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  #1  
Old 10-05-2005, 05:24 PM
Homerhomer Homerhomer is offline
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Default Eurovision by Magnum

Here is a link to their
pr oject.
I don't know if it's just me but I really don't see the images as being interesting and IMO most of them are complete snapshots that anyone could have taken.
What am I missing here?
Any thoughts?
Peter
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2005, 05:35 PM
maciekda maciekda is offline
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Default Re: Eurovision by Magnum

funny thing, I have just browsed those images a few mins ago. and I am disapointed by the material. Poland by Mark Power is so boring. Parr's vision of Slovenia is so Parr like... Donovan Wylie in Estonia? boring. Chris steel-perkins did quite a good job in Slovakia, some preety good shots. and lots of images from Cyprus and Czech Republic, some editing would help - too many similar ones, some like sketches...
anyway, i think that there is kind of a crisis in magnum. most of the new features are dissapointing. they need some freshness, some fresh blood
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2005, 06:06 PM
MKING MKING is offline
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Default Re: Eurovision by Magnum

Maybe I'm going way out on a limb here-- though I do agree about the idea of needing fresh blood-- but perhaps the demands of the market(s) they cater for are encouraging/coopting them into producing a certain type of image?

I was reading a study on the use of photography as a visual appetiser for creating tourism in northern England and the comments of the professional photographers showed a preference, on their part, to a certain type of photograph-- becuause of their own artistic inclinations but also the demands of the editors and advertising material that they publish in.

The above wasn't not photojournalism but I wonder if similar editorial processes, inherent frameworks etc dictate that certain images, whilst not necessarily pushing the boundaries of the art, 'work' because they're adaptable for many different types of publication or they're what the buyers like. Magnum is as much a business as it is an elite 'society'.
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  #4  
Old 10-11-2005, 04:49 AM
jinju jinju is offline
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Default Re: Eurovision by Magnum

I agree. Something at magnum is misfiring. Heres the thing, I think that 80% of those photos would bomb on TE. And I bet we as a community could come up with a larger and BETTER collection of photos than those. So the question is, what is going on at magnum? Has their creative energy run out? A lot of the Cyprus and Malta stuff was just bad photography.
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2005, 09:58 AM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Default Re: Eurovision by Magnum

I have to agree with you guys, after 3 dozen of pictures i had to stop, it's plain awful, and damned, Jinju, you have a point, TE, due to the diversity of "eyes" taking pictures, and the striving to improve oneself, is spoiling us (not complaining!), as far as today's photography. Maybe we should create a TE agency! :-)))
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2005, 11:37 AM
sohrab sohrab is offline
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Default Re: Eurovision by Magnum

ok not that i'm bowled over by this particular series.. but there are certain ponts that i'd like to make..

firstly.. i personally don't see them as snapshots.. while most of them seem boring to me, the works of al the photographers seem to follow a certain style/trend or whatever else you may call it.. i find them boring because i don't really understand them.. and while i don't understand them.. i know that it's not like there isn't anything in them to understand.. because they don't at all seem illogical.. so they're really snapshots to me..

i wonder how many of you remember when maciej himself raised doubts over parr's credibility as a magnum photographer a long time ago.. and now himself or atleast in the recent times was a big fan of parr's style... ( it's a different thing altogether that a lot of us TE members seem to jump with parr's name with anything obscure we see.. i still don't get parr :))


secondly.. taking for example.. power's poland shots.. i find them to be in sync with each other as well.. but i feel that there is a new branch of styles developing which is rid of all the cosmetic or rather superficial elements that most of us photographers might want to see.. the colours are placid.. the subjects seem even more placid and the compositions seem absolutely dead..

perhaps powers is one of them.. maybe for most of us who are big fans of humanistic/dynamic /whatever else you may call it, the decisive kind of photography, these things might be boring.. but i'm sure there is a big bunch of audience to whom this stuff appeals..

i'm not a big fan of power's style.. but atleast i can see that he has one.. and that his photographs can stand on their own.. even in a bunch of good photographs which themselves might get boring to me because of their repetition..

thirdly.... i'm still perplexed why people still say "oh these photographs will bomb at TE".. there should be a realisation at the same time.. that

a. many of TE's christened photographers will bomb themselves.. on other sites.. even the amateur ones..

b. sorry to say.. but i'm not convinced that we members of TE really have the last word on who's good and who's not..

