Locations worked to excess?

Discussion in 'Geographic Location' started by Daniel Grenier, Aug 26, 2004.

  1. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    My wife, who is not a photographer but knows photography extremely well, said to me the other day while looking at photographs on-line:
    "Not another picture of Bodie? As there not been enough film shot there yet? Do we really need more pictures of BODIE?

    Huuuuummmmm.... Bodie.... I would think that, indeed, the place has been "worked" to excess by too many photographers now. While on this topic, here are a few more locations I feel have been overly photographed and, perhaps, don't warrant any more attention from artists with cameras?

    What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Add to the list????

    Bodie
    Yosemite
    "That" church in New Mexico (St Francis)
    California sand dunes
    Slit Canyons
    Anasazi ruins
    Point Lobos
     
  2. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Certainly agree......anything with "El Capitan", any slot canyon, canyon de Chelley, Valley of the Gods, Multnomah falls in Oregon, Horse shoe bend in Page AZ, Grand Tetons as seen from the now 10 feet deep tripod holes Adams left.

    In addition I think some projects have been done to death. Poor people, homeless people, prostitutes, bikers (no offense Mike I still like your book), anything with the Weston name on it (BTW Photoeye has one more book out, Tina Modotti and Weston), Railroad cars, ghost towns in Nevada and NM. Drug addicts, corpses, anything that shows latin american beggars.
     
  3. 127

    127 Member

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    Dont' forget LONG exposure times of streams flowing over rocks.

    Looks cool the first 300 times you see it...

    More seriously, it's not the subjects that are worn out - it's the people photographing them. We'll see a thousand retreaded images of them until someone comes along and shows us the old thing/place in a new way, and we'll realise how stupid we were not to have seen it like that before. Then that will be copied a thousand times....

    Ian
     
  4. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    Very true Ian, then again you guys in Europe are not inmmune to this. How about pics from that castle that sits on a water inlet, sometimes you see it with water, sometimes you dont. Or Stonehenge, god, I feel like screaming when I see one more pic of Stonehenge. Or how about shots of the gondolas in Venice, you know the one, they show only the bow of the gondola sitting on dock or passing through a bridge.

    Our cousins from Australia are not inmmune either, the Sydney Opera house...that big rock taken with velvia and a polarizer. :smile:
     
  5. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    Or churches and interiors of churches (oops!).
     
  6. mark

    mark Member

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    It seems you folks have put a lot of thought into what you don't want to see. What DO you want to see? While you are limiting your world views maybe you should ditch entire subjects too.

    Fruit, flowers, trees, rocks, old buildings, new buildings, buildings in various states of decay, old things new things (because nothing is really new is it), children, people of all ages might as well be forgotten, street scenes with and without scenes, clouds, North america, south america, central america, all of africa, north west east and south asia, austraila New zealand, animal vegetable and mineral.....

    Ah hell why don't you throw away your cameras now. This is a tired argument. I personally have never seen a photograph of Bodie.
     
  7. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    It takes a lot of courage to look freshly at whatever interests you and photograph it with conviction. Since I simply can't (and won't) get to photograph the icons, I have to wrestle with what's closest to home and believe in the picture as such without regard to the subject's acceptance as worthy of presenting. After all, flowers, tools, grass, birds, bees, animals, TREES!, beaches, waterfalls and etc. etc. have also been done to death. But it's still nice to see a well made photograph with the emotion of conviction behind it...no matter what it's of.
     
  8. Jorge

    Jorge Inactive

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    LOL...Actually Daniel did qualify when it is done differently...:smile:
     
  9. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Just because every location, style, and method has been done to death, is no excuse for not trying to do it differently or better. A.A. didn't shun Yosemite because it had already been done many times, nor did he feel in any way inhibited about returning many more times to retake views.
    So, should we?
     
  10. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    (LOL) Well in that case I shall plod along and sneak into a few more!

    For me it has never been an issue of whether the site or place or thing itself is inherently boring. Nothing is boring and all things are boring, it all depends on how you see it, i.e. your vision. If technique gets in the way of vision then chances are the result will be like the rest. However if technique liberates vision then I believe no matter the subject the print will bear that photographer's signature and it will stand out.
     
  11. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    I think we sometimes forget that there are 2 very distinct audiences for our pictures.

    On the one hand there are photographers which includes ourself taking the shot. After a while we have virtually seen it all and logistics allowing done it all. So for us nothing is new except taking the shot for the first time ourself. The challenge here is to take the shot trying to capture it the way we want and hopefully improving the shot each time we repeat it.

