Faces Are Not Required

9 months 3 weeks ago #613133 by garyrhook
Got this in an email today:

www.ai-ap.com/publications/article/24072...et-the-winner-z.html

The winning photo shows someone repairing a fishing net, and the face isn't visible.

Huh.

I bring this up because NewavaMike posted an image of a neighbor gardening, and there were comments that a face was required.

I'm here to state unequivocally that that is not true. Clearly it's
possible to win an international photo competition with an image that
contains people and no faces.

What I am not saying is that other elements of an image aren't important. Quite the contrary. But to
focus on a single thing is, I believe, somewhat problematic. Especially
when it's pretty easy to refute said claim.  Like here.

In any event, the winning images are beautiful, and I thought worth sharing.


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9 months 3 weeks ago #613136 by Nikon Shooter

garyrhook wrote: I bring this up because NewavaMike posted an image of a neighbor gardening, and there were comments that a face was required.


In the case of my comment, it was applying to Mike's picture only at
that moment, on that photo.

Mike's picture has none (yet) of the many visual pleasures your posted
linked picture has to offer. So many that the scene does not document
but expresses, inspires, reveal. A face is not required because the viewer
is overwhelmed by textures, shades, tonalities etc that are so rich and
convincing that the documentation of the person is surely not required.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
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9 months 3 weeks ago #613146 by garyrhook

Nikon Shooter wrote:

garyrhook wrote: I bring this up because NewavaMike posted an image of a neighbor gardening, and there were comments that a face was required.


In the case of my comment, it was applying to Mike's picture only at
that moment, on that photo.

Mike's picture has none (yet) of the many visual pleasures your posted
linked picture has to offer. So many that the scene does not document
but expresses, inspires, reveal. A face is not required because the viewer
is overwhelmed by textures, shades, tonalities etc that are so rich and
convincing that the documentation of the person is surely not required.


I'm going to disagree with that assertion.

I think that the referenced (winning) image was more successful at telling its story. I believe that effective commentary is goes deep in evaluating effectiveness.

The problem is that what were offered as (ostensibly) critiques (of Mike's image) came across as nothing of the sort ("nothing special"?). I found them unhelpful, unencouraging, and lacking in scope in either a micro, macro, or meta perspective.

And frankly, that really bothers me. Quite a bit. Not that anyone cares.

My experience (limited though it may be) is that this community (photography, not just PT) encourages (for the most part) better. And when I see an epic failure (such as how I think this instance came across) I'm going to express my opinion about it.

So: in my opinion some of the posted critiques of Mike's image could have been handled with far more grace and helpfulness. Instead of emphasis on a single aspect that was, in my opinion, relatively minor. In my opinion the sandwich approach is always a good idea, if only to force a commentor to think about what they're trying to say.  Or to keep quiet.

Def: "commentor": one who comments. Apparently it's not really a word.


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9 months 3 weeks ago - 9 months 3 weeks ago #613147 by Nikon Shooter

garyrhook wrote: So: in my opinion some of the posted critiques of Mike's image could have been handled with far more grace…

I surely have none of your skills in your language. :(
I had some PMs with Mike and the contact was easy and pleasant. I felt
like he understood what I meant even with my language difficulties.

garyrhook wrote: Def: "commentor": one who comments. Apparently it's not really a word.

Commentator maybe?

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8 months 4 weeks ago #617622 by garyrhook

Nikon Shooter wrote:

garyrhook wrote: Def: "commentor": one who comments. Apparently it's not really a word.

Commentator maybe?


Works for me.

Apologies for being a grammar cop. Or perhaps "flic de la grammaire" according to babelfish.


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8 months 5 days ago #621634 by NewavaMike
I appreciate both of your inputs (and everyone else's too) about my "gardener" shot.  
It hardly compares to the winner of that contest, but I understand your point and appreciate  you sharing the link with my shot in mind Gary.  As limited as my experience in photography is, I find that critique, especially by photographers whom I respect, like NS and yourself...... (and a great number of others around here: ( I really am a small fish)  is wonderful !  It means someone actually looked at my picture and had a thought about it.  That's pretty cool.  NS didn't like that the neighbors face did not show.  To me, that only meant that he would have liked to see her face in the image.  It would have made a better connection with him as an outsider to the scene.  

Yourself and others liked it just as it was. 

Conclusion:  Keep taking pictures !!  :) 


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