can no longer be trusted as truthful depictions of reality. To see these early artists experiment with reality through the combination of graphic art and photographs interests me because today, realism means more than just depicting something as it really is; it also means depicting imaginary subjects in ways that appear to be real. We see this in everything from touched-up, air-brushed photos of super models to the increasingly powerful special effects seen in movies. While the early pictorialists were working towards the imitation of popular graphic design styles (similar to how movie directors today, namely Zack Synder, make highly stylized films that imitate comic book visuals), the manipulation of reality in this context is more obvious, serving primarily an artistic vision. The danger today is that our methods are sophisticated enough to manipulate on a very subtle, and therefore less detectable, level. It’s these forms of manipulation that move outside the realm of artistic value, and into the business of deception for less noble purposes. After all, if you’re trying to sell something, and it’s possible to make it look better than it actually is, chances are you’ll jump at the chance. This also highlights the massive significance the invention of photography had on our world, sowing the seeds for the next logical step: film.

-Gabriel

Nicole Ann Collazo said...

One of the issues that I found interesting from last class dealt with the various uses of photography. What I realized was how much of an impact photography had when it came to photojournalism. No longer did stories of war or other disasters have to be illustrated through paintings and drawings. People were now able to use a medium that had many more potentials. For example, between the images we saw of war last class, one illustrated by Winslow Homer and one a photograph by an unknown photographer, the photograph tends to evoke more emotions and brings the viewer closer into the action. The photo represents real people, while the illustration is simply that, a made up drawing based on what had been learned from that particular war. Photography gave a face to people involved in all kinds of situations and in my opinion, is in some cases more interesting and informative, depending on its use, than a drawing.

-Nicole Collazo

Lisa said...

What I found most interesting from our last lecture is the growth of "tabloid" type news. The way that the very first newspapers covered such sensationalistic stories made me think about how far we've come as a society in our presentation of news, but also how much we have remained the same. Many newspapers and magazines exist today with well-researched articles and news that is worthy of sharing with the public. However, it also seems that we haven't entirely matured in this sense, as there are still countless magazines and journals being published that use this "Yellow Journalism" strategy. There still remains a heavy reliance on sensationalist headlines and photographs to grab the reader's attention and encourage them to buy certain publications, such as gossip magazines and exaggerated news articles. According to pbs.org, newspaper owner William Randolph Hearst used dramatic and emotionally driven stories during the Spanish-American war in his New York Journal to appeal to Americans. This is only one example of how news and entertainment publications turn to sensationalism to catch people’s interests, and consequently sell more papers. This leads me to the question: How much of what we read can we truly believe? When everything is written with the ultimate goal of gaining readership and making money, is there anyone really looking out for the knowledge and awareness of society?

-Lisa Trucchio

Ashley said...

The essence of picture making and dramatic improvements resulting in modern photography can be attributed to that of which the daguerreotype equalized society. Before the nineteenth century, only the wealthy had the means to act on the desire to individually commemorate their likeliness. However the daguerreotype provided ordinary people with access to pictures of themselves and their loved ones. For the first time people could make their own visual history through the collection of images which were personalized. It is this unique individualization that allowed everyday people to say, “this is my family, my house, my vacation, and my very own property.” Without this development we would not be where we currently are with printmaking and photography specifically in terms of portraiture. Daguerreotypes brought a fresh uncomplicated sense of ordering and the freedom to document the vernacular, while emphasizing the surface appearance of everyday subject matter. This can be attributed to the lack of European formality, which was not present in America, yet allowed for pictorial space to be arranged in a more informal, intuitive, and naturalistic manner. Although this was only the 1850s its impressive to see how far technological advancements in the camera and picture making have come today in terms of Photoshopping, editing, and printing clarity. It is fair to question in our world today does this manipulation of photography and editing/touching up take away from the realism and equalization, which was once present with a photograph? Being that so much of what we see in magazines and advertising is edited and ultimately changed from the original picture, this leaves one to wonder is photography still serving as a means of equalizing society or rather is it setting an unrealistic expectation for what people are perceived to look like?

- Ashley

Anonymous said...

The movement of Romanticism and how its ideas still permeates our psyche is something that interests me. I see the period of Romanticism as a very positive, reflective and essential movement for Visual arts, Music and literature. Historiography, Education and Natural History where also impacted greatly by the movement . Romanticism was felt again in the late 70’s early 80’s by the punk movement. Today we see Romanticism sold to us in the advertisements we see on television. An example of this could be the way the Military try’s to recruit people or the way’s Technical institutions (Wio Tech or itt tech) portray the jobs once you finish school. Though, I do consider myself a realist, I cannot deny that even I have romanticized tendencies at times, because I am an artist and all artist do.

