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When photography becomes just a job


pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2013 1:39PM
"Admittedly, you might have to look at some of the photographs for longer than it takes to say "that's rubbish!" and instead think why someone thought the subject to be worthy of a photograph in the first place. "

Completely and utterly wrong for me personally but i take your point, if i need to spend ages looking at a photo and know its background to 'get it' then it has no value as a piece of photographic art its value is simply as a recording of a piece of time in terms of a being a plain snapshot. In fact when people use the word 'snap' thats what i think of - someone simply pointing a camera and recording a scene with no planning foresight or particular knowledge.

I can see your point with the google page link I posted there too, there are some overprocessed ( tho to joe public they may just look exceptionally good its mainly us togs who get all funny about HDR ) , there are some however that are more than just 'pretty pictures' and they take the viewer to another dimension, a place they then would long to visit or see for themselves , and there are some works on there that our simply outstanding captures of scenes using all the tools available to the photographer and not just a big camera and bit of dodge and burn ( JC style ) but long exposures creative aperture great processing work and creative photoshopping - all of which most modern day landscape photographers aspire to.

This is a great discussion to have and I would love to see more links of what people find inspirational to them and help me open up my own eyes to new things as I will be the first to admit my own views and likes sometimes get in the way of being open to new ideas Wink

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joolsb e2
10 27.1k 38 Switzerland
1 Sep 2013 2:36PM

Quote:Completely and utterly wrong for me personally but i take your point, if i need to spend ages looking at a photo and know its background to 'get it' then it has no value as a piece of photographic art its value is simply as a recording of a piece of time in terms of a being a plain snapshot. In fact when people use the word 'snap' thats what i think of - someone simply pointing a camera and recording a scene with no planning foresight or particular knowledge.


Hmmm. That's a bit of a blinkered attitude, if you don't mind me saying, and means you probably miss appreciating a fair bit of art of all kinds and from all periods. Your loss, I guess.

Thing is, if you're an artist trying to communicate something, the message is more readily understood and internalised when the viewer has to do a little work to 'get' it. Conversely, images which shout what they have to say from the rooftops often have little else to say and are soon forgotten.

I'm surprised that you consider any shot you don't immediately 'get' to be like a snapshot. All the images I linked to are carefully composed, exposed and processed and couldn't be further from the throwaway, artless, 'capture the moment' aesthetic of the snapshot. To me, this just smacks of the attitude that it's easier to sneer at something than to try to understand it.

That said, I have to concede that in the Internet age 'impact' is everything and real depth counts for very little. Sad but true.


Quote:I can see your point with the google page link I posted there too, there are some overprocessed ( tho to joe public they may just look exceptionally good its mainly us togs who get all funny about HDR ) , there are some however that are more than just 'pretty pictures' and they take the viewer to another dimension, a place they then would long to visit or see for themselves , and there are some works on there that our simply outstanding captures of scenes using all the tools available to the photographer and not just a big camera and bit of dodge and burn ( JC style ) but long exposures creative aperture great processing work and creative photoshopping - all of which most modern day landscape photographers aspire to.


Could you be a bit more specific about what you're referring to? And is it important to you that images are captured "using all the tools available to the photographer and not just a big camera and bit of dodge and burn ( JC style )"? If so, why? Surely you should be using just what's needed to communicate what you have to say and no more? And if using 'a big camera and a bit of dodge and burn' is all you need, then why not? There are many, many shots where the photographer is obviously so enamoured of a particular technique that it is used indiscriminately with little regard to how it might enhance the subject of the image - HDR, 'Big Stopper', tobacco grads, etc, etc. - the list is endless… Is this what you mean?

Surely photography is a form of communication and therefore everything you do to create a photograph should be in the service of communicating what is you are trying to say (learning and practice aside)?
saltireblue e2
4 4.3k 26 Norway
1 Sep 2013 2:51PM

Quote:...there are some however that are more than just 'pretty pictures' and they take the viewer to another dimension, a place they then would long to visit or see for themselves

And when they visit and see that reality is so far from the processed image, then they will no doubt be extremely disappointed, and perhaps even feel cheated.

