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Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect differences?

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by RovingMike, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    Phew it's not just me then...:)

    Interestingly one of our speakers last night posed the question as to whether clubphotography tends towards a uniformity that could almost be described as a 'style'. Overall concensus was that it can if one is not careful and I have to agree.

    Comparing the kind of images that tend to do well in club with those that make the grade in exhibitions and competitions beyond the club circuit (eg the Deutsche Bourse) suggest that club imagery does conform to a style and one that we don't so much impose on the subject but on our own vision.

    I must admit that my recent output in retrospect does look a bit 'clubby' and uniform - clearly I need to kick myself up the backside...

    'Fashion' also seems to play a part, I was running through the PI accetances for the Havant National earlier and there seems to be a strong fashion for somewhat contrived pseudo-Gothic imagery and arty-HDR images.
     
  2. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    No, for me style is definitely not the subject, it is entirely the treatment. But yes only doing the golden hour could be a personal style and I can see how it would become boring. I came up against the golden hour dilemma when I was doing the Bloomsbury exercise I mentioned before. I had such awful light in general that I was tempted to try to shoot early and late to get some mood and mix in some "wow" shots. But reason I didn't is because it would have been contrived. It would not have captured the place as most people know it and frankly you could do that anywhere, it didn't have to be Bloomsbury. But neither did I go poking around in grotty corners trying to replicate my old comfort zone dilapidated "old town" stuff either, for the same reason.
     
  3. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    If that's the style that the photographer chooses then let it be! looking at the wider aspect of this thread we would all like to think that our pictures will still be interesting to who ever views them in the future! but no this will not be the case the only pictures that will be of interest are the ones that are true fact, the true record of scenes with ordinary people in, and cars that you can date including buildings and houses, these are the pictures which will score over say pretty landscapes and chocolate box type pictures.......of course this is only my opinion but I am sure I am right what I say, the problem I find today is that most pictures are now photoshopped and will be useless in years to come....I take pictures of anything that I think will make an interesting picture and yes they do go through photoshop but I try not to alter them just for the sake of making them a striking picture! most of my pictures you can still reconise where I took them!
     
  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference


    Ah, so nobody cares about the work of Turner, Monet, Constable, even Ansel Adams etc, just the portraitists, then?

    Sorry, that's not even remotely a well-formed opinion IMHO, and I'm absolutely certain you're wrong. Yes, documentary stuff will be of historical interest, but art is always art, and as tastes change, it gains historical significance.
     
  5. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    I greatly admire the artists that you speak of! but I was talking of the present and the future,sorry if I confused you....(its an age thing)
     
  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    So you're saying that nobody working now can produce any art worth seeing in the future? That's just bizarre.
     
  7. IvorCamera

    IvorCamera Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    People do produce art that will be worthy of viewing in the future most with a individual style! and some artists dont, for example a pile of bricks, and a empty room with a broken chair in the middle! I have seen 10x8/A4 photographs that sell for hundreds of pounds but not to my taste I'm afraid......
     
  8. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    Interesting thread. Looking at your Bloomsbury project made me go back and reassess the shots I took when I was last in London. (Three days in November - stayed in Russell Square but I don't have as many "useable" shots as you might imagine because we had a pretty full on timetable of activities while we were there.) Bloomsbury not being THAT big an expanse of town, I have shots from several of the same places that you covered. I think that mine definitely convey a different "style" to yours, but I also think that there are different "style" shots within my own depending on what I was seeing at the time and what I was hoping to convey. So I'm going to have to disagree with you slightly. I think the choice of subject matter does inform the style to a degree if the person taking the shot is really thinking about the subject matter and not simply applying the same ol' same ol' to everything they shoot.

    As to your original question, I don't see how you can avoid "imposing" your style if your style is a genuine response to what you are looking at. I think you can avoid shooting only the same type of shots, but that's a separate issue. One person's treatment of run-down areas of town doesn't have to look like everyone else's. The decision to only shoot run-down areas of town is a decision to only portray that one element - is that really the same thing as "imposing a style"? I wouldn't have thought so.
     
  9. miked

    miked Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    Wow, this could make my copy of Rhine II worthless! Oh, the misery of it all.
     
