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When photography becomes just a job

pulsar69 15 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 8:21AM
I visited a sick relative some months back in a middlesbrough hospital and once again some weeks ago in an another local health establishment. In both establishments were massive acrylic landscapes by the photographer Joe Cornish. The second establishment more so than the first being newer had obviously spent a great deal of money on those works yet the decor furnishing and equipment for the patients left a lot to be desired.

Also being a keen landscaper i found it very interesting to sit and watch in the corridors as visitors passed, little if indeed any attention was paid to any of the works at all , and the usual suspects Roseberry Topping etc just simply ignored on the way past.

I can admire Joes work on its technical merit and although there are lots of tweaks made to the images to get them there and they are taken with medium format cameras and lots of expertise, they do for me miss one vital ingredient and that is passion. So for a man who has made his money on tourism selling prints postcards etc and who is obviously doing well for himself when did he stop pushing the boat out ( excuse the pun ) and is a great camera and technical ability really a substitute for passion and a gifted eye ? Are the days of the picture perfect postcard scenes numbered and have people just become immune to them ?

I don't class myself as a top rated landscape photographer by any means and aspire to produce and sell more work but wonder whether if what i produce would be so generic i might as well earn that money in any field of work ? There are photographers on EPZ who i greatly admire and produce stunning work in the pro and amateur fields and I wonder what their views are ?

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StrayCat 15 19.1k 3 Canada
31 Aug 2013 8:29AM
I have never met Joe. I've seen him, in Calgary boarding a flight, with a huge camera slung over his shoulder. I've seen quite a bit of his work, and I can say his landscape of Lake Louise, Canada, is the most unique of the 100s that I've seen. I know the spot from where he took the shot, and it ain't an easy climb, let me tell you.

When my wife was in the hospital for a month a couple years ago, some of the best photographs I've ever seen adorned the walls of the hallways, and they were all by local photographers. I asked about them, and I was told it's advertising by the photographers, no charge to the hospital.
pulsar69 15 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 9:57AM
I like the idea of local photographers advertising through the hospitals for no charge to make their names that's good and encouraging though not the same as the JC situation, and I am certainly open to seeing some of Joes more inspirational and passionate works as all we see around here is the same old ...
randomrubble 15 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 11:04AM
It's common for hospitals to install art, and it's rarely paid unless it's a new build or major refurb where they might be part of the budget for the build (as a 'percentage for art'). Are you sure that they did pay for those prints?
ade_mcfade 15 15.2k 216 England
31 Aug 2013 11:37AM
I really have no idea how to go about selling prints of landscapes....

Which is a bit of a dodgy thing to say as I'm opening an exhibition in Leeds tomorrow... Wink

but 8 shots of Yorkshire will be going up in Cuvee Bar and you can come meet me from 1-3 tomorrow. Just 12 by 16 inch prints... would have loved to have gone bigger, but had 3 days in total from meeting the events manager to the opening...

I've only seen a few large Joe Cornish prints and they do look pretty good - you certainly "get" them more than you do looking at his online gallery, where they can look a bit.... well... "normal".

However, he's probably worth millions so has the right model in place.

What are people actually after from a landscape picture - what will make them buy?

Is it the "name" they're buying, the "style" or is it just that they like the particular photo.

Passion... that's not something I'd say was lacking in JC? Surely he's as pumped up about photography now as ever? I really don't know as I've never met him

Though I'm far more excited at shooting a DB9, Range Rover Vogue and Jag F-Type in Leeds' biggest infinity curve studio than landscapes these days... just something new and exciting
redhed17 14 866 England
31 Aug 2013 12:14PM
I think a lot of people in a Hospital have other things on their minds as they go about their business, especially if they are there over prolonged period of time, either working there, or because of a persistent illness. That people don't appear to view the images, does not mean that they are not appreciated. I know in a local Hospital there were pictures of the Merseyside area on the wall which I noticed rushing to my appointment but had no time to peruse. I looked on the way out though. Smile

As for Joe Cornish's pictures lacking 'passion', show me a landscape picture, (preferably of the same location as one of his, but not necessarily) with passion so I can see what one looks like, because passion is not something that enters my mind when I see a landscape picture. :-/

Without the 'passion' (iyho) he seems to do pretty well for himself.
stevenb Plus
16 268 7 England
31 Aug 2013 1:25PM
The photographs in question where all donated for free.
By various photographers from member camera clubs associated with, the North Yorkshire & South Durham area. Myself being one of them.
I do believe Joe Cornish was at one time The Hon President. He may still be.

Andy_Cundell 8 1.1k 5 England
31 Aug 2013 4:35PM
My local hospital has information screens all around the place, every now and again (on a loop), they show local scenery taken by local photographers or the image is on the background and information is displayed over them. I would be very happy to give my images to a worthy cause like this as I have sat in a waiting room for hours staring at the bare walls!!!
Maddie 14 2.7k 2 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 5:02PM
Can someone please define how 'passion' can be displayed in a landscape photograph and then we can take it from there.

As for people taking notice of prints on a hospital wall. I suspect they have other things on their mind.
thewilliam 11 6.1k
31 Aug 2013 6:21PM
I imagine that most people are affected by their surroundings, even in hospital, and beauty does lift the spirits. The dreary decor of Risley Remand Centre probably contributed to its unusually high suicide rate.
Graysta 14 1.1k England
31 Aug 2013 7:07PM
On my way to the N.Y.M.R one day I stopped off at a coffee shop and art gallery in Cloughton just north of Scarborough they were holding an exhibition of Joe Cornish work.
I left that place inspired and fired up, I saw no lack of passion in the prints on display seen large they are truly awesome.
O.K some of his steam shot's I could pick fault with Wink Wink. he must have stood next to me for one of them but his sell's about a gozzilion a year and mine's on the wall at home Sad
pulsar69 15 1.6k 6 United Kingdom
31 Aug 2013 7:18PM
I suppose this is really all personal taste and its really difficult to put a finger on what passion means to me and explain it to someone else, i sat in front of one of his prints which must have been a good 6 foot wide whilst waiting for around 10 minutes and no matter how long i looked it just did not inspire me in the slightest , the grass was sharp the image was well dodged and burnt and the focus and technical ability were great , but it just had no real subject and under it was a plaque attempting to describe why it had no subject. I moved on and looked at another couple and saw nothing other than technically great work , i did not feel the need to go and visit the place in the photos - that's what i see as a good photo , i want to be moved inspired and lifted by the image. IMHO there are many establised and amateur photographers here on this site who produce a higher quality of artistic and thought provoking landscapes , they just dont have huge contracts enabling them to buy huge cameras and print huge prints etc etc , JC is just old skool for me and well played to the guy but there are many many ready to fill his boots and then some.
StrayCat 15 19.1k 3 Canada
31 Aug 2013 7:45PM
Hope your exhibition goes well Ade, I'd be there, but it's a 91/2 hour flight.Tongue
JJGEE 15 7.7k 18 England
31 Aug 2013 8:49PM

Quote:Can someone please define how 'passion' can be displayed in a landscape photograph and then we can take it from there.

Good observation.

I think the passion becomes evident if you go to a lecture / seminar / workshop. That is actually meet the person and speak to them.
joolsb 15 27.1k 38 Switzerland
31 Aug 2013 8:54PM

Quote:JC is just old skool for me and well played to the guy but there are many many ready to fill his boots and then some.

This does rather beg the question, what do you consider 'old school' and what 'new school'. I don't think I have ever seen a 'new school' landscape photograph so I'd be interested in any links you might have.

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