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  1. #1
    Faugh a' ballagh Sean Dempsey's Avatar
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    Photographers Philosophy... the mindset?

    Hi, here's a non-hardware related post from your local new guy.

    Okay so I love my camera, I love computers (my pockets are full of iPods, Palms, laptops...), I love Photoshop (been using it daily for 7 years), it's all great. But now that I am coming onto my first 1000 pictures with the rebel (1000 pictures a week average so far hah), I have some philisophical questions.

    First - I am taking pictures of stuff that anyone could take pictures of. Zions Natl Park has been photographed a million times, or more. So, I want to do stuff a little more unique and artful, but what? It's like I've got this great camera, great software, but I am like "what to take pictures of???"

    Second - Why? Why am I taking pictures? Mostly I want to create things to hang on walls. So, naturally, I'll need to have great shots worthy of printing. So far, I've got none. They are good for computer wallpapers, but not for actual posters. Are the "great shots" just 1 in 5000? Are the ones I want to put above the fireplace 1 in 10,000? Now that I've got all the gear I need (for now), I am like "okay photo-ops, present yourself!" hah. I know that's a ineffective way to look at things.


    Basically, I just want to hear experiences on how someone gets into the mindset of being a photographer who takes more than just easy landscapes and common stuff. I don't want to be rich, or famous, but I want to take pictures and make them into "photograph art".

    you know what they say "A good craftsman never blames his tools", well, I've got tools, so what is the other half to the photo equation?

  2. #2
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    One question. What moves you?

    Cheesy Dennis ahead.

    When we start taking photos it's easy to get into the novelty of it and take photos of everything. But eventually we have to ask what we really want to take photos of.

    What could you take photos of all day for one week straight? Then do it. If you can do it 10 more times that is what you love to photograph.

    I shot 9/11 and it still moves me thinking about it today. After a day down there I had to photograph something happy so spent the evening at Rock Center. Going to Korea in a couple days to photograph the first impeachment of the president in it's history.

    But my love is weddings. Did a number of 12 hour days without eating and still wanted to shoot more. That is my love. I shot everything I could think of then I shot what I wanted. Then I shot it more. I still love to shoot it and that is how I know.

    Dennis
    "Foolish consistency is the hobgobblin of little minds." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    "okay photo-ops, present yourself!"

    I know you were kidding here, but you have to make them happen. In a photojournalistic sense, you wouldn't force something to happen or direct someone to do something, but you would know where to stand, what lens to use and when to click the shutter. For landscape, this could mean studying one location, knowing the time of day and day of the year when the sun will be in exactly the right spot on the horizon (then hope it's not overcast!).

    Dennis is right - find something that moves you. Then work really hard on that. Give yourself a self assignment, then work hard on it - focusing only on that subject. Doesn't matter if it's manhole covers or salt shakers, just as long as it's something your interested in. If it's landscapes, go to the same park or wherever many, many times - the great outdoor photographers shoot all the time, hoping that their preparation will be rewarded with a beautiful sky (that they have no control over). By your own admission, you're taking pictures of things anyone could - the difference here is in the preparation - "Chance favors the prepared mind" is a great quote by someone I can't remember - maybe Pasteur?

    Go to Zion in the middle of the day, wander around and shoot for an hour, then head out. Or walk around with your compass and really look at what's going on, not taking pictures. Think about things like "the sun will come up exactly over there and I framed it with this rock and tree from over here then I'll get what I want". That's what Galen Rowell used to do, he called it "previsualization". Drive out there in the middle of the night, then freeze your butt off waiting for the sun to come up. Who gets the better shot? Sure, there's luck, but "chance favors the prepared mind...". This could apply to anything, mountain bike photography, portraits, product shots, whatever you want. The trick is to know what you want, then go get it.

  4. #4
    Moderator of Critiques/Hearder of Cats mtbbrian's Avatar
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    The other parts...

    I was once told by a photographer whom I look up to, "Shoot from the heart". I know he meant a lot of things with that statement, but all in all I think he meant, find that place inside you, that place where the "really good images" are hiding. You find that place and you'll see an improvment in your photography.

    I would also add that you must be passionate about your subject matter. Just as Deniss loves photographing weddings, I am passionate about photographing things involving mountain bikes.

    Part of it too, comes in time and experience. Keep shooting you'll get there!

