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Thread started 24 Feb 2012 (Friday) 09:34
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Wired Essay About Photography

 
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Feb 25, 2012 19:06 |  #16

Good job! Not everyone picks up on the subtle hints.


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Feb 25, 2012 19:08 |  #17

PMCphotography wrote in post #13966451 (external link)
Umm... did anyone notice that the author was the CEO and co-founder of Photoshelter? As such he would have a definite interest in drumming up positives of the "new era" of photography. It might as well be the President Of The United States Or the Prime Minister talking about how great the country is doing during the State Of The Union. They use words just like photoshelter pepper through the article. Using such absolutes as "love" and "hate" make a strong impact; i get it. To maximize traffic to your article (and then probably drive people to photoshelter to host their photos) you want to create as big an impact as possible. It's business. I get it.

I don't disagree for a second that great photos have to be technically amazing in every respect, but really? If you dont fling your arms around and rejoice because now you have to wade through dozens and dozens and dozens of pages on photosharing sites to maybe find one or two amazing photos?

Photoshelter thinks i'm a hater? Ok. I'm fine with that.

Yeah, I noticed. He sounds exactly like all the other successful entrepreneurs who are in their pundit phase.


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Feb 25, 2012 20:01 |  #18

dmcnelly wrote in post #13966729 (external link)
I'd rather admit I made a mistake and fix it than be a whiny, pedantic pain in the neck about it.

Nothing says you can't do both! ;)


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Feb 25, 2012 20:02 |  #19

S.Horton wrote in post #13966769 (external link)
Yeah, I noticed. He sounds exactly like all the other successful entrepreneurs who are in their pundit phase.

Yeah... I found the whole article to be pretentious and condescending about how superior it is to not be pretentious and condescending!


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Feb 25, 2012 20:16 |  #20

Yes, but I do understand his message overall. The medium is thriving. The people making money on it are changing.


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Feb 25, 2012 21:59 |  #21

RTPVid wrote in post #13967030 (external link)
Yeah... I found the whole article to be pretentious and condescending about how superior it is to not be pretentious and condescending!

Exactly.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Feb 27, 2012 01:04 |  #22

drocpsu wrote in post #13958254 (external link)
I don't know if this is a duplicate post, but I just read this essay on Wired.com about photography and though it was great. It's basically one guy's perspective on why he loves photography and the state of it today. Whether you agree or disagree with him, it's worth a read.

http://www.wired.com …/rant-i-love-photography/ (external link)

See, here's the thing.

I don't like photography. I like photographs.

I once took a digital photography course where the professor specified on the first day that the course was about photography rather than tinkering with **** on a computer. And he'd say, "we're photographers, right? You don't like to be sitting there looking at a computer monitor any more than you like to be standing in a darkroom waiting for a print to be fixed. We all want to be out there shooting."

Except, I don't. I don't like that **** either. Taking pictures isn't fun for me, it's work. For me, the really enjoyable part is LOOKING at photographs. And then having that rare moment when I see a totally awesome photograph that I love, and realizing "I did that". That's the payoff. Everything else is just work, for me. It's not always terrible, but it's certainly not what I consider fun. I don't "love" it, and sometimes I actually hate it. Because it's work, and work can be hellish. For me, at least, "photographing" is just one more chore that I have to struggle through before I get to "looking at pictures".

But there's absolutely no denying the power of a photograph. Photographs are incredibly powerful. And as much as some people lament about how it has become so easy for every jerk on the planet to take bad pictures and get them spread around, I welcome that. I've heard talk about the easy accessability of photography is killing the art form, and that's just noise to me. At some point, words like "good" and "bad" cease to have any meaning. A photograph migh be utter garbage on all formal accounts. But it means something to someone, IMAGES are profound to them, and thank god that we've gotten to a point where so many people are able to share in that experience. It doesn't even matter if the pictures suck to photo and art snobs.




  
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Clean ­ Gene
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Feb 27, 2012 01:16 |  #23

PMCphotography wrote in post #13966451 (external link)
Umm... did anyone notice that the author was the CEO and co-founder of Photoshelter? As such he would have a definite interest in drumming up positives of the "new era" of photography. It might as well be the President Of The United States Or the Prime Minister talking about how great the country is doing during the State Of The Union. They use words just like photoshelter pepper through the article. Using such absolutes as "love" and "hate" make a strong impact; i get it. To maximize traffic to your article (and then probably drive people to photoshelter to host their photos) you want to create as big an impact as possible. It's business. I get it.

