Visual Trends for 2016?

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by cyanatic, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. Thank goodness for the Anna Wintour of imagery!
    Effective immediately, I am abandoning my black & white urban documentary aesthetic and will henceforth seek out only examples of surreal and divine expanded personhood (gender-blended, of course), in the messy, sweaty visceral, and express them as a visual haiku which allows my viewers ample room to breathe and reconnect in a cluttered marketplace.
    Why didn't I think of this before?
    http://stories.gettyimages.com/visual-trends-team-makes-2016-predictions/
     
  2. Steve, I think they're talking about commercial photography.
    On the other hand, I'd love to see a thread where you "urban documentary" photographers discuss your feelings about the place of aesthetics in your work (I'm not being sarcastic; I mean that sincerely).
     
  3. "place of aesthetics in your work"
    Interesting to discuss but the aesthetics come from the language of the image which can be remote from the photographers original take. I often feel that a urban/street image takes on its own life and the photographer is as much intrigued as the viewer. The urban/street generic photography is chaotic with the photographer grabbing images with a lot less control than other disciplines in the photographic world. However, there are those who can entrap art and aesthetics from that chaos, but they are the exception rather than the norm.
    The commercial photographs linked for me are boring.... tinsel and glamour comes to mind with little else to say for themselves.
     
  4. Why didn't I think of this before?​
    That's a good question . . . honestly. ;-)

    I'm not sure why such a tongue-in-cheek attitude but I'm going to answer you a bit more seriously.

    Gender identity has been and is continuing very slowly to come out of the closet. To do so fully, it will naturally be dealt with seriously and with some amount of complexity by some, including sociologists, academics, psychologists, and the people involved and affected. It will also, naturally, be dealt with by artists and photographers. Some will do it in a more sophisticated and rich fashion, some in a more kitsch and possibly pretentious fashion. All is good in terms of its becoming normalized for those who don't fit into the traditional male/female dynamic.

    There would be nothing wrong with your abandoning, or supplementing, the type of work you've been doing for awhile. There would be nothing wrong with your sticking with it and not moving onto something else.

    Because "gender-bending" is playing with heretofore accepted distinctions and categories, of course it will be messy. For me, that would be part of its draw and one reason I've made forays into photographing it. I've heard many who shoot on the street say they like it because it's also kind of sweaty and messy in an unplanned, somewhat disorganized, and exhilarating manner. So, what you do may have more in common with the non-rule-orientation of gender bending than you may be thinking from behind the tongue-in-cheek scrim. And I'll bet there's plenty of black and white urban documentary aesthetic that could make room for a photographer involving themselves in such communities, thereby blending the black and white urban documentary aesthetic with a gender-bending one. I'm not sure I know too many surrealist street photographers, but the idea would be intriguing to me. I'm not terribly into notions of the divine, so I'd stay away from that angle, but exploring expanded personhood in a messy, sweaty, visceral world and exploring that in a visual haiku, if I could pull it off, seems like a worthy goal to anyone who wants to try it. Though all of us likely don't think in precisely those terms, some do.

    As we see more and more images of disparate and non-comforming gender, we will probably have a deeper understanding of it, not allow some few examples of its kitschiness or phoniness to put us off too much, and even start developing more personal relationships with it so that the more pretentious descriptions we hear don't stop us from involving ourselves, socially and/or photographically, in a way we feel more inclined. It's easy to laugh this off through this one article. Much more difficult to see through that and reach out in our own way.
     
  5. " It's easy to laugh this off trough this one article. Much more difficult to see through that and reach out in our own way"
    Where do we reach out to? What is there to reach to? Pray do tell what you see other than the tinsel on a Christmas tree.
     
  6. Reach out to transgender and gender-unidentified or questioning individuals or communities and not see these folks only through these photos. Maybe make some we think tell a better story ourselves.
     
