I'm finding photography purposeless.

CherylL

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I'm retired and will turn 70 in a month. I've shot photos seriously since the 1980s, except for a 6 year hiatus.
In the last 10 yrs I've post a few to Flickr here and there. My wife will look at some of them if I call her over. I have no kids to pass on my body of work. I'm discouraged w/ photography asking myself...why? I enjoy shooting and simple editing as a creative outlet but it seem pointless. So I'm thinking of selling my gear and get something really small and basic like Nikon Z30 w/ small kit lens, or similar, so I don't ask my self... why do this hobby and what to do with all these decades of photographs.
Does anyone else feel this way?
Even if you have kids they may not want your photos. I showed my oldest all of my hard drives and have a corresponding documents that state what is in each one. I shot a lot of video before photos. Her eyes just rolled back.

My husband has zero interest in photography. The last few years we have explored areas of interest in a 50 mile radius. He enjoys short walks while I take photos. For decades we were busy raising a family, work, volunteer work, taking care of parents that we now have time to explore hidden gems in our area.

Do you do any portrait work? You could volunteer your time to friends or someone in your community that can't afford photos. I take portraits of family and friends. There have been times I volunteered photos for my daughters' young friends that can't afford photos.

There are times that I lose interest in photography. I take a break and do something different. The weekly challenges here are a good kick start to try something new. Getting a new lens helps to spark interest ;)
 

AlanKlein

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Have a question for you. Don't consider it any kind of an attack, it's a genuine question I would like to read your response.
Let's talk weddings as you mentioned them. Is it possible today to "genuinely" provide a couple the highest quality professional results and still run a viable business?

You've broken down elements of the industry quite well imo. No, until tech saved their butts people could not expose or focus to save their life. I printed consumer films many years ago. At least 90% were underexposed. You see it today as well when newcomers try out film. The difference is today they consider underexposure acceptable and art. I don't think they even understand underexposing means they are screwing their exposures up. Regardless, if you underexpose you will get a million likes. The poor guy who actually exposes correctly and puts together a reasonable image gets a handful of likes at best. I just shake my head. lol
I underexposed (or over-exposed?) this one and got more likes than my other shots. Go figure. Of course, I had some help from Lightroom. https://flic.kr/p/2jcbMiJ
 

Old Skool

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I underexposed (or over-exposed?) this one and got more likes than my other shots. Go figure. Of course, I had some help from Lightroom.
I won't comment on your photo good or bad. Please enjoy the praise from others as not enough is given these days anyway.

I would like to say there are reasons the fundamental principles of photography work. Unfortunately, I believe many involved in photography today have so little understanding they don't even recognize when an image is badly broken. It use to be like this only with people who had no interest or knowledge of photography but today the same lack of knowledge is clear amongst many photographers themselves.
 

mrca

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Have a question for you. Don't consider it any kind of an attack, it's a genuine question I would like to read your response.
Let's talk weddings as you mentioned them. Is it possible today to "genuinely" provide a couple the highest quality professional results and still run a viable business?

You've broken down elements of the industry quite well imo. No, until tech saved their butts people could not expose or focus to save their life. I printed consumer films many years ago. At least 90% were underexposed. You see it today as well when newcomers try out film. The difference is today they consider underexposure acceptable and art. I don't think they even understand underexposing means they are screwing their exposures up. Regardless, if you underexpose you will get a million likes. The poor guy who actually exposes correctly and puts together a reasonable image gets a handful of likes at best. I just shake my head. lol
Old Skool, Yes, it is still possible to provide quality wedding work and have a viable business. But it is difficult if only weddings. One has to view a wedding is a fantastic place to find new clients so that makes up for the narrower profit margin. I'll give an example. Saw some Tombstone re enactors out in a town, I walked up to Doc Holliday and said, why Johnnie Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave with my best Georgia accent. He said you know the movie. I said yes and in that scene I'll bet I saw something most folks have never seen. He said he's seen the movie a dozen times so he would be surprised. I pointed out that in the movie Doc was saving his friend Wyatt by fighting Ringo and was going to kill him. He was an angel of death. I asked what do angels have? Halos. I said, look at Doc stepping out of the shadow, his hat rimmed with light. That was not an accident by the cinematographer. Doc had not seen that. That got me a website shoot, a wedding in full costumes and guns and opened the door for boudoir. At a wedding, there are hundreds of chances to connect with potential clients, work it and a marginally profitable wedding can produce some profitable new clients. A wedding can be a viable niche, perhaps for not as many these days and with turn and burners shooting for $500 and the newbies not knowing what it costs to run a business charging so little they are soon out of business and leaving the potential customers expecting cheap work. I no longer shoot weddings and unless it is a close friend would refer them out. Had some amateur friends tell me 8 of them were going to shoot a wedding for a friend. None had a flash or knew how to use it and all had basic cameras with kit lenses. I offered to help to shoot the critical shots but they declined. Next day a lady called. She was exhausted, could barely walk and most of their shots were either under exposed or blurry. That's what the bride got. Weddings are too much work for too little pay and grueling physical work as well. Putting up with brides and mothers who are a pain in the ass, drunks I will leave to the young and hungry. Actually, what I see as a cliche now is over exposure with unflattering backlighting. And not just one or two shots, entire portfolios of it. The basics have never been learned because there was instant recognizable, sharp well exposed images so, heck, that means someone is a pro. Ask one of these "pros" if they first set perspective when taking a shot, they look at you like you are talking a foreign language. Digital zooms did that. Not a clue on how to run a business, marketing, posing, composition, lighting, editing, sales or most important, pricing. Yes, it has become more and more difficult for someone to make a living at photography and chuckle when folks are going to "turn pro" but haven't researched what a typical photographer makes and what their local market looks like. I knew awesome photographers who were graduates of Brooks working at camera counters...when the existed. And the feds cut off federal loans to Brooks because their grads weren't finding jobs or careers after paying 75 grand and spending 2 years. And they were among the best photographers I have met. Oh, want likes? Post a photo of a skinny attractive woman with cleavage, lots of skin, a blank moronic expression and touching their head. You'll get raves even with crap lighting, posing, background.
 

