My big problem with landscape and urban photography

I have a big problem with landscape and urban photography. I chose 5 examples for you, randomly in Google Images. I call this problem the “Intention of Effect“.

Long pauses transform cars into lines. Choosing sunset time gives “interesting” colours to the mountains. Using a drone makes you fly and shows lines. Putting the camera on the ground brings “interesting” lines and reflections.

Well, in each of these pictures I FEEL the photographer’s will, which seems to YELL at me “I AM SMART HAVE YOU SEEN IT?”. Yeah, I’ve seen it, buddy.

Each time I see one picture like this (and they are a majority), I’m rolling eyes. I’m like : “Okey little man, I see what you do”; and this is ABSOLUTELY boring.

Intention of effect kills effect.

This is not art, no art at all. It’s all waxywet, schmaltzy and wishy-washy, it is not gorgeous: it’s ridiculous and I’m already out, goodbye.

The contrary of all this monkey arounding appeared in the 70s with Stephen Shore and William Eggleston.

They knew the “pretty” urban or landscape pictures were ridiculous, and very, very far behind the Art Movement.

They had to find another way to show cities and nature. To stop being a show-off little idiot.

So they experimented a more neutral “way”, becoming an amateur-beginner, or becoming a tech-photographer. I think they wanted to show us the mood of a place, or maybe to be precise, or maybe they simply wanted to stop appearing like a smart-ass “look how I’m good” photographer. How to achieve that?

Of course they began to take pictures of the ordinary, empty urban spaces, parking lots, roads and houses. This was much more interesting and “charged” with the sense of a place.

I chose some Stephen Shore‘s pictures. This man makes my eyes stop. I want to wander on the photography. I (ain’t it strange)… breathe. I almost understand WHY the guy stopped there. This shadow. These lines. An horizon. The light of the day!

You’ll find many texts, articles and interviews about him and his influence on the web. Have fun!

Photography : Taking the veil… off?

I know that most of photography amateurs today modify their pictures on the computer. You have powerful tool to change paramaters…

I took the first picture one summer day on a flea market. To make the second picture I :

  • increased sharpness (30%)
  • Increased contrast
  • decreased brighness

 

The two last steps “took the veil off”. It’s really like a veil. When you remove it from your pictures it’s like you cleaned the glass window between the world and your eyes.

I chose another picture with a tree. If I remove the veil, the tree’s shadow is more… correct, but I think, I feel I lost the summer mood… Maybe not. I don’t know.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

 

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Broken Cam #Photography – Cabourg 1

Cabourg is a little city near the sea, in Normandy, France.

I was there in 2009, for a whole week, with a cheap Canon camera, which was at the end of its life. It was cold and rainy, and I spent days alone, wandering around, listening to Hindemith on my iPod (I’ll explain it in another post)…

From time to time, the whatchamacallit before the shutter stayed stuck in this oblique funny way. I often took one photo “like this”, before finger-opening it. There’s some Amor Fati in the photographer’s mind, right?

I chose a couple of pictures from this day, to build a tool for thinkers & inventors, which is :

Tool (let’s call it “Use it before you fix it”) :

When something “doesn’t work”, stop. Think about it. What doesn’t work? What could you do “with” it before fixing it?

Where will you apply this tool : Painting? Powerpoint? Poetry? Blogging? Would you go until you think it’s a sign? For what?

 

You’re a photographer. You lost or forgot something? What do you do? Do you have examples? Is improvisation good? Why?

So, well, my broken Canon picts are a little creepy like subjective views in a cheap horror movie? Of course, but I hope I got somethings else :

  • a little eyebrow movement from you (“Hey, what is happening here?”)
  • voyeurismness (mask behindness)
  • questions (“what is the last picture about?” – it’s a dirty corrugated roof)
  • maybe a mood (the remote house in the mist with the fence on photo 5) – feel the cold wind?
  • an illusion game (droplet as an eye, seaweed’s cuteness)

 

Thanks for reading! Have a nice day.

 

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