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Old 07-01-2006, 03:06 PM
indiatraveller indiatraveller is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 4
Default Re: India by Dariusz Klemens

Francis, thank you for restoring a much-needed measure of civility to this discussion. In light of your comments, I attempted to re-visit Claude’s portfolio, but it seems to have disappeared. Where else can I see his work? You say he’s a pro, can you direct me to any of his publications please? Unfortunately, it’s been so long since I saw his work, it’s hard to comment from memory. Perhaps that’s just the point – his images were not memorable for me, they did not touch me in any way.

The overall impression I had of his work in India was of a lack of colour, and poor – in the sense of ‘over-self-conscious’ framing, as I recall. In any case, those are technicalities, and as such they don’t really describe the impact – or lack of – any photograph. Colour, composition, framing etc. are necessary categories we use to dissect a photograph; but a photograph is much more than the sum of these things. As Herve acknowledges, a photograph is - or at least can be - a two-way mirror; in an image, the eye that orchestrates the different elements comes through. We may talk about this in terms of ‘missed’ or ‘captured’ opportunities, but these are such on account on whose doing the looking.

Hence, perhaps, the curious phenomenon of those pictures which, despite being ‘perfect’ in every technical respect, leave us totally un-moved and their opposite, the pictures that break every rule in the book– and yet make perfect sense - visually.

I think you are saying that Klemens artificially manipulates his colours; I don’t know about this, (though somewhere on he says he doesn’t) but I can think of other photographers whose colours of India – and elsewhere - are equally saturated; foremost amongst them, of course, the Master, Steve McCurry. If their colours are “vulgar”, what would you make of Allan Harvey’s acid greens and scarlet reds present in so many of his pictures of Cuba? And what about Alex Webb’s work? You see my point, I think – how do we decide whose colours are credible?

I’m sorry if I offended your guru. Not being familiar with his reputation on TE, I did not realize that saying that IMO his work was “dull, bland, and uninspiring” would create such offense. But judging from the defensiveness of most responses, I suspect many of you know that such an opinion would only be taken as “harsh and unfair” within a small, virtual community. That’s the point I was trying to make to Jose – in the real world, strong images hold up to scrutiny - regardless of which ‘portfolio’ they come from.
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