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Anna Pagnacco
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 12:59 pm    Post subject: Anna Pagnacco Reply with quote

my tongue hangs out to dry
and my eyes bulge in admiration
a twinge of jealousy and awe
at the far distances revealed
this chick can do photography!

www.pbase.com/annapagnacco/in_my_mind

www.flickr.com/photos/anpagnac_1/


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just looked at her carnival galleries, because carnival is one of my main subjects... for me, they're cold and lifeless. Carnival is the feast of life and she took all of it away.

My verdict is a bit hard, I know, but it's easier to impress when you make use of all the technologies of the computer graphics software for graphical elaboration in neo-romantic washes of overlays and pixel fogs... but when you have to do out in the world with the camera alone, it's there that you see how far a photographer can run on her/his own legs...


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Orio for that, I see what you are saying and agree. Many of her images can have that quality that shouts "STYLE" - in a commercial image sort of way - over what's really being photographed.

Still, I have to admire her technique.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Her landscape photos in the "lensmodern" gallery http://www.lensmodern.com/gallery_image.php?id=93&col=349 are better in general than those in flickr -i don't know if they've been uploaded to flickr as well. Also, they're not over-processed like many in flickr.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's full of overused standard subjects, like the Burano houses reflections in the water - I have seen this same photo taken a thousands of times.
Same for the two fiancs walking under the umbrella on the Seine quai. I have seen it a thousands of times.
I don't know, she looks to me like one of many. I can not find anything special in these landsdcapes - nothing that makes me say "wow, she has a personality" or originality. She basically redoes successful photos already made by others.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... actually I have mixed feeling about her.

I think most of her shots would be better if not so overprocessed but they have a good basic quality. She knows how to shoot.

Yep, some of her shots are topics, but in art this is pretty common, otherway you'd just have to throw away 99% of the masterworks of the past because they have similar subjects. The good artist is the one who makes look fresh and new a well known topic.

Still she choosed a way that isn't so much her style but more what the average flickr viewer want to see: colors, saturation and cheap effects. Her images aren't very commercially viable, if you intend the normal commercial channels like stock images agencies, because they can't be used. For sure she could have a small niche of art prints for the average viewer, but I doubt any art gallery would promote her work.
When she choosed to use B&W you can clearly see that those images are miles ahed in terms of photographic quality. She should insist on that.

I also don't agree with the myth of a camera and the man alone, no good photographer let his images alone, with film they learnt darkroom methods, with digital they use computers. The results are what make an image a piece of art or rubbish, not the infactual myths.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A G Photography wrote:
The good artist is the one who makes look fresh and new a well known topic.


And she does not. In my opinion. She makes them look as standard as standard can get.

If I had the time to go through past issues of photo magazines, I am sure I would be able to crop a hundred of identical Burano reflections photos. I mean any amateur photographer with a camera that goes to Venice has done the exactly same photo, and she did not make even a ounce of effort to make it different from the hundreds if not thousands who made this same photo before.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A G Photography wrote:

I also don't agree with the myth of a camera and the man alone, no good photographer let his images alone, with film they learnt darkroom methods, with digital they use computers. The results are what make an image a piece of art or rubbish, not the infactual myths.


I just said that when a photographer has to make a photo that works using only a camera and without relying on the CG softwares possibilities (which are NOT the equivalent of the darkroom, they go much farther), you can see well if there is raw potential in the eye mind and heart of the photographer.

Then of course if you are good at Photoshop you can make great work and become a professional and blah blah blah
I use Photoshop every day for my work and I know well.

But I find more interesting to see what a photographer can do when he can rely only on his eyes and a camera, no bull crap.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
A G Photography wrote:
The good artist is the one who makes look fresh and new a well known topic.


And she does not. In my opinion. She makes them look as standard as standard can get.



Yep I agree on those ones. They're terrible.

Her portraits aren't that bad though (when she didn't overuse PS) neither are some other architectural shots.

Nothing to scream about a miracle though Wink


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:

But I find more interesting to see what a photographer can do when he can rely only on his eyes and a camera, no bull crap.


Use a pinhole camera then Laughing

Seriously this is a myth, take whatever great photographer he used darkroom at its very limits and if the limits are now wider he would go even further driven by his artistic sensibility. If the last one is bull crap then the results are bull crap otherway you can get artists from Man Ray to David La Chapelle.


Last edited by A G Photography on Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:19 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ansel Adams: "I eagerly await new concepts and processes. I believe that the electronic image will be the next major advance. Such systems will have their own inherent and inescapable characteristics, and the artist and functional pratcitioner will again strive to comprehend and control them."


I'm enjoying this discussion tremendously, and learning a lot.

