To the students participating in the Jefferson State Scavenger Hunt

November 13th, 2008 by Rebekka in Uncategorized

“What?” you may ask, regarding the odd title of this post..

“what the f***??” was what i asked no one in particular when i recieved the first of what ended up being 10 mails today from middle-school students in Oregon, all seeking answers to a question presented to them on some scavenger hunt they’re taking part in.

The question apparently starts out with a quote from an article published in the New York Times earlier this year. The quote is as follows: “Cartier-Bresson is no Guoleifsdóttir” The rest of the question has to do with where i post my photos, and how many megapixels my favorite camera has. (who made up this question in the first place is what i’d like to know..)

Now, before i go any further, let me state the following:
My last name is Guðleifsdóttir, not Guoleifsdóttir. Misspelling my last name, however, was only one of several things that pissed me off about that article, that quote being another one. The way I saw it, the point of the quote was not to make me appear to be a better photographer than legend Henri Cartier-Bresson, (that in itself would have been ridiculous anyway) . But rather, to point out that if Cartier-Bresson were just starting out today, and were to post his photos on Flickr, the average flickr user wouldn’t recognize their brilliance because they don’t adhere to the aesthetic values that we modern folks have become accustomed to, in light of the extra dazzle and special effects that digital photography and photoshop have enabled even the most amateur photographer to add to their photos. The average flickr user would not appreciate the precise framing and mood of the masters black and white photos.
The point of the comparison was, in short, to point out that even tho my photos have become hugely popular on Flickr, it doesn’t count because (according to the writer of the article) the average flickr user is an idiot that doesn’t have the necessary background in photo and art history to know a good photo when they see one.
For this condescending assumption, I begrudge the writer of the article. Even tho it may well be true that the average flickr viewer does not, in fact, have any background in studying art or making profound and enlightened statements on the validity of a photograph, I personally believe the average person should not in fact NEED such a background to appreciate artwork. I’m interested in reaching not just people who can sound really smart at a snooty NY gallery opening, but normal people, who feel something when looking at my photographs, and are in some way moved by what they see.
Art should be for everyone who enjoys looking at it, and you can quote me on that.

Now, having gotten that much-needed rant out of my system, I’m going to answer the kids’ question.
My favorite camera at the moment is a canon 5D, as its the best camera I’ve owned so far.
It has around 12 megapixels;)
I post some of my photos on flickr, but as of last month my more artistic work has been removed from there, and is only visible on my personal website, www.rebekkagudleifs.com .

Good luck with the rest of the scavenger hunt guys.

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