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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 03 Aug 2011 (Wednesday) 08:00
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POLL: "What is your opinion of this guy's work?"
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Poll: How would you rate this guys work?

 
chauncey
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Aug 08, 2011 10:51 as a reply to  @ post 12896838 |  #46

That Bell Curve insures that there will always be poor-average-superior...


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 08, 2011 10:52 |  #47

rhys216 wrote in post #12896838 (external link)
They do, it happens everywhere in life, the more your exposed to something the less it has an impact, and the less we value it, it's just a fact of life.

You could take some of the greatest technically correct pictures in the world that are bursting with intrigue and emotion, but if there are millions of others posting comparable work to their flickr each week, your pictures then become 'meh', except to the people who haven't been overexposed to such imagery, often these people are average Joe's who are also usually are clients also.

Theres a great book that touches on this issue. Its a bit dated but still relevant.
"On Photography" by Susan Sontag
The great work is still great because its honest and the way the photographer truly views the world, whatever that maybe. If its truly honest then its his unique view.

Heres are some things though oversimplified to help one judge what is good from fluff. And work can have all of this in it and still and be technically good and yet just be fluff or some kind of technical piece only achieving a technical level of good.

Well, check this out and see if any of this is in the work that you posted.
http://char.txa.cornel​l.edu/language/introla​n.htm (external link)

Heres a couple of paragraphs at the bottom of the first page but I recommend reading it and clicking on the supplied links within. Its a good read though in some ways way over simplified.
"The important point to remember is that we should all feel free to like or dislike what we will, on grounds of personal taste. HOWEVER, please note that there is a distinction between personal taste or preference and objective judgements of success or failure in a work of design or art. It is possible to recognize that a work is successful and significant, even though it does not suit our personal taste. It should be clear that unless one can lay claim to a high level of expertise it is rather immoderate to condemn a work as "bad" just because one doesn't like it. It is important for an artist to understand this distinction, and even more so for a designer, who will surely be called upon to do creative work in a framework of someone else's tastes and ideas.

It is possible to learn how these objective judgements are made. A lot of it has to do with this business of visual language, and learning more of that language is what this course is about. There are objective criteria by which we can determine whether or not a work is successful ("good"). We will be looking at these criteria later in this course."

There are real reasons why the works of certain artist/photographers is still considered great no matter how many times its viewed. In fact much of that work has gotten better over time so great work stands the desensitized test because it works on a level far beyond the WOW.

A few that come to mind:
Weston of course
Adams
Evans
Lange
Bourke-White
DeCarava
Arnold Newman
Irving Penn
Robert Frank
Diane Arbus
Ralph Gibson
Many more; to many to really list.

These photographers and their work stand the test of time and all the stuff that you mentioned. Why because it has more than just the shock and/or wow factor working for it.




  
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sjones
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Aug 08, 2011 11:11 |  #48

rhys216 wrote in post #12896838 (external link)
They do, it happens everywhere in life, the more your exposed to something the less it has an impact, and the less we value it, it's just a fact of life.

You could take some of the greatest technically correct pictures in the world that are bursting with intrigue and emotion, but if there are millions of others posting comparable work to their flickr each week, your pictures then become 'meh', except to the people who haven't been overexposed to such imagery, often these people are average Joe's who are also usually are clients also.

No, certainly not in all cases, for if this was true, I wouldn't be looking at 'awe' at any photographs, as I would certainly be desensitized to all of it by now. And just a quick note, 'technically correct' means little to me in judging photographs.

The more I became exposed to photography, the more appreciative I became of it.

I understand where you are coming from; excessive redundancy can breed disinterest (and on some level, it should), but this is exactly my point; great photography is capable of transcending the deadening effect of a repeated style or genre. It's almost impossible to come up with something radically new in photography, and almost every subject has been rendered cliché. However, I still see photographs, even if it's just another damn flower, that catch my attention.

Yes, since picking up photography, I am likely more discerning, but this is a result of refinement, not desensitization. The only point you are making is that the 'average Joe' is more easily impressed, and this I will give you.

Anyway, as a hobbyist, I am my own client, so how I define great is going be subjective.

