Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Image Criticism

With respect to the image of myself recently added, Wieland Willker emails:
Some feedback on a negligibility:

As someone with an interest in photography I am sorry to say that the image on your blog is bad in almost every respect:

1. Everything is tone in tone (brown).

2. Your face is difficult to make out. Next to your face on the left is a hectic pattern, on the right is a bright window. Overall your face comes out bad due to bad light and is not well enough separated from the background. Also it is too much on the top.

3. What is the problem with your hand? Show it either in full or not at all.

Well, JMHO ... To say something positive also: I think it is a good idea to present a photo! :-) Make a new photo, choose a light, non distracting background and use diffuse light. I know that portraits are not easy, but your site looks overall quite professional. It deserves a good photo. Or: Why not use this one? http://www.theology.bham.ac.uk/staff/MSG%202.jpg
perhaps changing the background a bit. It is already a 1000 times better.
Come on, Wieland, don't hold back! Tell us what you really think about it! :)

In spite of everything Wieland says, I like the picture I've used here, perhaps because of its original context. It's actually not a portrait at all (unlike the one Wieland links to) but a shot from a BBC / Discovery documentary I took part in called Mary, Mother of Jesus. I suppose I like that picture over other ones because it's a picture of me attempting to articulate my thoughts about the New Testament as clearly, honestly and responsibly as possible, something that I would like to think is something I always aim for, including here in the NT Gateway blog. Although I was only a participant and not a consultant on Mary, Mother of Jesus, it is the programme that has had most impact on my life outside of the academic sphere, as I mentioned once in an article the SBL Forum published called The Pleasures and Perils of Talking to the Media. And the fact that you can see my hand in shot is because I am earnestly trying to explain some point, and I prefer that to a grinning head.

So for now, the image stays, I'm afraid. Sorry, Wieland.


Jim said...

Take heart Mark. So far as I have been able to see on Wieland's page a photo doesn't even exist. In my mind some photo is better than none and it's easy enough to see that yours is a video capture from some interview or other, even if you hadn't told us. It shows you in that animated posture we all imagine you to constantly inhabit. As for Wieland, we are only left to guess.... ;-)

And anyway, your photo is much more pleasing to the eye than my own!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Wieland.

(I don't remember seeing a photo of Wieland on his website. Perhaps I missed it.)

Anonymous said...

> Come on, Wieland, don't hold
> back! Tell us what you really
> think about it!

It's crap!
1. I don't have an image on my site. I don't think it is needed. But I think if you HAVE one, it should be a good one. Your page looks overall quite professional, but when I looked at it recently and saw this "image" I was irritated.
2. Ok, I understand now that this has a more documentary character, like "MG on national TV", but then you should state that. Otherwise one is (at least I am) distracted by this foggy something.
3. I can see only half of your hand.

Best wishes

Pete Phillips said...

I've tended to go for a landscape or something else on my blog...the problem is with choosing a photo - the one Wieland suggests is a bit formalised and, dare I say it, makes you look a bit 'geeky' and least the one you have chosen makes you look like a real person. Perhaps it is the difference between the historical Mark Goodacre and the real Mark Goodacre? Or perhaps not...


Helen-Ann Macleod Hartley said...

I think it's a good photo! :-)

MattPage said...

I remember when that programme was on TV that all the intereviews seemed to be really badly lit. I personally think it's the right photo to have on your site, it's just a shame that the TV lighting person had a bad day!

martin davison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joe Weaks said...

We clearly have a new candidate for the front page photo.