Old Skool

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Old Skool, Yes, it is still possible to provide quality wedding work and have a viable business. But it is difficult if only weddings. One has to view a wedding is a fantastic place to find new clients so that makes up for the narrower profit margin. I'll give an example. Saw some Tombstone re enactors out in a town, I walked up to Doc Holliday and said, why Johnnie Ringo, you look like someone just walked over your grave with my best Georgia accent. He said you know the movie. I said yes and in that scene I'll bet I saw something most folks have never seen. He said he's seen the movie a dozen times so he would be surprised. I pointed out that in the movie Doc was saving his friend Wyatt by fighting Ringo and was going to kill him. He was an angel of death. I asked what do angels have? Halos. I said, look at Doc stepping out of the shadow, his hat rimmed with light. That was not an accident by the cinematographer. Doc had not seen that. That got me a website shoot, a wedding in full costumes and guns and opened the door for boudoir. At a wedding, there are hundreds of chances to connect with potential clients, work it and a marginally profitable wedding can produce some profitable new clients. A wedding can be a viable niche, perhaps for not as many these days and with turn and burners shooting for $500 and the newbies not knowing what it costs to run a business charging so little they are soon out of business and leaving the potential customers expecting cheap work. I no longer shoot weddings and unless it is a close friend would refer them out. Had some amateur friends tell me 8 of them were going to shoot a wedding for a friend. None had a flash or knew how to use it and all had basic cameras with kit lenses. I offered to help to shoot the critical shots but they declined. Next day a lady called. She was exhausted, could barely walk and most of their shots were either under exposed or blurry. That's what the bride got. Weddings are too much work for too little pay and grueling physical work as well. Putting up with brides and mothers who are a pain in the ass, drunks I will leave to the young and hungry. Actually, what I see as a cliche now is over exposure with unflattering backlighting. And not just one or two shots, entire portfolios of it. The basics have never been learned because there was instant recognizable, sharp well exposed images so, heck, that means someone is a pro. Ask one of these "pros" if they first set perspective when taking a shot, they look at you like you are talking a foreign language. Digital zooms did that. Not a clue on how to run a business, marketing, posing, composition, lighting, editing, sales or most important, pricing. Yes, it has become more and more difficult for someone to make a living at photography and chuckle when folks are going to "turn pro" but haven't researched what a typical photographer makes and what their local market looks like. I knew awesome photographers who were graduates of Brooks working at camera counters...when the existed. And the feds cut off federal loans to Brooks because their grads weren't finding jobs or careers after paying 75 grand and spending 2 years. And they were among the best photographers I have met. Oh, want likes? Post a photo of a skinny attractive woman with cleavage, lots of skin, a blank moronic expression and touching their head. You'll get raves even with crap lighting, posing, background.
Thanks for the response. :encouragement:
 

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I won't comment on your photo good or bad. Please enjoy the praise from others as not enough is given these days anyway.