And Allen, great points made.


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rhys216
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Aug 08, 2011 12:06 |  #49
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airfrogusmc wrote in post #12896965 (external link)
Theres a great book that touches on this issue. Its a bit dated but still relevant.
"On Photography" by Susan Sontag
The great work is still great because its honest and the way the photographer truly views the world, whatever that maybe. If its truly honest then its his unique view.

Heres are some things though oversimplified to help one judge what is good from fluff. And work can have all of this in it and still and be technically good and yet just be fluff or some kind of technical piece only achieving a technical level of good.

Well, check this out and see if any of this is in the work that you posted.
http://char.txa.cornel​l.edu/language/introla​n.htm (external link)

Heres a couple of paragraphs at the bottom of the first page but I recommend reading it and clicking on the supplied links within. Its a good read though in some ways way over simplified.
"The important point to remember is that we should all feel free to like or dislike what we will, on grounds of personal taste. HOWEVER, please note that there is a distinction between personal taste or preference and objective judgements of success or failure in a work of design or art. It is possible to recognize that a work is successful and significant, even though it does not suit our personal taste. It should be clear that unless one can lay claim to a high level of expertise it is rather immoderate to condemn a work as "bad" just because one doesn't like it. It is important for an artist to understand this distinction, and even more so for a designer, who will surely be called upon to do creative work in a framework of someone else's tastes and ideas.

It is possible to learn how these objective judgements are made. A lot of it has to do with this business of visual language, and learning more of that language is what this course is about. There are objective criteria by which we can determine whether or not a work is successful ("good"). We will be looking at these criteria later in this course."

There are real reasons why the works of certain artist/photographers is still considered great no matter how many times its viewed. In fact much of that work has gotten better over time so great work stands the desensitized test because it works on a level far beyond the WOW.

A few that come to mind:
Weston of course
Adams
Evans
Lange
Bourke-White
DeCarava
Arnold Newman
Irving Penn
Robert Frank
Diane Arbus
Ralph Gibson
Many more; to many to really list.

These photographers and their work stand the test of time and all the stuff that you mentioned. Why because it has more than just the shock and/or wow factor working for it.

Tbh it's not as if we are exposed to their work all the time is it, and the technical factors that makes things last the test of time is a little different from what I'm talking about.

For instance, take a song on the radio, for the first month you might love it, so much so that every time it comes on the radio your happy for about 2 minutes, after this period in the following months 'due to over exposure' the song begins to have less and less impact and you eventually become bored of it, but in 20 years time you may look back down memory lane and think, wow that was a really great song, hell you probably would love to listen to it a few times again, but history will repeat itself, sooner or later your going to become bored of it again.

It doesn't matter what's factored into anything, if we are exposed enough to ANYTHING, it becomes mundane, just like a sofa or tv doesn't make our pulse race...

For one reason or another our brain just stops releasing the chemicals it had previously, and we look to other sources to get 'rewarded'.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Aug 08, 2011 12:21 |  #50

rhys216 wrote in post #12897319 (external link)
Tbh it's not as if we are exposed to their work all the time is it, and the technical factors that makes things last the test of time is a little different from what I'm talking about.

For instance, take a song on the radio, for the first month you might love it, so much so that every time it comes on the radio your happy for about 2 minutes, after this period in the following months 'due to over exposure' the song begins to have less and less impact and you eventually become bored of it, but in 20 years time you may look back down memory lane and think, wow that was a really great song, hell you probably would love to listen to it a few times again, but history will repeat itself, sooner or later your going to become bored of it again.

It doesn't matter what's factored into anything, if we are exposed enough to ANYTHING, it becomes mundane, just like a sofa or tv doesn't make our pulse race...

For one reason or another our brain just stops releasing the chemicals it had previously, and we look to other sources to get 'rewarded'.

