As I continued to chew on this whole subtlety question (and thanks to Paul Butzi to working the question a little deeper), and specifically to how I am developing my photographs for my current series, I tried a little test.
What if I attended my monthly print review, placed five of my new triptychs of this series in front of the group, but only my trial proofs on 13 x 19″ photo paper and provided no additional information, would they get it?? The group has been meeting monthly for over 15 years, half are exhibiting in galleries, so I think that this is sophisticated audience.
Well, some did see the “trend” when going from one triptych to another, but mostly they did not understand the specific story that I was attempting to tell with these five triptychs. It was interesting in that they did observe some sequencing aspects about which photograph I placed where in the triptych order. Which is giving me something else to chew on in terms of the triptych development.
When I added more context to my images, that of the series proposed title and a brief excerpt from my draft Introduction, a better discussion of the images occurred. Finally, there was a couple of requests to “read” one of the triptych to them, which I did, one that some seemed to think was more abstract in meaning to them, which of all things, was the triptych in yesterdays post. hmmmmm.
Bottom line, a number liked where I was going with this, did not want to have each one “explained” and they appreciated the opportunity to read the image and take their own journey and reach their own conclusions. But my takeaway was that perhaps, even for an engineer, this body of work does have a lot of sutblety to it.
And I am becoming more compfortable with allowing that aspect to develop. nice.
Best regards, Doug