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WHY DO YOU TAKE PICTURES?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    His 1986 book The Last Resort was the breakthrough for him, until then he was mostly working in black & white, he was good but nothing special. He admits that seeing the colour work of William Eggleston and Stephen Shore was a turning point for him and the rest is history . . . he's a huge influence in the art colleges, he's a Magnum photographer, he's published two or three dozen books and catalogues of his photographs plus co-written (with Gerry Badger) the superb The Photobook: A History vol 1 & vol 2. Whether you like his photographs is neither here nor there but without a doubt he's probably the most influencial and commercially successful British photographer of the last 20 years . . . .though maybe not to AP readers :rolleyes:

    Just though I'd fill in some gaps for those who'd never heard of him :)
     
  2. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    lol I guess he's just gone and hurt all our feelings ;)

    I suppose I really should look more at the greats but I have little knowledge of them, bit like music I rarely know the groups but I do know the songs! Thanks for the info Alan, did he feature on a TV programme recently?
     
  3. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    I have personally quite enjoyed the cynical eye of Parr when I've viewed his images. But the 'point' with Stephen Shore just goes whooshing straight past me. My sensibilities obviously aren't fine-tuned enough.
     
  4. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    He's currently appearing as a judge on Channel 4's "Picture This". the grand finale is on tonight (Sunday) at 7 p.m.
     
  5. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Hi Glenn,
    with most photographers I tend to cherrypick the images I like, with Shore I go for the 'street' photographs rather than the pictures of what he had for breakfast kind of thing - both show up his book Uncommon Places. He's another one who namechecks Walker Evans as an influence.
     
  6. GlennH

    GlennH Well-Known Member

    I find many different styles of image enjoyable in the right context - a collection in a book for example, rather than gawping at little pictures on a screen.

    But it's still difficult for me to understand the fame of Stephen Shore. His pictures remind me of my holiday snaps I took as a ten year old in 1976 ........... and I guess that is the point.
     
  7. jr1959

    jr1959 Member

    I think I'll join the "because I enjoy it" crowd.

    Of course, every Martin Parr image is a unique creation that looks nothing like the one that went before it ;)
     
  8. Ian_A

    Ian_A Well-Known Member

    The main reason I take pictures is because I'm a photographer - it's what photographers do.

    That's nowt but a sweeping generalisation!

    Nope.

    I like to picture an image in my mind, and make it happen - finding the location or setting, the person or people to make it work. My inspiration comes from looking at the work of many photographers (amateur and professional, current and historical), reading books, listening to music, and drinking alcohol.

    It's the finished result that counts for me - whether it is liked by others or not. The measure of success is how well I've accomplished what I set out to capture.

    Two photographers who have never inspired me are Martin Parr, and, of course, Ansel Adams ... [​IMG]
     
  9. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I can't help but agree with every word Ian has said, however much it pains me to... :D

    I've got a number of not necessarily related thoughts on Mr Parr and his comments:

    1. I rather agree with him that many amateurs do indeed attempt to copy styles and photos, but it's far too sweeping a generalisation to assume that that is the motivation behind us all. I think we've kicked to death the "Buchaille Etive Mor" issue previously, but suffice it to say that I think on here we've a decreasing number of Cornish emulators, common though they may still be elsewhere, and beyond that it's not immediately obvious whose style anybody attempts to emulate.
    Is he perhaps upset that AP readers don't try to copy his style?

    2. Is it not exceptionally ironic that not only is his style based on someone else's, but that he's "a huge influence in the art colleges" - in short, people are trying to recreate his photos and his photographic style?

    3. I think he's got a decent eye for a subject, but I actually think his execution is pretty awful and extremely clumsy. Set aside his lighting and colour style for a moment, it's his composition that I think is often pretty poor, as highlighted by several of the shots in the mag - wrong choice of lens to get a suitable perspective, wrong framing and so on IMVHO. Then there's the slavish adherence to his style, regardless of whether it suits the subject or not. Yes, it goes down well with the art establishment, and plenty of people queue up to buy it - but frankly I don't care if I'm the little boy pointing out that this particular emperor is stark naked, and up until his comments, I had always assumed that he didn't care what I (or any of us) thought either, but that he was content to laugh all the way to the bank. Now I'm not so sure - it appears to me that he actually craves our adulation. Sorry, Martin.

    4. I've browsed through the last two issues of AP in light of his comments, and also had another look at the monthly competition on here - and with the exception of the pic of Bamburgh Castle in this week's mag, they largely refute his comments IMHO. Indeed even that attempts to be a slightly different treatment, and is rather nicely complimented by a similar treatment of Torness Power Station by the same photographer, the two images together saying considerably more about art than Parr's pic of a Tenerife tourist menu...
    OK, I know that shot is a statement on the habits and requirements of the British tourist on holiday, but for me, it's artistically bankrupt - no more than a pure record shot if taken by anyone other than The Artist, and it only aquires meaning with a hint of written explanation - and as Kyle Cassidy says, if a photo needs explanation, it's not good enough. Personally, I rate Kyle's photography much more highly than Parr's in the street world - for that matter, ditto Alan W's - hugely superior execution, and less tiresomely predictable in style...

    5. I don't think Parr is a great photographer. I don't even think he's all that good. I DO think he's an important photographer, and despite all my comments, I wish him well - he gives us something to talk about, and it's always good to see any photographer making money out of something other than the misery of others.
     
  10. Ellie527

    Ellie527 Well-Known Member

    Perhaps he's right, but only because I look at wildlife shots and would dearly like both the opportunity and the skill to take them myself.

    I take pictures because it's something I enjoy doing.
     
  11. martinch

    martinch Well-Known Member

    Wow ... I feel libelled. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif Seriously though, I take pictures of animals and plants because I like looking at images of plants and animals, and I like watching said animals. I don't intentionally copy anyone's style, although I probably do sub-consciously copy the style of John Shaw, Freeman Patterson, and Gilles Martin (as I learnt photography through reading their books, and hence their guidance). Looking at Mr Parr's website, all I can say is that it's very sterile ...
     
  12. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    It doesn't much matter if he is great or not or even if he is an important photographer, if his comments were meant to slight anyones hobby he is a sad person indeed.
    So what if we put our tripods in the same holes and point our cameras at the same old boring subjects, perhaps some would prefer to go get it themselves rather than buy it from another photographer, perhaps some like to see if they can match or even better a picture, perhaps some don't even realise it's been taken a million times before. Perhaps in a persons mind they see a scene and think so what if has been seen already, I like it and I want to capture it for myself.

    So what if we are all small minded we're having fun being so :)
     
  13. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    well said Tanya :D
    My only gripe is when the same old same old win competitions :eek:
    but given some of the themes it's almost inevitable :D
    I have to say I'm mightily impressed by the entries on this months forum competition...can't say they're the same old same old
     
  14. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    Certainly not this month David :)
     
  15. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    Totally agree. Send Mr Parr to have a look at them and say the same thing!
     
  16. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    who is this Parr everyone's talking about
     
  17. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    This chap - his website
     
  18. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    pity it's not Katherine...
     
  19. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    ok. clicked it seen it dont like it. Next..
     
  20. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    yeah I know... :D
    wishful thinking perhaps
     

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