Daniel Neuhaus is Toronto Life‘s director of photography. Before voting for the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize, we asked Daniel about photography. What makes it good? What makes it bad? Check out his thoughts about photography, photographers and abandoned drive-in theatres below. Photo by Dave Gillespie.
As someone who looks at a lot of photography, I see the same concepts over and over again. Most things are derivative. Sure, the concepts are well executed on a technical level, but I’m still not interested in looking at the image. For example, I’m sick of seeing abandoned drive-in theatres. You get better at looking at photography by looking at lots of it. You become more discerning.
First, you have to be drawn to the photograph, aesthetically. Then, you look at it and go, ‘Huh.’ Good photography you can look at for two seconds and never see it again but always remember it.
It doesn’t always have to be new. I also like when people take an old concept and give it new life. Straight up landscape shots can be great if they have a voice. I see so much landscape work being touted as fine art but nothing makes it different than a calendar or computer desktop background. It needs voice.
The photos I put in Toronto Life are the kind of photos I would want to have on the walls at my home. They have voice, which comes across in formal properties. It’s not very difficult to make a slick photo, or something that appears professional. It’s very easy to have that professional look. The quality doesn’t matter if it looks like everyone else’s work.
For me to be interested, the photographer needs to invent a new way to take pictures–not something gimmicky, not post-processing taken to the extreme. It’s all about perspective and presentation.
Photography is really about taste. You’re always confronted with a person, in a white empty studio, it’s about which shot you pick and which one you say, ‘That’s my shot.’ To do that you have to pick up on details and flourishes across the frames
-Daniel Neuhaus, as told to Studio Beat
Check out more of Daniel Neuhaus’ work here.
Vote for the AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize here.
Sponsored by AIMIA | AGO Photography Prize. The winner will be announced on November 7th at the AGO’s First Thursdays event.