What do your photographs say about you as a person?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by MARTIE, Nov 15, 2005.

  1. MARTIE

    MARTIE Member

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    This is a question that I very often ask myself, usually without getting a adequate answer and ending up with the feeling that I'm in a cycle regarding the messages and themes that my work embodies and conveys.

    Here are some of the more recurring conclusions: traditional, idealistic, a nature lover and of all things natural, a beautifier etc...

    So, I'm very keen to know, how others would answer this about themselves and whether this insight has helped thier photography or photographic vision/style to evolve?

    Thanks in advance,

    Martie Howie
     
  2. Pastiche

    Pastiche Member

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    complex. I tend to make my world harder than it needs to be. but that is how I like it. :D

    Has it helped me? yes, it has helped me say NO to alot of things in photography. About the same time as I started to make images I SAW that I would not be someone who would use the medium traditionaly.. it's not by choice.. it's a default aproach to things. Every image that I make that I like reverberates with this, and helps remind me of where I am comming from, and where I am going. It's almost like a map in code.. it says things about where I am, and where I am going, often times things that I don't, or dare not, think to myself. Yet, there it is, staring back at me as a picture.

    I think it's impossible to take an image that is not in some way a self portraight. You are there operating the camera aren't you? That alone says something about who you are, where you've been, and where you might go. The greatest difficulty is probably in allowing the acceptance of those things to sink in.
     
  3. Dan Fromm

    Dan Fromm Member

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    Cold fish.
     
  4. andrewmoodie

    andrewmoodie Member

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    ...that at various times I'm lazy, unimaginative and have difficulty thinking laterally.
     
  5. laz

    laz Member

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    Although I'm usually the first to give a flip answer to such questions, I do think that sometimes a little bit can be understood about the shooter from his or her photographs. I think that those who shoot nature and landscape and try to capture what they see in it are lovers of it (and we probably could find a save the planet sticker on their fuel efficient car) From there it's harder to say, esthetics often have nothing to do with the persons self. Maybe a few things could be said of their personality Some of us shoot a certain subject because we're the opposite, I'm thinking of the several people who have said they are shy who like portraits because it's a way to overcome it.

    The more I think of this question the more I think that little can be truly known other than the fact that photographers are clearly visual people who strive to capture what others don't necesssarily see.

    -Bob
     
  6. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I have no idea.

    But I have been told there's a similarity in style whatever I shoot - landscapes, portraits or whatever.

    But then again that could just be my printing style - so maybe that's what says something about me as a person?
     
  7. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

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    Perhaps that I'm an inadvertant contrarian? I'd rather photograph the near at hand than the icons, like dunes, mountains, or slot canyons, with a cumbersome view camera rather than a high tech slr or digicam in the north and south east rather than the west. I like sail rather than power, classical rather than popular, black and white rather than color, acoustic rather than electric, sedan (or station wagon actually) rather than an SUV and Pepsi rather than Coke etc. Maybe I just missed my century or decade or something.
     
  8. NikoSperi

    NikoSperi Member

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    You mean other than, "Bad Photographer Here" ?
     
  9. Robert Hall

    Robert Hall Subscriber

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    Many have told me my work seems lonely. I can see where they get that idea, but to me it's more representative of the vastness of the space I live in. (The west)

    But I do also like to have a certain solitude in my work as well.

    Check out my personal gallery, I think I have some good examples of that. You can tell me if what you feel about the images.
     
  10. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I take photographs of people because I have a love/hate relationship with them and I am trying to overcome any psychological blockages I have with being with other humans. Plus I am extremely excited and enthusiastic about meeting people and discovering their lives and secrets. I am fascinated by faces and often feel like a safari hunter that hunts trophies. Especially with women I find it is a good excuse for them to pay attention to me!
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    no idea--
    i shoot portraits and other stuff because i am shy (sort of) without a camera and i feel compelled to record on film ( or paper ) before it is all gone ...
     
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  12. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

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    I find that my images reflect my obsession with the past. My subjects often relate to the ephemeral nature of the world and my vain attempts to hang on to the past. The same could be said for the images that I most appreciate. They are often made using historical processes, or are images of the past lost to the ravages of time.

    - Randy
     
  13. joeyk49

    joeyk49 Member

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    Niko beat me to it....
     
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  15. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    ... that I'm pretty introverted.
     
  16. David

    David Member

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    Hopefully that I keep growing and changing.
     
