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  1. #21
    Poisson Du Jour's Avatar
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    Your best work will be created when you have mastered your own particular style and the technical / photographic nuances that make the images you create so special.
    I think I reached this point, in 35mm, around 12 years ago, when I was ... let me see ... 52 minus 12 equals... 40! Yes! With the 6x7 format, the best images came about a year after I migrated to it, and they are still coming. That would be... hmmm, 52 minus two = ... 50! So around my 50th birthday things got quite thrilling staring watery-eyed at glowing Velvia trannies on the lightbox. Oh... I still live for that moment when the best works, often requiring the best of efforts and best of planning, come to life with the flick of a switch.
    .::Gary Rowan Higgins

    A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
    —Anon.






  2. #22
    hdeyong's Avatar
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    After 25 years with film, I spent about 6 years, starting at age 52 in di""""l. Having now switched back, it's like starting over to a degree. New ideas, more enthusiasm, more desire to get out there and take pictures. I hope with this attitude, I'm yet to do my best.

  3. #23
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    Hey, on further reflection of this topic, if I knew at what age I have"produced my best work", I would have given up photography by now
    Ben

  4. #24
    blansky's Avatar
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    And adding to the question is when do the ARTISTS think they do/did their best work, which can differ from the opinions of critics and others.
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

  5. #25
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    As long as you are eager to explore, you will be able to make great pictures.
    - You will develop when you become an analog photographer / Exposed Material / Monochromes

  6. #26
    Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Anybody notice the metric that was used? Auction prices? That is a measure of what two rich men will pay for something, but is that a measure of "peak creativity?"

    Here, we pursue photography. At what point do we say we've peaked? The obvious tail-end point is when we no longer can photograph. I've noticed that a number of photographers have stopped after having vision problems. Others just keep going, and there are a few blind photographers. One guy uses a meter modified for Braille (I asked him). So if a photographer can't use the camera, or direct its use, then that's another end point for photography. Quite a bit of great photography happens by sheer chance, like Adams' "Moonrise." Some photographers embrace the "snapshot" ethic, so it's impossible to tell if there ever is a peak, just a drop-off in output.

    When did Vivian Maier peak? She's probably closest to the average photographer around here. Going around, quietly and privately exposing film, and then ratting it away. We know that at some point she was too old to go out and photograph. That's the tail end of her productivity. But where's the peak? How about Gary Winogrand? Or Eggleston?

    There's really two peaks for a photographer: creativity and productivity. When someone stops exposing film and making prints, then their productivity is ended. The other peak is the creative cycle, but that's a bit different. People fall into ruts, and sometimes do what they've done before because that's what they're "known for." Jerry Uelsmann said in an interview, "What am I supposed to do now, street photography?" The real peak of creativity is when you don't know what comes next! If every print you see is something else, jumping here and jumping there, no direction, whatever idea zips through the mind, then there's no peak. That's where exhibitors go wrong, when they ask a photographer to have a direction. At that point, the photographer is asked to go and be in a rut. The proper exhibition should actually keep the viewers on their mental toes.

  7. #27

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    Good point about productivity vs creativity. Where does that leave Flickr photographers?

    Also, when do war photographers peak? During the 'best' wars? They can't even get their photographs published today.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

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