    The other audience is the general public which may include our families. For them many of the same old subjects we shoot are new. How many times have we heard things like "when you take a picture of a ..... it looks like a ....., but when I take it it looks like $@&% !!"

    No matter if we are shooting as amateurs or pro's the same applies. Yep I get bored with seeing the n'th picture of a whatever, but will that stop me trying the shot when I see it? No way because I want to see if I can capture that light the way I see it and at least as well as anyone else.

    Tony
     
  12. Leon

    Leon Member

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    if we are consciously copying tripod placements, i dont see the point, but an individual fresh perspective is always welcome in my books.

    BTW - as a self confessed megalithic maniac, I've never seen a definitive "good" shot of Stonehenge, so I pray that people dont stop shooting it in the hope that one day one GOOD image will emerge :smile:
     
  13. Francesco

    Francesco Member

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    You know what Leon, I think you are right. Funny that don't you think.
     
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  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    was your wife the person who wrote to VC magazine last year (under a pen name) and said something to the effect of " if i see another slot canyon with nude i think i am going to puke ... " :wink:

    i agree, but then again, it is nice to see people taking photographs of things i don't think i will get a chance to visit for a long long long time :smile:
     
  16. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    Nope...she does not read VC... too "Tim-the-tool-man-Taylor" for her as she puts it.
     
  17. Daniel Grenier

    Daniel Grenier Member

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    WOW! Serious? You have NEVER seen a photograph of Bodie? Well! I have never met a photographer who has never seen a picture of Bodie! Pleased to meet you, Mark.
     
  18. jim kirk jr.

    jim kirk jr. Member

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    Cliche's are cliche's simply because they work(you know the whole imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and all)but I do agree with Dave Miller-you can always try in some way to make a scene,object,idea,etc your own in some unique fashion.
     
  19. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    Nor have I, that I know of or remember.... Perhaps it's about time somebody makes some memorable pictures of Bodie? Perhaps even a conference could be held their or something.
     
  20. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Yeah! It being a ghost town and this forum being the mainstay of we who love soon to be deceased analog materials...sounds like a perfect fit! BOo!
     
  21. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I agree with your comment about copying Leon. I know that many locations have been done to death and we get tired of seeing them but let us also consider those new to photography who have never photographed Yosemite, Death Valley or any number of places, it's a new adventure to them. Can any of you who have moaned about not wanting to see a much photographed location again remember the excitement the first time you photographed such a place? My image of Roughting Linn that Sean has on the home page was made 28 years ago and was rarely photographed at the time because it was not well known. Since I first published the image I have had letters, phone calls and emails from photographers all over the world asking for the map reference to go to photograph it. I've even had requests to take strangers there and have been happy to do so. I photograph it several times every year and have never grown tired of it for I refer to it as my place of meditation and solitude. The bonus is that it is 15 minutes from where I live. So come on guys stop moaning and get on with making new photographs of any location no matter how many times they have been done. My approach to revisiting locations is to photograph the light for it is always different.

    Sorry for the rant but this subject is something that I feel very passionately about.

    Leon
    IMO the definitive photographs of Stonehenge have been made by Paul Caponigro and you can see them in the Print Room on the 5th floor of the V&A museum in London. You will also see what I think are the best black and white prints ever made. Ask for the Caponigro Stonehenge Portfolio when you go.
     
  22. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Sydney Opera House - yea, but I still can't get enough pictures of it.

    As for the big rock - Uluru (Ayer's Rock), believe it or not, but you don't need velvia and a polarizer here. The rock naturally turns bright red towards sunset. In fact, the rock seems to change colors throughout the day. I've been there twice just to shoot it, and I will probably go again. In fact, I have it as a desktop photo - one of my favorite spots.
     
  23. roteague

    roteague Member

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    Just don't stop shooting them. I love those pictures, I was showing them off to a co-worker yesterday, who just happens to be from Stockholm.
     
  24. KenM

    KenM Member

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    Uh-oh.
     
  25. mark

    mark Member

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    I had to do a search on the net. It would have helped to know where the hell it was. Type in Bodie on yahoo and well there is a lot of hits. Took a while and finally found it. I assume you mean the ghost town? After a thurough exploration of the Gallery at the historic site website I can honestly say I do not remember seeing a single photograph. Maybe I'll be able to take the first, assuming I am ever make it there. And bruce does not make it there before me.

    Definately proves a point-one man's trash is another man's treasure.
     
  26. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    This is a good as example as any location that has been over photographed as any. That didn't stop me visiting it a couple of months ago, and trying to put my slant on the view, nor had it stopped the other photographer who was already their trying also. A place of meditation and solitude indeed, almost mystic, thank's for sharing it Les.