Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 115

Thread: Salon Style Photography - What's Your Take?

  1. #1

    Default Salon Style Photography - What's Your Take?

    Just a post to satisfy my curiousity.. not intended to start a flame war or otherwise :P

    Think I am a traditionalist when it comes to the style of photography -- I still prefer salon-type/style photography with strong grounding in fundamental basics of composition / lighting and exposure. Perhaps, this is because of the influence of my father who has been involved with salon photography for many years. (Some of his works are featured here at http://lipsengtan.elcreations.net.)

    These days though, it's not uncommon to see all sorts of different "styles" with disregard for the basics etc. Avant garde maybe? Or a reluctance to learn? Or is the salon style getting "overused" (that was what an Offstone.com member mentioend)?

    What's your take?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
    Posts
    6,405

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by teL
    Just a post to satisfy my curiousity.. not intended to start a flame war or otherwise :P

    Think I am a traditionalist when it comes to the style of photography -- I still prefer salon-type/style photography with strong grounding in fundamental basics of composition / lighting and exposure. Perhaps, this is because of the influence of my father who has been involved with salon photography for many years. (Some of his works are featured here at http://lipsengtan.elcreations.net.)

    These days though, it's not uncommon to see all sorts of different "styles" with disregard for the basics etc. Avant garde maybe? Or a reluctance to learn? Or is the salon style getting "overused" (that was what an Offstone.com member mentioend)?

    What's your take?
    While I am fine with regular studio shots, I find the Salon-type studio shots to be contrived and cliched. Especially so for the PhotoArt ones I've seen - all of them are of the same style which can be summarised as:

    1. black background
    2. smoke in middlegroud, with shafts of light coming in at an angle
    3. foreground : posed subject doing something (e.g. sewing, hammering etc)

    I went to PhotoArt for a studio shoot once, and almost all of their photos posted on the wall exhibit the above.

    Regards
    CK

  3. #3
    Senior Member Kit's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Upper Bukit Timah
    Posts
    11,650

    Default

    I don't know......

    I find those works beautiful and technically infallible but lacks interest and content. Its not something I would ponder over or look at it the second time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
    Posts
    6,405

    Default

    And you know, this salon studio thing is now so prevalent that when I posted the following in Offstone, one of the response is "Is this a posed shot?"



    (Well, then again, this shot has most of the characteristics mentioned so I am not surprised )

    Regards
    CK

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    2,464

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by teL
    Just a post to satisfy my curiousity.. not intended to start a flame war or otherwise :P

    Think I am a traditionalist when it comes to the style of photography -- I still prefer salon-type/style photography with strong grounding in fundamental basics of composition / lighting and exposure. Perhaps, this is because of the influence of my father who has been involved with salon photography for many years. (Some of his works are featured here at http://lipsengtan.elcreations.net.)

    These days though, it's not uncommon to see all sorts of different "styles" with disregard for the basics etc. Avant garde maybe? Or a reluctance to learn? Or is the salon style getting "overused" (that was what an Offstone.com member mentioend)?

    What's your take?
    I'm not familiar with the history of Salon photography (nor its origins), but i do know it is happening in Singapore at various locations and have even attended one of the sessions.

    well everyone's entitled to their own type of photography. but since u asked............ ........

    Personally i think Salon photography in Singapore (if i understand ur term correctly) is contrived, fake, devoid of emotions and any creative input. You book a studio, arrange for actors / models (make sure to include some old men, young pretty china looking ladies, or some indian hunk - get a good mix), get them proper costumes and props, filter in some smoke (very important), arrange the lights, and let e bunch of guys who paid a certain amount of money to take turns taking pots shots of a scene in which they neither contrive or setup, and thereafter, review photos and compare the sharpness of each others' lenses.

    Sorry Eng Loy. that's my frank opinion. If there's anything i missed out regarding Salon photography, do let me know. Seriously!
    David Teo
    View my work and blog at http://www.5stonesphoto.com/blog

  6. #6

    Cool

    to each his own.

    one may go/grow from one style to another at his own timing or preference.

  7. #7

    Default

    I was with a group of non-photographers when we passed by a group of salon photographers on an open plot of land doing 'kung-fu master bursts water-filled balloons'. We saw some people holding reflectors etc and another giving instructions. When the balloon burst, you heard a whole lot of shutter clicking...

    My friends asked me what they were doing and their reaction to paraphrase was 'is that really photography?'

    My own view is that yes, you can learn useful skills from such photography, but please move on and shoot 'real' subjects. So what if the background is not as perfect in real-life?

    p.s. Ckiang, nice pic, but maybe you should turn up the smoke machine a bit more (just kidding)

  8. #8
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Yes, to each his own.

    Our friends ckiang and Reddawn have been well known to have a strong aversion about salon photography and it seems they never fail to jump on every opportunity to express their view on this salon photography. Post any photo from those salon photography clubs in Singapore, and you can be sure you'll see Reddawn and Ckiang sticking their necks out here.


