- Jul 3, 2010
Totally agreed - my first thought was "that's boring".Since you asked for input...honestly, I don't see anything interesting/visually appealing in there. Dumpsters by nature aren't the most amazing things to photograph, but I see no interesting angles, no playing with whatever light is available, etc...they just look like random snapshots of uninteresting spots.
Don't mean to sound harsh, but I think you should experiment going back at a different time of the day, subject/background isolation, juxtaposition of things that don't belong together (a pink doll at the foot of a rusty dumpster or something), unique angles, etc.
Very funny.Regarding near/far elements and juxtaposition of image elements, in this shot, the tenuous stream of water (which is out of place in the desert), with tire tracks going over it provide a contrast to the entrant dumpster as does the building in the background mirroring the dumpster (or does the dumpster mirror the building). There is a tension in this shot without being as cliche as using a pink baby doll.
As someone who shoots photos, there is no way you can look at this image and say that it is just a "random snapshot." It just doesn't happen like that. I you look close you will notice that there is quite a bit of determination and control of the composition, the space and the planes in space. You may not respond to it, but please don't tell me that a monkey could have taken the shot!
Peter, I really appreciate the time and thought you put into this comment. Obviously, having someone say something like, "[these] just look like random snapshots of uninteresting spots," is a little disheartening when I put so much of myself in my work. Your comments really made posting these seem worthwhile. I'm glad that you can see what I'm doing and appreciate it for what it is.I don't often feel the need to comment on threads on this forum even though I read many.
I must disagree with the comments made to date. This collection of images is an excellent example of contemporary photography - the images need to be viewed as a set rather than as individual pictures. It's true they are not pretty pictures, but there is a lot to see in them and for me the set tells a story about man's impact on the landscape. They don't need words to explain them and others may interpret them in another way - that is the strength of the set, in my view.
I enjoyed them very much and am grateful to you for sharing them with us.
I think your synopsis sums it up fairly well. Honestly, without being given any hints, I wouldn't have had any idea what the theme of the series was supposed to represent and I don't think the storyline was really supported by the shots or vice versa.OK, I want to make an honest opinion in the way that I really want people to state honest opinions of my own shots, because, really, it's the best way to improve.Z...
The photos are certainly not meant to be illustrations for the essay. They are related, in a way that the the photos are related to one another. Looking away from where we have to dump our *stuff* is meaningful to many people. Emotionally, all the elements are related for me. The photos were really meant to provide the viewer somewhere to put their own emotions... didn't specifically want to control what emotions they would be.I think your synopsis sums it up fairly well. Honestly, without being given any hints, I wouldn't have had any idea what the theme of the series was supposed to represent and I don't think the storyline was really supported by the shots or vice versa.
OK, what were the issues that I saw?
- First off, you started by emphasising 'dumpsters, neglect, loneliness and forgetting', somewhat separate things and then said it's possibly a '..nice place to go and be alone.' Mixed message?
- Then you showed varied shots that didn't necessarily reflect or tie in, in a logical sequence, any of the emotions or story that you were trying to convey.
- The final theme seemed to be about personal baggage and anger, yet that didn't appear to be what was conveyed at the beginning.
- The story is fine, but the images don't really support the emotions or storyline conveyed in the narrative, or help to build on the narrative.
- The images need to support the narrative. Was there actual stuff that you could photograph, close-ups that reflected some emotions in the narrative? Were there other things that you could photograph, such as taking some shots through the restaurant window/door, to emphasise your initial relationship with the back yard etc? Maybe some shots of your son's performance to highlight the contrast between your observations of life.
Thanks for the comments Zee! No, not going to flip over negative comments, just makes me think harder and reassess my work (a good thing for everyone to do!). I agree that there is also a lot of personal taste involved. I got a fair amount of personal support for the series as well from other sources... not that those people's opinions are anymore valuable than yours....
To me, these do look like random snaps that any random person may have taken with an iProduct. There is nothing interesting or appealing - they seem to be taken at standing height, no interesting angles, no interesting perspective, and no post processing that really makes the image gritty, or gives it some sort of affect that makes me go
"hey, what's going on here, that's kinda cool".
Honestly, I see nothing.
This is me, and my personal view, maybe there is something here I don't get, and if so, so be it. In the same way we don't all like all styles of music, maybe this is just a style of photography that doesn't do it for me.
I also commend the op for taking all criticisms well, and also trying to explain the work.
The thing is, people expect the photos to relate directly to the narrative and to clearly support the narrative. You've written a photo-essay, an essay that is supported by, or dependent on, the photos (not accompanied by them); both are inextricably linked if you want to do photo-essays properly. Both the narrative and the photos need to have a beginning, body and end, just like a purely text essay and they need to flow from the beginning to the end.The photos are certainly not meant to be illustrations for the essay. They are related, in a way that the the photos are related to one another. Looking away from where we have to dump our *stuff* is meaningful to many people. Emotionally, all the elements are related for me. The photos were really meant to provide the viewer somewhere to put their own emotions... didn't specifically want to control what emotions they would be.
I considered ending with a photo from the performance, but in the end, wanted to just stick with the landscapes.
Thanks for the comments... if nothing else, they definitely make me think more about my work!