The Concept of "Gesture" in Photography

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alex66

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The big rub on that is that often those things that go outside the "standard" or the generally accepted as good often turn into the next big thing, fad, or someone being heralded as the next great artist. Art - the most subjective thing on the planet. I think it has been the impetus of more online flame wars than there have been actual wars. In stead of people arguing about someone's taste in what they do like, I find it better to have a meaningful conversation with them to try and understand what it is about the piece they do like. You still may not have the same appreciation for it as they, but at least you'll (a) have had a positive conversation with another human being, (b) get an understanding and potentially and appreciation for what and how another person thinks.

Artistic ability is just like every other skill. The more you intentionally practice it, the better you get at it. I always tell the students I have or the people I mentor when they get frustrated is that they have to go in waves. Before they master the basics, they get frustrated because they don't know how to make the images they want. They don't look like the ones they see elsewhere. Once the basics are mastered, then you have the skill to concentrate on better compositions, looking for the gesture or that perfect scene. then, because they are not worried anymore about what f/stop, shutter speed or ISO to use or if they do or don't want motion blur or how shallow the DOF should be, they can put all the effort into the artistic side of the images. There is truth the HCB saying that your first 10,000 images are your worst. I'd fathom to say that my first 50,000 are my worst. I'm a slow learner sometimes. :D
This makes me think of a book that was recomended to me; Zen in the art of Archery, its premise being to become one with the bow or in our case the camera that you do not think of the bow anymore but it is a natural extension of you. Them your thought goes towards the placement of the arrow or what is in the frame and the device is essentially an extension of your arm.
 
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I have been to the Dragon many times. This year might have been my last. It’s just not fun anymore. Too many people and too many of them idiots.

Yup, way too many people, and lots and lots of idiots. For me, getting there was more fun than being there. However it was/is a target rich environment for photographing people. First time I went was over 25 years ago, and then it was too crowded. Forget weekends. The only time I've ridden on it has been weekdays. We ride from NJ to NC, and along the way there are many more amazing roads, most of which now have equally dumb names instead of just route numbers. They've been found through social media, rather than by a couple of people with maps who say, hmm, squiggly lines, lets go!
 
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I'm not much of a landscape 'tog, but I'd like to SEE horseshoe bend based on the pictures I've seen of it.

Yes, I'd like to just SEE quite a few things, but I'd prefer to turn around and photograph the photographers arguing over who gets the best tripod holes. Or just find a different vantage point that isn't so crowded, if that's possible.
 

Replytoken

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Like that. What the hell is wrong with people that they have to take the same damn photo as everyone else?
I am not sure how much of this is generational, as it always is when there is a new generation on the heels of the last one or two, how much is technological, and how much is due to population growth, but the whole lemming phenomena is quite fascinating, albeit damaging as well. It used to be that folks read tour books and watched TV to find popular places to visit. I understand the convenience of discovery that technology has brought, but it also seems like, for some, it is less about actually seeing the site and more about posting that you were there. Kind of a can't see the forest for the trees type of problem, and very sad IMHO.

--Ken
 

DynaSport

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I'm just glad they are getting outside and going places instead of playing video games all day.
 

Replytoken

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I'm just glad they are getting outside and going places instead of playing video games all day.
Well, I see it as a compromise. Yes, they are outside, but mostly to take that selfie that they can post to IG for more likes. I know that we are also carrying technology with all of our gear, and that some of us will also post to IG, so I want to be careful with that sharp stick in my metaphorical hand right now. Having said that, from time to time I share my images on my blog, when I can, but with no monetary or social status expectations. It is a free country and if you are fond of the whole advertising/social influencer/social media thing that is your right, but please do understand that many fragile places are not really designed to handle these significant increases in crowds without consequences. It is a shame that the old "leave no trace" motto adopted by many outdoors lovers of the past has not caught on again.

--Ken
 

DynaSport

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I don’t think they are trying to harm anything and likely aren’t aware they are. And I don’t understand the hostility toward folks taking selfies. It just makes the complainers seem old and grumpy. Just because someone enjoys something you don’t doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It reminds me of my middle school principal carrying around a ruler and measuring boys hair and telling them to get a haircut.
 

Replytoken

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I don’t think they are trying to harm anything and likely aren’t aware they are. And I don’t understand the hostility toward folks taking selfies. It just makes the complainers seem old and grumpy. Just because someone enjoys something you don’t doesn’t mean it’s wrong. It reminds me of my middle school principal carrying around a ruler and measuring boys hair and telling them to get a haircut.
I do not disagree that many are not aware, and I do not have any issue with selfies for fun and sharing with family and friends. What does kind of concern me is the combination of a lack of awareness of impact on a fragile area along with those who insist on pushing the envelope, for whatever reason. I guess if people were more aware of their impact and acted responsibly with that knowledge, then this might not be an issue that it is starting to become in some places.

--Ken
 
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