“I’m starting to wonder if the problem isn’t too much mediocrity, but too many expert photographers. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities. In the expert’s mind there are few. Not to say that mastery should lead to mediocrity, but the similarity of many expert photographers is troubling. Perfection should be the enemy. Most photographers treat is as their best friend. This is the charm of found/anonymous photos, which are often better than anything a pro would shoot.”—Quote form Blake Andrews via OpEd: The Photography Surplus | la pura vida
“Urgently seeking people between the ages of 25-45 who have a photo of a special moment in their lives that was ruined by a low lighting or night lighting situation. The photo’s should either blurry, grainy or have light streaks . The moment should have an interesting back story that describes why it was such an important “lost” moment for you. It can be anything that is a once in a lifetime moment or situation that you wanted documented. This is for a National Television Commercial.”—Bad Photo/Good Story
“In his chapter “Redeeming Our Devils and Demons” in the book Meeting the Shadow, Stephen A. Diamond, PhD says that when we bravely give voice to our inner “demons” — “symbolizing those tendencies in us that we most fear, flee from, and hence, are obsessed or haunted by — we transmute them into helpful allies, in the form of newly liberated, life-giving psychic energy, for use in constructive activity.
During this process, we come to discover the paradox that many artists perceive: That which we had previously run from and rejected turns out to be the redemptive source of vitality, creativity, and authentic spirituality.”
“But his story and many more like it are becoming increasingly common as authorities seek — often against their own stated regulations — to smother photography in public places under the blanket of “security”; a rubric that exempts them from explaining how it is that pictures of cityscapes and landmarks that have been photographed thousands of times before are so threatening that they must be prohibited.”—‘Step Away From the Camera!’ - Lens Blog - NYTimes.com
“As Franco adds layer upon layer, wink upon wink—as he slides further along the continuum from Gyllenhaal to Warhol—his entire career is beginning to look less like an actual career than like some kind of gonzo performance piece: a high-concept parody of cultural ambition. He’s become a node of pop-cultural curiosity in roughly the same universe as Lady Gaga. Blogs report Franco’s texting habits at parties and spread bizarre secondhand rumors about his film shoots. (“Franco is in a wheelchair, with a blanket over his legs like FDR, and a camcorder in his hand …”) There are YouTube tributes that splice together all his onscreen kisses, a Tumblr account that publishes daily pictures of him, and even an online interactive James Franco dress-up doll. It’s hard to imagine this is all accidental: It seems like the work of a virtuoso public-image artist. And yet Franco plays the role, fairly convincingly, of the earnest boy just following his interests. (It’s worth noting that, although the web is obsessed with him, he maintains zero web presence—no Twitter account, no blog.) In interviews he’s charming and affable but rarely says anything provocative. His work itself, his career choices, are more interesting than his words.”—Is James Franco For Real? — New York Magazine
“He doesn’t drink or smoke or—despite his convincingness in Pineapple Express—do drugs. He’s engineered his life so he can spend all his time either making or learning about art. When I asked people if Franco actually does all of his own homework, some of them literally laughed right out loud at me, because apparently homework is all James Franco ever really wants to do. The photo of him sleeping in class, according to his assistant, wasn’t even from one of his classes: It was an extra lecture he was sitting in on, after a full day of work and school, because he wanted to hear the speaker.”—Is James Franco For Real? — New York Magazine
That reality, of course, is shared with other people, and Tillmans told Influence magazine in 2004 that he liked the fact that photographs join him to the world and connect him with others. “I can get in touch with somebody when they recognise the feeling, ‘Oh, I felt like that before, I remember jeans hanging on the banister, even though I’ve never seen that exact pair’,” he said.
“It’s this universality that interests me, how this individual’s experience relates to a shared universal experience,” he adds, a position not a million miles away from Kant’s Critique of Judgement, which argues that each individual, subjective response is universally shared by all.
“When you realize that you have been with these women and you have left them and broken their hearts — and look, let’s be real here. I don’t own an apartment. I don’t own a house. I don’t own a car. I don’t have any stocks and bonds. All I own are my cameras. That’s it. And some cowboy boots. If you want to be a success financially, please don’t follow this path.”—Stanley Greene’s Redemption and Revenge - Lens Blog - NYTimes.com
“He was a great photographer. He was a humanitarian. But he also had a lot of demons. He did drugs — he did a lot of drugs — and he drank and he was obsessed. I understand obsession. And Gene became obsessed. The greatest story is when the person who took care of his house, Hattie, came to the city to tell him to try and get some money because she was supporting his family in upstate New York. She had to come down. Gene was just so consumed with looking for his vision and printing and everything, he totally ignored his whole family, to the point that Gene went nuts.”—Stanley Greene on Eugene Smith via Stanley Greene’s Redemption and Revenge - Lens Blog - NYTimes.com
In the Previous Era, there were maybe 100-200 world-renowned photographers that every curator, editor, etc was aware of. With the ability to look at so many bodies of work, you can multiply the old number by 5 or 10. The resistance is probably that people are uncomfortable accepting the “unknown unknown” as … standard operating procedure.
On Flickr, there might not be a higher percentage of great photographers than before flickr – but there are at least 1,000 photographers that have 5 or 10 excellent to great photos in their stream.
Even if you limited yourself to the 100-200 famous photographers of the Previous Era, with access to the archives of museums and libraries, you can find photographs that were not published or widely seen. The stuff that curators and editors (or even the photographers themselves) from that era thought was the “mediocre” outtakes now may be more interesting.
“But a guy devoting his creative life to art photography? With no immediate recognition or reward? No one has the foggiest clue how to approach that. They know I carry a camera. On some level they know I’m involved in that life, consumed even. But my daily routine and activities are beyond comprehension, beyond curiosity even. I may as well be painting rocks in the driveway or tossing grass seed from an overpass. Just as productive. What’s there to talk about? - Blake Andrews”—B: Continental drift