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  1. #1
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Discussing a Martin Parr picture

    I have strong views about MP in general and this picture in particular but will keep them to myself for now. Look forward to your comments!

    Regards,

    David
    Last edited by David H. Bebbington; 07-23-2007 at 03:17 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    clogz's Avatar
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    It certainly is photorealism and it shows tourism in all its gaudiness. There are people that don't like Martin Parr for his focus on this aspect of society.

    Hans
    Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.

  3. #3
    John Bragg's Avatar
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    Hi David,

    There is a strong sense of fun in this picture and I love the way he has got down to the same eye level as the children. Very bright and typical M.P.

    Regards, John.

  4. #4
    blansky's Avatar
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    Nice snapshot.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  5. #5

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    I was not familiar with Martin Parr and so visited his website. I enjoyed the various areas of the site and particularly the portfolio work. The few black and white photos I found were the typical grainy/photojournalist work I don't care for. Success with this close, personal photography is difficult. He has the ability to capture the moment as well as any of the earlier photographers. It was interesting to read of his choices of film and the fact he does not use Photoshop. His use of color is eyecatching, I can see the advertising side to many of his photographs with human interest and bright color. The attached thumbnail speaks to me of the future of photography, and how photography can be a tool to keep families together.

  6. #6

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    I like it but it makes me a little sad. I often am amazed when I am on vacation and see folks with a video camera glued to their eye, almost non-stop. I often wonder if they actually experience the place they are at, or have we reached a point where the only experience some people can relate to is if it is played back through the TV?

    I think we are rapidily approaching the time when all tactile experience will only be satisfactory through some type of interface or intervening medium.

    I guess it is a puzzle to me how some people find the recording of an event or trip more important then really experiencing it at the time.

    I love the color in the image. It was interesting to read to previous post about Parr not using photoshop, but for anyone who has seen color work starting in the mid to late 80s you find his images are always keen on clashing, contrasting colors in some aspect of the image.
    "Fundamentally I think we need to rediscover a non-ironic world"
    Robert Adams

  7. #7
    bjorke's Avatar
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    He typically uses a ringflash to flatten the tone::color ratio. He also famously used a Plaubel Makina for a long time, but has used a variety of gear, including celphones. The self-reflection onto snapshots and other functions of photography in social context is a Big Deal for him.

    Here's a Juan Buhler photo of Parr being snapped by my celphone:

    ->

    A difficulty (ongoing) with this "discuss a...photograph" topic is that the photos are embedded in a particular context. Parr's famous advocacy of book form makes this particularly prominent.

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
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  8. #8

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    I find the picture mildly humorous in that the photographer is being photographed. However, the background is far too cluttered and the picture would have been better had the background been out of focus to de-emphasise it.

  9. #9
    David H. Bebbington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bjorke
    A difficulty (ongoing) with this "discuss a...photograph" topic is that the photos are embedded in a particular context. Parr's famous advocacy of book form makes this particularly prominent.
    When I first heard of Parr, I had major difficulty with what I felt was his attitude, somewhat along the lines of: "Popular culture is crass and tasteless - look at these pictures for evidence! Of course, although I [Parr] was also present at this crass and tasteless scene, I am myself not crass and tasteless because I have a) a camera and b) an ironical viewpoint!"

    I felt this particularly with his early New Brighton series (pictures of working class mothers and children sitting on stone promenades surrounded by garbage at a beach in the Liverpool area). I met Parr at a 4-day workshop, he was an affable enough guy on a personal level. One of the things he did at the workshop was take out about 1,000 8x10" machine prints which he had had made of a recent shoot in Switzerland (a commission by a Swiss bank) and ask us for our views on how to edit them. He had concentrated on food on plates, among other things, and I told him that I felt he had made the error which non-German-speakers often make of thinking Switzerland is like Germany - I felt his work was superficial. He made it clear that he was not all that interested in the commission, only the fee, and that the client would accept whatever the art consultant told him was good! I was later amused to learn that Henri Cartier-Bresson was violently opposed to Parr joining Magnum because of MP's lack of human empathy!

    To get back to Bjorke's quote: Notwithstanding my views on Parr, I think the picture I posted is a masterpiece. The kids are dressed in plastic, are looking at plastic and indeed have turned their backs on reality in favor of the plastic which they prefer. In no way is this a snapshot - it's much too clever - and if there is clutter, it's deliberate - the clutter of tourist junk is obscuring the historic buildings.

    BUT - this picture makes its point so strongly that I can hardly see the need for any more (despite anything Parr may say). I am somewhat bemused that Parr has gone on for years and years making a major career out of saying "Popular culture is naff!" again and again and again

  10. #10
    blansky's Avatar
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    I think this is a classic case of reading far too much into a picture.

    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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