I would like to discuss the aesthetics of photography...

Started May 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
GaryR60
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Re: I would like to discuss the aesthetics of photography...
In reply to Great Bustard, May 24, 2013

Great Bustard wrote:

...based on this post:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51516317

Particularly, this paragraph, and particularly the portion I highlighted in bold:

I had a recent (very successful!) gallery show of prints up to 20"x30" from the E-3. Got many comments about how "natural" the prints looked. Several people said they didn't realize at first they were photographs. They used terms such as "relaxed, smooth and inviting" to describe them. Several, including other photographers, thought they were from film, though the photographers said they were puzzled by the lack of film grain. They were surprised to hear they were digital. Several, including buyers, said they generally don't like prints from digital cameras because they are too "self-conscious" in that they have too much unnecessary detail, too obviously photographic, and too unpleasant to live with on the wall, even if initially striking.

What do people think?  It's a very interesting observation, in my opinion.

Hmmmm....well, what strikes me most is the apparent contradictions between his comment that people weren't aware they were looking at photographs (which caused me to wonder if they'd been overprocessed in HDR, to the point of looking like paintings, as I've seen so many do) and the statement from the buyers, who say they find digital photography "too obviously photographic." Since they were evidently not talking about his images, I assume I was right in thinking he'd overprocessed them to the point at which they no longer look like photographs, but instead, look like paintings or 3D renderings. Personally, I dislike images that have been so overprocessed that they no longer look photographic. I grew up with film and so my personal aesthetic is very film-oriented and I appreciate the gritty realism of digital images, especially in black and white. I do street photography, among other genres, and most of my street work is rather high-contrast black and white in which maximum detail is deliberately revealed to provide a gritty realism, as my subjects are usually shot in an urban environment. But, that's just me.

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