I don't disagree for a second that great photos have to be technically amazing in every respect, but really? If you dont fling your arms around and rejoice because now you have to wade through dozens and dozens and dozens of pages on photosharing sites to maybe find one or two amazing photos?

Photoshelter thinks i'm a hater? Ok. I'm fine with that.

I'm not a CEO and founder of a website/company, and I mostly agree with the sentiments expressed.

This isn't directed at you since I don't know you, but I've encountered a LOT of "haters" who seem to have forgotten what made them fall in love with photography in the first place.




  
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Feb 27, 2012 04:12 |  #24

Clean Gene wrote in post #13973988 (external link)
I'm not a CEO and founder of a website/company, and I mostly agree with the sentiments expressed.

This isn't directed at you since I don't know you, but I've encountered a LOT of "haters" who seem to have forgotten what made them fall in love with photography in the first place.

maybe you're not, but the author of the blog is. What you do for a living has nothing at all to do with the Author having a vested interest in stirring up people's excitement about sharing photos- to his company.

I love photography as a medium. That's why I do it.

But implying that criticism of that art form (or the artists and their work) makes you a "hater" is, as previously mentioned, condescending and pretentious.


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Clean ­ Gene
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Feb 28, 2012 00:24 |  #25

PMCphotography wrote in post #13974575 (external link)
maybe you're not, but the author of the blog is. What you do for a living has nothing at all to do with the Author having a vested interest in stirring up people's excitement about sharing photos- to his company.

I love photography as a medium. That's why I do it.

But implying that criticism of that art form (or the artists and their work) makes you a "hater" is, as previously mentioned, condescending and pretentious.

I don't see how his financial interests are relevant.

One can say all they want about how this guy's only saying this because he wants to make his company more profittable, but I don't see how that really has any bearing on what he said. Do you think it possible that maybe he founded a photography based website BECAUSE of his love for photography?

Also, I don't ever recall the author stating that being critical makes one a "hater". It seemed to me that he was more critical of the pretentious amateur armchair criticism and elitism that results from much of the internet community. The obsession with gear, the ****-measuring contest over who's gotten their stuff published where, and the just general animosity directed towards the "new guy" whose pictures are crap.

I don't know, man. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way. But images are powerful to me in a way like few other things. And I'm damn glad that we've gotten to a point where even horrible photographers without an ounce of skill or talent can produce crappy work and actually get people to see it. Will some or most of those pictures be utter garbage? Absolutely. Just like how some or most of the posts on virtually EVERY internet discussion board will be utter garbage. But I like to think that it's possible to be critical without being a total jerk about it, and THAT seemed to me to be what the author was getting at. That, crappy work or not, there's a very real element in which people pour their hearts out via their pictures, and get crucified for it for stuff like being cliched or noisy or underexposed. Thankfully, we tend to have a pretty good community here and that doesn't happen that much here. Which is one of the only reasons I still come here at all. But I got a really strong vibe that the author was criticizing SNOBBISHNESS, not criticism.

But to me...I love photographs. On the rare occasion when I make one that I think is really awesome, that's just a magical feeling. Images have a profound impact anyway. But to actually see a really cool picture and realize "I made that" is just wonderful. That doesn't mean that I'm going to coddle everyone and tell them that their pictures are great, but it's totally possible to be critical without being pretentiously jerkish and off-putting about it. I've TOTALLY gotten the the impression (not so much here) where it's like "you, n00b! Your pictures suck and you're *****, so GTFO of the internet and stop wasting our precious valuable time with your crap pictures." And that's what I have a problem with. The elitism and the "you suck, so stop trying" mentality. The self-entitled attitude that we should somehow be entitled to enjoying pictures without looking at pictures that suck, and then the subsequent animosity levelled at n00bs for having the nerve to actually show us their crappy work. That just seems mean to me, and I can't on any level justify it. That absolutely doesn't mean that one shouldn't be critical. But I love photographs. Why would I try to kill that feeling in someone else?




  
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Feb 28, 2012 02:03 |  #26

I'm not saying he's ONLY saying this because he wants to make his business more profitable. But it's naive to not question how someone's position and financial interests might influence their ideological position.

