Support our Sponsors, they keep FADU free:   AG Photographic   Keyphoto   The Imaging Warehouse   Process Supplies   RH Designs   RK Photo   Second-hand Darkroom Supplies   Silverprint Ltd

Notices

Go Back   Film and Darkroom User > General discussions > Photography in general

  ***   Click here for the FADU 2015/2014 Yearbooks   ***

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 8th November 2008, 09:54 AM
les dix les dix is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Near Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Posts: 258
Default The 'why?' of photography

Perhaps it is my anglo-saxon nature but I always feel that I need to have a specific aim in photography. Making photographs purely for my own satisfaction is never quite enough although I think it perhaps ought to be.

I used to enter club competitions but I do this far less now and prefer instead to give a club talk on my recent work. The problem with this is that you do not get much feedback except about how nice it is to see someone still doing darkroom work. I suppose I could go back to competitions but I am not 'competitive' in that sense. I have no interest in making money from my hobby.

I wonder what you folks do to keep your photography moving in a certain direction? Do you think it necessary to have specific aims or are you happy to do your own thing and keep your prints/sildes in a cupboard ?

Les
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 8th November 2008, 10:27 AM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,322
Default

In a cupboard, certainly not, no point in that; I make pictures to be seen.
I participate in a specialist mono group where prints reign supreme, although sadly most are inkies. I have entered my last camera club competition, because Iím fed up with ignorant judges assuming my work is digital. Thatís the negatives out of the way. I have enjoyed exchanging prints through exchanges arranged in forum such as this, and showing and discussing photographs at meeting such as the one we have arranged for next May in the Lakes. I guess my main outlet at the moment is through The Postal Photographic Club where my prints are circulated around a group and receive comment and criticism on a monthly basis.
__________________
Regards
Dave
www.davids.org.uk
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 8th November 2008, 04:00 PM
Trevor Crone's Avatar
Trevor Crone Trevor Crone is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: London
Posts: 2,609
Default

Robert Adam's has written quite an interesting book on the subject "Why People Photograph". One little sentence struck a cord, '...occasionally photographers discover tears in their eyes for the joy of seeing. I think it is because they've known a miracle. They've been given what they did not earn, and as is the way with unexpected gifts, the surprise carries an emotional blessing.

I feel this joy, admittedly only occasionally, but when it happens it makes it so worth while. Now what you do with such images is another matter entirely and of course showing them to others more often then not gets an entirely different response. The viewer may indeed in no way feel the emotion that you felt when taking the photograph. Too bad if this is the case, you must carry on and be true and believe in yourself and your photography otherwise you run the risk of becoming a pale imitator of others or worse a puppet of some 'judge.' I herd of someone who had taken this to the extreme, this particular photographer had a data base of all the judges that had visited his club and what material/subject matter they liked, so on their next visit this photographer would produce work to suit the judges taste!

The last print I ever put in a club competition the judge said, 'Nice quality but I wouldn't want to be there,' I replied, 'no, and I wouldn't want you to have been there either.' I wasn't really being rude, for I knew the judge very well and I knew we could have a bit of banta.

I'm a member of two photographic groups, Mirage and Arena and these are outlets for discussing new work and seeing the work of outside speakers. I also write the occasional piece for B+W Photography mag. which helps me focus on certain things.
__________________
"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which will never be seen again" Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Timespresent
Arenaphotographers
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 8th November 2008, 05:12 PM
les dix les dix is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Near Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Posts: 258
Default

Thanks for that quote Trevor,

Yes I think that being true to yourself is so important.

Les
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 8th November 2008, 09:35 PM
Trevor Crone's Avatar
Trevor Crone Trevor Crone is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: London
Posts: 2,609
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by les dix View Post
SNIP: Making photographs purely for my own satisfaction is never quite enough although I think it perhaps ought to be.
Les
Les, that's an interesting point you've raised. Again Robert Adams tackles this, 'Artists sometimes claim that they work without thought of an audience-that they makes pictures just for themselves. We are not deceived. The only reward worth that much effort is a response, and if no one pays attention, or if the artist cannot live on hope, then he or she is lost.'

