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Author Topic: When Pretty Isn't Enough  (Read 2498 times)
russell a
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« on: May 29, 2006, 01:20:26 PM »
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Michael, Michael, Michael, what are you thinking? You've written an essay that mentions the word "Art" again - akin to poking a sleeping javelina with a sharp stick.  I can anticipate the squeals of outrage already.  See, you awakened yours truly.

That aside, I think I know the feeling that you are trying to communicate.  There are occasions when I have taken a photo that just "felt GOOD", perhaps something about the light, maybe my frame of mind at the time, what I had for lunch... whatever.  Many times these photos are nothing special to the world at large, but they always have a certain resonance with me, and, as a result, I too put them in some special category - the category label, as you infer, is not important.  Is my appreciation of these shots based on the image triggering my feelings at the time of capture?  Reflecting on this, to categorize these shots are Art may be to say that an Art Object is simply something that we appreciate or find meaning in and which, in that context of appreciation, has no other function. Actually, this is a definition with which I believe I can be comfortable.  Needless to say, the audience size may be one or many, the locus for the experience can be anywhere, and the experience is timeless.  

So, as you have done, one may place the above mentioned class of shots in a virtual folder/portfolio called, say, Personally Resonant and let the world sort them out for themselves.

BTW there are postcards that clearly meet several definitions of Art.
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Hank
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2006, 04:05:35 PM »
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The point that registers with me is stopping to ask why an image resonates- whether my own or another photographer's.  As important is asking why an image does not resonate.  How we categorize photos after that- whether art or post card- is pure ego stroking in my book.
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image66
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« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2006, 10:48:28 AM »
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My question is whether or not you can "manufacture 'Art'"? For example, are the pictures posted so far from the Namibia trip trending towards "formula shooting".  You know what sells and you know the "rules".

Is so, will they generally feel like "postcards"? Is there anything original and groundbreaking in these shots or are they rehashes of what has been done before--only in a new location?  They are outstanding photographs--that's for sure, but are they something that we haven't seen before?

Now, compare this to the "Elephants" photographs which have a truely "fresh look" to them. I love the compositions and see ways of cropping that I've never seen before. I'm connecting with these elephant photos in a way that extends beyond the "wow factor" and into a more cerebral thought process. Not to be punny, but the elephant photos have "legs".

I'm definitely not "trash talking" the Namibia photos--they are technically outstanding and something that I strive to attain in my own work. But I'm missing the emotional connection in them like I had with the Antartica and SE Asia photos. This is something that I battle in my own work--I've got so many pictures that are so technically perfect, but as I look at them I wonder "why did I take this?"  I have no more connection to them than I do a financial report I generated at the office.

To me, those are postcards.
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