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AP has a result...

Discussion in 'News - Discussion' started by Benchista, Dec 22, 2005.

  1. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    A lot of published work doesn't employ anything other than a basic understanding of composition. That's accessible. If the masses don't achieve that, it's because they don't practise enough or they're apathetic. Perhaps the missing ingredient is sometimes perception. Previsualisation. Genius, though, is a very strong word.

    When photography becomes less 'doable' is often when someone puts a personal quality into their work - something which might be completely peripheral to photography. That could certainly be applied to war, famine, or portrait photography (although it's difficult to recognise in the Scweppes images).

    Looking at published pictures (especially those in photographic magazines) is how I personally dragged my photography up. To be published you have to accept failure until you can compete with some of your peers. Where and how a picture is published is often key to how good it is, and a lot of published images really aren't all that admirable. They're the bread and butter of a profession.

    None of that ever really affects my enjoyment of a good picture. Whether I believe I could have taken it or not, if it connects and shares something new I enjoy it.
     
  2. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    If Schweppes had announced this award on the last day of March, as a parody on what some people, including Judges of photographic competitions perceive as being 'Artistic', I'm pretty certain they would have gained far more positive publicity and done everyone a huge favour in the process by qualifying what the definition of 'Mundane' photography is.

    I would imagine that the Judges, if they are named, have probably now been 'marked down' by sponsors of photography as people not to be used in their competitons!

    It does on the other hand, make me shudder when I try and imagine just how awful the images which were rejected during selection, were!
     
  3. AJUK

    AJUK Well-Known Member

    I wonder what they really meant by contemporary! :)
     
  4. sey

    sey Well-Known Member

    No Sam, it's frightening to think of the great images that were rejected! :mad: :eek:
     
  5. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Oh come now, tell me when you last saw a great portrait that you hadn't seen before.
     
  6. sey

    sey Well-Known Member

    A great photograph, portrait or otherwise, is a great photograph and so what if I've seen it a thousand times before, it's still a great photograph.

    How many of us are green with envy because we can't produce a 'seen before' great photograph? Is that why when we see the banal, mundane prize winners we try to justify it by saying that they were trying to be different? Was the competition a photographic competition to produce great photographs or was it a competition to be different/new?

    In both instances it failed. It produced banal/mundane/nothing snapshots which were neither new nor different. It awarded prizes to images that would/should have been amongst the millions of rejects that are wiped off memory cards daily.

    No Nick, trying to be different will never replace a lack of talent & skill.
    It's only the talented & skilled who can produce great 'seen before' photographs who will succeed in producing great new/different work. They are the ones who are able to 'artfully' break/bend/push the boundaries.

    It's been said many times before, "either you've got it, or you haven't got it"
    Just one of those hard facts of life.

    Enough, not going there again!
     
  7. Gezza

    Gezza Well-Known Member

    I agree pretty much with what Seymour says, thats quite a scary way to start the new year............ Happy new year to everybody by the way....... may you get what you deserve.......... ;)
     
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I don't know, Seymour, it's a long time since I saw a portrait that bared the soul as much as the winner did, for all its technical inadequacies. Portraiture is probably the branch of photography most mired in repeating boreing cliches, and for all that I didn't actually like any of the Schweppes stuff, and agree that it was very samey, some of it actually wasn't too bad.
     
  9. sey

    sey Well-Known Member

    Nick, so we've gotten to the point where our only difference of opinion is whether the winning photo bared the subject's soul or not. That's fine with me :)

    As far as boring, cliches go, portraiture, to me it's just like any other branch of photography, nature,urban scenic, NH etc. etc. There is great, good, bad & indifferent in all the different fields. I, personally, cannot get very excited over a photograph if it doesn't have people in it, that's just me, I'm a people person, but that doesn't mean that I don't have a great appreciation/admiration for great non-people photos. I just get bored with them much quicker.

    Jeff Dunas, the "in photog" of today, famous for his slick glamour & advertising photography, recently brought out a book, "Blues Legends", in which over a period of time he portraited the Blues greats. Each & every shot was identical in technique, but he managed to capture so much of their personality, that yes, at first glance it seems as if there are a hundred or so pages of the same, but the minute one really looks, each one is so different because we are seeing the subjects & not the technique - which of course is very 'professional' - & that's what makes them very good photographs, although superficially it looks like a hundred 'professional cliches'.

    I could say the same about Ansel Adams, Charley Waite or Joe Cornish, (my only wish being that they put a human in the picture somewhere ;))

    The Schweppes pictures don't do that for us.
     
  10. GCW

    GCW Well-Known Member

    I doubt that our story was the reason for the sponsor dropping out, although they may not have appreciated our attention. The real point is that there was nothing particularly new or contemporary about the pictures and we felt that something should be said about it. Certainly, I do not believe that ‘photography’ is in any way damaged by the sponsors decision. Indeed, it may inject something genuinely new to compemporary portraiture, rather than the current stylised images of prepubescent girls looking vunerable and miserable — which to me echoed a sort of sophisticated, artsy, version of child exploitation.

    Garry
     
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Let's hope so - portraiture is almost certainly the most moribund of areas at the moment, IMHO.
     
  12. sirmy

    sirmy Well-Known Member

    Perhaps the art and creative input is in cvapturing people as they really are and not how we see them. Most people do become stiff and nervous when a camera is pointed at them so these images do more to reveal the personality and experiences of the subjecys ythan any perfectly lit studio shot wheter done by you, me or the late Yousuf Karsh.
     
  13. camsterfactor

    camsterfactor Well-Known Member

    Based on the predominantly negative reactions to the SPPP output (here and in the published form of AP at least - in other publications and on other fora the general discussion has come across as far less like the results of a Daily Mail tirade ;) ) I wonder how people feel about the broad aesthetic impulse of the so-called Lomography movement. The work turned in by the winners of the SPPP is evocative to me of certain aspects of that movement.
     
  14. TimF

    TimF With as stony a stare as ever Lord Reith could hav

    At risk of being tarred and feathered for bringing this zombie back to life again (!), there's some mostly interesting thoughts on the subject of portraiture in general by David Lee in the Winter 2006 issue of Ag magazine. The somewhat risible conclusion, that the moribund state of photographic protraiture (in the writer's opinion) can be entirely blamed on film cameras, and salvation lies in "exaggeration and abstraction, experiment and accident", which apparently are only possible by using digital cameras can be safely ignored IMESHO. Worth a read though, as he usually is.
     
  15. sey

    sey Well-Known Member

    Oh dear Tim, I'm not going to tar & feather you........I just think you're pretty brave posting that at all. Bravo! ;)




    Not even dreaming of going anywhere near that though..............don't have the energy to take Nick on just now /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif ;)
     

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