How do you approach photography?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Overread, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just talking to someone else I came upon a realisation about photography and thought it would be an interesting to hear how others think and approach the hobby.

    Basically put I realised that I am not an artist. I don't and never really have approached photography from the mindset of the artist - sure I am creating something visual, I am painting with light, but I am not trying to be nor really thinking like an artist.
    I have realised that when I first picked up the camera I was not thinking of cool visual creations, painting my inner vision - infact I was not really thinking of projecting myself into my photos as such. Insead I have appraoched more from the line of a documentary approach, or a jouranalists - that is wanting to see and record what goes on around me and to let that be a major dictator to my work and content. For me it was recording wild animals in the field - seeing their lives, actions, etc.. and recording them into the camera. And ok I still have a long way to go in that area, but even at zoos when I started I still still trying to record my subjects life - at least that was the idea - and it seems that my method is to record such through the emotion captured in the face of the subject more than anything else (at least for me).

    Of course as I have gone on I have started to chance my approach - I have started (esp in zoos) to project a bit of myself into the images. I am talking beyond just correct compostion - I am talking about manupulation of the scene to try and convery a line of thinking, an emotion or expression, rather than just recording it. I would ssay that my insect macro work is still more honest to documentary sides in that its rather hard to give emotion with an insects face I find - but even there I am becoming a bit more artistic in how I display the bugs.

    So that is my little story - what are yours? Do you come from the artistic side, the journalistic or some other that I have overlooked/
     
  2. musicaleCA

    musicaleCA TPF Noob!

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    I've approached all my photography from day one with some degree of artistic vision, even when they're really more about documenting what was there...

    Well except for snapshots of things that are clever (like a neat sign) but don't lend themselves to being presented nicely in frame. Those are just for my personal laughs and don't count. :p
     
  3. Dagwood56

    Dagwood56 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Hmmmm - really good question that got me to thinking. Since I majored in art when I was in school, [many many years ago :lol: ], I'd have to say that when I first began in photography I approached it from an artistic view point - I still do with my barn, B&W and flower photography, but I guess not so much with my bug macros, but then again, perhaps when I get better at it, I'll find I look at them the same way too.
     
  4. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Simple....... vewy, vewy qwuietwy.... :lol:



    Acutally, I try to engage both hemispheres of the brain, such that it is.
     
  5. christopher walrath

    christopher walrath No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think my 'approach', like the OP's, has evolved over the years. At first it was merely automatic documentary. I would tote a camera around and document what I saw, what ever engaged me.

    Then I moved onto the awareness stage of my photography. This was the part where I happened on a couple of 'perfect', or rather self-insipiring, photographs I made that made me realize what potential lied with me and my camera.

    Then there was the exploratory phase of my photogrpahy. I would seek out certain situations and try to capture something specific in my subject. This was mostly a compositional awakening, light on the technical side.

    Then there was the educational portion of my photography. This is where I enrolled in and got bored with NYIP. This is where I bought Ansel Adams' three books, 'The Camera', 'The Negative' and 'The Print' and self taught the basic principles. This is where I passed merely reading and not grasping the Zone System to understanding and application.

    Then I got to the 'O.K. You know it now have fun with it' phase of my photography. I had studied so much that my creativity was being smothered by the knowledge I had attained. I knew what I knew and it was time to simply know it and let go. Take off. Take flight. I make pinhole cameras from matchboxes and 35mm film. How far from technical can you get? Did you know I now shoot primarily without a light meter. Only use one if the lighting is tricky or if I need to get it spot on. Developing works and I get it close enough that printing brings everything out great.

    I am now in the 'I finally have the stuff to make my own prints' phase of my photography. After twenty years of making photogrpahs I now have complete control over my own photography. And I absolutely love it. I am certainly not at the end of my road. This portion of it is merely starting. And I am looking forward to the remainder of the journey.
     
  6. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

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    I guess for the most part, much of my stuff comes from the documentary side, particularly where human subjects are concerned. There are other subjects though where I am beginning to get more of an artistic approach creeping in, though I still feel that I am light years away from some of the stuff I see created by other wholly unknown photogs, particularly those I regularly see though my flickr contacts list - my artistic vision is, by comparison, somewhat hazy.
     
