You are exactly right.
I look at Bodine every day, and that's why I originally responded to this thread topic. Bodine's photography not only doesn't suck, but is exquisite. It is iconic, classic, masterful. In my humble opinion, and in the opinion of thousands of my customers.
He got that way through subjecting his work to the eyeballs of hundreds of thousands of people. He heard their criticism and it shaped and perfected his art, and his craft.
A note about his method of work: he would shoot for feature articles all week, traveling from one end of the state/region to the other. Then he would process and print on the weekend. He simply did not have the luxury to shoot hundreds (or even dozens) of shots - not enough time. He learned to line it up and get it right in one shot.
However, he really identified with our farmers still doing it the old way: with horses and oxen. We do have a dozen shots of a farmer working his two ox team. One is just unbelievable brilliant: Image ID 34-273, which I call "Team Work". But several other shots are quite nice as well.
That's why his images sell. Great art sells!
--- In DigitalBlackandWhiteThePrint@yahoogroups.com, "tboleyyh" <tyler@...> wrote:
> Well where is this work, these masterpieces?? My B&W background is not only wet lab, but now digital lab, and instruction from masters guest teaching at the friends of photography and elsewhere, people we've all heard of. This over a 30 year period. I see little that even approaches the quality of image and craft mastered then. It's around, but certainly not common, I see no general widespread uptick in quality of image or craft simply due to new technology. But still, I insist none of this is about the technology, but the skill of the artists no matter what tools are used.
> Look, that digital allows machine gun exposures, and video even more, is not really anything new given motor drives in the past. All I'm saying is that approach, as opposed to a more deliberate approach by a practiced eye and skilled shooter, doesn't by nature yield "better" photography by my standards.
> Are we done? I'm embarrassing myself on this list once again... this is way way off topic and I'm simply coming back and explaining myself time and again, should never have begun again here.