Does your online Gallery reflect you?

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by jtk, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. jtk

    jtk

    I think mine reflects me... perhaps even does it well.

    Might be illusory: three obvious antique images aren't "mine" but speak to me,
    while "my own" go back to 69' (but then, so do I).

    My P.N Gallery seems to be nudging me forward...maybe it hints who I'm becoming,
    as much as reflecting who I "am" or "have been."

    If you have an online gallery or portfolio or a website, do you think it reflect
    you?

    If you don't have an online gallery, are you afraid? Fear had something to do
    with my resistance for a few years.
     
  2. Didn't you already ask this question?

    http://www.photo.net/bboard/q-and-a-fetch-msg?msg_id=00MPtt

    :)
     
  3. jtk

    jtk

    Times change Rob. That was August. Sometimes, and for some people, things change, even grow...that's my experience.

    Did you contribute back then?
     
  4. No. I want a photo to "reflect" the subject. I think some of them do.
     
  5. The photo does reflect the subject, but the selection of subject and handling of the image
    reflect the photographer/artist. And then, yes John, the portfolio does represent the
    photographer/artist...whether or not he or she acknowledges that.
     
  6. Mine reflects the guy who lives down the block.
     
  7. I'd say my portfolio reflects me more and more as I grow as a photographer. Early on, I
    think it
    reflected the image I was comfortable with portraying and the me that most people knew
    and expected. That can be seen in my HOLDS folder, which has most of my early stuff
    buried from view unless you go directly to the folder through my bio page. Now, I think
    the portfolio reflects more of the me I've kept hidden, perhaps
    a bit darker, perhaps less controlled than previously.

    I think one has to do a fair amount of extrapolition when determining in what ways a
    portfolio or a photo reflects its author. Often, there won't be a one-to-one
    correspondence. Emotional and reflective nuance and relationships are often so visually
    obvious.
    Symbolism and significance (sorry) are not always as straightforward as the train going
    through the tunnel.

    From what I've read of you, John, I get the feeling that your portfolio reflects you. Two
    things that strike me primarily are a quite refreshing and welcome straightforwardness
    and directness and an attachment to friends and family. Perhaps someone
    photographically stuck a bit in the past (but your newer works are few), perhaps simply
    someone nostalgic. The store window shots, mundane, and perhaps self-consciously so.

    An interesting additional consideration might be to what extent we've manipulated our
    portfolios to reflect ourselves in a particular way.
     
  8. Tim, maybe in Casual Conversations, but not Philosophy of Photography.
     
  9. No, I don't have an online gallery. And no, it's not fear. I just have no interest in what others think of my photographs. If I want someone to see them, they do. The further I progress and the better my work is, the less I feel any reason to show it to anyone.

    I need not share everything I do in life. Not sharing is a choice I make because that's the way I want it. I am very confident and fear isn't a part of my life.

    Conni
     
  10. John, I think it is relevant to re-ask this question over time.

    About 3 months ago I deleted my PN gallery...the images were all of the 'past me' (see: http://www.artists-society.ab.ca/artists/default.aspx?id=2232)

    The images here (and in my old PN gallery) were all taken between '98 and '05. But after the death of my father in the summer of '05 my outlook on my photography took a dramatic change. After taking photographs for 25 years I could come up with a total of about 10 images I'd made of my father.

    Parents...you just always think they're going to be around.

    Anyways, as much fun as photographing beautiful naked young women was I realized my photography could be so much more. A visual history of myself, my children (I have two very active young boys, 4 and 6 yrs) and my surroundings. In 30 years I'm sure these will be much more precious to my descendants than dated images of naked people.
     
  11. jtk

    jtk

    Constance... I think you're saying it's the absence of Gallery itself, that reflects you. You also seem to say people who post Galleries aren't as far along as you are, that you're too good for Galleries. What am I missing?

    Don ...you seem to assert very strongly that your photos don't reflect you, perhaps even that you don't like the question...does your Gallery say nothing at all about you, only about your subjects?

    Bruce..the topic appears to have made you anxious...maybe that's not a proper inference...what does your post mean?

    Fred, you're right, I'm "stuck a bit in the past." I do think that has to do with appreciating my civilization, and that the alternative is alzheimer-like. Yes I'm inclined toward history, nostalgia if you like...though I find it integrated with the present and assume it will continue pungently into the future. Maybe that is "stuck." Live fast, die young, rust never sleeps etc. Happily, I never middle-aged in the suburbs :)

    Tim, Some of us persist in types of images that pile up and bury us: For years I did little but decorative graphic-inspired images, for example. Made my living in advertising photography and graphics back then. My Gallery avoids representative images from that period ..I'm increasingly interested in chaos, and maybe even in portents...
     
  12. "Don ...you seem to assert very strongly that your photos don't reflect you, perhaps even that you don't like the question...does your Gallery say nothing at all about you, only about your subjects?"

    They aren't intended to reflect (or represent) me. They are intended to reflect (or represent) the subject, which, broadly speaking is the light at that moment. I don't dislike the question. I think it is worth discussing. What I dislike is the dismissal of the aesthetic.

    In the most casual way, of course, they reflect (whatever it means) me. I took them. I was there, not elsewhere. I took that, not that. I took it then, not earlier or later.
     
  13. jtk

    jtk

    Don...I plead guilty to "dismissing" certain aesthetics. Are you referring to that?

    When I compliment someone it is almost always with specifics, and it's always well-considered. For example, I like your images of habitations because you're paying attention to things that others have missed, and you're not cynical. Does that reflect you or an aesthetic that you objectively control?

    I didn't mean to address "intentions" but I can see how that relates. Picking from years of photos for Gallery is unavoidably intentional, of course...I think of Gallery as a way of seeing what I'm doing, like photos spread out for review...as well to establish my credibility or lack thereof as a person who obsessively posts: an attempt at honesty :)
     
  14. I've found that what I select for the gallery has helped define what I photograph: Since this is an international forum, how I interpret the Mid-West for people not familiar with it seems interesting and useful.
     
  15. I would find it hard not to show at least some pictures when I am participating in a photo web site. I never take it as any more than a surface picture of who I am. I hope it establishes, or suggests, a bare minimum of basic knowledge of the medium with which I work. Maybe it says this guy has a taste for this,and not that.
    As for the what have you done lately that shows the shift in subject matter, I don't think that is relevant to the "self portrait" unless
    you choose to make it relevant,Bob.

    As to currency of themes, in our society I can hear a gallery dealer saying: "Hey Vincent,enough with the haystacks. Let's get experimenal,my man..:)"
    I have a budding idea for a comic photo series of self portraits,not giving away the idea, but I need a mirror or TV monitor arrangement and I haven't figured it out yet. The juices still flow is all!. Love digital. Like to stand behind a tripod and direct someone to reveal selves,if I can. And thus reveal a little of me I suppose.
     
  16. My own personal opinion...to say ones photos do not reflect the self is delusional...even to say "they don't reflect me at all...only my subjects" in my opinion (really stretching the philisophical here) strongly reflects the selfs wish to remain anonymous, to be a voyeur.

    I think the only photographers who can truly not reflect themselves would be the BORG ;-)
     
  17. John, I am cheered you find some of my photos to be without cynicism. If there were cynicism or any other "attitude" in them, the subject would have been defaced, used and abused by me. I'm not that sort of person.
     
