Oh Doyle you do go on..

It often intrigues me how quick we are to judge a photograph based solely on where it was made. It seems most of the time if the location is 'exotic', then the image must be excellent, be it an American desert, a frozen Arctic tundra, or an enchanted forest somewhere in Lap Land.
'If we see things we don't often see in a photograph, we automatically assume its a good photograph'.
So many photographers (myself included ) have travelled to far off lands in search of the ultimate landscape and to perhaps place the Tripod somewhere no other Tripod has ventured.
"If I go and photograph those black trees out in Namibia before anyone else, it will be a great series and totally original," that is of course, until everyone else follows suit and does their own take. Then the picture may become worthless and a watered down version of what it once was..
Its not just location that can diffuse our few of a good photograph, in fact there are several things I should mention; New techniques like over saturated hyper real images seem to full everyone, but I am pretty sure this phase will pass now that everyone has a Mac and a Mouse. To me its no different to cross processing your negatives. Enormous prints are definitely up there and have the power to wow people into buying something for their loft conversion just because it looks good big. Well my answer to that is even a penis looks better big, but it doesn't mean its any good does it. These things are there to enhance the image and should not be used to make up for lack of vision. Another thing I should mention are 'the first to do so bunch.' Ansel Adams was only a pioneer of photographs of Yoshmite because he was the first to do it, as was Weston a pioneer of the nude and still life of a manky pepper (did you know that he shot hundreds of these and not just one, I didn't). But this does not mean that either Adams or Weston produced the best work even though it is often assumed to be the case. Finally, lets not forget my grudge with a lot of photographers swanning around with a big camera, perfect light and easy subject matter, although beautiful it can be, its doesn't make you the greatest. Or the fashion photographer that turns up and just presses the button without really thinking. The real talent is finding something that few see, in other words seeing something in a unique way and perhaps under difficult circumstances.

Yes I have gone off on a bit of a tangent and only really wanted to say I made some nice images the other day and didn't have to travel 2000 miles to do it..!

So having said all that, what does make a good photograph ?
Well I really don't have the answer, but I do know what makes a bad one..


@GillMPhoto said...

Hi Marcus, thanks for doing your blog, you tell it how it is, more intelligently than most and with a chuckle sometimes too. Not taking yourself too seriously but clearly you love what you do.
On the question "what makes a good photograph", I had that thought a while back and blogged about it, I added my own thoughts using an inital post by concientious & contributors who tried to answer the mighty question.

marcus doyle said...

Thanks for the kind words and reply.
I guess because each individual sees an image differently, its not something that can ever be fully answered..