What is your most important picture?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Ric Trexell, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    No doubt if you have been into photography for some time, you have hundreds or thousands of photos. I sometimes wonder which of my photos will be used or admired after I'm gone, and which one has meant the most to me or someone else. Although I have taken many shots that I'm proud of, where the exposure and composition and focus were right on, it is only a few that have meant much to me or someone else. Probably the ones that have made me happiest would be the ones where I just happened to get a nice pic of a relative that died years later and the family wanted a good picture of that person. This happened to me with an uncle whos son didn't have a good picture of his mom and dad. He contacted me and I had taken one at a family gathering that was really nice. Do you ever consided what your work will mean in 25 or 50 years? If so, how has it changed your photography? For me I now try to get good pictures of individuals at family reunions as you never know where they will be in a few years. This doesn't have to be just people either, I have taken pictures of buildings that have been torn down or changed. The point is we never know which photo will be important years from now. I remember that famous photo of a kid with overalls and a bare feet with a funny hat on. Years later it was on the cover of one of Elvis Presleys albums. What are your thoughts?
     
  2. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    Do I have to pick just one? There a quite a few images that I have made that are my favorites. I don't sell prints but many signed prints have been given to those who appreciate them. It is satisfying to know that my prints are displayed on the walls in other peoples homes.
     
  3. Vaughn

    Vaughn Subscriber

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    The most important photographs have been the ones that have pushed me, or led me, to see the world, and my work in relation to it, differently.

    The series I am doing of my boys in the landscape has different layers of meaning than my straight landscape work. Family , personalities, man's relationship with the land, etc. And perhaps when my boys are my age, their kids will use the photographs of "the brothers" as guide posts to understanding their father, and perhaps their grandfather.
     
  4. 36cm2

    36cm2 Member

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    The one I'm about to take.
     
  5. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    My next one :wink:
     
  6. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead Member

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    If I had to chose one photo, it would be the grainy, blurry picture I took seconds after my first child was born, the midwife is setting her down on my wife's body.
    I choose that photo, because it is a moment that changed my life, and the lives of my wife and kids forever.
     
  7. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Although I was present at the birth of both my sons , I didn't take any pictures because they were so ugly that the midwife got confused and slapped them in the in the face ! :smile:
     
  8. Lanline

    Lanline Member

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    The question posed here is a hard one to answer, because so many of the photos have different meanings. Speaking strictly of my non-family photos, I would say so far to date would be this image http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/world/2009-decade.html?hp#/2009_7_28572

    I've spent countless thousands of dollars on cameras in the last 30 years and my most successful photo was taken with a cheap, 50 year old Russian FED 2 or Zorki 4 (I forget which now) rangefinder. I was out to shoot a test roll of FOMAPAN 400 a film I had never used before (and hardly after) when I spotted Otha and the boys.
     
  9. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    My choice may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but I'll have a stab at it.

    Mostly I photograph what satisfies my soul and how I see the world around me. I like to make portraits, and last May of 2009 a friend of mine asked if I could photograph her horse Doc. Doc was an old horse with only one eye, having lost the other to cancer some ten years back. Now cancer grew in his second eye, and the only remaining solution was to put him down.
    I met Doc for the first time the day before he was to be put down, and I photographed him the same day of course. I shot five rolls of film - 3 x 120 and 2 x 36exp 35mm. I gave my friend the pictures as scanned on a CD, and a medium sized print of her choosing for free.

    Out of the pictures I can't pick one that I feel is more significant, but I rate the series of pictures as the most important one. It's by far the pictures that gave the recipient of the print the strongest emotional reaction; today, a year later, she still tells me she tears up when she looks at them.

    I'm very proud to be able to do that level of service for someone, by doing what I love.

    - Thomas
     

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  10. j-dogg

    j-dogg Subscriber

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    One of my most important shots was shot with my digital Rebel (go ahead and hate) with a 300mm zoom lens, it was the plate of a car that committed a hit and run on one of my co-worker's vans while we were on a job.

