If only...

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by doug_johnson|10, May 3, 2021.

  1. No I do not believe in a perfect photo... or perfection. I just don't think like that... if perfection were to exist it would bore me to pursue it.
     
  2. It's all around you...what a shame you can't/won't see it.
     
  3. Not necessarily.

    What's failure and success? Some think failure is if it doesn't communicate to others what the photographer thinks it does. Some think success is making a picture the photographer alone is pleased with. Some think success is getting a lot of LIKES on PN. Some think success is getting a high price for a photo. Some think success is provoking people through photography. Some think success is making something rich people want to hang on their walls.

    Depending on what one thinks is a failure or a success, the photographer might be the best person or the worst person to determine these. Or the photographer might be neither the best nor the worst but just another person with an opinion about the photo in question.

    [tongue in cheek]I consider some of my photos a success if certain people whose tastes I find shallow hate them. Sometimes, a bad grade from a certain type of viewer is a badge of honor.[/tongue in cheek]

    Seriously, though, I'm not terribly concerned with success or failure. I'm concerned with expressing myself in a genuine way by making a photo that has visual worth. If a mentor or trusted critic encourages me to go back to the drawing board on a particular photo, I don't take that as a failure on my part. I take it as an opportunity.
     
  4. Does that take into account that he/she got a ticket on the way to see your photo, or that they got the news that their father is dying, or that their spouse is having an affair? This is a classic standoff, the perfect example of what I am talking about...nobody is right, and nobody is wrong because nobody can point to which one is which!
     
  5. Why is it a shame?

    Why is there a call for others to share this view? To me, that says the perspective wants to be bolstered by outside support, and feels flimsy at best.
    I see it as more of a red herring than a classic standoff.

    Trusted mentors become trusted because they supply reasons with critique. If the reasons are sound, they're sound. If the mentor got a ticket on the way and he gives coherent and effective reasons for his opinion, then I know the ticket didn't undermine his reasoning. If he gives unsound reasons, it won't matter what happened on the way to the critique, the unsound reasons won't be worth listening to.

    The mentor getting a ticket may well affect whether that mentor "likes" a photo or not, one of the reasons "I like it" is often so unhelpful in a critique meant to be constructive.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  6. Of course, but only If the artist wants to be the only one to critique their own work. I critique my own photos all the time and I have a folder titled "Best Photos" for what I'm pleased with, the rest go in the trash bin unless I see any that can be improved by editing, then they go in a folder "Photos for editing". I haven't yet sought a critique on this new Photonet site, but I'm eyeing one for critique soon and I hope Sam will respond, I read his critiques of other members work religiously.
     
    inoneeye likes this.
  7. I look forward to doing so!
     
  8. WHY IS IT A SHAME?
    To look around this world, with all the *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* we have been through in the last year, and see no perfection is just heartbreaking. My grandson is perfection, my wife is perfection, my daughter is perfection...to NOT see perfection is a very sad state!
    A red herring?...there can be no other way but yours...doubly sad.
    Give me a reason that you would suggest darkening/lightening something in a photo?
    Who decides whether the reasons are sound? Acceptance doesn't validate the reasoning.
    So which is it Sam? Doesn't trusted mentor=outside support? If you want to be told how to get better, then "better" indicates a direction away from where you are going on your own...hence a "better" way. Once you go down that road, away from your own instincts, you are lost. Your critiques will help KMAC see more like you, but they won't help KMAC see more like her/himself.
     
  9. As I said, my critiques are less a matter of suggesting what I would do and more a matter of describing in visual and emotional terms what I see. That’s the way I’ve been mentored, so I’ve been influenced not to make photos like others but to look carefully at my own and develop a coherent voice of my own.

    I imagine a lot of people do think of critique as tailoring others’ photos to what they would do. But I don’t. I prefer a more nuanced and somewhat time consuming approach, letting a photographer know just what I’m seeing and, if they intended something else or missed an aspect of their own photo, that may inspire them to consider if there’s something they want to do about it ... or not, of course. My idea of critique is not to be a suggestion box, but rather a sounding board. The best critiques are a dialogue, not a string of one-way suggestions.

