In the example that I gave and that you responded to...My thoughts are that while the tears are the objective evidence of the existence of an emotion the emotion itself is not objective and can not be objective since it is a feeling. The tears are not the feeling.
I would classify the emotion itself as an abstraction since it can not be seen and is up to me to determine if I observe the evidence in another.
As a further example...if I see someone blush (face becomes flushed). That, to me, would be the objective evidence of the existence of an emotion. The emotion itself is not objective...it can be anger, it can be embarrasment or probably other emotions as well.
Doug, I have to agree with you about the light..It has only be recent that I have begun to 'see' good light. It has always been there, and perhaps on some sub-conscious level I was aware of it, but now I marvel at light and the 'quality' of light. Early mornings and late afternoon and evening...Spring and Fall, seem to be the times I notice it most.
It is for that reason alone, I might go to some of the same old tired places where so many others have gone, not to use their tripod holes, but to make new ones, to 'See' the place they brought back for me to see, and to show them what I saw...we all know of workshops with 5, 10, 15 photographers shooting the 'same' subject, but each revealing themselves with their own vision of the subject.
As for TEARS....Sometimes tears are just tears, there are tears of pain, relief, anxiety, frustration, even for medical conditions (note it is springtime)..nothing is ever as simple as it seems, and by the same token, nothing is really as complex.
Just more random thoughts. I would rather make a Great 'pretty' image, than a crappy abstract one..but that is what works for me. Your results WILL vary.
Donald is a thoughtful photographer. His three photographs in the gallery show this. Apparently I was not able to convey this....oh well.
No problem here and no vibrating nerves. Good luck on your journey of self-discovery.
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
A matter of discovery -- the derivative objective and the derivative abstract.
At this point (150 years since the birth of photography), it would take a friggin' great landscape or abstract, especially on a computer screen, to elicit much of an "Oh Wow!" reaction from me. Yet as I looked through the APUG galleries there are a number of pictures that do elicit a response. And most of them are by the same few people and I think, if we excluded ourselves, most of us would agree on the list. Why do these people "see" consistently better than the rest of us? That's probably the crux of the matter. In that light, I view the issue of objective/abstract, as irrelevant.
Ironic that most large format photographs are so mediocre - maybe because the bar is so high for that type of picture, or maybe since so few pictures are taken with large format. Also kind of funny that most of the world's great pictures are taken with 35mm cameras since most of the world's pictures are taken with 35mm. Follow that to its logical conclusion and soon most of the worlds' great pictures will be taken with digital cameras since most of the world's cameras will be digital. the "f8" part isn't as important as the "be there" part.
I liked Jorge's comment concerning his pictures that people liked - "what I heard the most was " I feel like I am there, like I could touch the earth/wall/object". " Jorge is playing to the strength of his view camera - detail one level abstracted from reality, since it's black and white. Or maybe two levels being platinum, as well. Did Jorge pick his camera based on the subject or did he pick his camera, which then determined his subject?
I think for smaller formats viewers most appreciate sharing a "slice of life" that the smaller, portable camera makes possible to record.
Before you read the following keep in mind that I do not claim to state the truth, these are just my opinions/propositions at this time....
1) Good photography relies both on a good photographer and a good audience. One must have something to say, the other must be willing (or at least capable) of understanding. Without a message, be it rational or not, a photograph is empty. Without an audience the message might as well not exist.
a)sometimes the photographer is unaware of his audience and/or message
b)sometimes the photographer is his audience
As far as abstract/objective goes:
2)Abstracts are irrational, and so are emotions. Sometimes an abstract coincides with an emotion. In that case the emotion is (at least part of) the message being conveyed by the photograph.
2a)Abstracts are riddles, therefore they appeal to our rational minds. Sometimes (everytime?) we try to reason through our emotions. In that case the riddle might be (at least in part) about emotions.
3) An abstract that carries no message, or misses it's audience, is an empty picture
a) the pretty picture mentioned by Donald carried (at least to me) no message. It was therefore empty. This can and does happen to most art (abstract or not).
4) The message carried by a photograph does not need to be understood by the audience, only acknowledged. That is enough to hold the viewer.
5) Sometimes a viewer sees in a photograph something the photographer did not. This does not detract from either one.
Therefore, if one is his own audience, and one likes his work, he is a succesful photographer. If, however, one bases his success on the perceptions of others, he is bound to be dissapointed at all times (for one cannot please everyone at once).
Keep in mind that I'm 20, have only published 1 photograph (for free) and have no idea of what goes on outside my own (problematic) mind.
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wow! no responses! Was I that much off topic? Were the spelling errors so great (I just corrected a few)? Or did I simply not give it enough time?
Originally Posted by Andre R. de Avillez
I get the feeling the horse has been beaten enough for now. Undoubtedly the nag will rise again in the future and we will have another go at her.
I agree with your points 2a & 4. The proof of the pudding: look at the galleries and notice that abstract photos get a lot fewer reactions. People that designs adverts and TV commercials know this. Put in some flowers, a puppy and a baby and your product is bound to sell.
On the other hand: an abstract that puzzles the mind causes an emotion but one we cannot easily determine.
Digital is best taken with a grain of silver.
Abstracts are both too easy & too hard. Easy, just slip on a macro, get close to your subject & start clicking. Hard, in the sense of creating something that will grab you as a viewer. There are several pitfalls to avoid:
1) image asks what am I - who cares, you're just a print.
2) what do you see in me - do we need more rorschach tests. We're already too self-focused, self-indulgent, etc...
3) abstracts that emulate other art forms. Finding a Miro in the urban landscape is too intellectual of a pursuit.
4) minimalism as a goal. As above, if it looks like a Japanese picture, what have you proved?
5) Beauty in the microcosm - thank god Ed Weston didn't buy a microscope.
van Huyck Photo
"Progress is only a direction, and it's often the wrong direction"
You did say the these were your opinions ... and acknowledged that the might not be the "truth" - that is unarguable.
This is my opinion, with exactly the same caveat:
About point #3 ... "An abstract that carries no message ..."
*Every* photograph - and - every work of art (unbelievably good - or equally unbelievably "bad") carries a "message". Whether or not it is the intended "message" is another issue. Humans, being what they are, may well have different interpretations of its content - and the emotions induced may be (and usually ARE), different for each individual. "Abstracts", especially, can be accurately described as non-standard permutations (very "non-standard) of Rorschach Ink Blots. Clouds are examples of "natural" abstractions ... how rare is it for two people to perceive the *same* image in any cloud?
Hmm ... If, given that every art work carries a message and, still, there is no one to receive it ... it is "Empty"?
I cannot read Sanskrit. A poem can be written in Sanskrit - and I will not be able to receive(interpret) it.
That has *nothing* to do with the poem itself. Someone fluent in Sanskrit - or having Sanskrit as their native language (?) may be struck with unending passion, overjoyed, devastated of moved to tears as a result of contact with that poem ... but *I* am not. The question here is "How does - CAN - one tell ... with *no* knowledge of Sanskrit? BUT -- that would be MY deficiency - not that of the poem.
There is another "classic" question, "Is it art if no one sees it?"
My answer: no. But the idea that "no one has seen it" is as close as one can come to being an impossibility - the artist, themselves, *WILL* have seen the work ... and that, in my book, is enough.
Ed Sukach, FFP.