  18. John, why ask the question? Do you want "reflect" to be taken as a philosophical term, or as a term in pop psychology? As the OP, can you let pass the equating of "reflect" and "represent" without questioning it?

    You avoid posting "representative images" from your career in advertising photography. Why is that? You are interested in chaos and portents, instead. What is it about advertising photography? Can't it "represent" chaos and portent? And isn't it art to do so? And wouldn't that "reflect" you?

    Perhaps chaos and portent are just the way things are outside the controlled photographic environments, outside of cliche, and genre, outside of making it happen. With impact.
     
  19. John, I like to think that a member's portfolio reflects their taste and dignity, respecting the artistic nature of our mutual goals. Our real selves are better kept vague,or indistinct. They might wind up in some scandal rag and spoil our political viability one day. After all, everybody gets a little too much egg nog once in a while. Or maybe we ar all multi headed creatures, and show the side we want to show. Me,I am half Ukrainian and half Austrian. Some days the Ukrainian part takes over,to wit:
    00NQFG-39976584.jpg
     
  20. Mine simply reflects a current taste of raters. I know this because I generally delete low rated images. This, in the end, will give me some indication of what p.net raters decide is their favoured image or style...at the time. That will change...as we do.

    Photo net is like any book. There may appear a lot of tripe..including mine ...but occasionally ..a gem, an image, a paragraph...and I learn something. If I learn, the journey is generally worthwhile.
     
  21. I like to think of my gallery as a public visual diary of my journey of self discovery. I'm still trying to find my niche in this medium and all of you get to play a part.
     
  22. My PN gallery is crap. I put zero effort into it and can't remember the last time I looked at it. I use Picasa for all my stuff and that's where my effort goes. I do not present photos for critique anymore and don't often rate others' work.

    I'm just here for the forums.
     
  23. I hope your model didn't hear you say that John!

    http://www.photo.net/photo/3002775
     
  24. No it doesn't. It does only partially. I will not put the human pictures I have done. I was paid for most of them either from a newspaper, a wedding, a portrait, or old aviation colleagues. The best work I have done is faces. I will not post them out of respect for customer privacy, the privacy of my colleagues and the fact the newspaper pictures are gone. What it does reflect is a little of a forty-one year aviation background, my interest in New England, a very small piece of my Russian experience and my cat(she gave me a release). I put pictures up not because I think they are great pictures but rather because one of them might be interesting to somebody. They are all my pictures and all fairly current except a few pictures taken in Russia in the early nineties. As for an example of something that may interest, I put up a pictures of a B2 bomber. It is it's own polarizer as nothing reflects directly off it and it photographed as just a black shape in certain light. I thought Darth Vader might step out of it. As an old, not bold, pilot anything that flies interests me whether it's airplane pictures or birds. I love capturing things on the wing. I have lots of airplane slides but I need a scanner. But above all I love to capture what's inside a human being and put it on a print, even if only to a very small degree. I have done quite well with this aspect of my endeavor but it is one that I won't post. It wouldn't be faithful to the trust I had built with my customers and subjects of the years. I only have about thirty pictures posted and generally will post when I have something that I think, as I said, would be interesting to someone else.
     
  25. jtk

    jtk

    Don ...Thanks, hard questions. I don't identify with my advertising work. Whatever that means. I'll scan and post the goofy shot a food stylist and I put together the day John Lennon was killed. I played mandolin into the wee hours. To her credit, the stylist and I never did have sex.

    "Perhaps chaos and portent are just the way things are outside the controlled photographic environments, outside of cliche, and genre, outside of making it happen. With impact." - Don E.

    OK..with a qualification: We're gods. We do make things happen. Buddha wasn't enlightened enough to know that about himself.

    As to "reflect," I used it the way a novelist does. I do sometimes talk simplistic, beatnik zen, but pop psych strikes me as poison: I relish paradox and hate answers.
     
  26. No, since I am an amateur photographing people a lot, family, friends and that. Those are actually my best things, I believe. But would never do pictures of people here on the Net.
     
  27. John, my gallery reflects my interests. I love nature so my gallery is full of landscapes, birds, flowers, insects. I love skyscrapers and airshows so I have tons of those in my gallery. I don't care much for pictures of people so I have no weddings or street photography in my gallery. Basically I only take pictures of things that interest me so my gallery reflects my interests which defines who I am.
     
  28. I feel my gallery's a glimpse of what I've been doing, rather than who or what I am or where I'm going with photography. I'm not interested in critiques, but appreciate folks' comments. However, I seldom review them and feel quite guilty for not responding to some in a more timely fashion.
     
  29. John--

    It would have been less presumptuous of me to say "tied to the past" than "stuck in the past."
    Sorry.

    --Fred
     
  30. John: "I don't identify with my advertising work."

    If folks set up their Portfolios based on 'who I am now' ("identify") or to "reflect" their own interests, or if professionals or those wanting to become professionals set up their Portfolios to advertise their skills, then aren't those Portfolios intended to reflect who they are?

    But what if someone doesn't set up their Portfolios with that intention but for another reason? Are their selves "reflected"? How and in what way? It just sounds like pop psychology with Freudian overtones to me. Those incapable of understanding photography that is not all about moi think anyone who thinks such a thing is for some reason refusing to "acknowledge" it, or is "delusional" (see above posts). Those are examples of the dismissal of an aesthetic without discussion or argument.

    Setting aside casual photographers who photograph family, friends, hobbies...Professionals are in the marketplace (and I'm including art photographers here), and hope-to-be-pros might as well learn the ropes. They are marketing themselves and their skills. I'm an amateur and see no reason to burden my photography with the limitations professional photographers have to endure, including marketing myself.

    The practice of photography the past few decades is, I think, hairline deep in the aesthetics and attitudes of commercial photography, so deeply, that a lot of amateurs don't even recognize it as they go along with its strictures.
     
  31. My web galleries are part of me, of my mentality and feelings. I put a lot of energies in photographing. I must say, it reflects me a lot. The style, the manner, the way I'm doing it, the story behind the photo, truly it reflects me. Everything is my impression, recognition and appreciation.
     
  32. jtk

    jtk

    Don, This is neither the Fifties nor Oprah.

    I don't know of any significant writer or thinker (save biographers), or photographer who is concerned with pop psychology or Freud (I doubt you can name one). You are using that frame of reference for accusation purposes, not actually expressing ideas of your own.

    Similarly, the "marketplace of ideas" is a political construct that comes specifically from talk radio. Talk radio uses it to force conflict rather than to facilitate investigation and discourse.
     
  33. <<Times change Rob. That was August>>

    How significantly could this possibly have changed?

    And no, I did not contribute. The state of my gallery is outlined very clearly in my profile. I felt it redundant to add anything.
     
  34. John, I don't know what you are quoting "marketplace of ideas" from. Something heard on the radio, apparently. The market I refer to is the market for photographs. Professional photographers serve that market.

    It sounds like pop psychology to me. I am not concerned with it.
     
  35. jtk

    jtk

    Don, fluency is at the heart of photographic freedom, just as with writing or music. It's learned.

