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Image Idea - Bad Idea?

GaryK26

Active Member
The Mrs suggested that I seek the opinion of the wise forum members as she reckons my latest idea is going too far....

Basically my local camera club has a competition entitled "Woodland" coming up. Now I exepect to see many images of golden brown trees in the Autumn sunshine - I want to do something different, something that is somewhat shocking.

The idea is basically to create an image of a person hanging from a tree with a rope around thier neck and to apply suitable PP to enhance the macabre scene.

The logisitics will be 100% safe with no risk to the person involved. I would take 2 images - 1 without the person and 1 with the person who would be standing on a chair (which will then be removed in PS, revealing the plain image below).

So what do you reckon? Is the subject too much of a taboo? Art can be shocking and this certainly would grab the attention.

Thanks
Gary

P.S. I hope that I haven't caused any offence in posting the question.
 

supraking

Active Member
wow, certainly thinking outside the box :)
i say go for it. if anybody complains tell them it was done safely and they shouldnt have a problem, i would say tho wait till the last day before u post it up :)
 

shotokan101

Banned
So what's the connection to the theme then ? - aprat from the fake suicide taking place in a woodland setting I'd say that the vast majority - if not all - of those viewing it are simply going to think "what is this guy on"? ;)

Sorry but doesn't work for me :thumbsdow

Jim
 

jumpt_upmunky

Active Member
Great idea, especially if you get a cracking woodland shot with some sunlight streaming through the trees.

ooh and hide the person in the background so you don't see it straight away but your eye moves around the picture and ends up on it. I would consider a photo that gives you goosepimples and an emotional response a winner.

Artists have been painting dead people for centuries (Salome with the Head of John the Baptist always freaks me out....in a good way!)

And if you get asked to leave the camera club.........well their loss.

plus everyone will be bored of looking at pictures of brown leaves!!!
 

Gordon @ Convergent AV

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
My experience is that camera clubs and judges have no regard for "art". They are more concerned with whether the image is composed well and technically correct. If the subject is woodland and you have an image where the subject is actually a dead hanging body I don't think it fits the bill. If you had a good composition well executed it might do ok...but I'd guess that even though there will be trees in it they'll consider it off topic....I guess it depends on whether you want to challenge the viewer or actually get some points....
 

GaryK26

Active Member
Thanks for the responses guys - there is (as expected) a split opinion on the matter.

The idea I have is very much in line with Jumpt's comments. I envisage the image being subtle (if such an idea can be subtle!). I'll scout the local woodland for a suitable scene. If the location that I have a picture of in my mind is not forthcoming, or the image does not turn out exactly how I want it, then I wont enter it into the comp. What I want is something very different, again as Jumpt said, something that gives the viewer goosepimples and an emotional reaction.

Gordon (a member whose contributions to the forum I greatly admire) has a good point - "I guess it depends on whether you want to challenge the viewer or actually get some points". Well, I guess challenging the viewer is my primary aim, and if I get any points, then all the better.

In fact several of my previous entries into comps have been what one can only consider as leftfield, with some success (in terms of points). Only this would be the furthest that I have pushed the boundaries.
 

weetsie

Well-known Member
My experience is that camera clubs and judges have no regard for "art". They are more concerned with whether the image is composed well and technically correct.

that's pretty lame.

you can take a technically correct, well composed photo of some trees and if there is nothing of interest about those trees then its a wasted frame IMO.

good composition can make a good photo better but a boring photo cannot be made interesting simply by good composition.

i say do it, take a photo that will probably be more interesting than anything anyone else takes and if they don't like it leave them to take boring photos and find a more interesting club.
 

dracaj

Standard Member
i personally think you should be very careful.
you may touch a nerve where this subject has affected someone.
so just think about what you are doing.
 

Nimby

Distinguished Member
I'm not offended but am I allowed to say I think the idea stinks?

Probably not. So I wont.

What about tasteless? Thoughtless? Pointless? Sick? Weird?

Don't you think there is enough misery in the world without adding to it for the sake of a club competition?

There are few sights more beautiful than an autumn wood. If you aren't up to the task of capturing this in some original way without adding corpses then you aren't much of a snapper. Let alone a photographer and certainly not an artist.

Do a Google Picture search for Autumn woods and hang your head in shame. :suicide:
 

shotokan101

Banned
Come on Nimby - don't mess around - tell us what you really think about the idea - stop sitting on the fence ! :rotfl::devil:

Jim
 

dazza74

Distinguished Member
I'll give you my two penny worth, If I was running said camera club and you displayed an image like that you'd be shown the door. Basically most people I feel in this country have been touched by suicide, maybe not directly but know somebody who has, I can think of two people of the top of my head for example. I'd say you've 100% chance of offending somebody at the club by taking this picture.
 

allymac123

Well-known Member
My concern would be that you could really 'offend' someone albeit unwittingly.

What if one of the members of the club had suffered the loss of someone through hanging?


On the other hand how many films and TV drama's show hangings? It's fairly common place and even the like of the BBC's robin hood shows it which is aimed as much at kids as anyone else.


I have zero experience with camera clubs so no idea on how they would perceive it. I know however that if you were on a fine art degree they wouldn't bat an eyelid.
 

SevloW

Distinguished Member
I always admire people who go that extra mile or think out of the box. As for the subject, I belong to a webiste which has weekly photo comps with different themes they also have a monthly free study comp. Any images containing such a shot very rarely does well. I would urge you to shot what YOU want and what YOU are comfortable with. I say go for it.
 

