Do you live in a "highly photographic" area?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by tron_, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. tron_

    tron_ Member

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    A friend of mine and I talk quite a bit about how passionate we are about our hobbies. He's a really talented guitar player and I'm a really uhh....well I'm a photographer :tongue:. But I also have a huge passion for motorsports. You get the idea.

    He has talked about moving to a new city so he could be a part of a larger pool of musicians in an effort to form a band since we live in a very "compartmentalized" artistic area (Detroit). There are definitely artists here but the true artists seem to stay to themselves unlike the many "poseurs" in the area. Yes being in a band is a lot different than being a photographer since photography is usually a one man show but the idea made me curious.

    It makes me realize that for a city as large as we live in, I have NEVER seen anyone else shooting film. And I can probably count on one hand the number of times I've seen a digital shooter out taking photographs.

    On the other hand when I went to Tokyo, film culture was enormous there and more people seemed aware of film still being around.

    This makes me think, do you guys live in a place with lots of photographers? What do you say to them if your paths cross? Just a fun thread I guess, I wasn't sure where else to put it.

    -Tron
     
  2. hdeyong

    hdeyong Subscriber

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    I live in a village, (1,500 people), in the south-east corner of France.
    From what I've seen so far, the only other people taking pictures are tourists snapping away with their digitals.
    But, there must be at least one more of me, because our local store always has at least one copy, every month, of a serious photography magazine. I've thought about ways to find out who buys it, besides me.
    We regularly spend time in Nice, and the two camera stores there carry popular films.
    And yes, it's a really beautiful area.
     
  3. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Unfortunately I live in a photographic vacuum.
     
  4. Fixcinater

    Fixcinater Subscriber

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    There's a large number of folks that do the beach scenes and Balboa Park, I see them quite often but I rarely get into conversations with them. I'm not generally in the mood to socialize when I'm out on a "mission" for some images.
     
  5. agnosticnikon

    agnosticnikon Member

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    I live in rural Mississippi, about 15 mi. from the closest town of about 5000. We travel to other cities, like Oxford (Ole Miss university) and Jackson from time to time, but I never remember seeing someone out taking pictures. Maybe sometimes at an event, or wedding, but not just out taking pictures. I'm sure there are some doing this at some time, somewhere, but probably digital. People are always surprised when they find out I'm using film, and even more so when I tell them I develop it myself. In fact, someone asked about the Retina camera I was using the other day, and when I replied it was a Kodak camera made in Germany, they said "Germany? I thought Kodak was Japanese!" Yikes! I was kind of speechless for a minute before telling them that Kodak was an American company. The response, "Really?"
    So to answer the question, no, this is definitely NOT a "highly photographic" area.
     
  6. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I am pretty far out in the suburbs of Philadelphia and there are lots of historic sites, rolling hills, farms, rivers and scenery as well as railroads and "infrastructure" subjects available. I can't say I see too many of what I might call "serious" photographers, but the shirt pocket P&S bit zappers and smart phones are often seen recording things both dramatic and mundane. My most recent impressive sighting was northwest of here at the remains of an old iron works on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. As I wandered around the outside of one of the major buildings looking for a suitable shot, I encountered a guy with a handcart full of gear centered around an Arca monorail 4x5. I was hard to miss, bearing a brand new, somewhat elegant homemade 8x10 pinhole camera and so we had a good discussion. He lives in the Lehigh Valley and is selling LF work as an avocation.

    Obviously in "Old City" Philadelphia where there are things like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, there is a lot of photographic activity, though perhaps not a large percentage goes beyond vacation snapshots.
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I know a number of Detroitians who are serious film photographers, and there are thousands of photos of the urban decay there being taken every day and showing up online. As much fun as it is to travel for photography, it's a self-imposed blindness to what can be photographed in our own backyards that makes people feel the need to move, or even just vacation, to find "photogenic" subject matter. I'm lucky in a sense that I live in a target-rich environment in a rapidly evolving neighborhood here in Washington DC, so if nothing else I have lots of change I can document. But if nature and landscape are more your thing, there are tons of places to go within a 2-hour driving radius of the city. If people are your thing, there's people everywhere. About the only subject matter I can't photograph around DC is underwater - the Potomac River is too muddy most of the time, and too cold half the year to swim in. But if I want to shoot ON the water, there's the Potomac, and not too far away, the Chesapeake Bay. So the only restriction I face is self-imposed.
     
