W/NW Photos of Nothing Special
Old 07-01-2017   #1
Rob-F
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W/NW Photos of Nothing Special

When Stephen Shore asked Andy Warhol to explain the meaning beneath the surface of his art, Warhol replied that there was no hidden meaning; the surface was all there was. Shore's book, "American Surfaces," consisting of casually snapped travel photos, is based on that idea. I thought I would start a thread along the same lines. I'll post a few that I think are evocative of Shore's style--or perhaps the deliberate lack of it. Feel free to add your own. As I see it, they should be fairly mediocre shots of nothing too important. I think he was trying to emulate the style of people with no particular skills in photography or composition. Or taste. Here goes.

Grandfalls, Texas










Fort Stockton, Texas








Paris, Texas










OK that's enough for now. Let's see yours!
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Old 07-01-2017   #2
Joe Jesus
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'fairly mediocre shots of nothing too important' is what I'm all about. a photograph doesn't have to be incredible to be enjoyable.

I've found that I liked my photos the most when I didn't know anything about composition or art or anything in that vein. When I started trying to 'get serious' about it, whatever that means, the magic went out of it.

lately i've been trying to get back into that zone.








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Old 07-01-2017   #3
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I like those TX shots a lot..! Something about em strikes a chord..
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Old 07-01-2017   #4
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Paris, Texas


Nice. I can hear Ry Cooder in the background.
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Old 07-01-2017   #5
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I'm with you, Joe, in abandoning seriousness and pursuit of Art. Still, I can't bring myself to shoot these so-called banal subjects unless there's at least something engaging, and usually it's graphical. But I like the "surfaces" concept very much. - John



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Old 07-01-2017   #6
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I think this applies to a lot of our photography, the type of images seldom posted to the galleries.
Over time my yardstick has changed. I'm back to looking only for images that are meaningful to me.

Chris
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Old 07-01-2017   #7
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Most of these pictures don't look like random snapshots to me. The composition of many of these is quite decent, nice colors and tones, and they do a lot to convey a sense of the place and mood, rather interesting for someone who's never been there. May it be that they just look sort of ordinary to you because the subject is ordinary for you?
Anyway, I guess I just disagree with the stark description that you introduces this with. I've seen many pictures (also on this very forum) with more "style of people with no particular skills in photography or composition. Or taste". These just seem pleasantly devoid of mannerism. Keep practicing if you want to shoot like someone bad at photography
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Old 07-01-2017   #8
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I like the idea of an American Surfaces project.

I also am curious as to what we'll get here in the "Nothing Special" thread, as opposed to the "Something, Anything" thread.

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Old 07-01-2017   #9
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it's difficult to make a good photo about Nothing Special...anyway I give a try with a couple of mine



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Old 07-01-2017   #10
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Quote:

Quote:
I would say these two are in the spirit of "American Surfaces." "Nothing special" may not be the best description of Shore's work. I'm not sure what is. Maybe "Intentionally Banal." Keep 'em coming, we will see what develops.
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Old 07-01-2017   #11
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Hmmm. It seems "with no words" doesn't mean what I thoguht it did. lol.
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Old 07-01-2017   #12
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Hmmm. It seems "with no words" doesn't mean what I thoguht it did. lol.
Are you pondering the meaning of the "Words/No words" category? I think it means you can either post pictures with words, or just photos without words; your choice. And people can post comments freely.
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Old 07-01-2017   #13
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At last! A topic I am an expert at!


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Old 07-01-2017   #14
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Old 07-02-2017   #15
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My speciality, "rien de spécial" in french .





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Old 07-02-2017   #16
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Wonderful shot that looks like it's straight out of a French 'Nouvelle Vague' film of the 1960s
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Old 07-02-2017   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retinax View Post
Most of these pictures don't look like random snapshots to me. The composition of many of these is quite decent, nice colors and tones, and they do a lot to convey a sense of the place and mood, rather interesting for someone who's never been there. May it be that they just look sort of ordinary to you because the subject is ordinary for you?
Anyway, I guess I just disagree with the stark description that you introduces this with. I've seen many pictures (also on this very forum) with more "style of people with no particular skills in photography or composition. Or taste". These just seem pleasantly devoid of mannerism. Keep practicing if you want to shoot like someone bad at photography
OK, good point. I'm having trouble defining it in words. Probably "a picture is worth a thousand words" applies here. This set is more like it, I believe.

Teralingua, Texas:








What caught my eye here is that the car underneath all that junk piled on top of the carport is a Rolls Royce Silver Spur.


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Old 07-02-2017   #18
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Old 07-02-2017   #19
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Old 07-02-2017   #20
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I believe they call it new topographics these days


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Old 07-02-2017   #21
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Old 07-02-2017   #22
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American Surfaces ...
Old 07-02-2017   #23
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American Surfaces ...

... Intentional Banality, Nothing Special.

I don't know why, but sometimes I'll see something, anything, and just shoot it.

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Old 07-02-2017   #24
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Quote:
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I believe they call it new topographics these days


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Scan-161104-0001 by Nokton48, on Flickr
Looks like some folks can't help being "artsy." (I was accused of it a few posts back.) Nice shots, Y'all!
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Banality, the book ...
Old 07-02-2017   #25
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Banality, the book ...

Saw this on "another network" and it made me think of this thread here:

http://www.designartcraft.com/photo/banality.htm
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Old 07-02-2017   #26
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Rob I think your shots are much more "Uncommon Places" than "American Surfaces" - which is a huge complement in my book. If I remember rightly American Surfaces was shot on 35mm in snapshot style, but these really remind me of the later Shore, where he is super-focused on space, geometry and composition - so you get the paradox of photos apparently of nothing that were shot on 10x8 and composed with extreme precision. Good stuff and great idea for a thread.

UK edition:

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Old 07-02-2017   #27
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Old 07-02-2017   #28
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Old 07-02-2017   #29
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I think the major deceit here is that the photos are of nothing important. The subject of the photo is always of at least enough importance (to the photographer) to get the photographer to push the button. Whether the subject is important to anybody else is inconsequential. I would think the key part would be lack of effort given to composition, lighting, etc. or other aesthetic considerations.

Open by Berang Berang, on Flickr

This one is a literal snapshot from a trip I took to Okinawa. The location is interesting, but otherwise... it's not even in proper focus.

on the street by Berang Berang, on Flickr

Another - kind of odd subject, but otherwise, nothing to it.
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Old 07-02-2017   #30
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photos removed; sorry, not 'nothing special'...
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Old 07-02-2017   #31
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Old 07-02-2017   #32
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Rollei 35 Xenar. I think what I was doing here is seeing how accurately I could focus. I recall pacing off the distance and setting the lens accordingly.

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Old 07-02-2017   #33
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Steveh, you have captured very nicely the kind of photos I was thinking of. And I agree I am still searching for the right way to describe or label this sort of photo.

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Old 07-02-2017   #34
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I really dig this thread. When you present something as a shot of nothing special it offers up a reason to try and view it as something special.

Plus, it takes a whole lot of the pressure off of sharing your stuff.
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Old 07-02-2017   #35
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Quote:
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I've found that I liked my photos the most when I didn't know anything about composition or art or anything in that vein.

lately i've been trying to get back into that zone.
Sorry, the sad truth is there's no going back
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Old 07-02-2017   #36
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Old 07-02-2017   #37
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Old 07-02-2017   #38
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Old 07-02-2017   #39
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Old 07-03-2017   #40
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