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Old 04-30-2005, 04:29 AM
bboss bboss is offline
TE Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 565
Default Re: 1.61803398874989484820458683436563811772030917980

Ok so I wouldn't exactly call it a 'problem', its just the nature of photography. It does however make photography very difficult to talk about in any meaningful way.

In music for example the structure and form is apparent to anyone with a score (and a few lifetimes to study it) so this is what musicians/composers talk about and study, purely because its easy to talk about. But in reality these forms are not apparent to the listener (except the extremely simple ones), and the really important aspects (like emotional content, quality, originality etc) are totally neglected because they are so elusive and difficult to pin down. Is there really a single listener in the entire world who could tell through listening to a piece whether the composer was using the golden section as a compositional tool - I think not. This does not necessarily make the structure redundant, after all it may just keep the composer amused, or maybe it could give a kind of coherence that is recognized by the listener in an intuitive way.

So, we talk about those aspects which are easy to talk about, and in photography its obviously the technical aspects that get discussed most and emotional content least, despite the fact that it is certainly the emotional content (or at least our emotional response) that makes us like one photo or another.

And of course we all have little bits of value judgement here and there which whilst not exactly being rules (in that they are breakable) are certainly tendencies.
Sohrab for instance prefers B+W to colour, Claude doesnt like square photos, Luko prefers photos with humans in, I prefer landscapes and mountains etc (no offence guys, I only say this to illustrate a point), so we all have our own little tendencies many of which we share, otherwise we could not begin to understand where others were coming from.

Take the triangular photo for example. Nobody has said its a photographic rule that photos have to be a certain shape or format, but we all tend to use 2:3 or 3:4 formats (approx) with the odd squarer one creeping in. Ever seen a triangular one? I expect there is one somewhere, but the point is that we all intuitively gravitate towards a certain thing without even recognising it, and without even imagining to do otherwise. We gravitate towards that which exhibits the values and emotions we share, and that which we have already experienced.
We dont even have to see a triangular photo to know that it will not work well, but to explain why it wont do the job is virtually impossible. And when you start to think about it there are dozens of these assumptions/tendencies that really do demand some kind of impossible explanation. If only they were not so difficult to talk about...
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