The ORB revisited

Started Apr 28, 2012 | Discussions thread
PF1944
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Re: The ORB revisited
In reply to patchotoole, Apr 30, 2012

Let’s not make me say more than I said. I did not say that the ORB has an aesthetic effect. That would imply that some brilliant photographer, à la Cartier-Bresson, could make use of it for the purpose of his photograph. I did say that it is natural in a natural process; I stand by that statement. As an atheist, I rule out God and supernatural intervention; I’m sure even believers will not think their God interested in such minute details of photography. And I also rule out human intervention; apart from the act of directing the camera towards a reflexive surface on which a tiny source of light is shining, or directly on that source of light, there is no human will involved in the creation of the ORB, as opposed to other aspects of the photograph which the photographer can control, or at least influence; if this was not the case, Fuji would have corrected the user manual to address the issue. What’s left is the work of nature, through a process that is entirely natural, the photographic process.

Aesthetic effects are those which a photographer produces by exercising whatever control he or she has on the production of the final image. One may quarrel with the photographer’s choice, or his apparent failure to make a given choice. Such quarrels “only” involve questions of taste. I will certainly not contend that I have better taste than anyone else, nor will I bend my taste to conform to someone else’s, at least not unless I have gotten to know that person’s taste well enough to actually internalize her taste.

This is why I, and again, this is a purely personal choice, do not enjoy “rule based art”, whether it be photography, dressage or ice skating. The latter has evolved from “figure skating” to “ice dancing”, dressage is in the intermediate stage, where it keeps the traditional fixed series of movements and has added a “cur” or “horse dancing” competition, where horses and riders can explore other ways of making beautiful moves; interestingly, that is the competition that is usually scheduled for the evening that will have the greatest number of spectators.

Where photography is concerned, it is my belief that the truly great artists are the ones who have given us new “rules”, that is, by breaking whatever rules hampered their ability to express their vision fully, they have caused the rest of us to imitate their approach. I don’t see myself as an artist, at least not in that sense. But I think we should all retain the right to express ourselves freely – both in our pictures, and on this forum!

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