Tree contemplation

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by cliveh, Feb 12, 2012.

  1. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    If you contemplate a tree for some time and be entranced by it, will you take a more meaningful photograph of that tree as opposed to if you just turn up and photograph it?
     
  2. lesm

    lesm Member

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    I love the way you keep tossing these pebbles into the APUG pond and watching the ripples as they flow out. Are you a fisherman?

    OK, so your question begs the obvious rider, "what is meaningful?" As I see it, meaning is an internal emotional and (sometimes) intellectual response to a stimulus of some kind. In this case, then, I'd say no, there's no such thing as a "meaningful" photograph. Meaning is attached to the photograph only by the person viewing it. Your contemplating the tree may well inspire you to take extra care in composing your shot and therefore give you more satisfaction, but "satisfaction" isn't the same as "meaning."

    I'm trying to rein in my garrulousness , so that'll do for me.
     
  3. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    What do you mean by..........."meaningful"?
     
  4. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Yes
     
  5. keithwms

    keithwms Member

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    Yes definitely. I mean, what's the alternative? Become a roving security camera?
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    OK, by meaningful, I mean a picture which has presence, that more people can relate to.
     
  7. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    Do your contemplation on the GGS, then show us the images
     
  8. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I agree. cliveh asks so many questions that I wonder what he does with the answers. Does he covet them to inform and enhance his personal photographic work? Is he a teacher who unselfishly shares the wisdom of many with his students? Is there a intellectual treatise in the offing; a book perhaps? Is he polling photographic opinion to discover who agrees with his secret agenda?

    The cliveh threads are a treasure trove of accumulated APUG though and if he were to offer a synopsis of his discoveries that would be a valuable contribution to photographic scholarship.

    As for trees, they are the same as any other subject matter: visual metaphors for abstract ideas. A broken tree stands for dissolution and change, a straight one for strength and assertiveness, a bent and weathered one for resilience in the face of adversity; and so it goes.
     
  9. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    well, maybe, it's possible to over analyze it, presence or relatability, IMO, is in the eye of the viewer
     
  10. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    IMO, analyzing is the opposite of contemplation.
     
  11. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

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    Maris, can you give me a link to your website, as I would like to view your images.
     
  12. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    hi cliveh

    i think it all depends ..
    some people work better after contemplating
    or studying, or having a deeper understanding of something
    it is like making a portrait of an old friend or family member
    as opposed to a stranger ...

    some people work better by letting whatever it is they are photographing
    hit them all at once.

    i work better the 2nd way ... the longer i am somewhere pondering, contemplating
    the less i feel connected to my subject ... just like i find it way more difficult to photograph
    someone i know ... a stranger to me is much easier, AND there are no expectations ...
    maybe contemplation leads to expectations as well
     
  13. Alan Klein

    Alan Klein Member

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  15. John Austin

    John Austin Member

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    . . . and a clearfell coupe?
     
  16. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Yes indeed until they take you away to a rubber room on the funny farm :wink:
     
  17. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    It is possible that someone could walk up to a tree you have been contemplating for hours on end, plant himself over your shoulder and take a photograph that is as "meaningful" as the one you happen to snap at that moment. Possible, but not probable. The more you study your subject, the more aware you become of its subtleties, which can influence your resulting photograph in many ways.

    Furthermore, contemplation of "trees" (if that is your subject, or fences, mountains, rocks, etc.) can give you insight into how that subject speaks to you, and how that subject can speak through your lens. You needn't consider a particular tree, nor even actually be present to consider it. You can let your mind explore the trees you have known and/or imagined. You can contemplate what draws you to the subject, what you find appealing, what you hope to catch in your lens. This can give you insight into how to approach your subject when you encounter it, camera in hand.

    Before you dismiss this as just so much hooey, consider that unless you are one of those fortunate persons who can take a flawless photograph by chance, understanding your subject is a vital step towards knowing how to photograph it.

    Cheers,
    Tom
     
  18. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Point taken and agreed...........I'll use over contemplate.
     
  19. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    The only problem of over-contemplating is one might get so mellow that one never gets around to setting the camera up...:D
     
  20. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    All I know is that there are a lot of trees in my negatives and slides (see my APUG gallery) so I expect that I have done a fair amount of contemplation of trees.

    Seeing and contemplation go well together, and seeing is an integral part of meaningful photography.
     
  21. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    Some folks just are not contempative type people, yet can still make meaningful prints...just a different type of meaning is all.

    I photograph light, so that is what I am contemplating as I wander under the redwoods. Hopefully others can see that in my photographs. But some people are very wrapped up rationality, in the concrete, and do not/cannot appreciate contemplative images. That's cool...it is our differences that make the world interesting.
     
  22. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

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    Quite agree! Trees like all things need the correct (sympathetic) light / conditions to make the best photograph. I will often re-visit a certain tree many times, looking for that combination of light and angle....sometimes, like landscape in general, you find it....many times not.
     
  23. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    After contemplating awhile, taking the first photograph of the tree is the first step towards a start of making a meaningful print.

    Mike
     
  24. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    Very well said.
     
  25. walbergb

    walbergb Subscriber

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    Don't contemplate the tree too long. Someone is likely to cut it down and turn it into firewood! Of course, you could contemplate the resulting fire. But don't contemplate the fire too long because...:tongue:
     
  26. TriXfan

    TriXfan Member

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    How long did Ansel contemplate "Hernandez Moonrise" ?

    Wherever you go, there you are.