c. while now more and more TE photographers are reading more and more books on photography.. is there any chance that they're understanding the styles as well..?? it's different to go through a book and enjoy the photographs than studying them...

d. i think diversity of work is more important than diversity of eyes.. i don't think there is too much diversity of work here.. instead i find lots of people's work converging to match the styles of certain "established" TE photographers.. ( correct me if i'm wrong.. i have hardly been spending any time here.. so my analysis might be extremely updated :))

it's funny that everyone's mentioned that they don't like the work.. and that it's disappointing and how boring it is.. and blah blah blah.. but nobody has mentioned WHY they think it's boring, disappointing..

personally i don't enjoy "looking" at picasso's work that much.. but the more i'm readin about his work and about him.. and his style etc.. i'm beginning to really be in an awe of him... i'm not very exposed to art and all that.. so it'll take me a while to appreciate his canvases..
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2005, 08:22 PM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Default Re: Eurovision by Magnum

Hi, Sohrab, diversity of eyee, which I coined, just meant that, and not style. And i think we have diversity of work here, maybe not by 563, or 759 members, but enough to have us look at other photography with a feeling of want and desire to be surprised. Which in no way means that TE shots are the new standard to view others from, of course.

about the new branch of styles, sounds like neo- or post-snapshotism, then, ahahaha....
With B&W as the "arttictic" alibi. Been done before, in movies, was called cinema-verite. the 60s are here again? :-)

there is no good and bad. I am just glad to see that we do not drink images like sweet milk, just before there is magnum next to it. Then, we can always change our mind about a photographer's work, but it is good to express lively reactions here, in our community, even if we're wrong. there is enough of us to have one show a different view and change our angle on the work.

To me, it's, so far, disappointing because indeed, it smacks of an old style, deja vu. Remember Picasso re-invented himself many times ("does God have style?" he said), my only problem with so many photographs is that you feel too much the guy is pretending something, wants to "express something"..... The striving, the pretension takes over the object of art or craft, while we are supposed to assume it is not part of it. Again Picasso: "je ne cherche pas, je trouve" ("not seeking anything, just stumbling upon" to be correctly translated I think). he kept his striving in the studio, where it belonged.

In a nutshell, and quickly, so open to revision ;-).

Cordially,
Herve
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2005, 08:29 PM
kinginexile kinginexile is offline
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Default Re: Eurovision by Magnum

first revision
------------------
awful sexism on my part, ouh lala. cross "guy" and replace with "person", which may sometimes mean "personnE", not a bad idea in photography, sometimes, as far as the end result ;-)
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2005, 04:39 AM
Homerhomer Homerhomer is offline
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Default Re: Eurovision by Magnum

Sohrab, putting all the TE comparisons (that's like comparing apples and oranges) this is why the project doesn't impress me.

First part, 169 images by Martine Franck. I have actually enjoyed many of the images, especially cityscapes are breathtaking, but her contribution to the project is divided by the cityscapes, then she concentrates on 2 or 3 families of artists, then closups of architecture, 4 images of skulls from the museum of natural history, 3 pictures of two kids playing computer, few more doing their homework (and for TE comparison's I for one like Zepi's picture of Dancing buildings much better then the one in the project). I see this as 3 or 4 separate projects, unfortunately this is a part of another bigger project and 400 images are still to follow. For most people even very talented once it takes many years to put a book together, this 160 or so images were put in a very short time, and it shows.

Ok, I already need a double espresso to go through the rest of them again.

Next 40 or so images by Karl De Keyzer from Malta, it starts very promising with few street/travel shots that I enjoy, unfortunately this is followed up countless pictures of people faces (the type that Luko loves ;-). Keep the first few images, get rid off the rest of portraits, and that’s enough to contribute to the project.

Now I am going to Marlow’s images of Cyprus (about 150 of them). Personally I feel that the images here all have a common denominator and belong to one theme or project (unlike the first two parts). Images are lifeless (even few of them with people have them more in a sense of ornaments and not human values), love the feeling of the place throught the series, quite enjoyable with many wonderful images. Perhaps with editing cutting the number of images by half wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Next 15 or so images by Martin Parr from Slovenia, like couple of them (sausage and bold guy in the pool) few others are ok although people like Maciej and others who are big fan of him can better tell if he is at this best here. Don’t know why the image of chandelier is included in this series.

