Quote Originally Posted by batwister View Post
Then there's blind imitation...

Learning is a process of recognition and growth. It starts with imitation, then assimilation, then hopefully innovation.
Yes, I am not going to disagree with you there.

Flickr doesn't encourage self-reflection and growth, only impulse uploading and a steady stream of compliments - consistent validation. It's a world without questions. Everything you produce, in your mind, is always great in someone elses. It's like a psychological and artistic impasse. The same effect Mr. Wright and his friend's work have on some. *
Yes, there is a lot of that going on - I am not going to disagree with that either - but there are a lot of hidden gems. I suppose you just need to know where to look. When I find something interesting, it generally is away from the mainstream groups - the submit 1, praise 2 type groups - that are not really helpful. Regardless of it being film or digital, there are many groups on flickr catering for many different things. There are also groups that are quite harsh and subjective - you can seek them out if you want.

That being said, (& time for the APUG controversial statement of the week), it really isn't any different with the galleries on this forum. There is not a lot of constructive criticism going on - either a photo gets hardly a comment or it gets a lot of "love the tones....". But, I still enjoy the gallery - call me weird, part of the joy of photography is looking at other peoples photos.

Then there is the opposite - I have been members of many (digital) photography forums, where it is encouraged that people re-edit displayed photos if they feel that they could make an improvement. This I really dislike. Yes, comment, give suggestions on how you may have done it or different techniques, but let the author make the changes (because simply, they may be happy with what they have submitted).

When pleasing yourself is as easy as pleasing everyone else, you're Harry Cory Wright. Then there's those in the middle who just want to produce and see good work, but are constantly inundated by these annoying problems; "why is he photographing everything and everyone always likes it? Why am I constantly challenging myself? Would I be happier doing what he's doing? What's the point in doing anything?" Some people like to consistently challenge themselves and others, which usually makes for better art.
Maybe I fall into that category. I think in comparison to many, the pictures I take are bland and out of style, but as much as I try to do things that maybe a bit more out there, the more I fall back into what I am comfortable with....this is the thing - I am keeping myself happy, but on the other foot I want others to accept what I have done.

But these questions that keep arising at the moment, which are never about the work specifically, but about the point of work altogether, make for procrastination. So even if we want to make good art, the empty stuff opens up a hole that we all fall down whether we like it or not. Art itself is in the middle of an existential crisis. Nothing really clearly good or really obviously bad can be done until we move past this phase.*
I agree with this as well - pop art has been around for long enough now, that there is nothing new and anything that is new is either bland or so out there and controversial that the great unwashed don't like it anyway.

Going full circle, that's exactly the same reason I've ignored Flickr for the last year.*

Here's a suggestion:
Every artist and photographer everywhere should work in obscurity and only take their inspiration from the classic work. Maybe then, in another 50 years, we'll be back where we were before this whole charade started.
Maybe - maybe not