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Author Topic: Recognition vs Execution?  (Read 5000 times)

opgr

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Recognition vs Execution?
« on: May 28, 2017, 04:59:27 AM »

With recent discussions in mind, i was wondering about this:

Is it easier to recognise a great photo than it is to actually produce a great photo?

My initial reaction was "of course!", but then i realised that, apart from the skill required, what is it that stops one from recognising a potential scene and capturing it? Technology has certainly reduced the need for skill, no? And one might still take a 1000 pictures before one word is finally uttered. (Excuse me for horribly reversing the metaphore.)

In other words: the barrage of irrelevant images on the internuts (and this site in particular)* might be more a result of people not filtering their own production? Something exemplified by the fact that people tend to post several images of the same thing, none of which contribute meaningful difference.

*Note: i don't mean this derogatory, nor am i referring to the occasional misfire in the critique section, but one would expect that the crowd here is slightly more discerning than elsewhere...
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Oscar

opgr

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2017, 05:13:59 AM »

For good measure:

By "irrelevant" i mean "void of meaning", where landscape is concerned maybe "void of mood".
I don't mean "bad" or "ugly".
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Oscar

luxborealis

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2017, 10:11:59 AM »

An interesting line of thinking, but fraught with undefinables; e.g. "great". How does one even define the word "great" as it applies to photographs? Beautiful? Visually compelling? Emotionally evocative? Thought-provoking? Artistic? Unique? Universal? Timeless?

Great to whom? The artist? The general public? Art snobs? Gallery owners? Ad "men"? Furniture dealerships?

Great technically? Visually? Compositionally? In IQ?

These are words/concepts that float around in my wee pea-sized brain when considering photographs posted here and elsewhere, in fact any time I see a photograph. But, the bottom line is, a natural landscape (sans "the hand of man") that is intensely emotionally evocative, timeless and visually compelling, technically perfect to me, means very little to others here and elsewhere. And street scenes of people who are engaged in nothing more than anthropocentric self-absorption (the way I see a great many public human interactions) are full of meaning and nuance to others here, hence my complete ignorance when it comes to street candids.

When photographing, all we can do is work to please ourselves (unless a commercial client is footing the bill!). If someone else is moved by your work - great! If not, you have something for your walls or screens that will, at least, give you some satisfaction. If your work is unique, compelling and thought-provoking AND is in front of the right eyes at the right time AND you have an interesting backstory, your work might just be considered "art"!
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opgr

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 10:31:08 AM »

When photographing, all we can do is work to please ourselves

I have to respectfully but vehemently disagree with you here, this kind of thinking abounds on the internuts and society at large these days, but this isn't correct at all. It is untrue in the same way that we do not just utter language to please ourselves. In fact, the latter case might just have you committed.

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Oscar

luxborealis

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 11:00:10 AM »

I have to respectfully but vehemently disagree with you here, this kind of thinking abounds on the internuts and society at large these days, but this isn't correct at all. It is untrue in the same way that we do not just utter language to please ourselves. In fact, the latter case might just have you committed.

I'm sorry you feel that way. Spending a lifetime pleasing someone else is not living your life.

I know what I photograph pleases others, but that's not what drives me to create. Believe me, I also am fully aware that "it's not all about me"; I'm almost as far from the Libertarian view as one can get (short of being Communist!), but when it comes to the personal and individual time I spend expressing myself through my photography, it's what I "like" that counts. If no one else appreciates it, that's fine; they aren't me.

Imagine Picasso showing his first works to someone who said, "That sucks!" and because he hadn't satisfied them he decided to paint pretty landscapes – what a loss!

Be bold. Be creative. Be yourself, not what someone else wants you to be!
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2017, 11:13:24 AM »

Hi,

My take is the work on my photography and try to take great images. What is a great image depends as much on the viewer as on the image. But, more often than not, great images are well executed. Some things many great images share:



[
  • The are devoid of distracting elements
  • The main elements are well balanced
  • The images are processed well

Let's look at an image i shot two days ago. I would not argue that it is a great image. But, I like it...


So, what does it take an image like this?
  • First we need to have an idea
  • Next we need to find a perspective that implements the idea
  • At this stage I put up the tripod and look for a lens that will work for the subject
  • This time I decided on 35-135 zoom at 60 mm
  • I also knew the DoF would be problematic, so I choose a lens that allowed swings to expand DoF
  • Choosing the right swing was not easy, as the trees and the bell tower don't line up. use around 1 degree of tilt and stoppen down a lot
  • When cropping in the viewfinder I left some leeway for cropping in post

Getting good images may depend on making a lot of small decisions and making those decisions take some experience.

