>>> Street Photography eXchange #84 <<<

Started Feb 7, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Re: Not so harsh?
In reply to HappyVan, Feb 11, 2014

HappyVan wrote:

TroiD wrote:

The poetry wants to influence what I can see in the image. I'd rather not read your poems, and just let the photo, it's subject... speak for itself.

In this image, while the tree is foreground... I feel that the real subject is the building behind. But I can't say there's anything captivating there. Nothing really brings me back to take another look.


Perhaps, the comments are too harsh?

This is a problem I alluded to above. Where images are recorded merely as documents, there is often the lack of aesthetic clarity. That is, it is obvious and unexceptional.

Is the building the best background? Is it necessary to identify the location as Soho? What quality of winter are you trying to show? What actually is the tree about?

You (the photographer) has to make choices. The process of choosing is a reflection of your ability, training and values. Do a good job, and we are suddenly standing in your shoes. Seeing the world through your eyes.

Looking at something extraordinary.

I didn't want to seem harsh at all. It's just my own personal choice to try understanding the image as it's shown, without being influenced or led by a poem or other written explanation. Titles on the photos are already a kind of influence, but I find them interesting and have used them myself. Frank, and anyone else who wants to, are certainly free to write as much as they want about their image. It's another form of expression and interesting because it seems to reveal more about the writer... than the image.

Well concieved and executed, a poem or a story can (should?) 'create' an image in our mind without need for an attached photo. Likewise a well concieved and executed photo will create a story in the mind of each viewer without need of any words to guide us. But it may not be a shared experiance... each viewer may be touched in a slightly different way. As I've said before... when we post an image we have to avoid being surprised if the viewer doesn't see what we thought we were showing. I think it'll be rare and special to find a combination of image and written words that really work well together. But for those who aspire to it and if it gives you pleasure... write away!

From a more technical standpoint, what I see when I look at this photo is not a wintery tree in SOHO with a buiding behind it. I see instead... part of a building, not quite well framed (50mm effect?) with some tree branches obscuring it. Aside from some light in one window it seems void of any human presence and just generally doesn't inspire me to come back and look again. Taken from a wider angle, with someone on the sidewalk or gazing out from a window... I could have been hooked. Then again if it's really about the tree... a wider angle to include some more of it and a larger aperature to blur somewhat the building could have done the trick.


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