What to photograph? How to photograph it?
Remember him? I recall his articles and the photographs of New York from a distance.
Everytime I find a film or paper that I like, they discontinue it. - Paul Strand - Aperture monograph on Strand
Sounds like he's had a profoundly negative experience with a camera club
i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.
- phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds
Just a single quote:
"And individualist in a club may have enjoyable battles, but he is not llikely to win anyone over to their viewpoint."
Now, we might start with misspellings (including turning "An" into "And". But the confusion between singular and plural is even more striking.
Admittedly, it's just "the Web" but illiteracy is not excusable if you want to be taken seriously.
What a crock....
Uhhh...what is the point of the article again? I guess I missed it!
It reads like some frustrated knob who needed to express some sort of photographic existentiallist manifesto. After a quick read, I chalked his commentary up to the seemingly infinite drivel and blather that permeates the web.
Originally Posted by John Kasaian
As for his commentary about clubs, I agree it sounds like he has been "snake-bit". Perhaps he is SO needy, that it profoundly scarred him for life (oh my!).
However, if I reflect back on past clubs in various fields of endeavours, what he states has usually existed, to some extent, in all of them. All have some princes/princesses (in a positive sense), and they all have their share of knobs. Half the fun is figuring out how and where to pigeon hole everyone.
For me, the main thing is just to focus on what works for oneself in that field of endeavour, and to glean and share what one can from the group exchange. If, a group ultimately morphs into something dysfunctional, one can either adopt a "battered spouse syndrome" and hang in there for the tidbits, or one can conclude that "it is time for you to leave Grasshopper!".
As someone said, there always more fish (i.e. other groups) in the sea. And life is too short to spend time with knobs.
" Be happy. Take a silver break today !!!"
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Oddly enough, although I readily acknowledge that Vestal is not the world's greatest writer and has problems with spelling and grammar, I think the two main points of his article are right on the money. Camera clubs do by and large promote technical excellence but at the same time pressurise members into conformity, are most welcoming to work which represents minor variations on what has been done in the past (anything from 10 to 100 or more years ago) and truly abhor genuine originality.
As regards experts, SO many are self-appointed and clueless - at best they can tell you "This is what it's like to be me" or "This is how I built a career X years ago". SO many have the attitude "Your work [whatever it is] is not like mine so it's garbage!"
During my 40+ years in the media business, I have not only done a large volume of professional photographic work myself but have often been in a situation where I was commissioning other photographers or curating other photographers' work. Modesty aside, I feel this has given me an objectivity and a broadness of view that I really don't see in many other people!
so David, can i assume from your post that you would consider there are no basic 'rules' as to what might define 'good' photography?
Ray, after 40-odd years, my considered opinion is that a "good" picture is one that fulfils its intended purpose. Ths means that if a photographer is working to please him/herself, then only his/her own opinion matters (which is not to say that a given picture couldn't be improved, either aesthetically or technically, but I would offer an opinion only if asked, only in a positive way and only in order to help the photographer to say what HE/SHE wants to say more clearly. If the photographer is not concerned about communicating with others, criticism is pointless). In commercial work, pleasing the client is what matters. Specifically, if I see a picture that does fulfil its intended purpose, I acknowledge it as good without regard to my personal feelings, i.e. even if I don't personally like it at all!
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
well put David, though i doubt we can ever really not regard our own personal feelings
Originally Posted by David H. Bebbington
to me photography has certain 'ways' which is why photography is used to create the image and not a thumb nail dipped in tar
I agree with David, that David is on the money.
I have followed, in a very loose fashion, David Vestal over the years when his writings and/or photo testing of paper, technique, or whatever, appeared in some photographic publication.
He is now in his eighties, so he has been around taking pictures for a very long time, and as far as I know, still takes pictures quite often.
I believe that he imparts his knowledge with the hope that others of lesser years may gain from his acquired photographic skills. I could put it another way, possibly he sees his ramblings as a mentoring type of activity.
Whichever way he does it, I don't think you could be too wrong by at least thinking about what he is saying.
Perhaps his online writings aren't subject to the closer editing any physical publication would normally be subjected to, this may explain the grammatical part mentioned earlier.
Recently in Photo Techniques he had a portfolio of work which included some photographs taken around 50 or more years ago and up to quite recent times, they were really very good, and different to most of the stuff one sees on a regular basis.
His photographs in that showing, reflected his writings quite well, I found it most interesting.
Last edited by Mick Fagan; 11-23-2007 at 08:06 AM. Click to view previous post history.