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11-23-2014, 03:03 AM   #16
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Difficult question: Like painting or any other art (music etc...) there is technical aspect and some more difficult to be defined that you called "soul" inside a picture...in my experience this "soul" is sometimes a parameter out of control from the photographer's point of view because it usually depends by the subjets the photographer can and cannot find...for instance I take very few pics of people because usually people are boring, but when a person hits me because he/she has peculiar characteristics I took the pic and it's usually not soulless.

What is in control of the photographer though is the sensibility to "see" where a good subject is even if it looks trivial at first sign, for instance here Colton is very good at seeing a good shot in apparently uninteresting things.

11-23-2014, 04:54 AM   #17
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a friend of mine recently took a shot at the beach of kids sandals and a toy. with a nikon p and s. it was both technically great
and really grabbed me. so i would say a great photo is both technically good but more importantly pulls u in and makes u feel
11-23-2014, 06:14 AM   #18
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Thanks for the responses, all. I'm not really looking for a primer on "How to Take Great Pictures". Rather, that "eye of the beholder" thing is where I'm headed. As the beholder of your OWN work, what appeals to you? And, as the beholder of certain critically-acclaimed photographers, do you see the greatness in what may seem to some to be pretty ordinary photos?

Thanks for your thoughts.

And Cuthbert: i've admired Colton's photos on the "Show us your..." thread. Excellent work.
11-23-2014, 06:43 AM   #19
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It's sort of hit and miss with me, I suppose. There are some things I "get" and some I don't. I admit that the ones I don't really irritate me! It's just a stupid trash can! I find myself shooting a lot of nature because I find it far more fascinating than anything men can come up with. Even so there are plenty of shots that are "just a bird" so you really have to work and be patient until you can get that shot that makes you (and maybe others) say WOW! Sometimes I see a great shot of a bear or something in a magazine that I'm sure a lot of other people just flip right past so yeah...sometimes I see it sometimes I don't.

11-23-2014, 06:44 AM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lenscap Quote
Thanks for the responses, all. I'm not really looking for a primer on "How to Take Great Pictures". Rather, that "eye of the beholder" thing is where I'm headed. As the beholder of your OWN work, what appeals to you? And, as the beholder of certain critically-acclaimed photographers, do you see the greatness in what may seem to some to be pretty ordinary photos?

Thanks for your thoughts.

And Cuthbert: i've admired Colton's photos on the "Show us your..." thread. Excellent work.
Yeah Colton has what we should call "a good eye", I'm not talking about his excellent panoramic or architecture pics, but sometimes he can make a good pic of for instance a road with a road sign, something that I wouldn't consider a subject worth of the money of one film shot.

Generally speaking, I like this board because you can get feedback from good photographers who helped me improving my work...for instance I took some shots of London that I considered trivial...I shot them just to test a new to me at the time (HP5+)...I didn't share them for almost six months because I thought they were interesting, one day I shared them here and gofour complimented with some of them, I was surprised because I didn't have a great opinion of them, then re-watching I realised they weren't that bad.

This works in negative as well in positive, other shots that I considered great proved to be bad, that's the reason why it's good to have a critique section.
11-23-2014, 07:24 AM   #21
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I find that a lot of my best photos are the ones I take of people/places/things that are dear to me. I guess it's a matter of wanting to transmit through the photo to the viewer why you appreciate and love the subject of your photo, and also understanding how something will photograph best through your knowledge of it. I know which angle my girlfriend looks best from, and what to say to catch the right expression on her face. I know how to position the pretty vase full of flowers that I've seen every day at home, but I also know that it looks good surrounded by the prosaic clutter of life, whereas on its own it would make a technically pleasant but rather dull photo. Whilst there is a complete contrast to this, in the opportunistic snapshot - which is something I also love and enjoy capturing - those are a rarer success. The things that I cherish and spend time with are the things that photograph well a higher percentage of the time for me.

And as Cuthbert has said, the critique in a friendly environment like this is very helpful - it's easy to be blind to one part of your picture when you took it concentrating on another (at least that's often the case with me) and a fresh eye is a great thing sometimes.
11-23-2014, 07:40 AM   #22
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edmundrt- I feel much the same way. My wife, my kids, my pets are interesting to me to photograph. To anybody else, they're just a shot of some lady and her kids.

I have a print of a rose done semi-macro in B/W. My wife loves it. It's a fairly good image, but what makes it special for her is that it's a rose from her favorite rosebush in our front yard, and I shot it with her in mind. The context makes the photo.
11-23-2014, 08:04 AM - 1 Like   #23
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I strive for technical excellence and pick out the good ones when I'm done.
If I am not striving for technical excellence, the photos are snapshots - paintings by the chimp - maybe good, maybe bad.
I will never achieve perfection. I may never get to excellence, but as long as I strive, I learn and improve.

Comparing oneself to others should be reserved for special occasions, like sack-races and costume-contests.
If you aren't entering one of those, they shouldn't be part of your context for self-awareness.

11-23-2014, 11:04 AM   #24
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The technical aspects of photos, mine included, my reaction is generally some level of respect for the process, or admiration. When it comes to which of my photos, or another photographer's photos I like, it is usually the ones I enjoy looking at. If I don't find an image visually appealing, no matter who created them or how time consuming the process, I hold it to no level of esteem.
11-23-2014, 11:22 AM   #25
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As someone whose family came through a war (WWII) that ravaged the country and left no pictures of past family life, what I would give for even the most banal images taken then!
11-23-2014, 11:32 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
As someone whose family came through a war (WWII) that ravaged the country and left no pictures of past family life, what I would give for even the most banal images taken then!
This is one reason I take a lot of candid snaps of my family. Stunning photography? Not by any means. But 25 years from now, maybe they'll be a conduit to some good memories for my kids.
11-23-2014, 07:41 PM   #27
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Funny that the folks posting here seem to run deep because we all get the point that a photograph that has soul for the viewer becomes art, a memory or is provocative. I like the music analogy. My artistic background was strongly in drawing and illustration - anyone can learn to draw but that doesn't make anyone a talented artist just by technically drawing.

My photos that I am most satisfied with tend to be of my family or pets that also capture emotions and are technically good. That makes me smile
11-30-2014, 09:06 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by LesDMess Quote
As someone whose family came through a war (WWII) that ravaged the country and left no pictures of past family life, what I would give for even the most banal images taken then!
Yes, because context matters. A book of splendid scenery with technically perfect processing, will not mean as much as an old faded black-and-white landscape you once roamed, but now is changed beyond recognition. Pictures must mean something, which means they must resonate with your soul. Pretty "calender pictures" are too plentiful to see anything personal in them. Pictures of people are unique, As humans, we are programmed to respond to them one way or another. It has not taken me long to realize that there is little point in me entering photo contests, as my tastes don't seem to fit the accepted standards. For example, I submitted several pictures to the Pentax photo gallery. It was my least favourites in the batch that made it in, so after that I saw no point in more submissions.
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