Thursday, January 08, 2009

Icebergs - New Clichés of Photography #2a

I'm afraid I'm going to mess with Mark Page over on the Manchester Photography Blog a little bit. He seems to have started running a little series called New Clichés of Photography. He's only up to number 2. I just took a look at it, and less than 30 seconds later looked at another blog and knew right away, there and then, I was looking at just that - a new photographic cliché. So, rather than stealing Mark's number three, I'll just classify this as #2a.

You can see Mark's first two here: No.1 (the Dodgy Painting) and No.2 (Mounds & Heeps)

(Photo Olaf Otto Becker)


mark page said...

Tim, well I owe you one for the plug on Expiration Notice so you can have that one! see how I slid that in!

Anonymous said...

thank you for the iceberg mention. i fail to differentiate the work of all the different photographers employing them in their work.

Blake Andrews said...

Speaking of cliches, check here and here.

Anonymous said...

Most of these are spot on, but it's interesting that he didn't catch "night landscapes" --that's one of the most heavily recurring "new photographic cliches" today.

Anonymous said...

I sorta think, to be a cliche, it'd have to be something that ... everyone could do/or have access to. Like flowers, for an obvious one. Kitties. Nighttime city-scapes, yes. Um ... and other sorts. I have to admit I haven't seen many iceberg pictures, myself. In Indiana, there aren't any of those, of course, so ... I guess I don't think it can be a genuine cliche unless it can be widespread. Unless any photographer can have access to it. And icebergs are definitely a very localized, regional (and not widespread) thing. Most photographers might never see one in person. Whereas, we see flowers, city-scapes, et cetera ... every day. They're cliche because they're 'every day.'

But I do think anything has the potential to become cliched. If it's focused on abundantly by many people over many years. Cliches can't be born overnight. They're born gradually. It reminds me of the notion that there are no new ideas in stories. Just the same themes recycled over and over. It's not what you're capturing in a story or picture, but ... how you capture it. It's not what you tell. It's how you tell it.

I think it's the same in photography, what with all the photographs taken by all the photographers (professional and casual) over the history of the medium ... but I think anyone's individual eye, and the sensibilities behind it, can turn any cliche on its head. Can perhaps push it toward the startling, even. Or at least ... the unordinary. And that can be a fun endeavor unto itself.

But, in the end of it all, a cliche can be a guilty pleasure, at times. Sort of like the comfort food of art.