I have been doing the course for over a month now and the main thing that has become apparent is that my consideration of other people’s photographic work is, or has been, heavily influenced by my back ground as a photographer who has taken photos primarily on an instinctive level (i.e. that looks like an interesting shot) and has considered them, or had them considered (in camera club competitions and critique sites) on technical merit alone. To illustrate this I recall at the Dayanita Singh exhibition my first reaction on some of the work was “that horizon’s not level” or “the focus is out a bit” whereas I should have been considering what was being said by the image or what the motivation behind it was.
I realise that I need to consciously step back from looking at photos this way and consider what the artist was trying to achieve.
Having said that I do not think that the technical aspects of a photo should be totally ignored by me (or anyone else for that matter) if there is a glaring issue, but perhaps only commented on if that issue affects what the artist is trying to say.
Secondly as a result of reading both the recommended books and the OCA discussions on Flickr I am aware of just how little knowledge I have of, for want of a better description, the “photographic art world” both in terms of artists I would like/need to know about and also the terminology used.
So the belated new years resolution is to consider, first and foremost, the artistic merits of an artists work and to do more reading.