Need a story?

2 posts / 0 new
Last post
Robert Fehnel
Robert Fehnel's picture
Need a story?

So for the last few weeks when I go for lunch on the downtown mall I get to see the large hanging photos of bugs. Now my personal opinion is there are some really neat photos and there are some that don't interest me in the least.

For instance there are several photos were the bugs are just on a seamless white background. The insect itself is sharp and looks good and I think technically well handled. However, as a photo it has no interest for me. It is a bug, just a bug, in a blank space. The only added interest perhaps is that it is printed 8 feet wide or however large those banners are.

I met a person I didn't know and he mentioned that the photos were very interesting because of the stories that accompanied them. He apparently knew these stories and had a stronger connection to the images than I.

But that raises a question perhaps. If there is no story apparent with the photo or the photo doesnt necessarily tell a story (not sure about a common insect on white background) does its value lessen, or in the case of these bug pictures do they need a story or they get squashed so to speak.

Knowing many of us in the club visit that area of town, what are your thoughts. Are you impressed by the photos? Do you know the stories? Feel free to share your own opinions and thoughts about the exhibit that is displayed these last few weeks as part of Look3.

Gerry Bishop
Gerry Bishop's picture

Interesting observations, Rob. This technique (an animal on a plain white background) has become a staple among some wildlife/nature photographers. The idea is to isolate the animal to draw undistracted attention to its individuality, and, in the minds of the photographer and conservationists, its importance. For those of us who are deeply into this aspect of photography and its goals, the story is clear. However, it's interesting to know, judging from your reaction, that the photographers may be preaching to the choir more than they realize.

You may be interested to know that Piotr Naskrecki, the photographer, told the group gathered at the Paramount the other night that he shoots those close-up images with in-focus distant backgrounds with a 14mm lens placed so close to the subject that it almost touches it. I love the style, but that lens goes for $1,600, so I think I'll stick with my good old 20mm for such work.