    You are from Utah Sean? I am from Utah! There are at least two or three others from Utah.
    I think we should have a mini gathering of sorts!

    Brian
    My "Personal" Photography Website...
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    A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed, and is, thereby, a true manifestation of what one feels about life in its entirety... - Ansel Adams

    "Photography Is An Act Of Life" - Maine 2006

  5. #5
    Faugh a' ballagh Sean Dempsey's Avatar
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    I live in Washington County... but go to school at SUU.

    I like all this advice, I am gonna start using it.

  6. #6
    Princess of the OT adina's Avatar
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    Same answer, different subject

    Seems the common answer is shoot what you love.

    For me that is my girls. They have changed my life, and made me a better person. Some days they drive me crazy, but I know that I am who I am because of them. And I know any picture I take of them I am going to love a bazillion times more than any landscape I take, regardless of how good it is.

    Sometimes the greatest photo ops are right in front of you, it just takes the patience and desire to find them.

    adina

  7. #7
    Viewfinder and Off-Topic Co-Mod walterick's Avatar
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    I'm gonna tell you...

    to work hard

    I mean, you've got the tools. Which means you can now produce a sharp, quality, well-exposed photograph shooting on automatic if you wish to.

    What is going to help distinguish the ones you hang on the wall versus the ones you throw in the trash will be:

    - Composition Are you breaking your horizon in the middle of your frame? Are your subjects on-center or off?

    - Lighting Are you shooting at high noon? Or catching the first hour of sunlight? This will have an immense impact on your "success" rate. (in parenthesis because ultimately YOU decide what "success" is)

    - Moment Did you turn around from that fantastic sunrise and catch the bobcat watching it from behind you? Or the little girl watching with sunrise light on her face? A laugh? A hug? A moment that only YOU could catch because you were in the right place at the right time with your camera?

    - You Don't forget that we put our trademark on everything we shoot. After a while, and don't get too disappointed right away, but after awhile you will develop your own style of photography, and it will always stand out as "You." I remember the first time someone said I "definitely have a style." I was floored. I thought I was just out taking pictures of whatever I saw, with no rhyme or reason to it. Well, turns out, that was my style. What I saw was just as important as the camera, lens and film I shot it on.

    Have fun, obey everyone else's posts in this thread and absolutely check in every once in a while so we can see how you're comin' ;)

    Rick
    Walter Rick Long
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  8. #8
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    SHOOT WHAT YOU HATE!!

    Or what you love...my point is, if it evokes emotion in you it can help you transfer that emotion into the photo, and then back into us. That is, if you communicate well through the image...

    Dude, there are no easy answers, it's a long (or short) journey of self-discovery (or discovery of everything but you)....

    First step should be to master the camera. learn how it exposes, why and when. Second, learn how each of your lenses "sees" the world. This will help you visualize a shot much better than walking around with the camera plastered to your head. And once these pieces fall together, you will be able to use that knowledge to imagine new shots.
    -Seb

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    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

    How to tell the most experienced shooter in a group? They have the least amount of toys on them.

  9. #9
    Co-Moderator, Photography as Art forum megan's Avatar
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    Blow your mind -

    Get a Holga!

    Okay, in all seriousness...

    Being an artist for me is like breathing - it's a necessity. So that's the "why" and I can't really explain it deeper than that -

    As for how do you get beyond the usual - well, that's up to you. And it's sort of hard for me to explain. And I think it would be sort of hard to do it all by yourself without any sort of feedback. Where do you live? Can you take some photo critique courses at a nearby art school?

    What my photo prefessors did in college to make us get beyond the easy shots was to find a person/place/thing [or maybe it was who, what, when, where] , shoot two rolls of *each* [for example, I picked the bathroom, and hands]. Look at what you get, find an interesting avenue to follow based on a few of the photos, and shoot another 2-5 rolls of *just that.* [Shooting digital, break it down to "per 36" or so shots - whatever works for you]. You'll find that you'll get bored of taking the easy shots, start seeing interesting things, and shoot the subjects a little differently and more in depth.

    THEN, if you don't have any local critique-type thing you can go to, go to Critique Forum - it's a great tool. Explain in your post what you're trying to do, and we'll help you to reach your goals.

    Good luck!

    Experiment! Get a Holga!