I left the reaction in, as I found this in something I'd posted two years ago, and it is mainly in relation to her ps work in that pbase gallery - and is the kind of manipulation I've worked with.

I find that whatever the visual interest or meaning within her work, her technique is pretty damn good. But I do get that same feeling as Orio, there's a bunch of surface and slogan, of a type of post modernist mode, that distances me emotionally from much of her work.


PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nesster wrote:
I find that whatever the visual interest or meaning within her work, her technique is pretty damn good. But I do get that same feeling as Orio, there's a bunch of surface and slogan, of a type of post modernist mode, that distances me emotionally from much of her work.


And not because it's "modernist" but because it's basically crap, nomatter how much photographic or photoshopping tecnique was involved.
I insist, if she'd stay on B&W and basically portraits her work would be a lot more interesting.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A G Photography wrote:

Use a pinhole camera then Laughing
Seriously this is a myth, take whatever great photographer he used darkroom at its very limits and if the limits are now wider he would go even further driven by his artistic sensibility. If the last one is bull crap then the results are bull crap otherway you can get artists from Man Ray to David La Chapelle.


Alessandro:
first, you keep misunderstanding. I am not speaking of level of quality of finished work. I am saying that to work with a camera and eye only, forces a photographer to take the most of the basic elements of photography, which are LIGHT, SUBJECT, FRAMING, and to do something creative with them. THere, you can really see the difference between a creative eye, and an eye that is not creative.
A photo processed through heavy photoshop manipulations, is like to listen to an orchestra: you have a mass of instruments, and it's difficult to tell if violin #3 is a better or worse musician than violin #4.
But when they play a solo violin sonata, you can see clearly what kind of talent each musician has.
This is what my comment was meant for.

About every photographer doing extreme work in the darkroom, this is just not true. It depends on the photographer. There are photographers like Ansel Adams for which what you say is true. And there are photographers like Cartier Bresson for which what you say is not true.
To quote Cartier-Bresson himself:

Quote:
"The photograph is good or not from the moment it was caught in the camera"


I think this really leaves no space to other speculation.

It is not good or bad or best or worse. It's just that for Cartier Bresson photography was a different thing than it was for Ansel Adams. You lean towards a concept of photography that involves a lot of postwork to create an image that is in your mind, I lean towards Cartier Bresson's ideal of photography as a direct immediate (in the meaning of non-mediated) reflex/reflection to reality.

It's no problem, but it's important to avoid "absolutizations" like what you said about the darkroom, because there are artists that use photography just as a starting point (or raw matter if you prefer) to be elaborated with other non photographic tools in order to reach a final goal that is not the photograph they took, but something different - and there are photographers with a vision of photography such that they see in the darkroom only a way to get the shot developed correctly, and that do not seek to alter their photos because they feel that their creative potential is already in the shot itself, and that postwork would distance their photos from the truth of the moment they lived and captured, something that they do not want (something that I don't want, for instance).


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jumping in where I do not belong, having the mind of an engineer who has no business talking art - which is something like having a vaccum cleaner making a comment to a butterfly -

Adams was after capturing something the eye (the mind in fact) could see, but photography could only render imperfectly. The darkroom work was all about perfecting the image to more closely realize a persons observation of nature.

This struck me most strongly when I was looking into the immense gorge of the Tuolumne, and I knew that I lacked both the equipment and skill to capture that as an image.

As for these Pagnacco images - there obviously is a lot of skill and labor here, but the emotional impact across everything is just a downer, depressing. Her stuff just doesn't make me happy.


PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:

To quote Cartier-Bresson himself:

Quote:
"The photograph is good or not from the moment it was caught in the camera"


I think this really leaves no space to other speculation.

...they feel that their creative potential is already in the shot itself, and that postwork would distance their photos from the truth of the moment they lived and captured, something that they do not want (something that I don't want, for instance).


I completly agree with HCB because there's no postproduction that can salvage a bad shot. You can improve a good shot, just like knowning how to develop film with the various variations of the process could improve contrast, colors, sharpness etc (and I'd bet HCB known all of it and use it to make his shots looking better). Of course there are artists whose vision need further post processing, like Man Ray. But this is not betraying the truth of the moment because this truth simply doesn't exist, this is another myth. There's the truth of the artist vision, just like in every other art.
Just as an example: one of my best shots is a violinist playing in a public park. I didn't make a lot of postprocessing on the image, just converted to B&W (it was digital), some burning of the background and a level adjustment, usual stuff.

Well, I can say that this musician was terrible at playing, was basically a beggar with an asshole attitude (he threatened a friend of mine asking for money) and his main interest was the beer bottles that stayed near to him (but out of the frame). So where is the truth?


