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Weekly Competition # 136 - "Suffering"

Hyram
Posted 10/02/2010 - 08:31 Link
thoughton wrote:
GlynM wrote:
While I'm sure this is an admirable subject and may well produce a classic shot I'm afraid its not a subject that I feel happy about shooting so will be ducking out of this one.

Apologies,

Glyn

Me too I am a hobbiest photographer who does this for fun. I don't have any desire to photograph suffering, and I'm not sure how I feel about amateur photographers trying to 'change the world' with these kind of photos. Sometimes it can be done right, but I fear all too often it isn't.

My thoughts as well.
Hyram

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Hyram
Posted 10/02/2010 - 08:32 Link
technoidiot wrote:
I thought it a perfectly valid entry

After all suffering is however you interpret it - it could easily be an old, well worn and battered pair of very down at heel shoes

The competition subject is suffering in the human form.
Hyram

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Hyram
Posted 10/02/2010 - 08:33 Link
alun wrote:
I have entered a picture which may be considered off-topic (but hey, I have history on that) and maybe it will encourage a wider interpretation?

alun - a very nice image but I would regard it as way off topic.
Hyram

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davidtrout
Posted 10/02/2010 - 09:42 Link
I think there have been a few pictures off topic in recent competitions but if the judge can see the point then its down to him or her to decide whether they are valid entries. A wide interpretation is to be encouraged as it leads to inventiveness but as Hyram says, this week's competition is about human suffering and its difficult to go too far off topic with that one.
david
alun
Posted 10/02/2010 - 09:44 Link
Quote:
alun - a very nice image but I would regard it as way off topic

What about the suffering that will be endured by the poor SOB that has to refit the boat?
techno-terminator
Posted 10/02/2010 - 11:19 Link
Or the agony the boatbuilders felt when they saw what had happened to their handiwork ?
let the education continue

proud owner of a couple of cameras and a few bits and bobs
Hyram
Posted 10/02/2010 - 11:29 Link
......... both very valid points but I don't think it is what mattox has in mind
Hyram

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alun
Posted 10/02/2010 - 11:42 Link
The thread that we had recently concerning the Forum participant who had photographed a car accident set out some reasons why it might be acceptable to take pictures that dwelt on pain and suffering, but I find it difficult to justify an interest in this topic simply for our own amusement.
Johns entry is closer to the topic than mine, so perhaps this is more towards what mattox had in mind, ie, a more abstracted interpretation?
bwlchmawr
Posted 10/02/2010 - 16:59 Link
I think the topic is bold and interesting.

Yes, we all love beautiful views, pretty girls, sunsets, flowers...photographs which please the eye. But photography offers so much more than this: it has the power to engage the mind and make you think and feel. Look at the work of great photographers: yes, pictorial work like Ansel Adams is wonderfully enduring but what about Dorothea Lange's photographs or those by Robert Capa?

Sorry about that must burn that wretched soap box.


Andrew

P.S. Thought I'd picked a pretty good photograph for the competition until I saw John Riley's...
Best wishes,

Andrew

"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
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GlynM
Posted 10/02/2010 - 17:43 Link
bwichmawr wrote:
I think the topic is bold and interesting....

That is fine with me. However from my direction to do justice to my interpretation of this subject requires a level of detachment that I know I don't have, also requires courage and may involve some risk which I'm not prepared to take. If I was on commission to, say, Time Magazine then it may be different but not for a user group competition.

I think that while these competitions should be challenging they also need to be open and inclusive to attract lots of entries and encourage new members. I'm worried that this particular subject will have an inverse impact.

Glyn
mikew
Posted 10/02/2010 - 19:22 Link
It also requires opportunity which given I try to shoot within the week seems improbable.

I think it will be interesting to see what comes up as entries.

Mike
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You can see some of my shots at my Flickr account.
thoughton
Posted 10/02/2010 - 19:25 Link
bwichmawr wrote:
Yes, we all love beautiful views, pretty girls, sunsets, flowers...photographs which please the eye. But photography offers so much more than this: it has the power to engage the mind and make you think and feel. Look at the work of great photographers: yes, pictorial work like Ansel Adams is wonderfully enduring but what about Dorothea Lange's photographs or those by Robert Capa?

Just to expand on what I said earlier, I think this kind of shock-value photography has validity, if and only if the photo is going to be published in hundreds of thousands of newspapers or magazines to have some impact on public perceptions. Like Glyn said, shooting these shots for a small photo club competition seems a little different.
Tim
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mikew
Posted 10/02/2010 - 19:32 Link
I'm not sure Tim, it is possible to take suffering and treat it with sensitivity and create an image of beauty. I shall dig about and see if I can find an example. But I agree that exploitation would be wrong.

Mike
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You can see some of my shots at my Flickr account.
Malo1961
Posted 10/02/2010 - 19:59 Link
We have a guy here on the forum, who has done(or still is doing) a excellent series on the homeless. In depth and with great respect for the subjects. Mostly high quality B&W and sometimes...throat grabbing.



Suffering was brought to the viewer in a intense way,
Specially if we didn't agree with the content or dared to challenge him.


The bold part intended to be very light hearted and in no way disrespectful to Pauly.
(for those who don't know who I am talking about)
Best regards,

Martin.


Curious about my photography?? Just Follow the Light.
thoughton
Posted 10/02/2010 - 22:41 Link
Thanks for reminding me about Pauly. Thinking about my own feelings about his images has helped me crystallize my initial gut reaction. Yes, I agree Pauly's shots have a certain something, occasionally a brilliant something, and he is quite passionate about them But he's not taking his photos for a competition. I didn't quite realise it before but that seems to be the root of the problem for me. I guess it's the same exploitation angle Mike mentioned earlier.
Tim
AF - Pentax K5, Sigma 10-20/4-5.6, Tamron 17-50/2.8, Sigma 30/1.4, Sigma 70-200/2.8, Tamron 70-300/4-5.6
MF - Vivitar CF 28/2.8, Tamron AD2 90/2.5, MTO 1000/11
Stuff - Metz 58 AF1, Cactus v4, Nikon SB24, Raynox 150, Sigma 1.4x TC, Sigma 2x TC, Kenko 2x macro TC, Redsnapper 283 tripod, iMac 27, Macbook Pro 17, iPad, iPhone 3G
Flickr Fluidr PPG Street Portfolio site
Feel free to edit any of my posted photos! If I post a photo for critique, I want brutal honesty. If you don't like it, please say so and tell me why!
Edited by thoughton: 10/02/2010 - 22:43

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