Is it a matter of taste ?

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Soeren

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LOL Neal
 

John McCallum

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Soeren said:
....The people I show my pictures often goes
"Hmm good but its very black" or "wheress the midtones", "where's the greys"
All I do is print what I saw, well sort of.
So what do you guys and gals do when you decide how to print your negs.
Especially the ones with lot of black in them.
Regards Søren

Hmmmm. Soeren did ask a question.

Personally I do not follow the Technical-Perfection-Above-All-Else mantra. But I have had experience of the type of comments that Soeren mentions, and found a slight adjustment to my technical approach helped significantly.

It is possible to make changes to the technique in order to enhance the enjoyment of the image in the viewers eyes without succumbing to the obsession to make full-tonal-range-prints-only or compromising the artistic vision.

but that's just my 2c (& possibly not worth that).
 
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clay

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I finally snapped to the fact that when people respond with technical suggestions it can either mean

a) they really don't like the photo and they want to say something while still being polite and inoffensive

b) they really do think the photo is great, but acknowledging this is a little bit of challenge to their own ego, so making helpful suggestions equalizes any status or achievement gap that outright admiration might imply.

c) they are genuinely nice people who are merely trying to help.
 

TPPhotog

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I wonder what it is that makes photographers and even worse non-photographers expert critiques when it come to looking at someone elses pictures? Surely when we show most people our pictures that's as far as our motives go, we're not asking for their critique so why the ....... do they think they have the right to tell us what it should look like.

Ed and Neal beautifully put !!! :wink:
 

rbarker

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TPPhotog said:
. . . so why the ....... do they think they have the right to tell us what it should look like.
My guess is that the average person feels "empowered" to comment by the fact that they are being shown the photo. Some will express that reaction in terms of personal likes/dislikes, others will launch into full-blown critiques with art-history footnotes, often flavored with the notion that one style is better than another. The former type of comments I appreciate greatly, as individual comments add to the mental database of reactions and helps to refine/improve the "communication" element of the work. The latter type of response is often less helpful. Naturally, I still reserve the right to do it my way, nonetheless.
 

gainer

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The attached scanned copy of a picture I took while playing at a Norfolk Symphony rehearsal is for me what black and white is all about. What you see is not high quality, and the grain looks even worse here than the original, but it captures Aaron Copland's outlook on music.
 

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jovo

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gainer said:
The attached scanned copy of a picture I took while playing at a Norfolk Symphony rehearsal is for me what black and white is all about. What you see is not high quality, and the grain looks even worse here than the original, but it captures Aaron Copland's outlook on music.

Great shot! I got to meet Aaron Copland at his house just before his Altsheimer's became serious and his enthusiasm for life and music was inspiring and infectious. This certainly captures that part of him. What did you play in the NSO? (From where you took the photograph it would seem you are a wind player? bassoon perhaps?)
 

Flotsam

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jovo said:
What did you play in the NSO? (From where you took the photograph it would seem you are a wind player? bassoon perhaps?)

It looks like he was playing the Nikon or perhaps the Leica :smile:
 

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That's a good article Bruce, really enjoyed it. Perhaps his statement "You have to understand a field well before you develop a good nose for what needs fixing" has a little relevance to our discussion here too?
 

argus

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jovo said:
Great shot! I got to meet Aaron Copland at his house just before his Altsheimer's became serious and his enthusiasm for life and music was inspiring and infectious. This certainly captures that part of him. What did you play in the NSO? (From where you took the photograph it would seem you are a wind player? bassoon perhaps?)
I think he plays the euphonium, enough time on his hands to make pictures then.

G (flautist)
 

Woolliscroft

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I take a lot of archaeological air photos and always print them darker and with more contrast than might be thought natural. It looks odd, but it brings out the texture of the ground better and shows detail more clearly.

David.
 

gainer

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jovo said:
Great shot! I got to meet Aaron Copland at his house just before his Altsheimer's became serious and his enthusiasm for life and music was inspiring and infectious. This certainly captures that part of him. What did you play in the NSO? (From where you took the photograph it would seem you are a wind player? bassoon perhaps?)
Oboe and English horn. I was on English horn for that concert. I didn't get to play "Quiet City" that time, but did it once before. This concert was in 1978. I had been first chair oboe, but my NASA job was too much, so went to the English horn.
 

jovo

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gainer said:
. I didn't get to play "Quiet City" that time.

