March 2, 2008 by Allen George
To Be Completed
I find showing in-progress photos especially important with EIT Diaries; the project has assumed a weight that only action and execution – no matter how flawed – can break. So in that spirit I thought I’d share Second Thoughts, the story of. . .
Well, maybe I’ll leave that up to you.
The Flickr description has more on the photo: problems with its execution, potential causes, and my reactions to it. It’s considered de rigeur to present a photo to the viewer with no explanation – the image to stand self-contained; we’re left to respond ourselves, to draw our conclusions alone, the photographer’s own thoughts, response and reactions irrelevant.
Isn’t that limiting?
I understand the rationale – you, as the viewer, can judge the work outside the structure (confines ?) imagined by the artist – but I’ve never felt comfortable with it. Better to present the photographer’s background, motivations, and hopes for the photo as another data point – not the definitive reading of the piece, but a potential one. You can disagree with their interpretation, bring your own one; you can say: “I understand what he was going for – but he didn’t convince me“; you can be left cold. But at the very least you raise the discussion beyond “I like it” or, “I didn’t like it.”
Flickr photo page