Green Apple in Blue Cup

Once consequence, both good and bad, of putting your work out on the internet is that it is open to critique, ridicule, praise, interpretation, and so forth.  I am well aware of this and welcome all of the above.  I share my work on Flickr, Facebook, and this blog fully understanding some people are going to love my work, some will hate it and most will fall in between.  Comments come in about particular photos all the time and I try to respond back to all.  But some require a bit more in depth analysis and response.

Such is the case with this photograph.  I put it on this blog in 2009 to little fanfare.  Then last night I got the email below in response to it.

Can you pls tell me why you have taken a photo of an apple in a mug. It is on your website and I am sitting here very confused at what the photo means. It hurts me to be so confused. Reply quickly with a response of what gave you the inspiration for this horrendously weird photo.

My first thoughts was “someone is thinking too hard about this” and “why not?”.  But then I got to thinking hard about their question (another benefit of people commenting).  Why did I take this photo?  Do I need a reason to take any particular photo?  Does every photo need to have a story, a background, a purpose, a meaning?

In the case of this photo, there actually was a very specific reason that I took it.  A reason I explained in the original blog post.  It was about color as the subject and analogous colors.  But nevertheless, did I need a reason?  I saw beauty in it’s simplicity.  I liked the color combinations.  I was trying to convey a concept graphically.  Because it was there.

I think most, if not all, art is (or should be) a representation of the individual artist’s vision.  It is a way for me to convey my view of the world to others.  Do I need to justify it further?  Maybe yes simply because I put it out there. Maybe no because it is my vision and my art and that is where it ends.   Maybe, like the art itself, the answer to that question can have 1000 interpretations.  But in the end the art is my expression and it is open to interpretation.  Not everyone will understand it (sometimes I don’t myself).  But I think if they thought about it, they questioned it, they formed an opinion, then my work is done.  No art is universal.  Not everyone will like it or understand it or appreciate it.  But that’s OK.  I’m just glad they saw it.

Thanks for the comments, good, bad and in between.  It’s good to know my art caused some emotion, even if it is classified as “hurt.”  Please keep them coming!

(Side Note:  I had to do a bit of interpretation myself about the email this person sent.  I don’t know for sure that he/she really did not like the photo.  The phrase “horrendously weird” doesn’t imply too much love, but the comment sender was not from the US so the meaning to them could be totally lost on me.  Interpretation all the way around!)


4 Responses to “Why Did You Take That Photo?”

  1. Mike Studio City

    on May 9 2013

    I left a comment earlier but I don’t think it went through. I like this photo, it makes me smile.

  2. Mike Studio City

    on May 9 2013

    I figured it out. I had to re-enter my email info.

  3. Mike

    on May 9 2013

    That alone is a good reason for having taken it. :-)

  4. Mike Studio City

    on May 9 2013


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