First off, to the OP, you had to know that by asking what people think you're going to get almost as many answers as people here. If you want this project to get moving, you really need to set the guidelines and move forward. If there are those that are opposed, they don't have to participate or buy the damn book. If you try to please everyone you'll never get anything produced. I guarantee that you'll have more than enough participants whichever way you decide is the route you want to take.
Looks to me that there are two camps in this discussion. Those who want a high quality book and those that would rather have a POD book. Me? I'd like both.
For any one who would prefer a POD book....treat it as something similar to one of the print exchanges and put out a call to anyone who wants to be part of the project, seems to me that would satisfy many members.
For anyone who would prefer a high quality book in the vein of what MAS would produce, just because your print doesn't make it, doesn't mean it isn't worth owning. I will certainly send in my best print. If it doesn't make the cut, so be it. I'd still love to have a book with the finest APUG has to offer.
Searching my way to perplexion
I went to the galleries here of some of my antagonists. They each have some good pictures--ones I would include in a book.
But several of them have given their photographs titles that limit, rather than expand, the viewer's experience of the photograph. Calling a picture, for example, "Suwanee River at Dusk" just identifies the subject. One's response can only be, "Beautilful photograph. Suwanee River. Got it."
I believe the intention of those who make photographs like this is that their photographs are meant to have a universal connection. Titles that describe the subject cut off the possibility of that connection. I suggest a title for a photograph like that as "Near Knoxville, Tennessee." (To make a point I am making up the title and place name.) That way the viewer is cut off from being distracted from wondering where the photograph was made, and can concentrate on the picture and can bring to it their own experiences and make their own connections beyond the mere identification of the subject matter.
If the intention of the photograph is purely documentary, then the title as given is okay, but if it is meant to be documentary plus, or just the "plus," then, for those who make those pictures, the title is selling themselves short.
Michael A. Smith
Okay everyone, I've created a survey, here's the link: APUG survey. I've also started a new thread with the link.
I know it's not perfect, but it's a place to start -- we may have to do more later (or none at all). If there are any glaring errors, please let me know.
My favorite thing is to go where I've never been. D. Arbus
Thats a good survey, covered the issues I considered important
I'm way off topic here, but since you brought this up, I'm surprised to hear you say this actually. I almost always "title" my prints simply with a specific location. I guess it's just my taste, but I've always liked those kinds of plain informative titles when reading books by Tice etc because I'm intrigued to know the specifics, particularly when it comes to the urban landscape, interiors, architecture etc. It adds to the sense of place and time, the idea you could go find that very spot, and see if things have changed etc. Can't something be purely documentary and still be serious art if it is done well? Giving a print a less specific title kind of makes the subject more universal, or a little abstract, or might add some drama, but does this have to be the aim? For some types of photography that can totally make sense, but always?
Originally Posted by Michael A. Smith
Anyhow kudos for remaining interested in this thread as it seems to be a tough one, although not unexpectedly so.
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Michael R: Regarding titles. No this is not a rule. if the intention is only documentary than a specific title would be okay (I guess--reluctantly).
Many years ago in New York City one day I saw three exhibitions: Walker Evans, George Tice, Berenice Abbott.
Walker Evans photograph of a church interior was simply titled "Alabama."
Georg Tice's photograph was titled "Paterson, New Jersey."
Berenice Abbott's photograph was titled "Pingpanks Barber Shop (and the address), New York City."
Evans, by titling his photograph only "Alabama," the photograph stood for an entire way of life. The photograph became more than just "what it was of," as all great photographs do.
Abbott's photograph, because of the title, was only just what it was of. By that title she was limiting the viewer's experience of it.
Tice's title put it somewhere between the others. Ordinarily for me, Tice's title was perfect. Only in the context of Evans's title did the photographs become less universal.
It was a fascinating experience for me and led me to a greater understanding of the function of titles.
Michael A. Smith
Interesting take. Thanks for sharing this.
Nice one, thanks!
Originally Posted by mooseontheloose
Yes, thanks for your effort and moving things forward.
Regarding titles, I hope this doesn't influence the decision of whether a print is accepted or not ! While I agree a good title can add to a picture, I also like pictures that are untitled as it can add a sense of intrigue.
A good picture is a good picture regardless of it's description
Digital photography is like virtual sex........ you never actually touch the real thing..... or get your hands dirty
The survey is good but is too early because there's no costings which are a critical parameter, but it will be excellent if expanded when costings for alternatives are available.
As it is at the moment the survey doesn't work because the "Other" option can't be used because the form require one of the tick boxes is used.
I'm not sure that there's any serious discussion of two alternative publications rather that one single publication encompass all and depending on a number of factors could be a printeded by a high end printer if volumes reduce costs significantly or another printer or POD/Blurb if demand is too low and that's not factored into the survey at the moment.
Last edited by Ian Grant; 07-26-2011 at 06:09 AM. Click to view previous post history.