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What do you want??

nickp 16 491 Scotland
16 May 2005 4:57AM
Luke, thinking about the reportage that has stood out for me recently, I think of series of images in the Sunday manazines. Typically there'll be a handful of pictures and a lttle/some/a lot of editorial which provides a context for the images. Even when there's only a few words it enough to provide a reason for printing the pictures.

On epz when you can only post one image at a time, you don't get the same impact, even when as you have done, you post a series over a few days.

Then when some reportage comes up next to an image with more immediate visual impact,perhaps in colour, the reportage kind of misses out.

To counterbalance that a touch perhaps you could add a little more editorial in the description to help the image along. It'd be interesting to know more about why the picture of the fishermen interested you for example. Not an essay you understand but something like "The last Australian Scallop fishermen in Truro" would give us more of a clue how to approach the picture.

You might argue that a picture should stand or fall on its own merits without the commentary - I'd argue that very few do that, and even fewer do it as a thumbnail.

Keep going - its good to see the B&W!
ljesmith 17 1.1k United Kingdom
16 May 2005 5:24AM
Thanks for the comment, I do prefer series work to one off images, but am not very good at the write ups, perhaps that's why I stick to photography. What I do when out is look for people to photograph, ehrn I find something I normally build a series out of that. At the moment I'm doing an extended series on a social club in Cornwall. Perhaps when I've finished it I will see about getting it published.
deegee 16 181 United Kingdom
16 May 2005 6:48AM
Hi Luke, thought i'd join in this one. In your personal statement you say that you don't like cliches, and that you don't personally manipulate (not sure whether this informs your judgement of other work?). Cliches and manipulation are just as valid as any other form of expression, after all photography is a huge field and the only limits we should place on it are those of our imagination and just because something is a cliche doesn't mean that someone can't do their own interpretation or just attempt it because they want too. Some things seem to have wide spread popularity in; literature, film, fashion, technology, etc, I can't understand why the TV show friends is so popular, it does nothing for me, but I'm one of the millions and millions who think the Simpsons is one the best shows ever. I used to watch a Chanel 4 comedy called Spaced, which to me was like a breath of fresh air, it never went mainstream but that wouldn't have stopped me liking it. If reportage images were the 'sunsets' of this site then the minority sunsetters would wonder why they weren't as popular, guess thats just the way it goes. Some of your images have really hit the mark with me, some haven't. But the ones that have, have meant as much as a landscape or wildlife shot that I have clicked or commented on. There will always be the popular subjects on this site, but I think it is still extremely varied and there is definately something for everyone. I have only actually put any proper thought into taking photographs since I joined this site, in fact it is totally down to EPZ! I spend ages being inspired in the galleries and trying to learn from the skills and techniques that will help make this a more and more rewarding hobby. It is a major source of childlike pleasure to me that I am able to upload my photographs which can then be seen all around the world!..poor worldSmile.

Hope you don't get too dispondent, after all you are definately part of the variety that makes this site so good.

ljesmith 17 1.1k United Kingdom
16 May 2005 6:53AM
Thank you Dennis, the dislike of cliches is very much aimed at my own photography, I never judge other peoples work like this, although I do like to look for originality, also as far as manipulation goes I fully appreciate this kind of work as the art it is, what I'm trying to say is that I'm trying to keep my photography as pure as possible by doing no kind of adjustment, this includes cropping as I believe that there is a skill in being able to frame an image in camera.
deegee 16 181 United Kingdom
16 May 2005 7:06AM
Totally understand and appreciate where you are coming from, as far as I'm concerned the image will just grab me and it will be purely coincidental whether it happens to be purist, lucky grab, seventeen days in a makeshift hide, or manipulated to death on a loyalty, that's me Smile
u08mcb 17 5.8k
16 May 2005 7:38AM
I definitely think your images work best as a series; individually they can be - with the best will in the world - pretty mundane. I realise that in a lot of cases thats the point of the image, but if someone's scanning through the gallery its no great surprise that the picture of say a couple of women on a pier gets overlooked.

It surely must be possible to have some sort of series upload feature (NOT for e2 only) which allows a series to be uploaded perhaps with a bigger thumbnail of the whole series a bit like a contact sheet.

Something along those lines would not crowd the gallery with 16 or whatever uploads in one go. It might entice the mighty Sludden into uploading again which is no bad thing Smile
elowes 17 2.8k United Kingdom
16 May 2005 7:44AM
It does seem as if wildlife is the big thing at the moment. Better than people's pets but then this site is for photographers of all standards and all genres to post on so I don't complain publicly about them.

There are a wide variety of images posted but like it or not sunsets and animals are popular. Brown sems to be the overall favorite colour.

