Why Take That Photo?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by photomc, Jan 11, 2004.

  1. photomc

    photomc Member

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    What makes you stop and take the photos you make?

    Is it based on place and time? Do you plan on going out to for a given image or do they just appear? Is it the light, location traveled to, subject?

    Understand that the portrait folks will follow somewhat different reasons, but for you why trip the shutter when you do? Do you plan out the shoot, or do you wait (and hope) for the image you feel is there?
     
  2. dr bob

    dr bob Member

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    Yes!
     
  3. Jorge Oliveira

    Jorge Oliveira Member

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    That's how I do most of my photos:

    - It's planned, in the sense that I do not walk around with a camera - unless I'm willing to take photos, and I like mostly 'hard' light, so I go out erly morning (occasinally) or late afternoon or at night.
    - It's random, in the sense that I do not use a studio, so there's no 'posing' - subjects are just scattered here and there; something catches my eye, click.

    Jorge O
     
  4. Grady O

    Grady O Member

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    Alot of times I just go out wondering with my camera. I'm always composing photos in my mind. When I see one I like, I take it. Sometimes I do go out to a specific subject. Like the other day I went out to this old camp with these weird TeePee (spelling?) cabins.
     
  5. clogz

    clogz Subscriber

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    It depends very much on mood and state of mind in my case.
     
  6. bjorke

    bjorke Member

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    If "why" can be neatly wrapped-up in words there's that much less reason for the picture.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Robert Kennedy

    Robert Kennedy Member

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    Amen to that! I take it because I feel I must. Period. Be it a street shot or a planned one.
     
  8. Cheryl Jacobs

    Cheryl Jacobs Member

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    Hmmmm.

    Well, with 'people images', portrait or otherwise, I usually shoot because I sense something is about to happen -- an expression, a spark, something significant. For me, it's about anticipating a moment, rather than reacting to it. With the very young subjects I usually work with, reacting to a moment means you missed it 99% of the time.
     
  9. Leon

    Leon Member

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    somedays I plan - if i am on holiday, i ALWAYS plan, then get over-the-top frustrated when the light isnt right, or I've misjudged the tides/ sunlight direction, probably ruining the whole trip for my fiancee. I seem to spend my year planning returns to locations so I can get-it-right-next-time.

    Other times I wander around my local area and shoot if it looks right.
     
  10. Flotsam

    Flotsam Member

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    Simple.
    As soon as the kid gets the angel wings on, I know that it is time to start snapping away. :roll:
     
  11. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I typically wander around with no plans in mind. If I see something that makes all of my emotions flutter then I try to capture it. I feel like I am the sum of my emotions, so to capture something which rings them all, is one way to show the world who I am..
     
  12. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Interesting so far...I am somewhat surprised to hear some that I think are LF shooters still approach their work like a 35mm shooter. From what little exposure I have with my own 4x5 (OK it's a Crown Graphic, but a world away from rollfilm to me) it would seem that the act of seeing, composing, metering, etc would be much more deliberate than say for someone with a small 35mm.

    Now if the ULF (8x10 and up) would like to comment...what makes you load up, and tote the gear out for a shoot?
     
  13. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    I photograph because I feel compelled to. I am hard put to indicate in words what the source of that compelling feeling is. I photograph with 12X20 for the same reasons that I photograph with 8X10 and 4X5.

    I do realize that recently what I photograph is once again changing. I began some years ago by emulating the work of Adams, Fred Picker, and others. These were images of "things". By "things" I mean readily identifiable objects either of themselves or in relation to other objects as in a landscape. Recently I feel most strongly about photographing abstractions. I have been at this long enough that I follow my feelings, my hunches, and my inspirations.

    As someone else has already stated the question "why" is impossible to address in language. Words are inadequate. The image speaks for itself. It speaks first of all to me and possibly and secondarily to others.
     
  14. Thomassauerwein

    Thomassauerwein Member

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    Here we go getting deep again. There are very few things that I do that I'm not thinking about something photographic while I'm doing it. Sometimes images are sketched and planned shot re- thought and shot again. This happens both in the studio controlled environment and on location. Even as pre-conceived as these shots are they still require flexibility for the moment. I did a one week workshop with Albert Watson one time and I learned a huge lesson from him, As tightly controlled as his sets are (his lighting is very specific) his Eye never left his sitter. Once they were in there pose and he walked away for whatever reason, his sitter would relax into their pose and thats when he would say "that looks great lets do that" Then he would adjust his light to their understanding of his concept. As far as street shooting is concerned, Having the camera in my hands strangely enough gives me power, power to see and power to feel, feel the changes in the air, and see the changes in the light. Though I'm not a huge fan of Dorothy Normans work I've always understood her sensitivity towards images and hope that I come close to the simplistic quality her images present to her viewers.
     
  15. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    This is going to sound oversimplistic...

    The same reason that some climb mountains...
    I take the photograph because the image is THERE.

    HOW it gets to be there can be very simple, or involved... but in the last analysis ... I recognize the presence of the image and DO it!!

    Why? Because I feel better when I am doing photography than I do when I am NOT doing photography.
     
  16. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Hmmmm..seems like the WHY? has taken on the philosophical meaning of WHY? What I attempting to find out, is all of you make specific outings just for photography? i.e. - trips to a special place, local or far away. Like Les's trip to the U.S & Canada (sure did enjoy the updates - miss 'em too!).

    In other words, how often do you get out and where do you go to photograph? (OK, right now for me it's never enough - hoping that when retirement comes in a few years - (OK 15 or so, but a guy can't start dreaming to soon can he!) I can get out much more than I do now.
     
  17. Lex Jenkins

    Lex Jenkins Member

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    For people photography (which includes theatre photography) I work instinctively, trying to anticipate the moment.

    In most other cases I work from self assignments, on projects or toward certain concepts.

    Sometimes it's difficult changing gears between the two but just as often it's refreshing.
     
  18. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Some times I just happen to bring a camera when I go out, other times I go out with a camera.

    I tend to bring the LF gear to "promising locations", but usually end up shooting something entirely different. The only time I've done meticulous planning - and gone through with it - was last spring's solar eclipse.

    I still shoot on "impulse". Even with a LF monorail...