U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: gum "curves"

Re: gum "curves"

On Oct 29, 2006, at 9:57 AM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

On Oct 27, 2006, at 12:41 PM, Sandy King wrote:

For gum, I will defer to the experience of those who have worked with curves, and without curves. If anyone believes curves would not improve the quality of their work, I am inclined to agree with them. Question is, have these folks bothered to actually compare the quality of their own work with that of someone else who uses the curve approach? Some folks are perfectly happy with work that others would consider below par. There was someone on the list a few months ago who went on and on about how curves were not necessary (no names, please), but I have seen this person's work, and as far as I am concerned it barely rises above the level of pure crap. But to each his own.

Wow. Well, it's not hard to see why I stopped reading this guy's posts, too. This, while not being a direct personal insult, certainly is insulting even though it's delivered as an innuendo rather than a direct insult. I know who you're talking about, and I rather agree about his prints,

I said the following to a couple of people offlist, but I think it's probably important to say it onlist as well, even though I don't really want to go back into this; I'm sorry I stumbled across Sandy's innuendo, sorry I read it, and sorry I responded to it. But I'm especially sorry that I appeared to be agreeing that someone's work could be called "crap," because I don't use terms like that about other people's work, don't think that way about other people's work, don't put value judgments like that on other peoples' work. I will say that I don't understand the work, or that it doesn't particularly speak to me, or that it's not the sort of work I would do, but I would never call someone's work crap.

I assumed everyone would know who Sandy meant by the above, but a couple people wrote and said, "is it me?" This is just what I said a while back; any time you make an anonymous accusation, the wrong people take it personally. If Sandy means the person I think he means, he's not even here any more to register the insult, and would probably fire back a few himself if he were. He prefers a pictorialist style for gum printing, and there's nothing particularly wrong about preferring that style or "crappy" about the gum prints that result. It's not the current "politically correct" way of printing gum, but that doesn't make it crap. I suppose by Sandy's standards, Steichen's work could also be called crap; after all, some of it didn't have much of a tonal scale to it either. But please, let's not be calling people's work, "crap." I believe this rather violates the standards of respect we're suppose to be adhering to here, and I regret that my response appeared to sanction that.