Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by keefer, Jul 2, 2016.
I came across this, thought it was interesting. What do you think.
Link it's a video.
Sophomoric BS. I made it to about three minutes.
Maybe he's talking about in the photography environment(s)? With our country's national award exhibition for professional working photographers be it journalism, portrait / wedding / landscapes it is more fine art and more post processing (more so than just lightroom) and there is the creative category for even more allowed. With camera clubs they tend to be focused on exhibitions, and various competitions. Ie - as he said to make one's work unique.
In my own family and friends. They just want portrait of happy people and beautiful sunsets and dinner tables. My dad for example if I just have 100 or just 5 images on the HDTV, he would raised his head back on the sofa and have a nap or he would read the newspaper. The people who tend to be more interested are the 1 or 2 who have an interest in arts or painting.
Just on the phone recently a friend said to me. He doesn't understand photographs or paintings on display so he doesn't visit those places.
What struck me was that the photographs on display differed quite a bit to what the pro's did day in and day out. I know a camera club member who went to become a wedding / portrait / child professional photographer. What she showed of some of the weddings photo's were quite different to the ones on display. Some of the shots were what you could just get I suppose. If the wedding couple wanted the wedding under 12PM summer sun out on the beach or on the gardens there wasn't much you could do. Or even the nicer ones happy joyful family friends photographs in weddings black / white or cultural clothes. These type of shots were not on display. Ok sure you may had a wedding dress and tux but the ones on display were like more fine art. Like an image someone had where the groom was holding onto the bride's hand except it was the bride's shadow on the wall. Or the bride was holding a cigarette.
The thing is that they had different categories. One was like weddings. Of all the wedding awarded photographer one takes the cake being the 2016 Wedding Photographer of the year. But awarded shots were quite different to what most customers got.
'Care about' as a judgment is a weak post mortem. It misses all the living ramifications of the act in, to, and for the explosion of the now.
Even if there is a point to market saturation, in the end, it's about individuals wanting to express themselves. What they find interesting, and how far they want to push themselves.... let them decide. At best, help them discover more, look in different ways and study works together a bit to see how one can grow. But just saying "there's enough people doing photography, make sure your work brings something extra" isn't all that constructive.
Photography is a great medium for exploring your environment and indeed the contents of your own mind. In terms of learning curve, equipment requirements, space required, etc. it's streets ahead of anything else. I think the words "need" and "care" apply first and foremost to people's desire to express themselves, whether the results are of interest to third parties is secondary. At the same time I do believe strongly that the advent of digital photography, perceived as "anyone can do it" has totally devalued photography in most people's eyes. The crucial factor is attitude to conceptual art - people who don't get conceptual art, who don't understand that the important thing is the quality of the ideas behind a work rather than its technical difficulty, won't appreciate photography. In pure financial terms, it's harder than ever before to make a full-time professional living out of photography, just as it is with many other obsolete trades - get over it!
'Care about' as a judgment is a weak post mortem. It misses all the living ramifications of the act in, to, and for the explosion of the now.We clearly need a lit crit forum.
I think he's spot on.
I think the question is" Should they"?
My Ancester Karl peter Mazer was one of the earliest photographers.
It was s novelty.
I think those who are doing novel things are getting noticed.
A couple of reactions to this guy. He begins by saying that he heard "from a friend" that no one's photos matter. He then goes on to say that this friend who he heard it from "read it somewhere." He's obviously quite influenced by rumors he's heard around the new office drinking fountain known as social media. So, I wonder if this could all be thrown back at him by my simply telling him, the world is also over-saturated with YouTube authorities.
My second reaction is to simply say to him my own work has meaning and does matter, so I don't fall under his shadow of all this work that has no meaning and does not matter. [Glad I escaped that one ;-)] He says the world is saturated by all the photos, etc. that are on social media. That's why I mostly go to galleries and museums and find books with new and interesting photos. So, what he should be saying is that HIS chosen world is saturated with the stuff he's dissatisfied with. The world is not dissatisfying. He's dissatisfied. But he won't take responsibility for that. I manage to find plenty of stuff that satisfies me. I put in the work to find it.
His biggest mistake is extrapolating from his own self-created aesthetically poverty-strcken world to the bigger world at large.
the distribution of art has been democratized and does no longer depend on the taste of a selective fewIf that's the way you choose to find stuff, go for it. When I want to find a brain surgeon (not that art is brain surgery), I start with primary care physician and get several referrals, whereupon I look into them myself and make a decision. I don't think that's a bad way to approach art. At least it works for me. The fact is there are people out there very involved in various art scenes who I can use as primary resources. Historically, curators and patrons know what's going on out there and have a good feel for art. As this system brought us Picasso, Matisse, and Degas, it seems to have worked out pretty well. Of course, there have always been other ways of discovering artists and there's always been a lot of noise that gets shoved to the background. Just because the magnitude may be increased right now doesn't necessarily mean the fundamentals have changed. Hell, Stieglitz and some of his bunch actually straddled the two jobs of being artists and art experts and heralders. I'm not so quick to put that system down. As we've seen more and more lately, though it's the best system we've got, even democracy has its pitfalls.
