Q: Why does photography interest you?

Discussion in 'Photography' started by ManW_TheUncool, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Is it about documenting family events, kids, etc.? Is it a hobby for you? Is it about something more like making $$$? Making "art"? Viewing other's "art"? Making fun -- yes, I've certainly seen so called candid shooters use it primarily for making fun of people? Or is it just about the camera, the gadget, the techie kinda thing all for its own sake?

    Just wondering over here since there's really not much traffic here beyond the few posts about camera shopping and a little bit of general Q&A/troubleshooting. So far, this forum has *not* been much of what I would consider a "photography forum" at all. A camera forum yes, but not so much photography.

    What do you think?

    Kind regards,

    _Man_

    PS: I hope I did not offend anyone w/ my questions and comments. Just thought the forum might benefit from a little catalyst for good discussion and perhaps real photography talk. [​IMG]
     
  2. Holadem

    Holadem Lead Actor

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    I am dissapointed in the traffic here as well.

    I lurk around here because I have wanted a digital camera for a long time. Whenever I come close to getting one, something comes up. I was about to pull the trigger on a Canon S1 when I realized that a Canon SD-110 would be the perfect birthday present for the woman. I wish that had never occured to me. So there went my budget [​IMG].

    I have had a digital camcorder for 5+ years, it has and continues to serve me well, but I am starting to think that I can sometimes convey the feel of a situation/place better on "film".

    Anyway, here goes:

    I want a new toy.

    I want a new hobby, this sounds like fun. I have been try to familiarise myself with the vocabulary and learn what makes a picture good, other than it's purtiness.

    --
    H - I started every sentence in this post with "I".
     
  3. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    I like photography, specifically nature photography because it brings me just a little closer to what I love, the mountains, the wilderness, just being "out there". For the most part, pictures can't do justice to actually standing on a high peak or a flowing river, or just floating in a lake, however, they can remind you and perhaps touch upon the senses that is one's memory. Panoramics are cool and I've been toying with making more and more.

    Wittenberg summit southern panoramic

    That is a picture taken from the summit of Wittenberg in the Catskills from 9/19/04, which is day after Hurricane Ivan hit the catskills. Those two hikers are my friends Fred and Nancy who were moving about, hence the ghost image. The large body of water is the Ashoken Reservoir which is the major reservoir for NYC, the brown stuff is from the Esopus river feeding into the reservoir. Because of Ivan, and about 12 hours of torrential rain, the Esopus was raging, taking down trees and logs and lots of dirt, all winding up in the Ashoken. The sharp peak in front of Ashoken is Samuel's Point and if you look towards the right, you will see Friday Mt, and Balsam Cp, as well as Ashoken High Peak.

    Photography, for me, is just a little way of recording the moment and reliving the nature.

    Jay
     
  4. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    I like photographny simply because the world is interesting. There's always something that's catching my eye, making me wish I had my camera with me. Simply put, life is beautiful. Photography is art. Some people have different tastes. Some like Nature, some like Urban. Some like seascapes, other landscapes. To me it really doesn't matter, as long as someone finds it interesting.

    When I see something worth taking a picture of, I think: would I like to forever remember this moment? Would this be something I'd share with everyone? Is this art to me.
     
  5. Andrew Chong

    Andrew Chong Supporting Actor

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    These words mostly apply to me:I took my first digital camera (actually my first camera ever), with me on a rare holiday in Malaysia and Singapore. In preparation, I learned how to use it and read up on photography in general some time before my trip. It was a lot of fun taking pictures of family and the surroundings. My relatives at first found it funny that I was always taking pictures (I prefer taking candids), then they quickly seemed to get used to me with my camera and act naturally.

    Another major spark in my interest comes from movies even though one medium has motion and the other does not. I’m not claiming to want to be a cinematographer or that cinematography is what I think about when taking pictures, but seeing great work makes me appreciate the challenges of composition and getting the lighting right.
     
  6. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    Most of my pics are of my baby daughter and family events. I hope to get more into nature photos this winter.

    I agree that this "photography" section is very weak...maybe it should be combined with the computer section.
     
