because of questions asked me after my post on the Meltdown , I’ve put together some notes on why people stay, or why they leave.
After the fight, who gets back onto their barstool, to talk about shoe-laces, lens makers, plastics adhesives, dilutions, destinations after their job closes. Who are these inveterate photographers, dedicated to talking about only photography – well aren’t these the topics of photographers? They are in the Land of Large Format Photographers.
Who Stays Anyway
The Hall Monitors
Why do Garret, Sal, Randy, Kirk .. stay -simple: they aren’t offended. In fact, they voice weak interest in the topic, only becoming upset when their (Gittings) self sanctioned art house is proclaimed, quite honestly, not a place of art. But that only applies to Kirk Gittings, the others have no argument with what is done. They may even think more discipline is needed.
Kirk has used the forum for career advice, website advice, complaints about pricing, hell just about anything. He has even accepted, and explained the reason that discussion beyond lens and film is a problem with the Large Format Forum. Wonder how his students like learning from a Batch Teacher.. someone who soups so infrequently that he comes to the forum to get an update on procedures.
The vast majority are simply unknowing. They don’t know what photography could be, or is to large chunks of the art world. They don’t know because they don’t come across it. They came across this site (LFPF) because they have a buying, or technical question. Something of general interest. Presto, that is what the Google does well. Route easy questions to a common point.
Who Stays & what do they call art?
This exchange between a long timer and new entrant will clarify the mindset of the STAYS.
The exchange is over a Landscape thread- one of the longer threads on LFPF, between Corran (screen name for Bryan Garris [ web ]
The highlighted phrases demonstrate the restrictions these people place on, not just themselves, but on everyone else. These limits, these boundaries are limitations of their working aesthetic. They limit, not just the preferred subject, but its mode of rendering. The ‘INTERESTING THING’ should be “beautiful light or textured sky,” or quite unhelpfully: “something else.” As long as it meets the expectation of the other devoted weekend photographer.
The triggering phrase that fomented the exchange “I would not waste film.” can only trigger someone who trusts the statement enough to give it more value than his own internal aesthetic. “Corran” seems the insecure stay behind, not trusting his own ability, saying (for explanation) “I am learning a new place.” — must mean that photographs must be made of places you’ve known. Again, this is reading the world from a vary limited visual vocabulary. Sadly, Corran was one of the supporters of the DOOMED THREAD of Richard Man. He commented enthusiastically in favor of it, as well as condemning the heavy handed Oren Grad, et. al. for chopping it off,along with terminating the threads of dissent.
This is a form of the weakest stays. They protest, but not enough, not in a way that matters, because they have no other way of satisfying their need. Sadder still, they don’t know enough to understand what they need. Saddest of all, they may be teachers!
This is the bulk of those who stay. They are dependent, unable to work on their own, therefore, no matter how much battering, bickering, bluff, or bullshit comes their way, they must stay. This is the great 85%
The Stays, Stay to Quilt, calling memorabilia photography.. the people who wanted to discuss and grow in understanding photography just quit.
What’s The Matter
Photography draws fine distinctions between its practitioners. A place that can’t permit those who would develop their range of possibilities isn’t a place that should be of interest to people with growth potential. If you want to grow your artistic practice in photography, do it with better people than the stay behinds at such places as LARGE FORMAT PHOTOGRAPHY FORUM.
NB: Organic Turns, Quits, or escape should be 5-15% …