Monday, May 9, 2011

How Do You Like Them Apples?

"We can escape the commonplace only by manipulating it, controlling it, thrusting it into our dreams or surrendering it to the free play of our subjectivity"
Raoul Vaneigem, Belgian writer and philosopher

I am on the road of determination, attempting to free myself from the subjectivity of photography. 
Me...Rick Sforza

Whether or not someone else values the vision of a photographer's execution of a photograph should really have little or no bearing on that photographer's personal evaluation of the work they have created. Having said that, creating a photo illustration can be maddening! We each view the world through our own unique set of filters applied by our own experiences, surroundings and most certainly nature and nurture. And our common experiences will often dictate whether a given group of people collectively viewing a photograph "get it," like it or appreciate it.

Working for newspapers we often create photo illustration to make a point. I recently created a photo illustration for the cover of our newspaper's special section entitled "Examining California's Crisis in Education." The photo above was not the photo we eventually used. A similar photo from the same shoot was used on an inside section. The message the photo was intended to convey was about the cuts to education. And my responsibility in creating the photo illustration is to make sure that our readers "get it." This is the point where a photographer, me in this case, needs to get over themselves and move on if people do not like the photo or simply do not understand what it is you are attempting to convey. 

The lesson here is really about better communication between the photographer and other people in the room who are working on the story. It truly should be a team effort blending everyone's unique set of filters. But ultimately it's the photographer's responsibility to understand the audience he or she is delivering the image to.

In the end, I liked what I created. And if someone else doesn't?'s all subjective.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice job - would love for you to check me out as well at