Do you find photography therapeutic?
I have a busy life and it seems that I have very little time to do photography anymore. I remember every time I come back from a trip shooting, I feel relaxed and have a sense of purpose. During times when I can't leave for a trip, I try to have some darkroom time. I made a couple of prints in the darkroom this holiday weekend and it was a totally therapeutic. I find it more therapeutic than shooting digitally. The reason for me is that the anticipating the potential of the latent images is the fun part. The other fun part is going into the darkroom to coax beauty from a negative on to a wet print. The final reward is holding a dry print in my hand. I'm lucky to have a girl friend that encourage me to play with my cameras and playing in the darkroom.
“We are buried beneath the weight of information, which is being confused with knowledge; quantity is being confused with abundance and wealth with happiness.
We are monkeys with money and guns.”
― Tom Waits
Better than drugs.
Spent the day hiking up Redwood Creek (Redwood Nat. Park) with my boys today -- photographing with the Rolleiflex. Very fun and relaxing. Now I have 4 rolls of film in front of me -- hopefully I'll get to them this week.
Last edited by Vaughn; 09-04-2012 at 01:02 AM. Click to view previous post history.
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
Honestly I usually find it frustrating, rarely fulfilling, and exhausting.
I'm not as good, thoughtful, or experienced as I want to be, and I feel selfish and nepotistic whenever I share pictures.
..Yet at the same time, I can't imagine what it would be like being into something else like cars or guns, or whatever it is other people are really into.
Actually getting out and about taking the photographs is one thing so long as I can find a place away from the crowds. But what I do find theraputic is being in the darkroom. There I can settle down to a slower pace of life and whilst I am a bit erratic and rush things elsewhere, once in the darkroom, life slows down and I can relax.
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Terribly theraputic. It's the main reason I practice it.
I'm not an artist. Nor do I play one on TV. I do this because it's like slamming on the brakes after going 1,000 miles-per-hour every day at work. I do it because it lets me concentrate on only one thing at a time. Not on ten things at a time, each of which is the top priority. And all of which must be done by tomorrow, or the world will no doubt come to an end. It's a sanity check.
My favorite type of photography is large format 8x10. And my favorite time is the part where I walk around with no camera at all just looking at things. I like quietly walking around looking at things. And I like walking around alone so I don't have to constantly justify and explain what I am looking at, or why.
If I see something sufficiently interesting to me, I'll return with the camera. Then it's off to a very quiet darkroom. I like the smell of an acid fixer. I mix up Kodak F5 for film, even though the hardening is no longer really required. But for me the smell is required. That's reason enough.
I have a Versalab print washer. It quietly gurgles. I love that sound. It calms me down. So does the distinctive clicking of the Intellifaucet valves in the background. So does the clinking of stainless film steel hangers in stainless steel tanks. And the deep red LED safelight. I have a Duplex, but the deep red is old school. And I like that. I also wear an apron. An "Oriental Papers" apron. Photoshop doesn't require an apron. Or a towel to dry your hands. I really, really like that.
The main reason I have never purchased or even once used a digital camera is that there are no software plug-ins for any of the above analog experiences. Mercifully, there are no apps for that...
"When making a portrait, my approach is quite the same as when I am portraying a rock. I do not wish to impose my personality upon the sitter, but, keeping myself open to receive reactions from his own special ego, record this with nothing added: except of course when I am working professionally, when money enters in,—then for a price, I become a liar..."
— Edward Weston, Daybooks, Vol. II, February 2, 1932
Absolutely. Stepping out into nature with my Rollei and tripod and shooting some chromes always leaves me relaxed.
After a busy day at work I do very often go to a nearby park/viewpoint which is a popular place for people to hang out. Shoot a roll or two during 2-3 hours (we have no kids), street style, then I go home with a clear head filled with peace to prepare some food and eat and spend the rest of the evening with my lil lady (when she's in the mood for it she joins me, and sometimes shoots too...).
Last edited by Felinik; 09-04-2012 at 05:30 AM. Click to view previous post history.
Absolutely! Shooting, developing and printing require my total focus... the rest of the world might as well not exist. It frees the mind of all its clutter.
Therapeutic is a difficult word. I don't find it relaxing. Actually quite frustrating at times, since my makeshift darkroom at the moment is a mess. The studio is a mess. A random half of my photo gear is still packed away since moving houses this summer. But this weekend, when I framed a beautiful lith print I developed some years ago, I just wanted more of them. The forager part of my brain tells the rest of me to go get some more. That is what keeps me going.