Agree 1: Most of us will not become known.
Agree 2: Create something that means something (to you).
Agree 3: Push yourself to go further.
Don't agree: It is a not popularity contest...it is, sadly.
Made it to ~5 min mark
artists no longer need curatorsOh. I see. Well, I guess that settles it. Glad we solved it with such simplicity.
I think what he's arguing is that those of us who treat photography as more than just a way of documenting everyday life have to aim a bit higher and create project-type work that offers some kind of narrative over and above just the images.
And he's also right, realistically, that those of us who are hobby photographers operate in a situation where nobody cares what we're doing. I accept this because I'm doing it for myself anyway.
It's similar to my garden, which I tend and nurture with great care, but it's only for my sake and that of my family. I don't imagine anyone else cares what's coming up in my garden, and why should they?
A long time ago I realized that I don't care if no one else cares about my photographs. I care and that's why I make them, and that is
enough for me. All the angst about wanting to make a difference and change the world and be noticed - life is way too short.
I am 84 years old. I have done weddings at high noon on a beach in bright sun light. If one uses enough flash
and one drags the shutter one can make decent pictures when one cannot find shade. Aside from that I have
always done my photographs for my own satisfaction. My wedding customers cared. I still shoot large swim
meets. My client swimmers care. I just made two 13x19 prints from a mirrorless that really, really satisfy me.
Excellent late afternoon light. I don't need anything more than what I have to keep me happy. If no one else
cares I don't much care. Nor did I care to listen to all that sophomoric eye rolling drivel.on the opening. .
It's a compelling subject to discuss. I watched the entire video but of course the pay off for real meaningful information was not to be had. I posted a comment. Who cares. Right?
A long time ago I realized that I don't care if no one else cares about my photographs.I had to learn that eventually through several years of taking the time to observe what appealed to me enough to point and shoot over 1000 Raws and post processing them. I like them because my photos don't look like anyone else's. I also realized the value of seeing how my world looks different when photographed.
In a sense I guess I don't care about any one elses photographs because I'm so enthralled with my own. It's kind of like a stamp stating this is me and I have worth. Maybe fodder for another discussion?
It's interesting to read the different reactions that people have had to this video. I read Tim's comment, "I watched the entire video..." and thought, yes, that's what I should probably do if I'm going to comment about it.
Overall, I think he wanders about a bit without really resolving anything, or clearly supporting his thesis, if he even has one. (Probably just another way of echoing what Tim said, that there was no real payoff in terms of meaningful information.) To me, the video isn't really about "nobody cares about your photography", it's about "creating meaningful work", "create work that means something". "Nobody cares" seems more of a hook to draw us in. What connection is he trying to make between "nobody cares" and "create meaningful work"? That you need to create meaningful work to get someone to care? Or that it is important to create good work regardless? I do agree that it takes time and effort to "create good work", but that's hardly a groundbreaking epiphany.
I don't find anything he said to be offensive or off-putting. I just came away with the sense that he circled around a lot of things without really zeroing in on anything.
Nobody does care about my photography...unless I take a picture of them. Then they are really interested. This is why social media is so popular. You can be the worst photographer in the world and if you take a picture of someone, that someone will think you are the best photographer in the world.
Of course nobody else but you cares about your photography. To think otherwise is arrogant and self-serving. ;-)
Apart from photographs of cheerful people, holiday tourist snaps and beautiful sunset photographs I don't think they care about mine. For those they may give a short comment on FB that's about it. Even photo's of people I have yet to get a request for a print. They just seem to download them off FB.
My camera club seems to care more about competitions and exhibitions and when they invite a photography judge over.
When the time for me to go, the only pictures they tend to want are the 1 or 2 A4 framed of old family who are still here or have passed away and maybe postcard shots of the city / country they are from. 99% of the others the building, the leaf, the sky and the hills no one cares. I have also questioned myself also. I had a dSLR since 2004 and what have I got to show for. 99.9% are hidden on the hard drive. Come back from an expensive overseas holiday and a modest 12 or 36 are shared with family on the HDTV for that 10mins.
I don't think it is true that 'nobody cares'. I have seen my photos from PN being shared on pinterest, tumblr and some other places, where they are liked and re-shared by people who I don't know, never met. I am sure thats the case with many here on PN. When visitors visit our place, sometimes they get fixated by prints displayed on the wall, and ask me about my hobby. Sometimes that leads to viewing my entire portfolio. To me, thats enough caring.