Trevor.
__________________
"To the attentive eye, each moment of the year has its own beauty, and in the same field, it beholds, every hour, a picture which was never seen before, and which will never be seen again" Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Timespresent
Arenaphotographers
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 8th November 2008, 10:41 PM
Sandeha Lynch's Avatar
Sandeha Lynch Sandeha Lynch is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wales (UK)
Posts: 398
Default

I agree with that point. Any output is potentially part of a dialogue, not least because images form part of our language of expression as much as sound or words.

I have certain criteria to satisfy when shooting or processing, but I shoot as a way of recording and feeding back to the world. There have been times I haven't been able to show my work and that has left me feeling very frustrated - I think I would feel equally frustrated if there were no images to view!

What happens after ... depends on many variables, including the ability to extend the dialogue, finding an audience, listening to (or observing) feedback, etc. The web is a superb medium for exchange, and learning, and therefore also for raising visual literacy. The interest in NoWords type threads in photography forums would be worthy of study, given the way that people post in response to a title; sometimes snapshots, sometimes high art, recent or from the archive - anyone can take the opportunity to contribute. And though possibly naive and done without any kind of reflective awareness, even the cameraphone teen galleries on BeBo facilitate visual exchanges.

There's a photographer I'm aware of, long dead, who kept his negatives carefully filed throughout WWII and never got to see them printed. Another I've come across from the same period never even saw his films developed - they were developed 60 years after they were taken. That's a sadness for them, but the late discovery of these images can be a joy for those who come after.

When I started a photo website in '98, I entitled it Visual Records partly because I was looking for the most straightforward title possible, something that would not be misleading no matter which photographic avenues I ended up following. Much later it dawned on me that I could hardly have chosen a more appropriate title for the range I tend to cover. The site gets a dozen or more individual visitors each day and even though I rarely (very rarely) hear from any of them the indirect awareness that my work is being seen gives some satisfaction.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 9th November 2008, 09:46 AM
Bill's Avatar
Bill Bill is offline
Moderator & Keeper of the Calendar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Barrow - in - Furness
Posts: 1,744
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by les dix View Post

I wonder what you folks do to keep your photography moving in a certain direction? Do you think it necessary to have specific aims or are you happy to do your own thing and keep your prints/sildes in a cupboard ?

Les
The answer to the first question in my case seems to be "Not a lot". I would like to have a specific aim and am in awe of people like Trevor who seem to be able to think up themes, like the white chair or coastal fragments series, but more importantly see them through. Provided I produce 12 - 18 images per year to fulfil my commitment to my Circle in the Postal Photographic Club I have no other reason to produce prints. Hence most of my negatives are processed, filed and never seen again.

That is probably why I keep trying different developers, because it gives me something to do with my equipment.

I am tempted by the idea of the print exchange but am so unconfident in my ability to produce an interesting decent print that I stay away from them. Probably too negative an attitude to have.

Excellent question though and I look forward to reading more replies.

Bill
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 9th November 2008, 09:57 AM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,322
Default

Come now Bill if you are producing prints worthy of a PPC folio, then they are surely good enough to exchange.
__________________
Regards
Dave
www.davids.org.uk
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 9th November 2008, 11:07 AM
Bill's Avatar
Bill Bill is offline
Moderator & Keeper of the Calendar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Barrow - in - Furness
Posts: 1,744
Default

Dave,

You haven't seen the comments/marks I have been getting! Highest place is 6 th in the last 6 boxes. That is initially out of 6 now out of 10.

Regards

Bill
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 9th November 2008, 11:43 AM
Dave miller Dave miller is offline
Friend
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 6,322
Default

Then there's only one way to go from there. Up!
Anyway you should not be worrying about marks, if they please you, then they will surely please others.
__________________
Regards
Dave
www.davids.org.uk
Reply With Quote
Reply
Support our Sponsors, they keep FADU free:   AG Photographic   Keyphoto   The Imaging Warehouse   Process Supplies   RH Designs   RK Photo   Second-hand Darkroom Supplies   Silverprint Ltd

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Fabulous Photography Neil Smith Photography in general 1 16th March 2011 06:57 PM
Genius of photography Michael Art and aesthetics 9 20th August 2009 07:34 PM
Are Photography Magazines necessary? vincent Art and aesthetics 19 20th April 2009 06:27 AM
Genius of Photography Trevor Crone Photography in general 24 19th March 2009 07:11 PM
Street Photography kennethcooke Art and aesthetics 0 20th December 2008 06:39 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 06:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.