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Thread: Portfolio Development?

  1. #1

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    Portfolio Development?

    Robin has started a good discussion on The Joy of Photography and I didn't want to hijack his thread so will start a new one...

    What I wrote on that thread:

    I have hesitated present my work along those lines (artistic interpretations or work of a more abstract nature) because as like all 'art' it is very subjective and the advice that I seek is more about refining a personal vision and creating a portfolio of work and I am not sure how to get appropriate feedback on that at CiC.
    So, is CiC an appropriate place for that type of work and discussion? If so, what would be the best way to get that type of feedback?

    I'm thinking that starting a thread titled "portfolio-subject or name" that is something along the lines of a project 52 but dedicated to a portfolio and updated only as often as new work is created. This would allow the members to see and evolution of the work or a theme and comment on that?

    Any other ideas or feedback? Anyone else interested in something like this?

  2. #2

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    Re: Portfolio Development?

    The concept of developing a portfolio is terrific because it forces one to think about constructing a body of work that makes sense not only for each individual image but also for the group. Until I began making photos in my makeshift studio in the past year or so, especially my photos of glass, I never thought of my photography in that context.

    I still don't think of my other photography in that context, probably because those photos are the results of my activities rather than the reason for my activities. As an example, when I travel, I always enjoy making photographs of my travel experiences but it is experiencing the travel that is most important, not photographing those experiences; though I make photographs every time I travel, I don't take photography trips per se.

    It would be interesting to see if a project-oriented thread dedicated to the development of a portfolio would be helpful for both the photographer and everyone participating in the thread. I'm not optimistic that it would be especially effective because, for me, the other project threads already in existence have never really piqued my interest. (That could very well be just me.)

    It seems to me that a portfolio-centric approach to the discussion might be enhanced more by starting a new thread for each new photo that indicates in the title and at the beginning of the narrative that you are seeking comments about your photo in the context of your portfolio. A link to your portfolio would be provided, which means having a very well maintained web site that is appealing not just because of the photos but also because of the presentation.

    Perhaps this discussion will motivate me to develop a presentation of my better photos at a web site. I took my web site down a couple years ago because it needed so much work that I felt it would be better to start over. I have never gotten around to doing that and probably still won't for awhile because I have some other projects going on, some related to photography and some not.

    Whatever you decide, congratulations for thinking of your photography in the context of a portfolio and best of luck building it!

  3. #3

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    Re: Portfolio Development?

    Or maybe we could have a seperate forum for "Abstract"?

  4. #4

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    Re: Portfolio Development?

    Thanks Mike for your thoughtful response...

    I must admit that I am like you in the sense that I take most of my images based on a desire to create an image from a time or place in my life but I have had an urge to create a body of work that is less documentary in nature for some time. I have a website where I put up what I consider to be my best work but it is a mish-mash of different subjects and styles at the moment but it would be pretty easy to create a dedicated area for a portfolio.

    I guess the big thing that I probably didn't address very well is that it is hard (for me & possibly others?) to put work out there and then wait for responses that aren't forthcoming due to the fact that the style of work doesn't 'match' the preponderance of images on the site rather than because the work is not worthy. I am struggling with how best to present a 'vision' (that, admittedly, is not well defined) in images that in many cases may not ultimately be worthy of a portfolio. The feedback I seek is about artistic merit and emotional reaction to the images.

    Maybe I should just 'put up (an image or two) or shut up' to test the waters and stop being such a chicken

    Greg, I'm not sure that an abstract forum is the answer as coming to an agreeable definition of what should be posted there might be difficult...

  5. #5

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    Re: Portfolio Development?

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    it is hard (for me & possibly others?) to put work out there and then wait for responses that aren't forthcoming due to the fact that the style of work doesn't 'match' the preponderance of images on the site rather than because the work is not worthy.
    I think it might help to bring some clarity to a couple of the ideas in your comment.

    I question the notion that a lack of responses to an image would necessarily indicate that it is unworthy. If that were always true, how would we explain so many images that have issues that also have very informative responses explaining how to correct them?

    I also question the idea that a particular image might have no responses because it's not similar to the preponderance of images on the site that are more documentary in style. There may be an indirect relationship there but I don't see any cause-and-effect relationship.

    I actually haven't given any thought to whether images that are more abstract than documentary receive responses. I do know that Sharon's images, which almost always tend to be unusually artistic and more abstract than documentary, generate responses that attend to artistic merit and emotional reaction to them. I have also felt the same about Karm's images made in that style and the very few abstract images that I have posted.

    The relationship between abstract and documentary styles may be similar to the relationship between monochrome and color styles in that many people simply don't like abstract or monochrome photos. I often post an indication in the title of the thread that the image is black-and-white to politely warn those who only like color images that the thread may be a waste of their time and to let those who are fond of monochrome images know that the thread may be their cup of tea. Though I can't prove that that method has been effective, I feel as if I can almost predict who will participate in the thread when I include that information in its title. You might want to do something similar when you post an abstract photo.

    I do believe there are two facts: If we post an image in a style that few people enjoy or appreciate, we're likely to get very few responses. Such an image or the lack of response to it has absolutely nothing to do with whether the image is worthy.

    So, I recommend that you post the abstract images that you would like to share and discuss and see what happens. The worst-case scenario is that nothing happens, in which case the only thing that is lost is the minimal amount of time that you spent deciding what to post and then posting it. Personally, I look forward to seeing your and anybody's abstract images. That's true so much that if I don't participate in your thread, it would surely be because I overlooked it and would appreciate a PM from you letting me know about it.
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 5th June 2013 at 12:28 PM.

  6. #6

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    Re: Portfolio Development?

    Mike;

    Just to be super clear on the subject of the amount of comments on a an image I didn't mean to imply

    by Mike Buckley

    I question the notion that a lack of responses to an image would necessarily indicate that it is unworthy
    when I said

    it is hard (for me & possibly others?) to put work out there and then wait for responses that aren't forthcoming due to the fact that the style of work doesn't 'match' the preponderance of images on the site rather than because the work is not worthy.
    The key to my point was the "it is hard to determine" verbiage. But now I/we are splitting hairs and I obviously don't have a lot of confidence in my vision at this point to be so concerned about responses

    The whole point for me in this thread was to start a discussion about whether others had a desire to work on/through a portfolio or vision at CiC and how the best way to go about it would be.

    I will throw caution the wind and put up the image in question - stay tuned...

  7. #7

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    Re: Portfolio Development?

    The feedback I seek is about artistic merit and emotional reaction to the images.
    Aloha!

    Yep. perhaps it's time to put up your image/s.


  8. #8

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    Re: Portfolio Development?

    Interesting thread. I think you hit the nail on the head when you stated that art is subjective. There is a difference between an image that is reportage and is intended to provide an informative record and an image created to convey purely artistic emotion. Both can involve developing a personal style which is what I believe you are describing but take heart, most of the great photographers have done just that - Cartier Bresson/Beaton/Karsh/Ansel Adams/Irving Penn/Ernst Haas. Not all are admired but most are appreciated. Your turn might come but not if you don't let the world see your efforts

  9. #9
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    Re: Portfolio Development?

    I'm keen to see where this goes Shane and have commented on your first post, which I thought interesting and thought provoking.
    I too have a bit of a project that I'm working on that is a bit on the abstract side, so we will see where this goes and maybe I'll stick my neck out and post some images for C&C.
    Cheers, Greg

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