Photography or Life?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Alex Bishop-Thorpe, Oct 3, 2006.

  1. Alex Bishop-Thorpe

    Alex Bishop-Thorpe Member

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    This has sorta been floating around my head for a while and may be common, but my question is how much do you let photography impact on your life?
    Is Photography a factor in your life, or the dominating factor? Do you remove yourself from the things you take photos of, or are they things your interact with?
    I realised this when a friend mentioned I almost always had a camera on me somewhere when she saw me, and I decided to leave it home the next time we hung out. Turns out you cant hold a girl's hand and work an SLR at the same time, and I'd choose the girl any day.
     
  2. wfe

    wfe Member

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    For me photography is a very important part of my life. It is not my entire life nor does it control my life but it is in my thoughts every day. It does impact my life because it is a large part of who I am.

    Regards,
    Bill
     
  3. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I've never found any one thing that completely pervaded my life. Photography is something that I have done for well over half my life, and I rarely go anywhere without a camera, but the experience is the main thing, and photography is just along for the ride.

    - Randy
     
  4. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    Dominates my thoughts but does not occupy as much time as I would like in practice. While writing this I am flicking back between work email and instant messaging at 10pm at night trying close the books for the quarter... when there are many rolls of film I could be developing instead!!

    As for the girl, always carry your camera... take lots of shots... one day you will look back and be glad you caught that special moment. And if she is really supportive and interested she may just be the one for you....
     
  5. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    There are two things that predominate my life, my relationship with my wife and my photography. I work on photography on average 12 hours a day 6 days a week. When I travel it's more like 16/7, if my wife is away from home, it's 16/7. Granted we have a lot of friends and family and a very active social life, but that gets squeezed in.

    When I was on my honeymoon, I still got up at 5 am to go out and shoot. My wife has come to accept that whenever we travel there's going to be gear, but as I spend about 20 weeks a year away from home shooting, she also understands that if I can also get a few images when we travel together there's less pressure on me to go away alone for long trips. I'm a fortunate guy and whatever success I may achieve in photography owes a great deal to her.
     
  6. Black Dog

    Black Dog Member

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    To slightly misquote Bill Shankly, photography's not a matter of life and death, it's much more important than that.
     
  7. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    Wonderful "slight misquote" from a truly magical man that just about sums up my obsession with photography.
     
  8. jimgalli

    jimgalli Subscriber

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    Groucho Marx was interviewing a couple on his show about 50 years past and he made a remark about them having 6 children. The lady said "well we love our children, Groucho..." and Groucho said "I love my cigar lady, but I take it out of my mouth once in a while!" I think photography adds a fabulous dimension to a persons life. You end up seeing so much more.
     
  9. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Photography is not life?

    For me photography is a large portion of my life at the moment. Everyone has a means of expressing themselves or their little guilty pleasures, be it drawing, painting, writing, drinking, gambling, mountain bikes, cars, home theatre, hunting, binoculars, sports, etc. To a degree many of these hobbies or habits define who we are, aside from the usual things that could be changed such as habits such as gambling, drinking, drugs, etc, there are things that should not have to be changed.

    When I married, my wife understood photography was a passion of mine, and its something to keep in mind that when you comit to someone, you are comitting to what they do as well. True you can 'tweak' here and there, but to remove photography from me right now would be like removing part of me. There is more to existance than to grow, work, breed and die. Without a passion to enrich and express ourselves, can we truely say we're alive?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2006
  10. Juraj Kovacik

    Juraj Kovacik Subscriber

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    Considering the proportion of my pocket money flow the photography is far far the most dominant part of my life :smile: taking money aside, I'd tried not to make pictures, but without success. It is easier to learn how to live with it then try to be without it. It sound as an addiction definition, I’m afraid. Somebody is grafoman, somebody is photoman. So or so, much better then to be a politician, for example.
     
  11. david b

    david b Member

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    I view it as photography for life.
     
