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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

    For anyone interested in hearing some of Martin Parr's thoughts on photography
    there's a 10 minute interview on Lens Culture.
     
  2. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    As I buy AP from the shelf a couple of times a month I sometimes miss what's going on. Today I got one. So this is Martin Parr? I'm afraid most of his pics are snapshots to me and everyone at home has at least one good snapshot they could exhibit. But they're not called art. Imo it's abit like the art world who berate the public for not understanding alot of the tosh they exhibit in their galleries. It's more of who you know than what you know that predominates the artist's make or break. I feel it's the same or similar with Martin Parr's work.
     
  3. Ellie527

    Ellie527 Well-Known Member

    Yes, they did, and a part of any photographic training is looking at other photographer's work and perhaps use it for inspiration.

    Just because somebody gets fed up with seeing 'the same old thing' doesn't mean their opinion is valid and should override everybody else's, especially when they're looking at work of people they've never met.

    We're all influenced by the images we see around us and make value judgements each time we see a picture, whatever it's used for. I think that's what makes us take pictures in our own particular way. Everybody has their own style, even the person who picks up a camera for the first time will do things their own way, their style may go through phases and change to something completely different over the years, but very few of those who take pictures can claim they're doing something unique.
     
  4. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Martin Parr's comment, what an insult to the majority of AP readers.

    Regarding the Poll, I didn't vote this time because I think all answers are relavent, but there are other reasons as well, just as important and not listed.
     
  5. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    I don't think it is. For once I bought a copy of the magazine to see what he actually said and I think he's speaking truthfully in that most amateur photographers (particularly club photographers IMO) attempt to take pictures of an idealised world, which is fine if that's what they want. But what he finds more interesting and offers much more scope for photography are pictures of how the world actually is, here he uses irony and humour to make his point, something you rarely find in amateur photographs.
     
  6. photo_paul

    photo_paul Active Member

    yeah yeah Martin Parr load of rubbish. Only had over twenty books published,
    employed by Magnum and was the only British photographer to have prints included in the Tate Modern's first photographic exhibition. What does he know?

    As to the poll, none of those. I make photographs as a way of expressing myself.
     
  7. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Well, it certainly beats Voguing!
     
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    He knows how to push the buttons of the art establishment, for sure. Does that make him a worthwhile critic? I really don't see why it should. He works in what I see as an extremely narrow field - it shouldn't be, but I feel he and many other street photographers seem to delight in narrowing their artistic vision both in approach to and treatment of the subject, and particularly in his case the visual presentation of the images. Now what is deeply ironic to me is that this is in effect exactly what he's criticising, simply in a different field of photography, yet I believe he's actually considerably more guilty of it than those he's complaining about. As I've said before, I do think he has a point - there's not enough originality in what people are doing - it's just there is no photographer out there IMHO whose photography comes over as more small-minded than Parr's, nor as repetitive in style. I rather agree with Alan's point about club photography - I've argued before that I think the competition ethos of the club scene can lead to artistic constipation, as the photographer has to produce work that satisfies the judge, who himself comes from the same self-selecting circle - it can lead to a lack of artistic development, and the copying of successful style rather than artistic self-expression. "Can", note, not "inevitably does". But there's more originality, more artistry in this month's forum comp than in the entire canon of Parr's work, IMVHO, which rather puts the lie to his comments overall. I just wish we saw more of this approach both from amateur photographers and Mr Parr...physician, heal thyself.
     
  9. BigWill

    BigWill Gorgeous oversensitive Nikon-loving cream puff

    ...................it keeps me out of the pub.....................not! :eek:

    BigWill
     
  10. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    Wonder if AP's sales were up last week :)

    Yep Damien definitely took his words out of context and what you say Alan is how I read the article. Thing is though is that I think that's all well and good for a SP but if you are for e.g into photographing architecture, you certainly don't want people milling around your shot.

    I agree with you Nick about the camera club scene, it can spoil you with conditioning and I think Forums can too. Speaking personally I'm now trying to find a balance.

    It's been commented about Martin Parr's accolades and I don't think there is doubt that he is good at what he does but does this make his opinions right?!
     
  11. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    Yep, at least by one, and I was pleased to find the MP piece was right in the middle so it came away easily for filing :)

    Maybe AP should ask Mr Parr to guest edit the odd edition - he was invited to do just that by the BJP back in 2004 . . . .and yes, he managed to ruffle some feathers and keep the letters page active for a few weeks :D
     
  12. mertonia

    mertonia Well-Known Member

    To see Martin Parr edit AP for an edition or two would be good fun.
    But on a more serious note his knowledge of photography and the photo book really is encyclopedic. I think it is also worth noting that the income he generates keeps Magnum UK afloat and that he pursues his own projects and dances to no-ones tune except his own photographic vision.
    I am hoping to see some of his mock-up books next week,one of which is the Last Resort.
    By the way Martin Parr is an avid collector of empty crisp packets!

    peter
     
  13. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    I tend to agree. He's certainly good at generating controversy about himself; perhaps that it the yardstick by which artists should be measured.

    But I think this poll needs to be re-run, with an extra possible response: "Why do you take pictures?" "To spite Martin Parr!"
     
  14. AlanW

    AlanW Well-Known Member

    . . . . and tin trays, rolls of wallpaper (mainly 60's & 70's), watches with photographs on (Gorbachev, Sadam Hussein etc.), in fact anything with photographs on . . . . and he also finds time to curate photographic exhibitions (Recontres d'Arles(2004), Color before Color New York(2007)).


    Check out Peter Mitchell's superb photos in Color before Color. . . . . that's another reason why I take photographs.
     
  15. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    They really are aw inspiring from Peter Mitchell! I also have so far looked at the 'close up' series of Martin Schoeller famous people or not I really like the style of these!
    Great site Alan, shall enjoy looking at teh rest :)
     
  16. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member


    Well I read the article (thus adding another 1 to the sales figures) and if anyone is playing devils advocate (or stirring the sh...) it's Damien. The relevant comments seemed almost a throwaway line though they did seem to suggest he has that disparaging approach to pictorialism (and for that matter all accessibility in art) that identifies the insular and elitist element that controls the Art Establishment these days... and frankly they do come over as twerps...

    The remainder of the article was a far more interesting insight in the man and his work. It's not necessarily work I much like but I do often see what he is trying to acheive/say...
     
  17. Benchmark

    Benchmark Well-Known Member

    A: Because I need to (in the course of my work), and I enjoy it.

    B: Because I enjoy it (in my spare time), and like to capture landscapes or objects that I find particularly intersting, evocative or beautiful.

    I have often gone for a long cliff walk wth my tripod, and have been completely absorbed for an hour or more in just one spot. For some reason, I find MF much more absorbing, and rewarding than digital or 35 mm.

    One bright and frosty morning, I changed my film back near the top of Roseberry Topping, but forgot to take the dark slide out! For some reason - I think because it was so cold - the interlock wasn't working. I kicked myself when I realised what I done, (thankfully not too late), but it really didn't matter, as I had enjoyed the morning so much.
     

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