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SlowSong
SlowSong e2 Member 64541 forum postsSlowSong vcard England29 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jul 2013 - 9:44 AM

What an interesting video by Rauschenberg, Glenn. I was particularly struck by the way that after he'd visited the Arbus exhibition, he saw Arbus people everywhere. Seeing other people's work does that too you, if you're interested enough. And also, some of his best pictures were ones he originally thought were boring and would have deleted. How many times do we go back over ours and find something new in them? I also like that he's not hung up on technicalities, but likes to work quickly and intuitively. Apart from Atget being interesting, this guy is too and I'll be looking for more of his work. Now, he's the type that inspires me.
Thanks for the heads up Glenn.
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31 Jul 2013 - 9:44 AM

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GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jul 2013 - 12:19 PM


Quote: Thanks for the heads up Glenn.

Glad you appreciated it! I can't say I go to loads of exhibitions, but occasionally I go to an 'expo' in Paris and it usually gives me a different appreciation of a photographer's work. Last one I went to was this one.

lemmy
lemmy  71943 forum posts United Kingdom
31 Jul 2013 - 1:02 PM


Quote: ask any designer and they'll tell you photographers are the WORST judges of their own images

The best picture editor I ever worked with was a man called Alan Reid. He had never been a photographer. What he was was an excellent journalist. As such he would pick pictures that told the story. I trusted his judgement in picking out my stuff more than my own.

He had two pet hates, ego and gab. For example, if you were away in Ireland with three other photographers and were going to wire over 12 pix, if the first one that was sent was not the main pic of the day (this was during the worst of the troubles), you were for it. He expected all three of us to be professional enough to overcome their ego and burning wish for publication of their picture and see which one was the pick of the day whomsoever had taken it.

The other hate was photographers who talked a good picture. His point of view was, if you have to explain it to me, it has failed already.

The trouble with the taker of a picture is that he is seeing the work involved and the motivation for taking it. Often the picture exists in his head but not in the image.

mikehit
mikehit  56691 forum posts United Kingdom11 Constructive Critique Points
31 Jul 2013 - 1:27 PM


Quote:
The other hate was photographers who talked a good picture. His point of view was, if you have to explain it to me, it has failed already.

The trouble with the taker of a picture is that he is seeing the work involved and the motivation for taking it. Often the picture exists in his head but not in the image.

Can we make that a banner headline somewhere on EPZ (VS Mode section maybe, or the FAQs)? Grin

peterjones
peterjones  123992 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2013 - 11:15 AM


Quote: The other hate was photographers who talked a good picture. His point of view was, if you have to explain it to me, it has failed already.

The trouble with the taker of a picture is that he is seeing the work involved and the motivation for taking it. Often the picture exists in his head but not in the image.

Another vote from me.

Peter.

SlowSong
SlowSong e2 Member 64541 forum postsSlowSong vcard England29 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2013 - 11:32 AM


Quote: if you have to explain it to me, it has failed already.

Again, that word failed with no specific explanation. Surely if that was the case then to be deemed a "good" picture it'd have to state the bloomin' obvious. But, put an image in front of a dozen people without at least a caption and you'll get a variety of opinions and interpretations no matter what it is. I think photography should be documentary, artistic or abstract, or whatever you want it to be, but if it's only the basic in-your-face message that is going to be valued and applauded then many of us might as well give up our hobby as in some quarters it's considered that we've failed. There, that word again! Meaningless.

Last Modified By SlowSong at 1 Aug 2013 - 11:32 AM
GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2013 - 12:03 PM

Personally I think if you can't objectively evaluate your own photos -- occasional bias aside -- you're doomed to just drifting. It's quite simply not true that every photographer is immediately swayed by the amount of work they put into a picture, or their motivation. If you believe in the old "it's the final picture that counts" adage, you also have to be able to apply that introspectively.

lemmy
lemmy  71943 forum posts United Kingdom
1 Aug 2013 - 12:17 PM


Quote: we've failed. There, that word again! Meaningless.

Not at all. If you have to explain why or what a picture is meant to be or mean, it has failed. A picture is a communication and if it need to be explained or talked up it has not communicated in its own right.

I don't understand your remark about 'basic in your face message'. If a picture has a deeper meaning should it not communicate that too? I don't understand your observation that if you put a picture in front of different people, they will think different things about it. Of course they will. They are entitled to any view they wish and their views cannot be right or wrong, they are just their views.

The caption that you talk about seems for you to be a way of imposing your view of what your picture is on someone else. If you want someone to see what you see, make a picture that communicates that to them.


Quote: It's quite simply not true that every photographer is immediately swayed by the amount of work they put into a picture, or their motivation. I

Which is quite simply why I did not say every photographer but 'often' and didn't say 'immediately' at all. Forgive me if you are quoting someone else, I maybe missed that post.