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    I have one heck of a wierd personality divide- on the one hand, (naked) people, on the other, buildings and places with no people in them at all. Whether it is landscapes, closeup details, or buildings/architecture (abandoned or not) I don't like people in my pictures that aren't about people.

    When I'm shooting people, I generally don't like clothes in the way. Something about clothes gives people an artificial facade to hide behind and not be themselves. I'll include clothing/props when I'm trying to tell a story with a photo, and the prop/clothing is a key to the identity of the subject.
     
  18. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    Everything. Like it or not.

    "The work on the wall is encrypted window, with the `being' of the artist (photographer) on the other side." It is sometimes difficult to decode emotionally, and very nearly impossible, rationally.

    The "encoding" is necessary for the protection of the naked "being".

    The Photographer displays more of him/ her self than does the nude model.
     
  19. Andy K

    Andy K Member

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    I have no idea. That I'm confused? Take a look in my personal gallery and you tell me.:smile:
     
  20. Gerald Koch

    Gerald Koch Member

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    Most of my photography can be put in one of three groups; found things, old buildings, and abstracts. This may explain why I am; a packrat, sentimental, and like Bach.
     
  21. thetimedissolver

    thetimedissolver Inactive

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    Well, I don't know for sure, but probably that I am abstract, lonely or empathetic. For some reason, pictures that I have posted for critique on web sites always generate more favorable comments from women than men, I have no reason why.

    A good discussion of this subject can be found in the book "The Zen of Creativity" by John Daido Loori; he studied with MInor White, and Minor had them take photographs that revealed "their true selves."
    Loori also describes the differences between his intentions in taking certain photographs, and the interpretations of his audience. One woman he showed his pictures to broke out in tears and ran from the room, accusing him of taking angry pictures. Loori had no idea this might be the case. He then began a process of asking for peoples impressions, and then trying to take pictures that aligned with their interpretations; in this way he became more in tune with his photographic audience.
    Loori, by the way, gives photo seminars at the Zen Mountain Monastery in New York.
    A very insightful book, and explains zazen very well, worth a look:

    http://www.johndaidoloori.org/
     
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  22. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Mine likely reveal that I am antisocial - I take a looooong time to really get comfortable with people. That's probably why I never take pictures of people. I can talk to the buildings and landscapes that I take pictures of without feeling self concious.
     
  23. Troy Hamon

    Troy Hamon Member

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    I've asked them this question repeatedly, but they refuse to answer...

    I think it might be entertaining to have different people look at a portfolio and see what inferences they make about the photographer, so long as the photographer is not known to them. I find it very difficult when looking at my work to see a message about me. The reason I took the photographs was to try to examine in a real fashion something other than myself.

    Last year I took my last set of photos of my parents farm, the place I grew up. My parents were selling it, and moving to Phoenix (I'm sure it's a fine place, but really, Phoenix? 100F in the shade all summer Phoenix? Ugh!). I love those images, but what do they say about me? Probably nothing really, except that I was familiar with it. But they say a lot TO me, about the place I lived as a child and have visited periodically since.

    Now that I've argued with the premise for the thread...I'll argue with myself. I pretty much exclusively make photographs that I'm interested in. These involve everything from portraits of dogs and people to landscape and abstract work. But sometimes, it is something merely peripheral to my topic of interest, something that catches my eye because I'm thinking of something else that is related. So maybe in addition to some of my interests, it tells about how I make connections. Perhaps even how my neurons make the vital next connection in my cerebrum that will allow me to become smarter (which would be a welcome improvement, any way you look at it...).

    Woohoo! Post 55!
     
  24. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    I guess if I could try to define overiding themes in my photos they would be:

    1) a love of and fascination and awe with the world around me
    2) a love of the play of light and shadow, and
    3) a fascination with textures

    I think it's probably not enough to say "well, nature...I take pics of nature" or "people". I think the real answer lies in looking at not just the general areas/topics/subjects we each like to shoot, but in what they have in common with each other.

    What is it that draws us to see, commit, focus and 'click'?
     
  25. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    Much the same as my school teachers said all those years ago: "Should try harder"....

    Cheers, Bob.
     
  26. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

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    I agree, mine said, Michael is a good student but he needs to apply himself and quite pissing around so much.....


    Seriously, I let other people define me, I don't feel like spending the time to analyse what other people think about me or my work.


    Michael