Merits of photographing beauty...

Started May 25, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Merits of photographing beauty...
May 25, 2014

Firstly, I'm a super newbie so understand I'm trying to learn, not start an argument.

I'm interested in exploring the idea that because something is a known attractive quantity that that makes it less valuable as a target for capture. I posted my first set of photos on this forum yesterday and a few people expressed this sentiment and I'm wondering why. The pictures were of sunsets in Hawaii. What I found interesting was that people didn't say that the captures were bad, boring (edit: actually reading between the lines, boring may be the less nice way of expressing what some wrote) or grossly technically deficient, just that it was difficult to judge the photos because the subject was "too darned easy". The implication to me was that any monkey can take a picture of something beautiful, which serves only to lessen photographers involvement in the process (and where are all these pictures taken by monkeys anyway?? )

I see pictures of beautiful birds, bugs, plants, people, etc. posted and no one says 'eh, I've seen pictures of a fly before so this one isn't worth judging on its own merits'. Saying you can't judge the photographic merits of an image because the subject is beautiful on its own is a bit odd to me. By this logic, the only portraits worth evaluating are of ugly folks and taking a photo of a beautiful girl is cheating.

Does every image have to be meaningful? Isn't a beautiful photo enough sometime? To be clear, I'm not insulted about these comments being applied to my photos nor am I rushing to call any of my photos beautiful. I know I'm barely an amateur photographer so I expect what I post to be ripped to shreds. This just seemed like a strange angle from which to look at an image. I'm trying to learn more about how people take in a photo and what qualities make an image interesting and intriguing. I understand that we ideally want to take something expected/known and transform it into something new/transcendent, but most captures don't seem to me to fall into that category.


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