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Archive for July 19th, 2010

IS THIS GOOD?

I didn’t take a lot of pictures riding  the CTA to  the Art Institute two days ago, but my eye seems to have been sharp that day,  a lucky day I guess, because I deleted very few of them.  I know, our topic in this blog is supposed to be drawing, but drawing is about seeing and seeing can be practiced all the time, in fact, I recommend it highly.  There are two stages in seeing:  one, the live action scene in which you isolate something from all the hustle-bustle of every day life and two, the review at the end of the day, when you look at all the shots or drawings and you select the ones that are worth looking at.  Now, what does that mean, “worth looking at?”  We usually just say, “this is good, this is a good image.” So, when is an image good?  That’s the same, I think, as asking,  Does this image engage my attention?  Does it start a chain reaction in my brain? And does that chain reaction lead me to some depth? Not a momentary amusement, not some information or knowledge, but something…call it, something experiential that rings true. I’m volunteering this answer (in the form of more questions, notice) just to get the ball rolling on this topic.  What I would really like is everybody weighing in with your own opinions.  So, to make this comfortable, let’s get away from theorizing, let’s look at some of the pictures I took on Friday.  At the top, right, we have a picture taken on the El going down town.  Why is this a good photo?  Does it tell a story?  Or doesn’t it?  Do you need a story in a picture?   Next,  in the middle,  a picture snapped in that wonderful light well that holds American sculptures in the South wing of the Art Institute.  Same questions here: story or no, is this a good photo?  Last, one more photo from that sculpture atrium.  Story or no, and is this a good photo?  My vote is yes to all being a good photo, you guessed that already.   I should have saved the ones that were slightly off—for the sake of learning.  It’s valuable to look at bad stuff and try to get at what makes it bad.  (Next time.  I blog, therefore I learn.)

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