You know that smart ass quip that there are two types of people in the world: normal folks and then those who separate the world up into two types.
Yes, there’s certainly a kernel of truth there–things in the desert of the real rarely divide cleanly or suggest such neat polarity with easily navigable spectra between.
However, as long as either/or dichotomies are invoked as a genesis point (a means to an end instead of an end in and of themselves), I think they can be useful.
Take this image. It’s crossed my dash probably several dozen times in the nearly two years I’ve run this blog. Technically, it has a heavenly choir of problems: the camera’s slight up tilt combined with counter top reinforcing the lower frame edge draws attention to the asymmetry of the corners where the walls meet on either side; I would wager this was taken with some sort of matrix metering setting–resulting in the skin tone being what I’d call a Zone IV instead of halfway between Zone VI & VII.
In other words, it’s technically flawed.
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that the technical interests me. I would even go so far as to say I consider quality of craft a major turn on. Still though all the technical know how in the world doesn’t count for fuck all if there’s no mojo.
What do I mean by the oh so technical term ‘mojo’; heart, honesty, integrity. For example: I can’t fucking stand Monet but you’ll never hear me question the importance of his work. Just because it doesn’t appeal to me doesn’t mean I can’t be convinced through and through that the way he painted was a painstaking effort to share the wonder he say in the world.
But back to my original notion–for the sake of argument: let’s say that there are two sides of the image making equation; namely, the technical and the spiritual.
This image is off-the-goddamn charts in terms of presenting the truth of a discrete moment. It’s technique could be improved but there’s enough merit to it as it is that it sort of diminishes any potential criticism that can be leveled here.