    In my opinion, what they said about salon photography in Singapore so far are true though to certain extent. After a while I got tired of it too but I blame it on the lack of creativity of the management/organizers of the clubs, NOT on the salon photography itself.

    Nevertheless, these clubs still provide a conducive learning environment. As what Engloy said, they empashize on fundamental basics of composition, lighting and exposure. For newbies, I would still recommend joining the clubs.

    To me, what really counts is how we learn from them despite what Reddawn said of them of being "contrived and cliche".

    If anyone has any salon photo, please don't be shy to share it here.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
    Posts
    6,405

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rty
    Yes, to each his own.

    Our friends ckiang and Reddawn have been well known to have a strong aversion about salon photography and it seems they never fail to jump on every opportunity to express their view on this salon photography. Post any photo from those salon photography clubs in Singapore, and you can be sure you'll see Reddawn and Ckiang sticking their necks out here.


    In my opinion, what they said about salon photography in Singapore so far are true though to certain extent. After a while I got tired of it too but I blame it on the lack of creativity of the management/organizers of the clubs, NOT on the salon photography itself.

    Nevertheless, these clubs still provide a conducive learning environment. As what Engloy said, they empashize on fundamental basics of composition, lighting and exposure. For newbies, I would still recommend joining the clubs.

    To me, what really counts is how we learn from them despite what Reddawn said of them of being "contrived and cliche".

    If anyone has any salon photo, please don't be shy to share it here.
    Yes, to each his own.

    You're probably right on the lack of creativity. Post any salon shot and a number of people (like Red Dawn and myself) can recognise it straightaway. To such an extent that we I posted a real, unposed shot (above), people recognize it as a posed salon/studio shot, so you can see how prevalent it is.

    Regards
    CK

  10. #10
    vince123123
    Guests

    Default

    just a quick qn....whats salon photography and which clubs are specifically salon photography clubs in Singapore?

    a whole brand new genre

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Here is another opinion:

    Salon is not for us...(sure ?)

  12. #12
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    Singapore
    Posts
    1,165

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vince123123
    which clubs are specifically salon photography clubs in Singapore?
    In Singapore, I only know two:

    http://www.photoart-sg.com/
    http://www.post1.com/home/scps/

  13. #13

    Default

    Hmmm .. salon photography

    I have not heard this term for many years, I supposed I have been actively involved in salon photography in my early days. PhotoArt (PAS) is the very first club I joined and I have not regretted since then, coz one of the Master taught me very well in B&W and that's how I improved my skills. There are so called 6 big clubs then ... PSS, PAS, SCPS, SEAPS, SAFRAPS and BLCCPC offered courses and international competition.

    Eng Loy, your father's works and frame are not stranger to most of the photographers in Singapore and overseas. I have saw your father judging a salon before and that time I am just a newbie.

    My works in colour slide and colour photgraphy always been rejected by salon coz can't meet the required standard and I can understand why thru the process. A little consolation was my B&W works got acceptance in local and overseas salon photography, very close to get PSA star rating but gave up since at that time I am enlisted to NSF ...

    Well, to each his own. Salon photography is here to stay but IMO I find it lagging behind time and technology. The style may have to change and maybe it may get lively again one fine day, who knows

    Perhaps one day I may make a U-turn ...... not for salon photography but for photography itself ... my passion
    AMPA * WPPI * J team

  14. #14

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rty
    Here is another opinion:

    Salon is not for us...(sure ?)
    A very thoughtful article I must say.

    I think there is a general misconception that salon photography equals what Red Dawn says as "contrived, fake, devoid of emotions and any creative input."

    And I say this with basis. Out of the 6005 acceptances in 2439 international salons that my dad gathered from 1962 to 1997, and even in the works he does at present, not many are from what Red Dawn described : "You book a studio, arrange for actors / models (make sure to include some old men, young pretty china looking ladies, or some indian hunk - get a good mix), get them proper costumes and props, filter in some smoke (very important), arrange the lights, and let e bunch of guys who paid a certain amount of money to take turns taking pots shots of a scene in which they neither contrive or setup, and thereafter, review photos and compare the sharpness of each others' lenses". That in my opinion is a very narrow view of what salon photography is all about. (As an aside, in fact I think that sounds somewhat more like the model shoots which some of our more prominent members here arrange/attend )

    Of course, that is what many societies at present organise in their attempt to promote what they think might be salon photography -- these are all set-up situations to learn the finer points of salon photography, but ultimately, being able to capture everyday scenes such that they might appear to be "set-up" but are actually shot candidly. That I think is the real challenge for a salon photographer.

    The point is, even without a setup / "contrived" scene, countless opportunities exist in real life itself to create pictures of salon standards. I would claim that I aspire more towards the salon standards of photography (given the influence of my dad) but take a look at my portfolio: are many of the pictures I have taken contrived or setup? In fact, I would say that a large number of them are taken on the street, just like many guys claim to do: "street photography" but in my case, with a salon "flavour" or touch to the final picture.

