Saturday, April 12, 2008

Viennetta, v2, Edit C - Can't Please All the People All of the Time!

Viennetta, v2, Edit C
Originally uploaded by fine-grain.
Still Life.
Fine Art.
Product .

This photograph of a Viennetta serving knife fits all of those categories (above). I try to cross-genre my macro still life images as much as possible, and I think this is achieved with the lighting set-ups I construct.

I think that the general viewer who sees my still life images, the ones who just see the object, that is, the casual viewer, they simply do not spend the time to really see the details and intricacies created by the lighting. These people neither know how to appreciate the complexity of the shots; nor, I'm afraid, do they care. And that's totally fine: These folks exist and I'm sure there's a statistical formula to figure out approximately how many of these folks will see a particular online photo gallery during a day, based on several data parameters.

Nevertheless, my friends and contacts at Flickr who know me, know that there is more behind a simple subject / object than the object itself.

Minor White said: "Don't just photograph what a subject is; photograph 'what else' it is!" (the quote goes something like that).

That is the type of thinking I tend to use, especially with subjects that could easily be set aside because of how common they appear and that we see these objects almost everyday.

Just because the majority of the population does not see the 'possibilities' of photographing simple objects, it does not mean I ignore them: I photograph them. I photograph 'what else' they are.

My friends and the curious visitors at Flickr (and at my other web pages) will often spend the time to look deeper into my photographs. They will zoom in looking at the larger image size, and then see the finer details. Many will not fully understand the complexity of making a shot of a highly reflective spoon or very detailed makeup, or whatever the subject may be, but they will appreciate the difficulty of making Still Life images. However, quite a few photographers who visit my images will know about creating interesting Still Life Product shots, and they too, will appreciate the time and effort it takes TO GET IT RIGHT! How many times it takes to move a light, or the camera, or remove dust, or to add a flag, or need a mirror, or adjust the output of the second light, etc. These are all the variable (and many more) that Still Life Photographers take into consideration before they ever call it a successful photograph.

What astounds me (sometimes), is that some of my photographs with the most complex and difficult lighting setups get the least attention at Flickr. That may be because people don't see the photographer setting up and fiddling with lights and props for the one, two or three hours before a shot. Maybe the answer to this question lies in the idea that a successful Still Life Product shot will look so effortless on the film, or more so today, on the digital card. The Photographer's secret is that he/she knows it took a lot of time to set it up and to execute the shot.

With that said, and also, revealing that I'm not into 'vanity' photography, I still have to scratch my head a little bit when I post a photograph that is truly difficult to make, but it gets little notice.

Hum... I assume the viewer has not truly looked deeply at the photograph. They have neither spent enough time to see the details, nor have they sat there long enough to try to figure out how it was photographed.

Perhaps these people who simply give my Still Life photos a surface look, and then move on, are interested in other genres of photography, that is quite very probable.

There's always the possibility that some people just don't like my photography, and that's OK with me because I know there are just as many, or many more, who do like my work.

You can't please all the people all of the time, nor should you have to do that.
If you do that, you lose your vision. Then, you just end up making images because you think other people like them. Of course, if you are being paid to make a photograph, that's another story, you give the client what they want.

One thing I do know is that it appears that the majority of people will comment on photographs of people. Even if the photographs of the people are not that entirely good, comments are still given under certain circumstances, or subject matter.

If you get a photo of a "babe" on Flickr, or wherever, and even if the photo is not that good technically (i.e., over or underexposed, poor composition, distractions, uneven skin, no post work, etc.), as long as the model looks pretty 'hot', then there will be comments galore about how wonderful the photograph is. I've always wondered if they (the viewers) are commenting on the girl that is 'hot', or if the viewers of the image are so blind that they don't know the difference between a technically good image, and a technically poor image.

I applaud the brave few who will suggest improvements to a people photograph because they really do have many years experience shooting people photography. However, sometimes you also get the rude few who just want to tear down a photographer who has at least given it a try, experimented and put themselves out there.

Constructive points are welcome when you know the person giving them is highly experienced in photography. Critiques from yae'hoos who don't have any (or little experience) are usually not helpful. And, pointing out that "I like" or "I dislike" comments are rarely helpful. That only shows the photographer what the commenter likes.

So, you Can't Please All the People All of the Time!

But it would appear that if you can produce decent photographs of 'Hot Babes' you are going to have a lot of fans and comments.

Maybe I just need to find me some hot models to hang out with and take their photographs! ;^ )

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