Thomas Engleman.

Irelis Milhet said...

I find it interesting that as we have been discussing and reading about war photography and the medium used, there is currently a bit of debate amongst photographers about a very similar topic. A recent article in the front page of the New York Times featured pictures by war photographer, Damon Winter, who took the photos using Hipstamatic app on his iPhone.

The NY Times article that the pictures were displayed in:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/22/world/asia/22grunts.html_r=3&scp=1&sq=between%20firefights,%20jokes%20and%20sweat&st=cse

Like the times of the release of Kodak’s first consumer model, and during any time where there is a shift in medium or access to the public, there has been some resistance from photographers.

If you copy and paste the like below, you will see Damon’s response to the criticism. It basically boils down to the old argument of the artwork having more to do with the artist and less with the medium. He also describes how the use of a camera phone (aside from his pro equipment) helped him capture photos that would have otherwise altered the response of his subjects.

http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/finding-the-right-tool-to-tell-a-war-story/?ref=asia

-Irelis Milhet

Anonymous said...

In response to the post above me, I have heard numerous times that the photographer makes the photo, not the camera. I agree with that and Damon’s response to the criticism he receives. Give anyone a camera and then give a great photographer the same camera and there would be no comparison in quality between the layman’s photo and the artists; the artists photo would be much better. To use an example, Paul Nadar’s portraits are outstanding. Even today with our arguably “better” cameras, it would take a true artist to capture the same intensity from people as Paul Nadar did with his subjects. The same can be applied to anything. The equipment artists use does not determine the outcome of the art. A great camera does not mean great photos. The greatest instrument does not make the greatest musician. The greatest oils do not make the greatest painter.

-Eduardo Prieto

Dan Arrojo said...

The innovation of photography and how it relates to graphic design is what most caught my attention during our last class. The deviation away from illustration as representation is no doubt a consequence of the development of photography. Although it did not render it completely obsolete, there is sharp contrast between those works pre and post photography especially in the artists’ intent to render detail in illustration in a realistic manner.

Upon further consideration of this trend, I began thinking of our previous discussion over the book and the development of e-readers in modern times. I believe this to be essentially the same issue. While e-readers won’t kill print outright, it will limit the kinds of materials that do get printed. In essence, if illustration is to photography what printed books are to e-readers, I think that print will be reserved for books that have artistic value or a specialness to them, much like how hand drawn illustration today is not as prolific as photography and is reserved for special occasions. Then again, a hundred years from now there could be a resurgence in the popularity of printed materials, much how the pre-Raphaelites longed for the techniques of the past.

- Dan Arrojo

Anonymous said...

Oh wow, somebody actually brought up the emotionally powerful pictures taken from the iphone. I thought that it was pretty cool, and similar to the the way Apocalypse Now was filmed.

On another note, I found Honore Daumier's caricatures of Garguantua was a very "brave", in a sense, brash attack on King Louis-Phillipe. I find it interesting how images like that is pretty much borderline treason, yet today's political caricatures points out ones fallacies through a few laughs. Nowadays I feel parodies such as those skits done on SNL is the closest thing we have similar to Daumier's works.

Nessx: It's a shame that Snyder did Watchmen into a single part film instead of 2, the movie felt quite rushed compared to the original comics.

Phu N

Anonymous said...

Between this course and another course I’m currently enrolled in (The history of photography), I can’t help but wonder what life would be like WITHOUT photography. Early photographers like Niepce, Daguerre and Talbot are almost like magicians in my mind: they made it possible to instantly “freeze” a moment in time. I was talking with a friend once about time in general, and how once it passes you’ll never get back that moment again. Even the past few seconds I just took writing these sentences are history. Photography is one of the only things that essentially “freezes” time. Photography captures that millisecond of time in a still frame, forever.

To envision life without photography is actually unimaginable to me. I love to travel and I cannot imagine not being able to have tangible photos of such memories. I often wonder things like: What moments I would have completely forgot about? What friends I may have not bonded with? Would the memories I hold of my grandparents still be the same without looking to photos for reference? What would I have been doing with my time instead? Would I have bought the same products with no photographic advertisements? The human memory is not perfect, and pictures help jog it while bringing people together. Photography truly alters everyone’s lives, and most people don’t even realize it today.