    Even the pictures from my dad's extensive portfolio are taken from scenes of everyday life, and that has been how it is since he started out in his lifelong journey in photography since the 1950/60s. And the criticism about salon photography lacking in creativity: my father was awarded his FRPS and other awards for his work in colour derivatives and darkroom techniques (some involving diazochrome processing) in contemporary photography. Many of his award-winning works were painstaking done them manually by sandwiching multiple layers of transparency film with manual masking (many of which can be easily done in Photoshop now). While some traditionalists in those days pooh-poohed the idea, saying ironically that the pictures were not real, he pioneered and made that his personal/unique style which was subsequently admired and aspired to by many of his contemporaries.

    Anyway, this is just my two cents worth on salon photography in general. Ultimately, like some of you said here, to each his own. Just as art has evolved through different eras and styles through the hands of masters like Leonardo da Vinci, Pablo Picasso and Rembrandt, so too will photography, which is afterall an artform in its own right. Only time and history will testify to its changes/evolution.

    Regards.

  15. #15
    Deregistered
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    ClubSNAP community
    Posts
    2,775

    Thumbs down

    With due respect, EngLoy, I've had less-than-happy experience of encountering Salon "photogs" at work. Yes, they have the theory. Practical, as in real life, that's altogether another animal. (yes, they had all those rubbish attached too - FRPS, PSS, S-n-more-S)

    Those experiences have marred my impression, true. But they've also left me with a nagging suspicion that many (not most) salon photogs can only do contrived shots. Or blow a lot of hot air.

    Errr..... I do think my comment may draw undue flames. Do please PM me or even let's take this offline for the details.

    teL.... ok?

  16. #16

    Default

    Seldom do I engage in such a discussion but I will throw in my 2 cents:

    1. Salon is a good place to start off with. It teaches u the very fundamentals. But my personal advise is to learn the basic and move on because:

    2. Clubs here are hard pressed to organise outings frequently. Thus due to the limitations and constraints of organising group shots and teaching, they have to get models to pose for the shots. This is the reasons for seeing so many clich shots of salon photos but:

    3. Salon are not contraint to those posed, clich shots that u see. Any well composed and tehcnically perfect shots can be classified as salon. The emphasis of salon is on beauty and techincal perfection.

  17. #17

    Default

    There are many who down play salon becasue they hate to be critised brutally by salonist of their work. Salonist belongs to one camp while u may belongs to the photoj type of work where beauty and technical perfection isn't the main issue.

    But if one can apply salonist type of fundamentals into your kind of work, you will be a master. This is because u can't fault the principles - it is the uncreative photog for taking boring and clich photos.

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Azure
    With due respect, EngLoy, I've had less-than-happy experience of encountering Salon "photogs" at work. Yes, they have the theory. Practical, as in real life, that's altogether another animal. (yes, they had all those rubbish attached too - FRPS, PSS, S-n-more-S)

    Errr..... I do think my comment may draw undue flames. Do please PM me or even let's take this offline for the details.
    Azure,

    While I appreciate your concern about undue flames and your want to discuss it in private, I do believe that your comment about "rubbish attached" is uncalled for especially when you have made your clarification to talk "with due respect". In fact, I find your comments outright rude esepcially coming from an old-timer CSer.

    The qualifications/titles and "whatever rubbish" you mentioned are there for the recognition of a certain standard achieved with respect to photography. In fact, in certain countries, some of these qualifciations are actually accepted even for migration/citizenship applications, or for career advancement for that matter.

    To that extent, I suppose you regard those with BScs, MBAs, BAs, MBBSes, phDs of having achieved "rubbish" for their work/studies/qualifications.

    Whatever bad experience you may have gathered from your interaction with Salon "photogs" (I have a feeling that you don't regard them as true photographers, just as they didn't regard you as one too) might have clouded your judgement.

    Or might I venture to say (at the risk of drawing some flames) that it is a matter of the "sour grapes" mentality at work here?

    I am all for hearing what bad experience you might have encountered before. Please PM me and perhaps I might be able to clear some misconceptions that you might somehow gotten.

    Regards.

    Dr Tan Eng Loy, M.B.,B.S, ARPS
    Last edited by teL; 10th February 2004 at 01:11 AM.

  19. #19

    Default

    Check it out:

    http://www.photosig.com/go/photos/view?id=38455

    BTW what's the difference between studio and salon photography?

    I like Kenghor's definition about the emphasis on beauty and technical perfection. Helps me understand the genre better.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by kenghor
    There are many who down play salon becasue they hate to be critised brutally by salonist of their work. Salonist belongs to one camp while u may belongs to the photoj type of work where beauty and technical perfection isn't the main issue.

    But if one can apply salonist type of fundamentals into your kind of work, you will be a master. This is because u can't fault the principles - it is the uncreative photog for taking boring and clich photos.
    Very well said.

Page 1 of 6 123 ... LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •