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Author Topic: She likes it. You might hate it.  (Read 9571 times)
stamper
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« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2012, 09:06:08 AM »
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This means the analysis and the feelings the others had - and possibly myself - were misplaced? Interesting what different people felt about the image which weren't true. I have often wondered about people's differing analysis of an image and how they could reach their conclusions. This confirms that there are different types of imaginations at work that don't really bear any resemblance to the true reality of the situation, only guesses that skewer their liking or disliking of the image?
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2012, 09:14:26 AM »
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... a professional photographer...

Ah, all clear now... that explains the destitution and despair part. Wink
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michswiss
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« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2012, 09:17:07 AM »
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Other people's perceptions and interpretations is the whole point.  That you have some of the story (there's my own untold half) distorts the perspective.  That can be deliberate or not. The image itself should be taken in unless the photographer or story editor decides to add other elements.
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Justan
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« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2012, 09:47:29 AM »
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The comments clearly show that is akin to a Rorschach test, where people project something of themselves into the image.

Id call that kind of result a success.

Nicely done.
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RSL
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« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2012, 09:51:03 AM »
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Other people's perceptions and interpretations is the whole point.  That you have some of the story (there's my own untold half) distorts the perspective.  That can be deliberate or not. The image itself should be taken in unless the photographer or story editor decides to add other elements.

Exactly. If it's photojournalism then the picture's there to support a story. If it's street photography the picture has to stand on its own feet, and the picture IS the story. People get the idea that street photography is documentary photography, but it's not. Jennifer just made the difference clear by turning what was a quite good street shot from which people could arrive at various conclusions into a picture that illustrates a specific story.

By the way Jen, this is the point "Street & PJ" never could grasp. Turning the title into "Documentary" was a smart move. The title now actually describes what's going on.
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stamper
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« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2012, 10:00:08 AM »
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The problem was the story had a different meaning to everyone that saw it but none of them guessed what really happened? There were all sorts thoughts, destitution, single mother etc etc but nobody guessed it was a professional photographer posing for a friend. It was a fraud, but a well meaning one with respect to nobody being fooled in a malicious way.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2012, 10:06:23 AM »
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Hi Jennifer,

I like it. I find it ambiguous and intriguing. I think one of its great strengths is the ambiguity, while being bautifully balanced and composed. The leading lines on right and left take you right to the mother's head -- What is she thinking?
And the baby is raching out with one arm and one leg, ready to plunge into an unknown world.

The variety of responses you have gotten so far suggest that it is an image that pushes viewer's buttons and provokes strong reactions, which is great IMHO (even though I don't agree with some of the other reactions.)

Quote
Other people's perceptions and interpretations is the whole point.

Brava!

Eric
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Isaac
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« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2012, 10:49:12 AM »
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I realise it's potentially a disturbing image...
It's fascinating how many seem to be disturbed by the clean, healthy, mom and baby (both with lots of new stuff) putting arse to tarmac in an astonishingly clean back alley.

I suppose they didn't look but just dived off the deep end anyway.
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amolitor
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« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2012, 11:01:06 AM »
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First of all, who cares if it's "real" or "posed"? Honestly it sounds like it was somewhere in the middle. If it's not 100% real maybe it doesn't get to be called truly "street" but again, so what?

It works as an evocative photograph.

We're not disturbed by the the clean, healthy mom and baby putting arse to tarmac in a clean back alley. What we're disturbed by is the potential implications of the scene. The thing is simply littered with symbols of destitution, decay, drug use, and so on. The fact that the mom is apparently clean and healthy, the fact that they're pretty well dressed and equipped in first place does not make the symbols go away, and in the second place by conflicting with that fairly blunt basic imagery makes us even more disturbed.

If it was just a junkie in a filthy alley, we'd "know" what was going on (whether it was a real junkie, or a model, or a model who is also a junkie, or whatever was "true", the scene's internal reality would be clear). It's not, so not only do we have all these unpleasant symbols in front of us, we DON'T know what's going on.

With respect, it's kind of insulting to assert that other people who ideas that differ from yours must simply not have looked closely.
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« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2012, 11:43:48 AM »
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Ah, all clear now... that explains the destitution and despair part. Wink

LOL
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2012, 11:45:27 AM »
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It's fascinating how many seem to be disturbed by the clean, healthy, mom and baby (both with lots of new stuff) putting arse to tarmac in an astonishingly clean back alley.

