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Club Vs Internet

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by Blrry I, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    I am happy to answer your questions, Roger.

    On the "pushing" topic, I would like to see a great deal more about photography as an art form, rather than as a documentary process. Of course, someone will come and point to "Chewing Gum Bubble" in the current issue. That is a fabulous article, so out of line with mainstream AP content - but it is looking at creative photo-art in a way that is rare in AP.

    Don't misunderstand me - I am also interested in landscape, wildlife, travel, still-life, street and portrait photography and I do not suggest that we should ignore those topics in order to concentrate on less traditional genres. But I would like, as I said, to see the current change in AP's outlook accelerating a bit.

    That would also deal with your "more progressive" question.

    On the "Final Analysis" question, I rarely find the photographs you use to be particularly illustrative of the narrative you provide. An exception, as I already stated on another recent thread, was last week's Cristina Cassinelli study which did hit the spot. But, in that column, the selection of picture is much less important than the words you write.

    Just as an additional linked point, I do regret the lack of humour in AP. The "back page" feature was previously used, at least on an intermittent basis, to provide some humour and I would welcome seeing your thought-provoking epistles alternating with a less serious contribution.


    Edit: I wrote this immediately after reading Roger's questions and had not read PaulM's subsequent post. I am interested to note that he also identifies lack of humour as an issue worth mentioning.

    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  2. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    I can't comment on the "Chewing Gum Bubble" because the current issue hasn't yet arrived in Germany.

    It must be 7 or 8 years ago now that AP published some informative articles on creating 'out of the ordinary' and 'original' abstracts. These articles gave me an impetus to widen my own creativity even though I found some of the techniques involved to be somewhat impractical. A few years later I sent in some of my own resulting abstracts to AP because I thought that the technique employed and the pictures might be interesting for those looking to try something a little different. The reaction? "Sorry, we're not interested in this sort of photography". Also, way back then, a certain Moloney was not averse to honouring 'out of the ordinary shots' or 'original' shots with ten-packs of film. Since then the 'documentary process' has, to my mind, tended to rule the roost. All well and good and so on but all very 'safe'.
  3. Blrry I

    Blrry I Member

    That question raised a bit of a warm, and some times, slightly off topic debate.
    A lot of interesting views from both sides of the fence. Thank you.

    My next topic will be titled-
    "Portraits and landscapes are for real photographers. Composite photography is for people who can't paint. Discuss?"

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  4. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    I wouldn't want to join any club that held competitions, because I think they lead to slavish adherence to arbitrary rules. I like the internet because such rules don't really apply and we get to see pictures that show what other people think is worth photographing. For instance, there was a nice grey sky here yesterday, good for autumn leaves...

  5. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    ....but, just to add something to the "progressive" element of Roger's question, perhaps AP could more closely mirror what goes on in the nation's camera clubs and photographic societies.

    There can be no doubt (something I should really never say on this forum!) that, in UK, those societies are what really drive the progressive movement in photography. They are where the nation's leading-edge photographers (if I stick to where I know best - Scotland - I mean real artists like Rikki O'Neill, Sandy Cleland, Al Buntin, Libby Smith, Roy Robertson and their ilk) find a platform for promulgating their skills and talent to a wide audience. They are also where the really enthusiastic amateur photographers find the challenge and inspiration to reach out to greater and greater heights of performance.

    I accept that it must be difficult for a magazine to be as challenging and inspiring as the "live" situation of a photographic society meeting but I think that AP could learn a lot from our clubs and societies.
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  6. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    Just managed to get the latest issue with the bubble gum picture.

    I'm so sorry! I couldn't help laughing as I was reminded of my (late) dog Candy when she had pups. The largest and most dominant one would hang on like that even when poor Candy struggled to get away and walk around. ;)

    Good to see something different though, even with all the associations it provokes! Haha!

    PS APs attempt to go back to glamour??
  7. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Eric,

    And I am happy to see your answers! Though I disagree about humour, at least as recently manifested in AP: assuming you're referring to Ogden What's-his-name, I just thought he wasn't very good. It was a very plodding sitcom.

    As for art, well, I'd say that the very word "genres" is the problem. Is (for example) the flocking birds piece in the issue of the 22nd, by David Tipling, a "genre"? Sure, you can force it into the cage of "wildlife" but what does that mean? Do I ever want to photograph roosting birds? No. I wasn't even especially interested in the pictures. But some people are. That's the important bit.

    Are more people interested in (say) roosting birds than (say) hand coloured lithographs as reported in the previous week's issue ("A Journey through Time")? What is the "genre" in the latter case? Pasting a huge label on it that says "Historical" would be to do it a massive disservice: there's still a lot we can learn about composition, reportage, street photography, landscape and how we perceive colour.

    In other words, as soon as we are willing to force something into a "genre" we are closing down our willingness to look at it properly. That's why I try to go for as wide a variety is possible of ideas and pictures in Final Analysis: to make people look at pictures, rather than just jamming them forcibly into a "genre" and then ignoring them because they have convinced themselves that they are not interested in the genre to which they have just consigned the picture.

    I try to look at as many pictures as I can: even at the supermarket giveaway catalogues and magazines, to see how the photographer approached his subject and how he succeeded or failed. The clothing section is often very revealing. One might be brilliant at models in their 20s but useless with children: another, the exact opposite. In other words I am constantly on the lookout for good photography -- "good" being to a considerable extent subjective, but what the hell, as long as I enjoy it.

    Addendum: As for the clubs, either they've changed a lot, or you've been very lucky. Most that I've encountered have been extremely hidebound.


    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  8. AlexDenny

    AlexDenny Well-Known Member

    Hey all,

    Late to the party on this thread (and pretty much all of the other recent ones) as I've been moving house - but returning to the original question of club vs. internet, I'd like to ask about the age profile in a lot of clubs...

    I've never been a member of a photographic club before, but recently was looking into joining one. The one in my own home town seems to be all film, and though I worked with film for a number of years, I can't see myself going back. The other reasonably local one replied to my email and actually asked me if I thought I might be too young for them all (I'm 31) as they were generally "older".

    Is this a general problem with clubs?

    I don't put much stock in the comments on flickr (though it's lovely to receive praise and a few "likes" of course) - but I do find the appraisal gallery here very constructive and useful. Would I get something better from a club? (I have always assumed the commentary/criticism would be less detailed from a single judge... and yet I have still thought about joining a club).

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