Best regards
Erik


With recent discussions in mind, i was wondering about this:

Is it easier to recognise a great photo than it is to actually produce a great photo?

My initial reaction was "of course!", but then i realised that, apart from the skill required, what is it that stops one from recognising a potential scene and capturing it? Technology has certainly reduced the need for skill, no? And one might still take a 1000 pictures before one word is finally uttered. (Excuse me for horribly reversing the metaphore.)

In other words: the barrage of irrelevant images on the internuts (and this site in particular)* might be more a result of people not filtering their own production? Something exemplified by the fact that people tend to post several images of the same thing, none of which contribute meaningful difference.

*Note: i don't mean this derogatory, nor am i referring to the occasional misfire in the critique section, but one would expect that the crowd here is slightly more discerning than elsewhere...

graeme

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 12:22:27 PM »

we do not just utter language to please ourselves.

Really?
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graeme

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2017, 12:23:10 PM »

I'm sorry you feel that way. Spending a lifetime pleasing someone else is not living your life.

I know what I photograph pleases others, but that's not what drives me to create. Believe me, I also am fully aware that "it's not all about me"; I'm almost as far from the Libertarian view as one can get (short of being Communist!), but when it comes to the personal and individual time I spend expressing myself through my photography, it's what I "like" that counts. If no one else appreciates it, that's fine; they aren't me.

Imagine Picasso showing his first works to someone who said, "That sucks!" and because he hadn't satisfied them he decided to paint pretty landscapes – what a loss!

Be bold. Be creative. Be yourself, not what someone else wants you to be!

Well said Terry.
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stamper

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2017, 12:24:00 PM »

Quote Terry.

When photographing, all we can do is work to please ourselves (unless a commercial client is footing the bill!). If someone else is moved by your work - great! If not, you have something for your walls or screens that will, at least, give you some satisfaction.

Absolutely spot on! No need to look for a more complicated explanation. When I see some of the more complicated explanations then I see waffling.

graeme

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2017, 12:25:24 PM »

Hi,

My take is the work on my photography and try to take great images. What is a great image depends as much on the viewer as on the image. But, more often than not, great images are well executed. Some things many great images share:



[
  • The are devoid of distracting elements
  • The main elements are well balanced
  • The images are processed well

Let's look at an image i shot two days ago. I would not argue that it is a great image. But, I like it...


So, what does it take an image like this?
  • First we need to have an idea
  • Next we need to find a perspective that implements the idea
  • At this stage I put up the tripod and look for a lens that will work for the subject
  • This time I decided on 35-135 zoom at 60 mm
  • I also knew the DoF would be problematic, so I choose a lens that allowed swings to expand DoF
  • Choosing the right swing was not easy, as the trees and the bell tower don't line up. use around 1 degree of tilt and stoppen down a lot
  • When cropping in the viewfinder I left some leeway for cropping in post

Getting good images may depend on making a lot of small decisions and making those decisions take some experience.

Best regards
Erik

A spirit level might have helped with this one Erik.
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opgr

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 12:47:27 PM »

I'm sorry you feel that way. Spending a lifetime pleasing someone else is not living your life.

...

Be bold. Be creative. Be yourself, not what someone else wants you to be!

That is not what the original question was about.

You're obviously entitled to your own emotional experience. You are however, NOT free to express or execute upon all of your emotions. (not even in language, in case you might be a free-speech advocate.)

But language works precisely because there is a certain overlap in people's emotions, and in the same way we may experience certain emotions when observing a scene, and hence capture these emotions in a picture. The question is: is it easier to recognise emotions captured in a picture than it is to actually capture (your personal) emotions in a picture?


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Oscar

ErikKaffehr

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2017, 04:50:38 PM »

Hi Graeme,

Thanks for the feedback. My point is that photography is a bit of a learning experience and this contributes.

I did actually use the levelling tool built in the camera, but it is possibly not accurate enough. I don't know if the spirit levels we can put into the accessory shoe are more exact.

I have adjusted the image on the lamppost at the center and that gives a correction of around -0.5 degree, doesn't sound much but it is quite noticeable I don't know how accurate spirit levels are.

Best regards
Erik


A spirit level might have helped with this one Erik.

Telecaster

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2017, 05:09:34 PM »

I think I take photos because I'm a curious observer at heart. A Nosey Parker, as my mom said more than once. Someone who, for instance, backs off from groups and carefully watches how the individuals within them behave. Using a camera helps keep my scrutinizing senses sharp. The process is the thing…the photos themselves are secondary.

So I guess for me a "great" photo is one where in taking it I noticed something new, whether a new thing or a previously unnoticed aspect of an older thing. When it comes to the photos I share with other folks, I generally pick those that appeal to me tonally & geometrically. Those other folks can like 'em or not…doesn't matter.