    Fluency is easy to see in some Galleries. A photographer without fluency isn't free. I find it odd that you seem to look down on people who are committed and fluent enough to make lives in photography.

    Fred rightly says I'm "stuck." But I'm stuck at a relatively high level of fluency (in old fashioned film terms anyway). I'm stretching a little. I have a few new images, moments of optimism.

    Don, I don't know you, but I've known a dozen successful advertising photographers fairly well socially. I admired their work, didn't choose to continue that path for myself. Professional success was easy ... maybe it wasn't enough of a challenge. Does that seem like "pop-psychology" to you?
     
  36. John, I don't "look down on" to pros. I wrote that there is no need for an amateur to adopt their practice and -- for want of a better term -- their style. My opinion is that over the past few decades such adoption has become common enough to be the norm, without question and without thought.

    The pop psychology refers to the subject of this thread: Does your online Gallery reflect you. It does not refer to professional or amateur photography, or the photographers. I asked what you mean by "reflect" and you said what novelists mean by it. If you don't like pop psychology, consider tea leaf reading.

    They're just pictures, not my children. They don't reflect me. I might agree that they represent me. But such distinctions, as too usual, are not of interest in Philosophy of Photography.
     
  37. Kristina writes" My web galleries are part of me, of my mentality and feelings. I put a lot of energies in photographing. I must say, it reflects me a lot. The style, the manner, the way I'm doing it, the story behind the photo, truly it reflects me. Everything is my impression, recognition and appreciation."

    Kristina, glad to hear that,truly. I wouldn't hang around this PN place if that were not mostly the case. I don't think much of the peekaboo approach,the obscure name handles of the past, and the cloak of anonymity too much. The advantage of a forum is that we can learn more about someone else's perception of the world and our human condition and do not have to be in agreement to do that. Just share a common mutual enjoyment of something enduring and beyond self...

    It is not the kind of chit chat superficiality we Americans share to our seat mate on a cross country flight. Nor the mail bonding of a bar session. I'll drink to that one. Nice to meet you,Kristina. (no iconic avatars represent me as in some fora,unless it gets me to some higher state of consciousness induced by a long yoga practice or whatnot:) Aloha, and good shooting,and prosperous year. gs
     
  38. Thank you Gerry!
    I'll remember, just to share enjoyment of something beyond self.
    Explain me what did you mean: "I don't think much of the peekaboo approach,the obscure name handles of the past, and the cloak of anonymity too much."
     
  39. John K. - I can understand your take on the comments Constance made, but I see it a bit differently. What I'm hearing is not that she thinks she's further along than us, or that she is too good to show us her work. I'm hearing Constance attempt to convince herself that she's "good enough", and therefore she doesn't need our affirmation. She begins and ends her comments by proclaiming her confidence and fearlessness...purely without prompting or reason. The idea that she's just arrogant isn't beyond believing...but I believe she's faking it. Her comments evoked a sense of sadness in me. Granted, it's her choice whether she shares or doesn't share...but for most photographers, sharing pictures and the stories behind them is just a natural exercise. In fact, for most of us it's a compulsion! I try to keep in mind that people get tired of me saying..."hey, ya just have to see this new shot I took". Deciding that I don't care what people think of my work and therefore, I will not share it with others would be no different than deciding I don't care to share a meal or a cup of coffee with my fellow human beings. I'm used to arrogance. I'm not used to hearing something that has the potential for such a sad way of thinking.

    And...Constance, if you're listening, I don't mean this to sound like I'm treating you like a piece of furniture in the room. Feel free to comment if you wish.

    Last thought on the subject... Constance admits by her own words that at least part of her motivation for sharing her photographs with others has been to build up her own self-confidence. And admits that now that she is fearless and confident...she no longer wants to share. So, apparently it was always a one way street for her. All about what she could gain...and now that she's got what she needed...little regard for those people she once chose to share with. So, I see it as a selfish decision. Hell, we'e all selfish to some degree or another...so I'm first throwing the stone at ME. I would hope that she's lost perspective on the matter and just failed to see there's an aspect of selfishness here. Fear and lack of self-confidence... self-worth, can provide a lot of subconscious motivation. It's harder to see our own faults than that of others, and even harder to take ownership of them. Whatever the present motivation for this choice... those who dont get to share in this part of her life will lose less than will Constance. So, I end with encouraging Constance to take some time to reassess her decision. I think you're missing a lot Constance!
     
  40. Upon re-reading the first question...I correct myself, actually "fear" was mentioned...but doesn't alter my perception of how the question was answered. Excuse me please.
     
  41. I have had a passion for photography for many years but have only recently been doing the
    digital imaging and have gone crazy with my Nikon dSLR. I am a gardener and I love flowers.
    Lilies are one of my favorites and I have many photos of the center of the lilies and I do think
    them very sensuous looking. I have been putting together an online gallery but after reading
    this discussion I feel a little apprehensive and am now in the process of self-analysis. In
    portraying "the beauty in the lilies" am I not only " capturing a moment" but revealing a part
    of my psyche of which I am not aware? After all these years, maybe I am feeling as open and
    vulnerable as the lilies I photograph ? Revelations can be frightening and what if I find a
    different me? Judi Howcroft
     
  42. "No, I don't have an online gallery. And no, it's not fear. I just have no interest in what others think of my photographs."

    Neither do I, however I have 45 images in my pnet gallery and update it often enough. I think it is discourteous, if one participates in photography forums, to not provide representative examples of current work. I do not participate in critique or rating.

    I give a by to wet process only photographers on this... assuming that is the case.
     
  43. No. Not even a little.
    No subscription. When I joined they let us post fifteen or twenty. Now they cap newbies at
    five and if we try to swap an image out they just delete it. ( found that out one frustrating
    evening ) So it's a time capsule of sorts, the remaining seven I have up.
    Folks can see my URL to get a flavor of the latest I've done.
     
  44. Kristina, you asked "Explain me what did you mean: "I don't think much of the peekaboo approach,the obscure name handles of the past, and the cloak of anonymity too much." I guess it was just a feeling,so may be hard to explain,but I will try for you.

    It wasn't a specific criticism of on line dialogue, or any person's choices on what they put up for the world,just a feeling I get at times. I guess I can sense-once in a while- in a few, an openness that takes a kind of "courage" (perhaps for others a timidity to stand before a very large audience and still be natural/ or a recognition that there are online risks that can come back at you,or they have been bruised by such things), and, just occasionally, in a few comments sometimes, a whiff of pomposity or mannered self consciousness. A resistance to saying 'hey I think you do have a strong point, and I could be dead wrong.' In the real world where we all have some common shared experience in our pasts to grab on to it is sometimes the same,I know.
    I attribute these characteristics to the anonymous nature of the net generally speaking. (There is the opposite too, where congeniality is overpowering, treacly, and disagreement is not welcomed,everyone is buddy buddy all the time,every time.)

    It (the net) gets pounded in our heads as an advanced new avenue for meeting and greeting and sharing. We blog, and we all have sites, more than ever. But how well do we realy communicate I am wondering.

    It is for me my "camera club,virtual version." My international coffee house too at times. Maybe I like the coffee house spirit most, where one can let one's hair down a bit, let it all "hang out,' not care if grammar is top notch, experience does not need to be apologized for, nor our credentials affirmed.