    Megan

  10. #10
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    I was sorting through my stock photos the other day. Some of them are my best technical work. I feel little personal connection with most of those shots. The shots that hang on my wall and fill my scrap books are always the ones that I have a personal connection with, exactly as Adina points out. For most people these shots are of family and friends, or memorable experiences. The technique and the quality of the images just enhances the meaning, it doesn't create it.

    I often shoot insect macro photography. Finding personal meaning in a shot of a bug is pretty hard to do. For me it comes from having captured a great shot on a great day that was a great moment in my life. That's what I remember, often because I have the photo that makes it memorable. If you're recording your life and your moments, you will have images with meaning. If you are a good phtographer, you will enhance those memories.

    In a broader sense, great art becomes great because people can find personal meaning in it. If it's art that you want, then the key is to go from creating something that has meaning for a few people to something that has meaning for many many people. Personally, I don't aspire to that.

    --Jeff

  11. #11
    Liz
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    Moderator Emeritus Liz's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Great topic and interesting thread....

    I'll just add my two cents to what has already been said.

    Photography is Art. Art is personal to the Artist, but it takes a lifetime to perfect it. You are obviously an Artist by the fact that you love what you're doing. You're sort of a "newbie" so you need direction from all sides.

    Something I did that helped me in the beginning was going to Barnes & Noble, grabbing a cup of java and just looking through photography books. It peaked my interest in many subjects. The creativity of other photographers and what they did with their work inspired me and gave me so many ideas that I couldn't wait to get out there and start shooting. The other aspect I learned was the fact that you can take an ordinary subject and make something extraordinary out of it.

    I love Walker Evans. He just photographed people; mostly the poor as a job. His books are full of life. His work has a heartbeat of it's own.

    Some of the great artists have written some fantastic books including Peterson, John Shaw, Ansel Adams and so many more. One fantastic book that I learned so much from is "Learning to see Creatively" by Peterson. This book also gave me great insight/ideas. I would strongly suggest checking some books out.

    I appreciate your posting this topic. Excellent.

    Liz

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Dempsey
    Hi, here's a non-hardware related post from your local new guy.

    Okay so I love my camera, I love computers (my pockets are full of iPods, Palms, laptops...), I love Photoshop (been using it daily for 7 years), it's all great. But now that I am coming onto my first 1000 pictures with the rebel (1000 pictures a week average so far hah), I have some philisophical questions.

    First - I am taking pictures of stuff that anyone could take pictures of. Zions Natl Park has been photographed a million times, or more. So, I want to do stuff a little more unique and artful, but what? It's like I've got this great camera, great software, but I am like "what to take pictures of???"

    Second - Why? Why am I taking pictures? Mostly I want to create things to hang on walls. So, naturally, I'll need to have great shots worthy of printing. So far, I've got none. They are good for computer wallpapers, but not for actual posters. Are the "great shots" just 1 in 5000? Are the ones I want to put above the fireplace 1 in 10,000? Now that I've got all the gear I need (for now), I am like "okay photo-ops, present yourself!" hah. I know that's a ineffective way to look at things.


    Basically, I just want to hear experiences on how someone gets into the mindset of being a photographer who takes more than just easy landscapes and common stuff. I don't want to be rich, or famous, but I want to take pictures and make them into "photograph art".

    you know what they say "A good craftsman never blames his tools", well, I've got tools, so what is the other half to the photo equation?

  12. #12
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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  13. #13
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    Denis,

    I love landscape photography. Especially when all the elements are in place. I do watch the weather, I do set my alarm clock and am at locations early, and so on. When conditions aren't right I'll just enjoy being outdoors, or for sunny mid day hikes etc, I'll leave my big gear at home . On these days I'll carry a P&S just in case something interesting comes along, or to use if I have a compositional idea. I strive to find out of the way places to avoid taking the picture that's been done.

    I love technically well done landscapes too. I believe (in general) this is what sets experienced photographers apart from novices. I could care less how good a composition is if all else is wrong. I also won't go out of my way to fix a great composition taken under the wrong conditions in photoshop. Instead, I'll go back, and back... until!

    I gave up on the picture a day approach long ago. I learned that automatic exposure stinks! No, the camera doesn't know what I want to expose for. I learned autofocus isn't what it's cracked up to be! I'm much better of manually focusing to get the dof I want. I use a tripod and mlu. There's no other way to make large prints.

