Not totally photo related, not just a journal. A bit of both.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Is it art or cheese?

The other day, one of the people I follow on Twitter (I don't remember who) linked to The Guy With a Camera Twitter page. He or she has fun tweeting fake posts such as the following:
Today is world pinhole day, so I am shooting a naked model on the hood of a Corvette using my pinhole camera. SWEET!
Writing a iPhone app that locates a rose in a photo & automatically applies selective color.
Casting call – looking to shoot naked girl pushing lawn mower while wearing fairy wings and football helmet. Very tasteful.
While they are pretty funny posts that make fun of a certain class of amateur photographers  - the GWCs or guys with a camera - who take pics of girls and have no talent (but often don't realize it or care), it got me to think. I have done more than a few 'creative' photo shoots in the past which at the time seemed cool or clever, but could certainly come off as a bit cheesy. OR be seen simply an excuse to get someone naked. One shoot that came to mind when contemplating this point was Halloween a couple years ago when I put Leia nude in the gaping jaws of a real pumpkin, with cold slimy pumpkin guts everywhere.

I like those shots, and other ideas I have tried. And don't regret shooting them. They were creative. And the pumpkin idea was original as far as I knew then. But do you really think they could be art? Fetishy to some? Probably. Nudes? Yes.  Sexy? Could be. But not art. Or is it? That Twitter user is essentially making fun of ideas like that. Or ideas like that, that are executed craptastically and with ulterior motives.

There in lies a quandary for me. I want to be considered serious about what I do photographically. And I know some of my stuff is really good. There: I said it - for those who say I never do. A fair bit is artistic. Pretty solid in post work, well composed, lit, and so on for the most part. And I have come leaps and bounds in a few short few years and keep learning. Be that as it may, I am not a professional photographer. So, perhaps to some of them, my work comes off being cheesy. But is it? Should I care? I do want into that 'pro' club - I suppose, but would that mean I would need to stop doing interesting ideas such as the pumpkin? Probably.

Perhaps the difference between picture A that a GWC would shoot and a similar picture B that I would shoot is in as much the intention behind it as it is about the quality of the finished product.

I am rambling and I wanted to post about this while it was on my mind, but I will stop now.

I should take to heart something that Stevie Wonder once said: "You can't base your life on other people's expectations." :)

That goes double for any artist.


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