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Thread: Boring Photographs

  1. #11
    Steve Williams_812's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    Central Pennsylvania

    Re: Boring Photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffBradford View Post
    A viewer may be bored by a photo, but a photo is not intrinsically boring.

    A photo of an unremarkable subject from a normal or common point of view may not excite many viewers. However, there are still technical aspects such as focus, exposure, and composition, as well as the existential construct of context. Why was the photo taken? How or why was this subject chosen? What is the interaction or juxtaposition? What isn't in the photo? What is this photo the antithesis of?

    On the other hand, I find most "snapshots" to be utterly boring.
    I agree that photos aren't intrinsically boring. Much depends on the viewer's experience, willingness and perception that makes an image boring or not. I remember looking at the work of Robert Adams and thinking, "Man this stuff is boring." But after I read more about his intention and thinking about what he was doing they were no longer boring. I know a lot of people, especially those focused solely on beauty, don't always feel they should have to work to understand an image. Or that it needs explanation. Just different bodies of work I guess.

    I remember the first time I saw the work of the Starn Twins and how angry some of my traditional photography friends were at the "poor quality" of their printing or the fact that the prints had stains, creases, fingerprints, etc. But that was part of the work -- a rejection of all the rules and expectations we grew up with.
    Steve Williams
    Scooter in the Sticks

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    klamath falls, oregon

    Re: Boring Photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by John Kasaian View Post
    Are there rules to follow to make boring photographs and by therefore should be avoided so as not to make boring photographs?
    A boring photograph is easily made through a lack of intentionality in any aspect from subject, to composition and technical aspects, and ending with processing.

  3. #13
    multi format
    Join Date
    Feb 2001

    Re: Boring Photographs

    hi john
    it all has to do with audience
    sometimes one can make something that
    is extremely exciting, so exciting that
    its hard to contain oneself but you show it to someone
    who couldn't care less about foot arches, or silverware still lives or flowers
    or a fauvist sunset or ... and he/she/they think it is the most boring thing they
    have ever seen. they show you an inspired, extremely exciting photograph they made
    showing a goeduck bivalve they have as a pet, that has its own instagram feed and you feel the same way ...

    i like boring.

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Suwanee, GA

    Re: Boring Photographs

    My taste in boring have changed over the years. I now find over saturated digital color images boring no matter how beautiful the subject I see, I forget. But show me a nice B&W slightly toned forest/creek/rocks scene with a bit of blur(bokeh) and I'll scan every inch of it. Long grand vistas of traditional Western USA parks are generally boring to me now - with a few exceptions by certain photographers or those rare moments when clouds form perfectly in the distance.

    As far as taking boring images, take them mentally and analyze why they are boring, Then shift your position 3 feet and see if the juxtaposition becomes more interesting.
    The mountain waters of North Georgia call out to me, I visit and leave only tripod holes behind. The Appalachian Trail is my treadmill and gym.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    May 2010
    St. Louis, Mo.

    Re: Boring Photographs

    Cat pictures?

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Jul 2017

    Re: Boring Photographs

    Odds are the viewer will be just as boring (if not more) as the image being viewed.

  7. #17
    Randy Moe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: Boring Photographs

    Great examples on BBC today.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Westport Island, Maine

    Re: Boring Photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan Gales View Post
    Cat pictures?
    Bruce Barlow
    author of "Finely Focused" and "Exercises in Photographic Composition"

  9. #19

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    New Jersey

    Re: Boring Photographs

    From our friend Google: "boring: synonyms: tedious, dull, monotonous, repetitive, unrelieved, unvaried, unimaginative, uneventful;"

    So while boring photographs are definitely "in the eye of the beholder," those which are repetitive, unimaginative, or uneventful are probably the ones most people will call boring. For me, that tends to circle back to discussions we have had about images which we have seen many times before, or those where I say to myself, "Why did he or she even bother to post that?"

  10. #20

    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Re: Boring Photographs

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Lewin View Post
    "Why did he or she even bother to post that?"
    I ask myself that a lot.

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