RE: Three most important factors in producing a photographic image
I got a book of Bresson photos (Silence within?) and was struck by how technically poor yet utterly compelling many of his portraits were. IMO composition and timing (temporal composition?) are key. On a separate note, the subject is often irrelevant for abstract work while for others technical excellence is of highest importance.
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Composition, form, texture, and light.
Originally Posted by cliveh
I know, that makes four. There are four "most important" factors.
I guess if you insist on three, you could lump form and composition together.
Okay, I'll play...
A generous dose of potassium nitrate... or Viagra, depending on the situation.
Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI
So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004
Good subject matter is completely subjective, timing is dependent on the nature of your subject, quality of light is a subjective decision and technical perfection is mostly subjective. Good composition however has cultural norms and aesthetic standards that appear intuitive, but are in fact mostly analytical and part reference to the lineage of painting, cinema and still photography.
In that case, if I was forced to choose three, I'd go with education (in visual art, self-taught or otherwise, but disciplined and broad), composition*, and personal integrity.
*Composition - shouldn't be read as a puzzle with one learned, academic solution - it's mostly analytical in the sense that there is soooo much information* and each person will make their own conclusion. That's where personal integrity comes in. We're not computers, despite the word I've used below!
*Information - it's dangerous when making photographs to think in terms of 'objects', which only leads to the defeatist idea that "everything has been photographed". (I'll stop editing here, but...) Some photographers think in terms of 'objects' as symbols, which is information.
Last edited by batwister; 01-10-2013 at 01:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Probably the most expensive lens and top of the line body.... no?
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
tkamiya - actually that's about as valid as anything else said so far.
I think you have some very valid points. Well said.
Originally Posted by batwister
“The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”
Then you will have beautifully composed pictures that mean absolutely nothing
Originally Posted by cliveh
Originally Posted by Bill Burk
I suppose there have been many discussions on APUG about the intention of a photographer vs. a photograph's intrinsic value as an isolated object. I think about this often.
I'd take this even further. For me, the most important thing is my own intention, and how well I achieve it. Usually I'm disappointed to some extent since getting to 100% is something like reaching perfection and probably not attainable. But the success or failure of my photograph is about how close I got to what I intended the picture to be. If a viewer perceives or feels or "gets" some of my intention, then that's another kind of success. Sometimes people notice or like my photos for other reasons, and that's nice but honestly I don't really care that much. I think of this as a luxury and benefit of photography being a hobby and not a profession for me.
So here's a sort of "tree falling in the woods" example: On flickr there is a group called "minimal landscapes, take the long view" which I particularly like. I would never consider submitting a photo that I did not make specifically with the intention of creating that style of photograph. For me this intention implies other things, like searching for the minimalist aspect of a scene that captures some essential quality of it. Many other people dig through their images and then edit them to match the style of the group. For me this distinction is important. It's the distinction between the intent of the photographer vs. the image in isolation, without context as a separate object.
Another example of this is that in my flickr photostream, several of the pictures I'm the most happy and satisfied with have some of the fewest views. I'm happy because the picture came out to be what I wanted it to be; it doesn't matter if that doesn't grab the attention of "flickr viewers" ( notice if I was a professional, this kind of thinking would fail! )
I suspect ( but don't really know ) that photographers and all artists tend to break into groups this way too. Probably for some, the goal is to produce a final result that has intrinsic value in isolation, while for others conveying and carrying some point ( mood, emotion, feeling, message, way of seeing something, etc etc ) is the point and the final picture has little value without that context. Probably we all want some of each, and it's not so black and white.
Anyway, sorry I didn't mean to sidetrack the discussion to a different topic. I don't really know what is "important", but I suspect the motive of the photographer probably matters to the question.