SlowSong
SlowSong e2 Member 64541 forum postsSlowSong vcard England29 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2013 - 12:17 PM

Evaluate how? For what reason? Obviously you can see if something's suffering from camera shake, but things like composition or exposure can be deemed bad because the rules have not been followed as recommended, but the image is how the photographer wanted it to be. What other people think of it is irrelevant. But I suppose it depends on what you want the image for, just as a record or to sell, or if it's for your job. I can understand that you can look at a picture and suggest how it could be improved, but I wouldn't say it'd failed if the photographer is pleased with it. It would fail however if you didn't fill a customer's brief. I only speak as a hobbyist who's body of work over the years has more than enough howlers, but I can't get hung up about perfection and letting the image do the speaking. I think every image needs explaining unless you enjoy opinions that completely miss the point because the viewer doesn't know what they're looking at or your intention.

keithh
keithh e2 Member 1023186 forum postskeithh vcard Wallis and Futuna33 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2013 - 12:24 PM

Adams' photo of the execution of the Vietcong prisoner became one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented in photographic history.

lemmy
lemmy  71943 forum posts United Kingdom
1 Aug 2013 - 12:36 PM


Quote: I think every image needs explaining unless you enjoy opinions that completely miss the point because the viewer doesn't know what they're looking at or your intention.

Why do you assume, though, that someone has missed the point because they don't interpret it as you do and what do your intentions matter to someone else? If, as you say, you take pictures only for yourself then it doesn't matter how good, bad, artistic or whatever the picture is as long as it pleases you. My brother in law takes holiday pictures of petrol stations where he has filled up his motor cycle. They certainly please him (though I wish he would not show them to me!).

But if you take pictures and show them to other people, their interpretation of what they see if just as valid as yours. Talk it up if you like but all you are really doing is trying to impose your views on them. Listening to the views of others is one of the ways we learn, surely.

I suppose because my life as a photographer has always involved other people, I see photography as an art of communication and for me, without that element of trying to show others what I see I cannot see the purpose of it, to me it seems like shouting down a well. I recognise, though that because that is the way I see it that does not make my view any more right or valid than anyone else's.

I wish we could use 'one' in the way French can, as a sort of impersonal pronoun, without sounding pretentious in English. Every time I use 'you' here it sound like I am being personal in my reply, which is not my intention at all.

GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2013 - 12:44 PM


Quote: Which is quite simply why I did not say every photographer but 'often' and didn't say 'immediately' at all. Forgive me if you are quoting someone else, I maybe missed that post.

You're right, unreserved apology - that was shoddy! Also noting the 'quite simply' pretentiousness! Smile

lemmy
lemmy  71943 forum posts United Kingdom
1 Aug 2013 - 12:59 PM


Quote: ou're right, unreserved apology

None necessary - good debate Smile

SlowSong
SlowSong e2 Member 64541 forum postsSlowSong vcard England29 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2013 - 1:34 PM


Quote: if you take pictures and show them to other people, their interpretation of what they see if just as valid as yours.

Yes, if you don't give some sort of explanation you must expect that. But if you want to suggest a direction they may want to go in because it's important to one (you Grin), give a little background. I put images onto EPZ because if I didn't they'd just stay on my computer. It's interesting to read other people's perceptions though and if I strongly disagreed with something then I'd respond.


Quote: Why do you assume, though, that someone has missed the point because they don't interpret it as you do and what do your intentions matter to someone else?

I don't think my images have a point to them so in my case it's irrelevant. In fact my stuff's pointless to anyone else except me. But if I did want to encourage someone in a particular direction then I'd make sure I gave a good enough hint as to what I want them to see. If it was that important, that is. In your case Lemmy, photography, being your work, immediacy and understanding is the whole point and much more important than my fiddlings. But I don't consider that I've failed (well, not all the time anyway. Blush)

Last Modified By SlowSong at 1 Aug 2013 - 1:34 PM
mikehit
mikehit  56691 forum posts United Kingdom11 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2013 - 1:54 PM

This reminds me of a discussion I had with a very good friend - she is 'into' art in the 'arty farty' way and she showed us some of her work. My comment was 'it reminds me of...' and her immediate response was 'no, no..that not what it is at all...it is [and proceeded to tell us]'.

In that respect I agree with Lemmy - if that is what she wanted to convey, she has failed. If she created it and was happy to let it invoke any reaction the person had, then it succeeded. Some works are deliberately provocative, but that same work can create feelings of excitement, fear, horror, or arousal in different people. But it has done what the artist wanted by being provocative.
As you say, Lemmy your career was in the business of telling a story with a picture so your editor's comments were probably particularly salient in that field.

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