I have been around a lot at the art scene, art academies. My impression is that photographers do not tend to talk about photography (outside any academic setting, and at least not with me...)
Just met two photographers at an photo-exhibition and and art lecture resp. I had long talks talks with them on business matters. That was very outstanding.
To me it thus would not make sense to move to a larger city to get opportunity for more talks.
The photographic community in my area is pretty strong. We have a camera club with over 300 people in it, and somehow they all manage to get good photos, but I think they usually travel for the best photos. In the area I live specifically, it's pretty visually dry. I'm always having trouble finding anything to photograph. Hence why I stick to portraiture for the most part.
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Originally Posted by Rick A
“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”
+2. But in terms of numbers of people in the area into photography, I would rate Melbourne as a great photographic city, especially going by the numbers we get at APUG activities.
I live in a far suburb of Denver and while my immediate surroundings are not photographic heaven, Colorado most certainly is. For photography, Denver itself has lots of cool festivals, great architecture, wealth, and a very seamy underside. Coming from Detroit, you would love the winters. Head up to the mountains and the nature photography possibilities are endless. I don't see many people shooting film, but talk to a lot of people who used to. The guys at the shops where I get my film say they have had pretty big increases in business in the last year or 2.
“You seek escape from pain. We seek the achievement of happiness. You exist for the sake of avoiding punishment. We exist for the sake of earning rewards. Threats will not make us function; fear is not our incentive. It is not death that we wish to avoid, but life that we wish to live.” - John Galt
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I find that the OP's question is actually very complex because it seems to me that, given the responses so far, the question relates to two very separate things:
Whether you live somewhere where there is a lively community of people engaging in photography (whatever form that may take)
Whether where you live is a place you find photographically inspiring.
For me personally, I have no need for 'like minded' souls being around me as I am focussed on my work and do not need to interact with other people engaged in photography. Therefore, it is of no importance to me if I live in a photographically active place. (I should qualify this by saying that I am very fortunate in that I can make the photographs that I want and visitors to my exhibitions seem to like what I do).
Whether you live in a place that you personally find photographically inspiring is quite a different question and depends upon what you want to photograph and also what is important to you in your own personal photographic terms.
There are folks who always need the 'new' to inspire them, there are folks for whom documenting the human condition is very important - of which, some can find this on their doorstep and others need to travel further afield, there are folks who can't see past the familiar and there are folks who, because their main inspiration is not what they photograph but how they make their images, need only walk out of their home and they can find things to photograph. What needs to be clearly stated is that ALL approaches are valid.
For me personally, what works for me is to keep walking the same streets day after day and (well on a good day at least) the change of light or the renovation of a much seen building or just being in a different mood enables me to find images I want to make. Of course this will not be the case for everyone because the most important thing with my photography is how I photograph something rather than what I photograph. However, as a further explanation, every one of the photographs on my website were made within a 15 minute bike-ride radius of my flat.
I look forward to reading other contributors' responses.
David, I have been photographing along the same stretch of creek for 35 years -- never tire of it. But it is 55 miles away, so I drive -- plus the 60 pounds of 8x10 equipment would mean I would need a trailer for the bicycle!
At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.
This is sadly true. I live in Arkansas. The southern US is a photographic vacuum.
Originally Posted by Gerald C Koch
Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Arts: Journalism - University of Arkansas 2014
Canon A-1, Canon AE-1, Canon Canonet GIII 17, Argus 21, Rolleicord Va, Mamiya RB67, Voigtländer Bessa
I live in Nottingham, UK. It is one of the most overpopulated areas with 'photographers' in it. Trust me when I say I envy you guys that never see another photographer. As a business it is incredibly hard to make ends meet with all the 'competition'.
I'm lucky. I live in a place I find photographically inspiring... and on my walks I often encounter others taking photos. Photography is not really a social thing for me, but sometimes we say "hi" and chat a bit. I know there is a local photography club and a darkroom for rent in the nearby city, but I'm not involved in those.
I've never encountered any of the negative things I've read about here at APUG. Quite often people ask about my camera, especially if I'm carrying an old folder or something more unique like one of my pinhole cameras. Nobody has ever been anything but friendly. Sometimes they laugh about my "old school" equipment, but inevitably they say something like "that's cool" or "that looks like fun". I've been told by quite a few people that they are thinking about using film soon too. Sometimes I get a bit of a chuckle when someone carrying a $1000+ DSLR seems to be eyeing my F3 enviously.
On world pinhole day, I was with my daughter outside a local museum with my 8x10 pinhole box camera on a tripod, and tourists came out of the museum and wanted to get pictures of themselves standing next to my camera!
Maybe much of my experience is just because you have to get out and walk to get to the places I go, so maybe I'm more likely to meet like-minded friendly people.
Anyway to finish answering the OP question, yes I live in a beautiful place and if anything my only regret is that it has a huge variety of moods and atmosphere that I often don't catch as well as I'd like to.
Last edited by NedL; 08-07-2013 at 07:43 PM. Click to view previous post history.