Am I Supposed to "Like" Photographs Because Many Others Do?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Arklatexian, Oct 31, 2018.

  1. Arklatexian

    Arklatexian Subscriber
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    I have been looking at photographs "critically" for 69 years. Over the years I have seen many that I liked and many that I didn't like. Some of those that I did not like were praised by others. I can usually tell whether I like it or not in the first few moments that I see the picture. I am only talking about Black and White and I can usually tell you why I like or don't like it. What is your reaction when viewing a picture for the first time?
     
  2. Theo Sulphate

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    Other's opinions of photos don't affect me. Same for paintings - I think Picasso was mostly crap.
     
  3. MattKing

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    The more immediate my response to a photograph, the less likely it will have staying power with me.
    And I'm happy to learn about how others react to a photograph - photographs are a communicative medium, and other people's view of them are often very interesting.
    Sometimes, other people's views reveal to me things in the photographs that I totally missed.

    By the way, this thread is in the forum intended to deal with how the site (Photrio) is working. I've "reported" it so the moderators, who will probably move it soon to somewhere more appropriate.
     
  4. Vaughn

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    It changes drastically with the venue and method of viewing. On a screen, one just has the image to go by...there is no connection to a physical object. I tend to be harsher and demand more from an image on a screen than if printed. And I suppose, harsher and demand more from a digitally printed print than a wet-process print. My bias. When looking at B&W prints, I look for harmony (or if not harmony, then tension) between idea, image, process, and presentation.

    My own work is more light-orientated than subject-orientated, so I look at how the light was used, both in composition and to create a mood -- I might accidently miss an interesting subject if the light around it was not well-handled and I have already moved on to the next photograph.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Arklatexian

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    Sorry if I put it in the wrong place, but where does it say anything about "how the site (Photrio) is working"? If what you say is correct, most of the posts need moving......Regards!
     
  6. MattKing

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    The "Feedback and Discussion" sub-forum is in the "Photrio Related" part of the site, and has these words at the top:
    "Feedback and Discussion
    We welcome any suggestions which may improve the site. Many of your suggestions will be added as formal projects and tracked in the Development forum below."

    If you read through all the thread titles in the sub-forum, you will see they are all related to how Photrio operates.
    Not to worry though, you aren't the first to do this, and the moderators are able to move mis-placed threads if the placement is brought to their attention.

    And it is a worthwhile subject for a thread.
     
  7. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
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    usually i only like what other people like and dislike what others dislike. ih've learn that if i stare at something long enough
    even if i didn't like it at first i learn why others rant and rave over it and i like it even more than i thought i didn't. same thing for dislike
    or its almost the same thing ... but i have to admits, sometimes i like what i don'ts and dislike what i doos.
    im a big fan of pop radio, klove, rainbow stickers on the back widow of my car, easy does it bumper stickers, yosemite sam mudflaps
    conspiracy theories, skinny jeans, tweets, keeping up with the sardines, pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain. not a big fan of mean people, they socks.
    i'd type more but i have to get back to watching tmz and E! and reading funky winkerbean.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  8. Dan Pavel

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    It's good to find someone with the same opinion.
    I've absolutely loved painting since I was a kid and studied the history of art avidly. But while I love the work of some painters the work of others, Picasso included, don't tell me anything. For me he is more a brand, not a painter expressing his deep feelings in his art.
    It's the same with photography. The technical perfection or the opinions of others can't replace, for me, the absence of a genuine expression of the deep feelings of the artist.
    It's like in real life. The opinion of others can't make you love, or even like, a certain woman if you don't feel attracted by her.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  9. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser
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    it is real life isn't it ?
    people do things like that all the time .. maybe not you but many others...
    someone others enjoy the company of or "like" you may dislike at first but then
    there is something about them that grows on you ... like rubber-necking a train wreck...
    while i am happy to be agreeable and only like what other people like, i'd rather look at picasso
    than some painting or photograph that "supposed to" be heartfelt and full of emotion... like "the grand landscape"
    i find those photographs to be about as interesting and provoking as a cup of chicken broth ... but i still like them...
     
  10. blockend

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    It depends on the context. If a photograph on a hosting website like Flickr gets lots of likes, it's probably irrelevant to whether you like it or not. Some people work hard at building a network of "friends" and liking lots of others, some go for the cats, bugs and sunsets market, or get in early on a new camera model and provide thousands of test shots. Gallery photography that has stood the test of time is usually worth another look. Some people are contrarian and set out to dislike popular work on principle, others just don't like it. For example Ansel Adams' work leaves me stone cold. I appreciate it technically, I admire his dedication to the shot and agree with his stature in the photographic pantheon, but I get little in the way of emotional content to match his technical prowess. On the other hand I never fail to be inspired by photographers like Bertien van Manen, or Stephen Gill, in the knowledge most people probably won't appreciate their work.

    Good photography requires as much of an open mind as the appreciation of other fine things. Some people never get past a triple decker burger with large fries, others disappear in Nouvelle Cuisine food play. I'm in line with the common man on some classic photos and impossibly snobbish about others, but always honest about my tastes.
     
  11. guangong

    guangong Member
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    Regarding Picasso, it all depends upon which Picasso, because there were so many. Very early on he proved to be a master draftsman at drawing and painting, apparently, in his opinion, exhausting the possibilities in one style and then moving on. Some I like, others I don’t. Then there are artists who basically do the same thing over and over again. I admire artists such as Artie Shaw, who felt he exhausted his exploration of the clarinet, put it in its case and devoted himself to writing novels. Franco Corelli, at the height of his popularity suddenly stopped. Better than Pavarotti hanging on past his prime.
    If we all had the same concept of beauty and handsomeness there would probably be at most about three married couples world wide.
    Keep in mind that behind most exhibited art are agents and dealers trying to convince the market to buy.
    Just think of all the big bucks invested in Warhol and the need to protect those bucks. Talk about crap!
     