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A G Photography wrote:

I completly agree with HCB because there's no postproduction that can salvage a bad shot. You can improve a good shot,


This is not what HCB meant. You took his sentence (a theoretical, I would say philosophical sentence) and used it in another context (a merely procedural context) , and no wonder you completely agree, because you agree to what you think, not what HCB used to think.

A G Photography wrote:
But this is not betraying the truth of the moment because this truth simply doesn't exist, this is another myth. There's the truth of the artist vision, just like in every other art.


This is your opinion. For me when you take the picture of a sunny landscape and by use of Photoshop you make it look like the final hour of the Apocalypse, you are betraying the truth of that moment. Of course you are free to do it, but this is another story. For me, photography is one thing, pixellography is another. Maximum respect for the great photoshop artists, but that is not photography anymore, that is something different. It's computer graphics, basically, where photography is used like an ingredient to a larger recipe.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A G Photography wrote:

Just as an example: one of my best shots is a violinist playing in a public park. I didn't make a lot of postprocessing on the image, just converted to B&W (it was digital), some burning of the background and a level adjustment, usual stuff.
Well, I can say that this musician was terrible at playing, was basically a beggar with an asshole attitude (he threatened a friend of mine asking for money) and his main interest was the beer bottles that stayed near to him (but out of the frame). So where is the truth?


If you took a non sincere photograph, don't blame that on Photography: blame it on yourself.

_


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:
A G Photography wrote:

Just as an example: one of my best shots is a violinist playing in a public park. I didn't make a lot of postprocessing on the image, just converted to B&W (it was digital), some burning of the background and a level adjustment, usual stuff.
Well, I can say that this musician was terrible at playing, was basically a beggar with an asshole attitude (he threatened a friend of mine asking for money) and his main interest was the beer bottles that stayed near to him (but out of the frame). So where is the truth?


If you took a non sincere photograph, don't blame that on Photography: blame it on yourself.

_


Next time I'll shot just Uto Ughi to make you happy.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And to make things clearer I don't claim that shot is photojournalism.
You have clearly some confusion into what photography is.

It's just like that is if you read a romance you argue that it's not realistic and objective.

I won't discuss anymore with you on these points. It's just like talking with priests about s e x. Myths and absolutes, It's no fun neither useful.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A G Photography wrote:
Orio wrote:
A G Photography wrote:

Just as an example: one of my best shots is a violinist playing in a public park. I didn't make a lot of postprocessing on the image, just converted to B&W (it was digital), some burning of the background and a level adjustment, usual stuff.
Well, I can say that this musician was terrible at playing, was basically a beggar with an asshole attitude (he threatened a friend of mine asking for money) and his main interest was the beer bottles that stayed near to him (but out of the frame). So where is the truth?


If you took a non sincere photograph, don't blame that on Photography: blame it on yourself.

_


Next time I'll shot just Uto Ughi to make you happy.


You are missing the point. Photography is made of choices. You could choose to make a sincere photograph, and show that man for what it is. Show the beer bottles, show what was real about him. Show his ugliness.

Instead, you choosed to aesthetize it. You choosed a point of view where the bottles weren't visible (or erased them with Photoshop, it's the same), you modified the background to make the subject stand out in a glorious light... you basically choosed to reproduce the romantic clich of the lonely player in the park blessed by the sunlight.
You aesthetized your subject, you put make up over it.

Now, I love Cosmin's work, and you also say you do - you say you would like to steal his eyes - but it's difficult to understand you when you say so, because you are doing exactly the opposite of what he does. Cosmin does not aesthetize the reality: he photographs the things the way they are.
Cosmin does not clone out the cigarettes left on the ground, he does not hide the beer bottles when they are there, he does not "enhance" background or subject with photoshop brushes... he has a very straight "rgard" on the reality. He does not hide something from what he has in front of him because he thinks it's not aesthetically beautiful or conforming to an aesthetical ideal. He does not embellish the reality or put make up over it to make it look different from what it is. And his straightness of vision is his force. This is why his street photos are strong, and your violin player photo is weak. In my humble opinion, of course.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Read it again, evidently it's not clear:

"And to make things clearer I don't claim that shot is photojournalism.
You have clearly some confusion into what photography is.

It's just like that is if you read a romance you argue that it's not realistic and objective."

You won't have any other answer, told you. It's pointless.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What an interesting discussion...

I must admit I am not a fan of Anna Pagnacco, I saw her work on Flickr a while back, but there you go.

My take on this is that I dispute the fact that a photograph can be any kind of truthful record of an event or situation - there are too many choices. From the decision to make a photograph (or not - itself a choice) to the production of an image there are any number of decisions, each of which has a profound influence on the final image. The type of film or digital camera, the angle of view, the position of view, what to include and what not to, and so on. Some photographs might appear to contain a more realistic image than others, but nowhere contained in any photograph is any kind of absolute truth, how could there be?