    The Rebel has a zoom function for stored images and I zoomed in on the plate and showed it to the officer. Happened to have the thing on me, you never know when an egret or swan will walk up to our trucks on a jobsite.

    He was promptly apprehended.

    For my film, it was the entire first roll I shot through my Nikon because almost all of them turned out better than their digital counterparts.
     
  11. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    i used to make liquid emulsions and use liquid light
    and put them on glass plates. i did this for a good 3 or 4 years.
    probably the best image i made from this series was on a 8x10ish sheet
    of window pane, it was a big oak tree, with no leaves.
    i made 2 prints from the big plate, and it fell on the floor
    and broke into about 100 pieces.

    soon after the shock wore off i took a piece of broken glass, covered
    with foreign materials, and stuck it into my enlarger head
    and that THAT, and it changed everything.
     
  12. Lanline

    Lanline Member

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    Sad story :sad: With your images of the horse show a bond, a love.

    Yes there are a lot of emotions related to photos. I often wonder if I would even like some of my images, had I not been there when they were taken. I've always struggled with the experience of taking the image and viewing the image objectively. :confused:
     
  13. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    These. We knew shouldn't wouldn't be with the family for long, due to a heart condition. These images were made the first hour of her 11-day life.

    - CJ
     

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  14. magkelly

    magkelly Member

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    This one.

    [​IMG]

    I think it's fairly good considering what I shot it with, no DSLR or even SLR here folks, just my Fuji P&S, and when, Winter. (He was so pale at the time he half looked like a ghost!) It's maybe not quite the best portrait, but it is the one that means the most to me. This guy is a very good pal of mine and one of my favorite people.

    I've taken many pics of him, but I do think this is the one photograph I've ever taken of him that truly captures who he truly is. Rick just has one of those bright smiles that can light up a whole room. People just love to be around him. This is just so "him" this shot that it makes me smile just looking at it.
     
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  15. Wyno

    Wyno Member

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    I think this one is my most important shot, because while it is good as a composition, it has made me a better printer.




    [​IMG]

    Mike
     
  16. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Cheryl, I remember it vividly to this day when you posted the pictures. Caroline, was it?

    Kudos to you for handling such a situation with such grace.

    - Thomas

     
  17. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    I wonder that a lot too, Lanny. Why am I taking this picture? What's its purpose? And I always wonder if they will mean something to others, even though my photography is a fairly egotistical undertaking - you know, having a vision of something within that you just have to express.

    Just keep shooting. :smile:

     
  18. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    For me it is always the next one. Keeps one fresh to treat every photograph like it's the last and the one for which you wish to be remembered.
     
  19. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    None of my photos are important in the grand scheme of things.
     
  20. Ric Trexell

    Ric Trexell Member

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    These are interesting comments. When I posted this I wondered if anyone would have anything to say. Seems like the most treasured ones are of people we know and loved, or animals too. So far no one has said their most important shot was this bridge or this car. Interesting. Ric.
    P.S. Thanks for the replies.
     
  21. jgcull

    jgcull Subscriber

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    I think the ones I find most important are the ones that give dignity to someone who might have been thought ordinary before.
     
  22. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    My most valuable pictures to me are of people, which is why I'm primarily a portrait shooter, that and the fact that I'm the Worlds worst landscape photographer.
     
  23. Domenico Foschi

    Domenico Foschi Member

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    That is a question impossible to answer to/
    When I get a very good shot I fall in love with it for a while, but then as I keep shooting, one more good one comes to life and it replaces the older one. The previous one will go in the category of my important images.
    Lately the one that has stolen my heart is the following, but since I have just developed some film where I should have some good stuff, it will probably be replaced.
     

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  24. lxdude

    lxdude Member

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    It is the photo of the love of my life, gone since 2003, looking at the ocean off the rocks at Santa Cruz. Taken when we lived there in 1989 with the Ricoh TF-900 P&S I bought her in '87, lens at 70mm. Her daughter has the negative somewhere- I'd really like find it.