olli thomson

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Bad Photo – Boring Photo

What’s the difference between a bad photo and a boring photo? I was wondering about this as I trawled through pictures from ten years ago and found some that I had kept despite repeated culling over the years. I concluded that ‘boring’ is a quality that a picture can have that makes it something more than merely bad. Bad pictures, on the other hand, don’t even rise to the height of being boring. Below is what I consider one of my best boring photos. This is an exit from an underground car park at the Allianz arena in the suburbs of Munich.

I like the subdued colour palette with just that splash of red, and the lines and angles, but there’s no getting away from the fact that there’s a lot of tarmac and concrete here. Still, much of the urban world is like this – functional, unremarkable, to the point where we don’t even notice it. Perhaps the ‘boringness’ of a picture can tell us something more, whereas the only thing a bad picture tells us is that its a bad picture. Or perhaps, most likely, I’m overthink the whole thing, having too much time on my hands in the midst of our COVID-19 shut down.

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