Composing a photo book, making surreal images, lens oddities, a fave camera that’s also super cheap, a terrible camera that’s also super expensive, visual overtones based on musical chords, a boomer dissing film and a youngster dissing him back, the way to great prints, how to grow as a photographer, the shocking (???) news that Instagram shows no love to photographers, and more …
Challenges are … a challenge.
I stopped organising them largely because of the difficulty in finding the images sent to me by all the contributors over a period of weeks, using different email titles, in a flow of over 100 other daily emails. Someone was always left out, it took me hours to resize the images to what I had requested but was not being sent out to me. It ended up being too much.
But some contributors have written to me to tell me they miss the opportunity to share photographs without having to write complete posts. And challenges are quite rewarding, as the ideas sent to me via the images and text often prove eye-opening and interesting.
To be continued below …
… continued from the top.
This week, Michael Fleisher sent me the two excellent Ted Forbes videos in the Training section. In this two-part interview, Ralph Gibson shares a lot of deep thoughts without making them completely explicit. Two that stand out for me are the exploration of the different visual languages of digital and analog, and the concept of visual overtones.
Many authors have described juxtaposition, and how the interplay of two images can evoke more than the images alone can, therefore introducing content that’s not in either photographs. Ralph Gibson puts its very poetically, by comparing the effect to the musical overtones produced by chords played on a guitar, that produce overtones that cannot be struck directly.
It’s a beautiful idea in more ways than one, and Mer (sorry, don’t know your family name 😉 ) suggested in a private conversation that we do a challenge about this. You guys are wonderful. It’s a brilliant idea. Let’s do it.
Today is June 16th. I’ll close the challenge at the end of June and will publish the results in the early days of July (a reminder will be sent in a week). What I’d like contributors to send is pairs of photographs to be presented next to one another (juxtapositions) to suggest more than either photograph can. As always, please send the images in web-compatible size (roughly 1500px long side), in a email with the words “overtones challenge” and your name in the title. Please also tell me where each photograph goes (left, right, top, bottom). And if you are submitting multiple pairs, please make it quite clear what photos are supposed to match one another (ie name them 1a & 1b, 2a & 2b, or something to that effect) …
The idea is excellent in that it forces us to find more than surface level interest in each photograph and find connections between pairs. Anything goes: colour, b&w, vertical, horizontal, vertical and horizontal (though, generally, the effect is probably more obvious in vertical pairs), humour, philosophy, anger, sadness, joy, anecdote, purely visual echoes, … anything, so long as the bridge between the two makes the viewer guess at an interesting link. Titles and text are not necessary, but are allowed (but shouldn’t be a crutch for a poor visual link).
No need to go out and shoot, unless you feel like it. You can dig through old photos and find pairings in your previous work. Anything goes so long as you have fun and share that fun 🙂 A word of warning: this is really hard. Don’t give up, keep digging 🙂 Oh, and I do suggest you view the video (it is the first of the two linked above, around 8′ in). I so look forward to your entries!!
American photographer Kurt Markus passed away, this week. Here’s a quote to remember him for :
I’ve always associated the click of the shutter with the word “Yes”.’”Kurt Markus
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