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Christopher Walrath
01-01-2008, 10:41 AM
Please myself photographically? Absolutely. How else can I schmooze off something I would like to think of as my own art and craft if it is with someone else in mind rather than my own creative impression of the subject before my glass?

S_Patton
01-01-2008, 10:53 AM
In reading through this this, I found myself asking alot of the same questions as Alden presented. But in looking back at photogrpahs I took years ago and at some I have recently taken (Boy, do I have a lot to relearn/reteach myself.....) I find that yeah... I hope to please myself but in a larger sense what I am hoping to achieve is the day someone will look at what I done and be able to tell from them the kind of person I was. Like Alden, I over party and lost many chances at many things, but hopefully those losses and my outlook on life and other matters today will help those who see my images to see who I was and who I became. If that makes any sense at all.....

frank
01-01-2008, 11:12 AM
Very interesting thread! I read somewhere a quote from someone addressing a young person looking for direction in life: Ask not what the world is looking for, ask what it is that makes you fully alive. The world is looking for people who are fully alive. (or something to that effect)

I think this is applicable here. We all have only our own potential. It is our personal journey to realize it.

Make the photographs that please you. Stay true to your own vision. Doing otherwise only takes you away from your path.

Ian Leake
01-01-2008, 11:18 AM
We all have only our own potential. It is our personal journey to realize it.

Agreed. It doesn't matter if yesterday was good, bad, or indifferent because it's passed, gone, not coming back. None of us can influence our yesterday, but all of us can do something today to influence our tomorrow.

Alden
01-01-2008, 11:19 AM
No, of course 50 plus is not too late for living and creating. I meant to say that I am merely feeling regret at having not become a part of all this massive amount of production and publishing that surrounds us today, and that the need to get on with things is pressing hard right now. Photography is a great choice for a lifelong devotion, and I imagine I will always shoot. But right now I am very disturbed by these feelings of failure of vision. If I have no true passion beyond the crafting, I'll have to own up to it and bury forever this false pretention that I have anything to say. If you are pleased with your collection, you have won the battle, regardless of it's place in the world. I am not pleased with merely piling up more and more nice works that speak proudly for lenses, and tonality, but fail to move me in any way. Funny. Is the maker excluded from the pleasure and the meaning of his own creations?

frank
01-01-2008, 11:24 AM
I would not take that fact that you haven't been discovered and appreciated for your unique vision by the art world as a true indication of your abilities. The art establishment is fickle and motivated more by the potential to make money than by recognizing true artistic vision. (That's my rationalization for not "making it" anyway.) :)

Dave Miller
01-01-2008, 11:28 AM
Very interesting thread! I read somewhere a quote from someone addressing a young person looking for direction in life: Ask not what the world is looking for, ask what it is that makes you fully alive. The world is looking for people who are fully alive. (or something to that effect)

I think this is applicable here. We all have only our own potential. It is our personal journey to realize it.

Make the photographs that please you. Stay true to your own vision. Doing otherwise only takes you away from your path.



"Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go and do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
Eric Hoffer: Philosopher

Wise words.

frank
01-01-2008, 11:51 AM
Alden, in re-reading your post #25, I see that it is you who are dissatisfiied with your photographic efforts, specifically the vision part as opposed to the technical aspect. Rest assurred that you DO have something to say, and the dissatisfaction and questioning of your current work is just a necessary step in your artistic growth. There would be concern about stagnation if this didn't happen.

rorye
01-01-2008, 12:01 PM
No, the maker should absolutely not be excluded from the pleasure of their creation. I think that's why most of us make photographs, paintings, songs, what have you. Exposing film, watching a print come up in the tray, hanging a new piece on the wall, all moments that can give me a gut feeling unattainable in any other way. If other people like what you've made then even better, but the pleasure is a personal thing. Failure of vision? You have a vision otherwise you couldn't make images that speak to you.
I've had many days when I just can't feel moved to pick up a camera or look at a photograph, but thankfully they always pass!
Best,
Rory

JBrunner
01-01-2008, 12:28 PM
Don't worry about missing out on the commercial world. Everybody I know in it wishes to be just an artist. I myself am working hard for the day when I don't have to gnaw on the rat.

Regret? Worthless. Only homo sapien thinks past time is worth something in the present or a possible future. You have the knowledge of the experience, other than that it doesn't exist, so get on with now. Take a lesson from our animal bretheren.

