what´s your motivation to take pictures?


TPF Noob!
May 1, 2006
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Well, first of all congrats to your forum, i like it :)

I´m in the middle of research for my final exam project in industrial design and I thought you guys might be able to help me out with some issues concerning photography ;)

The idea is to design an innovative image capture device which has its focus on active experiences and the interaction with it.
It´s supposed to be an object which is fun to use (intuitively) rather than an professional´s tool to create perfect pictures. Something like a digital Lomo, whereas the potential of digital photography should really be exploited.

What I have in mind is explicitly not a conventional camera as we use them today, there are so many more options. Camera phones (I know, they´re only good for some situations :wink:) are for example a step in this direction, but it could be far more than that, especially as technology develops. Think of what endoscopes or webcams, even scanners can do already... :)

So how would you personally classify different types of image capturing (eg. creating sth, capturing a memory, expressing a certain view)?

Which camera (or image capture device, eg. camera phone, scanner etc.) do you use for which purpose?

What is your motivation behind it?

Looking forward to your answers!

I´ll keep you up with my work progress :)


I'll tell my quick little story in here. I told most of it in the intro section, since
I am so new, but I'll elaborate a bit in here since you asked.

I had an Olympus C740 which I bought because I wanted a decent digital camera.
I took some photos back in high school with the old Pentax K1000, and I enjoyed
it quite a bit. That was 20 years ago or so. Yikes.

I wanted to take some pictures of my nieces at there dance competition. No
flash photography allowed. I upped the ISO as much as I could, put on as
fast a shutter as it would allow me to while still capturing an image...and
they were horrible. Thus began my need for something better. Enter the D70.

I began snapping some pictures of friends and sending them to them. They
would come back and tell me that they wanted some more and would I take
some more of them... then their friends would like them and want me to take
some of them. What a feeling. There is nothing like taking a picture of a girl,
having her look at it and say, "Dang, I really am pretty hot!" That makes me
smile, and has pretty much become my motivation behind snapping the shutter.


Edit: Wow... I just re-read that. Please pardon my horribly written paragraph. Eek.
35mm and 6x6 formats. B&W.

Formal landscapes, still life, etc..

I make prints for my own pleasure to hang on walls in my home.
Sorry if I've misunderstood the question but -

Digital compact or camera phone for convenience (usually funny things I see or social situations etc).

Digital SLR or Film SLR for when I feel the photo will have more 'importance'.

Other cameras (like a supersampler or Holga) for when I'm just mucking around
i'm trying to think of how this would be any different than the devices of many recent r&d breakthroughs..

logically, the fun is-in-the-sharing so a wireless internet aspect to the device would make sense. multimedia add-ons such as sound recorder, video capture are already here for us....

..QTVR-type manipulation could be a good feature too. for 360degree spinning/rotation of photographed-objects. not sure how the casual-user could easily be guided through the process of taking the individual photo-steps to make the 360, in terms of a idiot-proof functional interface.

maybe have a digital-version of the Horizon swing-lens panoramic cameras on lomography.com


kika said:
It´s supposed to be an object which is fun to use (intuitively) rather than an professional´s tool to create perfect pictures. Something like a digital Lomo, whereas the potential of digital photography should really be exploited.
Image capturing is different for each person. Just like the examples you listed, people shoot photographs to remember a certain moment, or to capture it and render it as 'art' by deriving emotions from it. They could also use a camera for utility purposes (say you are posting a picture of a new CD you got and you can't find the CD image on the web). The limits are very few.

Personally, capturing images to me has different purposes. One is to portray whatever I may come across and turn it into something deeper (in emotion) than just what it is. Another purpose is to capture images of the event that a viewer could get the most idea of what the event was, without actually being there.

My motivation to take pictures is the unpredictability in my life. I am a very selfish photographer, that is, I see what I see, and capture it. I don't need other people to understand the beauty that I see. I guess in that sense, I am taking pictures for my own satisfaction. And if other people praise my work, then it's just even better.

It felt really good to write all that for some reason :) Hope this helps you on your project!
Hi guys,

thanks for your feedback so far :) For me, the motivation to capture an image depends to a huge extent on the device you use - or the variety of (usable) options you have with it.

As for example it´s no fun at all to try to get a decent quality shot from a camera phone (yet), but if you don´t expect it, it´s another thing. It´s your point of view and respectively your priorities that create the fun-factor of capturing an image.

To stay with this example, the fact that if you own a camera phone, you´ll have most naturally a camera on you all the time - with all consequences. The motifs you shoot will be most likely different to any "planned" shots and the act of shooting aka the experience will be different too.

What if you had a new capturing object (not a conventional camera or camera phone) that truly exploits the possibilities of digital photography? Something more than just another film camera that happens to have a sensor plate instead of a negative frame.

Image quality would be one very important issue to me, and a few simple controls that - used in combination - let you explore an infinite range of options to take your impressions. What´s the point of having all the features buried deep in a complicated UI when all you want is capture a moment?

Like for example three simple dials for ISO, aperture and shutter speed - nothing more - you´d see the effect straight away in the view finder and you just take the picture.

What would be your preferences for your "fun-photographing" scenarios? I´m aware that for high end quality shots or anything commercial you need more elaborate control - so I´m not asking for those :wink:


Currently I reckon there are two things important in the fun photographing thing, they are convenience and/or an unusual effect (as in Lomo and things like their supersamplers etc.).

The camera companies have pulled a blinder though, in convincing people that it's not about convenience, it's about having more megapixels, so people buy cameras constantly!

For me the fun shooting thing should be a camera that's pretty convenient (so it could fit in my pocket or car glove box), and had a cool but fairly subtle effect.
Kika: please define 'UI.'

It's my guess that the most popular cameras, in terms of gross sales, are the disposables. Been to a wedding lately? Chances are that there was one on every table. It might well be possible to modify the design to make the cameras even more convenient for use at weddings. The cameras could also be re-designed for use at sporting events. ["Getcha score card and camera right here!"] Another design could center around sightseeing. And yet another design could . . . [I'm sure you have the concept by now.]

And the best wishes to you in your studies.
Hi Torus34,

with UI I mean User Interaction, this can be either a physical user interface such as controls, buttons, grips etc. or the on-screen user interface aka menu structure.

In my comment I was referring to the often complicated menu structure of digital cameras.


kika :)
2framesbelowzero said:
the fun is-in-the-sharing so a wireless internet aspect to the device would make sense

maybe have a digital-version of the Horizon swing-lens panoramic cameras on lomography.com

I agree, a "for fun only" camera should immediately upload the photos to photo sharing website accounts, electronic frames hanging in the houses of friends and family, etc...

On a side note: If you are interested in weird cameras, such as seen at lomography.com, be aware that you can usually buy similar and/or better constructed models elsewhere for significantly cheaper. I know the lomography cultists are hating me for this, but lomography.com is not about photography, it's about over-priced marketing.

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