In my case y "vision" changed because of a change in materials. For many years I printed on silver, and although the prints were ok, I was never happy. To me they lacked something. I then changed to printing in pt/pd and I found that the "look" I was searching was borne out with these materials. I think in my case I always had the particular vision, I just did not have the right medium to express it.
I've changed my vision in two ways, process and subject matter.
When I first started I quickly migrated from C41 to E6 and stayed there. The quality of my images was nothing to write home about though. So I looked around for a suitable course. However, the only one I could find had a sizeable amount of darkroom work on the course. This didn't appeal to me at all, and I nearly didn't take the course because of it!
Three months into the course I went out and bought a complete secondhand darkroom (everything except the walls, floor and ceiling!) from a chap advertising in Loot at a knockdown price. Three years on, I'd rather print than shoot (I'm keen, not necessarily any good, but keen!).
Subjectwise, I always wanted to take landscape shots. My results have been less than inspiring though. I seem to have more luck with B&W candid people shots and E6 flower macros and have therefore gone in this direction.
More recently I seem to be returning to my (admittedly shallow!) roots, with images by Tim Rudman and a certain Mr McLean fueling the fire. My images have so far been very conventional in composition, but the more I see other people's work the more I wish to experiment and try new approaches to old subjects.
Nige recently posted this link http://www.photocritique.net/g/s?zzig4c-p21162059 The weird thing is I wouldn't have bothered taking any of those shots... ...and I like all of them!
Obviously I have a long way to go... I just wish I'd started sooner!
Sorry for the long-winded post.
A fate WORSE than a fate worse than death? Sounds pretty bad! - Edmund Blackadder
... The question was... Oh, yeah!! - "Has my vision changed?"
Of course! I, we all, change, each and every day. There is a part of us... No, that is misleading ... we are integrated beings. Our "being" is affected by the sum total of our experiences. We necessarily, invariably, and infallibly, *perceive* our surroundings slightly differently as we exist.
We could easily be back to one of the "classic" questions - "What *IS* vision?"
To me. my "vision" manifests itself as something of a small, still, *silent* voice (sounds strange - but I don't know how else to describe it) that starts things going. I can glance at a girl in a coffee shop and "see" an image of a heavily talcum-powdered girl posed in the mode of the great Greek and Roman stautuary (Yes, Zoltan Glass' work has been the subject of a discussion or two). It is the precursor of concept.
Did someone here say something like "I'm not `advanced' enough to have a "vision"? Nothing could be further from the truth ... "expertise" has nothing to do with vision ... no more than it has on the interpretation of Rorshack Ink Blots.
I've found that children have "wonderful" visions ... and we do too ... except ours seem to have been heavily suppressed and repressed by "our peers" - society, convention, art critics, moralists ... all of the "Black Magicians".
An example: "You painted a *blue* horse??? Toatally unacceptable - horses are not blue. How *could* you ...?"
I'm sure anyone who is interested in photography and admires the work of Ansel Adams, wants to try to emulate him. Making matters worse is the constant bombardment of incredible vistas one sees when living in your hometown of Calgary Alberta. I grew up 80 miles away and the lure of the plains and foothills juxtaposed against the Rocky Mountains was like was a seductive woman beckoning you to her. I'm sure most people don't really know what it is like to live in an area like this and see the daily changes that occur and the opportunities that present themselves. I truly felt guilty not photographing the area while I lived there for 34 years.
However I loved faces. Not places. I love the landscape of the face not the landscape of the planet.
My initial ten years as a professional photographer was photographing the usual stuff. Portraits, families, weddings etc. I printed all my own work in color and did very well. It wasn't until I'd sold my business and moved to LA that I was able to distance myself (literally) from my work and see that I was really printing B&W, in color. I printed my color portraits in a contrasty, monotonic style that finally convinced me that I should be printing in black and white.
So now for the last seven years I have done my work almost exclusively in black and white and it feels like home.