Last- We always work to please ourselves. Even the most selfless charitable person in the world is self absorbed in that respect. We do what pleases us, or what our little minds whip us in to doing, to please that mean little judgemental mind. That's the mind that concepts "regret".

Have a cup. Suffer beauty. Suffer some thing as you have never seen it.

You're no dummy Alden. Knock my socks off, if it pleases you.

:)

Alden
01-01-2008, 01:08 PM
Oh JBrunner, you are a bard.

JBrunner
01-01-2008, 01:55 PM
Oh JBrunner, you are a bard.

Call me anything you want, except don't call me late for dinner. :p

cahayapemburu
01-02-2008, 02:58 AM
Wow. You have summed up what I believe about art better than I ever have. I would like to take the liberty of saving your comments for future inspiration.

You flatter me that my thoughts on thje subject have some meaning for you.

Fintan
01-02-2008, 03:18 AM
Friends and relatives are forever suggesting I photograph this or that, do weddings, high-key childrens portraits etc etc.

They dont seem to get that I photograph what I like to photograph and in a style that pleases me. If other people like what I print then thats cool but its certainly not what drives me.

I am not a professional so I have that freedom.

Mick Fagan
01-02-2008, 04:26 AM
Well I'm riding hard in my fabulous fifties and starting to knock onto the sexy sixties.

I take your point of sometimes being at despair of things, but there will be a swing, things turn around.

As for not really getting your backside into gear in your other lifetime, well, let bygones be bygones. You really cannot do much to redress the situation.

I myself used to despair at being forced to leave school and home at 13 1/2 years of age, not anymore, I got over it!

I only shoot to please myself these days, no weddings, Christenings, birthdays, including immediate family, unless I'm that way inclined on the day.

Having been at a quite low point, photographically speaking, some years ago, I then discovered this site, things haven't looked back since, perhaps this may be the kick you need?

You are no longer in a photographic wilderness.

Mick.

Jim Chinn
01-02-2008, 08:50 AM
As long as the work you are doing gives you pleasure keep at it. The fact that you are asking these questions leads me to believe that perhaps it is time to expand your horizons. Experimentation often leads to a renewed focus and enthusiasm. You may find that new subjects and approaches may not be your cup of tea, but the experience and knowledge gained will improve the work you enjoy the most.

dpurdy
01-02-2008, 09:34 AM
other than being obligated to clean up after ourselves, an artist's only obligation is to maintain his/her inspiration and enough energy and drive to act on that inspiration. If you study trends or success and follow a formula then your work is commercial. If you follow your own inspiration and work to express it to your greatest satisfaction then someone else will find inspiration in it as well. If they don't.. oh well. Working as a visual artist and gnawing on the bone of your desires shouldn't be guided by philosophical wonderings.

Alden
01-02-2008, 10:13 AM
I'll add another twist to this thing just to be annoying, although maybe another thread would be best, I dunno. Seems people have overlooked one simple fact, and that is, we are not all gifted. This idea of an inner world that is ours to plumb is not my experience. I've looked within for countless meditation years and all I've found in there was bad music jingles, polar bears, and Jennifer Anniston. Theres nothing there but the debris of commercial consumption. In other words, if I want to be an artist, I have to make it up. I have to say, this is what I value, but lets face it, I have to build from bits of string. Looking hard produces no self at all. No one is really there. I feel I at least am only what I do, and that good work comes primarily from work, work, work at it. Hopefully deftly and not desperate, but maybe that too. So contemporary work is not a matter of stealing trends against my true inner self, it's the very atmosphere that surrounds us all. Ignoring it may lead to entrenchment, and fogeyism.
Unless of course you actually have something to express. I have painted and photographed, for almost forty years, and all I can truly say about it is that I have to apply considerable force to gain any ground at all. Why do it? I value it. Ijust don't find my results to be very impressive, and I fear that if I am kindly towards myself, as many of you have been kindly towards my pathetic by now moaning, that I'm done for. Hit me.

Chan Tran
01-02-2008, 10:32 AM
Please myself only! Unless I do the work for others (with or without pay) then I would try to please the intended audience.

pesphoto
01-02-2008, 10:53 AM
Is one a successful artist only if those in the art world say you are? Who cares about that world and being overly critical about oneself, really. We'll all be dead at some point, enjoy your pasttime and relish in the experience of photography. Share your photos with us here and with friends and family. I dont have that drive where I need commercial success so maybe that makes it easier for me to relax about it and enjoy. My Mamiya 645 just arrived via UPS!!!