Malc
redhed17 e2
9 680 England
1 Sep 2013 2:55PM

Quote:Hah, thought I'd be pulled up on that. OK, then (some 'names', some not and a couple of amateurs):

1. Edward Burtynsky
2. Thomas Struth
3. Robert Adams
4. Nadav Kander
5. David Ward
6. Harry Cory Wright
7. Hans Strand
8. Jan Töve
9. Mike Stacey
10. Al Brydon

(Any bias towards film-based work is unintentional. It's the image that counts.)



Really, the work of those people are thought provoking? I'm assuming not in a 'wtf' way. Wink I just opened each link and random images appeared, and from that one random image none of them looked on any interest at all. To me. I went and had a look at more from each photographer and some peoples pics got worse, imho.

For me, and my personal opinion, whether these are good landscape photographers, it's

1. Edward Burtynsky - Yes
2. Thomas Struth - No
3. Robert Adams - No
4. Nadav Kander - Initially Yes, but then some of the pics in the link don't all seem to be by the same person, and a Google image search brings up more portraits than landscapes.
5. David Ward - Yes
6. Harry Cory Wright - Oh God No.
7. Hans Strand - Yes, but not from the image linked
8. Jan Töve - No
9. Mike Stacey - No
10. Al Brydon - No No No :-/ lol

For a lot of that the thought that they provoked in my mind was 'wtf! :-/ I'm aware that I am judging a persons body of work from a dozen or images from each, but these are images they have out there, and unless asking for critique somewhere, that is the work that is representative of their style.

I'm glad you enjoy their work. Smile
pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2013 3:42PM

Quote:...there are some however that are more than just 'pretty pictures' and they take the viewer to another dimension, a place they then would long to visit or see for themselves
And when they visit and see that reality is so far from the processed image, then they will no doubt be extremely disappointed, and perhaps even feel cheated.

Malc



No, if they were anywhere near a decent photographer they would feel the challenge and need to better or at least equal it.

Andy
joolsb e2
10 27.1k 38 Switzerland
1 Sep 2013 3:43PM

Quote:For me, and my personal opinion, whether these are good landscape photographers, it's


It's always interesting to hear other views.

Perhaps you could back up your simple yes/no with a little more in the way of justification as I find your choices quite interesting? Some of those names are pure landscapers, some are known for other genres (Thomas Struth and Nadav Kander, particularly) and I specifically chose a non-'wow' image by Strand. Might also be useful to know what your definition of a 'good' landscape photographer might be. Wink
saltireblue e2
4 4.3k 26 Norway
1 Sep 2013 3:48PM

Quote:...there are some however that are more than just 'pretty pictures' and they take the viewer to another dimension, a place they then would long to visit or see for themselves
And when they visit and see that reality is so far from the processed image, then they will no doubt be extremely disappointed, and perhaps even feel cheated.

Malc

No, if they were anywhere near a decent photographer they would feel the challenge and need to better or at least equal it.

Andy


Andy...you mentioned "taking the viewer..." that was what I replied to i.e. Joe Public - not taking "a near decent photographer, "
pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2013 3:49PM
Heres a guy who "floats my boat" excuse the pun, some absolutley stunning landscapes in his PF
http://photos.jaypatelphotography.com/
pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2013 3:49PM

Quote:...there are some however that are more than just 'pretty pictures' and they take the viewer to another dimension, a place they then would long to visit or see for themselves
And when they visit and see that reality is so far from the processed image, then they will no doubt be extremely disappointed, and perhaps even feel cheated.

Malc

No, if they were anywhere near a decent photographer they would feel the challenge and need to better or at least equal it.

Andy
Andy...you mentioned "taking the viewer..." that was what I replied to i.e. Joe Public - not taking "a near decent photographer, "



sorry missread that apologies !
pulsar69 10 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
1 Sep 2013 3:56PM
SaltireBlue makes their a very valid comment that the public when visiting a place visited they have seen photographed ( and processed ) may well be dissapointed. Is that then why Landscape Photography is still such a big seller the very fact its so much more beautiful than what the public see every day - even though they could be seeing the same scene but just not processing it to look the same.

