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  1. #11
    Newt_on_Swings's Avatar
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    There must be on some level. Cultural norms play a significant part in determining how things are accepted in so many other things.

  2. #12
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Yes. there are definite cultural and geographic divides in approaches to photography.

    Make a start by looking at Beaumont Newhall's History of Photography with it's heave US bias and compare it tom Peter Turner's History of Photography which takes a more global approach and includes the European aspects.

    It's a subject that can be written about in depth.

    Ian

  3. #13
    AgX
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    I guess one further should divide between the in-crowd (Beaumont Newhall and the folks visiting art exibitions) and the wider public.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by cliveh View Post
    Do you think there is a cultural divide in photographic/image appreciation dependent on geographical location? For instance, is the European view different from the USA, or the Far East? I suppose this is very dependent on the subject matter, but I ask the question in the hope of stimulating an interesting discussion.
    I'd say different cultures around the world have different views on just about everything, I can't imagine photography being an exception. If you showed a picture of a mega-church in the UK, most people would likely see it in a different way than if you showed it the Bible Belt of the USA.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    It's a subject that can be written about in depth.
    #14 and counting...

  6. #16
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    I think there are definitely differences in style between North America, Europe and Asia.

    Each continent has had their photographic pioneers, who have established certain styles that others follow.

    To be fair, I think that the American pioneers have the strongest styles. Although they have been very influential worldwide, they are quite difficult to translate elsewhere.

    To simplify things, I would say that American photography is very strong in style and expression, European photography is a bit less dramatic and Asian photography is very subtle.

    Almost all of my photographic heroes are Americans, but their style is very hard to translste into a Northern European setting. The landscape, cities and people are so different, that you have to find a different way of approaching them.

  7. #17
    Jim Jones's Avatar
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    Ian and AgX are right. There is a difference within countries, too. The East Coast of America, the West Coast, and the great Midwest are all different. Sometimes I wonder if the Eastern Establishment realizes that there is civilization between the Mississippi River and California.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Jones View Post
    Ian and AgX are right. There is a difference within countries, too. The East Coast of America, the West Coast, and the great Midwest are all different. Sometimes I wonder if the Eastern Establishment realizes that there is civilization between the Mississippi River and California.
    I'm sure they do. Some of the best landscape photography is produced in the East and Midwest, surely.

    But I think that the presence of cultural diversity is also a cultural thing.

    I live in a small country, Sweden, which has a lot of ethnic diversity nowadays due to immigration. But cultural tastes are still pretty homogenic.

    Artistic photography as had a huge upswing in recent years. Most museums and galleries do multiple photographic exhibitions each year, and they get big audiences. I think it's because photography is more accessible than other forms of fine arts.

    But still the national photographic scene is very consevative. Most domestic photography is very formulaic and sticks to traditional ideas on composition, exposure and choice of subject. You could say that it's an emphasis on "nice" photography, rather than bold, expressive or personal imagery.

    For comparison, I saw a Cindy Sherman exhibition at the Museum of Modern art a few months ago. Even though, most images were staged "selfies" each image carried a massive emotional content, much like a punch in the head or stomach. My companion and I actually had to take a long break in the middle of it because it was almost exhausting.

    She was one of the foremost pioneers who established photography as an accepted artform for expression, not just documentation, on par with painting or drawing.

    We don't have that in domestic photography, even people who try to be gritty end up bland because they don't create a correlation between the subject and the technique.
    Last edited by Jaf-Photo; 06-07-2014 at 09:18 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapguy View Post
    The truth is that there are universal truths, myths, stories, experiences. I have family members that come from Asia, the US, Europe, Latin America and the Orient -- the Middle East. People are pretty much people.
    +1. The visual language is innate and knows no borders.
    "The real work was thinking, just thinking." - Charles Chaplin

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by yurisrey View Post
    +1. The visual language is innate and knows no borders.
    True to some extent.

    I am pretty much colour blind and have friends from all continents and most denominations. From this I know that people who have grown up in different cultural contexts have altogether different sensitivities.

    This you must take into account when engaging with people from different cultures. For instance, you have to know the dos and don'ts if you socialise with African American Baptists, Ashkenazim, Irish Catholics or Thai Buddhists.

    I also think it applies to all forms of communication, including visual.
    Last edited by Jaf-Photo; 06-07-2014 at 01:19 PM. Click to view previous post history.

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