Switch to English Language Passer en langue française Omschakelen naar Nederlandse Taal Wechseln Sie zu deutschen Sprache Passa alla lingua italiana
Members: 77,743   Posts: 1,717,276   Online: 883
View RSS Feed


Can sloppy be a style?

Rate this Entry
by , 01-15-2009 at 01:20 PM (1927 Views)
I read somewhere here a quote that went something like "You can be a sloppy photographer, just as long as you're consistently sloppy."

Sometimes I feel like I live that. One example is that I just have a fundamental problem getting a horizon line level in the camera. I have spirit levels and they only seem to make things worse some how. I still try someteimes, but feel much more comfortable taking an "off balance" shot or a shot that simply doesn't need any balance than a symmetrical or level shot. Both appeal to me aesthetically, I'm just better at one than the other.

Another example is I have a hard time caring about temperature. Don't worry, I have no apirations in the areana of color processing or printing. I use all my chems at room temp, and it works. For water out of the tap if it doesn't feel warm or cold, it's just right. It's sloppy, but I'm more interested in seeing the print come up than waiting on a thermometer.

The quest for perfection is one I just don't have patience for. I like expired paper and film. I recently made prints on paper that expired in 1968 and to my semi-untrained eye, they look great with little age fog. I fight with my easels and can't ever seem to get perfect borders. I just keep going, doing what I can to address some issues, ignoring other. Someday I may "get there" and if I ever do I'll have left a trail of hopefully inspiring work in spite of it all.

Sometimes I feel alone in my sloppiness, but then I read this in the description of one of Simon Larbalesteir's clearance prints: "printed slanted on paper by error."

My name is James, I'm a sloppy photographer and I like it!


  1. naeroscatu's Avatar
    I think it can. IMHO a sloppy print showing an ordinary or even extraordinary subject will not make people turn their heads however a sloppy print carrying a strong message may do that. That being said I would still try to overcome sloppy...
  2. Christopher Walrath's Avatar
    My former roommate played bass and he always said that if he made a mistake on stage he would repeat so that everyone would think it was his purposeful decision to do so. A rose by any other name . . . Sure sloppy can be a style. But I wouldn't admit to it myself.
  3. VaryaV's Avatar
    It can be a style.

    In art school my profs branded the saying on my crania - we've all heard it a gazillion times.

    "A great idea executed poorly is better than a poor idea executed well."

    But again, it's no excuse either for shoddy work. Obviously, there is a fine line....... Cheers.

  4. CPorter's Avatar
    Your photography has to satisfy you first, IMO, before anyone else. If sloppy brings satisfaction to you, who can argue with that. Myself, I couldn't think of letting myself go that way, it's not for me. Does that mean I'm striving for perfection? No. I strive for the best and most easily printable negative that I can make, as I find no glory in printing difficult negatives, only frustration. But to each his own.
  5. Laurent's Avatar
    I'm not sure sloppiness is an advantage, at least in some parts of the hobby. I will not pretend I'm a master developer, but at least making sure my baths are at a temperature I know and can repeat has the great advantage that I have a fairly good idea of what will be needed to contact-print them.

    Concerning horizon line, may be shots fitting your style are better with some tilt... So this might not be sloppiness ?



Contact Us  |  Support Us!  |  Advertise  |  Site Terms  |  Archive  —   Search  |  Mobile Device Access  |  RSS  |  Facebook  |  Linkedin