Feedback requested. Warning: pictures of kids.

Started Apr 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 25,310
Re: What is the point of Photography?

Pikme wrote:

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.

Seems like so far we agree.

But what if you want to create some drama or unease in the viewer for your purpose?

Well, most people would say that the Sistine Chappel or the Last Supper or Rembrant's work are dramatic.

Maybe there is a reason why those artistists used, and in Davinci's case invented compositional rules.

Well, those 'bad' things become tools for the artist to use -

If they know what they are doing.

Are you putting the OP in that class?

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'

Correct, you are not.

but hopefully you can understand what I mean.

Only vaguely.

- how can you know that he meant to make ordinary portraits that follow the ordinary portraits rulebook?

I don't know what he meant to do, only what he did do.

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.

In your oppinion.

Some people think it is junk.

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.

There are definately limitations in the real world.

Try entering a photo contest or creating work for a paying client.

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.

Well, as I said sometimes famous artist creat crap.

Let me rephrase that, a lot of time famous artists create crap.

-  so often people get bogged down with trifling details

Trifling details?

Like keep the horizon level?  Don't chop off apendages thoughtlessly? Maybe follow some rules of composition?

that do not matter at all, such as 'blown' specular highlights.

No one is talking about that here.

We are talking about really basic stuff.

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!

the problem is that in every photo the subject has OOF parts.  That is because the OP has his lens set wide open for every shot because he thinks that is the way to do it; not because it has any relationship to the subject or the theme of the photo.

- 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.

there is no reason why you can't take a well composed photo "on the spur of the moment" if you do some self training.

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.

Well, why not take them properly?

-- hide signature --

Roberto M.


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