My vote: 1964
Predicted winner: 1964
Actual winner: The Animals
It's a tough call for me between 1964 and Public Relations. Both are incredible. I think 1964 may have lost to The Animals because it's not a widely circulated book whereas The Animals was recently reprinted. No votes for the underrated Stock Photographs, oh well.
My vote: Within 10 years
Predicted winner: Within 6 years
Actual winner: Indefinite / Never
The fact that 35 mm color film has lasted this long says that there's something unique in its character. Unfortunately I don't know if that'll be enough to save it. I'm more optimistic about 35 mm b/w which I think will last several decades more.
I'll check back in 10 years to see what's happened with this. 10 years is a very long time in today's photography world. Almost as long as never.
My vote: 4-7
Predicted winner: 4-7
Actual winner: 4-7
Not a well designed poll. I should've unclustered the numbers better at the low end. As the results stand now they don't tell me much beyond the fact that photographers collect cameras like flies on...well, you know.
My vote: Quality of photos
Predicted winner: Quality of editing
Actual winner: Quality of photos
This is such a general question it's almost meaningless but I think that's exactly what makes it interesting. Would you rather see 52 nice images shuffled randomly? Or 52 mediocre images carefully sequenced into more than the sum of their parts? I tend to hate Greatest Hits compilations in any medium. Still, I had to vote for photos over editing. In the end, if you don't have strong photos you don't have much of anything. Most of photography seems headed the other direction, toward increasingly edit-based output.
My vote: The Beatles
Predicted winner: The Beatles
Actual winner: Bach
Matching photographers and musicians has been an ongoing brainstorm for me. They can be matched according to influence, style, longevity, or whatever. With HCB and Bach I think it's all three. Frank and Dylan seem matched as poetic pioneers with a singular place in history. Others:
Eugene Atget: Duke Ellington
Garry Winogrand: Miles Davis
Annie Leibovitz: R.E.M.
Miroslav Tichy: Jandek
Jeff Wall: Radiohead
The Bechers: Can
Stephen Gill: Devendra Banhart
Edward Weston: Igor Stravinsky
Lee Friedlander: Neil Young
Lucas Samaras: Frank Zappa
Ralph Gibson: Ralph Gibson
My vote: Past year
Predicted winner: Past month
Actual winner: Past year
For me hand-held is the secret sauce which keeps shooting serendipitous. Sometimes in low light I put my camera on a car roof or pint glass but I haven't used an actual tripod in years. I think many B readers have a similar outlook but I'd be curious to poll a wider pool of shooters. Generally most fine art photography nowadays is not shot hand-held. A shame.
My vote: Past week
Predicted winner: Past year
Actual winner: Past decade
I've spent time in a darkroom pretty much every week for the past 10 years, part of a quickly shrinking minority. I know there aren't many regular users out there but I thought more people would've ducked into one on occasion. But the situation is grimmer than I'd thought.
My vote: Photolucida
Predicted winner: Photolucida
Actual winner: PhotoNOLA
You know I don't really remember what I was thinking with this one. Maybe someone who voted could tell me? As careful blog readers will note, this poll ran during my period of heavy psychedelics, and I was also watching a lot John Wayne films at the time, so all posts and polls during this period are sort of screwed up. I think I meant to ask about heroes and evil art gods but who knows.
My votes: Robert, Disfarmer, Connor
Predicted winners: Robert, Templeton, Connor
Actual winners: Robert, Templeton, Connor
This poll accompanied my post on photographic doppelgängers. The tough one for me was Disfarmer/Templeton. I like them both but for very different reasons. In the end I went with the classic over the upstart. Props to history.
My vote: Develop, don't return
Predicted winner: Develop, return
Actual winner: Develop, return
I wrote this poll the week after this actual situation happened to me. I bought an old film SLR to replace my broken Nikon. Inside was an exposed roll of color waiting for me like a present under the tree. I couldn't wait to see what was on it, but as it turned out the photos weren't very interesting. I wasn't sure what to do with the film. I wrote to the seller to see if he wanted it but he said the roll was expendable. It was just a test roll he'd used to check the camera operations, so he didn't care what I did with it. Not sure how you check that stuff without seeing the roll but in any case I was curious about protocol. Do you return film or not? And what does the inner photographer want to do?
My vote: Past 6 months
Predicted winner: Past month
Actual winner: More than 3 years ago / Never
This poll was the lucky ticket for me. Shortly after posting I sold a photo to a magazine. But for a while before, I'd had a dry spell. I'd thought for sure others were doing better. It seemed like photos were flying off the gallery walls left and right. But no. Sadly, no. The good news is I still haven't given up my dream of becoming an NFL quarterback. Those guys make bank!
My vote: 35
Predicted winner: 30
Actual winner: 35
A response to the Soth post which appeared a few days before this poll. I'd meant to write an in depth rebuttal but a ballot turned out to be easier. My phrasing is a bit different than Soth's (he asked about "influence") but the general thrust is similar. Does photographic creativity generally wane? I think it does.
It's been interesting to read responses to Soth and to Mike Johnston's essay on this. The vehemence of disavowal is alarming. But wait, people say. I'm 60 and doing the best work of my life. Maybe so. But one counter-example doesn't disprove the trend. It's like saying but wait, today was 90 degrees out so global warming is a hoax. No, actually it isn't. And yes, your creativity has a lifespan. Flowers wilt. Athletes retire. U2 circles the drain. Why would any of us think ourselves exceptional? Gather ye rosebuds while ye may.
My vote: Hedge Fund Manager
Predicted winner: Fine Art Photographer
Actual winner: Hedge Fund Manager
Wake up, hedge fund managers. Your life amounts to nothing. Of course the other occupations listed aren't adding much to society either. At least not until someone founds Photographers Sans Frontiers. As for most useful occupation, I'd go with Poet or Street Bum. Poet as a reminder of everyday beauty. Street bum as a reminder of class stratification.