Why can't I stop staring at a bad photo?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by dizzyg44, Aug 25, 2009.

  1. dizzyg44

    dizzyg44 TPF Noob!

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    Why is it that you can sometimes take some of the worst (technically) yet you can't stop looking at them?

    Am I the only one?

    For example, these are so wrong technically, yet my eyes keep drawing back to them. I just can't put my finger on why...

    The first two I was intentionally trying to shoot into the harsh sun with sb-800, failed of course.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    hmmmm...are these kids of any relation to you?
     
  3. dizzyg44

    dizzyg44 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, but at the time I wanted to go Homer Simpson on the two of them.
     
  4. camz

    camz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I can't stop looking at bad pictures of my kids myself ;)
     
  5. MelissaMarieImagery

    MelissaMarieImagery TPF Noob!

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    ^ this is always a possiblity, you draw a deeper connection tos ubjects when you know them. In school my teachers always said "Don't shoot your dog, your girlfriend/boyfriend, or your children/family, you will be VERY bias of the work"


    However, those aren't MY kids and I think even though incorrect technically, I really like them. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and just because they aren't correct on the technical scale doesn't mean that they can't be asthetically pleasing (which to me, is the MOST important part)
     
  6. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Because when you only look at the photo as the capture of a subject, the expressions are priceless? There's a lot of humanity in those expressions which, symbolically, is all the more powerful by the fact that the photos are photos of children - i.e., trying to say many of our problems on a societal scale are resultant of the very nature of our beings since they still exist from an almost 'tabula rasa' (blank slate) state, as well as drawing connections to human curiosity and adventure-seeking even from a young state of innocence.

    Congratulations are in order for proving that technical excellence is not the only metric as to the worthiness of a photo, by far, and thus why robots can never (even theoretically) truly judge the merit of a photo.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think I have to be the exception to the bias rule. I shoot a lot of pics of my family, and I YET have one that I cannot clearly see either technical, compositional or other kinds of errors in. My parents loved a set I took so much, that they bought 3 frames and had me print them out in 16X20" and 5X7"sizes, but though "nice" I see all kinds of bad points in them.

    I know there are times that I need to set aside my critical side and just enjoy a photo, but maybe I am overly hard on myself and what I demand of myself. I *want* to get better... always, and I am constantly pushing to advance myself.
     
  8. MelissaMarieImagery

    MelissaMarieImagery TPF Noob!

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    ^ I agree I don't really have bias even if the subject is someone I love. I'm able to step back and say "Wow, that photo sucks" hahah.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    That's the key to selling photographs, and why in-person proofing can be so very valuable. The emotional involvement of the buyer.
    Portrait buyers don't care squat about technical excellence. They always pick some of the worst shots just because they have some connection to the image. A child's facial expression or posture is all it takes to make a so-so shot priceless to them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2009
  10. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    KmH has obviously sold portraiture....it's true...parents and grandparents will often buy a less-than-optimal photograph if there is some aspect of the child's personality that comes through.

    Many of the world's most famous photographs are a bit lacking in technical virtuosity. Think of Eddie Adams' shot of the Vietnamese general General Nguyen Ngoc Loan killing a Vietcong operative--the composition is poor. There's an ugly white building right in the center of the frame. The subjects are too far toward the side of the frame. Weak, weak,weak. And yet one of the most-memorable of tens of thousands of photos from the Vietnam war.

    Expression counts for more than ultimate technical quality in people photography. Capturing some type of human feeling, like the feeling of bright sunlight streaming into one's eyes--capturing real feeling, real humanity, counts more that having the perfect exposure and perfect focus.
     
  11. MelissaMarieImagery

    MelissaMarieImagery TPF Noob!

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    I sell portraiture every day at work, and you are totally right. If the shot is ****ty but the expression is great, they'll usually buy it. I've sold blurry photos to people because they loved them so much -- even though I point out they are out of focus.

    I've gotten really good at telling what photos parents will like and not like, and it never has anything to do with technicalities.
     
  12. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Those aren't "bad" shots... Personally I like the highly exposed nature of the first two, had the exposure been lower and the focus more perfect my eye would be distracted by every pore, scratch, and tiny hair on the kids face--which I suspect isn't the point of the photo.
     

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