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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 28 Jul 2011 (Thursday) 02:55
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How do you approach pictures that you know will be controversial?

 
NewEnglandPhotographer
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Aug 02, 2011 00:21 |  #46

I guess I'm still trying to understand how your concept has ANYTHING to do with commercial photography. Also, what the hell does it mean?


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kajiwara13
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Aug 02, 2011 00:35 |  #47

i dont know man, it doesnt seem too horrid to me?
If anything, it strikes me as interesting.. The lighting, placement, and props remind me of jesus hanging on the cross..

I may be wrong but It sounds like your feelings on it have been swayed by the negative comments you received from your class mates. Undoubtedly some people will see this as vulgar, but at least you did something different.. I mean, its honestly just opinion.
Art everywhere is criticized,and you need to accept it in order to improve, but your opinion should be the only one that means anything.




  
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TheBurningCrown
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Aug 02, 2011 00:36 |  #48

ThatJamesGuy wrote in post #12861515 (external link)
Oh god..

:lol:

The lighting is a bit harsh, but otherwise it's definitely thought-provoking. I can see why it would be controversial, though.

Thanks for posting it.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 02, 2011 00:45 |  #49

ewheeler20 wrote in post #12861578 (external link)
I guess I'm still trying to understand how your concept has ANYTHING to do with commercial photography.

Uh...yeah. That's precisely why I sort of vaguely asked about the parameters for the assignment before even attempting the shoot. That's also why after doing the shoot, I quickly started looking over the results and thinking, "what the hell was I thinking? I can't use any of this!"

ewheeler20 wrote in post #12861578 (external link)
Also, what the hell does it mean?

I'm not going to comment on that. Seeing as how the class didn't get the benefit of me explaining what it means or why I did it, I'm not gonna do that here either. All I'm gonna say here is that I intended it to be sort of respectful and tasteful rather than a flat-out gore picture or something like that. I'd considered other ideas, and either dismissed them (or tried them and abandoned them) because they were either flat-out distasteful, or too cold and clinical. As far as MEANING goes, the only thing I'm going to say is that I intended it to be respetful and relatively tasteful. My INTENT was never to gross the hell out of people. Looking at the picture made me sad, playing with the dead animal for hours made me feel sad and dirty. As far as meaning goes here, all I'm gonna say is that I needed the dead animal to seem like more than a mere prop. I ultimately ended with something that I could feel was respectful and in good taste, but I still find the picture lacking. And I'm not going to go any more in-depth about what the picture "means" or why I did it. I wasn't allowed to do that during critique, and I'm not gonna do that here. For the sake of argument, pretend that I died immediately after submitting it, and never got to explain the picture to anyone. The picture then stands on its own merits or fails because of its own flaws.

And I never really wanted to make this about the picture anyway. Which is partly why, up until now, I never bothered showing it. What the picture "means" has absolutely nothing to do with the concerns that I've raised.




  
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NewEnglandPhotographer
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Aug 02, 2011 00:57 |  #50

fair enough.
Personally, I don't find the picture vulgar, gross, or anything like that...


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vfotog
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Aug 02, 2011 01:10 |  #51

do any of the people here liking this have any clue what commercial photography is? you know, the field where you get paid to fulfill your client's vision to promote their product or business? so, did you kill the bird for your picture?




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 02, 2011 01:14 |  #52

vfotog wrote in post #12861734 (external link)
so, did you kill the bird for your picture?

Does that really even matter?




  
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darosk
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Aug 02, 2011 01:17 |  #53

Though I'm no prof myself, I'd have given it an A. I like it.


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vfotog
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Aug 02, 2011 01:25 |  #54

Clean Gene wrote in post #12861744 (external link)
Does that really even matter?

yeh, if you're into cruelty to animals, it certainly has some bearing on your ability to function around normal people and your motivation for doing the piece. spending hours with thawing dead animals isn't how most people would consider working.




