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Author Topic: Avoid Cliches  (Read 11960 times)
Goodlistener
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« on: December 30, 2007, 03:36:01 PM »
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This is a hard one...  But,  I will be on vacation this summer in a truly lovely place. Of course there will be lots of beauty and I will take sunsets, golden evening light on rolling hills, weathered stone buildings, of gnarled old trees silouhetted against the evening sky, cute little animals, children, old people and so on.  On these I will follow my heart and my eye where it may lead and its all nice.

But the real question is: How do i avoid cliche's?  I think part of the answer is to tell a story and to put in people, with emotions.

Does anybody have some views on this?


PS you are welcome to view my galleries on www.pbase.com/goodlistener
(And I hope you don't see cliche's  <grin>.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 03:36:37 PM by Goodlistener » Logged
kaelaria
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2007, 03:38:40 PM »
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You mean like starting threads about avoiding cliches?
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2007, 04:01:59 PM »
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But the real question is: How do i avoid cliche's?  I think part of the answer is to tell a story and to put in people, with emotions.

Does anybody have some views on this?

Yes.  Follow your heart and your eye, and make photos that appeal to you.  If you want to stretch your wings, so to speak, then challenge yourself to see differently, to find a new perspective on something.  If you like, make a 'traditional' photograph the way you normally would, then ask yourself, 'How can I make this different?'  Could be a different perspective, a different FOV, a different lens or filter... the possibilities are endless.

One of the exercises in 'Photography and the Art of Seeing' is to walk out your front door and shoot an entire roll of film without moving your feet - and make each shot interesting.  Another is to shoot an entire roll of film using one object as a subject.  The average CF card holds more than 36 images, but you get the idea.  Photography may be about 'drawing with light', but it starts with the eye and the imagination of the photographer and no one else will ever see the world as you do.

Mike.
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2007, 06:32:41 PM »
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All generalities are false.
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Goodlistener
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2007, 10:32:27 PM »
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[Thanks Wolf.  I think I can use this.  BTW, I ran across the Peterson book you refer to.  Need to get it from the public library and digest it.
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DiaAzul
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2007, 02:02:11 AM »
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But the real question is: How do i avoid cliche's?  I think part of the answer is to tell a story and to put in people, with emotions.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164096\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

1/ Don't worry about what is, or is not, a cliche. Instead do what you enjoy with a specific emphasis on achieving perfection (technically and aesthetically).

and/or

2/ Give yourself some objectives or a theme - global warming, animals of the country, wildflowers, tourism, local people. And use that as a tool to focus on a specific aspect of the area you are visiting.

Most important is not to get too hung up on what others think and make sure that you enjoy yourself. This will encourage you to take more pictures, and probably better ones. Your heart will lead you in the right direction.
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David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Rob C
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2007, 11:44:27 AM »
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Trouble, of course, is that all the well-intentioned advice is, of itself, cliché.

There is but one solution: don´t ask yourself the question. Then, whatever comes of the photography, at least it will be your own.

Rob C
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2007, 03:43:17 PM »
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Look at a lot of photos.
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mbridgers
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« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2007, 05:24:44 PM »
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Shoot the cliche shots anyway.  They'll be staring you in the face, get them out of the way.  Then you'll be free to see further, or differently.
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fike
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« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2008, 10:12:58 AM »
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I agree with others who say, don't worry about cliches.  You may choose not to show them in a gallery or online, but don't worry and shoot to your heart's content.  Who knows, you may be making a photo that you think is cliche and then realize that you have created something new and different.  

Never put limits on what you will shoot.  There are too many reasons NOT to make photographs.  If you let those reasons (excuses) control you, you will not make any photos.  

Of course there is the rather trite sentiment that cliches are cliches because there is some truth to them.  

I like the comment that someone said above "shoot the cliche shots away."  

Besides, someday you too might just want a picture standing in front of the eifel tower.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2008, 12:14:52 PM »
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I agree with mbridges..... I find I have to shoot the 'straight' or cliche shots to get them out of my mind. Then I can focus on finding something more interesting or creative.

