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Big, silent, and childish

“Your photos are big, silent, and childish”, he said.

You might remember that I took a photo walk around Osaka with my two friends from work (we visited the Church of the Light as well as the pleasure quarters of Osaka). They recently had an exhibition in a small gallery where they had been taking photography lessons, and they invited me to it. So, on a beautiful sunny Saturday I took the train to Osaka, bringing my camera with me as nearly always and shooting away happily.

I arrived at the gallery and let my buddies show me around. Afterwards, we sat around, chatted, had some donuts. At some point, the owner of the gallery became interested in my camera, so I showed it to him, along with the photos I had taken on that day. He thumbed through them, looking at them on the dim, broken screen of my camera, considering them calmly and then said: “Your photos are big, silent, and childish”.

I keep coming back to those words and still cannot decide if it was a compliment, an insult or just an observation. Is he right? Judge for yourself.

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7 Comments

  1. annemarieengler says

    Die Fotos sind sehr schön. Ich mag dasjenige mit dem kleinen quadratischen Gärtchen mit den Stiefmütterchen speziell gut und natürlich auch dasjenige mit Simon.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Big, silent and childish, huh? I’m gonna tackle this point by point.

    Big–I guess, yes. You do have this tendency to focus on the grandiose, the magnitude of things. But not all the time. Some of your photos do come to mind as “big,” but certainly not all.

    Silent–yes. Occasionally not, but for the most part, yes, I do get a prevailing sense of silence from your photos. But it’s silence in the sense of peace, or a slice of frozen time. To me, at least.

    Childish–that’s just mean. Don’t pay attention to that. Beyond a blurry, finger-blocked photo, how do you judge a photo to be “childish”? That’s entirely subjective in a much vaguer way that “big” and “silent” are not.

    I like your photos. :)

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  3. I took the childish as intended to mean ‘naive’. Anyway, I don’t want to overstate the importance I am putting on his criticism. It’s not as if he went through my whole library of pictures but just saw what I had on my camera that day. Anyway! Thanks for your thoughts!

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  4. But even then, how do you judge a photo to be naive? I feel like he just wanted to say he didn’t like them so much, but under the umbrella of an “intelligent” excuse. I don’t like him.

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