    Now when I'm in the studio, or on vacation (in pj mode)....

    This is MY mindset. Others may want the blurry , or outof focus look; to snap pictures at will and convert them to graphic art with in PS, or whatever. This is the BEST part of photography. There's something there for everyone. You need to find what your nitch/passion is (actually several keeps it more fun IMO).

    Mike

  14. #14
    Member Norman's Avatar
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    Is digital a blessing or a curse.........

    Hi Sean,

    I know exactly what you are expierencing, one of the best periods of my photographic life was when I bought an old Rollieflex twin lens reflex camera, which takes 21/4 square negatives, which allowed for 12 shots on a roll. I used to feel I could not "waste" shots because of the super high quality these negatives or slides produce. So I used to be very frugal with the shots I took, I learnt so much from composition & from NOT taking pictures, but being able to look at the ground glass screen & arrange the shot or walk away.

    My theory on 35mm with 36 exposure rolls were that film was cheap & just blast through the rolls, with nothing really to show for it, (like casino gambling every now & then you get lucky). Digital has now taken that 35mm feeling & times it by a million so people can take a 1000 pictures a month, but invariabley & I include myself we are producing mostly "snapshots". Digital produces well exposed shots that anyone can take a picture that is ok, so now you have to learn the craft of photography.

    Look at Waltericks picture on this board "Wierd night shot", this is where you make digital work for you & not the other way around.

    Sorry for the rant I need to do this every now & then.
    Happy to Photograph
    Norman

  15. #15
    Co-Moderator, Photography as Art forum megan's Avatar
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    Interesting...

    Interesting observations, Norman!

    I guess one impulse one may want to curb with digital is deleting the "bad" photos. The great thing about a contact sheet [or thumbnail view of a cd] is you can go back to it in 5 years and all of a sudden a shot you totally passed over is complete genius. So resist the urge to delete the mistakes. Take risks. Make mistakes. And someday when you go back to these "failed" images, they might be either amazing, or show some flash of brilliance that will inspire you to pursue that avenue further.

    Megan

  16. #16
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman
    Hi Sean,

    I know exactly what you are expierencing, one of the best periods of my photographic life was when I bought an old Rollieflex twin lens reflex camera, which takes 21/4 square negatives, which allowed for 12 shots on a roll. I used to feel I could not "waste" shots because of the super high quality these negatives or slides produce. So I used to be very frugal with the shots I took, I learnt so much from composition & from NOT taking pictures, but being able to look at the ground glass screen & arrange the shot or walk away.

    My theory on 35mm with 36 exposure rolls were that film was cheap & just blast through the rolls, with nothing really to show for it, (like casino gambling every now & then you get lucky). Digital has now taken that 35mm feeling & times it by a million so people can take a 1000 pictures a month, but invariabley & I include myself we are producing mostly "snapshots". Digital produces well exposed shots that anyone can take a picture that is ok, so now you have to learn the craft of photography.

    Look at Waltericks picture on this board "Wierd night shot", this is where you make digital work for you & not the other way around.

    Sorry for the rant I need to do this every now & then.
    Norman,

    Digital is the equivalent of you framing shots in the ground glass, only this time they are permanent, one can take them home, study them at length, maybe even work with them. I kind of see your post as bitter, not sure why. I see the exact opposite thanks to digital, my work and many others' has gone way beyond snap shooting. The ability to shoot anything for the sake of experimentation has really gotten the creativity flowing. And there is no reason in the world to not use the digital camera like film. Don't take the shot if you don't want.to. Don't look at the screen if you don't want to. Shoot only 30 frames and never look at one to check exposure or focus, treat it just like you did film, but with all the freedom of choice that digital provides you.

    I think that's my favorite thing about digital, the freedom it provides. I am no longer forced into a cycle of shoot and hope for the best, hand it off to the developer and hope for the best, scan and hope for the best...I now can take total control over an important image, or I can still hand off the card to a lab for snapshots, I get to choose how I work, and most impotantly how my images look. I know, with a darkroom I would have all those things. Yes, but with less control, and I'd pretty much be forced into strictly B&W, not much freedom IMO. I always wanted a darkroom for B&W work, but my parents' house didn't have the room, and now I'm renting an apartment, and that just makes it impossible. Someday I'll have one for the sake of it, probably when I retire...