The almost alien landscapes that roll off our hard drives and onto peoples walls are playing to the human instinct of what we find attractive, saturated colours, sharpness, balance, geometry etc and in that respect some of what i have seen posted on this thread by people citing their favorites maybe cant even be called landscapes ? Some of the scenes in the desert and black and white towns and roads for instance are simply street photography or journalistic and dont maybe fit the perception of landscape photography.
joolsb e2
10 27.1k 38 Switzerland
1 Sep 2013 4:05PM

Quote:Each to their own Jools i find very little in the way of any technical merit in most of what you linked to and my 9 year old could do better,


That view is often expressed and it's one I find utterly narrow-minded and rather depressing as it all it shows is a lack of willingness to engage with anything that doesn't have immediate appeal.

I would be interested to know which of the images in my list lack 'technical merit', in your opinion, and why you consider that they might…

OK. Forget that. Just seen the Jay Patel images you linked to. Obviously eye-bleeding saturation and predictable location-bagging is your thing. Wink

Seriously, there are some good shots in there. This one , for example. Although Jack Dykinga has a better version of this scene...
redhed17 e2
9 680 England
1 Sep 2013 4:44PM

Quote:For me, and my personal opinion, whether these are good landscape photographers, it's

It's always interesting to hear other views.

Perhaps you could back up your simple yes/no with a little more in the way of justification as I find your choices quite interesting? Some of those names are pure landscapers, some are known for other genres (Thomas Struth and Nadav Kander, particularly) and I specifically chose a non-'wow' image by Strand. Might also be useful to know what your definition of a 'good' landscape photographer might be. Wink



I will tomorrow. Just about to go to my Mums for Sunday lunch. Grin
ade_mcfade e2
10 15.1k 216 England
2 Sep 2013 12:26AM
just re-looking at these before bed... Jools' 10.

The one of the tent in the deserted place is ace... that feeling of osolation

rusty metal fence in the middle of nowhere... don't really get that one as much, though i do hve something strikingly similar from saddleworth moor... an old metal gatepost in the middle of nowhere

like the way the Swedish "countryside" shot's been put together - not sure I can really see what else is appealing at this size, maybe a large print and more detail would help.

loved the iceland one

stonehenge - nah, just looks a bit ordinary/boring

visual diary... the people make it... the way they are stood... without them it's a record shot with a bland sky and weird structure, with them, well... just a bit more puzzling

lie of the land - seen this before, not really sure what it's all about - trailer trash?



all in all, 10 shots which have provoked discussion, mainly ridicule, but discussion Wink


I guess because they have been nominated by Jools we (well I) probably looked longer at them than you'd normally do - from what I've read above, had we seen them in the gallery, sure no one would have commented or voted on many.... or even opened them

this is why I like Bradford Media museum exhibitions - you get to see stuff like this printed at the size it was intended - sometimes pretty huge, and you get to see far more.

bed time.... huge infinity curve to play with tomorrow!
joolsb e2
10 27.1k 38 Switzerland
2 Sep 2013 9:08AM
Cheers, Ade. When you challenged me to find ten links I confess I did have visions of you rubbing your hands with glee at the prospect of abject failure on my part. Wink

Anyway, good on you for taking the time to engage with the pictures. I honestly didn't expect everyone to like - or even 'get' - all of them but I did find the ridicule and failure to engage (from some people) a bit depressing (although not entirely unexpected from previous forum discussions). I'll post my thoughts on the images when the discussion has run its course.

Good point about going to see exhibitions. The Thomas Struth image I linked to looks fantastic when it fills a gallery wall but rather less impressive as a web thumbnail and I first saw the Nadav Kander shot in his book on the Yangtze project - again this looks much better printed. Hopefully, I'll get to see the Yangtze work exhibited at some point. It must be amazing when viewed at full size..
keithh e2
11 23.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
2 Sep 2013 12:38PM
Actually, I've only just noticed the title of this thread.

Photography is just a job.

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