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  1. #41

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    I don't understand how anyone can separate quality from "compositional interest." Without both a fine print and a well-seen and emotionaally charged photograph there ain't no quality. At least not high quality.

    Now, what might have compositional interest and have an emotional charge to you might bore me and vice-versa, but that is another matter.

    Too often, new photographers find complex photographs to have no compositional interest and to be boring. It is usually that they are relatively inexperienced and unsophisticated lookers. Nothing wrong with that. It is something we all go through. But be careful about saying that something is lacking in compositional interest just because it is subtle--a problem a number of people have.

    Back in 1972, when I first started making photographs that were more "all-over" rather than having a figure-ground relationship, my advanced students found them boring. A few years later, after museums started buying that work and after those of the students who I kept in touch with got used to them, they liked my "all-over" photographs best of all. That were more difficult for me, as photographer, to make than the earlier figure-ground ones, and were more difficult for viewers to immediately get a handle on. It took time to "get" them. It is not often that anyone spends as much as 10 or 15 minutes looking at a single photograph, but sometimes after that amont of time, the photograph's secrets emerge, in much the same way a similar thing happens when looking at anything for a relatively long time.

  2. #42

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    Thanks for your insights Michael. I would like to understand what you mean by complex, figure-ground and all-over photographs. Are these related to just composition or a combination of composition/vision and technique? Can these concepts be separated from ones tastes and biases as to become objective to all who view the photograph or not?

  3. #43
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    ... (If).. I saw a photograph from a beginner that blew me away ( and I have) I would sit down with them and probably ask the following:

    What were you using.
    What were you trying to achieve.
    What does the photograph say to you.
    Did you achieve what you were trying.
    etc,
    I think we have discovered two distinct working processes here.

    What you describe above, I would suggest, is the "Pragmatic" approach - i.e., The most effective and efficient way to produce "fine" photography is to deconstruct the "successful" photograph into individual elements, analyze them, and reproduce them in the next effort. One *should* meticulously and methodically take things "one step at a time" - that way there is the most probability of "success". I can see the approach as having a great deal of appeal for those who value predictability and security - the least chances taken.

    The second method could be called the "Intuitive" approach.... Much more the "decisive moment", where one does not "take things one step at a time", but "shoots from the hip, relying on preconscious reflexes to direct ones work. Much less cut-and-dried, never with a great deal of conscious thought.

    There has to be a great difference between the two, as far as image: The Pragmatist will view the Intuitive as undisciplined "wild men" who apparently do not use due caution in their work: conversely, the Intuitive will have an image of the Pragmatist as slow anal-retentive types, who do not have confidence in their work or the courage to be "free".

    I don't think either image is correct. There is definite merit in BOTH systems - and the measurement of "appropriateness" for the individual probably depends - very closely - on their individual dispositions.

    My reaction on being presented with an outstanding photograph from a beginner:

    1. An immediate expression of what I FEEL - my reaction to the work.

    2. Next:"What motivated you to take that particular photograph?" - even before that- "Do you have any idea of your motivation?

    3. "How did you FEEL when you tripped that shutter?"

    The "message ...?". The photograph IS the message. If I have reacted that favorably, that is prima facie evidence that the communication was successful.

    Those here might be interested in a few Personality Profile tests. I 've just taken a *bunch* of them ... and if anyone is interested, I am classified as "INFP" in the "Jung Typolgy Test" (Introverted iNtutitive Feeling Perceiving); and an Enneagram Type 4 - Individualist.

    An interesting web site: http://www.typelogic.com.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  4. #44

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    Ed,

    "Those here might be interested in a few Personality Profile tests. I 've just taken a *bunch* of them ... and if anyone is interested, I am classified as "INFP" in the "Jung Typolgy Test" (Introverted iNtutitive Feeling Perceiving); and an Enneagram Type 4 - Individualist."


    Naah, you have to be kidding...I wouldn't have guessed that in a million years!!!