  7. "Reach out to transgender and gender-unidentified or questioning individuals or communities and not see these folks only through these photos. Maybe make some we think tell a better story ourselves".
    I think I've missed the transgender thing but why is that important? They are just folks not really different from anyone else...
    "Maybe make some we think tell a better story ourselves"
    So. Why would you find that a problem whether its true or not? Supposition says you think, because there is a different thought ,folks think they are superior because they don't agree with your suppositions.
     
  8. A photograph, in my opinion, should offer something to the photograph and viewer. To my mind it is that simple...there is nothing else to consider.
     
  9. Allen, Steve asked if he should give up street work and start shooting gender-bending stuff. My answer was to Steve's question rather than whatever it is you would like my answer to have been.
     
  10. "Allen, Steve asked if he should give up street work and start shooting gender-bending stuff"
    Im not going to respond because I don't like the words "gender bending" I find it offensive. Sorry, Steve.
     
  11. Who cares? Some years ago a former teacher of mind suggested I start shooting my street shots in color because that was the standard then (and still is by a lot of what I see.) Did I listen? Of course not, if anything it was all the more reason for me to stick with black and white. Anyway, this Thur I'm going to stop by a gallery in downtown LA to see some street photography by some other LA shooters. I hope I'm not disappointed but I've been anything but enthusiastic over the current direction that street photography has taken over the last several years.
     
  12. Thanks, Steve, very interesting.
    Being sarcastic or not, I agree with Julie about a thread "where you "urban documentary" photographers discuss..... the place of aesthetics in your work". Maybe someone should start such a threat here or over there.
    But, yes surely, Julie, we are talking about commercial photography, just like in fashion trends, which always have fascinated my as artwork, and I see colors and visions, which are quite refreshing. Especial the surreal "trend" interest me (since some time). On the other hand I don't know why the (trans-)gender thing pop up yet another time.
    I would suggest that you flip through the book. It is actually more interesting than the three, four pictures we see opening Steve's link.
     
  13. My mistake. I read gender-blended as gender-bended. But still, I agree that our own photography, no matter how black and white and no matter what genre, could always grow or be positively-influenced by other photography, even if it is commercial and even if the ideas are over-the-top. Just dial it back to suit yourself if you can find anything of value in it. There's no rule that states what an urban black and white photography aesthetic is to begin with or has to remain. Part of an interesting aesthetic is often the outside influences that lead to unexpected places.
     
  14. Thanks Steve for this link. A lot of the imagery relates to the capabilities offered by technology of image making and the freedom associated with graphic design. If one looks at some Time-Life publications of photographic trends many decades ago very similar types of images can be seen, although limited by the specific tools then available (collage, negative or transparency chemical modification and burning, creative staging, surrealism, etc.), so there does not appear to be anything very different, except in some cases the varying subject matter, which is related to the situation of society and culture at any time.
    Mark another support for Julie's suggestion of more discussion on aesthetics in street photography. The medium certainly has a lot of good historic examples that show the importance of aesthetics. I'm not a regular reader of the Street Photography forum and thus do not view most of the work exhibited (which might be a wake up call to do that) but it seems that much interest relates to the emotional impact of images or in photographing less known places, which are good in themselves (and these can also invoke and display aesthetic qualities of course, although discussion does not appear to occur often on that). Ernst Hass was probably one of the early advocates of color in street photography. Many of his images I've seen are abstractions, which are not mainstream street work. Nothing wrong with using B&W in street photography today. Many contemporary painters still use approaches that are similar to those of impressionist, expressionist, fauvist and other artists of a century or more past, so it is not for me surprising that black and white photography is still popular in street photography and elsewhere. We know that monochrome, in removing the reference to color, can simplify and thereby strengthen some compositions, whereas colors may be important in other cases where their emotional, symbolic or simply beautiful interrelationships can add to the image.
     