To take a photograph you must make a number of these decisions. To look at any photograph is to view a highly individual and subjectified object, the product of a large number of personal creative decisions.

I personally feel that the decision to use or not use certain tools of creativity such as burning, dodging, red filters, wide angle lenses, photoshop (not burning, not dodging no red filter, no wide angle lens. no photoshop) is purely a matter of taste therefore and not one of philosophical purity.

I am sure my pics are far too Photoshopped for many people, but I don't mind at all - it is pure creative thrill and fun for me and that is why I do it (instead of what I am supposed to be doing a lot of the time!!)


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A G Photography wrote:
Read it again, evidently it's not clear:
"And to make things clearer I don't claim that shot is photojournalism.
You have clearly some confusion into what photography is.
It's just like that is if you read a romance you argue that it's not realistic and objective."
You won't have any other answer, told you. It's pointless.


I will avoid to reply about your rude manners.

About the content, I have to repeat, that just because you choosed to fake a subject, this does not mean that all photography is about faking subjects.

When you took that photo, you choosed to tell a lie - you say that you wanted to make a "romance" and make an imagery of invention - that's ok for me (although it feels like postcard) but then why pretend that it is impossible to make a straight photo instead?

Your photo is technically good but that is as far as I can appreciate it. As a street photo/snapshot (what you despisedly and wrongly call "photojournalism"), it lacks strenght, because you made it "lech" and pretty, instead of making it honest.
As a romantic photo, which -based on your statements- is apparently what you wanted to make, it looks clich to me. Sorry.

As for the photojournalism, I have to remind you that realism is far more than photojournalism - it is an artistic genre. And a very old one at that - much older than newspapers.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orio wrote:

I will avoid to reply about your rude manners.

About the content, I have to repeat, that just because you choosed to fake a subject, this does not mean that all photography is about faking subjects.

When you took that photo, you choosed to tell a lie - you say that you wanted to make a "romance" and make an imagery of invention - that's ok for me (although it feels like postcard) but then why pretend that it is impossible to make a straight photo instead?

Your photo is technically good but that is as far as I can appreciate it. As a street photo/snapshot (what you despisedly and wrongly call "photojournalism"), it lacks strenght, because you made it "lech" and pretty, instead of making it honest.
As a romantic photo, which -based on your statements- is apparently what you wanted to make, it looks clich to me. Sorry.



Yep it looked so much clich and fake and weak that when I proposed it into this thread
http://forum.mflenses.com/best-3-photo-taken-by-you-t5857,start,15.html your comment was:

Orio wrote:
I love #1 and # 3, Alessandro.
Congratulations!


This was the #1.

So you know why I'm rude. Because you're talking just using prejudices, as I told you before, just like priests with s e x.

This is the main reason I won't talk you anymore about this stuff. it's unuseful. It's like talking with a religious fanatic.

P.S.: I'm eagerly waiting your WeeGee and HCB style shots.


PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A G Photography wrote:

Yep it looked so much clich and fake and weak that when I proposed it into this thread
http://forum.mflenses.com/best-3-photo-taken-by-you-t5857,start,15.html your comment was:

Orio wrote:
I love #1 and # 3, Alessandro.
Congratulations!


This was the #1.


So what? Technically is a good photo. I appreciated that aspect.

Quote:
So you know why I'm rude.


This is not a good reason for being rude.

Quote:

Because you're talking just using prejudices, as I told you before, just like priests with s e x.
This is the main reason I won't talk you anymore about this stuff. it's unuseful. It's like talking with a religious fanatic.


Then why you keep replying to me?

Quote:
P.S.: I'm eagerly waiting your WeeGee and HCB style shots.


How pathetic. You act like a block braggart kid "show me your knife you chicken" and things like that.

Well, first, maybe you think that doing photograph means to follow someone's style - I don't. I may be the less worth of photographers on the earth but at least I do it MY way. I don't copy anyone, I don't copy photos from the magazines, and things like that. I don't go for a "style" - I am content with just being my self.

And I surely never pretended to be a great and not even a good photographer. I don't have the ambition of becoming a professional, as you have. My aim is not to build my portfolio, as you do. I am only a hobbyist.

I just photograph the things I like in the way that suits me best. I do it without any pretention of being any good. The only merit that I see in what I do is that I do it honestly - I don't masquerade to pretend to be a great photographer or to follow in any great master's steps.

One final note, since your aim is to become a professional, you should accept criticism better. Criticism is what makes artists better.