Fuzziness of genre

aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
edited March 2013 in General Discussions
Okay, so not sure how many are familiar, but I'm on an art sharing website called deviantart.com
It's a pretty okay place, lots of people missing the intended purpose of the site, but i digress.
The actual point here is pertaining to a function of the website called "groups" and more specifically the people who run them. Groups are user created communities within the website that are in place for the direct purpose of creating selective galleries for the artists to promote their artistry to stand out against all the other.... *ahem* lesser quality work that floods the site. But, the inherent issue is the fact that they are ~user created.~ Meaning that anyone can create one, and anyone can have a dictatorship over what is included in their galleries. Now, most groups with just one person selecting the images don't usually do well or get many followers. The ones that do are the ones that include a voting system. Artists can "submit" their work to the group and if it gets a passing vote from a majority of a select group of voters, the art is passed and included in the group gallery.

THE POINT- I am a "voter" for one of these selective group galleries, and the leader of the group has set the system up so she has executive final word on every submission. She and I had a... discussion over an image being submitted to the wrong genre in the gallery.
here is that image. (all credit goes to the original photographer, and he retains all rights.)
image
link to the original... http://onurkorkmaz.deviantart.com/art/Istanbul-2013-360066739

The photographer submitted this image to the "street photography" gallery. The owner of the popular group hit this accepted image with a veto and struck it from the group gallery on the grounds of it not being a "street photo" saying that a street photo must have a person as the main subject of the image and that this image has too much of the focus on the street itself. I contested that an artist has complete creative control over the specified genre of an image, and if he(the artist) honestly contends that this image is a "street photo" than we or anyone for that matter have no business or right telling him that his stated genre is wrong. Especially with a genre so broad and with boarders so fuzzy as "street photography."

Now, I don't intend to bring up the topic of this image specifically,but photography genres in general. Are there defined lines? I believe lines are made to be crossed. Does anyone have any right to recategorize a work of art away from the artists original intention? Say "no, this isn't a street photo, it's an expressive portrait" or anything of the like.

Artistry is a medium of communication of thought, feeling, and emotion. And as a basis of such a communication one cannot expect that communication to effective translate to 100% of people and that contending that an image is falsely categorized simply means that the artists original thought, feeling, and emotion were ineffectively translated to you. Either by means of ineffective communication by the artist, or ineffective translation by the viewer, either way such a subjective thing as art i believe should never be constrained to such an objective thing and genre lines.

/rant
D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
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Comments

  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    To address your immediate issue, I will attempt to illustrate with some H. C-B.:

    image

    image

    image

    image

    I'd say your group leader is getting caught up on labels and missing the point.

    To me, a street photo is a scene that happens to take place on a street. People make it interesting. If the street scene tells a story without a person, it's still street photography. The image you've shared tells a story, and to me it totally works. The person is a part of it, but to ignore the environment around them would sacrifice the transition of dark to light, the implication of a journey and overtones of spiritual/emotional passage.

    Do I like the photo? Not so much, no. But to each their own.

    Genres are handy to editors, stock photo sites and buyers, galleries, book publishers and photographers trying to target a niche market, but I'd rather spend my time appreciating an image than debating whether a photo is 'street' or 'environmental' or 'mood' or etc.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    @Elvishefer
    +1 to you good sir
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • TaoTeJaredTaoTeJared Posts: 1,306Member
    1. That is street photography

    2. You really shouldn't post someone else's photo without their permission. Not against the law, but not exactly respectful either. Link would be fine.

    Deviantart has been around a very long time (I bet I haven't been there for over 10 years). I remember finding that site in the mid 90's - it has always been a gobbly gook of absolutely amazing images/art, and a bunch of junk. And also a bunch of arrogant teenage brats as well. ;)

    I recall many of my friends who were on a similar site while it was undergoing a major overhaul to try to sort into categories the art got very obsessed and angry at dinner over various labels, categories, what fit what, etc. Then they would post their images to the categories they believed were correct, just to be rejected and told they were wrong. Fast forward about 12 years, some of the same group of friends and I were at an Art show and the debate started again. Last time was at a Perkins (pancake house/24hr restaurant) and no one around us cared. This time, Oh dear God!!! Probably 40 argument broke out involving 300 people. Thank god they served wine!

    Point being, I don't think anyone can be a true judge of it, and best/worst of all, many images fit into several categories.

    I know there is a ISO9000 classification, news clasificacion, and probably a dozen other groups that categorize images to be used for various purposes. Maybe some on here know where to find some of them.

    In the end I just ask "really, who cares?" If some idiot on a public website doesn't want to accept an image, then so be it. ;)

    D800, D300, D50(ir converted), FujiX100, Canon G11, Olympus TG2. Nikon lenses - 24mm 2.8, 35mm 1.8, (5 in all)50mm, 60mm, 85mm 1.8, 105vr, 105 f2.5, 180mm 2.8, 70-200vr1, 24-120vr f4. Tokina 12-24mm, 16-28mm, 28-70mm (angenieux design), 300mm f2.8. Sigma 15mm fisheye. Voigtlander R2 (olive) & R2a, Voigt 35mm 2.5, Zeiss 50mm f/2, Leica 90mm f/4. I know I missed something...
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    edited March 2013
    So many of us have our "personal preferences" which are IMO loaded with unwritten limits. It would seem to me, if one wants to set up a group, the rules governing the admission of media to the group need be clearly delineated at the outset. A group entitled "street photography" would seem to be anything on the street and exclude such things as macro, landscapes, etc.

    Possibly a better thread title would have been "people on the street" and an explanation of the criteria for inclusion be clearly stated at the outset.
    Post edited by Msmoto on
    Msmoto, mod
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member

    2. You really shouldn't post someone else's photo without their permission. Not against the law, but not exactly respectful either. Link would be fine.
    There is a link there :)
    So many of us have our "personal preferences" which are IMO loaded with unwritten limits. It would seem to me, if one wants to set up a group, the rules governing the admission of media to the group need be clearly delineated at the outset. A group entitled "street photography" would seem to be anything on the street and exclude such things as macro, landscapes, etc.

    Possibly a better thread title would have been "people on the street" and an explanation of the criteria for inclusion be clearly stated at the outset.
    The issue with this particular image being that there are many different galleries in this group, and none of them have any spelled out guidelines. The only criteria that submissions have to meet is being 1- a photograph and 2- good enough to get voted in. What gallery it's submitted to, (i.e. sports, wildlife, portraits, street) makes no difference to acceptance, unless its blazingly wrong, like a picture of a tree in the people folder.

    But I'd like to hear opinions on the point of genres in general the face that two different people can call the same genre title two different things just goes to show how ineffective a subjective categorizing system based on individual subject impact is.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • KnockKnockKnockKnock Posts: 372Member
    edited March 2013
    There's reality (or maybe there isn't), then there are humans trying to categorize it. It's an arbitrary act and will always have exceptions. Try that with music for example: romantic/impressionistic, soul/funk, punk/screamo.

    Since it can't be perfect, the best we can do is try to be complex enough to get as much as possible and minimize exceptions, and then most importantly be consistent.
    Post edited by KnockKnock on
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  • mikepmikep Posts: 280Member
    it is essentially an system of organising, that makes it easier for people to find, or buy products/art similar to ones that they have enjoyed in the past.

    there are no concrete boundaries, and people may well disagree on the genre that a "thing" should be placed in. its just a tool, and not something to be overly concerned with imo.

    if you really care, there are many academic articles that have been written about genre, there is even "genre theory" ...

  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    image
    (Yup, there's one for every situation)
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    @Ade

    Perfect!

    My best.

    Mike
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