  7. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    I like it b/c it allows me to capture moments and objects that I find interesting...and there's no shortage of interesting things if you let yourself see them[​IMG]
     
  8. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    How about, "to create raw material for my mom's scrapbooking hobby". [​IMG]
     
  9. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Ah! Great to see that there *is* some sort of photography pulse here, not just the sporadic gear chat. [​IMG]

    Guess I shoulda answered the question myself now that I think about it. [​IMG]

    Well, actually, I'm not too sure what it is for me. I guess it's just the visual thing in general as I seem to be a very visual kinda guy. I'm interested in all sorts of things that can be done photographically although I'm less inclined to do what has already been done to death in terms of "art". [​IMG] No specific interest in the $$$ making either since that usually does not intersect w/ my interests.

    BTW, I'm still not too sure what "art" is regarding photography. I tend to think in terms of other art forms, but seems like that would be a bit unfair to photography since it's a rather different medium than most others. As part of my exploration into the question, I started a gallery on my pbase account dedicated to this aspect of my photography. It's obviously an ongoing, under-development thing -- and will probably always be that way. And I welcome everyone to visit there and offer their thoughts and comments -- and yes, that means *YOU*: [​IMG]

    http://www.pbase.com/mandnwong/what_is_art

    Also, here's an "interesting" essay that you guys/gals might want to check out, if you've never done so before: [​IMG]

    http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/7.htm

    Be forewarned though to read it w/ a smidgeon of salt. :wink:

    [Edit]------------------>
    Actually, now that I reread my follow-up, I think I should clarified my comment about being a "very visual kinda guy". Yes, my visual sense definitely seems to have more impact on me than most of my other senses. But besides being visually oriented/predisposed (like very many guys I'm told), I also have a rather sentimental streak in me and that streak is partial to people and our relationships of all sorts. And I think it shows in my images to a good extent, even in photos that are not explicitly of people, but of objects and places too -- and it's something that tends to drive me in what I see and capture and also appreciate in others' images.

    Anyway, that's a bit more to expand on my thoughts about my photography and where I seem to be going w/ it.

    And oh, I'm not well studied in the "art" itself -- although I have come to learn (but not really mastered yet?) much of the basic skills and techniques -- but seems like the very famous Henri Cartier-Bresson speaks to my feelings for photography very well -- and of course, he certainly speaks to very many photogs (both amateur and pro) as well as the general viewing audience w/ a fine appreciation for the "art", especially of street photography.

    BTW, did you read the Ken Rockwell "essay"? [​IMG] Hope you had fun reading it. Does require a little sense of humor, not just the "smidgeon of salt". :wink:
    ------------------------->[/Edit]

    _Man_
     
  10. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

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    That is what always seems to happen. The truth is, gadgets are easy and very few people are willing to put in the time and effort to really understand what they are doing. For 98% of the general public, photography is equipment and shots of the family, not creative skill. It hasn't happened much recently, but people used to comment all the time that I must have to buy all new equipment every year or so since the technology changes so much. They were always surprised when I told them the technology of photography has barely changed in 100 years and the people who constantly buy new stuff are really more interested in gadgets than photography.

    Seriously, the camera I use most, a Cambo Master PC is not much different from what William Henry Jackson used 150 years ago. The only differences are, it is smaller and the emulsion isn't on glass anymore. Other than that, not much has changed.

    Anyway, my main point is, photography will probably always be perceived by most people as a hobby or something to satisfy their hunger for gadgets. It's a real shame.
     
  11. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Yes, you're quite right, John.

    Just the other day someone on our floor in the company bought a Canon 20D -- and will probably only use the $100 kit lens for the typical p&s use. And his buddy, whom I work w/ regularly, comes to me to start trouble about that exact thing you're talking, namely that I should switch from my D70 because the 20D is so cool(!). [​IMG] I told him yeah there are some features there that would be nice to have, but why the heck should I do a silly thing like that. And the one feature he drooled about was the least useful one in most cases anyway -- ie. the 5 fps capability.

    Will I be tempted to upgrade when Nikon comes out w/ the D100 replacement? Sure, I'll be tempted, but it's not like it's going to automagically make all my photos better. I'm also tempted by the 70-200 VR lens (and certain others) too. But oh well...

    I told him why come to me about this stuff when he hardly ever uses the cameras he owns -- I've probably shot more frames w/ my D70 in 2 months than he's done w/ any camera in his entire lifetime. [​IMG] He is definitely the classic case of what Ken Rockwell calls the "measurebator". [​IMG] After that last chat, I even forwarded him the Ken Rockwell essay to check out. [​IMG]

    He's a "funny" guy. On most days, I have my 85mm f/1.8 as walkaround lens for my D70, and I don't think he can ever understand why I'd use that little non-zoom lens so much instead of the big 70-200mm f/2.8. [​IMG] He also doesn't have a clue why I'd shoot strangers on the streets at all or spend more than a minute doing it. There's another guy who works closely w/ him and often chats w/ me about cameras too. And at least he does understand enough to not go on and on w/ the silly talk -- occasionally, he'd point out to the first guy that "it's the photographer that makes the photo, not the camera". There's also a 3rd guy who is certainly more into photography than merely the gear, but these days, he is more busy enjoying his growing little family w/ the little one than exploring photography.