Hmmm....I'll be playing that work next month with the chamber orchestra component of the symphony with which I'm assistant principal cello. It might be interesting to take a poll here to find out just how accurate the notion is that there is a strong affinity between music and photography. For me, music performance is a very extroverted, in the moment art which couples immense joy and satisfaction with immense terror and stress. Photography is the utter opposite....when I'm happy with a photograph, I will show it and it won't change or go out of tune or miss a detail. If people don't like it, that's okay, but it won't be because it wasn't exactly as I intended it to be.
 

gbroadbridge

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That is a beautiful photograph, but the technical specialists out there will look at the histogram and tell you how bad it is.


Graham.
 

Cheryl Jacobs

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I print for whatever effect, mood, and impression I want to give. I don't worry about anything else. Sometimes detail can detract.

Rocky Schenk is a great example of one who not only disregards the "norms" when he prints, but also intentionally obliterates detail in-camera. As a result, his images are atmospheric and mysterious, giving only the information he chooses to reveal. I love that.
 
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Bruce (Camclicker) said:


Bruce, I will be sending that link to all my designer/artist friends. I've never believed taste was subjective. The way I heard it explained once was, "people who don't think the Simpsons (tv show) are funny don't think that because they have different tastes. They're just stupid." When I think about the people I know who don't like the Simpson's they rank at the bottom of the creative scale.

I'm sure if we put the Simpson's "test" to a large scale it wouldn't hold. But it's true in my circle :smile: And if you don't believe me you can eat my shorts :smile:
 

Ed Sukach

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... And I have a TON of darkroom work I've GOT TO GET TO ... and I have to ready my studio for work with a "new" model...

I've read - or rather, skimmed, the article by Paul Graham. He makes some valid points from the perspective of a Scientist. Remember that the classic concept of Science is, "If we cannot explain - with proof - a phenomenon... it does not exist."

I do not hold to that concept in Art, or in much of reality: I am much more of a "Mystic" -- "There are LOTS of things that exist that we do not - cannot understand - that still DO exist." Try proving the idea of "Soul" or "Personality" ... or "Beauty".

Without grinding 'way fine, I'll draw attention to a couple of ideas:

I cannot define "Art". Yet, I am convinced it does exist. I do NOT think everyone's work is as "good as it gets" simply because they have a different aesthetic. We see things differently ... but there is a great mistake in believing that is justification for not trying to improve. I seriously doubt that I will EVER be as good as I want to be - but that is really irrelevant. The quest, the "trying" is the only thing that matters. I just watched the movie "Pollock", where Jackson Pollock was stumped by the question, "How do you know when you are satisfied with one of your works"? For me -- I have never been satisfied with anything I've done. Every piece of my work could be "improved" in one way or another. I just know I have to stop, somewhere, and move on.

Are there certain commonalities in a LOT of great art? It seems so .. but those are not completely universal and infallible. Example: "All great art is simple". Much of it is - but there is "Millefoil" -- I will never forget that painting of the "Corralled Unicorn". Fragonard's The Swing was a brilliant piece of work - but certainly not "simple".

Proof? .... Once, a *Very* qualified Electrical Engineer told me, "We don't know what electricity IS. We can only extrapolate its existence from the effect it has". I think the same idea applies to "Art".

Forgive the typos, crappy syntax... I've GOT to get to work!
 

gainer

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jovo said:
Hmmm....I'll be playing that work next month with the chamber orchestra component of the symphony with which I'm assistant principal cello. It might be interesting to take a poll here to find out just how accurate the notion is that there is a strong affinity between music and photography. For me, music performance is a very extroverted, in the moment art which couples immense joy and satisfaction with immense terror and stress. Photography is the utter opposite....when I'm happy with a photograph, I will show it and it won't change or go out of tune or miss a detail. If people don't like it, that's okay, but it won't be because it wasn't exactly as I intended it to be.
I have found a good correlation between music and math. Many of the members of NSO when it was on its way to becoming the Virginia Symphony were scientists in one field or another, and some of those who specialized in music also had math talents. In my own family, my sister Miriam got a BS in chemistry, then a MS in music and taught at Keene College, NH in the fine arts department. She was head of the Music department when they still had a separate one. My youngest daughter, when she was 9, kept a Math and Recorder notebook. She had her own code for fingerings of the recorder. She is now a mathematician for a Government agency. Einstein played the fiddle, IIRC.
 