  7. itznfb

    itznfb TPF Noob!

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    i approach photography from a technical perspective. i'm not an artist by any means. i generally have some connection with the subject but beyond that i enjoy the research and technology behind the product i'm using and aspire to find the best way to utilize the technology and methods that achieve a perfect end result. honestly for me the best part is looking at new gear finding what goes best with what and why.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Artistically. I think ultra wide angles, huge panoramas, macro photography most of the time. Even when standing infront of the opera house I was thinking I want a photo that I haven't seen plastered in some magazine before.
     
  9. MattxMosh

    MattxMosh TPF Noob!

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    My approach has also changed over the years.

    I'm far from a professional, or talented, but its a hobby that didn't start out as something I thought I'd be in to. It started with a bunch of disposable cameras just before high school started. Just messing around taking pictures of friends.

    Then in High School I took some classes, but didn't really stick with it in school. Took classes at a local community center. Mostly because I'm a very technical guy. There is a lot to know and how it works. The more I learned about how the camera worked the more I used the camera. Mostly to document my projects. I've been a mechanic since about the same time in high school.

    After high school I shifted to a digital camera, which actually made me lazy. Point, Click, Save. Same stuff though, documenting my projects, custom cars, computers etc.

    The sort of accidentally I switched to more of a journalistic approach. I had my camera with me one day, and caught some pictures of firefighters in a building by my house. So I kept my camera with me. Just in case. I sold a few to local newspapers for a little scratch, but the more I had a camera, the more pictures I took.

    That's not what interests me now. My Dad gave me the same Minolta XG-1 that took pictures of me when I was a baby. After one roll, I was on an artistic downward spiral, haha. Now i want to show people how I see things, and get better at the craft.
     
  10. inTempus

    inTempus TPF Noob!

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    I started off taking pictures of people and animals doing their things. I did a lot of street photography, but never really was any good. I then decided my interest was in studio/art/fashion... somewhere in there. So I started finding models and creating scenes I wanted to photograph vs. looking for something to shoot that was happening naturally.

    I think I've found my area of interest. What I'm working on now are the types of pictures I like... I'm definitely leaning more towards the edgy/artistic side of things. Fashion and Glamor I don't think are going to hold my interest for very long.

    This is the direction I'm going.

    [​IMG]

    I do have an interest in the journalistic stuff, but given my limited free time I don't think I'll get to explore this too much... as close as I'll get is some lunchtime street photography.
     
  11. PhilGarber

    PhilGarber TPF Noob!

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    Artistic and Journalistic. I've never really had a deep reason for liking photography. It's just fun. I feel shallow:er:.
     
  12. Nicholas James Photo

    Nicholas James Photo TPF Noob!

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    Here,s something frome my bio that is on the same lines

    I didn’t set out to become a wedding photographer. In fact, I couldn’t think of a worse direction to take my photographic talents. For me it was always, photo journalism in a war torn country with the odd assignment for National Geographic.
    But with little (actually it was “no”) money in the bank I had to pay for my aspirations in some way.
    I set about my first wedding as a journalist (something that I still do today) and the results were extraordinary (their words, not mine).
    I soon realised that a wedding day is probably the greatest news story that can be told in pictures.
    Everyone is interested! The Bride and Groom, the Parents, the grand parents, family, friends, colleagues, the neighbours that have hardly talked to you for the last ten years, even complete strangers who happen to be passing will stop and look.
    The Bride will look more radiant than ever before, the groom will be as nervous as a mouse in a cattery, the brides’ mother will cry at the drop of a hat, the father of the bride will burst with pride until it’s time to make his speech, the grooms parents will be thinking about names for their future grand children. There will be tears, laughter, hangovers, over eating, over excited children, over excited adults, nerves, joy, happiness and a million other emotions flying around.
    I can’t think of a better backdrop for a photojournalist and that’s exactly where my passion for wedding photography comes from.
    I set out to become a photojournalist and that’s exactly what I’ve achieved.
     

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