O Fotografii

wtorek, 18 września 2007

O "Kodaku"

In 1890 when I returned to America I found that photography as I understood it hardly existed; that an instrument had been put on the market shortly before called the "Kodak" and that the slogan sent out to advertisers read, "You press the button and we do the rest." The idea sickened me.
There was the shooting away at random, taking the chance of getting something. To me it seemed rotten sportsmanship. I had been brought up with the idea of the tripod and awaiting one's moment to do what one willed to do.
I had walked day in and day out for months through the Tyrol and Switzerland and upper Italy with thirty pounds of camera and 18-by-24 centimeters plates on my back. Before I had ventured to expose a plate I had to feel sure that I'd get a result. There was nothing haphazard about it.
So the "Kodak" and all it represented did not tempt me. As a matter of fact, I was very unhappy in my own country. My yearning for Europe was constant.

Alfred Stieglitz - "Twice a Year I (Fall-Winter 1938)"
Zdjęcie: Berlin, Styczeń 2007


wtorek, 11 września 2007

O f.64

Fascinating material to work with, the maguey, the organ cactus in their stark severity; not easy to isolate however, and so, after two hours wrestling with my problem, the boy suggested fresh pulque which idea appealed. Five centavos worth each and we were refreshed with this agreeable mild intoxicant. So I once more attacked the maguey to honor the plant from which is fermented pulque, the plant and beverage so typical of this plateau.
Sharper and sharper I stopped down my lens, the limit of my diaphragm, f.32, was not enough so I cut a smaller hole from black paper. How ridiculous a "soft focus" in this country of brilliant light, of clean cut lines and outlines, - of course, I should add, how ridiculous the "diffused" lens in any country!

Edward Weston - "The Daybooks of Edward Weston"
Zdjęcie: Berlin, Styczeń 2007


wtorek, 4 września 2007

O doli fotografa

Printing exhausts me. If I am ever temperamental as story book artists are, it is while printing. The reason is based on economics. The first print must be perfect, which is of course expecting the impossible. If it comes almost right - my purse says - "Good enough." But the craftsman answers - "Good enough is not enough." By nightfall the quarrel between the "common sense" and "extravagance" has torn me asunder. If there was someone to pay for the ideals of craftmanship! One nude of Neil is "almost right". Should I reprint? Or is it "good enough?"
They came to cut off our lights for non-payment. Next it will be the telephone - that instrument of torture with which undesirables can invade one's privacy at any hour of the day or night. The telephone is a special joy of all the busy-bodies, live-wires, Rotarians, who lacking brains, want action. "Speed up life" cry these people of pep, - "hustle, bustle, meddle, push, we'll make this world efficient, we stand for Service, we'll bestir the dreamer, and put a red, white and blue oil-station at the very foot of the Pyramid." And phones and Fords will help them.
But I want to simply life - my life. Christ! what a lot of excess baggage and blah we civilized moderns carry. We pay a pretty nice price for these extras, sweating to support supposed necessities which are superfluities.
If one could have slaves as did our ancestors - but alas, "all men are born free and equal" - something like that - there are no more slaves - or better - we are now all slaves

Edward Weston - "The Daybooks of Edward Weston"
Zdjęcie: Wustrow, Wrzesień 2006