    Simple example. Me: I see sadness in this photo. Photographer: I meant to show seriousness, not sadness. Me: What’s the difference between them and what clues in your photo are showing seriousness and do you think anything is telegraphing sadness?

    Simple example number two: Your photo feels cluttered (sometimes a good thing, sometimes not). Photographer Number One: That’s what I wanted. Me: Great, then you’ve achieved it. Photographer Number Two: I hadn’t thought of that, but now that you mention it, I wish it didn’t. Me: What would have made it feel less cluttered, if that’s what you would have preferred?

    The idea (and the luck I’ve had with mentors myself) is to get the photographer thinking about and seeing various options that may not have been apparent, not by giving out the specific options but by opening up the dialogue. It’s helping someone to think and see for themselves, not telling them what to think and see.
     
  10. something reminds me of
     
  11. Good luck with that...but tread carefully Sam When you take on the mantle of "mentor", you embark on a very slippery slope of unintentional misdirection. Don't let your ego get the best of you.
     
  12. .it's easy enough to weed out ego driven critiques... to know a critique that is taking into account your vision as photographer vs the critique that is more aligned with their work or ego.
    A good critique or mentoring outcome is only successful when it is received by a good listener.
     
    Ricochetrider and samstevens like this.
  13. An appropriate finish, :)perfectly:) exemplifying the "suggestion box" school of discourse.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2021
  14. Unless you are willing to do background checks on anyone that critiques your work, you will never know how valid it is...how much is about your work, and how much is about them.
     
  15. I give inoneeye credit for being more perceptive than that and not needing a background check. When I read through the critiques here, it's pretty easy to tell how much is about the photographer's work and how much is about the critic. It just takes ... well ... reading and paying attention, not really any special skills. However, if I want to be perfectly skeptical of all critiques, I'm sure I can find ways to sabotage the efficacy of all of them by endless doubting and imaginative hypotheticals.
     
  16. "Unless you are willing to do background checks on anyone that critiques your work, you will never know how valid it is..."
    background checks? I know how valid it is. If I ask for a critique and that is what I respectfully get then it is valid... if it has an impact on my work or value to my vision is up to me. no matter the source.
     
    kmac likes this.
  17. OR, you can pander in whimsical imaginings, based on make-believe credentials, and pump up your ego by either taking or giving meaningless platitudes to make you feel better/worse about your own work, or theirs.
    You wrote that...now you should read it.
     
  18. I wanted to avoid responding to a non photography related post you made re; perfection in a reply to me. While perfection is an often pondered question in philosophy I chose not to pursue the construct of 'perfection' after seeing your non photo related replies...
    But you keep throwing back - out of context twice - sam's response to that 'what a shame' post you directed at me...

    so to put it in context;
    Me "No I do not believe in a perfect photo... or perfection. I just don't think like that...
    if perfection were to exist it would bore me to pursue it."

    Doug "It's all around you...what a shame you can't/won't see it."

    Sam "Why is it a shame? Why is there a call for others to share this view?
    To me, that says the perspective wants to be bolstered by outside support, and feels flimsy at best."

    Doug "WHY IS IT A SHAME?

    To look around this world, with all the *X&$#**X&$#**X&$#**X&$#* we have been through in the last year,
    and see no perfection is just heartbreaking.
    My grandson is perfection, my wife is perfection, my daughter is perfection...

    to NOT see perfection is a very sad state!"
    Sad, heartbreaking for your experience and mindset. not so for me. I don't think like that. I am not missing out on the imperfect joys I encounter.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  19. I posted my question in the "Philosophy" section...we are discussing the philosophy of critique.
    Sad and heartbreaking indeed....it must have been near fatal for you to switch from film to digital. The world is full of photographers who actually do photography...who take photos every day, and don't need the pat on the head, and the "attaboy" from the adoring spectators.
     
  20. If only...
     

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