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

Started May 24, 2013 | Discussions thread
Brev00
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Re: I would like to discuss the aesthetics of photography...
In reply to Great Bustard, May 25, 2013

Great Bustard wrote:

Brev00 wrote:

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.

I get the feeling from this quote that the buyers are not referring to all digital photography but a type of digital photography that they have grown to dislike.

Were that the case, then I'd have understood completely.

Not knowing other types of digital photography, they developed a bias from some negative experiences and expect all digital photography to be this way.

Except these were people browsing a gallery show of prints, and buying them.  You'd expect that they had quite a lot of experience in the matter.

What way this is exactly is not really described in detail and I have a sense we may be jumping to conclusions as to what these people do not like.  It may not be sharpness or detail, per se, but a sense of clutter and poorly composed details.  Perhaps they have seen some overly processed hdr's or other types of images that are heightened and saturated so as to break the connection with reality.

Again, what galleries are these people frequenting that these are the types of photos they're used to and have forged their stated opinion on digital?

It can be difficult for me to let the image speak for itself without adding too much stuff.   I am just guessing that it is not digital photography they object to, but overly processed versions of it.

One would hope.  Then again, Ansel Adam's processing was far from light.

The op presented natural images processed with a light touch and received praise as film-worthy, high praise from these folks.

The implication being that the majority of digital photos displayed in galleries are "excessively" processed, which has not been my experience at all.

not your experience--exactly my point.  Our eyes are guided by our preconceived notions formed by our experiences and later justified by the resulting myopia.  Self-fulfilling prophecies, if you will, and the desire to always be right.  Just normal human behavior.  All they needed was one exposure to some overly saturated, busy digital prints and a lovely discussion over tea afterwards and that might have set the bias firmly in place.  A bias with group agreement is pretty strong stuff.Trying to open each other's eyes to some small degree is called teaching, a noble if usually frustrating endeavor.  You have taught these people something which may carry over to the next set of images they see.  If they are overwrought, their eyes may snap back to the previous bias.

I can see how their bias may have formed.  But, there are so many wonderful digital images (okay, way outnumbered by the not so wonderful), that, hopefully, I learn something new every day.

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