Photographer, musician, sculptor, writer, architect… if you create anything, you will have your champions and you will have your detractors – the people who applaud when you succeed, and the people who applaud when you fail. Whatever it is you conceive and produce, someone will always cast negativity all over it. I’m not talking about constructive criticism here, or even indifference – I’m referring to the people who, no matter how technically and aesthetically perfect you think your concept and execution are, will pick your work to pieces. For me, the very worst type of critic is the one who tells you how you should have done it, or how they’d have done it…
‘Truly interesting choice of both a peculiar environment and photographic perspective, it really works well. It reminds me of Hopper’s painting. What unfortunately ruins this smart idea is the subject choice which is just obvious, unoriginal and meaningless. Maybe an old man reading a newspaper or some intriguing subject/scene would have created a more effective and interesting composition.’
‘Hey Phil, this pic is very nice – it looks good. But there are two things in this picture. The fish & chips sign are distracting a lot. It wouldn’t be a problem if the reflection of the window would show a very beautiful place. Right now you see a car and a building, so this is dead space for me. Under this circumstances I would love to be closer to her and see her feelings in her face.’
I wanted a woman in the shot – if I’d wanted a man reading a newspaper, I would have done so. The image is composed like that because that’s exactly the way I wanted it – the FISH & CHIPS sign, the reflections, the ‘dead space’ are all there because, funnily enough, that’s exactly the way I wanted it.
Fish & Chips, since being posted on Facebook two days ago, has received over 4000 ‘likes’ (over 4 photographically related groups) and is still climbing…
Pentax 67, 105mm 2.4, Kodak Portra 400
Pentax 67, 105mm 2.4, Kodak Portra 800
Developed and scanned at the superb UK FILM LAB