Monday, March 1, 2010

The Idea of Farmhouse: Of the Land

JOHN ALVIN:"The proverbial blank canvas is the very mirror of stark raving terror. Many think that a profession in the arts is not very risky or dangerous. They are profoundly wrong. Gambling your very reputation and the full measure of your profession every time you stare into the empty void of a unused canvas, you are taking an emotional and psychological risk that is easily equivalent to the world's most dangerous and demanding professions. Anyone thinking the contrary should try to subsist on their own artistic skills and survive. Not so easy or casual. It is dangerous to the soul. It is risky to the heart. It is an extraordinary demand and challenge and yet it is the very core of what we aspire to as artists."

PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: David Pogue's question (Personal Tech: Photoshop and Photography: When Is It Real?): What is photography, "if you don’t have to worry about composition and timing, because you can always combine several photos or move things around later in Photoshop?" suggests another question: Is photography in some sense a performance medium, like playing the violin or ice skating; we admire the photographer's virtuosity with her camera?

Of course David Pogue's most important point was not about how technology changed pictures but how it has changed reality. Fortunately, I don't have to worry about objective reality. My aim is to try and portray subjective reality. The news photographer quickly worries, "How much manipulation is too much manipulation?" For me there's a different challenge: Because technology enables me to do anything, I must be sure I choose to do something. Technology has made the canvas completely blank.