  8. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    I don't believe anyone lives in a photographic vacuum. Interresting photos can be made any where, one merely has to open their eyes and imagination.
     
  9. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    A very photographic area -- and a strong photographer presence. I also am in charge of the darkroom at a university.

    But when out photographing, I rarely see anyone (it is not a social event for me). And photographing under the redwoods is difficult for most people, but I love it.
     
  10. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    I live in a village of around 2000, there are pretty thatch cottages and a church that Pevsner thought had one of the "finest spires in this county of spires". Nevertheless, I never see anyone taking photos. However, there is a railway bridge just outside the village that regularly attracts photographers. On any fine evening there will be at least one, sometimes as many as eight. I often walk past that way and always stop to ask what they are waiting for, the answers are often quite defensive. I thought they all shot digital but when driving past today one chap had a FM/FE looking camera.
     
  11. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I have been around a lot at the art scene, art academies. My impression is that photographers do not tend to talk about photography (outside any academic setting, and at least not with me...)

    Just met two photographers at an photo-exhibition and and art lecture resp. I had long talks talks with them on business matters. That was very outstanding.
    To me it thus would not make sense to move to a larger city to get opportunity for more talks.
     
  12. Nathan Riehl

    Nathan Riehl Member

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    The photographic community in my area is pretty strong. We have a camera club with over 300 people in it, and somehow they all manage to get good photos, but I think they usually travel for the best photos. In the area I live specifically, it's pretty visually dry. I'm always having trouble finding anything to photograph. Hence why I stick to portraiture for the most part.
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    +1
     
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  15. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    +2. But in terms of numbers of people in the area into photography, I would rate Melbourne as a great photographic city, especially going by the numbers we get at APUG activities.
     
  16. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    I live in a far suburb of Denver and while my immediate surroundings are not photographic heaven, Colorado most certainly is. For photography, Denver itself has lots of cool festivals, great architecture, wealth, and a very seamy underside. Coming from Detroit, you would love the winters. Head up to the mountains and the nature photography possibilities are endless. I don't see many people shooting film, but talk to a lot of people who used to. The guys at the shops where I get my film say they have had pretty big increases in business in the last year or 2.
     
  17. David Allen

    David Allen Member

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    I find that the OP's question is actually very complex because it seems to me that, given the responses so far, the question relates to two very separate things:

    Whether you live somewhere where there is a lively community of people engaging in photography (whatever form that may take)

    Whether where you live is a place you find photographically inspiring.

    For me personally, I have no need for 'like minded' souls being around me as I am focussed on my work and do not need to interact with other people engaged in photography. Therefore, it is of no importance to me if I live in a photographically active place. (I should qualify this by saying that I am very fortunate in that I can make the photographs that I want and visitors to my exhibitions seem to like what I do).

    Whether you live in a place that you personally find photographically inspiring is quite a different question and depends upon what you want to photograph and also what is important to you in your own personal photographic terms.

    There are folks who always need the 'new' to inspire them, there are folks for whom documenting the human condition is very important - of which, some can find this on their doorstep and others need to travel further afield, there are folks who can't see past the familiar and there are folks who, because their main inspiration is not what they photograph but how they make their images, need only walk out of their home and they can find things to photograph. What needs to be clearly stated is that ALL approaches are valid.

    For me personally, what works for me is to keep walking the same streets day after day and (well on a good day at least) the change of light or the renovation of a much seen building or just being in a different mood enables me to find images I want to make. Of course this will not be the case for everyone because the most important thing with my photography is how I photograph something rather than what I photograph. However, as a further explanation, every one of the photographs on my website were made within a 15 minute bike-ride radius of my flat.