    Honestly,there are some really great people here over the years.And those asking for critique seem genuine in their seeking of self improvement. In brief, I think it is generous to reveal what you shoot. A gift of oneself (as corny as that may sound).

    I like words,-made a living with them- I like to read what I write too (grin). I enjoy the images of people even more and the ability to connect on that basis at multiple levels. I think the combination is great. The images speak more deeply to me.It sometimes makes new friendships,opens the mind to new ideas and gets one out of our individual box a little bit more. I hope I am still open after all these years. I will try.
    Be well,Katrina and thanks for your interest in my feelings re: the subject, gs
     
  45. I once met a dude who told me: "The fear is a mule which tramp on you untill you learn to ride it." Upon that I hitt him on the head with camera and laughed like crazy.
     
  46. It must have happened Ilia...no one makes up stuff that funny ;)
     
  47. Subscriptions cost less than 50 cents per week. I truly don't understand anything that remotely sounds like whining from non-members, especially comments relevant to restrictions on posting when they're getting the privelege cost free. Just a thought!
     
  48. make it 45 and n I'll betcha
     
  49. jtk

    jtk

    Fred, no sweat. I do feel "stuck" much of the time..."unstuck" seems always just around the next tunnel.

    Don, Maybe you will expand on your worry about Freud..it initially seemed nutty here. He did say dreams might be significant, could be interpreted. Losing sleep? Anxious about something else he wrote about? If you want to share, fire away: Post a Philosophy of Photography Topic.

    I've read somewhere that some scholars find Freud literally Talmudic, like an ancient Rabbi...maybe you have a Jewish frame of reference?...but why would you use his name like a curse?
     
  50. jtk

    jtk

    ...tunnel, corner, Freud...to mix some metaphors.
     
  51. jtk

    jtk

    Ilia, John G...just visited your Galleries...lots of great stuff...you seem quite different from each other. Hm?

    For example:

    http://www.photo.net/photo/5877489
    http://www.photo.net/photo/6493173
     
  52. No. Images on line are not prints. They do not have the final aesthetics engendered by the image presented as a print. Both image size and the print process chosen add dimensions that are not part of the virtual experience. While the images may show subject matter, they do not convey the experience of final print - and that has a great effect on what reflects as "me."
     
  53. Steve-- Books also don't comform to the intended size and original print process. For most
    art and photography, we are used to seeing representations. I feel comfortable having
    experienced paintings, sculptures, and photos via different media and sometimes being able
    to compare those to the originals which I'm lucky enough to see. That enables me to
    extrapolate to an extent when I see a representation and get a sense of what the actual print,
    painting, or sculpture is like. True, there's nothing like seeing it as the artist created it. And
    that's often impossible. Some digital photography is being created strictly for a virtual world.
    A print is no longer always the intended final product.
     
  54. Well, let's see, John...there's this: "to say ones photos do not reflect the self is delusional...even to say "they don't reflect me at all...only my subjects" in my opinion (really stretching the philisophical here) strongly reflects the selfs wish to remain anonymous, to be a voyeur."

    And

    "...the portfolio does represent the photographer/artist...whether or not he or she acknowledges that."

    Freudian pop psychology, I think.

    What I find interesting in this discussion is that posters who say whether their portfolio "reflects" them or not, say that is so because it is their intention. You wrote above "I didn't mean to address "intentions"". What then to do with the responses that assume intention? And why not address "intentions"? If conscious decisions are inappropriate to the gist of your question, then it must be something unconscious. Or did you mean something else?
     
  55. jtk

    jtk

    Steve..interesting.

    You seem to be saying you don't want viewers to think your online images reflect you, that your prints are quite different...is that right?

    Are you saying you're a fine printmaker..a traditional point of pride?

    Or does this have to do with entirely other factors, such as size, physical handling, location in a room, framing... ?
     
  56. Tell your what. If it was not for fun, why would people do hide in closets?

    Well. Poor language skills, habitual faking, lack of common knowlage or deficient education multiplied by strong tendency to take nothing for something to name but few.

    Try to change "reflect" for "project" in your original questioning and all your nightmares will clear off immediatelly.
     
  57. "For most art and photography, we are used to seeing representations. I feel comfortable having experienced paintings, sculptures, and photos via different media and sometimes being able to compare those to the originals which I'm lucky enough to see."

    Wow...that's some statement. I've had the experience of seeing Picasso's "Guernica: Testimony of War," as an image in an art history book, as a 12-foot wide image presented as part of an art history lecture - and in person.

    In no way shape or form, were the other presentations even a pale shadow of the power contained in the image when viewed first hand. Likewise, I've had the opportunity to see a Roccoco art show that included many famous paintings...in no way does a book image of Gainsborough's "The Blue Boy" convey the nearly 7-foot height of the painting and over life size image of the young man depicted.

    How do you appreciate the artist's technique that adds the life and another dimension to the work?

    Likewise, Jackson Pollock's action paintings look like just so many drippings when seen as a reproduction, but take on a huge weight and depth when viewed in person.

    You must have a vivid imagination, and a facility to translate a small reproduction into real life -- I certainly don't. While reproductions may satisfy you, I'm convinced that only viewing the real piece can give you a personal insight into the work of art.
     
  58. "Steve..interesting.

    You seem to be saying you don't want viewers to think your online images reflect you, that your prints are quite different...is that right?

    Are you saying you're a fine printmaker..a traditional point of pride?

    Or does this have to do with entirely other factors, such as size, physical handling, location in a room, framing... ?"

    Actually - I am a fine print maker and have done fine art printing in both photography and lithography for a number of artists.

    But, that is beside the point.

    It has to do with other factors that encompass a wide range of image handling from the choice of paper and printing technology to size, and yes...when presented, the final framing.

    It is the total image experience, that cannot be had from a virtual representation. For example, for a number of years, I printed Ilfochromes. As part of the image, I hand colored the contrast reduction masks to add color and texture to specific areas. Without seeing them in person, you cannot sense the hand work of the three dimensional brush strokes that are printed into, and become part of, the two dimensional planar print surface.

    As another example, I just finished an image suite in which I beat the edges of the paper between two rocks to distress the edges prior to printing. But, now comes the difficult part - how do you bleed print a non-geometrically sharp edge piece of paper in an inkjet printer? How do you get the printer to register the paper?

    All part of the challenge of expressing the image. You cannot get the feel of the distressed edges from an on-line gallery. Closeups don't help because the perception of the image must be made through first hand viewing.

    In first hand viewing, how to you make the viewer aware of the paper edges? That comes through final presentation by floating the paper on small, 2-ply boards to lift them off the mat.

    This allows the light to shine light through the holes caused by the edge treatement while tracing the shadowed outline of the distressed paper on mount board in back of the print.

    I trust you can understand that when I say an online gallery cannot reflect me through what I do...it's really true.
     
  59. To add steve's comments on representations of paintings, sometimes they are shown larger than the original. I've seen this with egg tempera on panels. Frescos are often shown at eye-level, when, in fact, the painter adjusted perspective so that they would look correct from 20 feet lower -- from down on the floor. Before oils and canvas, paintings were often made on furniture, cabinets and chests, in context with other smaller panels surrounding (predellas); they are sometimes not shown in the original context. The reproduction cannot capture the 3d textures of the paint, such as a Rembrandt.
     
