Study group?

Discussion in 'Feedback and Suggestions' started by ginsberg, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. ginsberg

    ginsberg TPF Noob!

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    The other day I searched Google using the following terms: photo, critique, forum. The search yielded 318,000 hits. That represents a hell of a lot of photographers and a huge number of photographs. Then I picked several forums and and looked randomly at critiques. Twenty percent of my small sample mentioned the word “composition,” 10% the word “perspective”, and an additional 10% used the term “lighting”. The remaining 60% said things like, “I like your photo.”

    Now, I assume that a great many people who participate in these 318,000 sites are familiar with the rule of thirds, and many more know about cropping and f-stops and depth of field. But, and here’s the important point, very few of their photographs are memorable. So did we miss something? Is it possible that there is more to becoming a good photographer then participating in forums where the majority of critiques don’t mention anything but the author’s opinion of the photo? I believe there is.

    So, I would like to engage a group of people to:. 1) study and discuss the elements of a photograph such as unity, negative space, viewpoint, theme, 2) find examples (look at the work of established masters), 3) carry out assignments based on various elements of photography, and, give each other informed (meaningful) critiques.
     
  2. hobbes28

    hobbes28 Incredible Supporting Member

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    I moved this down here because I thought it would be better answered. I think its a great idea. We could have like a little photo school part of the forum with lessons and assignments. Good idea.
     
  3. Ambrosia

    Ambrosia TPF Noob!

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    I also think it's a great idea. :)
     
  4. deb

    deb TPF Noob!

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    I'd be most interested in participating.
     
  5. ginsberg

    ginsberg TPF Noob!

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    Thanks. I have a few definite ideas about how to begin but I want to wait a few days to see if anyone else joins.

    Cheers,
    Ed
     
  6. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    It sounds like a great idea, I'm sure more people will be interested when there is a plan in place.
     
  7. ginsberg

    ginsberg TPF Noob!

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    As I said in my original posting, there's a lot more to learning photography than knowing the rule of thirds. (In fact, there are many successful ways to compose a photograph.) By knowing the possibilities you can not only critique someone else's work in a more meaningful way, you can plan your own. So the first thing to do is learn the elements of a photograph. I made a start. I searched Google with the terms, "aesthetics photography," and got a lot of hits. Unfortunatey, most of them were advertising books or college courses. But the following two were worth reading.

    http://www.luminous-landscape.com/columns/aesthetics-1.shtml
    http://www.romanzolin.com/techniques/photo/photo_6.htm

    So, using "aesthetics photography" or any other search terms, please see if you can find a few useful articles on what to look for in a photograph and let us know the search terms and what you found. Then let's discuss the findings and make a check list.

    Cheers,
    Ed
     
  8. ginsberg

    ginsberg TPF Noob!

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    I just came accross a forum that has a 6-page thread on the topic of whether there should be an art photo section. I am quoting from 6 postings to give you a flavor of the discussion.

    1) Again I will say I admire people that seek perfection at anything. The point I am hopefully getting across this time is I can have fun and enjoy myself without reaching the highest level in each hobby. I do try and do my best and improve each time I do something and for me that's what makes me happy.


    2) I guess I may never create any art while taking pictures because that's just not why I use a camera


    3) If you desire to take it to that level I think that is just great but I personnally do not have to achieve art to enjoy using a camera

    4) Sure, but does that make you an artist or just a better photographer?


    5) Is there something wrong with the majority of work here being nothing special? No, absolutely not.


    6) When it comes to art, there will always be someone telling you it's garbage.

    I had no idea people could get so heated over the word “art.” So, let’s not use it. Weekend tennis and golf players take occasional classes to improve their games. Photographers read magazines and/or go to summer workshops for the same type of reason – to take better photographs. So let’s not make this more important than it is. This is simply a way to learn a little more about the subject, and at the same time, to improve your photographs.

    Finally, look at quote number 6. What good does it do to tell someone that there work is either great or crap? Does this give them any idea of what to do (or the same), the next time there taking a picture? Obviously not. By learning a bit about what the possibilities are for a photograph we can help one another as well as ourselves.

    By the way, and I don’t want to start a discussion on this, photography has been recognized as an art since Edward Weston was awarded a Guggenheim. Many museums, such as MOMA (the Museum of Modern Art), have photographs in their permanent collections as well as photography shows.

    Cheers,

    Ed
     
  9. vonnagy

    vonnagy have kiwi, will travel...

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    thanks Ginsberg for your thoughts

    The mods will be discussing a plan of action for this, I think it can also be tied in a bit with tsiens post earlier about learning from 'master photographers'

    If anyone has any organisional or structual thoughts on how this can be done on this forum - please post your thoughts here- we need everyone's help on this :)

    cheers!
     
  10. gecko

    gecko TPF Noob!

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    when i joined i had assumed thered be more of that here as it was
     
  11. motcon

    motcon TPF Noob!

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    i'm in :wink:
     
  12. deb

    deb TPF Noob!

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    We could start by keeping it pretty simple. Someone post a photograph for critique. Explain what you wanted to communicate, what emotion you intended to invoke and the thought process that went into making the photo.

    Then, WE get to discuss how the photographer achieved his objectives, the components of the photograph that support the published explanation and the components that fail to support.

    It may be a way of teaching us to look at the picture objectively and completely. You will notice that often a subtle aspect of a photograph will change the entire meaning for one viewer.
     

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