Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2000/11/11

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Subject: Re: [Leica] Photographic clichés
From: Martin Howard <>
Date: Sat, 11 Nov 2000 21:58:23 -0500

Mike Johnston jotted down the following:

> An idea I had for a portfolio many years ago was to take a list of the worst
> photographic clichés and try to make pictures of each subject that was
> distinctive and freshly seen. (Actually, that would make a great project for
> a group of photographers.) I still think that would be fun, both coming up
> with the list of clichés and also trying to escape the conventions of each
> cliché most creatively.

I find that pictures of famous landmarks fall into this category and the
leader is perhaps the Eiffel Tower in Paris.  Every now and then I come
across a picture by someone who finds a new, fresh way of looking at the
structure, but they are few and far between.

I think, personally, that the best way to break out of clichés is to
purposely try to mimic them first: take pictures of a subject which are as
chichéd as possible -- which really are prototypical examples of the genre.
Then, once you've done that, you can start thinking about ways to vary the
shots, to avoid the cliché, to break out of it.


- -- 
Martin Howard              | There's a culture here which dictates that
Visiting Scholar, CSEL, OSU| anyone who walks more than a few paces must
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www: | insane, or British.    -- David Willis, BBCWS