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Is there a compelling reason to take pictures based on our cultural stereotypes.

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I saw Rachel outside a restaurant. She happens to be a lawyer. I didn't know that, I just was fascinated by her look!



Now what do you think? It's amazing that I thought of the Mona Lisa. I reversed her face Left to Right and merely added yellow and some texture! I also stole a tiny tad of paint cracks for the forehead and cheeks. What's amazing to me at least, is that the detail of her purse strap is matched by the curve of the fabric on her dress. The hair and look of the eyes is close too! So now you now why I wanted to take the picture!

Of course the nose, lips and eye shapes are individually not like those of the beautiful mona Lisa. Still there is something in common that made me say to her, you look like the Mona Lisa!

Now is this what you think happens when we sample what we see that we strengthen choices of those images that have influenced us. Or perhaps we find any excuse to try to correlate our own modest work to something greater?

Asher
 

Dierk Haasis

pro member
Whatever, an interesting point is that we talk about originality [often confusing it with creativity] but have great trouble with really original work. Mind, this is the perspective of the audience. We want, probably need, something we can attach to, something we recognise.

Anf here comes the difference between originality and creativity: the former comes up with something completely new, often recognised only long after the fact as the 'turning point' or 'watershed'. Creativity, OTOH, wrings out new ways to see old landmarks [figuratively speaking].
 

Tim Ashley

Moderator
Asher, I'm not sure what I think philosophically here but I do learn one new thing from this: that the original ML had no eyebrows. From which I deduce that she had recently tried to light a cigarette from a gas cooker.

Amazing what you can get from art history!

;-)

More seriously, your shot has resonance for me in another way: I am working on a very long term project at the moment called 'pairs' where I try to make visual connections between things I see when out and about and images I already have, then put them in pairs. This can relate to colour, texture, shape or even just mood. It's great fun and will also probably be my next year's show - since by then I should have enough of them.

Here are some examples:












Of course what you have done is rather different, in that you've matched a 'find' with an existing third-party image as it were - but both of us are responding to triggers of visual memories, which is kind of fun and stimulating to do!


Best

Tim
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi Tim,

I like your color coded examples. These are very creative and fascinating. The last pair have complementary geometry, almost male and female.

My point was something different. Here the impulse and need to take a photograph while doing something else, stopping for a moment to grab a street picture, fascinated me. I said to myself this is mona Lisa. I think the shoulder strap corresponding to the fold in Mona Lisa'a dress at the shoulder, clinched it for me. Even though the eyes, nose and lips are different the commonality in shape of the hair, "square" opening at the chest and strands of black locks invading that pristine space clinched it for me.

She is of course nothing like the Mona Lisa in person, just the patterns seem emblematic. So I wonder whether that encoding goes on when we see street scenes and other images we are not aware of but really know well, may be directing us to make our "original" choices!

Asher
 

Tim Ashley

Moderator
Hi Tim,

I like your color coded examples. These are very creative and fascinating. The last pair have complementary geometry, almost male and female.

My point was something different. Here the impulse and need to take a photograph while doing something else, stopping for a moment to grab a street picture, fascinated me. I said to myself this is mona Lisa. I think the shoulder strap corresponding to the fold in Mona Lisa'a dress at the shoulder, clinched it for me. Even though the eyes, nose and lips are different the commonality in shape of the hair, "square" opening at the chest and strands of black locks invading that pristine space clinched it for me.

She is of course nothing like the Mona Lisa in person, just the patterns seem emblematic. So I wonder whether that encoding goes on when we see street scenes and other images we are not aware of but really know well, may be directing us to make our "original" choices!

Asher
Hi Asher!

I didn't express my self clearly - I think you and I are doing about the same thing here, in terms of instinctively recognising images with which we are already very familiar. That's what my project is about... though many of the 'pairs' have similar colours or shapes, many are 'pairs' for different reasons.

If we push the analogy of photographer as hunter, then the evolutionary genetics of the recognition phenomenon are clear!

Best

Tim
 
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