the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall
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Old 08-15-2013   #1
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Default the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

I have been browsing photos by all sorts of people on all sorts of topics, and some of them are just so good, fantastic journalism images etc, that really tell a story etc, and it might win a silver medal in a comp but would you hang it on your wall. Just a discussion that might interest somone.

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Old 08-15-2013   #2
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Default Re: the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

I actually think these are two different subjects, in that, when you hang something on your wall, you are decorating, which may include, but is different from photography.
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Old 08-16-2013   #3
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Default Re: the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

One of the things I emphasized to prospective buyers when I was selling at art shows is that most people nowadays don't have anything hanging in their homes that isn't mass produced by a major corporation. I have bought the work of other photographers I have met and proudly hang them in my home. It's much more personal than some random piece of art created in a sweatshop for Target or WalMart.
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Old 08-16-2013   #4
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Default Re: the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

There is a difference between "Do I think it's a good photograph?" and "Would I put this on my wall?"

Often, photographs I think are good I don't want on a wall in my house. Think of all the pulitzer prize winners... many are amazing, emotional, and violent, none of which do I want on my walls where I go to mentally decompress.

My walls are covered with paintings and photographs. Some of my own photographs are up, but most are by other artists. And I have a lot of wallspace.
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Old 08-16-2013   #5
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Default Re: the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

Patriciaann,

that question makes most sense with images, that are made to be hung on a wall. There, good images you won't want on your wall are second rate images.

Images with other goals, like portraits of people you don't know or journalistic images, the criteria isn't as much as whether they end up on your wall, but more if they manage to achieve their goal, eg represent the person in a pleasing and interestign manner or inform people about subject on an emotional level.

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Old 08-16-2013   #6
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Default Re: the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

As far as journalism photos, I would hang the "Tank Man" photo on my wall if I could get a print of it. For a brief moment of time, one man stood up for what he thought was right and halted the progress of all of those tanks. One man. http://iconicphotos.wordpress.com/20.../the-tank-man/

I would also hang this one in my office: Vulture Stalking a Child | Iconic Photos Why? Because one of the janitors at work, a woman who could scarce afford food for herself, saw that image on the cover of one of my magazines on my desk, and it made such an impact on her that she now donates part of every paycheck for relief efforts in that part of the world. Yes, there is controversy about that photo (and that's not what this thread is about), and it may have contributed in the ending of the photographer's life, but this photo, this single photo, changed someone's mind about what was important in her life, and maybe her contributions will create some good as well. THAT is the power of photography!
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Old 08-16-2013   #7
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Default Re: the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

Quote:
Originally Posted by patriciaann1 View Post
I have been browsing photos by all sorts of people on all sorts of topics, and some of them are just so good, fantastic journalism images etc, that really tell a story etc, and it might win a silver medal in a comp but would you hang it on your wall. Just a discussion that might interest somone.

It depends on whether I want to decorate my walls or use them to make a statement. If it were up to me, which it isn't, I would hang paintings and photos that are decorative in the living room and bedrooms, and more journalistic photos in the basement which is our playroom.
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Old 08-16-2013   #8
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Default Re: the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

I would not likely hang it on my wall. I have family photos around the house but I am not big on photos as wall art. My daughter is an Artist and she makes something for us once in a while.
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Old 08-17-2013   #9
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Default Re: the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

Quote:
Originally Posted by stef@apl View Post
There is a difference between "Do I think it's a good photograph?" and "Would I put this on my wall?"
Exactly.

There are tons of absolutely amazing photographs out there that I would never consider hanging on my wall, for the simple reason that it doesn't touch anything inside me personally.

I also have a very boring shot of my parents on the wall... VERY ordinary, VERY amateur poses... but I have it hanging on my wall in a 24X36 size because these people *mean* something to me.

Often it is not about technical excellence, but about the emotion it brings out in you. Our jobs as photographers is to have technical excellence AND capture deep emotions... not an easy thing to do consistently where others are involved.
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Old 08-17-2013   #10
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Default Re: the difference between a good photo BUT would you hang it on your wall

I’ve been thinking about this very thing for several months. I belong to two arts councils, one in a small town where I work, and another in a larger city just north of here. Some of these same council members also have galleries in the town where I live. So we have three different locations and a variety of arts and artists.

One thing common to all of them is that photography seems not to be considered as art on the same level as say, oil painting, sculpture, or other mediums. I had a friend of mine who heads up the arts council where I work comment to me that while he loves photography that he can’t see himself hanging a photo on his wall as a piece of art. I asked why and he had no good answer, other than saying “…. well I just can’t see myself doing that”. And I suppose that might be a legitimate answer. I see “art” that, while I do appreciate it, doesn’t interest me either ….. at least to the point of actually handing over some money for it and taking it home.

So, my question is why does photography not seem as “artsy” as other mediums? Is it because it is not completely created by a person’s hands? Is it because there is a mechanical/electronic connection to its creation? It is because most people don’t think it requires enough “creative time” in its production to be considered art? I’m not sure, possibly a bit of all of the above.

Perhaps most people don’t really understand the time and effort that potentially goes into a good photograph. They don’t understand getting up early and driving 30 or 40 miles to catch that hopefully perfect sunrise over the lake that happens not to be there that morning, or sitting in a tree freezing your butt off waiting on wildlife that decides not to appear. Maybe they don’t understand the “vision” in your mind that tells you that this scene would make a great photo six months from now during a snow, but not today.

Sometimes I think painters actually have it easier than photographers. They have their vision and can use their mind and their hands to create it, most times in the comfort of their own home or studio. They can paint when they want, stop and return later. They can paint a spring scene or a winter scene any time of year. They can paint light and shadows where they need it. We can’t do that. We have to wait. Wait for the season, wait for the weather, wait for the light, wait for the movement, or lack of. We can’t shoot a sunrise at noon. We can’t shoot snow scenes in July. We can’t control the light. We have to learn to anticipate it and sometimes just to work with what we get. We have to be creative ….. and patient.

Now ….. I’m not dissing those who paint or sculpt. I really admire those people because I have zero talent in those departments. My wife and I have purchased paintings for our home and have had paintings done specifically for a particular room or wall. So I am definitely a painter’s friend. I’d just like for photography to be viewed more as the art form that it is, rather than just a “picture”.


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