</span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (fhovie @ May 6 2003, 06:55 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>I learn a lot about my style every time I put a photo up for critique.
... ultimatley I must be faithful to the image I see in my mind that is the essence of what I see. Only a few might see what I see and many will see something completely different in a photo I make. Some won't get it at all - most of those that are close to me rarely see what I see in my photos. So my style is the ever- evolving way my photos reflect the spirit of what I see. If my photo reflects this, I succeded. Anything short of that and it is just another snap shot --- or worse.
I don't think I know much about my "style" - It does not, as near as I can tell -- come from conscious thought. I am not concerned ... it is there ... and that's all there is. I'm trying to conceive of anyone making the statement: "I don't like my style" ....
"Faithful to the image I see...."
I heard this last night on the tele ... a Progenitor of a famous TV series commented on `What makes a TV series successful':
"You do the best you can, in the best way you know how to do it. The rest is a mystery."
That was Steven Spielberg, commenting on ER.
Style is a mysterious thing. I don't see it as a means to "cop out" ... and justify "less than satisfactory" work - but then again, in the frame of "The work is an encoded window into the being of the photographer on the other side" - what could be "unsatisfactory"?
I have two images by Ansel Adams - *color* photographs done near the end of his life - I think they were on Kodachrome - I know they were done with a Hasselblad.
I've shown these to many well-versed photographers with the question, "Who do you think did these?" So far not one has identified them as Ansel Adams'. The public percetion of Adam's work begins with "Black and white", so color is almost immediately "off limits".
Once they know that they are, In fact, the work of Ansel Adams, his "style" is immediately apparent ... "Of course. Why didn't I realize that before?"
The fact that others "see" your work differently is no surprise. Our vision - like our style - is the product of myriad of influences - preconditioned relfexs, social pressures... the work of "black magicians" (see: Carlos Casteneda).
A classic gallery comment, "Oh I LOVE your work - what an eye you have - I never would have seen that flower arrangement in the form of a female nude!!" To which the photographer replies, "Huh? It is??"
I've given up on paranoia in the galleries. I refuse to consider anyone as a charlatain trying to pass off "substandard" work. I am sure that happens, but ... so what?
Van Gogh made a LOT of "substandard" work in eyes of his contemporaries. I read that he only sold *one* of his works in his entire life - to his brother. That idea of "sustandard-ness" holds true for ... how many ? Renoir, Dali, Picasso, Man Ray ...
Interesting comment about "snapshots". What defines a "snapshot"? Aren't the decisive moment works of Cartier-Bresson, or the "line-them-up-against-the-wall works of August Sander, or "V-day", by Alfred Eisenstadt... aren't they all "snapshots"?
I think they are ... but what *marvelous* snapshots!!