Creative: Follow Up

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So I posted a version of this image in my “Notes on Photography” series and Charlene asked me how many other images I’d made of this scene. The answer is two. The one I posted before, and the one you see here. I still hold by my decision of the first one is better, but I still like this one although it’s not as clean. I do love the side of the face of the man in the foreground. The paint job looks great, BUT, he overlaps too much with the man behind. The more I stare at this the more busy it feels with the foreground face, meaning the less I like it. But if you have thoughts by all means.

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  1. Sometimes imperfect is better. A perfectly composed image can appear too contrived, too crafted. Imperfect – one glaring issue, like the overlapping faces you mentioned – says to me that you were there, in all the confusion and turmoil, and came away with this wonderful image, imperfect like life itself, but still wonderful.

    I don’t know if there’s some philosophy like this from other cultures, maybe the Japanese sense of wabi sabi, but one imperfection is essential to success. That’s what I get from many classic photos from the mid-20th century, not perfect flawlessness but a great photo.

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      I equate most of what I see on IG feeds as work that is attempting to be “perfect.” Most people with followings are creating a look for their overall feed, and 99.9% of all these feeds look the same. Sunrise, Arches National Park, person in red with yellow backpack in perfect sun beam. Well, after the first 10,000 images like this you realize that NONE of it means anything. I don’t think I’ve ever tried to make a perfect image. I think what I do is look for light, a moment, then frame it in a way that best illustrates what I’m attempting to show. I just bought a bamboo spoon. It’s got a crack down the middle. My wife said “Hey, send it back.” I said “I like the crack.”

  2. I think you nailed it. Too busy, too much overlap. I could probably mumble on about how the other one, by concealing the face leaves ambiguous the question of face paint, blah blah. And it might be true, I dunno.

    Stick it in with a bunch of other pictures, and there will be case where one works, where the other works, or none, or either, right?

    But standalone, the other one strikes me as stronger.

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      I do like a super heavy crop with JUST the side of the foreground’s face, but overall…a bit busy. Agreed.

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