Photography While On Mind Altering Drugs?

Discussion in 'Photographers' started by Sean, Nov 12, 2002.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I got thinking about how well some children's photos are because they see the world in a different light than us adults. I've never tried it, but I wonder if doing some photography on mind altering drugs would have a similar effect for adults, to see differently. Then I was curious if there are any known photographers who use this method a lot, and what their work looks like.
     
  2. Prime

    Prime Member

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    An example of a child photographer would be Jacques-Henri Lartigue. You can read an article on him and see some of his photographs:

    http://www.masters-of-photography.com/L/la..._articles1.html .

    I saw an photograph that he made when he was 11 (I think). His toy cars were placed on the floor of his room, and he photographed them along with a "gigantic" dresser and door in the background.
     
  3. bmac

    bmac Member

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    I break the cardinal rule and bring a few beers into the darkroom with me all the time... It helps me relax and enjoy printing. Not a totally mind altering drug by any stretch, but it does help! Of course, every now and then I get beer goggles and think I have a masterpiece.... alas, when I get up in the morning it is utter crap... at least I can blame it on dry down [​IMG])
     
  4. BobF

    BobF Member

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    Bmac- Don't know what kind of beer you drink but I find it quite mind altering.

    I have a photo buddy that always smoked that funny stuff when we were out landscaping. I tried it on one trip (didn't inhale [​IMG] ) and couldn't translate meter readings into fstops. But I'm pretty confused about everything anyway.
     
  5. steve

    steve Member

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    The problem with working "under the influence" is that while your perceptions are altered, so is your ability to concentrate on the technical issues. You can probably function fine with alchohol and marijuana (to a point).

    I would think on hallucinogens, you'd probably need a point-and-shoot camera - if you even remembered you were supposed to be taking photographs - instead of zoned out studying the color trails being made by the flowers moving back and forth in the wind.

    I used to take photos wearing a pair of "Wolf Ears" shooting ear muffs. They have a microphone/speaker system built into each muff that greatly amplifies the ambient sound. You become hyper aware of things you don't normally hear - and, I think it did alter the photos I took while wearing them because it gave an extra dimension to what I was looking at while exploring the desert. Were the photos better than what I took without them - don't know, hard to evaluate.

    I do know that I probably got involved with looking at some things I probably would have ignored without them, but - what did I miss by wearing them and NOT looking at other things? Not better, just different?
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The Polish avantgarde painter, photographer, novelist, dramatist, and philosopher Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz ("Witkacy") experimented with painting and drugs. Some of his paintings have formulas under the signature, indicating which combination of drugs he used. Most of his photographs are from an earlier period, so I don't know that he ever photographed under the influence, but he did write a series of essays on the aesthetic effects of various substances. If you want to find them in translation, I believe they are included in a volume called _The Witkiewicz Reader_, ed. Daniel Gerould, published by Northwestern University Press (I'll double check that when I have the books at hand, tomorrow or so).
     
  7. edbuffaloe

    edbuffaloe Member

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    In general, I find that in my old age I am muddleheaded enough without contributing to it further by imbibing intoxicants, particularly before a photo session.

    I suspect this question was asked with drugs like LSD, mescaline, psylocybin, or hallucinogenic mushrooms in mind. While these drugs do alter one's perspective, sometimes in a beneficial way, I still believe good photography is best done with a clear head.

    Under the influence of mind altering drugs it is easy to spend ten minutes attaching the cable release and an hour pondering the mysteries of depth of field. Light meters provide information one doesn't quite know what to do with, and one is all too easily distracted by reflections in lens coatings, the spectacular engraving of f-stops, and the multicolored paisley diatoms that are crawling across the bellows.
     
  8. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    "Under the influence of mind altering drugs it is easy to spend ten minutes attaching the cable release and an hour pondering the mysteries of depth of field. Light meters provide information one doesn't quite know what to do with, and one is all too easily distracted by reflections in lens coatings, the spectacular engraving of f-stops, and the multicolored paisley diatoms that are crawling across the bellows."

    --Wait a minute, Ed. Isn't that what goes on all the time on photo.net, without the benefit of chemical substances?
     
  9. BobF

    BobF Member

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    Ed wrote "Under the influence of mind altering drugs it is easy to spend ten minutes attaching the cable release and an hour pondering the mysteries of depth of field. Light meters provide information one doesn't quite know what to do with, and one is all too easily distracted by reflections in lens coatings, the spectacular engraving of f-stops, and the multicolored paisley diatoms that are crawling across the bellows. "

    For a guy that likes a clear head you sure seem to have some in depth and detailed knowledge of the subject. ( multicolored paisley diatoms that are crawling across the bellows ) WOW I gota see that!!
     
  10. bmac

    bmac Member

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    LOL! [​IMG])
     
  11. edbuffaloe

    edbuffaloe Member

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    Funny thing about them multicolored paisley diatoms--they never show up in photographs.
     
  12. bmac

    bmac Member

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    especially b/w photos [​IMG]
     
  13. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    So hold on.....those diatoms DON'T mean I have a light leak?
     
  14. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No, they mean you need to dust out those holders a little more carefully.