“Inspiration can also come when a good connection is made with the subject. The nature and quality of this connection can vary enormously. It may range from getting into a small community and winning the trust of the subjects over a number of visits; but it could also come from walking in the mountains and feeling a certain affinity with the landscape. The knack is to find your own inspiration, and take it on a journey to create work that is personal and revealing.”—Martin Parr on Inspiration - New Pictures at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
“More than shame, though, the internet’s greatest strength is enthusiasm. The tussle, the argument, the fun of criticism has moved online. While mainstream critics have narrowed their focus to a handful of novels, movies, and television programmes, the field has never been wider. The same few dozen books might be reviewed in every print publication but meanwhile hundreds of thousands are published every year. In literary criticism there are huge gaps in what gets written about in print: books by women, translated fiction, comic books, books released by small presses, science fiction… Online, though, every niche has its community of producers, critics, and readers, and it’s fed by passion and dedication.”—Is the age of the critic over? | Culture | The Observer
“The reason why professional critics agree a lot is that they tend to be of a type. They’ve often had a go at what they’re reviewing (they went to art school or were in a rubbish band or tried acting), they like writing and they’re a product of their age. I often find myself nodding along with the Guardian’s Alexis Petridis, Lynn Gardner and Grace Dent, with Laura Cumming or Kitty Empire from this paper or Caitlin Moran of the Times. But that’s because we all want our culture to do the same things. We have similar taste.”—Is the age of the critic over? | Culture | The Observer
“What if the star you’re chasing is in fact a dud? What if you’ve devoted your life to something you’re actually not very good at, but you don’t realize it? I see a lot of photos in galleries made by people who probably believe in themselves, but that doesn’t mean the work belongs in a gallery. But the thing is, the photographer himself can’t tell. Everyone believes in their work. I feel great about my photos, but so does every other Joe Shmoe on Flickr. Maybe I am Joe Shmoe.
This is where outside arbiters can be very valuable. If one meets with continual rejection it might be a sign. Then again it might not be. You can’t be sure.” - Blake Andrews
I came across a couple of rants (ironically online) about the pointless noise of social media and when I saw this analysis of Kodak and Fuji, I realized that Kodak fell into the same trap people fall into when they complain about how the internet has increased the proliferation of absolutely useless crap and mindless exhibitionism.
What these people don’t realize is that a tweet about the morning coffee is not really significant for its content. It’s the act that is the key – people are reaching out for a social connection, and as long as humans have this urge, social media will thrive. And it will thrive in shortform. Shorter attention spans may have something tangential to do with the rise of Twitter, but I suspect the real reason is that most people want short bursts of interaction that mimic conversation, not primarily one-sided broadcasts.
“There are billions of photographs online (in reality any person has access only to a very small fraction of it), and the question often becomes how one can have any faith in one’s photographs if there are so many others already out there (you might have noticed: I just called it faith, instead of trust - pick the word that comes closer to what you feel). For me, the answer has always been very simple. It comes in the form of a question: What does it matter if other people take photographs? What do other people’s photographs have to do with your own photographs?”—Conscientious Extended | Photography and Trust