  60. John, I think my portfolio reflects my interests and experiences as well as experiments with re-discovering the digital darkroom. So, I guess if my interests, experiences, and results from me piddling is me, then I think, it does indeed "reflect me".

    Now, to the casual viewer, you may think this guy (me) is all over the place and don't know what the hell he wants to photograph or how he wants to develop but that in itself is a reflection of me to a certain degree. I've always looked at the world from as many angles as possible, trying many things that effect the senses and experiences; I believe in change, being fluid, looking at things from different perspectives and I have many interests from flyfishing, tying flies, carpentry, cooking, used to draw a lot - never really painted; you get the idea.

    Realizing that, I'll probably never be an "artist" because I'll never develop a recognizeable "style" something to hang my hat on. So be it. I'll still take and make pictures.

    Someone said their photos refect their subject and I think that is true but, in a way, almost every photo does that - kind of hard to get around. I think the person's subjects reflect what he is interested in, which in turn reflects that person. Also, in that vein, your photos show how you like your subjects to be reflected which again can reveal something about yourself as well.

    I'm rambling and haven't even had anything to drink, sorry.

    Kirk
     
  61. Some photographs have main subjects such as portraits and flowers, touchdowns and goals, and some do not, for example a panoramic landscape might not. The entire frame may be the subject -- barren wasteland, lush meadow. Although I photograph in the landscape, it is not what I want to do all the time, but I like the aesthetic of such landscapes made without the main subject and want to employ it in other kinds of photography and have to overcome a developed tendency to see the main subject rather than the "panorama of the landscape" before me. I need to be able to see without my preconceptions intruding on the scene.

    So, I hope my gallery doesn't reflect me...or the extent to which it does is the extent of my failure. Not everything I post up are those kinds of photos, but the more recently taken, the more likely they are. My "style" is still under construction :cool:

    "Reflect" means to me in this discussion that others can see it. I don't think that they can, not without language such as this post to supplement it (and assuming it is true and not made up).
     
  62. Steve and Don--

    I was merely suggesting that most people do the best with what they've got. The best we got
    of each others' photos on PNET are each others' photos on PNET. We don't got the prints. I
    can get some enrichment and insight out of these portfolios. If you cannot, fine. I never
    suggested the representation was as good as the original. Just good enough to be better than
    nothing.
     
  63. Steve--

    When quoting another in order vigorously to question what they've said, I always take a
    good look at the two or three sentences following the one I want to quote because those
    often contain qualifications, caveats, and further explanations that will preclude my
    actually responding to a straw man.

    Were I doing so, the operative subsequent words I might have attended to are:
    "extrapolate to an extent when I see a
    representation" and "there's nothing like seeing it as the artist created it."

    Had I continued even further and seen "And that's often
    impossible," I likely would have realized I was talking not about your or my visits to
    museums, rewarding though they may be, but cases where such viewing of the originals is
    impossible.
     
  64. "I never suggested the representation was as good as the original. Just good enough to be better than nothing."

    That's not the point of this thread. The question posed was, "Does your online gallery reflect you?"

    Not, is a virtual image better than no image?

    My answer was - no, a virtual image cannot reflect me (really, my work) - and then I gave relevant examples why.
     
  65. Good point Fred. Let's be practcal, for God sake.
     
  66. No matter how much of yourself is hidden or not reflected in your work, the fact that your hands and mind and tool (the camera) produced something is going to reflect something of you. It may be on the superficial level but a part of you is being reflected even in landscapes.

    Granted, the landscape may be created on film in such a way to make me feel as if I were standing there alone. However, its going to reflect the nature and interest of the person that created that image. I don't see how there is a way around that unless you lie to yourself and create images that you are not in the least bit interested in and are just doing it for the money. Even then, that reflects something about yourself - a puppet for the masses.

    Something I doubt any of you are.

    Kirk
     
  67. The issue is "reflect", which I take as meaning something other than the commonplace "Oh, his photographs reflect his love of nature because the subjects are "nature" and they are attractive", or "He must be interested in residential real estate because he photographs houses a lot".

    If that is what was meant by the OPs question, then it is hardly worth a post to a philosophy forum (neither is advice to just be "practical").

    I've gotten a favorite dictionary definition of "reflect" from this discussion: "to throw back light or sound". So, with a photograph, I am tossing at you, the viewer, the light I photographed.
     
  68. All science, no humanity. Boring.
     
  69. I can see your point in that but then in the dictionary meaning, the only way a photographer can create an image that reflects himself is to take a picture in the mirror? That would end the discussion right there. That would be less philosophical than reflecting what a person puts into an image or is sharing by creating his image whether its as simple as a love of nature or a human state of being.
    It appears there may be two legitimate philosophical definitions for reflect?

    Kirk
     
  70. Don, could it be that an image is both a reflection of the subject and the photographer?
    Often in photography what we want reflected is seen from different angles by as many viewers, which is likely to create many perceptions of the reflected work and photographer.

    Kirk
     
  71. Kirk, I think it's a matter of intention. Also as some participants here know, I do not think anyone should make a call on a photograph or the photographer based on a 100k jpeg. So, there's that, too.

    So, I'm not saying that a photograph cannot reflect the photographer, or that a photographer ought not to work to do that if that is what they want.

    But the OP qualifies the question this way: "reflecting who I "am" or "have been."", which is a lot deeper than a simple "His photographs reflect his love of animals, he photographs them so often and so charmingly".

    It is one thing to put yourself, heart and soul, into your photography, but "reflect" as I understand it has to mean something besides: Photographs are visible. I put my heart and soul into my photography. Therefore, who I really am is visible in my photographs. Maybe it is, but the light of it may not be reflected to others.

    The OP commented on my photos of houses saying that they were without cynicism. That is good, because I did not want my feelings to show in them, and those feelings were and are bitter ones. So, do they reflect who I am?
     
  72. I agree with Don and Kirk. You both saying totally rightly.
    Specially this paragraph: "It is one thing to put yourself, heart and soul, into your photography, but "reflect" as I understand it has to mean something besides: Photographs are visible. I put my heart and soul into my photography. Therefore, who I really am is visible in my photographs. Maybe it is, but the light of it may not be reflected to others."
    Maybe I said a little bit roughly. You put it gently. It simple, when you put yourself and your energy in your work, it reflects your identity and your ego too. But it doesn't have to reflect on other people. But in my opinion, it can influence, it can change people, or the observer. It's a tricky game of one's personality.
     
  73. Don, what you've stated is interesting and motivated me to think a little more about this so I thank you. However, I'm still trying to understand why it is you say someone?s love of animals (be clear that I?m not a PETA member and I eat fish that I catch and kill so the animal example is just that, an example) and the charming way he photographs them is simple and has no human or emotional ?deeper?ness to it?

