Degnen Bay, and perspectives and subjectivity
We learn from our parents; we learn from our children. Looking at my "Degnen Bay" print, I am reminded of my father's advice (when I was a child) that "There's no accounting for taste" and my older daughter's words (when she was a child) that "Some do - some don't". As I clearly found when I was looking at that print with Barb (my wife), some will like it, and some won’t.
I must admit that "Degnen Bay" was not among my first choices as a print to include in the upcoming show at the Centre Gallery. I eventually decided to include it in the show, even though I continued to have doubts about it: it has a lot of blank space through much of the middle of the print, with a small area of the near shore at the bottom, and a moderate amount of islands, birds and clouds in the background. That makes it the reverse of what I would normally expect in a good image (an image "should" have its subject matter closer to the centre, with supporting components at the sides).
When Barb looked at the print, though, she was quick to say she liked it (she is an honest critic, so I was quick to believe her). She found the separation of the shore from the "background" to give the image depth, and the distance to the background to create a mysterious moodiness to the print. For Barb, the narrow stretch of shore offered a sense of proximity, encouraging her to look down at the shore and then out to the islands and birds in the background. The relatively small patch of shore gave made her feel as is there was only one place to stand, and provided a stronger sense of presence.
My selection of prints for the show has been a balancing act between presenting prints I admire, and prints others might enjoy. I choose the prints based on overall quality of the image, significance of what is depicted, depth of story told by the image, range of tones, and subjective impact (along with other criteria). I also want images that might appeal to others, as I realize (especially after the discussion with Barb about "Degnen Bay") that my view is not necessarily the same as anyone else's view. I do not expect (or want) everyone to like all the prints I'll be displaying at the Professional Centre. As my father said, "There's no accounting for taste." As my daughter Shannon said, "Some do; some don't."