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  1. #31
    cliveh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NedL View Post
    This.

    I suppose there have been many discussions on APUG about the intention of a photographer vs. a photograph's intrinsic value as an isolated object. I think about this often.

    I'd take this even further. For me, the most important thing is my own intention, and how well I achieve it. Usually I'm disappointed to some extent since getting to 100% is something like reaching perfection and probably not attainable. But the success or failure of my photograph is about how close I got to what I intended the picture to be. If a viewer perceives or feels or "gets" some of my intention, then that's another kind of success. Sometimes people notice or like my photos for other reasons, and that's nice but honestly I don't really care that much. I think of this as a luxury and benefit of photography being a hobby and not a profession for me.

    So here's a sort of "tree falling in the woods" example: On flickr there is a group called "minimal landscapes, take the long view" which I particularly like. I would never consider submitting a photo that I did not make specifically with the intention of creating that style of photograph. For me this intention implies other things, like searching for the minimalist aspect of a scene that captures some essential quality of it. Many other people dig through their images and then edit them to match the style of the group. For me this distinction is important. It's the distinction between the intent of the photographer vs. the image in isolation, without context as a separate object.
    Another example of this is that in my flickr photostream, several of the pictures I'm the most happy and satisfied with have some of the fewest views. I'm happy because the picture came out to be what I wanted it to be; it doesn't matter if that doesn't grab the attention of "flickr viewers" ( notice if I was a professional, this kind of thinking would fail! )

    I suspect ( but don't really know ) that photographers and all artists tend to break into groups this way too. Probably for some, the goal is to produce a final result that has intrinsic value in isolation, while for others conveying and carrying some point ( mood, emotion, feeling, message, way of seeing something, etc etc ) is the point and the final picture has little value without that context. Probably we all want some of each, and it's not so black and white.

    Anyway, sorry I didn't mean to sidetrack the discussion to a different topic. I don't really know what is "important", but I suspect the motive of the photographer probably matters to the question.
    You have not sidetracked the discussion, but enriched it. Thank you.

    “The contemplation of things as they are, without error or confusion, without substitution or imposture, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of invention”

    Francis Bacon

  2. #32

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    A brain, a heart, and courage.

    (Wait! Wasn't that a movie ...?)

  3. #33

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    The way the question is worded, the answer could as well be "a camera, film, and chemicals".

  4. #34
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Say what?

    You mean simply respond to what you're seeing and actually "take the friggin photo?"

    But, but... without hours and hours of interminable navel-gazing analysis? Analysis until you've succeeded in eliminating any sense of emotional impact from your perfect compositions? Until they become nothing more than volume-level cookie-cutter clinical exercises in narcissism?

    Shirley you're joking...



    Ken
    "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

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by E. von Hoegh View Post
    The way the question is worded, the answer could as well be "a camera, film, and chemicals".
    I hinted at this back in my post #19, but worded a response for three "type" of reasons that I think the OP was obviously in search of....

  6. #36
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Intentional obfuscation is so popular among the elite that in some disciplines contests are waged to discover who is best at it. And Nature always exacts her price from the guilty, even if those who confer tenure don't. Damn that pesky Second Law... although said Law does allow for far more powerful photographs.

    Oh dear... now I have become my enemy...

    Ken
    "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

  7. #37

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    Good grief. Sometimes instantaneous decisions must be made before clicking the shutter. Other times much thought is required. There's more than one type of photography... ya' know?

  8. #38
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    I once heard Ansel Adams quoted as saying that "a photographers most important tool is his waste basket". This from someone who said he had heard it at an AA workshop - I don't think it's urban legend.

  9. #39
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmschnute View Post
    I once heard Ansel Adams quoted as saying that "a photographers most important tool is his waste basket". This from someone who said he had heard it at an AA workshop - I don't think it's urban legend.
    That's where a friend of ours got his Ansel Adams print.

  10. #40
    Bill Burk's Avatar
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    I want to share a phrase I learned from tgtaylor at LFF.

    "A little lagniappe."

    It was in a post about black borders. But I took the word to heart and apply it when contemplating landscapes.

    For example, in a scene from the John Muir Trail where I explored a depression of boulders, in one shot I turned the camera to compose a shot including a shrub on the other side of a hill.

    Guess I'll have to print this one to show you what I mean.



 

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