  12. trendland

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    To like a photograph is a very special issue. It is beginning with own shots. That shots where a little hope says : " This could be a real good shot - one might see when films coming back from lab"
    - well these sort of shots are most miserable.....when they came from lab..:sick:!
    And it wass me - not the lab.
    It is a lotterie:cool:

    Some shots wich are real nice for a while I hate two years later. I found slides 25years old but they were not mounted. I intended to give them into scratch but not at once.
    Today I see this unmounded scratch and can find shots wich are superb but at the time 25years ago they might have been "to modern" from style.
    If we got such problems with own shots - what do we have to feel with shots from others?

    The question should be : What are our photographs thinking about us? :pinch:

    Are they willing to stay with us on the longer run?:errm:

    Think about !

    with regards

    PS : Don't care about photography from others - in best cases you intend to coppy without knowing!
     
  13. Dan Pavel

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    @ jnanian
    Real life as in the art-real life distinction.
    Of course people may have different opinions on the matter. This makes the world beautiful and interesting. If we'll all think and feel the same way it will be a boring and senseless place.
    I have only expressed my personal opinion on the matter and don't expect or intend to make others share it.

    However, I have spoken about "a genuine expression of the deep feelings of the artist" and not about "photograph that "supposed to" be heartfelt and full of emotion"". There is an essential difference between the two. For instance a painter like Vermeer, a painter that I deeply love, is genuinely expressing in his paintings his deep feelings in front of the peaceful Dutch landscapes and quiet domestic life. Nothing like "...full of emotion... like "the grand landscape" you have mentioned. "Deep feelings" doesn't mean "full of emotion".
    Often "the grand landscape" photos or the highly emotional ones are only following a cheap conceptual "pattern to success" and they are not a genuine expression of the feelings of the artist; they are more a replacement or a surrogate of them. More than that. IMO, if someone expresses his feelings too loud often (but not always) that's because he needs to convince himself of those feelings and therefore often (but not always) that's not a completely sincere attitude.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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  15. Charles Escott-New

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    I bought a photo book, Deep South by Sally Mann. I knew her work a little, mainly the shots of her family and I love reading about the South, especially the books of James Lee Burke. The large format camera seemed to give the results of a pinhole, blurred, messy, weird compositon. I put the book aside with a feeling I had wasted my money. A couple of months went by and the pictures stayed in my head so I went back to the book and this time I got the sense of it. I keep looking and each time I gain more. All the best, Charles. P.S. I am reading her autobiography, Hold Still. It is the best thing I have read in years and will compel me back to her photographs.
     
  16. slackercrurster

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    People hand out 'likes' as if they cost a million bucks nowadays. I see films on YouTube that cost a lot to produce and tons of work to make. They have hundreds of thousands of views and only small amount of likes. People feel entitled that media be free nowadays.
     
  17. Dan Pavel

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    I like her work very much, too. And I have the same experience in front of the great paintings or photographs I love - every time I am watching them I have a richer experience, It's like talking with an old and well-known friend, when in each discussion you discover new details of his personality. For instance I love a painting, a "Crucifixion" by Antonello da Messina from the National Museum in Bucharest. I sometimes feel the need to see it, like visiting an old friend, and go to the museum without paying any attention to any other painting, stop in front of the "Crucifixion", fill my soul with it for a while and then leave the museum.
     
  18. cb1

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    If a photograph tells me a story I usually like it. If not, I don't like it. It doesn't mean it is a bad photo, just no story. I don't follow the heard thinking that I have to like what others like.
     
  19. Chan Tran

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    Some images or artwork need more time before I appreciate them. However, other's opinions have no bearing on whether or not I like them. I never like any of henri cartier-bresson's images.
     
  20. Charles Escott-New

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    I love this post, greetings to Dan from Charles.
     
  21. Alan Edward Klein

    Alan Edward Klein Member

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    Photos are like women. You know immediately if they're attractive.
     
  22. faberryman

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    So what if a video cost a lot and took tons of work to produce? If you don't like it, you don't like it. Dan Burkholder once said you don't get extra credit just because an image was hard to make. It's the end result that counts (or doesn't).
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  23. dpurdy

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    The question applies to your own work. Are you supposed to like your own work because others like it? Are you supposed to dismiss your own work when nobody responds to it? A large amount, maybe all, my work has an experimental aspect. I sometimes have to live with something for days or weeks or years to know whether I accept it. Along the way other people looking at it have less conflicted opinions. They might really like something that I am less than sold on. Or nobody responds to something that I find satisfying. If they like something I am not sold on then I keep looking at it for a longer period of time to see if I can figure out exactly why. If I have an image I believe in that no one seems to like much, I always say I love the image but it needs a good lawyer... my idea of a joke. Learning how to feel strongly about something regardless of other's opinions is important.
     
  24. Berkeley Mike

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    "Attractive" is key. Even if one doesn't find an image "beautiful" it can be attractive. The image must have the effect to make one engage, stay with it, or revisit it.
     
  25. TheRook

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    Picasso's "The Old Guitarist" from his Blue Period is the first work that comes to mind when I think of examples of expressive paintings!
     
  26. MattKing

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    Attraction is transitory and unless supplemented with much, much more, essentially unimportant.
    The photographs (and people) that matter to me reveal themselves over time.
    And as I posted above, while whether or not a photograph is liked by others doesn't matter to me, what other people see in a photograph is of interest to me.
     
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