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  1. #11
    Monophoto's Avatar
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    Several posters have touched on what I believe is the key point here. What you are calling "subtle" images are images that don't have a lot of initial impact. If you are selling beer, or engaging in competition, you need to capture the attention of the viewer in the first few seconds. That takes impact, and subtle images aren't going to do it for you.

    There is a place for subtle images. They tend to "grow on you", and you can hang them on the wall and they will feel very comfortable.

    Or, a collection of images displayed together can be made stronger by the addition of a few subtle images, even though those images won't work very well in a stand-alone situation. In this situation, the subtle images tend to act as mortar, bridging between stronger images that are not totally compatible with each other.

    As Michael noted, subtle images are wrong - - - which means that they violate one or more of those rules that Kodak published 100 years ago and that photographers have been following religiously ever since. The same rules that the best photographers have learned to creatively break.
    Louie

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Holliday View Post
    It depends how "visually aware" you are. All photographs need some form of focal point. If you were a beginner, I could look at your photograph and think, what the hell is this a photograph of? Or you could be a master of composition and have a very minimalistic/ abstract photo.

    I've seen people come up behind me and wonder what I'm photographing, then go off and admire the pretty picture-postcard view of the same scene. The latter of course being very dull
    Man, I heard that!
    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. In velit arcu, consequat at, interdum sit amet, consequat in, quam.

  3. #13
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Holliday View Post
    ... All photographs need some form of focal point.
    Not that I want to "select" you, in particular - or anyone else for that matter ...

    I would suggest that this "rule" - as well as many others - is better viewed as an advisement, rather than a hard and fast requirement for a successful photograph.

    Is it suggested that there *must* be a single "point of interest"... or can there be "many" ... where the observer's eye is directed in some form of progression? If so, each "point" will be less dominant ... and in many landscapes, I would be hard pressed to select a single "most important" one.
    Come to think of it ... I think the idea of a "directed, progressive interest" is far more common, and important, in photography ... and other forms of art ... that are considered to be "great".

    Landscapes come to mind most rapidly .... there are other instances where "patterns" become the essence of a significant photograph ... and of course ... that free field we call "abstractions".
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach View Post
    I would suggest that this "rule" - as well as many others - is better viewed as an advisement, rather than a hard and fast requirement for a successful photograph.
    Dear Ed,

    As so often, I agree with you: the 'rules' are often excellent rules of thumb, but that's all. And like several people, I'd also query the word 'subtle', in that short-term impact and long-term staying power are by no means synonymous. Is staying power subtler than impact? Or merely different?

    Cheers,

    Roger

  5. #15

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    First off, there are NO RULES when it comes to making art, so if your out photographing and find yourself wondering where you should put the horizon line in your picture and then you remember "OH! The rule of thirds!", you need to just clear your mind of that because that would probably not make the best photograph. It's difficult for many photographers to get away from letting these so called "rules" not influence their vision.

    I've always been interested in not having just a single element in the picture as the "focal point" but rather where the WHOLE PHOTOGRAPH is the focal point for the viewer, and their eye can move freely all around the picture plane without getting stuck anywhere.

    Attached is an example of a recent photograph I made from my Boneyard series.

    Ryan McIntosh
    www.RyanMcIntosh.net
    Last edited by User Removed; 09-05-2008 at 11:57 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh View Post
    ...you need to just clear your mind of that because that would probably not make the best photograph. It's difficult for many photographers to get away from letting these so called "rules" not influence their vision.
    Dear Ryan,

    I disagree here. The 'rules' are a good start if you can't think of anything else to do. Then you try them; realize there's a better way of doing it; and take a better picture...

    Cheers,

    Roger

  7. #17
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    Nice image Ryan, I believe that photo would come under my "master of composition and have a very minimalistic/ abstract photo" approach.

    It really depends on how advanced your composition skills are, whether the photo needs a/ or multiple focal points.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
    Dear Ryan,

    I disagree here. The 'rules' are a good start if you can't think of anything else to do. Then you try them; realize there's a better way of doing it; and take a better picture...

    Cheers,

    Roger

    Roger,

    I think a good place to start when making a photograph is just by seeing. The reason I say seeing and not looking is because all to often a photographer is influence by that in which they already know and that in which they have already seen in the past. Therefore, when a photographer goes out looking for photographs, they are only looking for things in which they already know would make a good photograph. In a way, they are just reinforcing what they already know and possibly only recreating what they have already done.

    If one just goes out seeing what is around them, not letting any rules or past ideas about things influence their vision, they will discover something that is completely new and visually different from that in which they have done in the past.

    You see this problem in the APUG gallery ALOT today. Several photographers made a great photograph in the past, and now their work is all somewhat derived from that one image. Even though they might be creating more good images, they are not learning or seeing anything new. Some people might say they are being "consistant", but I feel many have become stagnate and stuck in a rut with their way of seeing. This can be VERY hard for some photographers to break.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh View Post
    You see this problem in the APUG gallery ALOT today. Several photographers made a great photograph in the past, and now their work is all somewhat derived from that one image. Even though they might be creating more good images, they are not learning or seeing anything new. Some people might say they are being "consistant", but I feel many have become stagnate and stuck in a rut with their way of seeing. This can be VERY hard for some photographers to break.
    ryan

    every photograph is derived from another image - abstracts, landscapes,
    portraits everything.

    humans are creatures of habit and of memory.
    as said in the book of ecclesiastes
    there is nothing new under the sun ...

    http://www.hope.edu/bandstra/BIBLE/ECC/ECC1.HTM

  10. #20
    Gary Holliday's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan McIntosh View Post

    You see this problem in the APUG gallery ALOT today. Several photographers made a great photograph in the past, and now their work is all somewhat derived from that one image. Even though they might be creating more good images, they are not learning or seeing anything new. Some people might say they are being "consistant", but I feel many have become stagnate and stuck in a rut with their way of seeing. This can be VERY hard for some photographers to break.
    I don't upload images myself, but I would be guilty in this. Everyone is allowed a style instead of a mishmash of ideas which can't identify an artist.

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