The author is a very persuasive writer, no doubt about it. No doubt that has helped him become the CEO of his company. What he cleverly does using not only words but images is:

  • State a somewhat shocking thesis (some photographers HATE photography!) and uses the most polarizing language possibe (love, hate, suck).
  • States that he feels EXACTLY the opposite to those who hate photography.
  • No normal person photography lover wants be in the group he claims "hates" photography, will of course side with him.
I totally disagree that most of the photographers he references "hate" photography. They may hate the business of photography, but most "old timers" I know would most definitely love photography to still be their livelihood.

But it's not really possible for most "old timers" anymore. These days consumers seem to not want to to bother learning their craft, working hard, and sometimes sacrificing to make great art. We shouldn't just be accepting anything as "great" for what it is, just because you can upload it to instagram (or even photoshelter.) We need to be critical of ourselves in order to get better- and that doesn't happen a lot these days.


We all love the medium of photography. No one would have ever picked up a camera otherwise! No doubt seeing an amazing photo is a magical feeling. It is for me, it is for almost every single person on the planet. They are just really, really hard find these days.

Clean Gene wrote in post #13981177 (external link)
I don't see how his financial interests are relevant.

One can say all they want about how this guy's only saying this because he wants to make his company more profittable, but I don't see how that really has any bearing on what he said. Do you think it possible that maybe he founded a photography based website BECAUSE of his love for photography?

Also, I don't ever recall the author stating that being critical makes one a "hater". It seemed to me that he was more critical of the pretentious amateur armchair criticism and elitism that results from much of the internet community. The obsession with gear, the ****-measuring contest over who's gotten their stuff published where, and the just general animosity directed towards the "new guy" whose pictures are crap.

I don't know, man. Maybe I'm the only one who feels this way. But images are powerful to me in a way like few other things. And I'm damn glad that we've gotten to a point where even horrible photographers without an ounce of skill or talent can produce crappy work and actually get people to see it. Will some or most of those pictures be utter garbage? Absolutely. Just like how some or most of the posts on virtually EVERY internet discussion board will be utter garbage. But I like to think that it's possible to be critical without being a total jerk about it, and THAT seemed to me to be what the author was getting at. That, crappy work or not, there's a very real element in which people pour their hearts out via their pictures, and get crucified for it for stuff like being cliched or noisy or underexposed. Thankfully, we tend to have a pretty good community here and that doesn't happen that much here. Which is one of the only reasons I still come here at all. But I got a really strong vibe that the author was criticizing SNOBBISHNESS, not criticism.

But to me...I love photographs. On the rare occasion when I make one that I think is really awesome, that's just a magical feeling. Images have a profound impact anyway. But to actually see a really cool picture and realize "I made that" is just wonderful. That doesn't mean that I'm going to coddle everyone and tell them that their pictures are great, but it's totally possible to be critical without being pretentiously jerkish and off-putting about it. I've TOTALLY gotten the the impression (not so much here) where it's like "you, n00b! Your pictures suck and you're *****, so GTFO of the internet and stop wasting our precious valuable time with your crap pictures." And that's what I have a problem with. The elitism and the "you suck, so stop trying" mentality. The self-entitled attitude that we should somehow be entitled to enjoying pictures without looking at pictures that suck, and then the subsequent animosity levelled at n00bs for having the nerve to actually show us their crappy work. That just seems mean to me, and I can't on any level justify it. That absolutely doesn't mean that one shouldn't be critical. But I love photographs. Why would I try to kill that feeling in someone else?


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Feb 28, 2012 03:11 |  #27

I think what it says is that there is
A. a photographer,
B. an image and
C. a person viewing the photograph

And as long as C enjoys B, it is fulfilling for A.

Some A's need a set of C's that comprises [all humanity/ respected Pros/ Critics/ some specific paying customer/ photo editor/ family member/ friends/ just themselves] to enjoy B to find it fulfilling.


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Feb 28, 2012 06:42 |  #28

I think all articles should be evaulated in full light of both the context and the author's influences.

I think that the amount of critical thinking is declining.


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Feb 28, 2012 08:01 as a reply to  @ S.Horton's post |  #29

PMCphotography wrote in post #13981451 (external link)
I'm not saying he's ONLY saying this because he wants to make his business more profitable. But it's naive to not question how someone's position and financial interests might influence their ideological position.

...yeah, but whats a blog about anyway? Most of them are about improving SEO, and getting more traffic to their website, and making more money. You, after all, have a link to your twitter and your blog in your sig: I'm not saying you've done that purely to make your business more profitable, but it's naive to not question how someone in your position and financial interests might influence your ideological position.