    People?s hearts and souls drive them and most people?s interests reflect what their heart and soul is. Some people put their heart and soul into and even live and die to save trees, owls, fish, etc? So, a photograph of something you?re willing to die for isn?t revealing who you are? ? I don?t know. I?m not so obtuse to think there isn?t more to a person than what they do physically; everyone has emotions and temperaments but I don?t think the OP was talking about emotions, that to me is almost impossible to ?reflect?. Just looking at the OP?s folder you?ll see at least half of the images to be documentary ?reflecting? who he was physically and where he went, who he admired, etc.

    Of course I?m not educated past high school and my intelligence may be lower than the average person so maybe what I?m saying about heart and soul or ?who I am? is off.

    Perhaps, you can share or point to one of your responses that explains what heart and soul and ?who I am? is either to you or definitively. I?m not trying to be arrogant or mean but you seem to know what it is so I would like you to explain so my feeble mind can be enlightened.

    Kirk
     
  74. "I'm still trying to understand why it is you say someone?s love of animals...and the charming way he photographs them is simple and has no human or emotional "deeper"ness to it?"

    It was merely an example of a superficial reading of 'the photographer reflected in his photos'. And why are you asking this when you are referring to where I wrote it has to be deeper than a simple observation like that?

    "Just looking at the OP?s folder you?ll see at least half of the images to be documentary ?reflecting? who he was physically and where he went, who he admired, etc."

    So, we see his intention. My folder isn't like his. It's different and built with a different intention.

    "Perhaps, you can share or point to one of your responses that explains what heart and soul and ?who I am? is either to you or definitively. I?m not trying to be arrogant or mean but you seem to know what it is so I would like you to explain so my feeble mind can be enlightened."

    I'm not educated past high school either, so perhaps you might explain to my feeble mind such things as "heart and soul" and "who I am".

    You first.
     
  75. "You First"

    I thought I did in the second paragraph above.

    Don, I viewed your folder since you mentioned it is different than the OP's and you're right. I can see your images reflecting the subject, the people are presented very uninhibited and natural and your neighborhood shots show their face and your landscape shots convey a beautiful tranquility.
    I'll tell you though, I took a tangent train of thought when I was scrolling over your thumbnails and noticed only a few were titled. That train I took leads me to believe that the photographer possibly reveals more about himself in the titling of his images than if the image was untitled; not to everyone of course but to the majority, an untitled image allows the person to absorb the subjects reflection easier without being influenced by the author's reflective title??

    Kirk
     
  76. I think some images in the No Words folder still have titles. Some of the titles refer to no longer existing folders, where they might have appeared if they weren't in the collection of No Words posts. For a while I used informational titles like where and when.

    I don't get the point of titling "creatively" so to speak (I don't know what to call it). It seems a step on the well trod path to pictorialism. Would it make any difference if I titled a landscape "Tranquility" rather than Landscape Number 07 or no title at all?

    My feeling is that confronting the viewer with explanatory text is an attempt to influence viewers to see a photo (or any visual art) in the way the artist would like them to see it, rather than letting them discover it for themselves or not.

    It's becoming quite common and, aside from neo-pictorialism, it may reflect the conceptual dominance of commercial photography, especially advertising, but also propaganda. Photographers who want to control the viewers' perceptions, create or organize their emotional responses, have impact, stand out from the mass of other photos, stop the page-turners, making it pop, wow the viewer...are talking the language of art directors and account managers. I have no issues with photographers in those fields doing so, or those who are working their way into such a career. There's no reason for amateurs like myself to do that unless they just plain want to which I don't, not even expressive creative titling.

    I'm not into toggling eyeballs with my photography. I do that to earn my living in another profession.
     
  77. Kirk--

    I'll give it a shot from my perspective.

    There are various senses in which photographs might reflect the photographer.

    1. The subject matter might reflect the interests of the photographer.

    2. The chosen style might reflect a manner in which the photographer approaches the
    world. At very least, it suggests a manner in which the photographer approaches
    photography, which tells the viewer something.

    3. The body of work might show an emotional pattern true to the photographer's
    personality. It might also lie.

    4. Most newbies feel the need to be literal and, at least once, photograph themselves in a
    mirror.

    The only self portrait I ever did, most people including me think is rather flattering. I think
    most who met me only after viewing the photo would be surprised. I don't think I look as
    good in real life as in the photo. In one sense of reflection, it does not reflect me.
    However, emotionally it does. That was my intention. Most of what people read into it is
    there, although clearly some is not. At the time, I did feel secure, almost as if in the womb.
    There was warmth, comfort, which people seem to feel is expressed in the shot.
    Interestingly, just the fact that I flattered myself visually reflects something about me on a
    whole other level.

    I understand what Don is saying and there's no reason to question his approach. What I
    will say is that I have read much of what both Don and John K. have to say in these forums.
    Of course, they could be pretending and lying about their thoughts and beliefs. That aside,
    though, their writings say something about who they are, even though for the most part
    they refrain from being emotional and lean toward a straightforward style of
    communicating. I was not surprised to see that reflected in both their portfolios. This
    phenomenon could be a reflection. It could also be a projection. Likely, it is somewhere
    between the two.

    I think photographs reflect "significance." Significance doesn't translate one-to-one from
    the emotions or personality of the photographer straight through to the viewer. What is
    significant to the viewer about a photograph is what reaches us, whether it be
    representative, documentary, emotional, spiritual. The photographer has captured light on
    a corporeal substance. That in itself makes the product -- or at least part of the process
    -- of the photographer to an extent
    intangible (a secondary definition of intangible: existing only in connection with
    something else). Somewhere in the combination of what the photographer did, what the
    world was like at the time the photographer did it, and what the viewer's experience
    currently is, is what is essential about the photograph.

    Example of significance: I am depressed when I take a photo. My sadness is informing my
    approach to the subject. I am allowing that to happen. The viewer may as well see
    something angry or lonely or even joyful in my photo. What is significant is the
    communication of human emotion in these cases, not the specific emotion. The ability to
    channel emotion and then evoke emotion is one feature of some artists.

    To me, whether one can avoid reflecting themselves in anything they do is as much a
    psychological as an esthetic question.
     
  78. Fred, you said interesting things. I'll just comment the fourth approach. In my opinion, every photographer likes to take a photo of himself/herself. It's a part of the whole photo process. Photographer doesn't have to be a newbie. From my point of view, I photographed myself because I have a lot of interaction with people and I was interested of how would I appear to myself. So, there are a social reasons. And of course, I'm changing, so there are a physiological and psychological reasons. It is a study of the body, on the other side and technical handling exercise, too.
    The significance: To capture the sensuality and feelings that I was hiding. To capture the glimpse of the real passion for life.
    When I photograph other people, I'm trying to find that passion for life in them! That glimpse!
     
  79. Thanks for the thoughtful answers Fred and Don.

    Don - I respect your approach to titling and am often torn between doing so or not, I usually do although I shouldn't because most of my titles suck. Most of the time, I do it for the fun and other times to communicate to the viewer. I don't know if that is "right" or "wrong". Its odd though, some images I title, I feel very comfortable doing so, others, I feel a uncertainty or reluctance.

    Fred - I wasn't necessarily questioning Don's approach, not sure if you were saying I was or were just stating there's no reason to question his approach as a general statement. But, for the record, I did not intend to question it, if anything, I was defending what I thought Don was questioning about my interpretation of the post.

    As for approach, I'm not sure that I have a concious one but in reading your reply Fred, I see photography in many of the ways you stated.

