Passepartout is all about documentaries and visual stuff I find worth seeing.

The hip, the artsy and the unnecessary: certain kinds of photos I’m really tired of seeing

I look at photos all the time. I search for them, I analyze them and I try to understand what they say. And there are some types of photos I am really tired of. And huh…they are everywhere. Aesthetically, they are fine or good or very good. It’s not this what bothers me. Many of the photos that strike me as unnecessary and bore me to death are well composed and good quality. Yet, there’s more than that to a photo. I’m usually looking for concept, connotations, the feeling they give, the story they tell. I expect photos to give something to my eyes, my heart or my mind, and preferably to a combination of at least two of these. And below you can see some kinds of photos that I’m really tired of seeing.

The no feel photos made with a  super-duper camera. They’re everywhere and except for appreciating the quality of the image, what else is there? These photos have a certain artificiality (is it ‘helped’?) and don’t tell me much. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.


The hip feel. Use the flash. Kill the flash. Put nothing interesting in front of your lens. Make it work. Make it hip. Eventually send it to Vice magazine. (There are other formulas too, but you get my point). The photo below was taken from here, and if you click there’s more of it, a perfect illustration of what I mean.


The artsy feel. Make it misty. Use film camera. Call it poetic. Or an exploration. Give it a forward title. Idea: take photos of your hair against a fire extinguisher. It’s all complex. Do you get what I mean?  (This particular photo below belongs to photographer Li Hui, who is in the habit of ‘preserving the memory of simple moments’, which means basically…anything. The moment preserved below is someone with stockings and a hand inside their underwear. Casual, right? I must say that some of the things she preserved resulted in interesting imagines full of feeling, but most of her photos are the kind you can see below. See her new work entitled Life in Coma, for a better illustration. Or buy GUP magazine. Often. Even though, I also have to say, GUP manages to surprise me in a good way sometimes, often enough for me to still get it and feel it’s still worth it).


The unnecessary feel. Oh, do I feel claustrophobic looking at this photo… After all, why not feel claustrophobic? When was the last time you felt that way? Why not feel it now? A whole photo shoot has been done to help you out. And it did take 20 seconds and 5 liters of lubricant for each single photo. For more info, see here. (I asked a friend what he sees looking at this photo and he said that at least dozen fetishes debunked. We couldn’t analyze it for long, cos I needed some fresh air).


The ‘I put a fork in my nose and took a photo’. Need I say more? The photo below is part of a whole series, the photographer getting hit by stuff. I feel dizzy. More here. (Or you can kiss people wearing lipstick and then take photos. Eeeh? How cool is that?)


The ‘Why am I looking at this’. That is really a question. There’s a full photo series of paint jumping like this. I forgot where. Promise to update.


Below there’s a bonus. It’s from a series of photos of girls photographed when they’re not paying attention, which is the kind of photo we all know, only that in most cases they’re taken by friends and then put and tagged on Facebook. Now this small human kind of misery has been transformed into a photo project. Julia Peirone got this fantastic idea. Which category should I put this in?


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