    I think digital does not increase the amount of snapshots, it just records the ideas that before you didn't want to risk film on. That has nothing to do with digital vs. film, it's just that you now have a physical record of all the failed ideas that before you would just forget about... And that can also be a good thing, as sometimes when we come back to a failed idea (barring that we didn't delete it, I keep EVERYTHING I shoot) and through a burst of creativity see something in it that we didn't before. Then we go back and reshoot it with the new vision in mind.

    The only problem I have with digital is that I have 60 gigs of images to organize.
    -Seb

    My website

    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

    How to tell the most experienced shooter in a group? They have the least amount of toys on them.

  17. #17
    Co-Moderator, Photography as Art forum megan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian
    The only problem I have with digital is that I have 60 gigs of images to organize.
    *groan*
    I just organized 6 binders full of contact sheets.
    And I still have a fat envelope to go.
    I feel for you....

    Megan

  18. #18
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megan
    *groan*
    I just organized 6 binders full of contact sheets.
    And I still have a fat envelope to go.
    I feel for you....

    Megan
    One thing you won't have to deal with is DUPLICATES...luckily ACDSee has a duplicate file finder, otherwise can you imagine opening folder after folder and compaing files in them...?

    This of course is also a benefit of digital, the ability to even have an exact duplicate makes true backup of images a reality.

    As always, a double-edged sword...
    -Seb

    My website

    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

    How to tell the most experienced shooter in a group? They have the least amount of toys on them.

  19. #19
    Co-Moderator, Photography as Art forum megan's Avatar
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    Unless, of course...

    I'm so unorganized that the negs are in my envelope marked "for contact" while the contact sheet is in another envelope... and I order another contact. Drat. Fortunately, that only happened once!

    No matter what you use, there's always that organization monkey. Ah well.

    Megan

  20. #20
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megan
    I'm so unorganized that the negs are in my envelope marked "for contact" while the contact sheet is in another envelope... and I order another contact. Drat. Fortunately, that only happened once!

    No matter what you use, there's always that organization monkey. Ah well.

    Megan
    I never did like monkeys...
    -Seb

    My website

    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

    How to tell the most experienced shooter in a group? They have the least amount of toys on them.

  21. #21
    Member Norman's Avatar
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    Thumbs up The essence is..........

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian
    Norman,

    Digital is the equivalent of you framing shots in the ground glass, only this time they are permanent, one can take them home, study them at length, maybe even work with them. I kind of see your post as bitter, not sure why. I see the exact opposite thanks to digital, my work and many others' has gone way beyond snap shooting. The ability to shoot anything for the sake of experimentation has really gotten the creativity flowing. And there is no reason in the world to not use the digital camera like film. Don't take the shot if you don't want.to. Don't look at the screen if you don't want to. Shoot only 30 frames and never look at one to check exposure or focus, treat it just like you did film, but with all the freedom of choice that digital provides you.

    I think that's my favorite thing about digital, the freedom it provides. I am no longer forced into a cycle of shoot and hope for the best, hand it off to the developer and hope for the best, scan and hope for the best...I now can take total control over an important image, or I can still hand off the card to a lab for snapshots, I get to choose how I work, and most impotantly how my images look. I know, with a darkroom I would have all those things. Yes, but with less control, and I'd pretty much be forced into strictly B&W, not much freedom IMO. I always wanted a darkroom for B&W work, but my parents' house didn't have the room, and now I'm renting an apartment, and that just makes it impossible. Someday I'll have one for the sake of it, probably when I retire...

    I think digital does not increase the amount of snapshots, it just records the ideas that before you didn't want to risk film on. That has nothing to do with digital vs. film, it's just that you now have a physical record of all the failed ideas that before you would just forget about... And that can also be a good thing, as sometimes when we come back to a failed idea (barring that we didn't delete it, I keep EVERYTHING I shoot) and through a burst of creativity see something in it that we didn't before. Then we go back and reshoot it with the new vision in mind.