And then theres the work of Coltrane,Davis,Beethov​en, Bach, Buddy Guy, The Who, or even Arcade Fire and some better works in any art form, no mater how much you hear them/view them, they only get better with time. Its because they have what all great works of literature, painting, sculpture or any art form have, they have staying power because they take time to understand and the more you look into them the more you see. Work that has the WOW/shock or immediate gratification factor are usually the type of work that has little staying power because of the very things you mentioned. If its really good, the more you see in it or hear in it, the closer you listen or look, the more you expect from all the other things you look at and listen to and it can start showing up in your own work. ;)

Also its not technique that makes an image great though many great images are technically good though some are not its vision and the ability of the photographer to successfully capture that vision. Technique for techniques sake only is just a shallow technical exercise and a form of visual masturbation. Usually its just a really technically proficient image with no heart or soul. Whats the real point but to only show off skill.

Any art should not be so shallow as to only play on the fact that it makes out heart race. What you describe with that statement is the WOW factor and is not what better work is all about.




  
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sjones
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Aug 08, 2011 13:42 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #51

Firstly, there's a vast difference between diminishing excitement and becoming outright bored. Furthermore, different forms of appreciation might develop, even if the "wow" factor has subsided or not.

I've been listening to punk/alternative for three decades; a type of music that is generally constrained to three chords, and in the past three decades, ten million garage bands have done about everything they can do in that three chord paradigm, but even so, a band will still emerge once and awhile that stands out…been there, done that, who cares…this is great sh*t! How I listen to punk certainly differs from when I was 17, but this is more a factor of growth and change as a person rather than an as aversion to an aging style.

Yes, pick up a new album, listen to it 1,000 times in a week, and sure, it will likely lose it's initial impact, maybe even contribute to full on dementia, but back away from it for just a bit, maybe a month or two (not 20 years!), and if the album is that good, you can start listening to it again with pleasure…maybe not with the same degree of excessive joy as during its debut week, but certainly without the slightest amount of boredom either. On the other hand, if you become quickly sick of it to the point of perpetually banning it from your ears, then maybe it wasn't that great in the first place.

And then there are the songs you grew to like, but only after repeated exposure. In any event, let's not forget the wonderful concept of moderation.

Again, and I cannot stress this enough, I would be bored with all photography if amount of exposure was the principal factor dictating my interest.

And actually, the photographers Allen listed are in my view as much as anyone else; that's because I've yet to become bored of their exceptional work.

Now, in regards to the photos in your link, it's really quite apropos to this discussion. When I started to get more serious with photography around 2005, I purchased numerous related magazines.

And yes, as a novice (actually still am one), the saturated seascapes with wispy waves sure looked pretty and technically impressive (WOW)---at least, at first, but they didn't stand the test of time, and within about three to five months, I felt like someone was funneling a ton of goopy sugar down the gullet every time I saw such photos; sure, still delectably sweet, but with gastrointestinal ramifications abound.

It's important to note, however, that there were other new styles that I was checking out just as much during that same timeframe; some I would grow to like, others I would dismiss. Consequently, while repeated views undoubtedly undercut my joy of those LSD-inspired landscapes, my distaste did not solely arise from redundancy, but instead more from my evolving, and I think, improving taste.

That is, I think you're arguing that criticism of these types of photos is due more to overexposure rather than their inherent aesthetic appeal, and as such, experienced photographers are too jaded to appreciate what the 'average and uninitiated Joe' will. And sure, in some cases, experienced photographers will concern themselves with certain technical details that the average viewer would never notice. Yet, in this specific case, what I'm saying is nope, don't just assume that these photos are innocent victims of disproportionate dissemination; there are other factors at play here, far more important ones.


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 08, 2011 13:58 |  #52

sjones wrote in post #12897858 (external link)
Firstly, there's a vast difference between diminishing excitement and becoming outright bored. Furthermore, different forms of appreciation might develop, even if the "wow" factor has subsided or not.

I've been listening to punk/alternative for three decades; a type of music that is generally constrained to three chords, and in the past three decades, ten million garage bands have done about everything they can do in that three chord paradigm, but even so, a band will still emerge once and awhile that stands out…been there, done that, who cares…this is great sh*t! How I listen to punk certainly differs from when I was 17, but this is more a factor of growth and change as a person rather than an as aversion to an aging style.

