Camera Craniums

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: ABERS on April 24, 2014, 09:37:17 AM

Title: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: ABERS on April 24, 2014, 09:37:17 AM
Our annual club exhibition has just ended with some 600+ visitors coming to look at the work of members. They are asked to vote, if they so desire, for their favourite panel in the exhibition, and most people do. The majority of the visitors are non-photographers, people who are in the area by the Thames, people who come in to get out of the rain, people who have an hour to kill, just a general cross section of the community. Those that are serious photographers usually declare the fact and are somewhat reluctant to vote.

The results are out!

The top three panels comprised local views, The Thames between Richmond and Kingston, Deer in Richmond Park and Views of Richmond Park. All standard picture post card shots.

At an evening meeting of some 50+ members each were asked to vote for their favourite panel. Not one of the 'public' choices featured in the top five.

Conclusions to be drawn perhaps. If you want to sell pictures take local stuff, the average Joe Public will put up with any old image as long as it's pretty and if you want to win the cup next year you know how to now.

I suppose you can also get all your extended family to come along and vote 8)
Title: Re: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: jinky on April 24, 2014, 12:01:49 PM
As I always thought- people generally want to see pretty picture postcards. Nothing wrong with that - it`s knowing your target audience. Being on a few wedding forum / facebook groups it`s always interesting seeing the occasional comp shots for fun that get other wedding photographers  voting for them. Inevitably the winners are those done in vintage style with faded 70s colours, light flares drowning out images, foreground blurs caused by bannister rails/ bushes or bus seats and the lie. I often wonder if they are the bride and grooms favourites as my artier  efforts I slip in the set are rarely the images selected by thr  couple for albums / slideshows and prints.
Title: Re: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: Reinardina on April 24, 2014, 12:20:36 PM
People know what they like, and like what they know.

People, in general, are afraid of things different, of change.

If they are regularly exposed to 'different' or 'arty' images, especially when they are told it is top class work, they'll get used to it and maybe appreciate it.

Till then: stick to the post cards, if you want to sell.

That said, there must be plenty of people interested in art and innovation, who would appreciate 'different' images. And buy them.

(Personal opinion.)
Title: Re: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: ABERS on April 24, 2014, 04:32:04 PM
Perhaps the word 'Photography' is to blame. Perhaps seeing large prints of something akin to what they take on their phones, apart from selfies and Faece Book snaps, will take their eye and think that is all there is to photography. ::)
Title: Re: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: Reinardina on April 24, 2014, 06:01:04 PM
If it is advertised as a show of 'original and different' home decorations, the appreciation and buying threshold might be lowered, but it would hurt the feelings of the photographers who put their creativity, skills and heart in their work.

Title: Re: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: Oldboy on April 24, 2014, 07:59:04 PM
If you had two pictures, one of a Snow Leopard in the mountains lighted by the setting sun taken by a master or a second taken by a hobbyist of a group of kittens, then ask people to select the best in their view the kittens will win. It doesn't matter that the master took four weeks to get his shot and the hobbyist took five minutes the kittens still win. People always vote for what they can relate to.  8)
Title: Re: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: Jediboy on April 24, 2014, 09:26:37 PM
This is interesting.
I think photographers do see things differently, and often with a critical eye. Don't get me wrong, I'm guilty of this sometimes and this it can be a good thing, but can also be a bad thing.

What's more important, a technically perfect photo or a photo that captures a moment or has an emotional significance or impact??

Difficult one, I've seen some technically rubbish photos but have been really taken in by them because of the content. I've even taken these photos!

I guess that a lot of people (non-photographers) look for the content and not the technical side if the photo or the effort that went into getting the photo. And I guess that the vote at your club exhibition proves this.
Just my thoughts.
Title: Re: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: Andrew on April 25, 2014, 06:57:04 PM
What people see in an image has changed enormously since the introduction of camera phones.

When you go and look at what is being posted in the iPhone group on Flickr - you begint o realise that a lot of what was done in the days of film by exceptionally gifted pros  can now be done with a free or almost free app. It is a sad product of technology. These phones come with cameras that comfortably match the earliest DSLR's (which are still in use it should be said) and are even getting glass add ons to match some of the better glass used on DSLR's.

Then we come to documentaries that show how camera traps are set up to capture images of Snow Loepards because they are so rare. When people see that pic of a Snow Leopard, they often think "lucky shot on a camera trap tarted up in PS by some arty geek", where as with the cute kittens they see that some one had to be in the right place at the right time.

Technology has spoiled things for photography nowadays IMHO. If proof were needed, I will now engage in a FaceTime chat with Mrs B who is currently in Wshinton DC. The image will be crystal clear with no pixelation, the sounds will be synched to mouth movements and other such movents without the hunorous effect of old Chinese Movies, and all free of charge. And all this available on a little box no bigger than an iPhone - oh hang on, this is on an iPhone.

When you consider that the 'viewer' from 1960's Star Trek was the thing of a future 'dreamed of but not in this life time' is now available in our pockets. Even Noughties Star Trek still only had a comms badge with voice communication. I watched as Chris Hadfield merrily floated up and down the ISS giving live Q&A sessions - or better still, streaming EVA walks to upgrade or repair the ISS - this really is Star Trek stuff happening now.

And we wonder have people perceptions of pictures changed? Wait till the X-ray add on for the Smartphone appears - then you'll have anew category of X-Ray Art/ Photography to debate over.  :o
Title: Re: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: Oldboy on April 26, 2014, 12:03:01 AM
Then we come to documentaries that show how camera traps are set up to capture images of Snow Loepards because they are so rare. When people see that pic of a Snow Leopard, they often think "lucky shot on a camera trap tarted up in PS by some arty geek", where as with the cute kittens they see that some one had to be in the right place at the right time.

I was referring to the video taken by a cameraman who stayed in a hide for four weeks to get the shot. No camera traps at all.  :o
Title: Re: Do Non-Photographers see things differently?
Post by: Andrew on April 26, 2014, 11:04:52 AM
Then we come to documentaries that show how camera traps are set up to capture images of Snow Loepards because they are so rare. When people see that pic of a Snow Leopard, they often think "lucky shot on a camera trap tarted up in PS by some arty geek", where as with the cute kittens they see that some one had to be in the right place at the right time.

I was referring to the video taken by a cameraman who stayed in a hide for four weeks to get the shot. No camera traps at all.  :o
I understood what you meant, but joe public doesn't always see it that way. You show enough documentaries about wildlife and the enormous use of camera traps (whether still or video), Joe Public starts to think that is how things are done nowadays. The only time you see different is at the end of David Attenborough stuff where a clip is shown detailing all the man hours gone into getting a few seconds worth of footage.

The thread was about how non togs view photos as opposed to togs. I'm just saying that part of that equation also includes the 'percieved human effort' gone into getting the shot. Again technology influences peoples views on how easy technology makes it to get a particular shot with little human interaction required.  :(