-Alexandra Goldman :o)

Diane T said...

One of the fascinating aspects of the turn of the twentieth century was the use of images to create disturbance. Not so much on a level of the individual, as seen today, but more on the level of the masses. The first image of war used as journalism was captivating because of the terror it instilled. No longer were things refined and altered. Crude reality set into a new era when poverty, disease, and war were on the front page. We have continued in this manner and such is evident in the news today. You would be much more likely to hear about a shooting than you would about a lottery winner. This makes one wonder what our society has turned to, or what it will turn to in the future. People have become concerned over the terror present in the world lately, yet there have always been such occurrences. The difference is in having the technology, or design, to project it.

-Diane Trif

Anonymous said...

I thought it was very interesting, looking back at the transition of the encyclopedia through the years. When referring to the first encyclopedia, Encyclopedie, a descriptive dictionary of science. Imagine, then when it wasn’t very accessible for everybody, a stack of heavy books at a very high expense. Today, we live in a world where everything happens so fast, and we constantly keep updating ourselves to the new creations or tendencies, such as navigating through the Internet and networking, we have access to today’s world largest encyclopedia, Wikipedia. Where anyone can submit any kind of content freely accessible, in more than 80 languages. So dynamic, that instead of waiting for the printed encyclopedia to arrive to your home, you have the advantage of typing or searching any new information, and just like that, it’s just a matter of seconds before you find what you are looking for.

Yusmary Cortez

Anonymous said...

The early idea of Pictorialism is particularly interesting to me because it has remained significant to influence photographers to add an element of personal expression to this art form. It appears as though photographers in the early 1900s were not satisfied with being illegitimate artists and wanted to produce photos with more artistic merit. When the camera was invented, it seemed that anybody, not just an artist, had the ability to be a photographer. However, Pictorialism promoted photography as art, and urged photographers to intentionally make their photos emulate other paintings and drawings of that time. This idea of photography as art forced me to begin thinking of the ways that technology has replaced primitive handwork techniques and artistic manipulations. It is amazing to observe how photographers influenced by Pictorialism after 1900 manipulated their photos by hand in the darkroom and experimented with different complex printing processes, while today, that same type of work can be easily achieved through technological advancements (i.e. Photoshop). Pictorialism has had a magnificent influence on photo manipulation. By applying today’s technology, photographers are now able to make an ordinary photograph very unique by the click of a mouse.

Lara Rosenbaum

Alyssa said...

to continue with Irelis' comment about the photographer and his photos from his phone, I think it's a great representation about how art, or maybe just art critics, have not fully yet adapted to the modern age. While I do agree that art is by the artist and not the medium, I can also see where the skepticism from others is arising from. the moment that we start accepting smart phone photos as art, alumni of the profession become offended that what they are doing is no longer a special skill, but an everyday task. Just like the general reaction from photographers when Kodak released their camera. Technology has come a long way, and while art is not prehistoric in any sense, sometimes one can be hesitant to accept change, and I think that for the next couple of years that will hinder what we can create, in the sense of new techniques with new technology, and old techniques that comes with tradition.

Alyssa Alvarez

Derek said...

Addition to Irelis comment about photography, when Kodak came out with the first camera model, it contributed greatly to society. Photography transformed illustration in my eyes along with many others. When comparing the two visuals, one being an illustration of the Civil War, the other a photo, the actual photo truly depicts a true representation of the Civil War, while the illustration captures a moment in time but does not depict the bigger picture. Illustration today is still being used, but is enhanced through technology in order to have an increased appeal. Currently photographers outnumber illustrationist due to the simplified technology and instant gratification. In the past ten years, cameras have become part of society. Phones, iPods, and computers all come with cameras now for the most part. For everybody its just one click away. Techniques of using a camera have become simplified, few use manual focus on a real camera, phones and iPods camera don’t even have that option, Its all auto focused. The old techniques will never be forgotten. The real question is, what are we heading into?

Derek Arfman

Ernesto Ramirez said...

