So why do trendy fashion photographers take crappy shots?

Discussion in 'Portraits and Fashion' started by ruslan, Aug 18, 2018.

  1. Why do they take those shots and produce the stuff like that

    http://derekhenderson.net/


    He took pictures of Barbara Palvin and so he is no amateur. So why?
     
  2. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Must be what the customers want - recently started getting a fashion magazine in my daughter's name (she never lived in this house). Photo quality is excellent, but what a freak show - can't imagine places where the clothing or make up would be appropriate. Strange days - guess the geezer brigade has felt that way throughout history.
     
    ruslan likes this.
  3. its inconsistent but there are some interesting shots

    a trendy fashion photographer might get tired of taking trendy fashion pictures and point the camera somewhere else for a change

    theres a plainspokenness to a lot of them, unhyped, unpretentious, that’s appealing
     
  4. paul ron

    paul ron NYC

    fashion is work n everything else is for pleasure.
     
  5. Gary, maybe photography is heading to what was a Black square by Malevich in paintig 100 years ago, is it? Maybe that's the neo primitivism... For instance, Julie Pike from Norway takes alike photos but she takes them for commercial purposes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
  6. Don't see any reference to fashion on his website, and I don't see anything wrong with his pictures.
     
  7. ruslan, can u make a case for the comparison to malevich? i don’t see it. i can see criticizing the photos, but your comparison doesn’t make sense. the understated fashion photos, sometimes seeming even forlorn, don’t approximate the minimal abstract geometry of malevich’s later work or thr brightness of his earlier primitive peasant paintings or what malevich was getting at with either project. the mention of shore above or even a reference to some of callahan’s color scenes of buildings and streets is more relevant. hendersons not groundbreaking or flawless, but the photos are from crappy.
     
    ruslan likes this.
  8. Nothing much to write without specific examples, reasons for thinking crappy etc. On the other hand, thanks for posting link to a good portfolio. Haven’t gone through all of them, but like what I see. Desolate rural landscapes, carefree living, non valuable everyday objects photographed with careful dedication, all are close to heart. I think his pictures work well as a series, like taking a stroll through a rural community or being out into an airy landscape, showing the theme(s) from multiple viewpoints, rather than trying to be clever or impress the viewer.

    It’s interesting, in the slaughterhouse series, the photographer does not show any actual slaughter which would be dramatic, may be in an expected way. Rather, he focuses on the employees and photographs them with suggestive blood splatters, showing the somewhat gory underbelly of our food industry.
     
  9. I see the first part of your response but don't understand the second. You sound offensive.
    I was learning photography by Rodney Smith's, Brassai's, Peter Lindbergh's, Avedon's, Robert Doisneau's, Horst P. Horst's and Erwitt's works. I asked and received some positive critique from Rodney Smith in 2011 and I was published in National Geographic top dozen in 2012.
    Let's get back to our sheep. As I can see, even starter, with no experience or a background, even a newbie to photography can shoot people like he does. It is difficult to replicate Avedon, Steve McCurry and R.Smith. As for Ansel Adams, he was a pioneer and worked so and so many years ago. (Analogy with ballet - then back in the days prima ballerinas didn't have modern technique, stretching, leap and instep curve as common Russian ballet dancers have now). So did photographers. But I do respect Adams and what he did.
    A top notch photographer must be at least good if not top class at other genres. And photographing a top model of the world (from top 5) means a priori that the photographer is good. So we could distinct his works from newbies' ones.
    And my last point: I don't see primitive works by modern photographers who work for Vogue or... Hasper's... there is certain stylization to primitivism but portraits are always good at least. Have a look at Leibovitz's works and you will see my point.
     
  10. In the last 150 years, so many different styles and poses have been tried in human portraiture, that theres a fair chance of your photo resembling someone else's style (unless you are highly and even deliberately unconventional). Although originality is definitely a factor, I don't asses the merit of a portrait just based on that. I also question whether I can emotionally connect with the photo, and that is often based on how appropriately the style chosen by the photographer does justice to the subject. In this case, the entire slaughterhouse series was shot with subjects facing the camera standing straight, and I think that worked for this series. He uses different styles to represent people in his other folders, not just this style. Also, the poses are far from 'deadpan'! Many of them are tilting their heads, some are smiling, or showing signs of, so they are not really expressionless. It seems to me, that he just let them pose whichever way they liked. These are regular human beings who happen to be employed in the job of slaughtering animals and are an important part of our society.
     
  11. ruslan likes this.
  12. ah but there is disputing taste. a good way to learn to see better is to have people dispute your taste, have those people give good reasons. if your open to listening and seeing differently, voila, your own taste changes and develops - all because it was disputed.

    taste is too often used as an excuse to remain comfortable, familiar, stagnant and hold fast to the past. a good taste dispute can move someone forward, change us, open new horizons.

    i’m Thankful to different artists and friends who’ve challenged my taste over the years. they didn’t view my taste as something i owned. it was sometimes something i was stuck in and needed to be shaken out of.
     
  13. No one develops taste in the creative process. You either have it or you don't. The ones that are so good that they show they have taste took thousands of stinkers and culled through the best to present to the pubic. They act as their own curator (a very valuable skill). Some photographers are their own worst curator and they show it in what they present to the public in their galleries which may look like crap but that doesn't mean they don't have a unique vision going by what didn't make the cut sitting on their hard drive hidden from public view.

    A couple of weeks ago I browsed a LuLa off topic thread on "Show Us Your Best Photo" and all I could surmise from what was posted by even seasoned pro's pretty much supports my point they were all their own worst curator. There was no way those images were their best.
     
    ruslan likes this.
  14. The OP should write Anna Wintour immediately with their concerns about the crap dripping from the Vogue September issue pages.
     
  15. I have several US Vogue magazines and I haven't seen any so much crappy stuff there. First of all the topic is about maori teens portrait series. They just don't work for me.
     
  16. part of creativity is taking the risk to reject or defy current good tastes
     
    ruslan and Supriyo like this.
  17. Then that creative person is just spit balling it leaving that person's decision making and intent unclear on what form of good taste is being defied. The finished work registers that message or it doesn't. When it doesn't, taste doesn't matter and neither does the creator. There has to be some intelligence conveyed in a created piece of work even if it defies intelligent thought and intent.

    Can someone smartly create something stupid? Comedians and satirists make a good living doing just that.

    I believe the OP is trying to express an opinion about the photographer's work in question as "Polished Mediocrity". He just might be having a hard time finding the right words to express it.
     
    ruslan likes this.
  18. Yes, yes and yes.
    I like to see some stuff at the contest of Italian Vogue for amateurs. I like the amount of humour the most photos were taken with.
    PhotoVogue - Vogue
     
  19. I agree. But I think there’s another differentiating factor in this comparison. Even Shore’s simplest work oozes the highest level of technical excellence, which I don’t feel when I look at Henderson’s non-fashion portfolio. I get that “wow!” feeling from people like Adams and Nick Nichols too - their excellence is “greater than the sum of its parts” . Sure, the numbers are right for all fine photographers. But they add up differently for some than for most.
     

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