George Appletree



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This 6x6 photograph made with a crappy camera is eloquent.


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The square

The color square format is comfortable... Maybe reminding medium format 6x6, but the fact is that adjusting camera settings allows actually seeing that way through the viewfinder. And no need to rotate the camera looking for verticals. Composition becomes quite particular, more centered and getting rid of wings.


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In and out

They seem to be flying rather than hanging on. A pretty transparency, talking also about the inner and the outside world.


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There is no special reason to white corners vigneting. In fact some cameras do that. Perhaps it's that..., due my very first camera actually did. And still does. Just I got used to it and I like it.


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There are thousands of photography books, many of them expensive. They tell what photographs are, how to make them pretty or show this or that photographer's work. I keep lots of them in my library. They're more than enough.

Maybe if I would keep just three, those are::

*La Photographie. L'art et la technique du noir et de la couleur. Édouard Boubat. Librairie Générale Française 1985

It tells photography is rather a simple thing.

*Spirits of salts, a working guide to old photographic processes. Randall Webb & Martin Reed. Aurum Press, London 1999

To demonstrate photographs can be made beautiful in many ways.

*Pinhole Photography. From Historic Technique to Digital Application. Eric Renner. Focal Press 2009

It shows how a camera can be made out actually from anything.


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Purism in photography is based in the principle of considering photography as a visual experience: what matters is what you see (and how you handle the camera, the light, the situation) to get the desired result.

If what pretended is the result to fit in a certain frame of visual properties, then handling your photographs or using any alternative process is the method to be satisfied with it.


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Anecdotes are not usually what define. The whole is often more ostensory. But there's no whole without them.


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To be like them

I met several photography masters along the years. How that would be: to be important in the photography world, to have your works in the very most notorious museums and galleries, to get your books published and sign on them for admirers.


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The magic camera

The magic camera is small and simple. No, it is not platonic, it's not a concept either. It is a piece of black material with a lens and tiny windows and a few knobs and buttons. It fits in your hand well and it weighs not too little and not very much. It works the way it does, silent and securely, after you arrange everything for it to do it. Then two arrows tell you all you need to know. Click. And automatically you forget about any other camera you have used before.

Now I am happy. No need to worry about cameras any longer.


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If thinking of selling the cameras you don't often use, this new product just makes you think not only that you will never get it but also that you never had a real one, like everything you have tried was a silly toy compared to that.

Maybe that's good and the conclusion is why selling them if you will never have the aim of getting something like that.

Perhaps one tries to look for absolutes in cameras: the perfect one for this or that; say to make art, to fit in your pocket or to satisfy clients or to fill your ego. Of course you'll never find that, but probably is better to find your perfect point of view. A thing, by other side, absolutely relative.


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If you can't make art from your photographs, you might look for it in cameras. There are plenty of beautiful ones. Making them work is at least artisan many times. You can even make cameras.

Is not that art, I mean sad?


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All cameras do the very same thing. Once chosen the one (or 3) making what you want why to get another one.

If that's a too simple statement, you still are in time to sell those you never use.


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I'm very happy of having completed a new paper dummy (I got used to computer ones for a while). Now they're called project and become e-books. Glad to having handled physical copies and having glued them and written a few words on a real album.


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Frankly, I never used a bag. I remember that leather bag I owned. And still do, with six or seven cameras inside. When occasionally I carried it with me, all its weight used to swing like a pendulum. Pure ballast.

No. I'm one of those liking to feel free to move, to put my knee on the pavement, to find the right position. A bag is only a burden in my case.

And, yes, that backpack, made by a pretty manufacturer. So so good. So strong and light at the time. With all the thoughtful compartments for lenses. It was like a glove to my hand... I owned one of those too. And just a couple of times used, to finish inside a locker. Then, I looked at it with admiration: such a good backpack, I should use it more often.

Nah. Just a camera. That's what I need.


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Art is a plastic bag

Yes. Every artist puts in it whatever thing. Say "his or her personal point of view about this world", for instance. But at the end that art is just the plastic bag. Displaying for example a particular style or some other peculiar feature that makes it classical, original, innovative, revolutionary or etcetera.


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Reading too many considerations about street photography. But the only one to really take into account is emotional distance. Being too close in that sense doesn't allow you to hold your point of view. If opposite, just you're not involved at all.


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The manual

Do you need a manual?

There are many manuals on photography.

Some tell about how the camera works.

Others are written to explain the basics of photography, aperture, shutter speed and so on.

Some others about things like light, composition and at the end aesthetics.

There are some more about what could be called "expression".

Perhaps the most advanced are those others pretending explain how to make art with your camera.

In the last times some attempts have been made to make more other manuals to say about what your attitude should be to be a better photographer, for at the end taking better photographs.

For not mentioning the others explaining how to make money from photography.

Yes, and also some people tried to explain what is the philosophy of photography.


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Many photographers fully dislike the nowadays so common selfies. But they are logical.

Taken with devices to be ready to immediately store and share they are the counterpoint of the so concious and thoughtful photography.


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Many things to tell by some about photographs. Big efforts to dissect the essence of photography.

But the only thing photographs really need to have is sense. And that has nothing to do with their pure aesthetics.


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If your photographs are not good enough...

1 Get closer to see if they improve
2 Buy another camera (that's always the ultimate reason)
3 Shoot color or black and white or vice versa
4 Change your style, in the case you have one
5 Get another girlfriend/boyfriend (using to be a great source of inspiration)
6 Visit as many countries as you can
7 Don't think thehy're bad at all, you have lots of likes wherever you place them
8 Just don't mind: photography is your passion
9 Stop worrying about what Magnum photographers say
10 Give up photography


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20 blog posts