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  1. #41
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    Or maybe there's a simpler answer like not everyone is an artist. Sobering. Maybe a little harsh. But that's the way it is.
    Or more likely, many people are infrequently artistic.

    I think everyone has some artistic capabilities - they just don't manifest themselves very often.
    Matt

    “Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”

    Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2

  2. #42

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    I think everyone is born with artistic capability but it's something that needs to be cultivated in order to grow into something bigger. Unfortunately many people either a. are not in the correct environment to hone that skill or b. fall into that trap of "oh i suck, time to quit."

    With that said, it seems like you're struggling to find inspiration because where you live and what you see isn't what you want to photograph correct? I can understand this to a degree because I will see compelling images from Europe, the Middle East, Asia, etc and I will want to go there to photograph in a similar style. But then a voice in the back of my head says "no, those are THEIR photographs. Not yours."

    Then I realize that drawing inspiration from the work of other photographers is definitely a good thing, but trying to duplicate is not really the best method to cultivate artistic creativity. My advice would be to not look at other artists work and think "that's what I want to shoot," because when you go out you will only look for similar scenes. Keep an open mind and shoot lots of different things, you never know when the next photograph is going to drastically change your style and preference. And that's something you may have missed with your previous (for a lack of a better term) tunnel vision.

    Go out and shoot! The world is an amazing place

  3. #43

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    I don't know, guys. Maybe it's because I come from a music background (where it is sometimes a little more obvious when someone just doesn't "have it" no matter how much analysis, practice and effort they put it), but while it is perhaps slightly too strongly worded to say not everyone is an artist, it's not far off. Certainly we can at least apply it to individual branches - ie not everyone is a photographer. Someone might love photography, but ultimately not be much of a photographer no matter how hard he/she bangs his/her head against the wall (or doesn't).

    In the end a very small proportion of people practicing art are great artists. When someone tries to be way overly analytical about why it isn't working, trying to figure out how to discover his artistic subject, voice etc, some additional - even tougher - questions may be in order. We need to ask ourselves what our goals are. Do I have the talent to truly take this as far as I want it to go? Or should I just try to enjoy it as a hobby, do the best I can, maybe reassess at some point, but enjoy it.

    Being an artist and a craftsman is hard work regardless of how much talent or vision someone has, but the hard work will take different people to different levels (as it does in music, athletics etc). So with all due respect I find it pretty simplistic when people suggest the answers to the creative problem expressed here lie with using less equipment, looking at less art, freeing yourself etc.

    This will likely offend and piss off a lot of people, but that's art.

  4. #44
    Ken Nadvornick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    This will likely offend and piss off a lot of people...
    Good for you. You have just enumerated the normal distribution (bell curve) argument. Most people in society won't touch that argument with a ten-foot pole. At least in public and on the record. Why? Because it says that all men are NOT created equal. And that's a core fact that we all too often choose to ignore. Even though we all secretly know it to be true.

    Even if it's only true for the other guy...



    Ken
    "They are the proof that something was there and no longer is. Like a stain. And the stillness of them is boggling. You can turn away but when you come back they’ll still be there looking at you."

    — Diane Arbus, March 15, 1971, in response to a request for a brief statement about photographs

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I don't know, guys. Maybe it's because I come from a music background (where it is sometimes a little more obvious when someone just doesn't "have it" no matter how much analysis, practice and effort they put it), but while it is perhaps slightly too strongly worded to say not everyone is an artist, it's not far off. Certainly we can at least apply it to individual branches - ie not everyone is a photographer. Someone might love photography, but ultimately not be much of a photographer no matter how hard he/she bangs his/her head against the wall (or doesn't).

    In the end a very small proportion of people practicing art are great artists. When someone tries to be way overly analytical about why it isn't working, trying to figure out how to discover his artistic subject, voice etc, some additional - even tougher - questions may be in order. We need to ask ourselves what our goals are. Do I have the talent to truly take this as far as I want it to go? Or should I just try to enjoy it as a hobby, do the best I can, maybe reassess at some point, but enjoy it.

    Being an artist and a craftsman is hard work regardless of how much talent or vision someone has, but the hard work will take different people to different levels (as it does in music, athletics etc). So with all due respect I find it pretty simplistic when people suggest the answers to the creative problem expressed here lie with using less equipment, looking at less art, freeing yourself etc.

    This will likely offend and piss off a lot of people, but that's art.
    I agree about music - which works best when it isn't analytical (classical and some jazz aside). It can be more difficult in art however to recognise the *showings* of 'greatness' I think (maybe we shouldn't use that word). There are plenty of examples of precocious upstarts who were shot down in the beginning - whether it be actors, painters, photographers - who went on to have success. This is just my view of the myths of genius and greatness. We all start out with an idea of a shortcut to success, and maybe, I'm searching for a philosophical magic bullet. I'll admit I'm lazy.

    Personally, I'd be quite happy if I only ever had a small following - so long as they have taste!

    Some creative types simply don't have taste, visual taste, and are ignorant or disinterested in the work of others and the broader arts. They might have the 'urge to create', they might be productive, but I think everyone agrees that's not enough. You can make a prediction about potential here I think, mostly based on that personality type - the comfort they find in simple productivity and validation - it really is like a child with crayons. I won't mention her name, but there is a popular photographer on Flickr, whose work still has the same tremendous following, but hasn't matured at all in the 4 years since I left that website. It's quite odd really, considering she clearly did have a natural artistic soul and showed promise to begin with. It's also strange to recognise that I loved a few photographers on Flickr when I started out, but now see much of it as naive, visually illiterate even, as my tastes and knowledge of the art have developed. Some people clearly don't move beyond 'the Flickr stage', shall we call it. They will never be serious photographic artists.