SevloW

Distinguished Member
I'll give you my two penny worth, If I was running said camera club and you displayed an image like that you'd be shown the door. Basically most people I feel in this country have been touched by suicide, maybe not directly but know somebody who has, I can think of two people of the top of my head for example. I'd say you've 100% chance of offending somebody at the club by taking this picture.

I understand your concern BUT photography is an Art and you should express your art in your photography. There will be different reactions to this type of photograph and varying emotions, but emotion is what we want people to see in our photographs, we want people to react to our images.
 

shotokan101

Banned
I understand your concern BUT photography is an Art and you should express your art in your photography. There will be different reactions to this type of photograph and varying emotions, but emotion is what we want people to see in our photographs, we want people to react to our images.

So is any subject matter "O.K." then ? or is there a "line" ? and if so where do you draw that line ?

Jim
 

nikonuser11

Distinguished Member
my 2c's worth....

I don't get the hanging body's relation to the theme? I mean if your just going to photoshop it why not stick a submarine in the woods, or the hanging gardens of babylon:rolleyes:
I mean no offense but I think the 'spirit' of the theme is being missed here and I do agree with others that a hanging body might upset some.

However, I like your thoughts on challenging the theme, what about an evil face poking out from behind a tree thats not obvious to the initial viewer and can conjour up thoughts of "you didnt see it when you took the picture but look what your camera has captured" type scenario? Just a thought but I applaud you for trying to 'get out the box'

Good luck and maybe post your final image for us all to see?
 

allymac123

Well-known Member
So is any subject matter "O.K." then ? or is there a "line" ? and if so where do you draw that line ?

Jim

There has been national newspapers putting images of people jumping out of windows (9/11), dead bloody bodies lying on the ground (Iraq) on the front page.

They were real people, someone's relative, friend etc and they actually died. They might not have been easily identifiable to the masses but I bet you someone recognised them.

Those images were shocking but they were real aswell.

I think we're getting too afraid of offending people. At the end of the day the OP's image will be just that an image. I've seen a painting of someone being drowned (3 images) in a house viewing. That made me double take and as such was succesful.
 

mark800

Distinguished Member
It's a really bad idea imo.
The question you really need to ask yourself is what is your true motivation for doing this?
You certainly wouldn't win. That I can say with all certainty.
Personally, I wouldn't be bothered, but I know many that would.
They would probably hate you from that moment on.
If I was in your club, I would just think that you're a bit of an idiot for not understanding how other people would feel.
Whichever way you look at it, you would lose.
 

SevloW

Distinguished Member
So is any subject matter "O.K." then ? or is there a "line" ? and if so where do you draw that line ?

Jim

Good question and I dont really have a definite answer to where the line is drawn. Some of the most emotive photographs I have seen have included death as a subject (I am talking about photos taken during combat situations). Are they pleasant to look at ? No, but they made me think a lot and stirred deep emotions within myself. Is that not what we, as photographers, are aiming for?

I have many wonderful photos of my grandson Luke smiling and happy, but this photo of him is the complete opposite and shows a different side to him. He had a tantrum and his reaction was to cry and become upset, this only lasted about 1 minute but I had to capture this. Did his mum like this ? No, but it is him, he is not always smiling and a happy chappy. Life is like that and we should be brave enough to capture these images.


299564-albums335-picture2907.jpg
 

shotokan101

Banned
There has been national newspapers putting images of people jumping out of windows (9/11), dead bloody bodies lying on the ground (Iraq) on the front page.

They were real people, someone's relative, friend etc and they actually died. They might not have been easily identifiable to the masses but I bet you someone recognised them.

Those images were shocking but they were real aswell.

I think we're getting too afraid of offending people. At the end of the day the OP's image will be just that an image. I've seen a painting of someone being drowned (3 images) in a house viewing. That made me double take and as such was succesful.

While we can of course question/debate the morals/ethics of Journalistic Reporting it's quite a different issue (IMO) than what we're discussing here.

The "Journalistic" equivalent would (again IMO) be hiring a Hitman to shoot somebody in public so that you could "report" the event.

@SevoloW - of course the above text equaly applies to most of your comments too - capturing and "manufacturing" an image are two very different things - at least with the subject matter under discussion. (IMO)

Jim
 
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OrbitalPete

Well-known Member
Yeah, the idea for the image is quite striking, and I think you could get a great photo out of it. I don't think there's anything wrong with the subject matter; people are far too defensive about the portrayal of death (interesting series of BBC programs this week actually). As someone who has known several suicide victims of several ages I'm not offended by the diea of the image.

Where I think the problem lies is whether it fits the theme or not.

By all means take the photo, but I think it's stretching it to put it in a woodland theme, simply because the subject of the photo (regardless of whether there's trees in it or not) would never be described as woodland.
 

dazza74

Distinguished Member
emotion is what we want people to see in our photographs, we want people to react to our images.

The reaction could be "I don't think I'll bother attending next week" from other members of the club. If you set a theme from the outset along the lines of "depiction of suicide in picturesque setting" people can be prepared for what to expect. For me it's a bit like me having relatives of my family round to watch a movie and then sticking a hardcore porn film on. I'd see emotion and get a reaction, that's for sure :D
 

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