Message To the Subjectivist: It’s Not About “Taste” Nor “Personal Vision”

From a FaceBook thread:

Yes, there is such a thing as personal taste, such as "I don't like opera." And then there is also objective reality, like simply being out of tune...

It's not about "taste," it's about a basic understanding of the elements of composition. The only place poor work gets such a pass, is in photography. If this were a guitar page, and someone were continually posting music where their guitar were seriously out of tune, it would not fly. It would not be just a matter of subjective taste. We wouldn't say, "oh, that's just his personal vision." Yet in photography, really poor work gets highly esteemed. So sad to see...

What I don't understand, is this meme that commands everyone to only say positive things. Now, personal attracts are unnecessary, but if someone is continually posting bad work, it should be ok for someone to say so. That's what I did. Nothing personal with **, I'm sure he's a good guy. My only concern is the genre of street photography, which gets cheapened when poor work is given credit.

To say I have bad moral character because I have photographic standards, is ridiculous.

Nils Olafsson "your photographic standards are ok - but don't apply these to others..."

Me- Wait a minute... aren't you now applying your standards upon me? Under what authority do you command me to keep silent about my personal opinion? How does that work? (I never commanded anyone to stop producing crappy photos, I just called them out for what they are) If the guitar is out of tune, it's out of tune. This, is a standard of music. Everything has rules, standards. Even you.

As I teach in my workshops, the "rules of composition" were not decreed by some divine authority from above, they were DISCOVERED. We are hard-wired a certain way. This is why out-of-tune instruments hurt our ears. To make powerful photographs, one must be able to properly employ the rules. The more rules one is able to layer in a single image, the more powerful the image becomes - as far as studium is concerned.

The Greeks had the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. These were the three modes of "being" in the world. This was later transformed into the Christian trinity, and also serves as the base for artistic composition. The rule of odds is powerful because the human mind likes odds over evens, not because someone commanded it to be so. I go over all of this in my workshops and on my blog. For people who are looking to improve their photography, I'm always willing to share. People only interested in FaceBook likes, don't capture my respect.

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