    And going back to the guy who just bought the 20D. I bet he just uses it in one of the fully auto/scene modes 99% of the times -- well, maybe he'll graduate to the Program mode at some point. But in any case, I doubt he'll be using the camera for anything particularly interesting.

    _Man_
     
  12. Romar Armas

    Romar Armas Second Unit

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    I am just a casual photographer. I enjoy taking pictures of people, places and things just for the heck of it. I find myself framing everything around me and taking a "picture" of it in my mind. A lot of times I wished I brought along my camera. If I had the money I would buy the T1 or something small that I can carry everywhere and take pictures. I have also been designated by my family and my wife's family as the "photographer" as I seem to have the knack of taking decent pictures. A lot of the pictures I have taken are on my online gallery at http://www.gunnerx.com/gallery/

    My current camera is an ancient SONY F505v which is good enough for me right now. I would love to upgrade to the 828 but i just don't have the money for it right now. My ideal would be a DSLR which would give me a lot of freedom and control of the settings.
     
  13. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Great question Man-Fai. Yeah, you should have asked it sooner! [​IMG]

    It's actually funny how photography got under my skin. It basically amounted to my just deciding to take up photography when I was 15. I borrowed a bunch of books from the library and had my dad's old Mamiya 35mm to practice with. I look at those initial photographs and see something in them I don't think I've really reproduced since. Maybe I'm confused by sentimentality?

    Honestly, my motivation and enthusiasm about photography has come and gone as I've become interested in other things, but I find that it really has been the one persistent interest in my life. I may not always feel like taking photographs, especially on vacations (ironically), but there's always something great about being able to capture a scene or moment just as I saw it. It doesn't happen often - which is the frustrating part - but when it does happen it's a reminder of why I love it so much.

    I'd say my favorite subject would be people, but having a non-intrusive personality I find formal portraiture challenging and ultimately prefer the candid (or photojournalistic) approach. The thing is I love a good studio portrait, so more of the love-hate thing going there.

    The types of photographs I'm inspired by most are actually those done in the photojournalistic style and it is ultimately what I strive for. One of those books I borrowed as a teen was by Harry Benson, and that made an immediate impression. As someone mentioned, it may be that I'm a sentimental person and like to have moments in life "frozen."

    I think digital imaging is a godsend. The instant feedback has helped me get past some persistent issues I've had around exposure and I think made me a better shooter on a technical level. Of course there's more to learn, more to try, and the ultimate goal of not just being technically proficient but aesthetically aware. Technology may change and other interests may divert my attention but I feel like photography will always be there, my "first love" so to speak.
     
  14. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    Oh, and I would like to consider myself a Level 5: Amateur. And the essay only confirms my fears about becoming a professional [​IMG]
     
  15. Peter McM

    Peter McM Supporting Actor

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    Two years ago I bought my Minolta Maxxum XTsi to take to Florida on vacation. I came back with some nice shots of indiginous wildlife, girls in bikinis...oh, yeah--and a few of the wife, as well.


    The next month I carted it to my eldest neice's wedding. Everyone said I took better photos than the so-called "professional" they hired.


    Photography has been in my passion ever since. Problem is, I live in a visually boring place, with little or no time for serious travel.
     
  16. ManW_TheUncool

    ManW_TheUncool Producer

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    Depending on your exact passion, it can be pursued even in a boring place. [​IMG] Here are a couple great examples of that I've come across (although these two guys do not necessarily live in boring places). You do need to be more creative/imaginative of course when that's the case -- and will need a darkroom for the postprocessing since you're using film.

    http://www.imageattic.net/gallery/

    http://www.pbase.com/luminous

    And here's one I recently made on a lark while thinking about a similarly philosophical topic on photography (that I posted over in DPR's Samples & Galleries forum):

    http://www.pbase.com/mandnwong/image/34112897

    In case you're wondering, no, it's not a PS manipulation. Just simple mirror effect.

    _Man_
     

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