“Though we have hundreds of photographs of Dickens and Wagner, we see nothing of them except their suits of clothes with their heads sticking out; and what is the use of that?“ -George Bernard Shaw, said to Frank Harris during talk about nudity. , “Views on nudes” by Bill Jay , ISBN: 0240507312. Focal Press Ltd, London and New York 1971, page: 14
Well, This Journal entry has nothing to do with any viewpoints on nudity, but I see a different angle to what Shaw is talking about here – maybe I’m wrong, but who cares! It’s my Journal, so I’ll make mention of my interpretation of the quotation, so there!
Maybe I’m just in a really grumpy mood today, or what the f’ever! But, RIGHT ON Shaw! I’m not guiltless on this account, I do my share of taking photographs of the same subject in the same tired way as hundreds of other photographers have before me. You see this all the time on the photo-sharing sites. Even the crappiest of shots seem to be so over-done that it almost makes me sick! Then, if the person has a shit-load of “fans” then they just get inundated with “ata-boys!” Go f’en figure! Yeah, I’m relatively grumpy today, OK! Lumps? No! Not at all…I’m just trying to wrap my brain around how technically crappy photos get so many “ata-boys!” from viewers…It defies the laws of Physics and Good Taste!
“When the photographer takes to forgery, the press encourages him. The critics, being professional connoisseurs of the shiftiest of the old makeshifts, come to the galleries where the forgeries are exhibited. They find to their relief that here, instead of a new business for them to learn, is a row of monochromes which their old jargon fits like a glove. Forthwith they proclaim that photography has become an art.” -George Bernard Shaw, “Views on nudes” by Bill Jay , ISBN: 0240507312. Focal Press Ltd, London and New York 1971, page: 125
Yeap, you don’t have to like critics, but there will always be critics of everything. Better start learning to accept criticism because it’s out there for everything under the sky. My opinion is, however, that Photographers should never shoot for the critics, but be true to themselves. If someone does not like your work now, maybe they just don’t f’ing get it! Maybe they can’t wrap their brains around it, understand it, or appreciate it, the technical difficulties in making it, or how much hard work went into it. Maybe they just don’t like “the different”. F’em! You’ll find your audience, and you’ll always have people who dislike or ignore your hard work. It’s part of the biz of being a photographer. There will, however, be others who love your work. The universe is in balance, it all should even out – don’t worry! ;^ )
Another “RIGHT ON!” Mr. Shaw! Why do photographs have to be the exact carbon copy of the way the world exposed itself to you? Who made up that rule? Maybe Photojournalism, Traffic Control cameras and those Horse Race cameras need to show the exact truth to be worthwhile and trustworthy and telling. However, Fine Art and many other genres of Photography do not need to show the exactness of a scene. Where’s the creativity in that? I personally will go with the “Why Not?” question when I take most of my photographs, edit them in Paint Shop, and display them for the world to see.
That’s enough for now.
No need to agree with me; but if you do, then I guess I’m not totally alone.
Have fun and take the best images you can with the equipment you have. Also, carry a camera with you everywhere, with fresh batteries – that’s the best advice I can give anyone!