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Thursday, 24 May 2018

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Inspired by your posts, Mike, I decided to make a Yellow Week in my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alex.gridenko It ended last Sunday. The Green Week is on now. Other colour weeks will follow :)

I gotta admit, even after all these years the title "yellow crack" had me wondering briefly what new film Kodak had released.

The first requirement is that the picture be a good picture...i.e., one that will delight/impress/interest other photographers or meet with their approval. Some of the "Yellow" submissions are yellow, all right, but otherwise they're snapshots . . .

If you thought you received a lot of snapshots as “Yellow” submissions, I can only imagine what the haul from a “Grandkids” solicitation will be.

I just checked: I currently have 1506 photographs of my grandchildren in my Lightroom catalog. Almost all of them are technically competent. Most of them make the kids appear good-looking. Some of the poses when they were very young are extremely cute.

But I can count on the index finger of one hand the number of images that might “delight/impress/interest other photographers.”

I’m not comparing my pictures to the output of the celebrated portrait shooters—Arbus, Halsman, Karsh, Leibovits, Avedon, et. al. (I’m sure everybody has their own favorites)—but navigate over to Kirk Tuck’s site and see what a current working pro can coax out of a subject. Then take another look at your own work.

I think making portraits of people, whether informal or formal, is probably the most demanding genre of the craft. Because creating a really excellent portrait is not entirely within the control of the photographer. The subject is an active participant. And the interaction between the subject and the photographer often makes the difference between a direct hit and a near miss.

So good luck with your “Grandkids” project, Mike. I’ll wait for your call for submissions to decide whether I have the temerity to participate.

I'm so glad Chris got here first--he expressed my reaction to every picture of my grandkids so eloquently, especially the part where I have technically competent photos of very cute children. At this point, though, nothing I would consider submitting.

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