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08/26/2002 08:30:39 PM · #1
I just received a comment:

"It's photo to describe childhood without children, not children without childhood."

Yes I am one of the people who did a disturbing photograph of childhood and basically i think our ratings are going to suffer big time due to people who failed to understand what a "good photograph" means. If I don't get some feeling from the audience that view the photo, I, as the photographer, have failed. If you feel disgusted, sad, etc. then it's a powerful photograph.

(I see my ratings drop steadily as more people comment on it :))

There are a lot of children out there that suffers what I portrayed in my photograph (i'll keep it a mystery until the results is released) -- and that's THEIR childhood. Whoever made that comment is just plain sad because he/she doesn't understand what photography is about. If they have a gripe about the composition of someone's photograph, let's hear it, but don't diss on someone's photograph just because you fail to get the concept. If my lighting, etc. sucked, then by all means, let me know :) if i failed to make you feel something, by all means, drop the ratings. I have seen a lot of entries on this site that is basically a SNAPSHOT of an object and if that's all it takes to get a good rating (i.e. a very clear SNAPSHOT of something), then I feel sorry for the people who voted high on it.

The fact that people are disgusted or sad when seeing my image, shows that I did make them feel soemthing, even if it was depressive -- but my ratings doesn't show it :) that's ok though, this is the internet, and as we all know in the art world in general, 99.9% of the populous still dont' understand Picasso and the average person's ideals are fairly mediocre. Go on taking snapshots.


* This message has been edited by the author on 8/26/2002 8:30:01 PM.
08/26/2002 08:39:58 PM · #2
Yet the challenge is to come up with a photograph that illuminates (for better or worse) the given subject matter. Instead, you chose to photograph a tangent subject.

Does your photograph have merit? Surely. Is it powerful? Most definately. Does it fufill the requirements of the challenge? No.

08/26/2002 08:43:18 PM · #3
Actually .... I do not understand that much the point of discussing that .. right now ... nobody can really talked to you about that as we cannot discuss the current challenge.
And by the way ... paganini was a musician , not a photograph ;-) ;-)
08/26/2002 08:45:54 PM · #4
Oh and by the way your 'old violin' was nice.

08/26/2002 09:20:36 PM · #5
Tony, As an artist, I hope you will continue to shoot from the heart. I don't know which photograph is yours, and I don't know anything about you, and it's just as well, because we are talking about a principle here, not just an image. The honest-to-goodness critiques will help an artist understand the public's perspective, and that's beneficial. The insulting comments will come from those who can't see outside the box of their own comfort zones and get outraged when people don't see their way. The artists with a social conscience, who are willing to go out on a limb to make a statement with their art, whether it be performing arts, or fine arts, are going to take punches for their cause. I commend you for making a statement with your art. I myself couldn't take the punches this week. Life is difficult enough and I just don't think I can take any more bruises right now. I do hope this community, will consider that art is an expression of emotions and life experiences, and we all didn't come from warm, cuddly, supportive backgrounds. Some would like to portray pictures that are neat and tidy and without spot or blemish. And that is fine. Lots of good photographs come of it. Others are willing to go beyond what is expected with a passion for a cause. That should be acceptable as well. We all need to respect each other! As long as there is no pornography, or hatred expressed.
Well I've said plenty for now.



* This message has been edited by the author on 8/26/2002 9:19:53 PM.
08/26/2002 09:39:35 PM · #6
I think a user with the name "you suck" speaks for itself.

The subject was CHILDHOOD. A bad childhood, is STILL a childhood. An abusive childhood is STILL a childhood. Why does childhood HAVE to be about happy lives? I'll bet 20% of the entire population had a bad childhood. doesn't have to be physical abuses (as shown in one of the photographs) but could be "mental" abuses. Haven't we learned that childhood isn't always good? All you ahve to do, is look at the Boston catholic priests and there is ONE example of lots of children suffering under some serious abuse. My photo fulfills the topic. If the topic were "HAPPY CHILDHOOD" well, then my photo wouldn't be appropriate, but it's not.


