Like A TV Dinner

Posted on 1/18/2010 by Paul Melcher | Printable Version | Comments (0)

Photography should be a revolutionary act. It should be a kick in the establishment, the common, the mundane. It has to be an act of revolt against banality and conformity, a powerful explosion of new ideas. It should be as violent to the mind as a thousand thunderstorms. It should rip apart the accepted social fabric . It should denounce, point, accuse and solve. In one frame. It should be a declaration of war to everything we take for granted and accept as obvious.

It should incessantly question reality with the passion of a martyr. A constant question mark, it should make our leaders fear it, and our priest denounce it. It should know no frontiers, no borders, no cultural identity. It should have the same impact East of Bangkok and South of Lima.

Photography should be lifted high and proud by those who request to change the world as a constant demand for reform and social changes. It should beg for perfection, over and over, pointing at all the little details of injustice, abuse, destruction and greed. It should rattle every misconception until they break into a pathetic silence.

Too much of what we see today in photography ( thank you, commercial stock) is a sea of banality, of repetition, of dullness. It is status quo and no more. A long straight road of  boring pre digested concept. Like a TV dinner : Please reheat and serve hot. Millions upon millions of images that rote just a few days after being exposed, so much full of artifice they are. A constant stream of annoying visual buzz that we hardly notice anymore.

Photography should shove you out of your chair, make you react, force you to rethink everything you ever took for granted. It should stop you dead in your track and make you want to change your whole life, and the ones of those around you. It should haunt you  in your sleep, follow you all day and make you feel naked. It should empower you to make that change you had in you. It should break the heavy top that sat on top of  that lava revolt you have in you. Break the ice of indifference you so conveniently ignore.  It should not be a warm cosy blanket that keep you warm in the middle of a cold winter night but rather the violent act of removing it and exposing you to the freezing winds. A window blasted open.

Some aspects of photography are dying because too many have forgotten the revolutionary roots of photography, its iconoclastic heritage. As it becomes more common it also becomes more dull. Slowly, the reign of the medium is taking over. Medium quality, medium content, medium effect. Photography is becoming pretty, useful, a business. It’s an industry of expectedness, where chance and luck disappears in favor of technocrats shooting bullet points.

It should never live in a sales channel or exposed to RPI’s. It should never suffer the humiliation of being included in a compilation or a theme. It should never be treated as something you search for in a immense repository of banality. Finally, it should never suffer the assassination of being sold via a subscription.

Copyright © 2010 Paul Melcher. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz


Be the first to comment below.

Post Comment

Please log in or create an account to post comments.

Stay Connected

Sign up to receive email notification when new stories are posted.

Follow Us

Free Stuff

Stock Photo Pricing: The Future
In the last two years I have written a lot about stock photo pricing and its downward slide. If you have time over the holidays you may want to review some of these stories as you plan your strategy ...
Read More
Future Of Stock Photography
If you’re a photographer that counts on the licensing of stock images to provide a portion of your annual income the following are a few stories you should read. In the past decade stock photography ...
Read More
Blockchain Stories
The opening session at this year’s CEPIC Congress in Berlin on May 30, 2018 is entitled “Can Blockchain be applied to the Photo Industry?” For those who would like to know more about the existing blo...
Read More
2017 Stories Worth Reviewing
The following are links to some 2017 and early 2018 stories that might be worth reviewing as we move into the new year.
Read More
Stories Related To Stock Photo Pricing
The following are links to stories that deal with stock photo pricing trends. Probably the biggest problem the industry has faced in recent years has been the steady decline in prices for the use of ...
Read More
Stock Photo Prices: The Future
This story is FREE. Feel free to pass it along to anyone interested in licensing their work as stock photography. On October 23rd at the DMLA 2017 Conference in New York there will be a panel discuss...
Read More
Important Stock Photo Industry Issues
Here are links to recent stories that deal with three major issues for the stock photo industry – Revenue Growth Potential, Setting Bottom Line On Pricing and Future Production Sources.
Read More
Recent Stories – Summer 2016
If you’ve been shooting all summer and haven’t had time to keep up with your reading here are links to a few stories you might want to check out as we move into the fall. To begin, be sure to complet...
Read More
Corbis Acquisition by VCG/Getty Images
This story provides links to several stories that relate to the Visual China Group (VCG) acquisition of Corbis and the role Getty Images has been assigned in the transfer of Corbis assets to the Gett...
Read More
Finding The Right Image
Many think search will be solved with better Metadata. While metadata is important, there are limits to how far it can take the customer toward finding the right piece of content. This story provides...
Read More

More from Free Stuff