Ed Sukach

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I've given this thread a bit of thought...

I can't see the difference between the idea of "taste" and "aesthetic". To me, they are linearly the same. ??? Yes, no, or ???

If the question is "Is it a matter of aesthetics?" ... my answer is "Yes", unequivocally.

I've hacked through the various definitions of "aesthetic" (the preferred spelling is now "esthetic") .... and I believe the original Greek concept was "Received from the senses (perception), rather than from logic or reasoning." Pretty much, "That which we feel, without being able to explain."
- I don't mean to start a semantic "war", but that is at the heart of my "art philosophy".

Some works of art are "worth" more to me than others - in the way they make me feel. Why? - I don't really know. I've tried explaining that before - and have decided that it is a great exercise in futility. I try to make my work "worth" more to me, and secondarily, to others. I have succeeded here and there. How? Why? - I'm not certain... strike that - I really do not know, in all honesty.

Can we learn to improve our "aesthetics"? I don't think so, at least not consciously. We will change, as a result of our life experiences, the stimuli we receive, our education - but it is NOT a 1:1 relationship.

Listening to (a.k.a.`trying to learn from') critics ...:

I came across this passage, reading in my "other office"... Possibly not really "on topic" - I'll let others decide. Listening to "others", no matter what their qualifications is something like opening oneself to being "buffeted as a leaf in the wind"...

"One needs the mood of a warrior for every single act (in life)," he said. "Otherwise one becomes distorted and ugly. There is no power in a life that lacks this mood. Look at yourself. Everything offends and upsets you. You whine and complain that everyone is making you dance to their tune. You are a leaf at the mercy of the wind. There is no power in your life. What an ugly feeling that must be!
A warrior, on the other hand, is a hunter. He calculates everything. That's control. But once his calculations are over, he acts. He lets go. That's abandon. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgement. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions."

- don Juan Matus, to Carlos Casteneda, in Journey to Ixtlan.
 

gainer

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Not so strange to mention warrior and performing artist together. Someone once told me I had the "killer" instinct at a performance. I have seen good musicians nail the rehearsal and fall apart at the concert. Mistakes you make when you are learning don't count if you get the performance right. Nothing you do well at rehearsal matters if you blow the performance. The timing of the adrenaline rush matters a lot. If it's too soon, blood sugar goes up before the concert then down and you get the shakes during the concert.
 

atenlaugh

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Ed, your comments remind me of a piece of a Franz Wright poem:

"Proof of your existence? There is nothing but."

-Nate


Ed Sukach said:
I do not hold to that concept in Art, or in much of reality: I am much more of a "Mystic" -- "There are LOTS of things that exist that we do not - cannot understand - that still DO exist." Try proving the idea of "Soul" or "Personality" ... or "Beauty".



Proof? .... Once, a *Very* qualified Electrical Engineer told me, "We don't know what electricity IS. We can only extrapolate its existence from the effect it has". I think the same idea applies to "Art".
 

Blighty

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The people I show my pictures often goes
"Hmm good but its very black" or "wheress the midtones", "where's the greys"
All I do is print what I saw, well sort of.
Tell 'em to sod off. BLIGHTY
 

Charles Webb

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I am glad I am not an artist, It is not necessary for me to worry about such things.

I make pictures for only one reason today, that is to please "me" If someone else see's the image and likes it, that is I guess a plus. But if no one else likes it that is ok, the image wasn't made to please them in the first place. If someone is paying me to make a photograph, I will then make it to please them, I may or may not be pleased with the results. I believe those of us that are not "artists" may have a bit easier path for our photography to follow. :smile:
 
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