Today I live my call sign
Originally Posted by Worker 11811
I admit to being worried about this thread the moment I read the OP - What is required should have been obvious and the replies above are sycophantic and stupid - If your teacher falls for that sort of slimy approach she is not worth wasting time with
In order to be truthful in your photography you must be truthful to yourself, both very difficult for any person - So to be encouraged to photograph through your teacher's eyes is deplorable - Bugger classroom results, the development of your own seeing is what is demanded here
In asking you to leave your comfort zone, safe pictures, it seemed to me teacher was asking you to go out and explore your own perceptions - Now sit with yourself staring at a wall until what your really want to explore rises in your mind, this usually takes about three years to start happening
Failing that, photograph something you love, something you loathe and something fear and try to engage with each area
Last edited by John Austin; 03-07-2012 at 08:02 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Ok, so how about something from a photo teacher's perspective. If I told a student to stop playing it safe, I would mean stop doing what is obviously comfortable. If you like still life, maybe you should try street photography. Maybe use a different format or process. By doing still lifes over and over, you will get into a rut difficult to get out of. Perhaps you are the greatest still life photog that ever existed. Great. Good for you. But don't you have any other facets to show us?
What I do NOT want to see are photos that look like someone has followed some "plan" designed to please me. Surprise me instead. Make me see things YOUR way, from your unique perspective. I can't imagine any decent instructor who wants to see entire classes of "mini-me's". Additionally, "stop playing it safe" could be a open ended comment designed to make you think/meditate/ponder/reconsider a little about what you are shooting. A teacher's job is to guide you to directions you may not be aware of yet.... To urge you off the beaten path and into unknown territory where you can be fully expressive of the MANY aspects of your art instead of only one or two.
...... That will be 2 cents, please.....
"So I am turning over a new leaf but the page is stuck". Diane Arbus
Your instructor wants you to "stop taking safe photographs" and wants your images to "talk to him in some way."
My instructor said this to me once. Somewhat paraphrasing, he says I seem to be taking photographs of things that I know will produce a good photograph. He didn't think there was any ME in the photograph. He also said don't take this advise literally.
I think mine and yours are saying the same thing.... Mine were "good photographs" but it really didn't say anything. For example, they were nice photograph of some landscapes.... but I had no passion in landscaping or geography, so to me, it was just a nice scene.
I went into several branches of photography and I think I found my home in portraiture - especially family portraiture. There's a lot of ME in it although I am not literally in it. I convey what I see, what I want to see, what I want them to see themselves did/do, I have their emotions through my emotions, etc, etc, etc. It's my interpretation of what I thought that family represented. In other words, my photograph showed my unique view of the family.
Successful or not, that's not for me to decide. I think some of them were.
Do your photograph do that? Does it show your unique view of the object with your experience, view point, ideas, etc, etc, etc? Or just a nice photograph of something?
Your professor obviously wants you to think and think on your own. Come up with your own interpretation of what he said and show it in your works.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
if you have been making still lives all along, i can understand why your teacher is suggesting you
are playing it safe. you are doing what you know you are good at, instead of doing something
that might be difficult.
he isn't being vague, or obtuse, or speaking in code. he just wants you do do something
you might learn from, instead of going through the motions, and not really pushing yourself to learn...
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For the record, I never submitted any photos of grave stones to that prof. In fact, I can't remember taking very many photos of grave stones at all.
Originally Posted by Grumpy Old Man
Finding out what your audience likes or doesn't like is important. It doesn't matter whether you take the greatest photos in the world, if nobody looks at them they won't amount to a hill of beans. Second, I wrote a short story about forest animals because I thought it would be fun. I was probably more motivated to work hard and write a good story because it was fun to do. I can't imagine any prof. would give a high grade to any work that was truly not up to par.
Does Stephen King push peoples' buttons when he writes horror stories? Do you think Serrano might have been pushing peoples' button with "Piss Christ?"
Pushing peoples' buttons is what artists do.
Well, except that you get enigmatic responses when you want a straight answer to your point blank questions, it sounds like your teacher has given you an open door.
In that sense, you can do anything at all.
What else are you into? Cars, dirtbikes, skateboards, smoking, drinking, working saturdays at machine shops, fishing, just hanging with friends. Playing video games and watching TV, leaving the house a mess because it's a pain to clean up. Are your neighbors hoarders? Are people getting kicked out of their houses and leaving pianos on the street for free because they got sick?
Good luck, don't worry about failing. Worry about turning in something drab.
I sincerely apologize for the ease of misinterpretation of my last post.
When I stated that my instructor told me to take "photos that talk to me", I meant me as in myself... not the instructor.
The photos I took varied from still life, to landscape, to cityscape and we only completed two assignments so far DOF and light/shadow.
I appreciate everyone's advice.
Last edited by mids1999; 03-08-2012 at 12:13 AM. Click to view previous post history.
leve your comfort zone. try something more rsdical.