I would like to say there are reasons the fundamental principles of photography work. Unfortunately, I believe many involved in photography today have so little understanding they don't even recognize when an image is badly broken. It use to be like this only with people who had no interest or knowledge of photography but today the same lack of knowledge is clear amongst many photographers themselves.
Seriously? Consider hanging up the brush to tar photographers whose work you dislike or simply don't get. They're not listening anyway.
 

mrca

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I underexposed (or over-exposed?) this one and got more likes than my other shots. Go figure. Of course, I had some help from Lightroom. https://flic.kr/p/2jcbMiJ
Alan, great composition.
I underexposed (or over-exposed?) this one and got more likes than my other shots. Go figure. Of course, I had some help from Lightroom. https://flic.kr/p/2jcbMiJ

I underexposed (or over-exposed?) this one and got more likes than my other shots. Go figure. Of course, I had some help from Lightroom. https://flic.kr/p/2jcbMiJ

I underexposed (or over-exposed?) this one and got more likes than my other shots. Go figure. Of course, I had some help from Lightroom. https://flic.kr/p/2jcbMiJ
Great composition. Framing with fence posts and rails isnt a common framing. Creative. May be a bit over exposed. In photoshop, I wonder if pushing in the levels black point slider a bit to establish a stronger black and possibly adjusting the middle slider to increase contrast might help introduce a tad more sky detail and overall contrast. But if your vision is a lower contrast shot, it's your vision. Looks like a low contrast overcast day. Was this film and a modest contrast film stock like HP5? For OP, Alan has found a novel way to frame. Looking and finding things like that helps keep photo interest going. Isn't going to be found every day. Seeking and hitting that home run in photography is the same as the marvelous sound when the bat hits the ball exactly right or that tink when a driver nails the golf shot. Try having a goal when you go out to perhaps find some great composition, subject or light. Something specific. If you don't have a viewing card, a piece of cardboard with a 2x3" opening and look through it moving it in and out looking for shots. Try that from your chair and you will be surprised at the shots you never noticed. Try standing in one place and finding 5 shots with it as an exercise. It also trains you to see a frame and see like a camera, with one eye.
 

mrca

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Alan, you may have inspired me to try some tmax 400 in 120 and compare it with HP5.
 

Old Skool

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Seriously? Consider hanging up the brush to tar photographers whose work you dislike or simply don't get. They're not listening anyway.
It's always been an industry and hobby where you can never call something what it is without offending someone. Half the problem.
 

mrca

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I don't have any samples in 120, but here's Tmax400 in 35mm.
Alan, it looks like it has a bit more contrast than hp5 but doesnt block up shadows as much as tri x. It also seems a bit sharper than hp5. I'll give it a try with larger prints where I want less grain and more sharpness. For OP, you have a couple of guys who have been shooting over 100 years combined still finding new things to keep the creative juices flowing. It isn't about the gear or in this case the film, it's about chasing a look or type of image that not only keeps us interested, but makes me feel like so many things and ways to photo so little time. Just got an email from a Chippendale shoot tomorrow and he wants one like the head shot I posted. Saves me having to tear down the 6 lights. When I shot boudoir, every guy wanted to "assist." With the Chippendale, every lady said the same thing. People are sooo helpful...
 

AlanKlein

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Alan, it looks like it has a bit more contrast than hp5 but doesnt block up shadows as much as tri x. It also seems a bit sharper than hp5. I'll give it a try with larger prints where I want less grain and more sharpness. For OP, you have a couple of guys who have been shooting over 100 years combined still finding new things to keep the creative juices flowing. It isn't about the gear or in this case the film, it's about chasing a look or type of image that not only keeps us interested, but makes me feel like so many things and ways to photo so little time. Just got an email from a Chippendale shoot tomorrow and he wants one like the head shot I posted. Saves me having to tear down the 6 lights. When I shot boudoir, every guy wanted to "assist." With the Chippendale, every lady said the same thing. People are sooo helpful...
I wouldn't assume it has more or less contrast. Remember that I scan and edit it in Lightroom. So I played with contrast and other exposure settings. Try it yourself to compare using your own processes.


In any case, here are a couple of Tri-X 35mm for comparison.
 

mrca

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I wouldn't assume it has more or less contrast. Remember that I scan and edit it in Lightroom. So I played with contrast and other exposure settings. Try it yourself to compare using your own processes.


In any case, here are a couple of Tri-X 35mm for comparison.
Thanks, Alan. Will pick up a roll and give it a try. Great images.
 

Grandpa Ron

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One of the things I have had to come to grips with, is the older I get, the less relevant the things I enjoy are to others. Thinking back I must admit that the things my grandparents enjoyed had little meaning to me. Gardening, flower beds, lawn care, never appeal to me. So to, I shared a lot of good times with my grandkid canoeing, fishing, etc. and they still enjoy the outdoors; but their world centers around the electronic media.

One of the ways it keep my photography interest up is to expand on the media. When I was bored shooting scenery with my DSLR, I started shooting star constellations, rodeo and other action shots, and using high ISO for some unique moon lit and available light photos. Also, I belong to the local photography club with various topics of the month to shoot and share.

I believe the only people that will be interested in my photo collection are family and friends, not because they are great works of photographic art, but because they bring pleasant memories of time past.
 

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