    I look forward to reading other contributors' responses.

    Best,

    David
    www.dsallen.de
     
  18. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    David, I have been photographing along the same stretch of creek for 35 years -- never tire of it. But it is 55 miles away, so I drive -- plus the 60 pounds of 8x10 equipment would mean I would need a trailer for the bicycle!
     
  19. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    This is sadly true. I live in Arkansas. The southern US is a photographic vacuum.
     
  20. Matthew Wagg

    Matthew Wagg Member

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    I live in Nottingham, UK. It is one of the most overpopulated areas with 'photographers' in it. Trust me when I say I envy you guys that never see another photographer. As a business it is incredibly hard to make ends meet with all the 'competition'. :sad:
     
  21. NedL

    NedL Subscriber

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    I'm lucky. I live in a place I find photographically inspiring... and on my walks I often encounter others taking photos. Photography is not really a social thing for me, but sometimes we say "hi" and chat a bit. I know there is a local photography club and a darkroom for rent in the nearby city, but I'm not involved in those.

    I've never encountered any of the negative things I've read about here at APUG. Quite often people ask about my camera, especially if I'm carrying an old folder or something more unique like one of my pinhole cameras. Nobody has ever been anything but friendly. Sometimes they laugh about my "old school" equipment, but inevitably they say something like "that's cool" or "that looks like fun". I've been told by quite a few people that they are thinking about using film soon too. Sometimes I get a bit of a chuckle when someone carrying a $1000+ DSLR seems to be eyeing my F3 enviously.

    On world pinhole day, I was with my daughter outside a local museum with my 8x10 pinhole box camera on a tripod, and tourists came out of the museum and wanted to get pictures of themselves standing next to my camera!

    Maybe much of my experience is just because you have to get out and walk to get to the places I go, so maybe I'm more likely to meet like-minded friendly people.

    Anyway to finish answering the OP question, yes I live in a beautiful place and if anything my only regret is that it has a huge variety of moods and atmosphere that I often don't catch as well as I'd like to.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 7, 2013
  22. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Member

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    I live in Victoria's second largest city with a large number of real and wannabe photographers that I really never (but read about in the media, for whatever trivial reason they see themselves worthy of attention) see because they are wholely digital and are inescapably hooked on the mentality of shooting anything and everything pointlessly. I'm frowned upon for sticking to and speaking up for film (even though I do use digital also) in a city with only one camera store that ceased to stock film or any film cameras three years ago. Fast track 75km away to Melbourne, and there are thousands and thousands of real photographers that are generally seen any day of the week, with any sort of camera and especially, making a beeline into a store that still dedicates a lot of its stock acquisition to analogue and its pleasures, additional to the technicolour trojan of digital, paraded in jewel-like, halogen-flooded glass cages. After a day in Melbourne seeing so many people with so many cameras, I really treasure being the odd-one-out: coming home, going about each day and not seeing another person with a camera all week! I kind of like it that way. I was brought up in a vacuum and that's best for nurturing creativity.
     
  23. ambaker

    ambaker Subscriber

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    I rarely see anyone else with a camera of any kind, here in the Missouri boot heel. Plenty of people with cell phones though. :frown:

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  24. Darkroom317

    Darkroom317 Member

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    Our general area really needs some sort of photography gathering. You really aren't that far from where I am.
     
  25. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    A photographer I know used to market himself with a slogan about "seeing the familiar through fresh eyes" or some such thing, I wonder if a dose of that could apply in this case. I have lived within a 40 mile radius of Philadelphia in the northeast all my life and some of my last years of working were spent doing control system replacements in a few southern paper mills. There are impressive architectural examples in many old southern cities and I recall being fascinated by cypress swamps and bayous outside of Shreveport in Louisiana during a stay there, things that were completely new in my experience. I think sometimes our vision no longer actually registers the stuff we see on a daily basis; maybe it's necessary to pretend we just dropped in from another planet occasionally!
     
  26. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Then I pity you for having no imagination and no vision.