    Thanks again,
    Kirk
     
  80. "I think photographs reflect "significance.""


    Okay. There we go agreeing :cool: The significance is captured in the emotional or aesthetic response to "light on a corporeal substance" -- this one, not that one, and now, not then -- that I to respond by photographing it. Subtle or straightforward, it has drawn something from me to it, and since this is photography, I draw something from it to me by making an exposure. The process to make a photograph out of it is intended to communicate the emotional or aesthetic urgency that called forth the act of photography.

    Kirk, one reason I photograph desert sunsets is in response to the moment of stillness that almost always occurs then. Everything is transformed at that moment. The wind dies down and it is as silent as silence can be. Tranquil it may be, but it is also ominous and alien.
    So far, the opportunity hasn't come to capture it all in a photograph.
     
  81. Kirk-- I didn't think you were questioning Don's approach. Mine was a general statement. I
    understand the ambiguity you felt.

    Kristina-- Regarding newbies, I was specifically referring to photographing oneself in a
    mirror, not all self portraiture. Use of a mirror for such purposes is often trite and
    otherwise uncreative, the mirror seeming to be the substitute for actually delving below
    the surface and coming up with nuanced perspectives with which to see oneself. That is
    also not always the case, by any means. Photographing oneself in a mirror is as much a
    draw, often early on, as is photographing one's own shadow, also likely to result in fairly
    typical and uninteresting images. Self portraits, as you say, will always be vital. I love
    seeing them and loved doing the one I did and plan to do more.
     
  82. Thanks, no problem Fred.

    Don, maybe you need to reflect more of yourself and not just the subject. Sounds like what you think is missing is the ominous/alien "feel" you get. Now how are we going to get that reflected from your subject if you don't reflect your feeling of that into it? Just kidding. I think the larger the image you can print, the closer you'll come to having that image reflect that feeling. Sometimes big is better, which, I think you have referred to several times.

    Kirk
     
  83. "Sometimes big is better, which, I think you have referred to several times."

    Not me. John Kelly, perhaps.
     
  84. Definitely John Kelly. That ol' size queen :)
     
  85. Sorry bout the mistaken identity, Don.
     
  86. jtk

    jtk

    "...one reason I photograph desert sunsets is in response to the moment of stillness that almost always occurs then. Everything is transformed at that moment. The wind dies down and it is as silent as silence can be. Tranquil it may be, but it is also ominous and alien. So far, the opportunity hasn't come to capture it all in a photograph." Don E.

    Some of us can write. Very fine.
     
  87. Thanks, John. I know you've been there, too.

    Kirk, larger prints aren't a good option currently. I prefer handheld and to use cameras I enjoy shooting rather than others just for better resolution. This will change because my wife recently inherited her grandfather's Anniversary Speed Graphic, the full wood-boxed kit (He owned a photography studio). I'm looking forward to using it.
     
  88. Larger prints require larger bucks too. You'll be impressed at some of your own stuff when you do get to do it. I've yet to do any of mine larger than 8x10 but a friend of mine does some big ones and its amazing how much better some of his stuff looks compared to the same image at 5x7 or 8x10.
    That Speed Graphic sounds interesting whatever it is - I'll have to "Google" it.
     
  89. My feeling is that confronting the viewer with explanatory text is an attempt to influence viewers to see a photo (or any visual art) in the way the artist would like them to see it, rather than letting them discover it for themselves or not.

    Sometimes you have to give folks a nudge in the right direction. Photography to most folk is about sunsets,landscapes,family and friends...that's the deal.

    A few words,hopefully, might help to open a few gummed up eyes. Sadly,among the more understanding,the concern would be what cam you used,what f stop,what proccess used,and have you achieved photo copier perfect reproduction.

    Welcome to the real world of photography.
     
  90. Fred, I would like to see one of your self-portraits.
    Yes, I also enjoy photographing myself!
     
  91. jtk

    jtk

    :) Online reflections (browse names): http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.urscorpseattle.com/airportsecurity/images/steve_swinehart.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.urscorpseattle.com/airportsecurity/About_URS.htm&h=191&w=140&sz=9&hl=en&start=3&sig2=co7sMqXfMqBlCeRiCLEJBg&um=1&tbnid=euA7jKEAcZqQ9M:&tbnh=103&tbnw=75&ei=wNtOR6HIDqiyjAHYtY2KCQ&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dsteve%2Bswinehart%26svnum%3D10%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:eek:fficial%26sa%3DN
     
  92. Krstina--
    You can view my one and only self portrait HERE.
     
  93. jtk

    jtk

    I share Kirk's discomfort with photographers' chatter about their work...especially when they assert that it's "art." (I also tend to balk at the words of people who write about their "spiritual" insights).

    Many photographers are borderline illiterate ...yet they rattle on , as if they have produced art and as if their writing relates honestly to what they've hung.

    Sadly "photo teachers" often say a photo conveys its worth immediately, with no context, to people with limited attention spans: like love at first sight by adolescents.

    Few scenic or street snaps, printed by prosumer labs or photo students or posted on Photo.net, are worth 1000 words.

    However, when the photograph refers to something that is of itself significant (your child, your experience with violence, your experience with a mountain pass), writing can become an extension of the photograph (or vice-versa). The photograph and words can join as an experience. The words can take away from the photograph, just as they can contribute to it. There's plenty of justification for writing about a mediocre image, but I think there's little justification for generic "art" blather in the context of one's photos, no matter the excellence.
     
  94. Fred, thank you!
    It is a lovely self-portrait. Very sensual, having a playful look.
     
  95. Glad it works for you, Kristina :)

    I agree with John and Kirk to a great extent. For some reason, people tend to think artists
    are the best ones to speak about their own work. NOT. John's point about writing being an
    extension in some cases makes great sense. More often, it's distracting.

    I also generally find titles, especially the ones I've seen on PN, annoying. Did you catch the
    recent "casual" thread where a guy submitted a photo of a homeless-looking man sitting
    on a concrete slab writing on some unknown piece of paper. He titled it "Writing to God"
    and was shocked when no one in the thread saw what was in the title in the photo itself.
    It's as if, by osmosis, the character of the photo is supposed to be imbued with that of the
    title.

    I do make a PN exception in terms of writing about my work. This is a learning
    environment, to a great extent, or at least I try to use it that way. The ways in which I
    share ideas about my own work and the work of others is not necessarily how I would do it
    in a different environment. There are some questions I simply refuse to or cannot answer,
    but I think I do tend to try and answer more questions and discuss more issues about
    which I
    would really prefer to keep my mouth shut.
     
  96. Does anyone know of a photographer (so we can share, a known one) who has written extensively and well about their photographs?
     
  97. Fred, good point about this environment on PN being a learning one and I'd like to add that a lot of conversation also stems from the other environment I think PN fosters and that is the friendly one.

    Often I write stuff about my image in the comment box when putting it up for comment/rate and almost always in the comments section after someone has commented. In doing so I usually feel like I'm communicating with and in a way that I would were you my friend sitting in my physical presence and having a conversation about your photo or mine. I don't know about you all, but when I'm with a photog friend or even a friend with interest in my pictures, we usually talk about how we obtained the image and other stuff because they "know" you already and don't have to stare at your picture and figure that part out.

