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  1. #1

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    Personal style limiting factor

    For some time bothering me question whether the personal style of photography can be a limiting factor.Sometimes you don't photograph because of moral or ethical principles and that is OK.Do you sometimes not record a shot because it does not fit your style?What would you choose:a good photograph that doesn't fit your style or not to take photo (assuming that will be published)?
    Franol

  2. #2

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    THAT goes back to why you picked photography for your hobby/occupation.

    At beginning, most photographers aim to make good photographs. The he or she starts to develop a vision and a "thing" he/she wants to express through your photographs. At that stage, making a good photograph isn't good enough. It has to convey an opinion that's unique to the photographer. Naturally, if the subject cannot convey that opinion, although it may be a good photograph, it is not an interest to that photographer.

    On the other hand, if you want to sell your photograph and it is a good photograph, you might just want to take it and make money out of it.

    It all depends.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
    Thomas Bertilsson's Avatar
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    I think it has to do with what you're trying to accomplish. Is your intent to make photographs that displays your work as a series, or are you simply interested in something that looks interesting? Do you work based on projects? Or do you take pictures because you think it's so much fun?

    Why do you practice photography?

    I try to work with a few projects of things. So I don't lift my camera unless there's something that fits those projects. But then there's the happy snapshooting part of me where if I see something cool, I feel like I HAVE TO photograph it. The sad truth is, though, that most of those in the latter snapshooting category never get printed. I would wager 99% of them don't. But perhaps it's good practice, I don't know.
    Definitely, however, I do try to work with a purpose, limiting myself to what I take pictures of, in order to be able to give each picture more attention, to fully realize the idea I had at the point of taking the picture, to see it through, all the way to the end of the process with at least a work print to decide whether it's worth pursuing further or not. That way I don't get so backlogged with what I want to print.

    I hope that helps.
    "Often moments come looking for us". - Robert Frank

    "Make good art!" - Neil Gaiman

    "...the heart and mind are the true lens of the camera". - Yousuf Karsh

  4. #4
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    I don't often shoot just because it's interesting, I have a number of ongoing projects some dating back to 1986 and these get priority.

    However if it's something that catches my eye and it sparks something subconscious I may well shoot and after a time a few of these images may become the seeds of a new project.

    Ian

  5. #5
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I agree with Thomas - it's contextual. If I'm shooting a purposeful project, I'm highly unlikely to take a shot of anything that doesn't fit the project. But if for example, I'm on vacation and traveling with my camera, then just about anything I come across that's graphically interesting is fair game. But even then, there's still an internal editing process as to what I will or won't photograph, because I'm looking for certain things. You just get in a certain head-space to look for certain kinds of things to the exclusion of others - abstracts, details, colors, textures, people, events, etc., and anything outside of that you either ignore or it breaks your train of thought. Today I might be looking to shoot color night photos, and tomorrow, I'm shooting people. Or it could be that I'm photographing a place, and then anything in that place that expresses the spirit of the place is fair game.

  6. #6
    winger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANOL View Post
    For some time bothering me question whether the personal style of photography can be a limiting factor.Sometimes you don't photograph because of moral or ethical principles and that is OK.Do you sometimes not record a shot because it does not fit your style?What would you choose:a good photograph that doesn't fit your style or not to take photo (assuming that will be published)?
    IMO - What you choose to photograph IS part of your style. I've also seen that a photographer's style is seen by others more readily than by the photographer themselves (not always, but it seems to be common). What you shoot and how you present it are your style - it obviously has to start with what makes you see something and click that shutter. If you see something that isn't your style, are you even going to notice it? If you're working for pay, you would presumably put your eye/brain connection into the mode of looking for images that fit the contract - not your style because you're working for someone else and sorta borrowing their aesthetic and style.

  7. #7

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    Assuming that a person's style is somehow immutable and unchanging is a false assumption. Would Edward Weston have photographed his peppers if he had followed this constraint? If a particular subject catches one's eye then there must be a reason that it does. I personally always make a photograph when this cirsumstance occurs. I may not immediately make a print but the image is there for the future. The only exception would be those images that are so cliche that doing them again would be meaningless. So I would say, when in doubt shoot. I periodically review my negatives to find new images. As I have said before I don't think that any photographer at the end of his life says that he regretted taking too many photographs.
    A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.

    ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  8. #8
    Leigh B's Avatar
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    I tend to think more in terms of projects than 'style'. At any particular time I'm usually working on many different projects.

    For example, I currently have open projects on:
    Trains, concentrating on engines (locomotives) rather than complete trains.
    Lighthouses (not many around here).
    Churches (many around here).
    Amusement parks and patrons thereof.
    Bridges (old).
    Urban archaeology/decay.

    If I encounter a good shot that doesn't fall in a current project, I'll still shoot it and file it for future use.

    I would never pass up a good shot unless there was a compelling reason to do so, like some dude's shotgun.

    - Leigh
    “Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something.” - Plato

  9. #9
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leigh B View Post
    I tend to think more in terms of projects than 'style'. At any particular time I'm usually working on many different projects.
    Style and approach changes with time, as may the way you print the images. Even the masters have that shift over time and Ansel Adams is a good example.

    Ian

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by FRANOL View Post
    For some time bothering me question whether the personal style of photography can be a limiting factor.Sometimes you don't photograph because of moral or ethical principles and that is OK.Do you sometimes not record a shot because it does not fit your style?What would you choose:a good photograph that doesn't fit your style or not to take photo (assuming that will be published)?
    it is easy to photograph things in your comfort zone.
    when you start doing things that are difficult for you as a person
    that is how you can grow as a photographer and as a person.

    who knows, maybe you will find a project in something that terrifies you ...
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

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