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Author Topic: A Gestaltist approach  (Read 4703 times)

tom b

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A Gestaltist approach
« on: June 29, 2011, 02:34:00 AM »

I was talking to my friend Stephen and he started talking about blockbuster images. It got me thinking about my photography, as from the beginning I have always had a Gestaltist approach to photography. (Gestaltist = "The whole is greater than the sum of the parts".)

I got interested in photography in the early eighties when the Australian Centre for Photography opened around the corner from my share house. From the start my photography has been homemade books, albums and slideshows. My present website is a collection of virtual exhibitions of usually fifteen images with attention put on the sequence of images. Even my blog "Second Chance Images" which features single images is as far from blockbuster as you can get. On this site I usually post 3-4 images and if I do post single images it is usually somewhere like Without Prejudice.

I regularly visit galleries and usually browse a photography book or two after doing my weekly shopping. I see exhibitions and books as a whole and if asked I would probably find it difficult to pick out favourites.

Reading posts and looking at images posted here, there are those that would appear to be on the other end of spectrum to me. People only post one image, they pick a favourite or they stake their reputation on an image.

I'm not a pro photographer, though I have taken hundreds of images for my work as an illustrator. I'm sure the pressure of earning a living based your work could result in a very different approach.

How do you approach your photography?

Cheers,

Rob C

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Re: A Gestaltist approach
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2011, 10:51:43 AM »

Tom-

Strikes me that you might have a pj mind, then, but I wouldn't have thought that from your website because I think the shots, singularly, stand up perfecly well outwith the constraint (or is that support?) of series.

Perhaps you are subconsciously more interested in the storytelling capabilities of movie? Or could it be that you just don't like to edit away your children without overriding cause to so do?

Rob C

RSL

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Re: A Gestaltist approach
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2011, 11:08:00 AM »

Tom, I think that if you're doing photojournalism your gestalt approach is mandatory. And the gestalt approach may make sense in fashion, though from what I've seen it's far from mandatory. But for genres like street or landscape it's the single, unblemished, "I'd hang my reputation on this one" approach that makes sense. You're always after that once-in-a-blue-moon, no compromise frame.

Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: A Gestaltist approach
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2011, 11:48:30 AM »

Photography is a sickness.
There's not really such a thing as a cure ....

Rob C

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Re: A Gestaltist approach
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2011, 02:34:38 PM »

Photography is a sickness.
There's not really such a thing as a cure ....




You are right, Chris, and I have already gone on record as saying that, for me, it became an obsession long, long ago.

And no, there is no cure. It can both bankrupt you and, most of the time, stop you from having done something else that would have given you a far higher standard of living.

But, but, but...

;-(

Rob C

tom b

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Re: A Gestaltist approach
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2011, 04:21:57 PM »

I think Rob has nailed it with the storytelling aspect. Personally I have very high standards and I find it difficult to give praise to anything. I find that I'm never satisfied with my photography, however if I combine my efforts then I can get closer to telling the story of my experiences. As for feeling precious about my children, nothing could be further from the truth.

In 1980 I went to New York. There was a HCB retrospective at the International Center for Photography, definitely a Gestaltist experience for me. Great + great + great + great… = wow!

Cheers,
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