Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
Pikme Senior Member • Posts: 2,176
Re: What is the point of Photography?

I would love to have a real conversation about these things, but without the personal attacks and not in this thread.

But briefly I was trying to make a couple of points:

- the 'rules' that you speak of are meant to provide a 'safe' photo, 'safe' because the 'rules' are normal artist techniques to ensure a sense of balance and structure for the viewer, and protect against causing unintentional unease or tension by having a crooked horizon, chopped off appendage at the joint, missing body part, running animal about to run out of the frame, etc.  But what if you want to create some drama or unease in the viewer for your purpose?  Well, those 'bad' things become tools for the artist to use - that is what I mean by learning the effects and then using them.  Perhaps I am not using the correct technical word to call them 'effects' but hopefully you can understand what I mean.

- how can you know that he meant to make ordinary portraits that follow the ordinary portraits rulebook?  On the 'what makes a good photo' thread in this forum, I mentioned some artists whose work would be ripped to shreds in these forums.  One example is Bruno Quinquet's Salaryman Project - an entire body of work where the faces are intentionally obscured to protect the privacy of the individual.  Yet the work is very personal, moving, powerful, evocative, emotional, etc.  They are beautiful portraits without recognizable faces - what set of 'rules' did he follow?

- these forums have an incredibly narrow set of 'rules' that all photos are supposed to follow - but in the real world, there are no such limitations.  I could post hundreds of amazingly good photos by famous and not so famous artists that break all these 'rules' - many that most people would recognize but have forgotten that they didn't follow the 'rules'.  I just wish more people would spend half as much time in the library or at galleries or museums looking at modern and historical photography as they spend on these forums.  It would be educational and so liberating.

-  so often people get bogged down with trifling details that do not matter at all, such as 'blown' specular highlights.  I suggest that your comments about some of the OOF items in his pictures are along those lines - not every photo has to have every inch of the subject in sharp focus --- really, who the heck cares about the OOF feet in picture #4??  The point of interest is the face, not the knitting details of the child's socks!

- my favorite photos of my own children and friends are generally the least technically 'good' pictures I take, because they are done spur of the moment to capture a special emotion or time or place.  Everyone (meaning family and friends) loves those pictures because they do capture a fleeting moment of great emotion ---- no one ever looks at a photo with great emotional content and then remarks about the OOF left toe or the missing elbow on the right side!  That's what I meant by sometimes missing the point.

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Roberto M.

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