One of the reasons I take photographs is that photography is a method of communication. If I want to be effective in that method, it behoves me to pay attention to how others react to what I do.
Originally Posted by jmcd
So to that extent I think it is helpful to know what others think about what I do, and it isn't inappropriate to have that influence what I think.
“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
Well, not to put a too fine point to it, but what you're charging after is more of a cliché.
Originally Posted by IloveTLRs
If you get this "nice" reaction from people for your landscape photos it's because they satisfy their expectations which other photographers and the media (N.G., nature series on TV and so on) have shaped. Their own holiday photos can't satisfy this expectation because they're confused about their purpose and make journal photos instead of landscape photos. One photo can't be good in both categories!
Anyway, If you want to get a "WOW, that is fantastic" reaction from this clientele, you'll need to set dial to eleven, so to speak. Up the saturation, include picturesque elements, take sunset shots. Avoid being subtle.
Not my cup of tea, obviously. I had thought that with PIZZAZ you meant elements of photos that speak to your viewers, that shake them up and provoke a reaction. The key here is content. Show something that is controversial or out of it's usual context. Something unexpected, looking gross and beautiful at the same time.
Of course, you're going to get as many rejections as accolades. That's the nature of things.
I'd call it a point of view instead of an agenda.
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
Interesting point you raise about A.A.. He was original at his time, certainly not trite. And he was a great teacher, you still can learn excellent b&w technique from him today.
I don't think he was out to shake things up and the reaction he continues to provoke in viewers of his works is awe in front of the wonders of nature and an understanding that it needs to be preserved. He did this very well, thus abolishing the need to repeat it in his way. Trying to replicate his photos, one would be unoriginal and ill-advised today. But of course it can and will be done and might lead to personal satisfaction and commercial success.
No one needs my permission to choose either way.
Why do you care what anyone else has to say or think about your images? I find one of the differences in many film and digital shooters is that the film shooters shoot entirely for themselves while digital shooters are shooting to impress people. Do you do photography for the sake of others, or do you do it because it is your passion? There is nothing that is any more of yourself that can come from any one of us. Maybe you need to stop thinking of your viewer and start thinking for your own values in your images, and start achieving them.
Seeing photographically is about asking questions. The first question should be what attracts me to this scene enough to want me to photograph it? What is the main element of the scene that makes me want to photograph it? How do I make the main element the main element in my photograph with the tools and techniques at my disposal? Is this the only way of seeing this scene? Is there a better angle or approach? And because we all take pictures to communicate: will anyone else care or get the intent of what I am photographing?
These are the major elements of my though process as I'm making photographs. Of course, all kinds of small technical details are working away in the background (which comes through much practice to remove from the foreground of thought).
I don't agree with the school of thought that everyone be damned because I shoot for myself and if nobody else appreciates my photos than too bad. We are visual communicators and if nobody is looking at our photographs than what is the purpose of continuing photography. This doesn't mean you have to be hanging in MOMA. Having family and friends appreciate your photography may be enough. For others, MOMA is enough.
What I think Nikanon is eluding to is integrity. We shouldn't be chasing down every fade (hello HDR) because we think it will get us noticed. But critically listening to viewers as you are doing is needed in order to grow and become a better communicator.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
You are dissatisfied with the photos you are making today. This is good for you, because it gives you desire and energy to practice, practice and practice.
Originally Posted by tomalophicon
Also, follow the above advice, which is excellent.
When I was a member of a camera club, I learned from a PSA judge that making a great photo is as simple as having someone wearing a red jacket stand in the background. This is the same judge who could not understand why a black and white slide had no color.
Don't let others dictate your view of your own work. Unless, of course, you are working for a commercial client.
You don't like your photos being dubbed as postcard worthy, so I'm guessing you consider photography an art form. Good start.
I really hope this doesn't seem harsh, but the photos you've attached are closer to holiday snapshots than fine art. I think you really need to get some photography books and study photographs and think more intelligently about composition and lighting. My photographs aren't brilliant, mediocre at best, but spending as much (if not more) time looking at images and figuring out why they work, why they grab my attention, why they make me think, I'm taking much better photographs than I would if I shot more than I studied. The images you've attached are very... illustrative, if that's a word to use. They don't convey anything, they have no mood, drama, mystery, subtlety or real beauty even though I'm sure these are gorgeous locations.
You could start by going out and composing 80/20 and using the rule of thirds. As simple as that stuff is, you'll soon discover how powerful thoughtful composition is, but think about light first and foremost.
Also, what the hell is 'PIZZAS'?
Learn editing out your crap photos. Try out different styles so you can find your own. And sometimes the best form of photography involves waiting for the right moment and involves NOT taking a picture. That's editing too.
and I'm all out of clichés. Good Luck.