Hey, I love Sylvia Plachy's work, but I wouldn't discount the possibility of there being photo-rationalist trance-like states.
I'm bi-photolar. I swing wildly between the the two extremes.
I often try and be analytical about it, but then my brain starts to hurt and I just say screw it and go with my gut feelings.
I suppose in the end there is a bit of both disciplines in my work.
Aggie was in a trance? I just thought she was trying to reach the mother ship LOL.
Best description of me I've ever heard. I keep reading APUG and wondering why I can't be more disciplined and systematic about my photography but my sloppy nature keeps taking over.
I often just take out my SLR and happily snap away letting the camera do most of the work with little thought on my part. These rolls are some of my best as far as inspiration and composition but I always end up wishing I had just done this or that, or used the 4x5.
I am in awe of the knowledge on this board but often wonder if you gurus are that disciplined. I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy.
I disagree with this premise. I think at first we start as technicians, we read book, we test, try the zone system, beyound the zone system, the zone system cubed, then we obsess over equipment, we want this lens, that lens, this camera or that camera. As time goes by, and we gain practice and experience, the technical part does not matter any more....or at least it is not the main reason to pick a camera...to get this waterfall shot with the water placed in zone VIII, and the shadow a perfect zone III...
So IMO I think any proficient photogrpaher starts as a technician and then with experience he/she moves more into the emotional aspect where technique is only secondary. This so called trance is only a narrowly focused intent.
Sometimes I'm very technical, using the full repertory of zone system, Scheimpflug and Merklinger, as well as developing the film in any one of six different developers depending on what I'm after.
Today I took my "pocket view" - Voigtländer Bergheil 9x12 - out for some "street photo". No light meter, no rangefinder, no ground glass - just point and shoot at "sunny 11".
I have to say that after a while the rules become second nature or automatic solutions which allows us to respond to the moment . For me their are images that take a lot of work I.E. testing and research and other times the image just happens. Either way when it comes to execution all the notes, testing and drawings are put away so I can stay in the moment. You can call it anything you want: trance, instinct Or experiance. As long as your doing it, just follow your feet and every thing is wide open to be challenged! (sorry for the soapbox)
I went by two phases - firt one, when I started and lasted about 15yrs - I was mostly a techician.
If I would, for some reason, get a bad neg I would get very mad - at myself, of course.
That's one of he reasons, for instance, I started using HC-110 diluting it from the concentate - I wouldn't run the risk of using less than optimal developer.
Now, after some 15yrs hyatus, I still like to do it well done - but if something (technical) goes wrong, it really doesn't matter, as long as I can get MY image.
Age helps a lot!
It does go in phases with me, but mostly I am the "trance" type :)
When I discover a new technique that I would like to try, I go through a technical phase for a while, and when I have mastered the technique, go back in "trance"...
I strongly believe that technique is very important, it is the base on which (my) photography rests, but creativity and vision is far more important IMHO.
Despite the "technical" articles I have written, my interest in the technical aspects of photography is less than minimal.
Interesting how we attribute our motivations to others.
Jorge wrote: "I think at first we start as technicians, we read book, we test, try the zone system, beyound the zone system, the zone system cubed, then we obsess over equipment, we want this lens, that lens, this camera or that camera."
That comes as a surprise to me. Since I came to photography just wanting to make pictures, not even knowing that the term "f-stop" existed, let alone what it was, I always assumed that everyone else's interest in photography was the pictures, and that the technical things held little interest.
I do not think, however, that the oppostite of "technical" is "trance-like." When making photographs I am in a state of heightened attention, open to what the world may present. Nothing trance-like about it at all. Nothing technical about it either.
Michael A. Smith