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  1. #1
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Universal appreciation of photographic art

    I understand that Eskimos have more words to describe snow than people who have less experience of snow. They would therefore probably appreciate more variation of snow photographs than those who rarely see it. Do you think some types of photographic art have a universal appeal regardless of where they are viewed by different communities on the planet? Portraits for example and is this also different to a photographer’s appreciation?

    “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”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #2

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    I don't think any "genre" in any art form, photography or otherwise, can have universal appeal.

  3. #3
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I don't think any "genre" in any art form, photography or otherwise, can have universal appeal.
    What about the Beatles music?

    “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”

    Francis Bacon

  4. #4
    zsas's Avatar
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    Kids 'n animals...
    Andy

  5. #5
    lxdude's Avatar
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    Sunsets. Sunrises too.
    I do use a digital device in my photographic pursuits when necessary.
    When someone rags on me for using film, I use a middle digit, upraised.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    I understand that Eskimos have more words to describe snow than people who have less experience of snow. They would therefore probably appreciate more variation of snow photographs than those who rarely see it. Do you think some types of photographic art have a universal appeal regardless of where they are viewed by different communities on the planet? Portraits for example and is this also different to a photographer’s appreciation?
    Forensic linguistics can be rather tricky. When we think of Russia we often think of snow, the vast whiteness of the Russian steppes. You would assume that there are a lot of words meaning snow in the language. There is only a single noun transliterated as sneg (rhymes with egg). While English has a verb to snow there is no comparable verb in Russian. The closest a Russian can come to saying that "it is snowing" is to use the idiom "It goes snow. There are no words for yes and no in Irish. Does this mean that the Irish people are by nature indecisive. Certainly not. One has to be very careful when making inferences from a language. Eskimo may be like Navajo which lacks any adjectives. So while in English we can get by with a single noun and various adjectives to describe various types of snow, Eskimo may have to have individual words for each type. It would be forced on them by the nature of the language.
    Last edited by Gerald C Koch; 08-17-2013 at 09:25 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  7. #7
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    What an absolutely fascinating post!

    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  8. #8
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Um, as I understand it, if you are of Inuit heritage, the word "Eskimo" is considered an offensive anachronism.

    Back on topic - I think that it can work in reverse.

    Show a nice seaside scene to someone from around here, and you may get a lukewarm reception. Show it to someone who lives in a desert environment, and the greater novelty may bring rise to a better response.

    This is one of the challenges of the internet world - there is a danger that every scene may become "commonplace".
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  9. #9
    George Papantoniou's Avatar
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    Landscapes. Portraits. Nudes. Wildlife. Macro photography. Underwater photography.

    Just some guesses...

  10. #10
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    Because of our need, curiosity, fear etc, photographs of people or with people in them are probably universally intriguing to everyone. Historical photographs probably also fall into our curiosity of the past.

    Landscapes usually have an appeal if it's not what we see every day in our own experience.

    Unfortunately now with the bombardment of images we probably have become jaded to most pictures except the primal ones that deal with fear, sex, death, and maybe hope.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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