Julian
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blansky
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« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2008, 12:29:41 PM »
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As a huge supporter of cliches, I can't seem to get enough of them. And luckily they're everywhere.

I guess the reason is, is that humans are very predictable, know what we like, get comfort from routine, and pretty much enjoy warm fuzzies.

On top of that if you live long enough, there isn't much that's new.

So if you want to rise above the herd, shoot stuff that you hate, is edgy, contains murder and mayhem, kinky sex, or boring celebrities, you can be an artiste, famous, rich, moody, rude, progressively reclusive and ultimately a cliche of yourself.

Then we can all come visit your grave when you self medicate and expire prematurely or end up a broken man in some insane asylum mumbling incoherently about how you really set the world on fire, but were completely misunderstood.

I prefer cliches.


Michael
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Robert Roaldi
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« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2008, 01:23:56 PM »
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Then we can all come visit your grave when you self medicate and expire prematurely or end up a broken man in some insane asylum mumbling incoherently about how you really set the world on fire, but were completely misunderstood.

To most people on earth, that would a step up.
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kbolin
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« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2008, 11:21:55 PM »
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Yes.  Follow your heart and your eye, and make photos that appeal to you.  If you want to stretch your wings, so to speak, then challenge yourself to see differently, to find a new perspective on something.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164101\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Try using a lens you seldom use.  I was on vacation one year and my 70-200 broke down and my next lens was a 17-35 (I always use two bodies so my 24-105 was in use too).  I got some of my best shots on that trip using a lens I don't use that often.
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LoisWakeman
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« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2008, 04:09:02 AM »
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Try reading this essay:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/essays/done_that.shtml

and see if you feel better!
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #15 on: January 03, 2008, 10:32:05 PM »
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Personally, I think "avoiding cliches" has become a bit cliche. Some people try to make doing "something different" an end unto itself which can be even more empty than the cliches they're trying to avoid.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2008, 10:32:30 PM by JeffKohn » Logged

masl
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2008, 07:06:16 AM »
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nice thread... I agree with those who opt to embrace the cliche- there's a very good reason that you see a million photos of half-dome etc.... they're uniquely appealing to the eye.  If you have a good eye, you'll see more.  If you get bored, put the camera down and go for a swim!  When you're in a creative mood the creative shots will come to you.
-Mark
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John Camp
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« Reply #17 on: January 04, 2008, 12:09:30 PM »
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It's only a cliche if you try to make art out of it. If you stand in front of the sunset and wave back at the camera, then its a perfectly good snapshot and can go in the family album, and you'll remember the place/time for the rest of your life...

JC
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alainbriot
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« Reply #18 on: January 04, 2008, 12:56:23 PM »
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Sometimes one has to do the cliches in order to get them out of the way and move on to creating personal images.   Creating personal images with a new subject can be challenging, especially when one hasn't developed a personal style yet.  How do you approach the subject then?  You have to have something to go with, and the cliches offer just that.

On a sidenote it's interesting to note that "cliche" also means "photograph" in French.  It's not slang, just a synonym.  I'm not sure if it's in the dictionary.
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Alain Briot
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sojournerphoto
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« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2008, 03:06:55 PM »
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This is a hard one...  But,  I will be on vacation this summer in a truly lovely place. Of course there will be lots of beauty and I will take sunsets, golden evening light on rolling hills, weathered stone buildings, of gnarled old trees silouhetted against the evening sky, cute little animals, children, old people and so on.  On these I will follow my heart and my eye where it may lead and its all nice.

But the real question is: How do i avoid cliche's?  I think part of the answer is to tell a story and to put in people, with emotions.

Does anybody have some views on this?
PS you are welcome to view my galleries on www.pbase.com/goodlistener
(And I hope you don't see cliche's  <grin>.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=164096\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I just enjoy the cliches - one of my favourite shots is some reeds with a sunset lit cloud reflected in the water:)

Mike
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