Photography, Our Personal Views

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Streetshooter, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Maybe it's time that each one interested, post your personal views on photography. We should not feel that anyone would judge us by stating what we feel about photography.

    I have been exposed to almost every kind of image makers and I suppose that in a way creates part of my own personal views.

    For me, it's a way of life. The ideas, thoughts etc about photography live in my mind and hardly a second goes by without a thought, even in the background. It is a large part of my identity.

    I make photos because I have to. I love images and this makes me work.
    So for me, photography is a part of the art of living.
    I am a tourist thru life.

    I guess if I was to label what I do, it would be fine art.
    I love hobbyist. I love to look at family snapshots, travel photos, everything hobbyist do and do so well. Simplicity of design and intent.
    Just to make images for the simple joy of doing so.

    I can't let myself get off that easy. It's a deeper relationship I have with photography and the process. I could say more but the iPhone is a pain in the ... Well you know........
    Shooter
     
    • Like Like x 7
  2. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro Charter Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    for me it is just another exploration of form , painting photography poetry sculpture , music

    all are different ways for us humans to search for a deeper meaning and greater worth and permanance it the things we do.......art is this.....and photography is another dimension of the art that humans create

    subjects can touch us and history can move us and the permanance of memory can make us wistful or nostalgic ,but great art is and great art remains
    to try to realize what makes a photo art and to do it , or make a real poem or a worthy sketch or painting , well what greater way to realize what the human experence is really about , createing , sharing , loving , enjoying, living ........ with truth

    our tenure her is short , ................... choose your pursuits wisely :)

    clive bells essay on art , part of the english bloomsbury group written i think in 1913 says a bit that overlaps my opinions here ..........


    cheers

    i also love the machinery of photography and the technical invention and process and history of it all , the ep1 is a fine piece of industrial art itself

    i love its porportions, its metallic heft,its balance,and general excellence.........................i enjoy it AS art and i enjoy it to take hopefully worthy photographs
     
    • Like Like x 3
  3. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Thanks for starting this discussion Don, I can identify with everything said above... for me, photography satisfies a number of deep needs.

    First (though in no particular order), a wonderful opportunity to learn - a lifelong challenge, with no pressure of having to deliver or produce or perform outside of my own desire to grow in wisdom and skill.

    Also, a chance to connect with, and to more fully appreciate and celebrate the real world around me... familiarity breeds contempt - or at least closes our eyes to the beauty and fascination of our world.

    I love the combination of art, science and design... as above, I appreciate being able to shoot with a work of design art too!

    Finally, for now photography will be a big part of the legacy I leave behind for my children and possibly others in the world to share what I saw and what I cherished in my life.

    If I had to write an essay about 'why I love my life' - Photography, and the opportunity to progress along my own lifelong journey with it would be a big part of it.

    I'm looking forward to reading further insights from our friends on this forum. :drinks:

    Cheers

    Brian
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Mu-43 Top Veteran Charter Member

    Although I am in my mid 40's photography is a relatively new hobby for me. I have always had a camera around to snap and capture friends, family, places, events but it was only after the birth of our first child 6.5 years ago that I really started thinking about wanting to have 'better' pictures that someday, I hope, will aid my wife and I when we're in our dotage!

    But since then I've grown more interested in both the art in general and my interests have grown. It is, for me, primarily a pleasurable activity - one that allows me to express a degree of creativity and also presents me with a challenging learning path.

    I am and will always be a hobbyist. I take photos for myself and people close to me and am frequently in awe of the skills of others who provide such a great inspiration to do better.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Interesting article here - something I knew (through my studies of eyesight recovery) about the retina being an extension of the brain is quoted... makes you think about the importance of vision to our state of mind :

    Alzheimer's disease 'could be detected by eye test'

    In particular, the quote :

    "Few people realise that the retina is a direct, albeit thin, extension of the brain.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  6. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I will echo Bullfrog's thoughts almost exactly. My interest in photography started long ago but picked up after my children were born. My primary interest was, and continues to be "documentary" photographs of our family life. I am periodically motivated by special photographs of family, which are priceless to me already and seem to grow more valuable as years pass. This personal interest has led a greater appreciation of photography and art in general.