Your work is appreciated more than most so don't complain. You seem to have plenty of 10 plus hits and some 30's.

There are many out there, like me, who don't get more that 1/2 dozen comments at best and we like to think our images are worth a look as well. If we got despondent then it would leave the few like you and those others who get the 30 plus hits?

I like some of your work but this style often needs to be put into context so I agree about the comments above re series of images. Social commentry works better for me like that.
joolsb 16 27.1k 38 Switzerland
16 May 2005 7:47AM

Just a word about cropping...

I compose my stuff very carefully in the viewfinder but often find that the image still works better cropped. Take this image for example. At the time, I was going for foreground interest and carefully framed the shot to include some wildflowers at the bottom. On viewing the scan, I realised the foreground interest didn't work as well as I first thought and simply discarded the bottom two-thirds of the frame...

What I'm saying is the freedom to crop allows you to have second (and third etc.) thoughts about the image.
brian1208 18 11.8k 12 United Kingdom
16 May 2005 7:49AM
Luke - stick to what is important to you and accept that we each see the world through different filters.

"Pretty sunsets or fluffy animals + primary colours" are always going to attract more comments because those are the types of image that are easy to understand and fit into most peoples' vision of what is "Nice to look at"

Social photography, whether black & white or colour is difficult to appreciate as it challenges us to look at life in a way which may be uncomfortable and often doesn't fit our "nice to look at" profile.

As a viewer, I need a context and reason to look at challenging images, maybe that is what is missing here sometimes? Its difficult to see the world through someone else's eyes.

In my work I unashamedly try to help people look at the world about them and maybe see things they haven't noticed or appreciated before. Sometimes my images strike a chord and I get loads of positive comments. Other times I can almost hear the "Yeah - so what" and get little or no response. It can be disappointing but I have learnt to accept that because I thought something was exciting or interesting it doesn't mean that others will.

Popularity doesn't equate to quality!

ljesmith 17 1.1k United Kingdom
16 May 2005 8:02AM
Thanks for the comments everyone, all taken aboard. As far as cropping goes, I only impose this on myself, it is a way of controlling what I photograph, in the same way that I only use one lens it is a form of self discipline and a fantastic way of learning to take better photographs. Other people produce wonderful images with cropping and all the other tools available to them and I appreciate this work as much as any other.

I don't expect people to stop looking at wildlife shots or landscapes because that would also be pointless, and I appreciate that there are people on the site that get less attention than myself which, personally, I think is not right. Every photgraph uploaded should get a good chance of critique whethter good or bad so that the photgrapher can learn, there is nothing more depressing than watching what uou think is a good image flying off the front page with no comment whatsoever.

And for the record I think the click system is devicive and harmful to the overall effectiveness of this site.
keithh 17 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
16 May 2005 8:06AM
Doh!! You had to mention the C word.
ljesmith 17 1.1k United Kingdom
16 May 2005 8:09AM
That's right, and tomorrow I'm going to bring up hearts! Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,......... Wink)
elowes 17 2.8k United Kingdom
16 May 2005 8:14AM
Gives me a warm glow when I get more than someone else with a similar shot!

Devicive this system may be but it gives an indication to the photographer of what people like to see and what they like to see is not always the best image (for others that is).

If you want to post images people will like consistantly then this will effect the way you work, taking an image for another rather than youself.
strawman 17 22.2k 16 United Kingdom
16 May 2005 8:14AM
Luke many are attracted towards photography in capturing the beauty that is around us. I became more interested in nature because through photographing wildlife I saw some of the beauty, found out more about it so I next went out a bit better prepared, it is a sort of positive feedback thing. So please do not be too harsh on the gallery.

As others say, the social photography is of great interest to the future but if its what we see all around us it may not appeal to all. Your work has a value, one that grows with time. Personally I thought your fishermen photo's were interesting, well taken and made me pause to reflect. It also made me think of things to try next time I try that type of photography which means I have learnt something from just looking at your photo's. (That is meant as praise).

I tend not to post social record photographs because they may not be of interest to many, some are relevant if you live in a place for example. Having said that the local council have asked if they can display some photo's I took recently of Ve Day celebrations in the Town Council window. They are record photo's and capture something of interest for locals but do others want to see photo's of bands parading down the high street, the flags being lowered etc. Also as the lighting was highly variable, (bright sunshine one side, dark shadows the other), many are compromises in metering.

So the majority of members may not be interested in the photo's, many enjoy and respect the work, so I add my voice to those who ask for you to keep going. If I were you I would be contemplating a structured web site as your works collected by themes probably have greater impact. Just a thought.
keithh 17 25.8k 33 Wallis And Futuna
16 May 2005 8:15AM
and of course, Luke was well chuffed when he got his first 30up.

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