  10. Donkey

    Donkey Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    If i may get back to your op.

    If we flip that scenario over would you then consider Photographers that only ever take pictures of nice
    Scenery, Kids, Kittens, Family, Friends, Pets etc etc to be dishonest in that they are only portraying the "Brighter side of this world" ? Ignoring the drab and dreary which exists but choose to ignore..
    This world is both Grotty and Pleasing in great abundance and in my opinion it's not dishonest to shoot either or but personal taste which the viewer can choose to ignore or embrace.

    If i were to shoot say only Tarantulas would i then be accused of trying to push an Arachnid style onto the people who looked at my photo's or would that be my preferance for shooting material ?

    I would imagin it would be easy to fall into a comfort zone through circumstance but wonder how many realise this and accept it or proactively go out and change which leads me to the question have you now changed because you want to or because you feel you should in the eyes of others ?

    In what way did you consider it dishonest in your portrayal ?
     
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    It's not so much what you shoot, as the way you shoot it. If you shoot homeless people and impose a style that makes them all look the same, I would say that's dishonest.
     
  12. Donkey

    Donkey Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    Now this for me is something i don't consciously think about when i take a photo and maybe it's because i am a relative newcomer or i haven't shot enough of one specific subject to question my portrayal.

    Interesting !
     
  13. andicbair

    andicbair Active Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    There can and probably will be a sameness in technique and methodology, because we can't be good at everything. But the emotional invocation from the picture ought to be subject dependent. So, no, I don't think taking similar looking pictures of every city is a good idea.
    I understand that painters of the past are famous for their own styles for various topics, and I think that is partly where that tendency towards sameness comes from. But versatility is key, and the great thing about dig photos is that we can change things around relatively easily, and the same person can now juggle a wider array of artistic traits.
     
  14. lfc1892

    lfc1892 Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    I don't think I have a particular style, although some would clearly disagree as I've been told on many occasions that my shots could easily be recognised through their inherent style.
    I certainly wouldn't say I'd try to make every scene i come across look the same by heavily applying my style or workflow to it, but there are certain scenes, shapes and lights that catch my eye and appeal to me, and so, inevitably, I'm drawn to them and so am more likely to shoot them. This may contribute to a certain look or feel to my work i suppose.
    It's midnight mind you so I could be talking rubbish.
     
  15. andicbair

    andicbair Active Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    Liked your landscapes among others, esp 'shelter from the storm'. Did not see any evidence of style imposition.....
     
  16. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    Think you are confusing subjects with style, but yes I have tried to change, because I was horrified with what I made Rome look like. Doing urban environments is a bit different from bugs and flowers. It does tend to try to convey something of the place and its people, which tends, for me, to require some balance and honesty. If you go out to find what really makes a place tick, you are doing something a lot harder than simply finding things that fit a pre-conceived template in your mind.
     
  17. lfc1892

    lfc1892 Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    Thanks, kind of you to say.
     
  18. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    I resemble that remark, Nick :eek:

    ;)

    Jack
     
  19. Trannifan

    Trannifan Well-Known Member

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    You seem to take a very narrow view of photography. Are you implying that I'm wasting my time and artistic imagination creating and taking abstracts? Abstract painting is well established and isn't going to disappear overnight, so why shouldn't good, artistically interesting abstract photography survive? What you consider worthy of survival may well have archival value but that's all. I suspect that future generations will be more interested in seeing what outsiders like me produce rather than the archival shots taken (sarcasm alert!) by the massed one-trick ponies you seem to favour.

    Where does Photoshop come into it? It's merely a tool, and a tool is only as good as the person using it. No doubt some people would benefit from learning that 'less is often more' but on the other hand, If they're using it to pursue artistic ideas outside the mainstream of Photography then that's fine by me.

    I think style is tied in with genre. I take abstracts and impressions with the background intention that the viewer should exercise his or her imagination. Feedback tells me that this works. It also tells me that people viewing my photos consider I've got my own 'style'. Then again, a lot of people who say that to me are artists, not photographers. I know of a handful of photographers with similar interests but we all have different approaches and consequently individual styles.
     
  20. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Re: Should you impose your style, or honestly reflect difference

    Certainly ain't you I mean, Jack. ;)
     

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