I can’t imagine life without photos. I feel that the concept of photography being art is a way of society expanding their knowledge. The human brain cannot retain all of the memories one desires unless that person is a prodigy of some sort. Through photography people are able to capture memories without the worry of losing them. It is through photography that we as people can see our own evolution through our lives. If it weren’t for photographs I would have absolutely no knowledge of how I looked when I was a kid. Nor would I be able to recall events from the past. Photography is a genuine art form, one that is able to capture a moment in time as a lasting image. How many people in the world will actually ever get to see a great white shark jump out of water. But through photography, everyone can experience that moment once it is captured through the lenses of the photographer.

-Ernesto Ramirez

Anonymous said...

What a great movement pictoralism became. What modernity! The idea that photography needed to emulate a painting. This was art in another forms. Capturing images could fade but now enhancing the images through art was more of a scientific curiosity. This artistic expression using craftsmanship was high art photography. Examples of this approach include combination printing, the use of focus, the manipulation of the negative, and the use of techniques such as gum bichromate, which greatly lessened the detail and produced a more artistic image.

Dalia Rojas Puerto

Nataly G said...

When we spoke about the Encyclopedie, I remembered my family’s collection of world encyclopedias. I still remember using them as a reference for my school projects. In fact, these encyclopedias still occupy our bookshelf, but more as a sort of “antique” decorative item. Another type of encyclopedia I used to have, and still own, is called Wildlife Explorer, a collection of animals around the world. It was a different kind of encyclopedia in the sense that you would subscribe to cards that would be sent to you periodically in the mail. Over time, your binder of animal cards would grow more and more.

As much as I love and use Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias, there is a certain element of discovery and excitement that is lost in the online ones. For example, as a kid doing school projects, I remember enjoying flipping open an encyclopedia, skimming through the glossy pages, and getting distracted with other subjects I stumbled upon. Even today, I can have fun flipping through the vivid pictures in my Wildlife Explorer binders; I encounter a ton of different species that I would never even know how to search for on Wikipedia. However, I recognize that since information changes everyday, online encyclopedias seem like the most efficient way of presenting information.

- Nataly Guevara

melisa_nicole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
melisa_nicole said...

The topic from last class that I found most interesting was the entire evolution of photography. From its beginnings with daguerreotype to how it has become so simple today that most of us take the ability to capture an image with our cellular phones for granted. As with all technology, it just because easier and more commonplace with the passing of time. One of the posts about photography that I most interesting was the Pencil of Nature, particularly with its reference to how this picture was produced in less time than it would have taken someone to write a complete inventory of what was photographed. Furthermore, that person would not have been able to do justice to the intricacies of the decorations on these pieces of china through a written description. Once pictures became more commonplace, however, everyone had the ability to do this. It is also interesting to note that the majority of people are much more visual than they are verbal. That is to say, we respond more to seeing things than we do to reading or hearing them. Pictures can now compliment words in books, newspapers and other mediums making people much more receptive to the message the writer is trying to get across. Seeing is believing, and photography is a large part of what made that possible.

-Melisa Ramos

Anonymous said...

The most interesting thing for me in last weeks class was the camera obscura. I also learned about it photography class as well, and it was extremely fascinating. The fact that you can turn a whole room into a camera is incredible. I actually made a camera obscura image with my photography class in the beginning of the semester. It was unbelievable to have all of the lights off, then unplug the hole for the camera obscura and see an image of the parking lot be projected upside down on the white walls of the room. During the Renaissance, artists projected the images on walls and then would trace them, but in my class we just used photo paper.

The whole idea of the camera obscura reminds me of how people used to place objects (such as leaves) on photo paper outside, in the sunlight for a few days, and see the results a few days later, almost like photograms.

- Megan Jacobson

Laura Greenberg said...

It was only a small part of class, but one of the things that most interested me was Owen Jones' book "The Grammar of Ornament", published in 1856. Maybe it's because we talked about encyclopedia's during the same class, but "The Grammar of Ornament" seemed to be almost the designer's equivalent. I was wondering if this was the first time in history that something like ornamentation was documented from all over the world by one person and bound in a single publication? I like the idea of the collection since it spread ideas across cultures and exposed people to new things, especially because Jones had pictures as well as general background information about each subject. However, given that it features a lot of Islamic designs which are highly symbolic, I imagine that the symbolism would have been lost on most people using the designs. These are designs that have been used meaningfully for centuries in Islamic art and architecture and it is a shame that they would eventually be bastardized into a wallpaper design for some rich family from an entirely different part of the world that knew nothing about the original meaning. It is wonderful that people got to be exposed to foreign ornamentation, but sad that the book could be turned into a sort of shopping gallery for people to copy/paste designs from.

