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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 11:42 AM

Top 10 Biggest Cliches in Photography

Number 5 is a particular pet peeve of mine and the sleeping homeless shot is not only cliche but totally exploitive and the epitome of photographic cowardice.

http://www.australianphotography.com/news/top-10-biggest-cliches-in-photography

40 replies, 2757 views

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply Top 10 Biggest Cliches in Photography (Original post)
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 OP
rdking647 Dec 2012 #1
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #5
Mira Dec 2012 #2
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #6
Mira Dec 2012 #7
alfredo Dec 2012 #28
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #3
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #4
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #10
Speck Tater Dec 2012 #8
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #9
Mira Dec 2012 #13
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #11
Mira Dec 2012 #14
Mz Pip Dec 2012 #20
MichaelSoE Dec 2012 #12
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #23
rDigital Dec 2012 #26
RC Dec 2012 #15
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #17
Solly Mack Dec 2012 #16
Richard D Dec 2012 #18
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #19
rDigital Dec 2012 #21
Mz Pip Dec 2012 #22
rDigital Dec 2012 #25
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #27
Mz Pip Dec 2012 #29
Blue_In_AK Dec 2012 #24
alfredo Dec 2012 #30
rDigital Dec 2012 #31
alfredo Dec 2012 #35
Mz Pip Dec 2012 #32
alfredo Dec 2012 #34
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #36
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #33
Alameda Dec 2012 #37
Stevenmarc Dec 2012 #39
Adsos Letter Dec 2012 #38
ChisolmTrailDem Dec 2012 #40

Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 02:27 PM

1. honestly I dont care what someone calls a cliche

if I like the photo thats all that matters. I dont shoot to please other I shoot to please me.

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Response to rdking647 (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:16 PM

5. The point of the article

Is to recognize the cliche and make an attempt to bring it to another level, or how I look at it, good enough isn't good enough, you have to always push your work further otherwise why bother.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 03:38 PM

2. Thought provoking

I'm guilty of all of those, and more, almost all anyway.
In all cases though, exceptions apply. Expecially if the exception is an exceptionally engaging photograph

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Response to Mira (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 06:12 PM

6. We're all guilty

And when I catch myself I usually take a trip to the Met or MOMA and find a painting that hits me and in a non-literal way shoot for the subjects, shapes, colors, textures, basically the DNA of the picture.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:03 PM

7. I know what you mean, I must start saving

to get back there immediately.
It's been a long while.

I'm just kidding with you.
I think I know what you mean, I have, after all seen your work.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:14 PM

28. I use old movies as inspiration. An example was the movie "A Touch of Evil." His use of

light and composition inspires me to see that way. The look isn't always what I am going after. Sometimes it is the feeling.

Some things I do might be cliche, but they become cliche because respond to them. Not every photo needs to be cutting edge or art. Sometimes I like a pretty picture.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 04:14 PM

3. I'm certainly guilty of sunset shots

but it's about all the color there is around here in the wintertime, so I think it's justified. And I do try to add some points of interest in the foreground. Sunsets in the summer are a moot point.

As for homeless people, I also have an issue with photographing them, out of respect for their privacy. The one exception I've seen is a local photographer here who took a whole series of absolutely beautiful shots of homeless people at our local shelter. His point was to accentuate their dignity, and he did a wonderful job of it.

http://clarkjamesmishler.com/category/photo-stories/ Please do check out Clark Mishler's photos. They're beautiful.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 05:06 PM

4. I'm actually familiar with his work

He's one of the few that get it right. I can only see shooting the homeless as part of a long term project that gives back to community in some way.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:06 PM

10. His portraits are just flawless,

not just the ones of the homeless people. Have you looked at the "portrait a day" at that link? Incredible. The shots are so simple and yet perfect.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 07:48 PM

8. When it MY grandkids faces smeared with gunk it's PRICELESS ART!!!

 

So there.

Any picture that includes my grandchildren is priceless art!

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Response to Speck Tater (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:09 PM

9. I hear ya there.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #9)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:44 PM

13. I have a bad cold and your reply

caused a coughing and laughing fit.

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Response to Speck Tater (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:24 PM

11. LOL, unfortunately Anne Geddes reset the bar

When she started shoving kids in pumpkins.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:45 PM

14. I cannot warm to her work. Just can't n/t

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Response to Stevenmarc (Reply #11)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 03:23 PM

20. I've never put my grand daughter in a pumpkin

or any other large vegetable.

I agree with the article, at least on the surface of it. But in order to transcend the mundane and cliche'd it take s a lot of time and effort and practice and just learning to look. It takes work to master the contentm regardless of what your medium is.

"The importance of an artist is to be determined by the number of new signs he introduces into the language of art." - Henri Matisse.

So if you are working with cliches you have to make them new again.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:38 PM

12. How come the author used a photo of Willy Nelson for his rant against shots of the homeless??

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Response to MichaelSoE (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:29 PM

23. It sure does look like him, doesn't it?

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Response to MichaelSoE (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:02 PM

26. ROFL nt

 

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 11:08 PM

15. #8 is my biggie. I absolutely loth those kind of cotton candy water shots.

 

Photos are supposed to be a slice of time. Save the cotton water for your child's school project.


04 The Decay Cliche is as Americana as apple pie. There is some good art photos with rusting Detroit iron in them. The older the better.