I suppose they didn't look but just dived off the deep end anyway.

I'm not disturbed by the picture, I am just trying to understand what the photographer is telling me - if indeed anything.  It's posted in a user critique section with a provocative header - so we are supposed to react.

Jim
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« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2012, 11:49:08 AM »
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I'm not disturbed by the picture, I am just trying to understand what the photographer is telling me - if indeed anything.  It's posted in a user critique section with a provocative header - so we are supposed to react.

Jim

+1
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Isaac
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« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2012, 11:51:26 AM »
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The thing is simply littered with symbols of destitution, decay, drug use, and so on.

For example?

Is the scene even littered with litter? :-)


It's not, so not only do we have all these unpleasant symbols in front of us, we DON'T know what's going on.

What "unpleasant symbols" specifically?
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RSL
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« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2012, 12:33:26 PM »
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I'm not disturbed by the picture, I am just trying to understand what the photographer is telling me. . .

What the photographer was telling you before she elaborated, Jim, was this: "Here's what I saw, make of it what you will." Why do we think a photographer has to be telling us something? The idea that art has to convey a message sounds as if it comes from the heady, leftist days of Soviet "art." Good art should tell you something about yourself. Yeah, the title was confusing. Sometimes it's best to call something like that "untitled" and let the viewer come up with his own title.
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Rob C
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« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2012, 12:57:01 PM »
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Ah, all clear now... that explains the destitution and despair part. Wink



I break a personal rule:

+1

Rob C
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2012, 01:07:05 PM »
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Good art should tell you something about yourself.
+1.

And the responses tell us a lot about those of us who responded.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: July 20, 2012, 01:07:20 PM »
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Stamper has it right, except he's been too polite to spell it out completely: this displays the utter bullshit that's the exercise known as critique.

All it ever achieves is a momentary flash of gratification where the writer finds yet another opportunity of showing off what he/she hopes might be a superior inner-knowledge of the world and its many weird ways.

Boiled down to its essence, the only honest 'critique' - how I hate that word - is I like it/I like it not. Which, of course, renders it futile unless it describes a point-of-sales moment.

Rob C
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« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2012, 01:26:40 PM »
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Stamper has it right, except he's been too polite to spell it out completely: this displays the utter bullshit that's the exercise known as critique.


I guess that means everyone is full of bullshit, because everyone is a critic. At least I've never met anyone who wasn't.
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amolitor
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« Reply #38 on: July 20, 2012, 01:50:54 PM »
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For example?

  • young woman
  • baby/young mother
  • leather jacket
  • sitting on the ground
  • alley

Basically, I dunno, every single thing in the frame?

I am pretty sure you're being disingenuous. How do you feel like apologizing for saying, basically, that everybody except you couldn't be bothered to look closely? No? Didn't think so.

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« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2012, 03:01:23 PM »
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  • young woman
  • baby/young mother
  • leather jacket
  • sitting on the ground
  • alley

Basically, I dunno, every single thing in the frame?

I am pretty sure you're being disingenuous. How do you feel like apologizing for saying, basically, that everybody except you couldn't be bothered to look closely? No? Didn't think so.

Relax, amolitor, that wasn't what he was saying. He said he wasn't bothered by the image. Neither was I, for that matter. But let's pick apart your list, just for fun.

young mother? Nope, nothing upsetting about young mothers, per se.
baby/young/mother? Nothing terribly upsetting about seeing babies and young mothers together, either. In fact I suspect I wouldn't feel any less sanguine if the mother were middle aged
leather jacket? I own a leather jacket and I'm not upset when I look at myself in the mirror wearing it. So a big "no" there too.
sitting on the ground? People sit on the ground in lots of different places and for all sorts of reasons. No, again.
alley? Well, that depends. Dark alleys with lots of trash everywhere and can look upsetting, particularly at night. But this alley doesn't fit that description, so no.

Did I have to look closely at the image to get any of that? Not at all. I got all that in about 3 seconds. I saw a woman and a baby sitting on the ground in a harmless looking alley in the middle of the day, next to what was probably a open backpack containing baby changing supplies. I figured she probably went to a nearby alley in order to do what she needed to do with a modicum of privacy, and as there were no chairs or benches available for young mothers who need to check their baby's diaper, she sat on the ground. Big deal. Nothing to get bothered by.
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