Originally posted by yousuck:
Yet the challenge is to come up with a photograph that illuminates (for better or worse) the given subject matter. Instead, you chose to photograph a tangent subject.

Does your photograph have merit? Surely. Is it powerful? Most definately. Does it fufill the requirements of the challenge? No.



08/26/2002 09:46:38 PM · #7
Originally posted by yousuck:
Yet the challenge is to come up with a photograph that illuminates (for better or worse) the given subject matter. Instead, you chose to photograph a tangent subject.

Does your photograph have merit? Surely. Is it powerful? Most definately. Does it fufill the requirements of the challenge? No.




Looks like we found where your comment came from. Consider the source, and get over it.
08/26/2002 09:56:44 PM · #8
Tony- I totally agree with your position--especially your most recent post (see my post in "we are not seeing double now but multi"). It amazes me that people still believe that the only childhood is a happy one. I am as optimistic and idealistic as the next person, but you can't deny that many children do not lead happy lives. If the challenge had been "family", would it be realistic to see only photos of a Dad, a Mom and 2.5 kids? Of course not, because there are so many family structures. I think it is so important that we recognize the diversity of the people who belong to this site, and honor their childhoods for whatever they were. How crappy would it be to have a not-so-happy childhood, and then put a representation out there, only to have closed-minded people tear it to shreds for not being happy enough?
08/26/2002 10:15:26 PM · #9
On this note, I had a crappy childhood. 5 Brothers, 2 sisters. We lived in a 1 bedroom trailor. Yup, that's right. It was always cramped and when one of us got sick, we all got sick. The floor was rotting in and sunk and the celieng leaked. Our Dad was a violent man (I relate well to the belt photo) and mom just stood around and watched. Of course, my sister and I got most of the gruff, cause Dad liked the boys. His pride and joy. Dad was laid off for a really long time and I remember not having food, and we were all sick and hungry. We didn't have love. We were more like a work force than a family. I was outside once and my father was angry about something. He hit me, knocked me down and kicked me till I could barely move. For all he knew, I could have been in a coma, and then he pushed me into the river. It was winter. I stayed in the water for what seemed like hours scared to come out for fear of being punished again for being alive.
I thought about doing something that related to MY childhood, but feared that people would think I was an evil person cause that's "how I view childhood".
I went with a warm fuzzy kind of photo, and let me tell you, it's not paying off. I really had no clue what I was photographing, it was like photographing an imaginary creature.
so you know what...I commend the "bad" photos. at least the photos came from their heart and they photographed what they knew, and had the bravery to admit it. Photographing a Happy Childhood for some people is like telling people to go out and take pictures of live unicorns. sometimes it's just not possible.
08/26/2002 10:27:00 PM · #10
I agree that scary is a part of childhood. I struggled with whether or not to be daring and enter something to that effect. Ultimately the photo itself that I came up with was just not strong enough.

