Photographic Cliches

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maxlyons
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Photographic Cliches

Post by maxlyons » Tue Apr 30, 2013 10:20 pm

I enjoy a photographic cliche as must as the next person. I have certainly taken my share! In any case, two of the potential consequences of shooting photographic cliches are (1) the fact that your pictures look just like everybody else's pictures and (2) the presence of other photographers!

Panoramic photographers have, in principle at least, the opportunity to make their photographs looks a little less like everybody else's images. Here's one that I took at Delicate Arch earlier this month that I think is little different from the rest of the crowd.

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This scene encompasses a field-of-view of about 200 degrees, which allowed me to capture the sunset, and the light on Delicate Arch in one scene. Single-image-photographers are constrained in the field-of-view that can be captured, and this composition is impossible for them. In fact, while I was moving around and shooting this scene, there was a group of about 50 photographers camped out in the shadows opposite Delicate Arch waiting for the "perfect" sunset shot.

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Constrained by the limited field-of-view of their lenses, this was the "obvious" composition for a single-image photographer:

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Certainly nothing to complain about, but similar to most of the rest. As it turns out, the sun sunk behind the clouds a few minutes before the sun actually set, and there were groans of disappointment from the assembled crowd who were denied their opportunity of capturing the very last few seconds of red light on the Arch.

And, when I can't make an image that looks different from everybody else's, or when there are simply too many other photographers around to take a unobstructed shot of the cliche...I find that moving back a couple of steps to photograph the rest of the crowd is a good consolation prize! Here are a few recent examples:

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More pictures of photographers here.

If you have any pictures of photographers...post them here!

Max

Jim Zuccaro
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Photographic Cliches

Post by Jim Zuccaro » Sun May 19, 2013 11:30 pm

Max, I agree...

(I wrote a long, brilliant, incisive reply to your post... and the forum BB ate it. It logs me off in a few minutes. I keep forgetting that the "Save a draft" button must be used, every time!)

I agree with what you wrote. I have a couple of questions. I'll post a pano of photographers. And I must post this quick...

Jim Zuccaro
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Photographic Cliches

Post by Jim Zuccaro » Sat Jun 01, 2013 12:17 am

Max,

I have many pano images that include other photographers. I think that they are very interesting images, as you also said about pictures with photographers in them. I also think that it is a compositional sensibility shared by you and me and about eighteen other people, a very rare one. When I show anyone an image that has photographers in it, always the reaction is "Enh...". Even other photographers say that. Even when I have printed images of the other photographers and tried to give the prints to them, complementary images of them and very good quality prints, they have always shrugged them off, and at the most only said "That's a very good print, how'd you do that?"

The '"obvious" composition' photo of the Delicate Arch is a photographic composition that I have seen many times, with and without snow, and it is definitely a Photographic Cliche. That composition is dissonant to me; the slope of the foreground clashes with the level background. I like the prior image of the scene; the slope of the bedding plane has context. And the diminishing size of the photographers shows the depth of the scene, and balanced the composition of the scene.

I like the first image of the arch, but I like it better with the left side one quarter and the right side one tenth cropped off. In that image the smallest photographers, in the large group, add to the composition, but the larger and closer ones distract from the small ones, and from the center of the image, to me...

thanks, Jim Z

maxlyons
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Re: Photographic Cliches

Post by maxlyons » Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:05 pm

Jim,

I guess you are right about the limited interest in pictures of photographers...I'm not sure why I find them as much fun as do! I guess it is something about the silliness of all of us (myself included) trying to capture exactly the same scene that everyone is capturing...but, we still do it anyway! Of course, we all want to create unique images, but I suspect that most of us succumb every now and then to the cliche. I enjoyed your pictures of Arches in the other thread, by the way. Interesting that you mentioned that you didn't know where you were going. I hadn't really thought about it until now, but perhaps that is one of the downsides of the volume of images available on the internet...unless one is really restrained, it is hard to visit a place for the first time without already having formulated some bias towards what the "good" photos are going to be. At least, I find that to be true for me.

Max

Jim Zuccaro
Posts: 71
Joined: Wed Apr 06, 2011 9:44 pm

Re: Photographic Cliches

Post by Jim Zuccaro » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:56 am

Max,

I find pictures of photographers fun, too. Sometimes they are silly, but also they are almost always casual or candid pictures. I am most interested in pictures of people doing ordinary things. They are the most easy pictures to connect with, for me.

Sideways to the topic of the thread: If I may recommend a photo book to you; one of my favorite photographers is Sumner Matteson. A book of his turn-of-the-century photos, "Side Trips", http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/ ... ition=used , is less than $10, used. Almost all of the pictures have people in them. Most of the pictures make me wish to know the stories of the people who were in the pictures.

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