Pictures aren't a commodity. If there are too many of them the 'price' doesn't drop to nothing. They're not on the supply side of the supply and demand thing. They are the other side; they are the demand/desire side; they are expressions of desire regardless of the particular 'supply' that is being picked out in each instance. The picture is the need; the picture is the desire; the picture is the want that finds some satisfaction in this or that, but which is never cured. The picture is finding the form of the demand, not the form of the particular supply [apples, oranges, soybeans, coal?] that momentarily satisfies it.
Really good pictures, those that are 'valuable' and 'cared about' get at desire in especially powerful or rare ways, but the desire that is what pictures are is oceanic or like the weather; there's never 'too much of it'; it builds and unbuilds out of itself.
@Phil S: In the digital age we still need curators & patrons. The curators are our 'contacts/friends' and the patrons are the
IT guys who run the software & hardware that host our images.
Of course nobody else but you cares about your photography. To think otherwise is arrogant and self-serving. ;-)Yes, but if everyone sees them self as a photographer whether with a cell phone, P&S or DSLR then that's a lot of folks who don't care about other's images outside their own. So maybe there's no one left to care.
So another (near metaphysical) spin on this issue is how do we determine why they don't care about other photographer's work. Is it really because they're only interested in their own images?
If a photograph is made in the woods and there's no one there to see it happen, does anyone care about it?
I care about everyone's photography in the sense that if it disappeared I'd be disappointed.
when I started fashion photography 35 years ago the kids mothers only cared about their kids photos and the rest were crap lol its humAn
nature or lets say American rat race competitiveness lol.
Fact is that kind od caring isn't caring but narcissistic selfishness.
Truth is nobody cares unless they have a love for photography itself and then the photo has to be loveable.
Its not that bad. Why should it be any different?
To summarize the video "create something that means something, make work that matters." Those are not definable concepts. What matters to me may not matter to you, and as with most of our actions in life, we have no idea what impact we are having on others. Does any photography done purely as art matter, or is photojournalism the only style of photography that matters? You can extend the conversation to art in general, of course, and I'm not aware of any means of determining whether or not what you create 'matters.' Most artists create simply because they feel compelled to do so, and if it matters to someone else, that's an unexpected bonus.
but the desire that is what pictures are is oceanic or like the weather; there's never 'too much of it'; it builds and unbuilds out of itself.What does this mean? My desire is an ocean or is it that pictures are part of the ocean or ...?
Force(s) as in 'the weather is' ... ?
You can extend the conversation to art in general, of course, and I'm not aware of any means of determining whether or not what you create 'matters.'Unless you make it matter by talking about it in a video which basically turns it into the snake eating its tail. The snake still thinks it's nourishment while drawing a lot of attention in the process.
Some see disgust, others see humor while most aren't sure what the question was and move on.
Then maybe some publicist, curator or any media giant pounces on it as news through mass distribution to give everyone the impression it's wide spread and accepted as real and meaningful art.
It's difficult if not impossible for any one person or small group to prove this is what's happening because they don't have the means of mass distribution of content and quantifying data to support mass consensus even using the internet which gives the same false impression of having that level of power. Something going viral is not real data.
Mass media giants are really a quite small group of folks that give the impression THEY are the strength in numbers as massive and important. That's business and marketing 101. If you come across likeable, 80% of your work is done. You're now nation wide but only in the minds of those that appreciate, understand (like) your content. You can be likeable intellectually and/or visually. It will always comprise a small group of people. Most of the population is too busy making a living to take notice.
Out of 7 billion people on planet Earth why does YouTube video views seem to max out at several million? Is that all that's on the internet?
In the fantastic book "Art and Fear" the authors mention that most artists spend their life creating work that nobody cares about expect for their family and friends and that's often because the art making process is such a large part of who they are as a person.The cold hard truth is that very few artists are able to make a name for themselves while they are still alive and even then some enjoy some recognition only to later fall out of favor and end up in obscurity. The kind of meaningful art the narrator speaks about is of the kind that remains relevant through history and gets re-evaluated each generation. I think he suggests that we aim for this in our own work. We may never reach that point but what's to be lost otherwise? Why settle for mediocrity when we can choose to have high standards?
What is he saying? By his own words doe anyone care about his video. To sum it up I quote Robin Smith "pseudo corner". Or as a friend said to me I thought we got past this in high school. Speaking maybe we all should go back and bone up on Marshall McLuen "Media"
Well I think you can make an argument that Photography doesn't have the cultural significance that it used to. I wrote about it in my blog back in April: http://glenbarrington.blogspot.com/2016/04/photography-simply-doesnt-matter-any.html
In that sense no one actually does care about individual photographs. The idea of photography is important to our culture, but there's so damn MUCH of it, most of the individual photos simply don't matter all that much to the culture.
I'm not going to summarize the article, I'm kind of proud of what I wrote, go read it if you're interested.
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