    I've always enjoyed the process of photography and not just the photographs themselves. I enjoy finding the shot, preparing, the moment of capture, postprocessing, printing... all of it.

    I am unabashedly fascinated by the gear, enjoy trying new gear often, and find the term "gearhead" to be an often misused pejorative one which implies that a person has no appreciation for content or art. I know that I am a technology geek, and Micro Four Thirds certainly appeals to this side of me - and worse still I am a pixel peeper - but I don't believe that any of this is to the exclusion of appreciating and striving for content.

    I appreciate the fact that, for me, photography is a creative outlet which does not necessarily require uninterrupted dedication. If work and family requirements make it impossible for me to get out and make photographs, I can still look at the work of others and be inspired for the next time the opportunity presents itself for me.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Just out of interest, who prints their work here?

    I just don't have the space to display the images as I would like - I love prints, but my printer hasn't been used in months!

    I suspect that large electronic image frames will become very popular when the price becomes reasonable.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator Moderator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I print about once a month on average. The main reason is that I don't trust electronic backups enough to know that my favorite photos will still be around in years when JPEG and DNG are as recognizable as vinyl and turntable are today. I also love the look of a good print!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  9. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    That's a really good point Amin, you can't beat paper for archival robustness!

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  10. Bullfrog

    Bullfrog Mu-43 Top Veteran Charter Member

    My wife enjoys getting e-photobooks printed up on a fairly regular basis to share with family. It's a good division of labour - I edit a bunch of shots I think are decent and she has fun compiling them into a nice layout.

    I order a few large prints for framing every year, but probably not more than 5 or 6. Mostly we look at things on the tv or in an electronic frame.
     
  11. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Moderator Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    Jason
    What an exclent thread! Of course, if anyone's seen my posts, they know I'm not short of opinions:redface:

    I picked up 5 years ago a panasonic FZ3. Taking pictures with it started innocent enough, but after a few years into it, I started to really like the pictures I was taking, and so did friends and family. On many occasion's, I got the "how did you get a picture like that?" sort of questions. Even if they were lying and being nice, it was enough to spark my interest. I never had any intent on taking this hobby up, even semi-seriously.

    Another reason I got into it was because I was doing more travelling, especially day hiking. Photography, for me, was a perfect compliment to hiking. Not only do I get pictures of memories while hiking, but I make hiking more enjoying by taking pictures. I make downtown excursions into cities I've never been into all that more interesting. The landscapes at the bays, the beaches, and the sunsets all more enjoyable. My girlfiend gives me a hard time because she wants to enjoy the sunset with me, but I'm enjoying it by taking pictures.

    When I look at something, a building, people talking, the waves on the beach, I don't take a picture because its there, or even to remind me that I was there, but moreso because there is something I see there that attracts me to it. It may be the geometric lines in a building, the way the water hits a rock, the way the sunlight diffuses accross the sky as its setting behind a cloud.

    I like to take pictures that represent the way that I see things, if those things are interesting.

    If one ever looks at my SD card and at the photos on it, 90 percent of the pictures of friends and family are not taken by me, but my girlfriend, because to me, I find nothing interesting about a bunch of people smiling for the camera at a party. To me, whats interesting, is taking photos when the subject is unaware that I'm taking a picture of that person in an intersting moment in time.

    Moving on to camera gear, or any gear in general, I've only had two cameras. My FZ3 and canon a560. Now I own the EP1 which makes my third camera. I only started to really care about equipment when the current equipment I had wasn't meeting my expectations. I think I'll own the EP1 for another 5 years before I think about upgrading.

    Thanks,

    Djarum
     
    • Like Like x 3
  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    All very thoughtful and thought provoking replies. I find myself nodding in agreement throughout... After I get back into the swing of things photographically I'll be sure to post some of my own musings.

