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Thread: Disagree with Ted Orland

  1. #1

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    In the current issue of LightLeaks magazine Ted Orland is present with a great portfolio.
    Magnificent, what he does with "low-fi" pictures, mixing and superimposing them to create beauty.
    But he also states, "when you lead an interesting iife, you're on track making interesting art"...
    And although I admit he has a point there, I tend to disagree.
    A lot of artists may lead a average or boring life, but create beautiful, interesting impressive works of art.

    What does the f295 community think? Is Ted's statement any good, is it completely uninteresting what the artist does, simply judge only his/her work ? But what about artists like Nan Goldin or Cindy Sherman, or even the grand old Ansel A....

    And of course the hidden question is: "my goodness! I live a very average life as an office-employee (well not quite, and there are lots of interesting aspects in my daytime job), how can I ever get to making great images ?"

  2. #2

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    G'day danny

    Hmm, so what is the definitive "interesting life" and who is to say what is "interesting art".

    Many of the greatest artists lead somewhat interesting lives which possibly allowed them to behave, work and conduct themselves in a degenerate (by which I mean unusual, not normal or everyday) manner.

    Apart from possibly being interesting, perhaps "artists" are not like normal people. But again, you need to define normal.

  3. #3

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    "Interesting Life" is very subjective... if you spent your creative time taking pictures at work your life would get very interesting... but you would have more time for photography... or umm.. if you just took pictures at work they may not be very interesting.. the interesting part of your life is when you are out with your camera finding things that interest you. looking at your galleries I would say you have a wonderful perspective, love of (or at least proximity to) the ocean and it looks pretty interesting to me.

  4. #4

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    Absolutely agree with Bill and Ray. Interesting is subjective. I think a better statement would be if you led a life that is interested, but even that is subjective.

    I think I've led a fairly interesting life, but someone else would think it was boring. People draw on different experiences for their artistic inspiration and motivation. Having that awareness is what leads to interesting art.

    Interesting discussion, I wonder if it will lead to interesting art in it...

  5. #5

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    Quote Originally Posted by 575
    Interesting discussion, I wonder if it will lead to interesting art in it...
    I think I will finally have everything in place to finish and load a cigar box pinhole camera today but it is cold and gloomy out.. ~~sigh~~

    I suspect that for the majority of people.. our individual lives are as exciting as we want them to be.. as artist the onus is on us to illuminate the exciting corners of our world through our art. ~~wow, sorry, I should not post on forums while the blood level in my caffeine stream is still so high~~

  6. #6

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    The thinking continues...
    Lesson 1: Many years ago, I was a technical student and member of photoclub. By coincidence, on of the iternships was at a factory for graphical film products. And some club-icon worked there, we sometimes traveled together on the train. One day he told me, that he had tried to make a living as a photographer, but quit. It became "work" for him, with all the negative feelings around it.
    That kept me on my track on what eventually became a career in IT consultancy (completely happy with that, I work within big international banks, and cooperate with people of many nationalities, have business trips once and a while...interesting )

    Lesson2: Many years on, I am happy being an amateur photographer, specializing in pinhole, taking the camera with me whenever I can. Freedom, the choice to pursue only my own interests, and sometimes finding a challenge or assignment to push me further. Oh yes, when I was in the fascinating city of Brussels (Belgium) regularly, I'd go out walking, shooting pictures a lot.. after the work had been done. Interesting :-)
    Now that project is history, and I go to some office near Amsterdam every day. But hey, I went for two weeks to Mumbai/India, go on holiday with the family, and sometimes find great pictures at home. The B/B series is made from them, and I find them interesting enough to continue...

    Lesson3: I recently discovered the photographer Hendrik Kerstens, some Dutch guy that came to "art photography" at the age of 40. He almost exclusively pictures his own daughter, at home with minimal means but (to me) maximum impact. He lives a very ordinary life, but was pulled into fame anyway (and rightly so!). A modest man, I think, and a great photographer.
    On the other hand, I keep admiring someone like the late Ed vd Elsken, who lived a very interesting life, wondering around the globe, picturing people everywhere. A great ego,not modest at all, but also a great photographer.

    My (temporary) conclusions:
    - Being a full-time artist with a bohemian life sounds interesting and romantic, but reality often collides
    - Almost everyone leads a more or less interesting life, depending on your standards
    - Grand landscapes, famous and beautiful people, they're just as interesting/uninteresting subjects as everything else

    Well, let's say...the thinking continues :

    Quote Originally Posted by 575
    Interesting discussion, I wonder if it will lead to interesting art in it...
    Doug, I searched for an interesting picture of some uninteresting thing, never shared here before. How about this, some old tractor left somewhere Attached files

  7. #7

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    The single-minded pursuit of any endeaver to achieve excellence conflicts with a "normal" life. Many photographers, like William Henry Jackson, Edward Weston, W. Eugene Smith, and even Ansel Adams often put photography ahead of a sedate family life. However, their lives intrigue us. An interesting life does not necessarily lead to creative talent. It's too easy to say, "Since one must be different to be great, being different must lead to greatness." Not so.

  8. #8

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    Bravo on your lesson's, I concur. I learned early on that I did not want to depend on photography for my daily bread. It would have become an unwelcome task master. Consequently my artistic endeavors have been sporadic, episodic at best. Not the kind of thing that get's you noticed in the art world. I'm finally at the point however where I'm working on putting a darkroom in the garage and get back into things. I realize a darkroom is not required for continued shooting but part of the artistic process for me has always been the hands on part after shooting in the field. Being able to practice both seems to better spark the creative energy in me rather than just shooting alone. I have several ideas for pinhole cameras but haven't built them as i had no way to take the results beyond just making the shot. But that is changing, and I'm excited.

  9. #9

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    "when you lead an interesting life, you're on track making interesting art..."

    This statement strikes me as more than a little self-serving. He makes interesting art (he must, he's published in Light Leaks), therefore, he's leading (or has led) an interesting life. In his oh-so-very-humble-opinion.


    Maybe I shouldn't react that way without actually reading the article and looking at his portfolio. But I quit my subscription to Light Leaks.
    I won't even get into the minefield of talking about what "interesting" means.
    Just my cranky reaction on a too-early Sunday morning..........

    A thought added one hour later -- I could agree a little more with this statement if it read,
    "when you lead an interestED life, you're on track..." In other words, lead an aware life - aware of the world around you and self-aware. That's not the same as self-centered.

  10. #10

    Disagree with Ted Orland

    Quote Originally Posted by 660
    A thought added one hour later -- I could agree a little more with this statement if it read,
    "when you lead an interestED life, you're on track..." In other words, lead an aware life - aware of the world around you and self-aware. That's not the same as self-centered.
    Heh, great minds think alike. Basically what I said, but more concise.

    Danny, that's a fantastic photograph, so we did get some interesting art in the discussion!

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