  5. #45
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnmilikan
    Those here might be interested in a few Personality Profile tests. I 've just taken a *bunch* of them ... and if anyone is interested, I am classified as "INFP" in the "Jung Typolgy Test" (Introverted iNtutitive Feeling Perceiving); and an Enneagram Type 4 - Individualist."
    Naah, you have to be kidding...I wouldn't have guessed that in a million years!!!
    interesting how accurately these work - although there is a matter of variability of "degree" and strengths along the invidual axes.

    Where are you?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  6. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    Quote Originally Posted by dnmilikan
    Those here might be interested in a few Personality Profile tests. I 've just taken a *bunch* of them ... and if anyone is interested, I am classified as "INFP" in the "Jung Typolgy Test" (Introverted iNtutitive Feeling Perceiving); and an Enneagram Type 4 - Individualist."
    Naah, you have to be kidding...I wouldn't have guessed that in a million years!!!
    interesting how accurately these work - although there is a matter of variability of "degree" and strengths along the invidual axes.

    Where are you?
    Kansas the last I checked.

  7. #47
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnmilikan
    Where are you?
    Kansas the last I checked.[/quote]

    And I'm in Massachusetts. What about your Myer-Briggs Type Indicator or Enneagram Profiles?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  8. #48

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    Ed,
    I was tempted to be cute and ask you which one of my personalities you wanted me to respond about...but since this is apparently a serious matter to you I will try to be more serious.

    I haven't taken the E profile that you mentioned. On the MBTI I am not terribly strong in my preferential way of approaching the world. I would say that my tendency is more I then E, more N then S, more F then T, and more J then P.

    However I think that in the course of living our lives we need to develop all of those traits to some degree if only to understand others better.

    Seriously I would have placed you higher in the S then N and more predisposed to make decisions based on thought (T) then feelings (F). This is based upon my obsevations of your tendency to become very technical and cerebral. Not having had the opportunity to observe you personally I had no impression if you were extroverted then introverted (although my impression was more E) and I certainly felt that you had a certain amount of J tendencies. I have not observed in you the tendency to vaccilate on decisions that most P's evidence.

    So apart from my earlier observation...yes I am surprised that you placed as you did. I would think that if the results of the test that you took are accurate that you would not have been very happy in your vocation.

    I was thinking about this very thing the other day and came to the conclusion that there are certain personality characteristics that certainly lend themselves to an artist or any person that engages in creative endeavor. I obviously would include a photographer in that catagory. I think that an introverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceptive would be more likely to fit the creative mold. Introversion may not be an absolute prerequisite but I think the intuitive, feeling classifications are vitally important.

    What are your thoughts on this?

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    Hi Don, welcome back from your travels.

    Yes, I'm in. Converted. I was skeptical at first. But after they went through the entire brochure, I was sold. The good news is now they are coming back every week. This is great. I can't wait for those nice mormon boys to come by also. Sometimes I get so lonely.
    Michael McBlane
    Michael,

    I am so relieved...you know I was worried about you. In the course of one's life (for those who have the problems that you have) there exist only one or two influential events that may tend to straighten one out. One of those is the "right" woman and the other is religion. It has been apparent to me for some time that your wife (wonderful woman that I am sure that she is) just has not succeeded in this daunting task. That leaves religion and I am so heartened to see the direction that you have taken.

  10. #50
    Alex Hawley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnmilikan
    I think that an introverted, intuitive, feeling, and perceptive would be more likely to fit the creative mold. Introversion may not be an absolute prerequisite but I think the intuitive, feeling classifications are vitally important.
    Don, just a couple examples to substantiate your theory. Two very strong personalities who were hardly introverted. Winston Churchill and General George S. Patton Jr. Both were highly creative in their career fields. Both were intuitive and feeling. Churchill became a fairly good painter after retiring from public life. Patton wrote beautiful poetry, and not poetry about war. He also had high regard for art and beauty. So, no, introversion is not a necessary part of creativity. (Patton was also frequently seen carrying a camera, in addition to his revolvers.)



 

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