My observation is people start out making photos of what they "think" they should be making photos of, and not what they really see. So many strive to emulate a favorite photographer who (in their opinion) makes "art" - or at least photos that they wish they could make.
Some people never go beyond that and always try to emulate or make a photo as good as photographer "xxxxx" - hoping to equal that vision. Until you discover what YOU really see and relate to, you never make original photos reflective of your own personal vision or point of view.
You have to take chances and do things outside of what you've predetermined to be a type of photo you want to emulate (replicate?). Many people avoid experimentation or making photos of things that don't fall into the genre they've chosen.
I've purposely forced myself to think up projects or to make photos that challenge my vision or concepts of what is acceptable or makes a good photo. I've done landscapes, altered photos, hand colored work, series, portraits, etc. - and finally have decided that I have the freedom to photograph whatever I see that interests me regardless of subject matter.
My only self described "failure" is that I have never been able to setup and photograph a still life that is worth the film it was shot on. At least once a year I try to thinkup a still life and photograph it. In 15 years, I have never felt I've done one that is worth looking at.
In my view, “vision” or “seeing” is a function of consciousness and consciousness is always evolving, even despite ourselves. Naturally it follows that seeing will change and evolve as one’s consciousness changes and evolves.
I started out photographing landscape in large format black and white in 1987. I continue to do so; have never tired of it. But how I see the landscape has changed and (I hope) matured.
For me the progression has been from seeing the literal object, to seeing the light, to seeing the basic building blocks abstractly (form, line, space, tonal relationships, etc.), to seeing what is “behind” it all. Now I see all the objects and light as manifestations of something I can’t describe, but see evidence for. I guess I would call it a “universal intelligence” of just “life,” or perhaps “life-flow,” regardless of the subject matter. There is this amazing order to what at a casual glance appears as chaos. Something keeps saying to me, “See!”
By the way, regarding the book mentioned above by Michael A. Smith: I bought that book and two of his wife Paula’s books. I highly recommend these books as “State of the Art.” Be forewarned: you may get discouraged and just want to throw all your prints away! Or you may get inspired as I am. And I haven’t even seen an actual print yet. True Master Artists, these two.
Does vision change? - In my 30+ years in the medium I have come to the conclusion that vision rarely changes but that it can evolve if you are working and paying honest attention to the work. By honest attention I mean if you are making images (as has been mentioned) that are basicly repeats of work you have seen, then honestly admit that to yourself, pat yourself on the back for having accomplished it and then move on. Rather than repeating it again and again. Breaking free of this can sometimes be as easy as changing general subject types. (landscape to documentary - as has been mentioned) Or changing equipment (8x10 to Holga or vis versa) Or it might be to stop treating your subject matter as being "sacred" - meaning - thinking that one type of photography is more relevant than another.
I believe that each of us learns the medium a bit at a time. Be it; composition, light, technique, etc., etc., etc. and we might consciously spend some time on each. The order in which we work on these are different for everyone. In the end what we are attempting to do is learn how to speak through this medium and the more we learn, the more clearly we are able to speak and have our message heard. We are slowly building (in a real way) a visual vocabulary. First we learn the A B C's, then how to put together full words, then to construct sentences, until we finally are able to tell complete stories with our images. At least I know this is how I have come about making the images I do today. But of course this is in retrospect.
I did and still do a little of most things with several more dominant interests. Landscapes are more interesting to look at than many things but seem kind of sterile (to me) without people in them. I think people are part of the landscape. Not like the landscape with an unlikely person thown in for scale but images where the person and the landscape are one. The landscape has a message and the person(s) add to that message or the reverse of that. I enjoy looking at people as art - not cliche images that only evoke one kind of passion - but character - The lines in the face and the wrinkles on the hand with a gleem in the eye - in a setting that speaks the same. These are perhaps both the most difficult to assemble but the most profound when done. Les's reverand shot is amazing the way the light draws his face. Aggie's farm has some wonderful and provoking old tools and backdrop. I could see that face in that setting. I hope I will be able to get the right people in the reight settings to create what I see.