    I'll say that I've had encouragement from talented artists, but I still think "what do they know?". Because they've only seen what I've done, rather than what I *think* I'm capable of! I won't say that mentality separates the creatives from the artists, but I am surprised how many don't harbour that need to keep pushing to new heights. But desperation can set in when the summit is always obscured by fog, and sometimes you have no choice but to set up camp for a while! That's where I'm at. The clear headed comments here have helped me recognise this. I'll probably head back to basecamp if it doesn't clear, but I'll say I have seen glimpses, which is why I keep going.

    Please watch this to understand.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU2ftCitvyQ

    (and oh, it's Yosemite in the video too! Quite aptly )
    Last edited by batwister; 03-11-2013 at 04:17 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde

  6. #46
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Very wise advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick A View Post
    It is okay to occasionally vue other artists work to get "inspiration" but you really need to dig deep into yourself for what you want to portray to others through your work.
    It's one of the toughest thing for me to do as an artist. Finding my own voice. But the key is to keep on shooting.
    "Photography, like surfing, is an infinite process, a constantly evolving exploration of life."
    Aaron Chang

  7. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mainecoonmaniac View Post
    It's one of the toughest thing for me to do as an artist. Finding my own voice. But the key is to keep on shooting.

    ( i obviously added the emphasis )

    EXACTLY !
    silver magnets, trickle tanks sold
    artwork often times sold for charity
    PM me for details

  8. #48
    ParkerSmithPhoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I don't know, guys. Maybe it's because I come from a music background (where it is sometimes a little more obvious when someone just doesn't "have it" no matter how much analysis, practice and effort they put it), but while it is perhaps slightly too strongly worded to say not everyone is an artist, it's not far off. Certainly we can at least apply it to individual branches - ie not everyone is a photographer. Someone might love photography, but ultimately not be much of a photographer no matter how hard he/she bangs his/her head against the wall (or doesn't).

    In the end a very small proportion of people practicing art are great artists. When someone tries to be way overly analytical about why it isn't working, trying to figure out how to discover his artistic subject, voice etc, some additional - even tougher - questions may be in order. We need to ask ourselves what our goals are. Do I have the talent to truly take this as far as I want it to go? Or should I just try to enjoy it as a hobby, do the best I can, maybe reassess at some point, but enjoy it.

    Being an artist and a craftsman is hard work regardless of how much talent or vision someone has, but the hard work will take different people to different levels (as it does in music, athletics etc). So with all due respect I find it pretty simplistic when people suggest the answers to the creative problem expressed here lie with using less equipment, looking at less art, freeing yourself etc.

    This will likely offend and piss off a lot of people, but that's art.
    This is all too true.

    When you watch the American Idol top ten, you can already pick out the top three, because everyone else looks like a chump by comparison. Sad, but true.

    Back in college, I studied classical guitar and briefly flirted with the idea of becoming a music major. But a quick glance at my classmates and an honest, sober assessment of my skills told me this was not to be. Could I have been as good a player as them? Maybe. (One of them now has seven records and regularly plays at Carnegie Hall). Did I have the love and willpower to work as hard as it would take? Probably not. I could impress people who knew little about classical guitar, but not anyone who had more than a passing familiarity with the instrument.

    As Dr. Evil would say: Just one calorie, not evil enough.

    Not everyone can be Mozart, Bach, or Chopin. For every one of them there are countless millions of others who will be forgotten. Sad, but true. We shouldn't kid ourselves.
    Parker Smith Photography, Inc.
    Atlanta, GA

    Commercial & Fine Art Photography
    Portrait Photography

  9. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael R 1974 View Post
    I don't know, guys. Maybe it's because I come from a music background (where it is sometimes a little more obvious when someone just doesn't "have it" no matter how much analysis, practice and effort they put it), but while it is perhaps slightly too strongly worded to say not everyone is an artist, it's not far off. Certainly we can at least apply it to individual branches - ie not everyone is a photographer. Someone might love photography, but ultimately not be much of a photographer no matter how hard he/she bangs his/her head against the wall (or doesn't).
    I come from a music background too, and I think it's wrong in that context too. IMHO, this line of thinking confuses "being an artist/musician" with "being a *really* *good* artist/musician", and I think it's actually a harmful confusion that prevents a lot of people from finding things that they and an artform can do for (or to) each other.

    -NT
    Nathan Tenny
    San Diego, CA, USA

    The lady of the house has to be a pretty swell sort of person to put up with the annoyance of a photographer.
    -The Little Technical Library, _Developing, Printing, And Enlarging_

  10. #50
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Molli...I switched from writing to photography and I just don't feel it in the same way at all. I'm not making any connections whatsoever. I went from a very intimate, very raw medium to one that feels sterile by comparison. So, yes, any help in getting my head out of the way and my heart into the game is appreciated tremendously.
    Why not do a photo essay where you can combine both photos and text into a story book. Pick a subject that has deep meaning to your soul and let go.

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