It is lovely.
I don't quite like it, since it's a little too strictly formal. It looks like an outstanding product of strict rules-following, which isn't really a bad thing per se. It looks like an excellent postcard or a calendar photograph.
What it doesn't do is speak to me particularly. I don't get much of a sense of place, or anything much else, it's merely an attractive object.
Forgive me if I am wrong, or sound unkind, I don't intend to. My sense, Dave, is that this is pretty much what you want to do. You want to make beautiful and commercial images that would suit a calendar or postcard well. Your better images manage to evoke a pretty strong sense of the place, though. I feel a little thing that I identify as 'oh, so that's what scotland is like in the morning' or whatever.
This one doesn't do that, but it's still a great postcard.
Hi Andrew and thanks for that, I will mark that down as more of a thumbs up than a thumbs down, I think
Yes I suppose you are inadvertently raising the whole issue regarding that which satisfies the commercial against that which satisfies the artistic. Some images occasionally transcend this divide, most and I do mean most
, do not. Being commercial about what I shoot (most of the time), i.e. always having an eye for what might sell, is bound to effect one's photographic style and development. Although I would add the caveat that a good seller is not necessarily a bad image artistically and a good image artistically may not sell at all. It is the balance between what we as knowing photographers think of an image, set against what the general and mostly unknowing public wants and buys I think.
Recently I was chatting with another gallery owner on the IoS and the owner was asking if I would place some of my work with them, I then discussed what might be appropriate for them to show and referred to my best selling image. "Oh" she said, "what is the subject?" Eilean Donan Castle I said. "Oh no, we don't want to see any images of Eilean Donan Castle in this gallery. It is the most photographed castle in the world you know and we are all tired of looking at pictures of it" - ? I'm sorry I said, but I don't understand, because I wouldn’t be expecting you to buy it, it would be there to be sold, as sale or return. The public, your customers, do seem to like it and will buy it. I sold £2k's worth (retail) of that one image last year, my first year. "No! we don't want any images of that castle in this gallery".
I suppose what I am saying here is, who knows what a good image is and by what criteria? I certainly don't, I only know that I seem to be on a quest forever searching to find it. Some of what I do appeals to people who are willing to buy the image and some of my images appeal to photographers. Sometimes these things are mutually exclusive and sometimes not. I wish I had the answer, perhaps one day I will.