It’s the result that matters, not the means
Apropos nothing, I was reminded of a comment a fellow photoblogger made, addressing one of my snaps. I was heavily into photoblogging three years ago but got tired of all the sycophancy and lightweight comments passing for constructive criticism. Hardly a conduit for learning and improving.
His words were to the effect of “I would rate it a 10 if it was not posed”. Charming and comical at the same time. Viewed logically, he was awarding points for a mixture of luck and skill in taking the picture clandestinely. I’m not sure I understand that. I’m all for rewarding spontaneity when it comes to the performing arts, say, or scientific research. That’s how breakthroughs happen. But for a medium whose sole appeal is to the sense of vision, what does it really matter whether the picture was spontaneous or not?
Allow me to illustrate with three examples – Posed, I’m Not Telling and Sacrilege:
1 – Posed:
Surely on the short list of all times great ‘decisive moment’ snaps, is Robert Doisneau’s ‘Le Baiser’:
Doisneau, whose work I adore, was your typical French leftie-with-commie-sympathies but, God bless him, was happy to admit that his most famous picture was posed.
2 – I’m Not Telling
This is my picture which occasioned that funny remark at the introduction to this piece:
All I will say is that it’s always awful fun snapping pictures of my beautiful son.
3 – Sacrilege
The thought that the single greatest photograph of the Twentieth Century was posed is pure sacrilege.
Yet it is that very thought that gave life to this entry …. have you ever wondered that the balletic figure on the wall and the fatso about to splash are just too much of a coincidence?