    I will say that I think one of the downsides for me of digital thus far has been that I rarely have prints made...and have tended to rely on iPhoto and Flickr. It's does ring true to me that for memory's sake (ours or theirs) that a print archivally protected would be the best. After all, I want my daughter to have something to remember me by.:wink:
     
  13. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    BBW, I wouldn't think that not making prints is a down side....
    I mean, things have changed for the better. There is more use for output and more ways to output.
    My Lightroom catalog is just a blessing and I am very content to just gaze upon the images. It's easier to work, so use it to your advantage.
    Printing is just 1 way to output. I get prints made for collectors buyers etc but for me....I don't really need them anymore.
    Sure it's nice to hold a quality fiber base print but it's not the only way to view an image....
    Today, it's not even the preferred way. Things have changed man.....

    Remember, Muddy Waters invented electricity.........
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    I'm laughing, Streetshooter and I love Muddy Waters!

    I hear you and really go along with you (and thank goodness things have changed!) until I think of our daughter after we pass on to "the other side" or leave the planet, and how I'd like her to be able to see our times together and more via photographs. I suppose it will be akin to my taking my father's Super 8 home movies and having them put on to VHS...only to want to have them put on to DVDs... But I digress, I guess - even though this all does play into one's personal view of photography, I think.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  15. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Well, I teach a private class on family snaps. It's amazing how many shooters don't appreciate what's right in front of them until it's gone. Notice I didn't say anything about people but that's really what I mean.

    One of the strongest assets a photographic image has it's it's ability to reflect memory.
    What excites me is when I show work, I always include some kind of family stuff in there and the response is always more interesting than I could imagine.

    I may be a photographer but I'll butt heads with anyone that doesn't call me a snap shooter...no pun intended....
     
    • Like Like x 2
  16. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Thanks for your insights, Streetshooter. I like your take on things.
     
  17. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    So it seems that most here have an artist mentality. What I mean is that we all seem to have an appreciation of how photography plays a part of what we do and who we are as a human being.

    If we keep this thread going and interesting, it may be nice to produce a gallery of every ones work. We would all decide which images would be selected.
    The idea would be to put in images what we post as words about ourselves.
    Amin could make a gallery dedicated for this but we'll see what happens.

    When you are making images, what happens when you get one that really excites you?
    Does it reach inside and touch something?
    Is the result what you wanted, more, anti climatic?

    Can you preconceive an image? Are you flexible when seeing the result?

    Ok, lets get some replies...
    shooter
     
  18. Ted Zimmerman

    Ted Zimmerman New to Mu-43 Charter Member

    Thanks for raising our collective consciousness about why we take photos! It is so easy to get caught up in the endless online gear debates, when we should really be spending more time discussing the merits of the art of photography.

    I think the most gratifying endeavors in life are those that don't have a finite endpoint but rather are characterized by an endless quest for perfection. Next to spending time with my family, photography is my main endeavor and rarely a day goes by when I'm not shooting or reading about the craft. I've been shooting seriously for about 10 years, and commercially (on the side) for about 6. As each year passes by I look back with a deep sense of satisfaction at how I have progressed both artistically and technically. I find that growth and personal achievement immensely rewarding.

    Ted
    http://tedzimmerman.ca
     
    • Like Like x 3
  19. kathyh

    kathyh Mu-43 Regular Charter Member

    36
    Jan 8, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have been making photographs off and on for 30 years; but, really only got back into it in a serious way about 3 years ago.

    Apart from documenting my life - family, friends, pets etc. - I use it as a way to keep me present in the real world. I'm quite capable of walking along, deep in thought, seeing nothing. With a camera in my hands I focus on what's around me and, I hope, make pictures that are satisfying to me and others.

    Kathy
     
    • Like Like x 5
  20. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Kathy,
    And yet another artist appears. Welcome and maybe post some more thoughts and images.
    Shooter