Mark Power from Poland, 15 images or so, many of them very good but they don’t make the theme for me, quite all over the map. Included it colourized Ansel Adam’s like picture of the forest, apartment building, couple of village shots and people portraits (actually my favourite is the shot of a woman by the pool all dressed up, like the humour here, but I am not sure how the foreigners would read it, thing is that polish woman have to look their best even in their backyard or just going to buy a bread, make up is a must;-)

60 posed images of sad people in Lithuania, YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWN.

Perkins shows us his view of Slovakia, no more than 20 images of wide diversity yet showing many aspects of the country. Thanks for waking me up(unfortunately over 100 images to go, getting a pillow ready).

Wylie in Estonia zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz z.
People in Estonia can walk and various techniques of walking are analyzed. Much appreciated.

Zachmann in Hungary, this one rocks.

There you have it Sohrab, that’s why I don’t like the project, too long, too boring, to many pieces together, and among great images many that absolutely put me to sleep.
And even thought I am a lil guy who will never reach the accomplishments of any of the photographers included in the project, I don't mind stating what I feel about when I think it's crap.
Peter
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2005, 07:39 AM
jinju jinju is offline
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Default Some thoughts

Im going to have to go through that series again and watch it more carefully. But here my thoughts now.

In response to Herve

------------------------------------------------------------
I have to agree with you guys, after 3 dozen of pictures i had to stop, it's plain awful, and damned, Jinju, you have a point, TE, due to the diversity of "eyes" taking pictures, and the striving to improve oneself, is spoiling us (not complaining!), as far as today's photography. Maybe we should create a TE agency! :-)
))
--------------------------------------------------------------

Creating an agency. Lets get the book off the ground first. And let's see how it does:) I raised the issue before. Why not copy PBase and start a cyber magazine? A bi-monthly or 3-4 issues per year? Focus in on the photogs on TE and promote that work? The weakness of TE is that we post individual shots, often out of context with our other shots. Allowing photogs to put their photos in context of a larger series would be helpful. A TE Magazine could do that.

About starting an agency..the logistics would be difficult. And Im not suggesting we do that. But I think that there is a core group of photogs here lead by guys like Luko, Maciej, Claude, Sohrab, Henk, etc..maybe 20-30 people who if they stocked their photos under a seperate entity (retaining copyright ofcourse) would have certain success with it. Because although the general level of TE is not exactly original, stunning, searching, etc, there is a certain amount of content there that is not in any way inferior to stuff put out by the so called best, like Magnum.


To answer Sohrab
---------------------------------------------------------------
a. many of TE's christened photographers will bomb themselves.. on other sites.. even the amateur ones..
--------------------------------------------------------------

Maybe so. But many would succeed.

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b. sorry to say.. but i'm not convinced that we members of TE really have the last word on who's good and who's not..
---------------------------------------------------------------

Why not? I think we are educated enough, we have our own tastes and our own vision we try to put into our stuff. I think we are just as qualified to pass judgement as any professional, even on work by Magnum. Im not convinced that the so called professionals are better than the best on TE, just because they happen to be pros at magnum. 70% of the photos in this series was simply snap shot quality for me. And it was boring. Ill look at it again, but I have my first impression.

--------------------------------------------
c. while now more and more TE photographers are reading more and more books on photography.. is there any chance that they're understanding the styles as well..?? it's different to go through a book and enjoy the photographs than studying them...
-----------------------------------------------

Style is a trap. I dont think a style is all that good if it produces boring work. The photos of the kids on the computer. Can anyone convince me that was good photography? It looked like a casual family snap. You say theres a style. I say "so what if the style is boring?". Maybe its time to change that style. And I feel no qualms saying that even if I am an amateur and they are Magnum photogs. Im not intimidated. Perhaps Im foolish but thats how I feel.

-------------------------------------------------------
d. i think diversity of work is more important than diversity of eyes.. i don't think there is too much diversity of work here.. instead i find lots of people's work converging to match the styles of certain "established" TE photographers.. ( correct me if i'm wrong.. i have hardly been spending any time here.. so my analysis might be extremely updated :))
-------------------------------------------------------

But so is Magnum. I think that their styles are also disappearing and you get the Magnum style that is so obvious every time I see it. I think that in life you always have this kind of influence that rubs off on you, be it TE or Magnum. Obviously people get influenced by the guys getting 60 points a photo. But I think there is enough diversity here.
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