Carolina said...

I agree with Ernesto, I could not imagine life without photos. With the amount of memories that we make in a lifetime, there is absolutely no way that we would be able to remember them all without the help of photographs. My boyfriend always asks me why I always want to take pictures, he says that we have our memories; but eventually we will not be able to remember every single little memory or special moment. Photographs are not only a useful tool for our personal lives but as well as documenting historical things, things in nature, political movements, etc. Some things happen to quickly and aren’t able to be captured by a painting or a drawing and that is where the art of photography is just great. We can capture something at an instant; children’s baseball games, recitals, graduation, wedding, the winner of the dog race, etc. Photography has definitely been a positive advancement in society.

"Most things in life are moments of pleasure and a lifetime of embarrassment; photography is a moment of embarrassment and a lifetime of pleasure." - Politician, Tony Benn.

-Carolina Fernandez

Kate Festa said...

To comment about another student's post about the presence of photography in our lives and how different our lives would be without it, I will start by noting the amount of photographs we see in a day. Like I was taught in my advertising classes, that the average person sees near 3000 ads per day, I can only imagine the number of mere photographs one sees in a day. They are everywhere- we take them on our cameras and phones, we see them in magazines and newspapers, we see them while driving, while walking, while sitting... we are taught by looking at them. Visuals are an imperative part of our lives, whether it be emotionally, mentally, educationally or a vast range of other reasons of why we take them... and without photography, we as a society and as individuals would not be where we are today. Photographs allow us to remember, document, and show others anything we wish to, and it's extremely strange to think that we once did not have access to such a privilege.

Andrea said...

As we all know, before the advent of photography, paintings and hand drawings were the medium through which artists showed the world what was going on in their heads. Paintings gave the option of depicting reality i.e. sitting for a portrait or depicting fantasy i.e. Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights”. Paintings in a way could fool anyone, and by this I mean that even an action that didn’t necessarily take place in real life could be painted as a believable scene as long as its elements were within the humanly possible.

Photography, however, didn’t allow this flexibility, at least not until Photoshop. Every single scene that is photographed is actually happening in reality; Even if it’s a posed photograph, the resulting image that shows models posing is of models actually posing. There is no opportunity to photograph the future, but you can paint what you think the future holds. This “constrain” to reality may be seen as a flaw in photography by some, but to me it is what makes photography so special. There are many ways of getting creative with the physical world and not having to rely on fantasy, and I believe Photoshop is taking away this unique characteristic. Even though it comes in handy for certain professions I don’t think it should be used to tamper with the existing. Being an architecture major I am aware of the program’s extensive use in the field, and I hope if I’m to use it that it is for the purpose of embellishing an image pre-construction, not once the building exists in the world because that would be cheating the public.

Alyssa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alyssa said...

The ability of information to be circulated efficiently to the masses was and is still revolutionary. The, for lack of a better word, invention of the magazine led to the ability of the commoners, middle class and the like to have access to knowledge that was once only accessible by the wealthy. This led to a more educated public, more advancements in politics, and more technological advancements. Magazines had a strong ability to influence the masses due to their bold, eye-catching graphics. The practice of circulating information through artistic means was the stepping stone to the forms of mass media we know and abuse today; myspace; youtube; facebook; blogspot; twitter. Today, with a few clicks of the mouse, millions of people can view a video of your dog chasing its tail or how you ate a hot dog for dinner. While mass media did once provide the public with a means of education, information is so dulled down due to over simplification and overuse of visual stimuli. So, while media once helped the public, today, the media hinders the one's ability to think for one's self.
Alyssa Perkins Schelbert

Micole said...

I was really impressed with how the early typographers influences so many styles of fonts. William Caslon had a lot of clarity, elegance and proportion, and it really amused me how his style could influences two different styles of fonts, transitional and modern type. Caslon influences Baskerville who used his types and adapted them. Caslon also influenced Bodoni and Didot. It is really amazing how these people really took the time to study how to make this fonts, and they put a lot of effort into it and into the different styles. Back in the days, this was a major job that only the finest could do. Now a days it is easier to create fonts, there are lots of programs that help you create the fonts, and there are websites like dafont.com that are full of different fonts that designer upload. What is really amazing is that most of the fonts that we see in the internet are somehow influenced by these early typographers either in the style or the thickness of the font. Before creating a font was for the best, now a days you cannot be considered a great designer without creating your own font.
Micole Alkabes

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