not with a camera ...
Originally Posted by Felinik
depending on where you stand your camera sees a different truth
it all creates a reality dictated by the camera's operator ...
some are little white lies that no one cares about ( black and white instead of color )
some well ... they distort reality to be something completely different .. ( location, lens and other photographer's tools )
I think that picture of the year thread is being discussed elsewhere. Personally, I think the muted colors fit the mood better. I dislike modern dyed synthetic clothing splattered with brand names, they always ruin great pictures. So muting the soccer shirt helped.
I feel qualified to talk about standards. I worked for 15 years at Standard Register. For a while I held a patent for one of their first inventions (You can buy anything on e-bay. eventually I gave the document back to founder's family). Both statements are true but I am just kidding about any meaningful qualification. Following is my opinion, just an idea, valid or invalid as anyone else's. Take it at face value.
I think each of us works to our own "Standard". This might be related to measurable physical qualities of results. I might say "to be in my portfolio, a print must be sharp, fine-grain, blemish-free, full-scale".
But my Standard raises idea, emotion or thought, above technical.
Personally, I prefer portraits of someone the photographer took time to know (or grew to know over time). I believe photographs document relationships between subject and photographer. I prefer there to be something there.
I like discoveries and exploration. I mention adventure because I appreciate photographs of something new as well.
I envy non-straight photographers who show something that may not meet my Quality Standard, but exceeds my Idea Standard. I am especially envious of those who initiate ideas.
Regardless the technical espect (B&W, color, muted, toned, you name it), a picture make little sense to describe the real (or truth if you prefer). It is always a re-presentation which mean that the photographer is always betwen you and the real: the way the picture is framed, the choosen perspective, the exact moment the picture was taken are not at random. The photographer wants to share with you how he sees the scene which is a translation (the photographer's translation) of the real. So, different photographers means different "truths".
Originally Posted by jnanian
Aske 2 people to shoot a similar event, a family gathering fo instance and then compare the prints. Depending on how each photographer translates (filters) what he sees, I would not be surprized if results were pretty different. Who is right and who is wrong, where is the truth?
This has happened to me many times. We are lucky here in Minnesota, in that there are many photographers that often get together to discuss, show prints, or maybe go photographing together; sometimes we even take trips together.
Originally Posted by Dali
When we take trips together to photograph things, we are often in exactly the same location, yet the resulting pictures are often vastly different from one another, sometimes making you wonder whether we in fact visited the same place or not.
I love how Bill put it above, that "I believe photographs document relationships between subject and photographer". Those relationships are always colored by the photographer's personality, education, intelligence, perception, instinct, experience, ability, and many other traits of their personality. How we all see things, even as viewers of the same photograph is very interesting.
Do this exercise some time: Make two identical prints. Have two people sit in front of that same print and study it for a few minutes. Then ask them to close their eyes and describe what they saw. It is with quite a bit of certainty that what comes out of their brains are different things, colored by their own experience and frame of reference.
exactly ... the truth is whatever the photographer says it is,
Originally Posted by Dali
and sometimes that truth isn't really based in reality ...
A photographer can lie easily, but I don't think it is correct to say that a photograph is always lying. A photograph offers a perspective. That perspective may add truth to the (historical) reality, or it may take away from it.
The suggestion that two different family photographs need to be reconciled treats reality like it is black and white. Reality is more like a color wheel. You may see primarily blue, me pink, but we're both seeing different aspects of the same truth.
Please understand this is very different than subjectivism, or the idea that the truth is individual and our own. This is what I was trying to get at before when talking about a standard of art. There is truth and beauty and good art but it is very complex and multi-faceted and none of us see all of it.
We tend to fall into two ditches, either truth and beauty is black and white or truth and beauty is in the eye of the beholder/unknowable. Truth is neither.
Back to the original topic.
In the final wash are prints from two adjacent frames (when you're hot, you're hot) of 35mm 100 TMAX.
One is a handheld shot of my daughter, her rat and my father (who introduced me to rats). Daughter is reasonably sharp but dad is closer than the plane of focus. Rat is blurry from movement. My wife loves this shot. I think it's got a lot going for it too. Has nothing to do with this thread (except for the fact that it's not critically sharp).
The second shot, is a good illustration for this thread (except it has no grain).
To preface, I have long had a phobia of (or moratorium against) taking photos from moving vehicle windows. I recall taking a couple of particularly bad shots on a single roll of film when I was in high school. I don't remember if I took the shot before signing up for photo class, or mid-course. You know how sometimes you can cheat by using pictures you've already taken to fulfill class assignments. Anyway this particular roll had a couple real disappointments. A sunset in black and white, and the shot out the moving car window. Other pictures on the roll were OK. But I felt such a strong revulsion to those two shots that (with few exceptions), I never take sunsets in black and white or photos from moving vehicle windows.
So this second shot is of a fern in Golden Gate Park (approximately 953 Martin Luther King Jr Dr San Francisco). Whenever we drive past this stretch of road I imagine the land of dinosaurs. Never had opportunity to stop and take a proper photograph, this time was no exception.
My wife doesn't like it, she says blurry shots do nothing for her.
For those without Gallery privileges, here is my contribution to the genre.
Interesting with your experimentation, and the rat?