Take a peek.
scary childhood outtake

What do you think?
Dawn
08/26/2002 10:46:56 PM · #11
Well said Heather, although it is a very sad story. From your "personality" (i.e. the comments you make and the photo of you and your son) it seems like you have risen above that and become a very supportive and positive person. As I have said of some of my past kindergarten students: "Often the very worst manure grows the most beautiful flowers." Keep the faith, Girl.
08/26/2002 10:48:02 PM · #12
Ok guys .. you have a willing subject who is ok with any childhood, happy or scary ... and who does not understand that picture.
I really do not know what it is. And for the 'photographic' part, my eye is trying to find something in focus (and I like soft focus as well).
So .. for example .. with that one I would have give it a 4. I would have probably think 'the guy is trying to say something' but I do not have a clue.
If the meaning is 'I do not understand it, it's blurry, I cannot get any point to look at so ... it represent a child being scary' .. that a too long shot for me.
Comments / Idea ?
08/26/2002 10:57:53 PM · #13
It's a bit out of focus for me to tell what's really going on. I can tell it's a table and chair in the foreground, but that's it. Looks like there is something on the wall in the background, but i can't place my finger on it. sorry.
Yeah, I rose up above it. Sad to say though, the family didn't. I have a twin sister I haven't even seen in years upon years. I also have older twin brothers, of whom I haven't seen in awhile. 2 brothers landed in jail/prison, and my oldest sister was married off when she was 15, divorced with 2 kids by the time she was 17. she had a mental breakdown years ago, and no one has been able to talk to her since. (her kids however, are diong GREAT, and I got to spend the summer with them this summer, for the first time in 8 years!!!)
08/26/2002 11:13:24 PM · #14
Title would have been "Monsters in the Closet", but I agree, it wasn't clear enough on it's own to say that. Problem was lighting. Didn't want it to be bright enough to show my monster (puppet), but needed enough to make it obvious. In the end, I couldn't and I gave up trying after some 50 shots or more. (That's the foot of a bed in the foreground BTW.)

So, here's a question: I think the out of focus bit and the darkness (albeit, mine is TOO dark) lend itself to the subject matter and help better create the mood of the photo although they are not typically something I consider good photography. How do people respond to the idea of using darkness, grain, and blur to acheive a mood?

Dawn
08/26/2002 11:17:53 PM · #15
I would use darkness, I would use grain ... maybe some movement ... but everything blurry does not appeal me at all sorry. Maybe you could have had a point of focus somewhere , even something accessory in the picture but that would have been some 'reference' for the blurry part.
I think there might be other ways to express your feelings without the blurryness (however I cannot tell which one without trying).

08/26/2002 11:27:33 PM · #16
Hey there. I wanted to post to you because I can relate to what is happening with your photo. I submitted my very first photo to DP Challenge last week for the pencil challenge. Because it was harsh I was told that it was "tacky" and "morbid" and did not belong on this forum. What did I do? Took it in stride and did another "bad" photo for this challenge. I have only my own experiences to draw from for my photos. I totally agree with the stirring of emotions in photos and that is what I strive for. Don't let what some people say to you get to you. Not every one sees the world the same way!

Mel!
08/26/2002 11:39:29 PM · #17
Mel, I have to confess (if you don't already know) that I am the person who called your photo tacky. It's unlike me to be so harsh and I struggled with this and one other photo for the week in that I found them tacky.

Several times I came back to your photo to rephrase my comments into something more contructive, but each time I saw that image I got so damn mad. I don't know -- not so much that it was a suicide shot as that it was a posed still life on suicide, as if suicide is as incidental as "pencil". It just bugged me and I found it hard to be nice.

My husband laughs at my nerve in putting myself out there with something so opinionated, when there will obviously be people who see it the EXACT OPPOSITE. (Note the comment right above mine is: Kaz - 8/19/2002 Wow, this is powerful! Amazing job. :))

I guess I think we all have to be completely honest. It doesn't help you for me to sugar coat it.

Of course, now that I'm more removed, I can say that your composition was good and I look forward to seeing your future shots.

Hope I didn't irreparably offend,
Dawn
08/27/2002 12:05:43 AM · #18
Heather Dear...bless your heart! You are an overcomer, but I know it hasn't been easy for you. I understand. I won't say more here and now but know that you're not alone. Keep shining!

08/27/2002 12:06:54 AM · #19
Heh. I would have guessed that this was a giant Iguana crawling up the blinds in the other room. If the topic was "Nightmare of a Zookeeper", I might have given it a 7 :)

I don't think there any tools that are out of bounds. But just because it's unorthodox doesn't mean it's "art". It's the job of the artist to invoke emotions in the observer. Anybody can create a sensory experience that offends someone (heck, I do it 3 or 4 times a day), but the fart is not art. "Art" strives to brings the observer along on the artist's journey, not send the observer off on his own hasty exit.

