Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Developing taste


The blog A Photo Editor pointed to the 1/125 blog of Nick Shere, on the topic of "why we love bad photography".

In these two blogs there arise a division of photography into two: good photography and bad photography. This is social construction of reality in practice!

Nick Shere writes: 'In photography, the situation is somewhat more dire, because it is much, much harder for viewers to move freely between the “unliterary” photographic realm and the “literary” photographic realm. There is hardly any middle ground between them, the way there is with books.'

But is there such a thing as developing your taste? Going to galleries, looking at the Art of price-winning photographers? What is "taste" after all?

In other words, where is (or is there) the "priesthood" of photography, those whose theories (and thus, social construction of reality) determine the good and the bad?

I have read my share of literature, all genres from fantasy and detective stories to really, really serious non-fiction, and all genres have their masters. Some can write, some don't, but many of those who can write will never get a Nobel prize for all their skill. Some pulp writers write very, very well indeed.

Also, I have my favorite photographers, of which some are well know, for example Sam Abell, but some are known by only a handful of people. For example, I would imagine that only a few hundred, or maybe a few thousand people know of the excellent work of photography bloggers such as Markus Spring, Andreas Manessinger, Paul Lester, Mark Hobson, and Cedric Canard.

And thus: where is the authority to say what is good and what is bad?


Cedric said...

I suspect that people who know my photography number in the tens maybe dozens if I am lucky. And that includes all my relatives ;) but thanks for putting me along side some of my favourite photographers.

And thanks for the links. There's some interesting reading in them.

Juha Haataja said...

It was a short list, but I put some thought into it!