Friday, March 26, 2004

Objectif-ity

Couldn't resist the pun on the title.

Went to see T's exhibition at Objectifs last night. Very impressed with his set of portraits of the elderly - emotive without being overly sentimental, enough "grit" without losing aesthetic and technical beauty, and images that were, for want of a better word, "rich" - by which I mean you could look at them more than once, and see something different captured in the faces of the subjects.

Most of the other work on display was equally impressive, although I must confess I was puzzled by some photographs, which, even within the broadest definition of photography, did not really strike me as good.

"Good" is a very subjective term, and photography is often more diverse than we think - the definition of a "good" photograph depends on where within the spectrum of photography it lies. A good fashion photograph is judged by very different criteria than artchitectural photography, for example, and street photography has an aesthetic of its own which is not the same as for landscape photography.

My own biases run towards strong and striking compositions, towards a more "realist" mode of photography, but I can appreciate how photographs can work well within other criteria. I guess what I'm saying is that, given that I'm not a completely objective observer (well, no observer is completely objective anyway), but there were still one or two photos that stretched beyond my scope of acceptance. Still, it was an impressive exhibition overall, and I look forward to seeing next year's.

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