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Author Topic: learning to take memorable photography  (Read 6013 times)

wmchauncey

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learning to take memorable photography
« on: December 21, 2015, 10:54:19 AM »

Omitting the wartime/poverty imagery that we've all seen and wept over and, without getting into the "what is art" type of discussion,
can anyone define memorable photography and, can it be taught.
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Riaan van Wyk

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2015, 11:31:09 AM »

To answer your two questions: No and no.

We all can read and write, can be taught the technicalities of what constitutes a good novel/ poem/ short story but you as an individual still have to arrange the words. The words belong to everybody but the sentences belong to YOU. And the fanciest and most expensive pen or typewriter makes not the slightest difference.

RobC was right all along, some stuff you can teach, others not.

Otto Phocus

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2015, 11:32:22 AM »

Well first of all a memorable photograph is one that a viewer is going to remember for a while after looking at the picture.

What will make someone remember a photograph?

Novelty is one reason.  Our brains are attracted to viewing something that we don't normally see

Emotion is another reason.  I remember photographs I last saw almost 40 years ago primarily because of the emotion the photograph instilled in me.  By thinking about the photograph, I can recreate the emotion.

Can taking these types of photographs be taught/learned?  Sure.  One can train oneself to look at the usual in an unusual way.  Macro photography is an excellent example.  For non-macro photography, one needs to move away from the usual even when taking photographs of the usual stuff.  Many photography books warn against taking pictures from the usual standing position.  Ordinary scenes can look different (novel) if taken from a different height than the more usual human eye level.

For the emotional type if photograph, this can be a lot more difficult.  I sure don't have a good handle on it.  I am envious of those photographers who are able to capture an emotion in a 2-dimensional visual representation of a scene. I am better with the different angle schema than the emotional schema.
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Isaac

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2015, 12:44:28 PM »

…without getting into the "what is art" type of discussion…

That's exactly where you are -- tastes vary -- one person's memorable photograph is another person's dull cliche.
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wmchauncey

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2015, 07:25:32 PM »

Quote
To answer your two questions: No and no.
Quote
Can taking these types of photographs be taught/learned?  Sure.
Quote
That's exactly where you are -- tastes vary -- one person's memorable photograph is another person's dull cliche.
Well let's see...that's a no, a yes, and don't know what it is...guess I should keep plugging along.
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Alan Klein

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2015, 11:27:13 PM »

Look at a picture of someone you love and fall in love all over again.
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Zorki5

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2015, 02:15:15 AM »

Many photography books warn against taking pictures from the usual standing position.  Ordinary scenes can look different (novel) if taken from a different height than the more usual human eye level.

Those books used to suggest that, when you arrive to a new city, you browse through local postcards available there, and make sure you don't take images similar to those on postcards.

These days, it's become even simpler: you google your future subject and look at the images available for it. So that advice became applicable not only to cities and nearby places, but to almost everything.
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GrahamBy

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2015, 08:00:44 AM »

I can't see that any magic word like "memorable" or "emotional" or "dramatic" or whatever is going to help.

It's like reading how to ride a bicycle:
"Pedal. If you start falling left, steer left. Or the opposite. Refine until smooth dynamic equilibrium is achieved"
It doesn't help to throw in additional instructions like "ride dynamically!" or "be fast!"

Just take some **** photos. Keep the ones you like, throw the rest away. Look at photos by other people that make you feel happy, sad, emotional... good. Repeat. What you like will evolve. Eventually, you may find yourself taking photos that make you feel good when you look at them. This is success.

Or, maybe you don't arrive at that point. Then you need to decide whether the money and effort is acceptable for you to continue trying.

Now as to whether other people like what your doing, that is another question. But if you don't know what pleases you, I doubt you will be able to judge what will please someone else. So evolve your tastes and your practice.
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Diego Pigozzo

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2015, 08:16:41 AM »

can anyone define memorable photography and, can it be taught.
Yes, everybody can define what a "memorable photography" is.
The problem is that there is no objective value in such definition.

