Photography: How to Find Meaning?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by JeremyT, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. JeremyT

    JeremyT TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have been doing photography for the past few years. Bought my first DSLR, Nikon D50, over a year and a half ago. I have a couple lenses for it, nothing special, kit lens and the 55-200VR. I also have an old Nikon FE and 50 1.8, 24 2.8, which I have currently begun shooting more with until the price of film and developing is forcing me to slow down.

    But, it seems that all of the photos I am taking are just for "What looks good", or "This lighting is cool", but there is no meaning. No emotional response. I want to know what you guys do to try and inject some meaning into the shots, becuase truth be told, photography is supposed to be art, and without feeling its nothing.

    That's all. Inspire me.

    Ps. I'm considering getting a lomo fisheye, just for that look. Am I wasting 69$? There is just nothing else that cheap that gives that look.
     
  2. Crosby

    Crosby TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2008
    Messages:
    269
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Arkansas
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Do you have a polarizing filter?

    The "meaning" of a photograph is what you see. I do know what you mean and I think by looking at other peoples photos, I start seeing common traits, e.g. angle, subject, position, lighting, whether to use the rule of 1/3rds or not, or blur the background, etc. I like Understanding Exposure a book for beginners that is real good. It and others have helped alot.

    As for as finding that meaning, or how to shoot better, I find examples of great photos and instead of trying to copy the picture, try copying the technique.

    ...my 2cents...
     
  3. JimmyO

    JimmyO TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,132
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NJ
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You really have to explore. If your taking pictures of what you see everyday they wont WOW you. So take a bike ride to the local park or find a hiking trail and go explore!
     
  4. soylentgreen

    soylentgreen TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Good luck finding an answer to this one. Might as well try to figure the meaning of life while your at it. Not to sound a jerk or anything, but being an artist by trade and training, I can tell you art is subjective. There is no real answers. Art like photography, falls into two categories, art for yourself and art for the market. Which one are you after?
    The first one is easy, you just have to please yourself. If it looks good to you, so be it. As any true artist can attest to, they are their own harshes critic. You have to look at your work and critique all aspects of it as you would any work of art. Take into account the basics in art...composition, balance, value, color, lighting, etc. A course or two in color and design helps. I had the benefit of attending an art school that surroundedd me with like-minded artist for four years. I find that my background in art really helps my photography. But to tell you the truth, the first lesson that I was taught in school was "You cannot teach art." You are born with it and the school nurtures your dvelopment. Art, as you eluded to, is much more than just making a pretty picture. The emotion part falls into what the subject is and the meaning you are trying to instill in the piece. A still-life of flowers or a monk that sets himself on fire? A field trip to the National Gallery, Louvre, MOMA, etc. will help. Researching works that you are trying to attain might help.
    Trying to figure the market out is an art in itself. I have stuff that i love because I know what it took to make the painting or to get the shot. Some stuff that sell I absolutely hate. Dunno if that helps, but that's part of the struggle of defining yourself as an artist. Gotta love it, or find something else to do.
     
  5. snapclick

    snapclick TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree on what JimmyO said. You really have to explore and think of creative concepts that will make your picture perfect. Just take shots, you'll really never know if you had taken a good picture right..
     
  6. taracor

    taracor TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Tacoma, WA
    Meaning is a tough thing to get, in any art form. For a while, you are just honing your skills and doing what you enjoy. After a lot of practice, I'm sure you will be able to take meaningful shots. I don't know how long this will take. I have not reached this level yet, personally.

    One day maybe you will see something and it will strike you somehow, it will have meaning to you. If you manage to take a photo of that, then there ya go.

    It's a hard question, and I don't think anyone has an answer to it, really.

    Good luck man!
     
  7. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Messages:
    10,417
    Likes Received:
    9
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    There's your problem.
     
  8. robitussin217

    robitussin217 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    263
    Likes Received:
    7
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Ah, meaning and emotional response. I study music at Samford University. It's in cultural context that art finds its meaning. There is absolute music which is just for the sake of music. But, I believe that music has the greatest meaning when inspired by cultural goings on. Immerse yourself in culture and reveal it whether it's good or bad.
     
  9. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    672
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    For me, I found that by looking at a lot of photos, it helped me to find out what I like, and what inspires me. Go to flickr, click on explore, and just look at hundreds of photos. Go slowly, and see what feelings or emotions you can get from each photo. Then try to analyze why you feel that way. Be patient. Eventually you'll figure out what you like and don't like in photography, and soon you'll be making the connection between what you want to capture in your images and actually getting that photo. It takes creativity and it's not easy! :)

    I think exposure, shutter speed, lenses, all the technical aspects are not that hard to learn. Taking the next step to actually making art is the real test, probably you could spend a lifetime on that. Also I think learning Photoshop and what it can do is a pretty big part of photography these days, even though the purists might not agree.
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

find the meaning of a picture

,

finding meaning in photography

,
how take a picture and find out the meaning
,
how to find meaning in a picture
,
how to find meaning of an image
,
how to find out the meaning of a picture
,

how to find the meaning of a picture

,
how to find the meaning of an image
,
meaning of taking photos
,
the meaning of taking pictures