Saturday, 15 November 2014

Art Photography

Photo critique of pictures is tough thing to do.

And it's even tougher receiving crits that are tough to hear. When in college back before PC sensibilities was adopted, I along with my peers, suffered some really harsh crits on our work. I remember often leaving the group crit sessions where everyone was torn to pieces feeling shattered. But at the same time I was also invigorated and refreshed and even more determined to show the bastards something that would knock their eyes out. (one of the unstated aims of crit was exactly this response)

Then, when faint praise was indeed eventually wrenched from their clenched and bitter teeth, the sense of achievement was empowering. The whole experience made you tougher on understanding the failings of your own work and abilities and forced you to think harder about what you would settle for.

On the other hand, some were also disillusioned into giving up trying. I never understood this defeatism. You either want to do it passionately, or you don't. And that goes for passion of opinion for  what works or doesn't work.

This old fashioned rip-it-apart crit of a persons photographic ability isn't fashionable any more. Nurture and encouragement is the thing now. Maybe rightly so. But the softly softly, caring and understanding approach also leads to sterility and lack of passion. The everyone's opinion is valid theory. (Not true)

Fundamentally, if you, or the person viewing/criting doesn't get worked up, why bother? With limp, detached don't-frighten-the-horses crit appraisal the creative fire runs the risk of dying to an ember when it should instead be stoked into a glorious flare of incandecant energy.

Bruce Gilden is a street photographer whose style and photography I don't much like. But I admire his down-to-earth approach and his say-it-as-he-see's-it, opinions. Here he is giving forth on some art photography. There is an annoying 20 seconds advertisement before either of the two vids play and some of the sound is dodgy).

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