Suffice to look at history of paintings and how the set of "qualities of a good painting" changed over time.


can it be taught.
Yes, it can be taught.
Once you decide what "set of photographic qualities" you want to meet, it's not that hard to get them.

Much harder is choosing the composition of that set.



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wmchauncey

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2015, 06:44:34 PM »

Quote
set of photographic qualities
Aah...what does that mean?
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Diego Pigozzo

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2015, 02:37:29 AM »

Aah...what does that mean?
It means "whatever set of qualities a certain canon prescribes for a photo to be a good photo".

There is not a single and universal set of qualities: a landscape photo obviously "requires" a different set of qualities than a street photo.

I'm sure this photo is considerer "a better landscape" than this other photo, but only because you use a canon.
With a different canon it could be the opposite.

Just think of paintings: for a long time there were rules that dictated what the subject of a good painting must be (namely, mythological, religious or historic subject).
Now that's not true anymore.
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Rob C

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2015, 06:33:49 AM »

Classical painting: the original commercial art. Fact. Without state, religious and royal/noble commissions it wouldn't be hanging in the museums today; it wouldn't be hanging anywhere.

Is this the silly season? Have we all lost our marbles or did we never have any?

Rob C

Diego Pigozzo

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2015, 07:00:54 AM »

Classical painting: the original commercial art. Fact. Without state, religious and royal/noble commissions it wouldn't be hanging in the museums today; it wouldn't be hanging anywhere.

Is this the silly season? Have we all lost our marbles or did we never have any?

Rob C
It was the way it was when no artists could afford to live of their art if their art didn't meet expected criteria.

Luckly, today this has changed.
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Rob C

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2015, 03:54:02 AM »

It was the way it was when no artists could afford to live of their art if their art didn't meet expected criteria.

Luckly, today this has changed.

You mean, they are all born rich today, or that there are no expectations from art anymore as in 'any old crap goes'?

I guess there are clever ways of screwing the taxpayer system though, and living off those unfortunate enough to work for a living... I wonder how an art world devoid of grants would pan out?

;-)

Rob C

luxborealis

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2015, 09:08:08 AM »

To answer your two questions: No and no.

RobC was right all along, some stuff you can teach, others not.

+1 - Enough said.
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Diego Pigozzo

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2015, 04:12:22 PM »

You mean, they are all born rich today, or that there are no expectations from art anymore as in 'any old crap goes'?
The first one: in relation to what the life of a medieval person was, today all artists are born rich.
Today someone can have a day job and enough free time to pursue his/her art.
In the medieval time, either one was a full time artist or a full time something-else.
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Rob C

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2015, 04:26:07 AM »

The first one: in relation to what the life of a medieval person was, today all artists are born rich.
Today someone can have a day job and enough free time to pursue his/her art.
In the medieval time, either one was a full time artist or a full time something-else.


You have been watching too much popular tv.

"The first one: in relation to what the life of a medieval person was, today all artists are born rich."

Totally false analogy: what was bought for less than £ 30,000 in the early 80s is on the market today for over £ 320,000. In many cases, the same buyers could not afford to come close to the asking price today. Relative wealth today is not related to relative wealth back in the days of the Borgias.

"Today someone can have a day job and enough free time to pursue his/her art.
In the medieval time, either one was a full time artist or a full time something-else."

You can't serve God and Mammon. And for those who try, the word amateur and/or dilettante applies more readily than does artist.

But the basic point to which your post referred wil always apply: people are born what they are. As they say, clip Cartier onto a pig's ear but it remains a pig; hang a Hassy around a philistinian neck and the content of the head it supports hasn't changed an iota.

Rob C

Diego Pigozzo

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2015, 10:45:57 AM »


You have been watching too much popular TV.
You're right, I'm wrong.
Have a nice day.
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Isaac

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2015, 11:23:03 AM »

But the basic point to which your post referred wil always apply: people are born what they are.

How medieval.
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Rob C

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Re: learning to take memorable photography
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2015, 02:04:10 PM »

How medieval.

And forever before and after, Isaac; you have to face reality. Yes, even you can't change it. If you could have done so...

;-)

Rob C
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