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When does a familiar subject become a cliche?

Discussion in 'Talking Pictures' started by RovingMike, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Sejanus.Aelianus

    Sejanus.Aelianus In the Stop Bath

    The original definition you used, from "The Elements of Technical Writing" via Wikipedia, seems to leave a great deal of space for discussion. After all, one viewer's impression of overuse may not be so perceived by another. What you consider trite, another person might think attractive.

    I fail to see that there's any objective criteria here, so it really comes back to the opinion of the audience.
     
  2. Catriona

    Catriona Well-Known Member

    When does a familiar subject become a cliche?

    Never, for a lot of people who view the images.
    Never, for those who use the images - magazines, advertisers.

    Defensively, never for those who take them.

    Quite quickly for those who search for something 'different'
     
  3. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    That's a process, Atavar. It isn't the image. Cheers, Oly
     
  4. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Kate,

    If you've seen endless pictures of people photographed square on, standing in the middle of a pier, that could be a cliche.

    Then something like this comes along: http://www.colethompsonphotography.com/

    If that is then copied endlessly, not only are the latest derivatives in danger of becoming 'cliches', if you will, then there is a danger that the first also attracts the label.

    As an example, you will remember I like Michael Kenna's work, the bare stripped down, minimalist B&Ws. His one time assistant, Rolfe Horn, used to do similar stuff. Then along came a Canadian called Michael Levin, who uses a similar approach (cliche alert?) and technique (although IIRC he's now switched to digitial - it's still another cliche alert?, anyway) but he goes looking for particular, striped images with contrast ... hence the title of his first book.

    When I go out and 'do a Kenna', then that could be where the cliche really comes along! ;)

    So {cliche word? :eek:} in summary, I agree, especially with your second paragraph. I think you have written a very useful, long, haiku!

    Cheers, Oly
     
  5. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    And yet they do let them through, Mike. I've seen very ordinary, 'derivative' (not process - everything else, instead) work get through. Cheers, Oly
     
  6. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    :rolleyes: Cliche right there, Senator! ;) :D Cheers, Oly
     
  7. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Oh yes! Leaving everyone wondering where the high-flown principles went. It happens. But I have also seen Messrs Reynolds & Co go mental at a set of pop group cliches.
     
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler


    Well this is a different treatment of a well-worn cliche, but I certainly make no claim to it being good photography:

    [​IMG]
     
  9. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    No but the results became a bit a bit of a cliche themselves. Similarly tThe 'stunning' images in the Land and Sea competition featured in the news featured a lot, too many?, long exposure dreamy seas pictures...;)

    I don't particularly find individual images cliche's but I do think that certain processes, styles fashions and fads very much become a cliche. Every year one or other of my clubs gets to see a large selection of the PDI entry from the Southampton International Exhibition and to be honest the sheer number of montaged or otherwise created images suggest that as a style that is in danger of becoming a cliche (or at the very least hackneyed) despite the cleverness, brilliance or ingenuity of the individual images themselves.
     
  10. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    The only real cliché in the atrium is the modern geodesic roof against the old stonework. Which was novel the first week and a cliche thereafter. I did it somewhere in between :)
     
  11. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Re: When does a familiar subject become a cliche? Just …..

    …. asking the question has become cliche :eek:

    Cheers,

    Jack
     
  12. PhotoEcosse

    PhotoEcosse Well-Known Member

    Re: When does a familiar subject become a cliche? Just …..


    ....to say nothing of the clichéd answers.

    :mad:


    But, seriously, I think this thread fell flat on its face at the very first hurdle - by being based upon a very unusual definition from a very strange source. It is not how most of us would define "cliché", I suspect.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2015
  13. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    A cliché is like pornography: "I know it when I see it". Still more, it "tends to deprave or corrupt".

    There is no absolute definition. As I said in an earlier post, "It becomes a cliché when you look at it and think, "Oh, no. Not again!"

    I've added a bit of emphasis to "you".

    Then again, perhaps it becomes at least statistically a cliché when you and at least half the other people you know who have any visual awareness all say,"Oh, no. Not again!"

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  14. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    I can imagine the people in question going mental ... :D ... was it good mental or bad mental? Cheers, Oly
     
  15. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Hi Roger,
    You are right, but the audience at a club do not offer any help to the poor Judge by not suppressing their groans. In fact, I think the times it has happened in my hearing - as a Judge - could be counted on one, maybe two fingers! On the other hand I have been told off once or twice (at least) for being quite harsh about some images. To be fair, a good basic training for a wannabe Judge or critic is 'Kiss-Slap-Kiss' where you sugar coat the pill.

    "Really bold use of colour here. Although the subject is a bit of a cliche, actually really hackneyed, because the camera 'work' of exposure, focus & depth of field has all been handled well, I'm sure many viewers will find something to enjoy here. Next image please." Mental note made ... give it a 7 out of 10 or 14 out of 20.
    Cheers, Oly
     
  16. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Well as I recall, a young lady had got herself the complete panel of rock groups doing their thing, mounted at great expense and beautifully too, confidently expecting that she would be cleared to submit for at least an A and maybe an F.

    The panel took one look and said "We've seen them all before", but not quite as politely. She left in floods of tears.

    I was next up....:(
     
  17. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    Swing the camera left a bit, Nick, and it could be quite good. :) Seriously. Cheers, Oly
     
  18. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Oly,

    Now where have I heard that sort of thing before? Surely not at... um... camera clubs.

    Elegantly phrased: thanks.

    Cheers,

    R.
     
  19. 0lybacker

    0lybacker In the Stop Bath

    What's the difference between a novel image, a fashion or trend, a cliche and a camera club outing?
     
  20. Roger Hicks

    Roger Hicks Well-Known Member

    Dear Oly,

    Is this the feed line for a joke, "Ai don't know, what IS the difference between a novel image, a fashion or trend, a cliche and a camera club outing?"

    Cheers,

    R.
     

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