05 Homeless Guy I hope the photographer slipped him a 10 or better yet, a 20.

06 Headless Nude Show the photographer how to use the focus and lighting.

07 Toddler With Face Smeared With Dirt or Food My kid, priceless. Yours? clean'em up already, before he touches something.

09 Selective Colour All this proves is that you figured out something in Photoshop. Good for an ad to make the product stand out a bit.

10 Sunset and Sunrise Hey, I have some good ones I am proud of. Taken Hawaii yet.

03 and 01 shows you are not a real photographer.

02 Got a new photo manipulation program do ya?

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Response to RC (Reply #15)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 11:45 PM

17. Selective Color

If I see another it would be one more too many, it was ok on a Hallmark card in the 80's and that's where it should have stayed.

Some of my other favorites:

Over cooked HDR
The pregnant belly/heart hands shot

And in Instagram world:
Latte designs
Food shots that aren't in a food publication.
And this strange new obsession with shooting down at the floor at your feet

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 11:14 PM

16. good read

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:24 AM

18. I think . . .

. . . That there have been so many billions of photos taken that almost any topic you choose can be called a cliche by the cynical.

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Response to Richard D (Reply #18)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:45 AM

19. Photography is

A journey, not a destination, there just happens to be a lot of rest stops.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 07:32 PM

21. Over-done HDR is the worst. If done right, no one should suspect that you even used HDR.

 

At the end of the day though, who's the boss? The viewing public, and if they want granulated oversharpened color vomit, then that is what they get.

I'm going to try and find my happy place now.

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Response to rDigital (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 08:27 PM

22. I've seen some HDR

that is kind of interesting from a sort of Surrealist point of view but mostly it just looks garrish and oversaturated.

But like you said, the viewing public pushes this kind of thing. Just look at the popularity of Thomas Kincaid.

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Response to Mz Pip (Reply #22)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:52 PM

25. Here's what I think of Thomas Kincaid...

 

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Response to rDigital (Reply #25)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 10:07 PM

27. LOL

I despise that mall artist.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Reply #27)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:21 PM

29. Maybe it will eventually disappear

now that he's dead.

Still I suspect there will be someone similar who will fill the vacuum of saccharin sweet nostalgic bad art.

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Response to rDigital (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 09:31 PM

24. I'm sure there are uses for it,

but I don't even own an HDR program. It just doesn't look real to me.

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Response to rDigital (Reply #21)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:35 PM

30. The best HDR is having a camera with good DR.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #30)

Sun Dec 2, 2012, 11:40 PM

31. ^^This. I thank Nikon for the D800. : ) nt

 

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Response to rDigital (Reply #31)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:20 AM

35. I'm shooting with a m 4/3 and they aren't the best for dynamic range until you get into

the top shelf picks like the OM-D or GH-2 or GH-3.

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Response to alfredo (Reply #30)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:30 AM

32. My IPhone takes HDR

Doesn't look much different from the regular photo though maybe I'm supposed to do something to it when I download it.

I've tried to do HDR with my Canon but I have not been pleased with the results. Photoshop has a HDR program but I think I need to practice more to get results that I'm satisfied with.

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Response to Mz Pip (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 08:19 AM

34. All you want to do is capture highlight and shadow detail. If the app allows fiddling with settings,

experiment to see what looks good.

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Response to Mz Pip (Reply #32)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 09:31 AM

36. HDR in the native camera app

Really only gives a nudge to the dynamic range and offers no way to make adjustments.

I use a couple of apps to do HDR on an iPhone.

First I shoot with the app Bracket Mode which takes the 2 shots for the third party HDR app. Yes you can shoot from within the HDR app but you have to process the image right after you shoot and with Bracket Mode I can just keep shooting and go back later to process.

When I do go back to process I use TrueHDR but Pro HDR is also a good choice.

As far as HDR in Photoshop, the HDR from CS5 on is good, in the older versions it was rubbish and the very best is Nik's HDR plugin

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Response to rDigital (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:48 AM

33. Over Cooked..... Bad

But it's a very valid tool when used correctly and preferably sparingly.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 12:36 PM

37. I've done most of them, so what?

I don't take photographs for anyone but myself and friends...and who ever may like to look at them. I look at photography as a way to increase my vision and as a record of what I've seen and been. I have taken photos of homeless as a record. I hardly ever photo people's faces, just a personal thing as it feels intrusive to me. In fact, most my photos are not particularly identifiable.

So what if things are cliches, if artists paid attention to that, little would be done. How many times have the same themes been done?

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Response to Alameda (Reply #37)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 10:00 PM

39. And if

Artists continually embraced the cliche we would still be painting in caves. Artists pay a great deal of attention to the concept of cliche, well at least the ones I know and work with, that's how things actually progress in the art world, when artists push the boundaries. And yes themes do get repeated but its how those themes are reinterpreted is what pushes beyond the cliche.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Fri Dec 7, 2012, 02:35 PM

38. I can't seem to avoid the cliches to save my life.

I make no claim to competence, I just like taking photos and experimenting with post-processing.

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Response to Stevenmarc (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 01:01 AM

40. A few of my cliches with Kodak EasyShare P&S

Decay:





Sunset:



These were taken with a 12mp Kodak EasyShare, which does ok I guess. However, Christmas is coming and I happen to know I'm getting a step up with a Nikon L810 16mp 26x P&S. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with it.

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