previously you suggested one thing, and now you suggest something differently.
sorry, i don't think i have the energy to respond politely to this,
so i would rather not say anything at all ...
Last edited by jnanian; 12-06-2011 at 12:24 AM. Click to view previous post history.
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Keith your last statement is in agreement with what I said. That there is a fundamental and consistent way in which human visual perception works, and a knowledge of that can be used to influence the viewer of a photograph. But that our personal experiences effect the way we interpret or respond to our work or the work of others. The whole point is that when we combine our personal preferences with a knowledge of design, composition, etc and how they effect visual perception we now have a more effective means of expressing ourselves with our work.
Originally Posted by keithwms
That is a slippery slope, one I've been on for a long time, and it is not necessarily productive. I have set standards so high and so stringent for myself it is sometimes a challenge just to stay excited about an image. There is always something just a little better in my mind's eye, but it simply doesn't exist, or is not possible. This can lead to boredom, disappointment, and very low output (which by the way does not necessarily mean the output is any better - that is a false equivalency).
Originally Posted by Early Riser
But now I don't even know what the topic is anymore. My original point was that to one person Stephen Shore's pictures can be as good as anything by Cartier Bresson, Edward Weston or anybody else. To somebody else they suck. (I'm using Shore as one example here). That type of photography is about place and time. No obvious center of interest is necessary. Someone looking for some type of emotional focal point and purpose in a photograph probably won't find anything meaningful in Shore's work. That is fine. Then there are people like me who find endless enjoyment in looking at Shore's pictures, and are mostly bored by portraits, alternative processes, selective focus etc. That is also fine.
Michael, there's no such thing as perfection. I am a perfectionist in my work, have a the finest tools available, the ability to devote all my time to photography, and I well understand that it will never be perfect. Because even if you achieve near technical perfection, at that high level it becomes more about your personal imprint on the work. It becomes more about aesthetic choices and while one can argue about the technicalities of composition and design because there are certain rules about it based on human perception, one may choose to break the rules if that breakage better represents what they are trying to express or invoke in the viewer. The rule of thirds doesn't always apply, as well evidenced by my often centered compositions which even the most novice of photographers is instructed not to do. Having a perfectly level horizon might seem sensible and it most often is because having a slightly off horizon makes many people uncomfortable, like a crooked picture on a wall that they feel compelled to straighten. But what if your intention IS to make the viewer uncomfortable? So give up on perfection, because it's really hard to measure it or describe it let alone achieve it. Understand that your work will never be perfect and that as long as you are able to produce a final result that you are happy with, then you are about as close to perfection as you can get. All that said, mastery of the skills, the futile attempt of technical perfection does enable you to better express yourself in your work, as the technical aspects are no longer the limiting factor for your work. But again understand you'll never achieve true perfection, only what is perfect for you.
Originally Posted by Michael R 1974
But if you find the pressure of chasing perfection is doing you harm, then back off. Simplify. Maybe try a camera or process where you accept limitations from the very start, and that knowing that the tools themselves have now placed a limit on you, then maybe you can free yourself. Get a Holga and take your mind off everything but the content. See more, think less.
Oh no. No Holga for me.
I've become better at not expecting perfection. It's something I had to work on pretty hard though. It even meant seeking out portfolio reviews by some of the photographers and printers I most admire, to see what they thought, not only about the images, but the print quality. I was never sure if there was more that could be done. Luckily the feedback was very positive and I was told repeatedly that I should just keep doing what I'm doing. It was very helpful to hear this from those people. My perfectionist tendencies still creep up on me but I'm a little better at working through them. The medium itself, and the materials we use, have limitations. We should strive for the best possible art we can make, and keep pushing ourselves, but remain somewhat realistic too. I must admit though these have mostly been technical considerations for me. When it comes to composition, I really don't follow any rules. I just do what I want and try my best to follow my instincts even if they conflict with every rule in the book.
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