What does it mean to you?

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by dancingsphinx22, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. dancingsphinx22

    dancingsphinx22 TPF Noob!

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    I did a search on this site, and couldn't find anything, but if there's already a thread on this subject, feel free to post the link...

    So, anyway, I'm curious to know how other photographers view "photography".

    For me, I always try to use it to convey a feeling, emotion, mood or message. When I go out and compose a shot, I try to think about what I want to express, and if I'm going about it in the best way. I know I don't always succeed in doing so. :blushing:

    The reason I'm asking is, earlier when I was checking out local photogs websites, I found myself being judgmental and thinking to myself - that's a terrible comp, or why did they shoot that, or why did they shoot it that way? Then I realized that I was being closed minded in thinking this, becuase maybe they were trying to capture something I didn't see, or something that was important to the client, etc.

    Or, maybe they just sucked. I don't know...:lmao:

    Either way, please tell me what you think photography is about, or what it means to you.
     
  2. JG_Coleman

    JG_Coleman No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well, I don't think I have it in me to philosophically discuss what photography means to me. However, in reference to looking at others photographs, I have done a bit of thinking about that myself.

    First off, the advent of D-SLRs has allowed many relatively crappy photographers to inundate the internet with photographs. So... it's quite possible that the photographs you browsed really did just suck. ;)

    However, I tend to think that many photographs that don't appeal to me may simply portray subject matter that I am not very interested in. For instance, my prime subjects are nature and horticulture... two areas for which I have a real passion. I am truly dedicated to photographing these subjects in a way that moves me and I feel genuinely fulfilled when I achieve that. In contrast, I am completely bored by most photographs of people. Whether they are wedding photographs, vacation shots, stock photos depicting individuals doing anything and everything under the Sun... I find them all very unexciting.

    Now, it isn't that they are bad photographs. In fact, some images of people are positively impressive from a technical and creative standpoint and I can appreciate them in that respect. But, personally, my heart just isn't there... they don't move me. I would say that only about 1%-2% of my catalog portray people... and most of those just feature them as nameless silhouettes. Suffice to say, if the world left photography entirely up to me... there wouldn't be much record that humans even existed. I even tend to avoid landscapes if I can't frame a scene such that all traces of civilization are erased. Maybe it's a reaction to my environment... Connecticut ranks #4 on the list of the most densely populated states, with over 700 people per square mile.

    Anyhow, my observation of my own bias against "people" photography probably applies to many other subjects, as well. In such cases, I just try to stay open-minded and think of the photographs from a technical and creative standpoint. Although we all have varied tastes, any photographer should be able to appreciate creative vision and technical virtuosity regardless of subject matter.
     
  3. dancingsphinx22

    dancingsphinx22 TPF Noob!

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    Hey, a fellow New Englander! :mrgreen: Thanks for your input.

    I have to say, I feel much like you do - some subjects may not hold my interest, but I can still appreciate the technical and artistic effort put forth by the photog. With that in mind, it seemed to me that most of the images I'm referring to seemed to lack technical effort behind them (in my opinion of course.) Or, they didn't convey the intended message the photog was trying to present, which turned me off to their work.

    For example, I saw an image of wedding cake serving utensils. I believe the photog was trying to convey the "sentimental value" of the utensils. However, the utensils looked sharp and shiny, and were surrounded by deep red rose petals. Instead of feeling warm and sentimental, all I could think was "blood, murder and stabbing" Intended results? I don't think so.
     
  4. JG_Coleman

    JG_Coleman No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, sounds like a failed concept to me!
     
  5. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Photography is just making photos. It's that simple.

    There's good photography, bad photography, and everything between.

    Sometimes a snapshot is good enough.

    Everything doesn't need to have some deep cosmic meaning...
     
  6. dancingsphinx22

    dancingsphinx22 TPF Noob!

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    Unless they were trying to say marriage is like murder?? :lmao:

    yeah...I just thought about that. :confused:

    Before anyone gets angry, I'm not trying to say one opinion (or mine) is better than another. I just want to see how different people view photography. That's all...;)
     
  7. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    Memories
     
  8. white

    white TPF Noob!

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    I like photographs that tell stories, and I like philosophy, so I guess I am one of those people. :)
     
  9. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    Ha ha ha

    Not going to get in on this one...
     
  10. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Posterity... at least for portaits.

    This is largely why I had the troubles I did when moving from film to digital.

    I've been in my studio since 1983. When asked, I can easily retrieve a negative from my archives and make a fresh, new print.

    I have some glass negatives made by my great uncle. Likewise, I can make new prints of his work.

    What happens twenty, thirty years from now when my files are corrupt, or the technology to read a DVD is no longer available?

    So, back to the original question... photography for me is presevation. But it does have to pay the bills too.

    -Pete
     
  11. Petraio Prime

    Petraio Prime TPF Noob!

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    But I'm not, I'm not!


    ;)
     
  12. gryphonslair99

    gryphonslair99 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I view questions like this as a waste of photographic time. Kind of like the ole boy in the boat with the game warden out in the middle of the lake. The ole boy light a stick of dynamite and handed it to the game warden. When the game warden protested, the ole boy asked him real polite like, " You gonna argue, or you gonna fish???
     

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