Project based Photography

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by roteague, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. roteague

    roteague Member

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    All,

    I was reading an introduction by a new member today, and it got me thinking about photography projects. I was wondering how many here use projects to keep their photography on track or just like to take pictures as they come?

    As for me, I have a couple of short and long term projects that I am working on. My newest project is to photograph the Ka Iwi coast (near Sandy Beach for those who know Oahu) - I bought a book of photos on this area. I am also working on a long term project to photograph the Murray River in Australia (from source to outlet). Of course, I also photograph on the fly; I spend a lot of time at the Kaena Point area.

    I would like to hear your thoughts...
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    I do both, however, i tend to work along more project lines. I have several that have been around for years, always adding more images.

    Also use a variety of formats, depending on the project.
     
  3. TPPhotog

    TPPhotog Member

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    Robert I'm another that has continuing projects, whilst adding new projects when I find something I enjoy and want to explore. However if I see something that "catches my eye" then it gets shot and added to my collection as well.
     
  4. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    As someone who does photography for a living, and has for 30 years it is not too hard to imagine that we can easily get into a rut.

    I think that making projects for oneself is a great way to keep everything fresh, interesting and exciting. Trying different formats can do that as well as trying things that you can't necessarily do with everyday people but really need a model for.

    All these "projects" can force us to do things that we otherwise may get too lazy to do.


    Michael
     
  5. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    I like "projects", too. I think they can keep one's mental bellows from buffeting in the winds of life. For example, I have a long-term project of shooting all of the California missions. I'll probably never finish it to my satisfaction, but I work at it over time. I also like shorter-term projects, like "tools" or "technology" to add some variation to the usual stuff.
     
  6. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Yes and no. I have a long-standing mental "Projects" file, from an "essay" of Doorknobs, to a Maxwell House coffee can - pinhole camera ... But then ... any given stimulus can develop into a "project" nearly instantaneously...

    I have been known to just "Load the camera - and DO something..."
     
  7. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I like projects, and keep thinking up new ones.

    But the only ones I seem to follow through on are the "new toy" ones: New lens, new camera, new film, new developer - or just about anything else new.

    Gets to be expensive in the long run...
     
  8. doughowk

    doughowk Subscriber

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    Don't really have enough free time to pursue projects on a concerted effort; and they can be too mental anyway. They may only be guides as part of a unifying whole - what excites me, photographically speaking. Like Ed Weston with his peppers, I usually discover a subject that I continually return to until I've visually said my viewpoint - created an image that conveys my interest (eg, I've returned to same piece of driftwood for over 3 years now). The subject somehow fits into my overall interest or visual passion. A project may almost be an after-the-fact spur to complete a body of work (as for a book).
     
  9. roy

    roy Member

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  10. papagene

    papagene Membership Council Council

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    I do both... my on going series of the Quabbin Reservoir, different still life series. And I am not adverse to just taking an interesting photo when it presents itself.

    gene
     
  11. Joe Lipka

    Joe Lipka Member

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    I don't even try to photograph unless there is a project/reason to do so. But let's make sure that we are talking about a project here. Subject, plan, deadline for completion all are requirements for a project. Open ended projects are not projects.

    The relevant quote here is from one of those home improvement shows. Went something like, "if you don't display your "collection", it's just junk." Same thing for your photographs. It isn't a project unless you have definite plans to finish it.
     
  12. jim kirk jr.

    jim kirk jr. Member

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    All my current projects are open ended.Sometimes it's not the destination but
    the journey that's important... :smile:

    Even if I would end a project I would gladly re-open it if another image or two
    came to mind days,months or years later that would fit in with the idea.
     
  13. oriecat

    oriecat Member

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    I was also thinking about projects recently and pondered starting a thread to get other thoughts! Nice to see I'm not the only one... I currently don't work in projects, but I think about it a lot. I think I need one, but then I can never really come up with something that really grabs me, that would inspire me to work. But since I volunteer at a local photography gallery sitting each Saturday, I see so many shows and most of them are project based, I keep thinking that I need to find focus for myself.
     
  14. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    Suggestions: something you really, really love; something you hate; some aspect of local culture, perhaps elements of it that are vanishing; historical contrasts around Portland; just to name a few. :cool:
     
  15. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I only do 'projects' - it is only the drive to do them that makes me take pictures. I'm not interested in photography as an end in itself, it just happens to be the most appropriate way for most of my ideas to be materialised. I treat each new project as a new start: deciding on colour or B&W, the right format, camera, film, approach, way of working, look, what feels right, all that stuff. It may mean that I need to learn a new technique to get things 'just right', and it usually takes time to really hit it. Not at all in line with analogue purity. Very much like making movies.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  16. johnnywalker

    johnnywalker Subscriber

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    During one of my sojourns in a foreign place, the only entertainment in the evening was my short-wave radio. Unfortunately the only stations I could pick up were the BBC and Radio Australia. I say unfortunately because some world cricket championship was going on at the time. I cannot describe to you how bored one has to be to listen to cricket on the radio.

    Radio Australia would occasionally break up the cricket games with a program called, I think, "Along the Mighty Murray". Fascinating stories of the history and culture of various spots along the river. Well, they seemed fascinating at the time - compared to the cricket at least.

    I've been to Australia a few times since, but never managed to see the river. One day I will. Your project sounds like a lot of fun. My only continuing project is to take the definitive picture of my dogs. Almost made it a couple of times.
     
  17. rogueish

    rogueish Member

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    Normally I just grab a camera some extra film and walk,pedal,drive with a clear destination or aimlessly and shoot what catches my eye(s). I do have one project on the go (and yes it IS a project with the end time is measured in years). It's a flashy birch tree posing infront of a crowd of Red Pines.
     
  18. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Oh. Well, whatever it is ... is there another name for everything but the "deadline for completion" or "definite plans to finish it"...?
    I do that too.
     
  19. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I think you have got it right there. For me a project includes, not only the aspect of photography, but also the research. For example, on my Murray River project, I've done research on the river itself, the towns and country around it. I've also driven most of the river. BTW, this is the 6th (?) longest river in the world.