Friday, October 19

Why Not A Post Card?

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How many galoots with Instamatics took this picture from this same bridge looking up the Tiber toward Adrian's Tomb? Why did I take it? I just saw a similarly shabby version of it in a ghastly written article in this month's Photoshop User Magazine. Do you realize how much I could have saved by just scanning that thing instead of schlepping off to Rome? I can think of no way to pull something original out of this cliché.

Can you? Hulp?

NOTE: You will often find in-depth descriptions of this Italian visit among the comments below both as I add onto them and as you prompt my memory. I'll try to restrict my thoughts exclusively to today's image here on the home page. Those comments begin here. To follow the thread chronologically start at October 7th.


advman said...

Well, we could go technical and there are lots of ways to argue why this is an excellent image, but I won't do that. I know it, you know it and both of us know that the other knows. It's moot.

Instead I want to ask the more fundamental question why on earth it should matter if this is a cliché? If art is anything, then it is a very personal thing between the artist and himself. You are the artist. If it's OK for you, then I can partake or not, that's my choice, but that's it for me.

Well, I chose to like it :)


mcmurma said...

I like the image too, and wouldn't have thought it cliché unless you had pointed it out. Maybe that's because I have never been there. So you can keep on presenting clichés and I'll never know the difference:)

As for the "cliché trap", where the would be photographer decides against a scene by either A)putting away the camera entirely, or B)pursuing a different viewpoint that is hopefully somehow unique.... well, these are curious issues that I believe all photographers confront. At times it bugs the tar our of me.

One the one hand I want to present images that look "as good" as those done by others. But at the same time I don't want the image to be so "standardized" in terms of camera placement, lighting, and composition that it could have been done a gillion times, or more... and likely better, by others.

And I don't think there is a way around this obstacle in the tangible sense... it not like a rock we can hop across. There are only so many accessible POV and they have all been done. Oh well. I try not to worry about it. It doesn't seem to do any good.

Ted Byrne said...

(Michael) YESSSSSSSS! You get it! My point. The hell can we do to keep from plagiarizing the obvious? In this case my guide brought us to this place. Stood at the railing. Pointed to the vista. I did and shot it using the railing as support. My meager contribution was to purposely fill the foreground with the twin tourist boats, and to work it like heck in post processing.

And there's nothing fresh in the image. It is as if I'd successfully copied a museum painting... with my camera. We study other photographers to learn exactly what? And to the degree we impliment our studies... do we fall frequently into the 'Cliché Trap'? Isn't the very mechanical process we utilize a mold that keeps us frequently within the barriers of cliché? I have been drawn to the digital post processing techniques in order to explore fresh directions. But i wonder if I am simply using them to enhance past directions? I.E. to create post-processed clichés.

Is newness merely novelty? Or is freshness found in ideas/emotions revealed? Um, and how many of them are there? AAAARGH! I am having a crisis of photographers faith!!!!

Chad Oneil Myers said...


Thomas said...

I like Chad's comment. Short, concise and to the point. :)

Not only thanks for all the photos, also thanks for brushing up my English. I really had to look up "galoot". But that's a nice word...

John Roberts said...

I'll guarantee that the galoot with the instamatic didn't come back from the drug store with a print that looks like this! No cliche' here!