-Dave-
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graeme

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2017, 05:23:38 PM »

Hi Graeme,

Thanks for the feedback. My point is that photography is a bit of a learning experience and this contributes.

I did actually use the levelling tool built in the camera, but it is possibly not accurate enough. I don't know if the spirit levels we can put into the accessory shoe are more exact.

I have adjusted the image on the lamppost at the center and that gives a correction of around -0.5 degree, doesn't sound much but it is quite noticeable I don't know how accurate spirit levels are.

Best regards
Erik

I pretty much

Hi Erik

I find my accessory shoe spirit level to be more accurate than my camera's built in level but I'm a bit obsessive about this stuff: I once corrected the verticals in an image which were .1 of a degree off.

I pretty much agree with what you said except that I don't mind some 'distracting' elements in a photo as long as they aren't too distracting. Having come from a design background, part of photography's attraction is that a photo is a capture ( sample ) of the untidy, external physical world rather than a composition that starts of on a blank sheet of paper ( like an illustration or piece of graphic design  ).

Graeme
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2017, 12:12:47 AM »

Hi Graeme,

As said, photography is a learning experience. You have just shown me that 1/2 degree matters. I will pack my spirit level on next photo trip.

My point is that there is a lot of things going into a picture, and there is a lot of learning involved. So I feel that great pictures seldom are a result of luck, but rather the outcome of experience and some luck.

Best regards
Erik




Hi Erik

I find my accessory shoe spirit level to be more accurate than my camera's built in level but I'm a bit obsessive about this stuff: I once corrected the verticals in an image which were .1 of a degree off.

I pretty much agree with what you said except that I don't mind some 'distracting' elements in a photo as long as they aren't too distracting. Having come from a design background, part of photography's attraction is that a photo is a capture ( sample ) of the untidy, external physical world rather than a composition that starts of on a blank sheet of paper ( like an illustration or piece of graphic design  ).

Graeme
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 12:16:43 AM by ErikKaffehr »
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Paulo Bizarro

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2017, 08:11:43 AM »

To me it is very simple:

1. When I look at photos from other people, I like them, or not.

2. When other people look at my photos, they like them, or not.

All this intellectualization around it is just not useful in my photography. I take photos of what I like. I like landscapes and travel. I like landscape photography because I like to be out in the nature; I like travel photography because I like to travel and meet new people and go to new places.

Of course photography, as a means of communication, can convey emotions. I feel that with photos of others, and with photos of mine.

Otto Phocus

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2017, 08:56:50 AM »

I think that Terry and Paulo addressed this quite nicely.

There is a lot of subjectivity in the appreciation of art. Even defining the term art is difficult.

I can easily identify a photograph I like looking at. I can also look at a so called "great" photograph and simply not get it.  Oh well, to each his or her own.

If a person looking at a photograph perceives a "void of meaning/mood", that means that the photograph does not have a meaning/mood to that viewer.  Another viewer may perceive the meaning/mood.  The wacky thing about art is that a viewer can perceive a meaning/mood that the original artist never intended or may have even known about.  Weird huh?

As I often post:  I think we would be better off if we paid a little less attention to what other people like or dislike about photography.

I find it hard enough to make one person (me) like my photographs without worrying about if other people like them.
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opgr

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2017, 09:22:42 AM »

I like landscape photography because I like to be out in the nature; I like travel photography because I like to travel and meet new people and go to new places.

Right, and presumably you have experienced both first hand. You've been out in nature and know what the experience means to you, or how it forms your character. Even more so with travelling, you likely have experienced how that can seriously broaden the mind, to name just one element.

So, when you look at an image, you can appreciate how it might evoke that same mood, or sense of place, or whatever. The experience is obviously entirely personal, but the general (or even universal) sense is transferable in the same way that language allows you to transfer the experience. Not fully: no one thinks that they will actually broaden your mind just by telling you a story, or showing you a picture, but the experience captured in some images can certainly have universal meaning or universal appeal, in the same way that language works in sharing an experience.

And so the question remains:
is it easier to recognise images with that certain universal appeal, than it is to recognise a scene with universal appeal?
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luxborealis

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2017, 06:53:05 PM »

And so the question remains:
is it easier to recognise images with that certain universal appeal, than it is to recognise a scene with universal appeal?

Why does it matter? I feel, it doesn't. The two can be mutually exclusive.
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Otto Phocus

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Re: Recognition vs Execution?
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2017, 06:35:42 AM »


is it easier to recognise images with that certain universal appeal, than it is to recognise a scene with universal appeal?

I am not sure I understand.  Could you please share an example of an image with "universal appeal"?  That way we would have a common understanding of what you are asking.
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