Sunday, December 03, 2006

urban ku # 8 and a mini-commentary for your consideration

Near Au Sable Chasm on Rt 9 (motel row) in Keesville, NY.

the commentary - After just over a month of blogging presence, it seems that The Landscapist has struck a chord with a growing audience of photographers (primarily) who are interested in landscape photography that has moved beyond the entertaining pretty picture. It's reassuring to know that I am not a lone voice wailing in the wilderness - the interesting comments and mini-commentaries from participants is lending a rich and hoped-for components to the blog. Thanks very much> It gives me the energy to carry this thing on.

As far as I can tell, there is an consensus of sorts emerging around a few salient points:

1. Beauty - other than it's not "pretty", is it "good" or "bad"? Is it something to be sought or avoided? As, Cory Freeman wrote. "I seem to be struggling lately with not wanting to take a picture of something that might be regarded as just a pretty picture. I would like to make an image that expresses more than that."

2. How do you do it? - not technique-ly wise, but rather, as has been asked, "How do you photograph an emotion"? or, more specifically, as Brian wrote. "Maybe we should talk about what it means to have talent in photography(pub's emphasis)...Is it the ability to see scenes in a certain way? Is it the innate ability to "feel" whether a particular composition works or not? Is it the ability to turn the emotion felt in to an emotional image? ???"

3. "talent in photography" - When discussing photography as an art, there is very often, IMO, the erroneous tendency to lump photography into a generic one-word-catch-all of "art". Photography certainly shares some basic similarities with other arts but photography differs dramatically from them in its unique relationship to the "real". I believe this warrants considerable contemplation when discussing items #1 and #2.

Good topics.

Now it seems to me that if you are hanging out around The Landscapist (or other similarly inclined blogs) and pondering these ideas, you are, at the least, on the road to arriving at some recognition - I am not certain that anyone ever arrives at the "answers", which, IMO, is an important part of the process - within yourself of the answers you need to find (or at least pursue) in order to move along your path to more meaning-full photography.

I hope that these topics - but not limited to - are explored more fully by an ever-expanding number of voices here on The Landscapist.


Anonymous Philip Morgan said...

I like the Robert Adams book "Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values" and would recommend it to any exploring this idea (you may not agree with his thesis but you owe it to yourself to listed to voices as articulate as his). I think Adams' thesis is that he finds beautiful photographs an antidote to nihilism and to his despair over a decaying culture. By ordering the photograph in a way that suggests a larger order or a certain rightness of relationship, the photographer provides an ultimately hopeful illustration of what they have seen. That's my take on Robert Adams anyway.

As for me, I do usually response in a positive way to photographs that express the subject in an ordered way.

12/03/2006 05:23:00 PM  

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