  15. Wow. The PN zeitgeist is seriously lacking in a sense of humor, or so it seems to me judging by some of the responses.
    1.) It is gender-blending, not "bending". The term was taken from the article itself, I didn't coin it.
    2.) Yes, they were referring to commercial photography.
    3.) My comments were entirely facetious.
    My mocking of the article had to do with what I took to be its tone of, "Here are the hot trendy POV's you will need to consider in order to be popular/successful in 2016." I could well use a break from the same old same old and try to see and work a little differently, but I am not about to take my cue from some pretentious faux hipster social media advice offered by an imagery guru from Getty Images. But I am not a commercial photographer.
    If I do make a change for 2016 it will probably be to save my light-hearted comments for social media venues other than PN. I have made that mistake in the past and will endeavor not to repeat it. "...why such a tongue-in-cheek attitude..?" Why such seriousness in the face of facetiousness? Is there no room or tolerance for someone reading an article like that, finding it pretentious, and poking fun at it? Were my remarks brilliant satire or exceptionally witty? No. They were intended as a bit of light-hearted fun and that's about the size of it. There's plenty of room for a serious discussion on some of the article's points, but that was not the intention of my post. Casual is the key word here.
    And why was "gender-blending" the primary focal point for some of you? I simply went down the article's list and tried to include all the major factors they listed as important.
    will henceforth seek out only examples of surreal and divine expanded personhood (gender-blended, of course), in the messy, sweaty visceral, and express them as a visual haiku which allows my viewers ample room to breathe and reconnect
    The fact that I even have to explain any of this is...disappointing.
     
  16. But I do like Julie and Anders suggestion of a thread on the place of aesthetics in urban documentary photography. The question is: Casual? Or POP? I think it belongs more in POP, but I know a lot of people have developed a negative opinion of that forum. This is unfortunate, in my opinion, because a lot of good discussions have occurred there.
     
  17. Steve, I'm sorry if I offended you. If you read my posts again, realizing that I mistook gender-blending for gender-bending, you might find something of value in terms of substance. But again, did not mean to offend by consciously turning something tongue-in-cheek into something that could be substantive. It might be the fact that it's not unusual on PN to hear almost anything written about photography or art referred to as pretentious and poked fun at, but I know you have a pretty even-handed approach to that, so I guess I could have just taken it in the spirit it was meant and not try to make an actual aesthetic and photographic point about it.
     
  18. Fred -- Steve, I'm sorry if I offended you. If you read my posts again, realizing that I mistook gender-blending for gender-bending, you might find something of value in terms of substance. But again, did not mean to offend by consciously turning something tongue-in-cheek into something that could be substantive. It might be the fact that it's not unusual on PN to hear almost anything written about photography or art referred to as pretentious and poked fun at, but I know you have a pretty even-handed approach to that, so I guess I could have just taken it in the spirit it was meant and not try to make an actual aesthetic and photographic point about it.​
    Fred -- Oh sure! Take the moral high ground and make me look like a total a**hole! ;-)
    No worries. I don't think offended is quite the word to describe what I felt -- I think I was initially annoyed and frustrated that an admittedly shallow piece of ridicule was taken so seriously -- which therefore seemed to ascribe opinions and attitudes to me that were not the case.
    You're a clever SOB, Fred. Now you've drawn me into a more serious explanation than I had any intention of making, to wit: The individual topics the article brought up, in and of themselves, make for interesting considerations for photography. Any one is worth a considered discussion. My ridicule was not aimed at the concepts, per se, but rather at the notion that one should incorporate them as part of some kind of orthodox formula for success and attention in 2016. Taking the writer's fashion analogy, the article struck me as something akin to "visual haikus and the messy visceral are the new black". "Heed the trends are find yourself de trop upon the runway of imagery."
     
  19. I never doubted for a second that Steve was being serious, hence why I brought up my teacher suggesting I shoot in color because that was the trend at the time. However, I see Steve started a discussion of aesthetics in urban photography so time to surf over there and see what's what.
     

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