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  1. #11

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    My photographs are a reflection of what I respond to in both life and others' artistic creations. I may try to be open to new ways of thinking & viewing; but I don't force myself to appreciate what others find as valuable. If it doesn't grab me, it doesn't influence me.

  2. #12
    eddym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cahayapemburu View Post
    We photographers often speak of our work, and when we do, we reference this photograph or that, but I think the work of any artist is internal, and lies in wrenching his ego and prying his want of recognition and approval free from that part of his character that is unique to himself, and in finding the courage to express it, and the willingness to fail, over and over, and to find inspiration and redemption in those failures that are ours alone. What we call our work might better be termed the manifestations of our work, and a record of our progress along that difficult path towards an earnest expression of our truest selves. If we give in to that ever present temptation to express only that part of ourselves illuminated by our virtue and decency, we have accepted defeat, and embraced mediocrity. We'll know this defeat by the admiration of our offerings by a wide audience, and our successes by an intense emotional and intellectual discomfort. As photographers, we should be acutely aware that pure light is formless, and given meaning by a palette of shadow and darkness. Don't be afraid of the dark.
    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.
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  3. #13
    eddym's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alden View Post
    I no longer have aspirations for recognition, yet I wonder if I am being remiss if I do not adjust my imagery, somewhat at least, to the march of time. If my work is slated to hang on my walls only, you would think, please yourself only.
    Yet I have my doubts. Postmodern works have progressed, whether we like them another matter, and I have to feel that I have fallen into a stodgy corner. I work easily and naturally and have relied on the belief that a deepening would occure in and of itself. But now I'm not so sure that it will. Where's the question here... I suppose it's this, Do we owe it to ourselves to stay up to date and take contempory ideas seriously? Or do we accept the challenge of mining our own territory, albeit influenced by others work of the past? Another good topic would be, how to make something really our own.
    An article by David Gates in this week's "Newsweek" addresses this issue, and I found his comments quite interesting:
    http://www.newsweek.com/id/81583
    Eddy McDonald
    www.fotoartes.com
    Eschew defenestration!

  4. #14
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    Working to "please myself" isn't quite what I am after. Rather, I try to stay true to myself. Pleasing myself can be too hard... I'm often discouraged by my work, and not pleased with it.

    But I can't seem to stop making photographs, despite those frustrations. And having gone through those painful moments of doubt, I think my work has improved over the last year. Of course, I don't want to jinx myself, as I am sure I will go through a bout of doubt and frustration again. And I often look at more contemporary work when I am feeling that way. It offers me questions and ideas to push through those doubts.

    With any luck it will lead to work that satisfies, and rings true to me. And hopefully,the work will resonate with viewers, too.

  5. #15
    Ian Leake's Avatar
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    I make photos to primarily please myself, although of course I hope other people will like my work and I’m thrilled when they do. Undoubtedly this influences me, as does the artistic environment around me, but I think it’s rather shallow to consciously chase fads and fashion.

  6. #16

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    i please myself first and if others like
    what i do, it is a bonus.

    and sometimes i have to please my clients ....
    Last edited by jnanian; 01-01-2008 at 07:31 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  7. #17

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    Good questions, Alden.

    I do take pictures primarily to please or satisfy myself - that's what motivates me. But also in taking pictures I hope to communicate, so some sort of feeling of recognition from other people feels vital too, by which I mean a 'connection' rather than public recognition or 'success' - very much in inverted commas here - but I 'm not saying either that I'm totally disinterested in wider recognition - just that I don't seek it very much, or haven't done yet, so it's obviously not THAT important to me. Ultimately I can't be bothered expending the energy on that side of things, and would always prefer to be getting on with it... I'm someone who needs an agent, or an assistant, in that regard! (I've always been like this, possibly it's a failing... But I hope to at least finish a fuller website in the near future). Public recognition is in any case a fickle beast - and not something I trust, or value unduly.

    As for feeling a little out of the current.....I know that feeling, and I guess anyone who works in this day and age in film and in black and white will tend to feel that way. But... it's what I want to do at the moment, and so I'm sticking with it, though I never would say 'for ever' for anything, and will I hope ALWAYS be prepared to move on and change artistically if I feel drawn to do so. I think you have to do what you feel comfortable with, forcing rarely works or is worth it, UNLESS you do really feel stuck and dissatisfied with what you are doing you have to make yourself try something new, and strike out of your comfort zone. But feeling maybe you 'ought' to change, because of outside forces, without really wishing it within yourself, is something that I think should be ignored.

    As for the conceptual emphasis of modern art and photography - I am interested in it, but a lot of it has become fashionable and vacuous. I think there are ideas present in my photos, but I would say it all comes from the heart, and it's only after or in the midst of taking photos that I realise what I've been doing, and where it comes from. Then I can pull it together a bit. My 'personal work' IS very personal, and this may not work so much for a more distanced approach.

    I don't think you can separate concepts and intuition, or certainly not in my case.

    If there's enough of 'you' in what you do, whatever it is and whatever approach you take, it will work, and is worth doing.
    Last edited by catem; 01-01-2008 at 07:20 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  8. #18
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    Thanks to all of you for these wise words. I'm very gratified to find this forum where the interior tumult is not shunned. I have in the past brought up conflicting thoughts to other more materials oriented sites and the hatred of going near doubt set them off like a flock of ducks.

    To be honest I am in the regretful fifities now, and have seen alot of oppourtunity pass me by. I indulged my inner whims ( and outer party animal ) maybe a little too much, so what you have here now is whats known as overcompensation. I still feel that I " coulda been a contenda " instead of a bum.... "

    We're not all called, not all aggressively competitive, not all filled with a mission to show others our critical cause. Myself, I just love photography, and I'm still struggling to understand that thats enough. I admire too much the work of others, then use it to bash my head in. Tragically stupid, but the result of having blown an education, and a thousand chances in NY, LA, Seattle, and everywhere in between. Pardon me if this is tooooo sad, but
    I really need to get to the next level and accept where I am. I appreciate your thoughts very much.

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alden View Post
    To be honest I am in the regretful fifities now, and have seen alot of oppourtunity pass me by. I indulged my inner whims ( and outer party animal ) maybe a little too much, so what you have here now is whats known as overcompensation. I still feel that I " coulda been a contenda " instead of a bum.... "

    We're not all called, not all aggressively competitive, not all filled with a mission to show others our critical cause. Myself, I just love photography, and I'm still struggling to understand that thats enough. I admire too much the work of others, then use it to bash my head in. Tragically stupid, but the result of having blown an education, and a thousand chances in NY, LA, Seattle, and everywhere in between. Pardon me if this is tooooo sad, but
    I really need to get to the next level and accept where I am. I appreciate your thoughts very much.
    Julia Margaret Cameron took her first photograph at age 47...

    You are only in your fifties? Surely there's room and time for anything you want - so it's a matter of deciding what that is, but not feeling it's 'too late' for anything? No time like the present...

  10. #20
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    I believe that Cy DeCosse (http://www.johnstevenson-gallery.com...e_2007_tn.html) was in his eighties when he was discovered.

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