  12. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Photography is how I make a permanent record of my life.
     
  13. kb244

    kb244 Member

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    Or as one could say ... Photography is proof I existed.
     
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  15. SuzanneR

    SuzanneR Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I photograph, therefore I am! :tongue:

    I'd be hard pressed to give it up. It's become such a part of my day to day life.
     
  16. Will S

    Will S Member

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    I'm misquoting from very bad memory of 25 years ago when I read it, but there is a Japanese author who wrote something like, "a photographer is someone who takes a picture of a mountain so that he can later prove that his camera was there." I have to wonder how many people do use their cameras in this fashion. For me, taking the picture connects me to the place in a special way. The last Lenswork has a small essay on this subject (which is, essentially, "why do you make pictures?") by Bill Jay that sums it up pretty well I think.

    Best,

    Will
     
  17. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    I was at a workshop recently and in one of the many dicussions we had we came ot the consensus that photograph is an act of life.

    And that is just what it is for me.

    Brian
     
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  18. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Will,

    I wonder if his observation was based on witnessing how Japanese tour groups all seem to take the same picture at the same time after being "instructed" to do so by some tour guide?

    I know that when I look at my picture say of some of the spectacular countryside I shot during a road trip to Australia, in my mind I am briefly transported back that point in time. Ditto some of my NYC "street shots" etc.

    I'd like to think that I (and perhaps most of the folks here) am more observant of my "surroundings" and contemplate with at least some thought how I want to compose the shot so as to make the subject "mine".
     
  19. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Photography is an extension of my eyes & mind: it helps me to better see the world & to better understand the world's complexities.
     
  20. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    40,000 headmen couldn't make me change my mind.
    If I had to make the choice between the deaf man and the blind.
     
  21. Terence

    Terence Member

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  22. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Picky, picky, picky....

    Actually I meant to say "through Australia" - actually from Adelaide to Sydney via Mebourne (with a lot of side trips).

    Sometimes the brain gets ahead of the fingers on the keyboard! :D

    EDIT: One of the last shots I took was at an overlook along the coast a bit south of Sydney. There is a natural rock formation with a "blow hole" such that the waves crash up through it - making a "spout" of water.

    I shot the "idyllic" picture of ocean, spout and palm trees etc. and handed my wife the camera. I told her take this, and when people ask you why I never came back, show them the last shot in the camera!
     
  23. Terence

    Terence Member

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    It often happens on vacation that I'll blow through 25-30 rolls of 120 film, kick back with a local beer, and decide I never want to go back to NYC. Then I order a deli sandwich.

    The exception to this rule is when visiting foreign countries. The exception to THIS rule is when visiting England.

    As for photography versus life, I usually choose life. Occasionally I endanger the latter for the former, though.

    I find I view everything through a mental viewfinder. This can be annoying to girlfriends who feel neglected, but has allowed me to appreciate the beauty of nature, even in the middle of an urban metropolis. Sunrises viewed over NYC from Hoboken are unbelievable most mornings and sunsets down the canyons of crosstown streets on hot, humid days or during clearing thunderstorms can be truly poetic. Even when I don't photograph the view, I appreciate it more and more as the years go by.
     
  24. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    Photography is the spiritual balm, the salvation from my otherwise painful and excruciating work life. It provides me the reason for maintaining my high-pressure career, and the hope for surviving it. Like many others here, I plan my vacations around it, and I spend much of my free time after work and on weekends doing it. I've actually neglected some of my other pastimes lately, to the point I have a ten-book stack at home that needs reading. I still manage to hit the occasional museum exhibit (Amen and Halleluiah for the Smithsonian and their free exhibits!), catch a movie, and hang out with friends, but the pressed and folded/hung-up laundry pile doesn't always get attended to the way it should. But that's ok, so long as my palladium prints get dry.
     
  25. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    Well said...
    I say more Photogaphy, Less Work!
    Brian
    Surviving another day to make another photograph....
    :wink: