What is your priority?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Donald Miller, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Since I committed myself to making five new exposures every day (not perfect on that score), I have noticed a change in my priorities insofar as it applies to photography.

    My priority now seems to be involved with seeing and exposing film as a departure from making prints. The adventure lies in seeing for me. Has anyone else observed this tendency?
     
  2. reellis67

    reellis67 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,887
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2005
    Location:
    Central Flor
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I've recently taken a class in what they call 'mixed media'. What I found after taking the class was that I now have a great challenge in using my new vision, almost like learning to see all over again. I have begun to find all sorts of interesting things where I never did before and I find myself wishing I had the time to stop and make exposures in the oddest of places. This new vision is certainly an adventure for me, so I think I understand what you are saying. I feel like I opened a door into a room filled with doors, each with the promise of something new and rewarding just waiting to be found.

    - Randy
     
  3. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,341
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn,Mic
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
     
  4. PatTrent

    PatTrent Subscriber

    Messages:
    408
    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Location:
    Brentwood, C
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    For me, seeing has to take priority over printing. I can always go into the darkroom and print--even very old negatives. But there are some days--too many--when I should work harder at seeing. I go through phases where I see photo ops everywhere vs. not really seeing anything! It's my own biggest challenge. Always has been.
     
  5. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have had a lot of trouble lately for I took way too many photos at the beginning of summer, it took me weeks to develop the rolls and now I still haven't printed them yet. Now, I want to take more photos but I still want to print the ones I haven't printed, dedicate a whole week to one as I wanted to and also print a new portfolio...
    When it comes to priorities...

    ARGH!
     
  6. catem

    catem Member

    Messages:
    1,355
    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Location:
    U.K.
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It's hard to get the right balance.

    I'd like to take more photographs than I do, on the other hand there is ALWAYS a backlog of printing, and too many already that never get printed, even with harsh editing...

    I'm not sure that I'm that prolific, compared with lots of people, and yet I don't see how I could do more...

    Cate
     
  7. blansky

    blansky Subscriber

    Messages:
    5,985
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2002
    Location:
    Wine country, N. Cal.
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Donaldhopper, as the flowers now bloom in the forest, so too must they perish in the winter chill.

    As the squirrel puts all his energies onto collecting, so must he also dedicate time to bust his nuts.


    I congratulate you on your transition and remember that all change is transitory.

    When you can snatch the.......................................oh never mind.


    Michael
     
  8. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Michael,
    I applaud your ability to strip away the superflous and to arrive at the juncture where all things are extraordinarily clear.,..I wish that this was an instance when I observed this ability of yours...unfortunately, I can not.

    I know that this is more a condition of my incomplete understanding then it is of your realization. Thank you....another koan for me to consider. If a squirrel busts his nuts in the forest does the tree cry?
     
  9. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,341
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn,Mic
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    donald

    it's always fun to watch SOMEBODY ELSE work :cool:

    d
     
  10. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,124
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Since work makes daily photography impossible for me, I can only dream of the day when I'll have the option of making one, let alone seven photographs. But, there's no impediment to 'seeing', and I seem to be almost dangerously unable to stop putting a rectangle around everything I encounter on both sides of the road (I commute 100 miles a day round trip.) while driving. OTOH, the notion of setting a daily quota will probably never take hold. Though I 'could' attempt to meet one, I'd probably hate the results. Why, Donald, do you feel the need for a quota, and what do you feel you'll gain from the exercise?
     
  11. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

    Messages:
    6,242
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    John,

    I made this commitment to myself in an effort to improve my ability to see. In my opinion it seems to have been beneficial in that respect. I returned to the building blocks of some years ago.
     
  12. jovo

    jovo Membership Council Council

    Messages:
    4,124
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Jacksonville
    Shooter:
    Multi Format

    Well then, you're more than welcome to follow me in my daily commute. We can use radios and agree..."YES!!!...there's a goodie!!", and you can stop and make the photograph, and I can applaud you later for getting it done! Man, I am sooooo ready to retire.....but it ain't gonna happen soon enough, I'm afraid!
     
  13. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

    Messages:
    920
    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2003
    Location:
    Nova Scotia
    Donald
    Seeing is important and enjoyable, but to save an awful lot of printing hours in the winter (Arizona ,right?) perhaps put blank paper in 4 of the holders
    Mark
     
  14. Sponsored Ad
  15. Maris

    Maris Member

    Messages:
    883
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Noosa, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Making gelatin-silver photographs (please, they are photographs not prints) is the priority. These photographs are intended as expressive art. Real world subject matter is just another ingredient like film, chemicals, and paper. In effect I will go and get whatever subject matter I need so that the photograph will say what it has to say.

    Exposing film and making negatives is just producing the stuff one needs to put into the contact frame or the enlarger so that the true culmination of the photographic process can be achieved. People often forget that the photograph on the gallery wall is a photograph of what was in the camera not what was in front of the camera.
     
  16. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

    Messages:
    387
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Old Europe
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Donald,
    actually seeing and exposing for me had been the priority from the beginning on and this has not changed up 'til today. That is for me the true sensation of photography.
    What I have noticed is that by the time my perception of the environment has gotten clearer and more precise when I got a camera with me, no matter if I really shoot or not.
    Seems the presence of the camera is enuff to switch my built in scanner on alert red ! :smile:

    Regards,
    Bertram
     
  17. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,819
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Breinigsvill
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Donald,

    I have not seen a change, however, for those of us that are transparency shooters, seeing and capturing the moment on film is my (our) priority. In the case of the transparency, it is a finished product. The photographic print allows us to share our vision with others and to "take it home with them".

    Rich
     
  18. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

    Messages:
    387
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Old Europe
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Confirms my suspect that some of the printers would like to leave the lenscap on anyway.
    Actually it is in the camera what and how a photog made the camera see something. There are photogs and printers, and that some people can do both does not change it.

    Maybe some of the printers should let photographers shoot for them, as I let printers print for me. Thus we could all get rid of the boring part and we all had something decent at the wall. Seems to be ideal solution, doesn't it ?

    bertram
     
  19. wildbill

    wildbill Member

    Messages:
    2,851
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    My priority has been shooting when i can and that's only a couple trips a year out of L.A. It's been much too hot in the darkroom to do anything for a while now so i concentrate on exposing film whenever i can. That's the easy part. I find that after using my lf gear for a day or so my ability to make "keepers" improves dramatically.
     
  20. davetravis

    davetravis Member

    Messages:
    659
    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2004
    Location:
    Castle Rock,
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Since I committed myself to making five new exposures every day

    Wow man, you're way ahead of me!
    I'm happy with adding five new photographs to my portfoilos a year!
    Kick back, breath deep and flex your muscles.
     
  21. Maris

    Maris Member

    Messages:
    883
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Noosa, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Maybe the people who make nothing but exposures should not be classed as photographers at all. What is wrong with camera-worker? There have been truly great camera-workers. H.Cartier-Bresson is a prime example. He pointed and clicked a lot but everything visible in relation to his work was made by Pierre Gassman and others.

    The appellation "photographer" is an august one and I believe it is given away too freely to people who do not conduct the entire process, start to finish, by their own effort.
     
  22. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,819
    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2006
    Location:
    Breinigsvill
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Maris,

    You have voiced this opinion in at least one other thread. You have voiced your opinion, but it appears that you are in a minority.

    Perhaps we should rather use the term of photographer as the person using the camera. Not everyone has the time, equipment, experience or the money to print, particularly in color. It is not necessary for the person taking the image be a printer. As we have stated previously a transparency is in fact a finished product. It need not be printed, but if that is the desire of the photographer it need not be done by that individual. Many of us that use the services of a printer give direction as to how the image should be printed.

    I for one feel very fortunate to take transparencies and have had the opportunity to use the services of one of the best and best known color printers (Bill Nordstrom) in the United States for the last 11 1/2 years.

    Rich
     
  23. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

    Messages:
    387
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Old Europe
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Wow,that's fascinating, camera-worker !! :D Still chuckling... A pity that HCB, and all the other great photogs who did not print themselves cannot tell us what their opinion is about your suggestion ? !!
    A suggestion tho which earns a certain respect, it is at least an artisans consequently focussed view on "making photographs".

    Really , Maris, to have this sight on photographers is strange enuff, to say the least. But the idea of renaming a certain group of photogs to make visible what is in your weird understanding a deficit, that reveals an enormous amount of arrogance.

    bertram
    Souping only
     
  24. Maris

    Maris Member

    Messages:
    883
    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    Noosa, Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Times are changing. There is a revolution in the making of highly mimetic pictures with electronic methods replacing the photographic medium for ordinary illustrative purposes.

    Now, when the identity of photography is under challenge, it is a good time to question the rusted-on assumptions and conventions that be-devil photography.

    There were a few users of camera obscuras and camera lucidas but general camera use up until the end of the 1980's was fairly reliably associated with photography. This was not based on a conscious decision of camera users but by an accident of history and technology. Film was the only thing you could put into a camera then. Things are very different now and only a tiny fraction of camera use (or camera-play) involves photography. Most camera use involves CC TV, broadcast TV, videotape production, home camcorders, and electronic still imaging. Camera use does not now (or ever) automatically make one a photographer.

    The priority in the process, as implied at the start of the thread, is that one ends up with a photograph. The maker of the end product is principle photographer. The other stuff in the chain of production, the stuff that gets consumed and discarded on the way to the final photograph is interesting, necessary, but subsidiary.

    The old convention that subject selection and camera clicking credits one as the photographer needs serious questioning. This is a good time in the history of picture making to be having an illuminating debate.

    Thanks rfshootist for your wit and insights.
     
  25. rfshootist

    rfshootist Member

    Messages:
    387
    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2005
    Location:
    Old Europe
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Maris.

    the original question referred to the prorities at printing and shooting and did not at all touch the process itself.

    I cannot see, why all the historical changes in technology should force us now to think about the role of the person behind the camera, if it is a photographer or not. This is a basic question, opposite to what you said not depending on any medium or process.

    That only those who do the whole process should be called photogs is solely based on your own narrowed definition of what a photograph is and what a photographer is.

    This is the attempt to invent the world of photography new, driven by a , for which reasons ever, puristical narrowed POV, necessarily ending in the arrogance of contemptous elitism.

    Maybe you should waste some thought about how impudent I and others could keep your idea to let us classify as a non-photog.

    It is too far out to really offend me, it was only the arrogance behind your statements which made me comment.

    You should better go back to your darkroom and do there what you have to do, and leave other photogs alone with your revolutionary classifications.
    And if you ever should run out of decent negs because you did not find time for photographing, call me, I'll send you some.

    bertram
     
  26. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,341
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2005
    Location:
    Dearborn,Mic
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    "My priority now seems to be involved with seeing and exposing film as a departure from making prints. The adventure lies in seeing for me. Has anyone else observed this tendency?" Miller

    This has been good to think about. For me, working falls into one of two categories.

    When I'm working on a project, a documentary for instance or making pictures for a specific purpose, I seldom print until the shooting is done. While each image needs to stand on its own, the body of images takes on a life of its own, and when the time come print I seldom pick up a camera. This suits my temperament, I suppose.

    When life is more normal, either doing work with shorter gestation ( weekly or daily ! ) I'll acummulate the developed film and make proofs and work prints in a day, then work on finals as needed.

    I sure do appreciate what Donald has brought up.

    df