    The only problem I have with digital is that I have 60 gigs of images to organize.
    With all the technology and ease of making images, are the images being made today anywhere near the quality of the early pioneeers of the art, or are we getting technically very sterile photographs? I do like like digital, it has resparked the flame of my interest, but I have seen too many photoshoped models made into winged faireys.Sorry if it sounds synical.
    Happy to Photograph
    Norman

  22. #22
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norman
    With all the technology and ease of making images, are the images being made today anywhere near the quality of the early pioneeers of the art, or are we getting technically very sterile photographs? I do like like digital, it has resparked the flame of my interest, but I have seen too many photoshoped models made into winged faireys.Sorry if it sounds synical.
    I tend to agree with you, however, you are blending illustration and photography together, to me they are two seperate things. Yes, many people load an image into PS and start messing with filters and effects. But how many stick with it? Or go beyond applying the same stupid filter? I'm sure not many photographers do, but the ones that do become illustrators. They become different than you and I. A photograph might be the starting point for their final vision. Can we call that photography? Not really IMO, it's illustration, but that only means it's different, not better or worse. And digital photography didn't make this possible, scanner have been around forever, as well as PS. No, instead digital photography has made it more widespread, easier to get into. Yes, the amount of garbage being posted and printed goes up, but with that so does the amount of quality images. Is it proportional? I'm sure not. Like I said, all those ideas that you didn't want to waste film on before are now photos for everyone to see. You still make the same amount of quality work, maybe even more, but the amount of trash pictures has skyrocketed. This is not in any way representative of how digital has affected the art of photography, instead it is just a physical record of all those ideas we used to discard.

    Are we getting technically sterile photographs? I don't think so. I think we used to with film. Only the ones that really could afford to do it experimented enough to get those truely masterful, artistic images. The rest of us couldn't risk it, we took the "safe" route. Well-exposed, technically great images, using safe compositions. Overall, not to exciting except from the group of really excellent photogs, who could allow themselves the risky frames, just to see how they come out. I think digital has allowed many more people the freedom to experiment and learn so much faster that I think in some areas the bar is being raised. I think the ones that will truely push the envelope will be the ones that succeed with digital, the ones that stand out from the rest. I don't think it's a bad thing, just a transition period. I don't think we can really compare today's images to the ones of old. We can learn from the past, but I think the current situation is one where we will have to see what these new tools will let our new artists create.

    Do you sound cynical? Maybe...but I tend to lean your way as well, I agree with what you say, I have seen too many dabblers put out garbage. I think I'm not looking hard enough for the ones that are really pushing the medium, maybe you should try looking harder as well?

    The problem is, the internet is homogenizing art. Groups like ours here are wonderful, but how often do you see orignal, truely different work? And when you do, the posters tend to get few remarks, simply because it's so strange to us we just don't know how to respond. Forums such as these are basically like cliques in high school. We all dress the same, we all listen to the same music, you get the point. It becomes easy to sit inside one or two of these groups and make a statement about the world as a whole. I feel you are frustrated, and I am in many ways as well. I suggest we both search out really brilliant photographers and see what they are doing with the medium in the digital age. I think your views might change, and I hope my idealistic banter will have been worth it.

    We need to start ignoring the masses and start looking for the rare gems.

    Jesus, I hope any of this makes any sense, but I will post it anyway.
    -Seb

    My website

    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

    How to tell the most experienced shooter in a group? They have the least amount of toys on them.

  23. #23
    Faugh a' ballagh Sean Dempsey's Avatar
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    I don't think Digital limited us at all. The capacity to do the "Great art" of ages ago is still here, most people just add too many lens flares.

    Digital didn't hurt photos just like typewriters didn't hurt writing. We still have amazing books, and we'll still have amazing digital pictures. Can YOU tell if your favorite author used a pen and paper or a computer to write when you are reading his book?

  24. #24
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    Talking

    Quote Originally Posted by Sebastian
    I tend to agree with you, however, you are blending illustration and photography together, to me they are two seperate things. Yes, many people load an image into PS and start messing with filters and effects. But how many stick with it? Or go beyond applying the same stupid filter? I'm sure not many photographers do, but the ones that do become illustrators. They become different than you and I. A photograph might be the starting point for their final vision. Can we call that photography? Not really IMO, it's illustration, but that only means it's different, not better or worse. And digital photography didn't make this possible, scanner have been around forever, as well as PS. No, instead digital photography has made it more widespread, easier to get into. Yes, the amount of garbage being posted and printed goes up, but with that so does the amount of quality images. Is it proportional? I'm sure not. Like I said, all those ideas that you didn't want to waste film on before are now photos for everyone to see. You still make the same amount of quality work, maybe even more, but the amount of trash pictures has skyrocketed. This is not in any way representative of how digital has affected the art of photography, instead it is just a physical record of all those ideas we used to discard.