Every audiance isn't able or willing join every journey. As unbelievable as it seems to me, some people actually don't enjoy Miles Davis. Don't take it personally - Miles didn't. Either find peace with your own expression, or stretch your mind and your imagination to find a way to touch others.

Chris


08/27/2002 12:14:51 AM · #20
I for one am getting tired of the close mindedness of the majority of the people that vote on our pictures. If you ask 100 photographers what makes up the perfect picture, you're going to get 100 different answers. We are all individuals, we all have different life experiences, while some had the perfect Leave it to beaver childhood with the perfect parents that never screamed and yelled. Others had a more disfunctional childhood, that might be something entirely unheard of to others. Childhood can be a smell, a color, it can be anything. Just because someone takes a picture of what they think childhood is, shouldn't mean it doesn't qualify for the challenge, or is a bad picture. Childhood without children could be a picture of a rose budding open, a bean sprouting, (both of these symbolizing birth), it could be puppies nursing its mother....JC people open your minds and think a little. Thank god the majority of the world wasn't and isn't as close minded as the voters here, if it were, we wouldn't be here right now because the computer never would've been invented.

climbing down off my soap box now Ok I feel better now. Happy voting. Tom
08/27/2002 12:18:27 AM · #21
Originally posted by just-married:

My husband laughs at my nerve in putting myself out there with something so opinionated, when there will obviously be people who see it the EXACT OPPOSITE. (Note the comment right above mine is: Kaz - 8/19/2002 Wow, this is powerful! Amazing job. :))

I guess I think we all have to be completely honest. It doesn't help you for me to sugar coat it.

Of course, now that I'm more removed, I can say that your composition was good and I look forward to seeing your future shots.

Hope I didn't irreparably offend,
Dawn[/i]


I really don't see where the "nerve" comes in here to call a picture "tacky". It's not so much a matter of "nerve" as being ..... well, tacky. And tacky, too was that lousy 2 vote.

Pretty much everybody here primarily submits to get some feedback: did people understand/appreciate your picture? Could it be done differently? Technical suggestions how the image could have been improved? Just to get a nerd comment isn't helpful. And I feel that everybody who goes through the effort to submit deserves at least a 3 vote (with an occasional exception when a boundary gets passed badly) but everybody is entitled to their own voting system.

Interesting that you found the composition good after all. Seems a 2 score for good composition and meeting the challenge (the challenge said that a pencil had to be in the picture but nowhere did it say that the pencil had to play the dominant role in the picture. That was just your interpretation) is pretty doggone generous.


08/27/2002 12:27:28 AM · #22
Tom,
I agree overall in that we should have a liberal interpretation of the challenge as it is so broad, but someone else said on one of these threads, and I agree - that it is the function of the photographer to elicit feelings of childhood in the viewer (it undoubtedly represents childhood to the submitter - after all, they submitted it to a childhood challenge.)

I have modified my voting in that I do not totally black ball a photo that I feel doesn't meet the challenge, but I do take off a notch or two and make a comment saying as much. I am sure that comments saying "doesn't meet the challenge" piss people off, but would you prefer people vote it down for that reason without specifying it in the comments?

(I know you'd prefer they don't vote it down at all, but since that is not a likely change that we'll see, which do you prefer?)

Dawn
08/27/2002 12:45:47 AM · #23
Originally posted by Journey:
I really don't see where the "nerve" comes in here to call a picture "tacky".

The nerve comes in by making myself available for people to lamblast for my frankness.

It's not so much a matter of "nerve" as being ..... well, tacky. And tacky, too was that lousy 2 vote.

Touche. I can take the lumps as well as dish 'em out. FWIW, I agree it wasn't the best reply; but it was all I could muster, and it was a reaction. I personally think any reaction is better than no reaction - it is feedback after all. Not the kind any of wants to get, but it's emotional feedback to an emotional shot.

