what do you ask yourself

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by Andrea K, May 21, 2005.

  1. Andrea K

    Andrea K TPF Noob!

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    when you see a subject that your going to shoot, what do you ask yourself before you take it or do u just snap a bunch of pics and figure it out later. someone was saying, its what you convey through your pictures that counts, so im wondering if you question yourself as to why you like the subject, what could you portray with the subject...then when and if you figure out why you are going to take a picture do you think about what angle you would take the picture at or do you just take a lot of pictures from different angles and then look at all the pictures later and decide which is best.

    ive been thinking a lot about having a purpose to my photography rather than just taking pictures and finding something that looks cool, so im curious as to how you go about finding out what subjects portray a purpose to you and how you go about photographing them.

    thanks
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    Where am I now?
    I discovered a long, long time ago that if I went out just hoping to find a picture then I never found one. I consider that activity to be aimless and unsatisfying. But that is just me.
    What I do these days is to work on a specific area for a while (landscapes right now). I look and think, working out in my head what it is about the various aspects of landscape that interest me. When I have a couple of ideas I go out specifically looking for them - choosing location, time of day, weather, etc that suits my purpose. Then I get very precise.
    Sometimes I get what I want (or near enough) - sometimes it starts to work but I have to go back and reshoot - sometimes I see that it isn't going to work so I either dump it or rethink. And just occasionally something totally unpredictable happens that takes me somewhere else.
    A lot of my pictures come from whim - I'll be sitting there talking to someone and something gets triggered and I find I want to take their picture. I might put it to one side for later or I might talk them into it there and then - it all depends on the mood I'm in.
    By the same token I get people asking me to photograph their children/wedding/race horse or do some illustrations for a book. If I'm not in the mood I say no. But I like to do that now because there was I time when I couldn't afford to say it.
     
  3. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

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    I love to grab my gear, get a coffee, jump in the car and drive and hike aimlessly around the countryside looking for photographic opportunities. There is always the landscape, but sometimes I stumble onto people doing interesting things. Sometimes I shoot a half dozen photos, or more, but many times I don't take any. It's relaxing, I enjoy exploring, and I make notes about potential photographs. I also wander around town with a camera; once again, sometimes I come home with a bunch of pictures, sometimes nothing.

    I do have a much better success rate when I plan for a subject or location. If I know of a landscape area I want to photograph, I'll often make sure I'm there, set up, ready to shoot before the sun rises. I am very productive first thing in the morning, and I love the light from the rising sun.

    Most of the direct questions I ask myself occur at my home, as I'm gathering the gear: what am I shooting, what format, what camera, what lenses, do I need a flash, tripod, etc... Once I'm on the scene I explore it visually. I guess I'm asking myself questions about DOF, perspective, angle of view, composition, etc..., but I don't really think of these concepts in words. I do most of my landscapes with 4x5 or medium format BW film. It's just not very practical to use 4x5 randomly. I try to figure out what I want before i start shooting. I look for a while without the camera, and then set up the camera, and look for a while more. Usually by the time I'm done I'll have worked out a main composition or two. I take 2 exposures for each composition, and move on.
     
  4. KevinR

    KevinR TPF Noob!

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    I try to pick something that may have been sparked by some thing else. But I try to previsualize(I'm not the biggest fan of this term. It seems kind of narrowing in my ears) a subject. Things may change when I get somewhere, but I walk in with a pretty good idea of what I want to do.

    an example: I was working on a final project for a class(I had to make a series of 6 images). After kicking some ideas around to work on, I settled on going to a botanical garden, thinking that I would do a series of B&W flowers that where normally photographed in color(I won't bore you with the techie things I was going to do.). When I got out there, there wasn't alot of blooming happening, but what I saw was an amazing amount of textures. So I decided that I would concentrate on making abstract photos dealing with textures. As I started shooting, I got into my zone(hard to describe) and just shot. After processing and proofing, I had a really nice series on my hand. Good enough that I am now continuing this theme for a portfolio. Hope to show at some point. Pretty exciting personally.
     
  5. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    When shooting personal work things are fairly clear as location. I always shoot during the magic hour. A cup of coffee is mandatory. The gear is limited to the D1 and the 18-70 lens and of course foamcore and a tripod. Personally less is more. For me this combo will work for 90% of this situations I shoot. If I know that I am going on a photo adventure I will bring larger format cameras.

    This is where it gets personal and you need to consider your own feelings. When I am "there" I start right away. I try and figure out my exposure so I do not waste space on bracketing. Sometimes the approach to the subject is the best of the morning some times the last shot is best. I am trying to shoot anything that even remotely catches my eye. When I see something exciting I really explore all angles. In the back of my mind I consider "how can I turn the viewer on to what I see".
     

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