Recent Photographs: all photographs © 1969-2020 by Carl Weese
Sometimes I realize that whether or not I like a photograph is, in some respects, directly related to the time it takes to absorb the entire frame. Not that a complicated photograph is necessarily good; some are not worth spending time with. When I saw this image, I was tempted to open the larger version. It was clear that the picture grabbed my attention and made me want to *look* at what was inside. But it also made me realize, yet again, that I am frustrated having to look at images on-line.This new blog world is a blessing and a curse. There's no way, before the web I could have ever seen as much photography by such a diverse group of artists. But what we have to look at on-line are often dumbed-down renditions of what might be fantastic as prints.The real dilemma? As on-line viewers we may be let down by complex compositions that might sing as printed pictures; worse yet, as artists we may be tempted to edit our work with the screen in mind.All that said, I have a feeling I'd like a print of this one ;o)
Nicely put, Michael. As technologically "retrograde" as paper appears to be by now, it is still the standard by which we judge our viewing experience. Is that changing? Will paper and prints ever disappear? Probably not. I went to an exhibit of large b&w photographic prints last night, and it was an infinitely more rewarding/satisfying experience than viewing images online. Maybe the technology of online display needs to catch up to the "retrograde" standards of paper.
Good points, Michael and Kent. I've always prefered pictures with complex content to simple, purely graphic ones. You keep seeing advice to photographers to look for "the telling detail," but my experience is that usually "the telling detail," well, ain't.I've always thought that a good picture should look good when reproduced in newsprint (is this dating me?). A picture that can only be understood as a gum-bichromate over platinum in gold filigree frame seems kinda suspect to me. Internet postings are the same way, maybe. If a picture doesn't have anything to offer when viewed as a 400 pixel wide image on screen, then maybe there isn't really much to it. Of course a good picture will be much more rewarding when seen as a well-made print. To me the picture comes first, the presentation second.
The complexity of a well made picture has a lot to do with specificity I think and the richness that makes a thing (or things) specific is often lost on-screen, especially at 600 pixels across. So I don't think it's about *presentation*, Carl; it's about the *medium* and its ability to convey that richness and complexity.
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