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Faking it?

edsephiroth 11 169 9 United Kingdom
6 Apr 2009 11:00AM
Without wanting to get into arguments about subjective enjoyment of a particular photo and how different things appeal to different people, I often see pictures of statues, carvings and other such artwork where the photographer seems to have taken the picture (maybe with a slightly quirky angle or some similar flourish) but then essentially seems to be standing back and saying "ta-daa!".

Isn't it just a picture of someone else's art, and that's the reason it looks good/interesting? It hardly qualifies as a "found object" or a detail that's noticed among others - I mean, why not take a picture of a painting in a gallery and go "ta-daa!" with that, like it's your piece of art?

Just to pre-empt potential pedants, yes I realise you could apply the same logic to taking a photo of anything, architecture in general or even someone's face, in the sense that it may be something you didn't have a hand in creating, but obviously I think there's a huge difference between making artistic interpretations from the multitude of things we see that are around us (essentially what we do as photographers really, with differing degrees of influence over the subject matter) and what I'm talking about, where the artistic interpretation has, in my opinion, already been done by someone else.

I'd actually say today's featured photo fits into the category I'm talking about too to be honest - a beautifully exposed photo, but...?

Discus. Sorry, "discuss".

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ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
6 Apr 2009 11:49AM
Has been discused, sorry, discussed, at length before

Gaucho 16 2.8k 2 United Kingdom
6 Apr 2009 11:52AM
What featured photo? Has it disappeared?
keith selmes 14 7.3k 1 United Kingdom
6 Apr 2009 11:54AM
I don't think its much different to anything else.
The simplest photo just says "I was here, and I'd like to show you this"
Its not the same as a straight photo of a painting for example, as you do have a choice of viewpoint angle and so forth.
Its not much different to the holiday photo of some awkwardly grinning windswept individuals, where you also are saying I was here and this is so-and-so, and so-and-so. Its not necassarily a flattering portait of so-and-so but it does the job.
So I think there is not necessarily any great artisitic merit in photographing a statue, but no big deal either.

Of course if the photo exceptionally points up aspect of the work or its environment, it may have considerable merit in its own right.

I wonder how the sculptor feels ? I expect, if they've got their work out there in the street etc. as part of our environment, they're accepting it.

Carvings, architectural detail etc. ? Well, it all depends ...
elowes 13 2.8k United Kingdom
6 Apr 2009 2:49PM
Photography should be about giving you, the photographer and viewer, pleasure. It creates a record of somewhere, somewhen and someone. It may not be great art, it may be a copy of great art or it may be a mobile phone shot of the kids having fun. Who has the right to gainsay that.

I have some great (I think) photographs of some Moore sculptures that were displayed in Key Gardens a coiuple of years ago. I think at least one or two have captured for me the essence of that sculpture. Now I can't own one of these sculptures because a they are expensive and b they won't fit in my garden. I am happy that my photographs say something about the sculpture and I like to look at them now and then.

Ultimately you could say any image taken of any living thing is copying the art of the greatest artist which is god (choose your own).
MikeA 13 1.3k England
6 Apr 2009 2:51PM

Quote:Discus. Sorry, "discuss".

That will be one of the Greek Statues then...Wink
edsephiroth 11 169 9 United Kingdom
6 Apr 2009 3:41PM
Hmm, sorry to double-post. However it's sometimes nice to give newer members the chance to thrash something out themselves rather than just settle for reading what other people already wrote?? I'll bet that's been discussed already in the forums to though, eh? ;o)

Yeah Elowes, I totally agree with what you're saying (well, apart from the god bit). I suppose I could have made it clearer that the "ta-daa" angle was the important bit for me, rather than simply someone wanting to preserve a where and when for their own reasons. That was kinda what I was getting at with the "different things to different people" part.
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
6 Apr 2009 4:32PM

Quote:However it's sometimes nice to give newer members the chance to thrash something out themselves rather than just settle for reading what other people already wrote??

Fair point...

it's just that the first thread on this was a bit boring to be honest - didn't really seem to get any passion fired up in anyone and drifted aimlessly to nowhere.

there's nothing wrong with a good old record shot of a statue, but don't expect people to get all excited about it.

Get creative with a statue using your photographic skills, then you can make a huge difference.

Could be lighting, quirky angle, zoom bursts, multiple exposures, use of a model, clothing or whatever - if you can create an interesting shot then do so, there's no issue there.

I gave it a go with those statues on Crosby Beach and I think I got something "more" than just a statue shot
Alciabides 9 536 United Kingdom
6 Apr 2009 5:18PM
Taking a photo of a work of art is certainly non-parasitic if either (a) it gives insight into that work (cf elowes above) or uses it to make a broder statement about our relationship to art (cf ade Crosby photo).

Parasitic (ta da!) is objectionable but it ha sto ahve the 'ta da!'
cliffez 9 140
19 Apr 2009 12:46PM
Surly photography is about angles, light and personal view (photographers eye)? If one was honest, if its a photo of something that already exists, 'then, its been done'? But thats not it IMHO, I enjoy finding something new, a fresh angle, subtle light . . . for my enjoyment! I rarely show my work off, it is for my personal enjoyment, if others see it occasionally, they can enjoy it as well, or not, as the case may be???

You then come to PP and PS'ing. PP I can accept as it has always been so, remember dark rooms? But PS'ing basic photographs, for surly that is what RAW files are. . . or is that better to be described as computer artisry . . . ? I like to keep it in the camera as much as possible, take picture of what I see, as I have expressed elsewhere on site.

However, thats not to say PS'ing is bad to those who indulge in the art of computer manipulation, each to his own. Any more than my simplistic view should be dismissed?

A personal view of course . . . from a rank amateur 'photographer'.


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