Photo Pompier

Quite the sad eruption of pronouncements in this thread over at APUG.

Seems that Les McLean, hardly a stranger to traditional processes, what with his workshops, magazine columns, and books on traditional B&W processes, actually had the temerity to suggest that printing his negatives digitally was a good idea — and that he might actually discuss it on APUG!

Amid a few voices of reason were responses like: "most people who use digital don't know an F-stop from a newton ring" — "...this would cause this site to spiral out of control..." one would think they're discussing gay marriage and the end of English-speaking civilization. Just look what happened to Sweden!

Les's attitude was simple enough: "I will respond positively to any developments in image making that may help me improve how I express myself."

But the siege mentality had already set in: "...the beginning of the breach in the dike..." — "digital forum....trojan horse" and accusations that these attitudes were justified by the supposed bad behavior of outsiders or apostates: "the attitude of everyone I've met "over there" is one of marked INtolerance" — "I don't think that some here 'know what APUG is about'"

Gee, I thought it was about the pictures?

Given the emphasis of some on nostalgic subjects and aesthetics, it all seems close to academic painting, with its emphases on historic and mythical subjects:

L'académisme est une attitude esthétique qui se définit à divers niveaux: chez l'artiste, qui se résigne à cultiver un art de moyens, en appliquant, sans chercher à les dépasser, des recettes d'atelier empruntées à autrui et se garde d'innover pour respecter soit la tradition officiellement établie, soit toute autre tradition artistique ayant fait ses preuves; chez l'amateur d'art, qui prône l'esthétique de la ressemblance, adoptée par la critique officielle, par le jury des Salons, par le public «bourgeois».

"Académisme is an aesthetic attitude defined at various levels: in the artist, who resigns himself to cultivate an art of correctness, while applying, without seeking to exceed them, the recipes of craft borrowed from others while taking care not to innovate, to respect either the officially established tradition or any other artistic tradition having proven reliable; in the art lover, who preaches the esthetics of the resemblance, adopted by official criticism, by the jury of the Shows, and the middle-class public."


Bon appetit, y'all.

Comments on "Photo Pompier"

Yitz Nitz
March 12, 2004 07:38 AM

You thought it was about the pictures? Not with APUG, which came into being specifically as a counter to digital photgraphy, hence the _A_ in the name. Some APUG members will be getting meaner and more irascible as digital becomes more affordable and popular and dedicated amateurs follow the pros and point-and-shooters. Siege mentality indeed. A lot of these people stomped out of some other popular photography discussion sites when APUG got formed, and they have got going a feedback loop going where they buck each other's chins up while they get to demonise non-film, non-darkroom photography. Very, very juvenile behavior.

March 31, 2004 09:46 AM

it is all well and good to quote things out of context and to call people who wish to have a digital free zone childish. This is exactly the kind of behavior of intolerace that exemplifies digital users, if it is not digital, then it must be a circle jerk or a closed loop feedback.
Many of the opposed views against McCleans suggestion I imagine came because it was done by McClean. Lets face it, APUG was created to have a mostly digital free zone, it is NOT antidigital. If McClean wanted a digital site, he should have started one.


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