Over the years I have been one of those photographers that has tried to avoid taking too many images that are blatant clichés. The cliché seems to represent the “obvious,” the “easy,” the “unimaginative,” and so on. No self-respecting fine-art photographer would do cliché images if he/she were trying to make a name for him/herself in the art gallery world. However, just looking at the most highly rated images on pnet, for example, one can see that images of sunsets on the ocean, mountains, mountains with sunsets, idealized images of children, old men’s faces, lots of birds in flight, and so on, dominate the ratings, indicating a great general popularity. It’s easy to see that some very competent photographers do nothing but stereotypes and clichés, such as images from Yosemite. Indeed, most clichés, like sunsets, are regarded generally as “beautiful” to most viewers for various reasons, some of which may even be deeply rooted in our archetypal “templates” since humans have been looking at sunrises and sunsets literally since we crawled out of the primal mud. Interestingly, I recently printed and framed a couple of 10 x 15 inch prints for our upstairs hallway, and guess what? Both are clichés! One is a stream running through the woods where I have been biking with Lily, our Border Collie for over 10 years now: http://www.photo.net/photo/17600509&size=lg The other image is a sunset shot of a lake in the same park; an image we see every day when doing our daily run: http://www.photo.net/photo/17600501&size=lg Why did I choose these clichés to look at on a daily basis? To help answer this I did a search on the photographic cliché and I found an article by Annebella Pollen: http://eitherand.org/reconsidering-amateur-photography/when-cliche-not-cliche-reconsidering-mass-produced/ Pollen presents an interesting thesis just on sunsets, the most ubiquitous form of cliché worldwide. I think Pollen hits on some of the reasons we all do some form of cliché images, whether on purpose or instinctively: “Patterns exist because they show what matters to people. The ‘evidence’ of numerous photographs of sunsets as a popular subject, then - whether in the historical archive or in contemporary online photo-sharing sites - cannot be simply grouped as one-of-a-kind and thus be adequately dealt with quantitatively, whether there are fifty-five thousand, nine million or sixty billion. It might be more fruitful to consider these thematic photographs as forms of antanaclasis – a rhetorical linguistic form that has been linked to photography by Victor Burgin - signalling “repetition with different significations, or one repeated picture with different captions”  Sunset photographs may all look the same, but the meaning changes with each one. As Richard Dyer has argued about stereotypes: they “are a very simple, striking, easily-grasped form of representation but are none the less capable of condensing a great deal of complex information and a host of connotations".  Even stereotypes and clichés carry complexities and nuances. Just like sunsets, then, every sunset photograph is different.”I must conclude that the reason I choose two typical clichéd images for hanging in our hallway, is similar to what Pollen says: These images “matter” to me; they are different from other people’s cliché’s, and they are an “easily grasped from of representation but are none the less capable of condensing a great deal of complex information and a host of connotations". These particular images for me represent years of pleasure, biking through these woods with my beloved dog Lily. I cannot look at them without feeling strong emotions, and memories, and gratitude for the good fortune of having been able to have this experience in my life. I’m wondering how other photographers here feel when choosing to embrace or avoid the cliché in their personal approach to photography. Is it an issue at all?