    Are we getting technically sterile photographs? I don't think so. I think we used to with film. Only the ones that really could afford to do it experimented enough to get those truely masterful, artistic images. The rest of us couldn't risk it, we took the "safe" route. Well-exposed, technically great images, using safe compositions. Overall, not to exciting except from the group of really excellent photogs, who could allow themselves the risky frames, just to see how they come out. I think digital has allowed many more people the freedom to experiment and learn so much faster that I think in some areas the bar is being raised. I think the ones that will truely push the envelope will be the ones that succeed with digital, the ones that stand out from the rest. I don't think it's a bad thing, just a transition period. I don't think we can really compare today's images to the ones of old. We can learn from the past, but I think the current situation is one where we will have to see what these new tools will let our new artists create.

    Do you sound cynical? Maybe...but I tend to lean your way as well, I agree with what you say, I have seen too many dabblers put out garbage. I think I'm not looking hard enough for the ones that are really pushing the medium, maybe you should try looking harder as well?

    The problem is, the internet is homogenizing art. Groups like ours here are wonderful, but how often do you see orignal, truely different work? And when you do, the posters tend to get few remarks, simply because it's so strange to us we just don't know how to respond. Forums such as these are basically like cliques in high school. We all dress the same, we all listen to the same music, you get the point. It becomes easy to sit inside one or two of these groups and make a statement about the world as a whole. I feel you are frustrated, and I am in many ways as well. I suggest we both search out really brilliant photographers and see what they are doing with the medium in the digital age. I think your views might change, and I hope my idealistic banter will have been worth it.

    We need to start ignoring the masses and start looking for the rare gems.

    Jesus, I hope any of this makes any sense, but I will post it anyway.

    Wow Sebastion! Now that's an INTENSE post. Convert this into photography

    For what it's worth, I STILL like the same photographers I liked from back when they were shooting film and I still dislike (this words kind of harsh, I do appreciate them) the same photographers from back when they were shooting film.

    What is sterile? The people doing technically well done photos or people doing "other" types? They've all been around since day one. I have different appreciations for each. It's not one is better than the other.

    And it is a clique.I 've seen work here get accolades. While at another site it just get ignored or bashed. Someone here once said they couldn't stand to see another alpenglow (or landscape). Apparently, they had all been done. I pointed out there is an equal amount of every other kind of photography out there if you know where to look.

    IMO, the best photographers are not only solid at what they do, but are very good at selling themselves too.

    Mike

  25. #25
    Sleep is optional Sebastian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkman
    Wow Sebastion! Now that's an INTENSE post. Convert this into photography

    For what it's worth, I STILL like the same photographers I liked from back when they were shooting film and I still dislike (this words kind of harsh, I do appreciate them) the same photographers from back when they were shooting film.

    What is sterile? The people doing technically well done photos or people doing "other" types? They've all been around since day one. I have different appreciations for each. It's not one is better than the other.

    And it is a clique.I 've seen work here get accolades. While at another site it just get ignored or bashed. Someone here once said they couldn't stand to see another alpenglow (or landscape). Apparently, they had all been done. I pointed out there is an equal amount of every other kind of photography out there if you know where to look.

    IMO, the best photographers are not only solid at what they do, but are very good at selling themselves too.

    Mike
    Mike, that last sentence says it all. How many awesome photogs were there whom we never heard of? Many I'm sure, we just never saw their work get out of the shoebox and into a gallery...

    As for the sterile statement, I agree with you. The images were different, and I appreciate all of it. However, appreciation doesn't make an image move me, it doesn't make me like it. I appreciate the Beatles and what they did for music, but can't stand listening to them. What I should have said is that the images were sterile to ME, and not the famous ones, the ones that litter this site, and other sites, and so may magazines, the majority.

    Just one question, the "intense" statement, was that meant in a good way or were you giving me a hard time? I'm just curious, I have a hard time understanding posts sometimes...

    BTW, this has got to be my favorite PR.com thread of all time...
    -Seb

    My website

    (Please don't edit and repost my images without my permission. Thank you)

    How to tell the most experienced shooter in a group? They have the least amount of toys on them.

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