Yes, pick up a new album, listen to it 1,000 times in a week, and sure, it will likely lose it's initial impact, maybe even contribute to full on dementia, but back away from it for just a bit, maybe a month or two (not 20 years!), and if the album is that good, you can start listening to it again with pleasure…maybe not with the same degree of excessive joy as during its debut week, but certainly without the slightest amount of boredom either. On the other hand, if you become quickly sick of it to the point of perpetually banning it from your ears, then maybe it wasn't that great in the first place.

And then there are the songs you grew to like, but only after repeated exposure. In any event, let's not forget the wonderful concept of moderation.

Again, and I cannot stress this enough, I would be bored with all photography if amount of exposure was the principal factor dictating my interest.

And actually, the photographers Allen listed are in my view as much as anyone else; that's because I've yet to become bored of their exceptional work.

Now, in regards to the photos in your link, it's really quite apropos to this discussion. When I started to get more serious with photography around 2005, I purchased numerous related magazines.

And yes, as a novice (actually still am one), the saturated seascapes with wispy waves sure looked pretty and technically impressive (WOW)---at least, at first, but they didn't stand the test of time, and within about three to five months, I felt like someone was funneling a ton of goopy sugar down the gullet every time I saw such photos; sure, still delectably sweet, but with gastrointestinal ramifications abound.

It's important to note, however, that there were other new styles that I was checking out just as much during that same timeframe; some I would grow to like, others I would dismiss. Consequently, while repeated views undoubtedly undercut my joy of those LSD-inspired landscapes, my distaste did not solely arise from redundancy, but instead more from my evolving, and I think, improving taste.

That is, I think you're arguing that criticism of these types of photos is due more to overexposure rather than their inherent aesthetic appeal, and as such, experienced photographers are too jaded to appreciate what the 'average and uninitiated Joe' will. And sure, in some cases, experienced photographers will concern themselves with certain technical details that the average viewer would never notice. Yet, in this specific case, what I'm saying is nope, don't just assume that these photos are innocent victims of disproportionate dissemination; there are other factors at play here, far more important ones.


I kinda think that you hit the nail on the head. If it has no depth then there is nothing after the wow factor. Work with depth changes and might even get better over time. The Stooges, MC5, Clash, Ramones for me certainly fall into that as does Coltrane. First time i heard Love Supreme I hated it. Every time I listen I hear something new. Much of Westons work is like that as is Bressons. If the work is shallow and working on only one lever it usually has little staying power.




  
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alexdesign
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Aug 08, 2011 17:12 |  #53

I dunno I really liked his processing and high quality work. I liked it a lot


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Hard ­ Drive ­ Disk
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Aug 08, 2011 17:16 |  #54

I think that is a guy on the forums. Ive seen some of them in these parts.


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jeffrosproto
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Aug 09, 2011 18:57 as a reply to  @ Hard Drive Disk's post |  #55

It's not my cup of tea (I'm not a big fan of long-exposure beach shots) but they are appealing and well-processed.


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sulli.gibson
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Aug 11, 2011 09:09 |  #56

Hahaha at all the people ripping on his work. Especially the ones who claimed this was really easy to do... Yeah okay, sure... His compositions are great. His colors are a little strong for my taste but that's his style. Overall impressive work.


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MilesW
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Aug 13, 2011 05:00 |  #57

That is the beauty of this thread if you ask opinions then you will get varying trains of thought on the subject. Creative critics are for the most part acceptable. I like some of it and find it well done.


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Aug 13, 2011 05:51 |  #58

I think they are gorgeous pictures, and very well done. In my opinion, if there had just been one, people would have had a higher opinion, but since there are so many, all of the same general type, they look "dime a dozen" as someone said. That said, I'm not a fan of that type of landscape work, but a number of people here at POTN do that kind of thing, and you can easily see who does it well and who poorly. I' don't think it's easy by any means...


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mikekelley
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Aug 13, 2011 09:53 |  #59

Nothing I haven't seen before. While pleasant to look at, I wasn't dropping my jaw or anything.


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pixiepearls
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Aug 13, 2011 11:57 |  #60

Something feels weird about it, like photoshop or weird exposure times. It is all very beautiful but I'm not a fan of HD stuff, this has a smidge feel to it like that. Some of the shots seems natural tho.


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