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Photographer's Request for Critique

Katherine in Window Light

Katherine is from Brazil and joined us at a recent workshop.

Critiques

John Peri , February 21, 2010; 05:15 A.M.

7/7

Mark, as with my own work, I am always drawn between the relative importance to be given to the lighting and other technical considerations, and the impact that the image may ultimately have. I like the diagonals and the configuration of the background, however the lighting seems a bit off in the sense of some seemingly overblown areas etc., the face has some uneven shadows too. Even the focus may ellicit curiosity.

Well, is it important, would the picture be any different if these items were corrected? The more I visit galeries and museums and I devour them greedily in Paris, London and New York (I saw some interesting stuff in Prague and Bucharest too recently) and see what has value to the expert's eye, the more convinced I become that art has very little if nothing to do with any technical prowess. You don't see in the above any of the beautiful landscapes or able studio-lit items that you find here on PN. It's all about expression and how a picture speaks to you. Consequently, all this horizon nonsense, missing ears, focus and such other cease to have any importance, but this just my view of course among many other people's.

Nevertheless, some of the works I see would be ripped to pieces on PN, but they are the ones collected in museums and somehow there must be a reason for that! Who knows, someone else may interpret the works diferently, though I think they they would have difficulty explaining in other terms why the clasic "textbook" (read schoolboyish) faults repeately cited on PN cease to be important. It's one thing to say what one's personal likes and dislikes are, to which everyone is entitled, and quite another to claim what is art.

To return to this image, personlly I love it, and that is why I have spent this time on it. I am thoroughly convinced by the attitude of the model and the erotic message that she exudes. I see many interpretations possible, but it's personal and irrelevant, the important thing thing is that the picture moves me and that is the only thing that counts.

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Mark Harris , February 21, 2010; 08:12 A.M.

John - Thank you for taking so much time to comment on this photograph. I can't agree with you more on the issues you discussed in your comment. I have seen a number of highly academic discussions on photographs that I happen to like very much. Yes, they have faults, all of ours do, but they also move me in some way. I suppose someone will comment on the electical outlet here and how it could be cloned out. I actually like it there, if nothing else it was really there and should stay. I attended a lecture at B&H Photo recently where a photographer told a story about a printer who removed one from an image of hers and she made them redo the run with the outlet back in. We all have our vision, some like it, some don't. I don't care if people rate 3/3 if someone else posts a comment that indicates they get what I was trying to achieve. Like you, my photographs are often outside the "norm" and get odd comments and ratings.

-Mark

Ray Hudson , February 21, 2010; 03:45 P.M.

Just a note to say that what John is bringing up is something I've been recognizing/struggling with lately (belatedly), as I work to get lighting, focus, wall outlets, noise, whatever, all 'correct', - but am left grasping for the emotional content that draws me to other's work. I'm encouraged that the changes I'm making as a result have lead to some small increases in my satisfaction with my work - and it was further encouraging to run across your conversation here.

Ray

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John Peri , February 22, 2010; 03:42 A.M.

Ray, I was taught in marketing that you have to repeat a message, so I will unashamedly do it once again .. as Ansel Adams said, "there are no rules in photography, only good photos". Good luck and let us see some of your works.

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Maurizio Moro , February 22, 2010; 05:51 A.M.

Sensual and innocent image:...great shot!

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Sweid Sideris , May 18, 2011; 10:49 A.M.

I agree with the statement of John and Mark, two photographers from who I have a lot to learn. And as a natural consequence of this way of thinking I can't describe with words what I feel in front of this image. Because it is much more than a simple photo, an extraordinary one, I should say. It is a concept, a declaration of principles about art. This IS photography.

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