    Now, with strangers its probably best to let them observe, absorb and enjoy your image on their own terms. I guess that is what makes PN a little difficult to draw the line with the titling subject because while many people are friends and casual, its unavoidable that strangers will look at your stuff; hell, even your friends here were at one point strangers.

    If your stuff ever makes it in a gallery, I'd say cut the fat. Here, I think its much less important. Actually as a learning environment as Fred mentioned, I wish some photographers would put a little more information than they do. There are many that have to large of egos and mightier than thou complex that they are above sharing or just don't care.

    Kirk

    Kirk
     
  98. jtk

    jtk

    Don, Weston's been a touchstone for me since the Sixties, when I somehow managed to pay for Daybook II, hardbound, then new. I don't claim the Daybooks display fine writing. He doesn't craft brilliant descriptions of images, he doesn't propose "meanings," but he does sensitively convey his relationship to the whole of his photography beautifully.

    Unlike most photographers today, he never blows smoke. He's honest, and not just because he's writing for himself. That's probably now quite what you were looking for :)
     
  99. The simple answer is, yes, my online gallery reflects me. How much it reflects, and exactly what it reflects, are other matters altogether. In reading the various responses, it often seems that discussions like this one end up revolving around a definition of terms. In this case, whether or not one thinks their gallery (or absence of a gallery) reflects them depends on how they view (define) "reflection".

    A.) "My gallery does not reflect me because 'reflection' = X, and my gallery/photographs do not meet the criteria for X."

    B.) "My gallery reflects me because 'reflection' = Y, and my gallery/photographs meet the criteria for Y."

    I subscribe to B. How could my gallery not be a reflection of me? As someone has already stated, a gallery, or absence of gallery, is a reflection of someone whether they think it is or not. Seems pretty elementary to me.

    Time is also a valid consideration. Had I been a member of PN 16 months ago, my gallery would have been chock full of HDR photographs. In 6 or 12 months, my gallery may look very different from how it currently looks.

    The photos I choose to put in my gallery are not intended to create a reflection of who I am. I did not go through a thought process of, "Well, if I put in this, this, and this, then anyone looking at the gallery will see me as being ________. " So, no, I'm not consciously trying to mold a viewer's impression of me or my photographs. I would probably be more selective, and cull out certain things if I was trying to do that.

    I haven't really developed any cohesive "artistic statement". My photographic tastes (both in terms of what I like to look at, and what I like to photograph) run to that which has subtle, or not so subtle, juxtapositions; a hint of darkness (mood or theme as opposed to lighting, though that enters into as well); the slightly surreal in the everyday; as little manipulation and post-processing as possible. I find that that which is a bit odd, or perhaps that which is somewhat dark or lonely, to be joyful and liberating in a way. Hard to explain, exactly. What comes to mind for some reason, is Yasuhiro Ishimoto's photograph of the loose newspaper pages aloft on the wind outside the steps of the Chicago Art Institute. I find it odd, surreal, lonely yet connected, and it gives me a feeling of joy and exhiliration. I don't intentionally aim for such an effect with all my photographs, but if I manage to capture something that, for me, comes within shouting distance of such a sensation.

    Hmm...I generated a lot of words for such a simple question.
     
  100. Oops. That will teach me to proofread more carefully before I post...never completed the sentence: "...comes within shouting distance of such a sensation, I would likely include it in my online gallery."
     
  101. Does your online Gallery reflect you?

    Nope,certain types of photos work for certain types of places.

    John, you look really cool. Sort of like my image of Moses.

    Just as an after thought; a really good photo smashes you in the face....regardless of whether you like it or not.
     
  102. Allen--

    Many really good photos smash me in the face. Many really good photos grow on me with
    time. I tend to find the smashing ones more short-lived than the growers. Subtlety and
    nuance don't scream, they seem to reveal themselves slowly.
     
  103. tend to find the smashing ones more short-lived than the growers. Subtlety and nuance don't scream,

    Perception and understanding ,my friend, screams in your face.You really don't have to spend a lifetime trying to understand.

    If you do you are creating faires in the bottom of your garden.
     
  104. It's about much more than perception and understanding.

    Perception and understanding are too distinct from each other to be lumped together in
    terms of process.

    By your definition, Allen, I am happy to create fairies in the bottom of my garden. Heck,
    they're fabulous wherever they can be found.

    Understanding and good photos (only the
    latter being what we were talking about, not sure why you brought up the former) don't
    always scream in MY face.

    There's love at first sight and there's complex emotional involvement.

    Both are great.
     
  105. I avoid photos that scream and smash...just the contrarian in me I think. If it wants my attention that bad, I expect at least a beverage, too.
     
  106. "No, I don't have an online gallery. And no, it's not fear. I just have no interest in what others think of my photographs. If I want someone to see them, they do. The further I progress and the better my work is, the less I feel any reason to show it to anyone.

    I need not share everything I do in life. Not sharing is a choice I make because that's the way I want it. I am very confident and fear isn't a part of my life."

    An interesting point of view - I'd ike to see what sort of photographs a person with that point of view would make. How would I do that ?

    ...Wayne
     
  107. jtk

    jtk

    Allen, you didn't see any photograph of any Moses-like John :) Look again.
     
  108. Allen, you didn't see any photograph of any Moses-like John :) Look again

    You are right, John. Sorry, i will have to take the compliment back, however, i'm sure you are a handsome dude to ;)
     
  109. I was a PJ for near four decades, shooting what I was paid to shoot. I have no artistic pretentions, nor do I harbor desires to be thought of as a ``great`` photographer. I retired in 1992 and again in 2004. Thus the few shots in my portfolio, some of which won awards, is all my output, thus yes, ``reflects`` me.
    But then, after nearly five decades or writing, the real `me` still gets paid-handsomely and I note-smugly, that money in the bank changes everything, especially how you think about yourself.
    Photography was what I did: writing is who I am.
     
  110. Hi John, I really could not go through the responses of others, but must I say this to you.. Yes .. ! My photography reflects the person I am , was and am becoming with passage of time. And it is only when our heart , mind , life and soul connects with our photographs, that we are able to do maximum justice with the camera. In my case its just a mobile phone . I use my Nokia N73 with a Carl Zeiss 3.2 mega-pixel lens to shoot. But it sure gives me immense pleasure and a lot of peace to see my own work. Because , these pix are able to speak a lot about the unspoken ...unshared part that exists in me :)
    00Nfvy-40405284.jpg
     
  111. Gurpreet, that is an interesting thought. Our photos may reflect the unconscious part of the self. And that part may connect or speak directly to the subconscious or to the limbic area of another's mind through the visual cortex. Now that is a large lump to digest.

    Maybe it is like poetry, words filtered through the part of the brain that processes images.

    I only think of one caveat or big IF-do we select our pictures to show, or choose not to show any- is that the public equivalent of makeup,hair style, the beard trimmed, the blown out jeans,or the well polished cordovans. Or are we really getting naked and comfortable in our skin?

    Not so much a question, but it seems to add to the continuing value of john's probing,interesting question.

    Definitely a puzzlement, demanding of thought and continued discussion. What dreams may come if we do. gs
     

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