Tuesday, June 19, 2007

What's Not To Like

In writing about the characteristics of good photographs, it generated some interesting discussion and various photographers were suggested whose images might not fit my criteria and I have added further comments of my own in response.

That said, it raises other issues and to illustrate the point, I'll start of by referring to music.

I don't like all kinds of music - most Jazz leaves me cold, for example. I recognize that it's clever, skilled and I can even see why some people like it, but the reality is that a lot of jazz sounds all the same to me.

I seethat this is a deficiency in me and not the music since clearly other people really like it, can see the differences and appreciate the subtleties. A lot of 'new' music is actually painful to my ear.

If the analogy holds, then I shouldn't expect to like all photography or even be capable of seeing the things which make some images apparently great to others (enough to hang them in museums).

This is quite disturbing because is basically means that it's hard to make judgements about any photography at all. In the end I can only decide what I like and to look at it and purchase books and even prints. I can recommend the work of photographers I like but knowing my judgement may be based on ignorance, I am really putting myself out on a limb to say that any photography is crap and you should avoid it.

Kinda makes you wonder about critics - is something bad because it lacks what the critic defines as good , or is it that even the critic is ignorant because this is a new type of photography which simply hasn't been learned yet.

Is that an ugly car or do I just not 'get it'? Disturbing.


Anonymous said...

Maybe you like this kind of jazz?


julie o'donnell said...

It seems more and more like you just have to decide whose opinion your trust most, be it a particular critic/group of critics, a friend, or simply your own intuition. I hate that sneaking feeling that I'm missing something, though, and sometimes struggle to appreciate things that I don't instinctively like, purely because of that.

I did a bit of thinking on this one recently, too...

chuck kimmerle said...

In the end I can only decide what I like and to look at it and purchase books and even prints.

Yep. If you're honest to yourself that's really all there is. That's not saying that appreciation can't be obtained through knowledge (recommendations, explanations, etc), but in the end it's our own, individual, preferences that are most important. Same can be said for the creation of art, as well.

So, keep on judging and evaluating and critiquing yours and other's art work - and do it proudly - as your opinion is no less valid than anyone else's.