Pretty much everybody here primarily submits to get some feedback: did people understand/appreciate your picture? Could it be done differently? Technical suggestions how the image could have been improved? Just to get a nerd comment isn't helpful.

I agree with you. Feel free to check my profile and you'll see that my comments are most often technical in nature with a bit about how it affected me emotionally. This case was an exception. If a photographer takes something that they intend to emotionally touch a person (good or bad) they have to be prepared for the reprecussions of that.

Interesting that you found the composition good after all. Seems a 2 score for good composition and meeting the challenge (the challenge said that a pencil had to be in the picture but nowhere did it say that the pencil had to play the dominant role in the picture. That was just your interpretation) is pretty doggone generous.

I couldn't let myself score it a one because drowned beneath my emotional reaction to this photo was the knowledge that it had some merit. I openly admit that this 2 vote was an emotional one. I don't do it often, but on occasion it happens. In a sense the photographer can be glad - a photo like this should disturb.

For the record, this photo received several 2s and 1s. I'm just the only one that put the score in the comment. I do it because if I get a 1 or a 2, I wanna know why.

Dawn
08/27/2002 01:00:17 AM · #24
Well, Dawn, first off, a photographers impression of lets say childhood, may in fact instill the same memory or idea they're trying to bring across. While it may leave several others scratching their heads. My Dad said today over lunch, that a woman had written into a cooking magazine he gets, wanting to know what Okra was. This struck me funny, because raised in the south, I know about okra, I know how it stings your bare skin if you go into the patch to pick it. I know its slimey when boiled, and crunchy when fried. Not everyone knows this, just like there may be some type of food where you're from I've never tried or heard of. Not everyone has the same ideas no matter how hard you try to capture childhood. Its going to strike someone as tacky, improper, sad....I saw a lot of empty swings entered, as well as a few headstones, "Childhood without children?" Not only would there not be a childhood, it'd be a sad, lonely, and worst of all, a dying planet without children. (another way of looking at the challenge) Just like the horse pencil was that photographers way of looking at the challenge, the challenge did not specify that the pencil had to be made of wood. It did not specify that it had to be sharpened. Just like this challenge did not specify that the entry should inspire the viewer to remember their childhood, or that it had to be a happy childhood, or that it had to use something relating to humans to portray childhood...as photographers we are artists....we create images, hopefully for enjoyment by others. So far, in the few challenges that I've followed since joining this site, the majority of the people here, aren't enjoying themselves, they arent' doing this for fun. I think if everyone would take a step back, take a deep breath and remember what its like to take a picture because they think...hey that would make a nice picture, and not well, that might make a nice picture, but it'll probably only get a bunch of 1's or 2's....so why bother.

sorry, its late, I tend to start preaching when I'm tired. I'll shutup now. I myself, have stopped being anal about the entries, if I like the picture, and it looks like the photographer had fun taking it, I try and give it as high a score as possible, if I don't like it but it still looks like they had fun doing it....I still give it upper marks. If I like it, but it looks like the photographer did it not because he enjoyed it, or wanted to, but had to its a middle score, if I dont like it and it doesn't look like they had fun, it gets a lower score, if I don't think it meets the challenge, I try and look at the challenge in different ways to see if they were thinking something different, but I still don't give them a 1. if you get 70, 10's and 30 1's, you're score is going to suffer greatly. ok i'm ranting again...hush....shhh...be quiet....night all....Tom
08/27/2002 01:18:01 AM · #25
Tom,

Just thought you'd like to know that I don't disagree with a single thing you said. So it's likely that we're pretty similar in our flexibility on the challenge issue.

Basically you said you vote the higher scores for the photos that move you. Me too, be visual, emotional, or technical. So in the end it amounts to the same thing, worded differently.

I am also up way past my bed time. See y'all tomorrow.
Dawn
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