  
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thebishopp
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Aug 02, 2011 01:40 |  #55

Not bad, probably would have been better without all the build up before it lol. I was expecting animal heads cut off and maybe arranged in like a "last supper" scene. or maybe a texas chainsaw massacre diorama with the characters being played by the dead animals... one of them chasing or "chainsawing" into another one with a little toy chainsaw. Personally I think you should have used a dove for the crucified animal.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 02, 2011 01:49 |  #56

vfotog wrote in post #12861778 (external link)
yeh, if you're into cruelty to animals, it certainly has some bearing on your ability to function around normal people and your motivation for doing the piece. spending hours with thawing dead animals isn't how most people would consider working.


See, here's the thing. I like snakes.

So a while back, I watched a movie called The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. And I loved the hell out of that movie, right from the very beginning.

Then, about 20 minutes into the movie, Brad Pitt grabs a live rattlesnake and chops its ****ing head off.

And yeah...I like snakes. And the idea of deliberately killing a snake (probably SEVERAL snakes, until they got the scene right) merely for the sake of making a damn movie sort of bothered me.

Now...DID they actually murder a snake in order to make the movie? Or did it merely LOOK like thet cut a snake's head off just to make a movie?

I don't know. And really, at some point, I don't NEED to know. That might weigh in on whether or not I feel that the filmmakers were dirtbags, but it doesn't have anything to do with how GOOD the movie was. IF they actually killed the **** out ofone or more snakes for the sole purpose of making a movie, then yes...I have a prolem with that. But even if that were the case, does that actually make the movie worse? In my mind...no, it doesn't. I don't really need to know if they actually murdered snakes in order to make the movie. Even if that were the case, that still wouldn't stop it from being a good freaking movie.

So...yeah. Maybe I did stomp on a baby bird until it was dead, or maybe I simply found a dead baby bird and decided to take pictures of it. That matters if you're trying to assess my moral values, but I don't see what relevance that has in regards to the actual picture.




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Aug 02, 2011 01:51 |  #57

thebishopp wrote in post #12861815 (external link)
Personally I think you should have used a dove for the crucified animal.

I agree.

Conceptually, a dove probably would have worked much better, whereas a duck is just sort of a random animal.




  
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engl1001
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Aug 02, 2011 02:31 |  #58

Clean Gene wrote in post #12836092 (external link)
I'm sitting there by myself enjoying a few drinks and having a nice dinner

I hope you didn't keep the beer and food next to the dead animals :lol:




  
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TheBurningCrown
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Aug 02, 2011 11:27 as a reply to  @ engl1001's post |  #59

vfotog wrote in post #12861734 (external link)
do any of the people here liking this have any clue what commercial photography is? you know, the field where you get paid to fulfill your client's vision to promote their product or business? so, did you kill the bird for your picture?

...what if the client is a religious organization, or an animal rights organization, or a hunting organization, that wants a picture of a dead animal in this way for some point or another?

"Commercial" means you take an image that the client is looking for. If this is what the client is looking for, that makes it commercial. It's not all light-box product photography and glamorous models in the latest Chanel.

Clean Gene wrote in post #12861827 (external link)
So...yeah. Maybe I did stomp on a baby bird until it was dead, or maybe I simply found a dead baby bird and decided to take pictures of it. That matters if you're trying to assess my moral values, but I don't see what relevance that has in regards to the actual picture.

The former often indicates sociopathic tendencies, so yes society does see a purpose in regulating that. Either way, a lot of times people like to find the meaning "behind" the image to see something out of it (see the work of Thomas Demand).


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jmg181
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Aug 02, 2011 12:07 |  #60

TheBurningCrown wrote in post #12863785 (external link)
...what if the client is a religious organization, or an animal rights organization, or a hunting organization, that wants a picture of a dead animal in this way for some point or another?

Actually, that was my first thought - "Wow, some animal rights people would be into this", and not in a bad way.

To be candid, I don't think its an overly controversial image.


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How do you approach pictures that you know will be controversial?
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