The author is a very persuasive writer, no doubt about it. No doubt that has helped him become the CEO of his company.

A few things to keep in mind: firstly the blog entry firstly appeared on the photoshelter blog a month ago, primarily for photoshelter users, and it has only recently started to appear on other sites because people read it and agreed with it and it started to get spread around.

Secondly: photoshelter is not a photo-sharing site as you seem to imply: they are in the same game as smug mug and zenfolio, providing web templates to make it easier for photographers to display, sell and distribute their work. There is no inherent advantage to promoting themselves to people in the "new era of photography", he needs to promote himself to people like me or you who need a platform to sell and display our work.

What he cleverly does using not only words but images is:

  • State a somewhat shocking thesis (some photographers HATE photography!) and uses the most polarizing language possibe (love, hate, suck).

Well, duh. Some photographers do hate photography. Have a look at this thread and look at some of the things that are being said.

Allan says this:

They hate Getty, Corbis, the AP, day rates, photo editors, assistants, rental houses, camera stores, point-and-shoots, iPads, zoom lenses, padded camera straps, wheeled suitcases, younger photographers, older photographers. The photo of so-and-so on the cover of whatever it’s called sucks. That guy copied the other guy, he sucks. Terry Richardson sucks. Chuck Close sucks. Vincent Laforet hasn’t taken a still in 17 years. Kodak hasn’t been managed well since the 70s. Blah, blah, blah

Take a good hard look at these forums and tell me that there aren't people here who exactly reflect his comments.

  • States that he feels EXACTLY the opposite to those who hate photography.
  • Well gosh, maybe he does feel exactly the opposite. I know I do: and I regularly get into arguements with a couple of very close friends over many of these very same issues. I love photography. I love camera phone images, I love pinhole images, I love that people love to take photos. I'm exactly opposite of those who "hate photography."

  • No normal person photography lover wants be in the group he claims "hates" photography, will of course side with him.I totally disagree that most of the photographers he references "hate" photography. They may hate the business of photography, but most "old timers" I know would most definitely love photography to still be their livelihood.
  • He's making a rhetorical point that has obviously gone right over your head.

    But it's not really possible for most "old timers" anymore. These days consumers seem to not want to to bother learning their craft, working hard, and sometimes sacrificing to make great art. We shouldn't just be accepting anything as "great" for what it is, just because you can upload it to instagram (or even photoshelter.) We need to be critical of ourselves in order to get better- and that doesn't happen a lot these days.

    Again: your missing the point. For starters: if you want to upload it to photoshelter be prepared to to pay their monthly hosting fee with the intention of selling the image: they are not a photo sharing site.

    Secondly: he isn't talking about the business of photography: that is something you seem to want to talk about. He is talking about taking photos. You know, using your camera phone to take pictures of you mum, your dad, your kids, your pets. He isn't talking about great art: photography doesn't need to be great art.

    I'm sorry if you are offended that millions of people aren't bothering to learn the craft of photography, sacrificing to create "great art," when all they want to do is use their camera-phone to take photos of their friends. But this is the way of the world now, and isn't it fantastic?

    We all love the medium of photography. No one would have ever picked up a camera otherwise! No doubt seeing an amazing photo is a magical feeling. It is for me, it is for almost every single person on the planet. They are just really, really hard find these days.

    Well, no it isn't that hard to find, to be honest. I look at dozens of photos daily: and am constantly surprised and amazed at the fantastic work that people are producing. How could you not be? On this forum alone hundreds of amazing images are uploaded daily. I've got a couple of really close friends who are producing magical images on a daily basis. Are you just insulated from all of this, or do you just judge work by a very different standard to the rest of us?


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    PMCphotography
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    Feb 28, 2012 15:48 |  #30

    Maybe I do judge images by a higher standard. That's MY whole point that obviously went over YOUR head.

    I don't particularly like looking at thousands of pics of peoples cats, endless arms length self portraits, pics of their friends wasted coming out a club, extreme closeups of them smooching their gf/bf, or a not-quite-close-up-but-not-quite-in-context photos of flowers.
    And I don't agree that this is the "Golden Age" of photography. Just because you can press the shutter doesn't mean what's in front of it is worth capturing and showing everyone.

    But THAT doesn't mean I hate photography.


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