View Full Version : What are your photographic turn-ons/turn-offs?

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05-24-2011, 03:24 PM
I was looking through images on the gallery and I was beginning to pay attention to the types of images I liked and disliked. I thought I would write them down. But I am curious if most other photographers looks for the same thing or if there is a wide variety.

So.. this is kind of a survey. What things catch your eye and what things make you go "YUK".

Ill go first:

abstract landscapes (Ryuijie)
angry skies
eye-contact in portraits
blurred motion
good tonal values in prints

Turn offs:
nudity for nudity sake
digital compositions

Now you:

Ian Grant
05-24-2011, 03:35 PM
Turn offs

Unnecessary toning for pseudo artistic effect, (trying to make a bad print look better)
Cloning of other peoples images, styles.
Inconsistency in terms of style etc.

Poor quality, unsharp images, bad framing - unless the images warrant it
Being formulaic

Turn on's

Sense that a photographer has vision
Good grasp of technique
Believes there's no rules
Superb quality (where warranted).

That's just a start :D


Michel Hardy-Vallée
05-24-2011, 03:51 PM
Want more of:

Social landscape in colour
Natural landscape in black and white
Compositional rigour in line, tone, texture, shape

Want less of:

Homeless picture #2012310413b
Fine Art Photography
Slot canyons
Sand dunes
Street photography
Decisive moments
Jazz musicians / buskers

05-24-2011, 04:00 PM
Want more of:

Social landscape in colour


05-24-2011, 04:00 PM

Contrast as a composition tool
low perspectives
wide angle + in close
abstract nudes


lens characteristic as subject matter ('bokeh')
backlit pastel photos of smiling couples running through crops
multiplicity photography
selective desaturation

05-24-2011, 04:04 PM
Most photographs we make are boring - so that's a turn off :P.

Also tired of cliches. I don't understand why people insist on making cliche after cliche, and their goal seems to refine the cliches to make them even more cliche. Do people even look at inspiring pictures to improve their art?

Like good street photography, and good abstracts, but that's rare nowadays. Sometimes I find great stuff on flickr. Stuff that shows broken rules and absence of cliches.

05-24-2011, 04:10 PM

Strong lines that draw the eye
Wide angle images of places not expected
Subjects that otherwise I would have found mundane
BW landscapes, color people
Revisioned versions of over-shot places (NY, Yosemite, etc) -- especially when I wouldn't have done it

90% of street photography
Traditional Portraits in dramatic lighting
Dishonest landscapes (hard to describe, but overly dramatic for what it is)
Alternative printing for the sake of alternative printing

05-24-2011, 06:45 PM
90% of street photography

Where are you looking at street work?

05-24-2011, 06:52 PM
Can't think of names off the top of my head, but I had two friends who were super into it during college and never found it very satisfying to look at, think about, or even do. Do you have recommendations? I have an open mind, I just don't know if it's for me to enjoy.

Michael R 1974
05-24-2011, 07:17 PM
Would like to see more:

Straight photography
Attention to detail
High quality printing

A lot less:

"Dramatic" skies
Negative scans
Lith and alternative whatever
Multiple super toning

And the number one thing I can't stand on here:

Making the point you used old expired film/paper.

Poisson Du Jour
05-24-2011, 07:18 PM
In a wilderness scene, suddenly finding footprints within the frame is extremely annoying. I usually abandon the scene as I do not (and never will) include signs of human presence in wilderness scenes. Asthetically, I concentrate on seeking out simple subjects either in isolation or complimentary. I do not photograph people tracks or buildings.

One often disabling turn-off is 120 or 35mm film suddenly jamming, either on/during wind, or near the end of rewind. With no changebag handy, I've often resorted to diving into bushes with a black raincoat and hurriedly yanking out the offending roll — irrespective of the gaggle of curious people nearby.

Digitally additive/modified images that skew reality so badly I don't bother a second passing glance.

And finally: My pet-hate is fishe-eye lens photographs. Please —! We've all seen the effect — too often and it is nothing new under the (360 degree) sun!

05-24-2011, 07:19 PM
I can recommend my favorite photographers. Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, Todd Papageorge, Lee Friedlander, a few shots of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Elliott Erwitt, Tom Wood, Trent Parke and similar.
There are plenty of their photos online, but there also books, and some galleries have their prints as well.

05-24-2011, 07:35 PM
turn offs

turn ons
"breaking rules"

05-24-2011, 07:48 PM
Turn-off - cat photos.

Turn on - pornographic photos.

05-24-2011, 08:02 PM
Interesting question... One I find very difficult to answer. Every time I think I have a "style" of photography I dislike, I see something in that genre which I really like a lot. And, every time I'm convinced there's a "style" I do like, I see something which doesn't do it for me. I guess I'm not able to make generalizations- each image I view elicits a unique response, regardless of genre. But, this is one of the reasons I love seeing photographs (indeed, all art), as my response to the work never fails to surprise me.

05-24-2011, 08:09 PM
Turn-off - cat photos.

Turn on - pornographic photos.

What about kitty porn?:whistling:

05-24-2011, 08:16 PM
Turn offs:
Homeless (its wrong to take advantage of someones plight)
Bland landscapes
Long exposure docks/pylons/etc in the water
Centered everything (esp in combination with long exposure docks)
Snapshit Street
Long exposure light writing
Strict adherence to rules
Anything wedding photography

Turn ons:
Well composed/Timed Street
Long tonal ranges
Exciting architecture
Tasteful nudes
Effective use of shadows and or negative space
Good toning with selenium, sepia, or alternatives (wine, coffee, tea)

theres probably more for both, but thats just off the top of my head

05-24-2011, 08:26 PM
What about kitty porn?:whistling:

Only when it's very tasteful. But no one really wants to look at furry pussies anymore :p

05-24-2011, 09:18 PM
Only when it's very tasteful. But no one really wants to look at furry pussies anymore :p

And there goes the thread.....


05-24-2011, 09:19 PM
On... a unique and consistent vision
grasp of technique

-uncomfortable nudes
-cats, dogs, tombstones, scrapyards... photos of bald eagles sitting on trees, out of focus bald eagles
-bad technique, blair witch tributes, fuzzy things weather fuzzy in reality
-black and white that is nothing but dark greys... it's not light and dark grey photography!