Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fine Arts in Maynard, MA

A nice little art theater in nearby Maynard, MA thrives because it has focused on a narrower audience.

Chemical focal plane photography is thriving by directing its resources toward those with the desire to create and not just document using lenses and capture media.

Along the way new techniques, tools and ways of working are being adopted. Like the music production field of the last decade, there are winners and losers, with many large studios (maybe all) failed, and closed, meanwhile, millions of "amateur" musicians can now afford their own studios that have sound quality as good as any large studio of the 20th Century. All they need is a PC and a converter to manipulate sounds. But to generate sounds, they still needed microphones and then preamps.  Companies with names like "Front End Audio" (they were one of our best microphone dealers when we made ribbon microphones) arose to fill the new market demand for that portion of the creative flow.The democratization of music-making obliterated the old mainstream and sent incumbents searching for new enterprises, and more, not less, music is being produced and delivered at an even greater rate by anyone with the inclination to do so.

A decade later we are witnessing the analogous replaying of that crash and rise in imaging, not just songs.The ubiquitous continuous instant connectivity-with-pictures we enjoy is a given even though it did not exist at all ten years ago. The document picture taking is done to fill Facebook and soon Twitter and of course those serious enough to consider the images as art go to Flickr to share and discuss them. One can expect this frenzy to accelerate since it is so easy to look at a picture, much easier than listening to a whole song, something we hardly do.  Meanwhile, sub groups have discovered the "Front End" makes all the difference, and variations are everywhere: Dianas, Aero Ektars, Lensbaby, and The Impossible Project's products, weird films, Lomography, and even the serious traditionalists with finely crafted mahogany boxes and little holes.  All seem destined to be delivered to the Epson, or the Canon scanner, then on to whatever and whoever suits us.

1 comment:

Sam said...


You've got some insights from being a musician -- let's say 'artist' -- as well as a scientist in the music making fields which give you special insights and confidence in understanding the disruptions in imaging fields.

It was always noted that Ansel Adams was an accomplished musician and that this gave him some special insight -- though that insight is rarely specified and remains poorly understood as to how it affected his productivity and results.

You may have a clear picture in your mind as to where a very nice P/N instant film fits into photography's developing future that not everybody is privileged to comprehend. Somewhere -- when you have time -- maybe you can extrapolate for us.

For instance, Kodak's and Polaroid's scale made it inevitable they would have to terminate lines; but that doesn't mean it is inevitable that we should be without certain key lines. Discuss?