Hmmm. The harder I work, the luckier I get.
“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
Well, from the horses mouth:
From David Byrne article in today's Guardian - http://www.theguardian.com/commentis...reative-talent
The idea of making an ongoing creative life – whether as a writer, an artist, a filmmaker or a musician – is difficult unless one gets a foothold on the ladder, as I was lucky enough to do. I say "lucky" because I have no illusions that talent is enough; there are plenty of talented folks out there who never get the break they deserve.
'Cows are very fond of being photographed, and, unlike architecture, don't move.' - Oscar Wilde
I think the main problem is that photography as practiced by the younger generation is almost entirely autobiographical. They've been raised to think exclusively about themselves and their photographs reflect that. Look at the rise of the "selfie" if you need any evidence to this point.
The thing I love most about photography is that, while working, I'm thinking intensely about the subject. It's a meditation, not an introspection.
You ask young photographers "what this picture about?" and count how many times the answer starts with "I."
"I was feeling this...."
Actually not bitter or emotional at all. I've been really lucky all my life.
Originally Posted by batwister
And not really about photography per se either.
Its just, after sixty years on the planet, I've come to some conclusions or thesis that its maybe all about luck/destiny/good fortune and very little about the self proclaimed "hard work".
Obviously you have to work at whatever you do, BUT some of this good fortune seems far too pre determined to me to be random.
And I'm not just talking about winning the ovarian lottery, and being born to wealth or even middle class, I'm more talking about the fact that some people just seem to get breaks and struck by the good kind of lightning while others toil in obscurity.
That's not saying that getting all the breaks makes you more happy than people who don't, it's just an observation from living a while and observing and questioning.
It sort of evolved with the political climate and the winners and losers, proclaimed in daily life. The 99 vs 1 percent. The self congratulatory position of people who "made it". The concepts of unfettered capitalism vs socialism. The happiness quotient of other countries who are socialistic being far above countries constantly trying to be rich and or famous.
As Warren Buffett states, that he is rich because he is extremely lucky. He was born with a head for numbers and nothing he did led to it. Just his talent and the drive he was born with, to manipulate them.
Not a political rant, just observations.
Last edited by blansky; 10-09-2013 at 06:14 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
snip snip snip snip snip
Originally Posted by blansky
that is where YMMV come into play ..
i think it's also called " $hit happens" ?
you can be the best of anything, and unless
"it' happens you'll just be what you are ...
nothing more, nothing less ..
as he said
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I know I've posted this exact quote on this very forum before, but it bears repeating. It's a Kurt Vonnegut quote: "Go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."
Originally Posted by batwister
In short, it doesn't matter if you're talented or not, or if you're a good salesman or not. Make photos because it's something you enjoy doing, even if nobody else likes your work. You've created something.
Shoot more film.
There are eight ways to put a slide into a projector tray. Seven of them are wrong.
Thanks ME Super. It pays to read that quote every now and then.
Originally Posted by ME Super
Two egomaniac/narcissistic things that get my goat: a) people whose signature includes a list of the equipment they own (this on another forum but no doubt I'll upset someone here!) and b) declarations/bragging of how much material or how many 'bricks' of film someone has in their freezer (so you've spent some money, so what?)
Dented Halina Paulette, Photax-Paragon 135mm lens, three outdated rolls of Boots Colourslide 2 in the freezer.
I am from that generation.
Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto
I know a couple of girls in person, who are more or less like this on flickr.
I would attribute it to the feedback effect you get. Put something, get lots of "nice" comments and "likes", "faves" et al. Photography becomes sort of "shooting for others". And the circle feeds itself, leading into more of this work and feeding the ego as well.
Agreed on the arts quote. It is becoming one of the insanity asylums I've got to rest my mind.
Firstly, what's wrong with introspection? Meditation, in the buddhist tradition at least, is introspection.
Originally Posted by ParkerSmithPhoto
I guess I'm showing my generation, or maybe just a misunderstanding of what you're implying, but: Photography is partially autobiographical. I can paint a place I've never been, I can sing a song about a life I've never lived, but to photograph a landscape, I have to go there. To take a portrait, I have to interact with the subject. From the focal length and it's effects on features, to the lighting, development choices, to whether the subject is at ease or tense, are all shaped (some more than others) by me. How do you seperate "personal style" from autobiographical influences?
You use Selfies, the most extreme of autobiographical photos, to illustrate your point. But the selfie isn't new, it's just a one person job now. Before digital cameras allowed us to throw away a half dozen photos getting it right, how many times did a stranger on vacation ask you to take their photo? It still happens to me regularly (but I live in a town frequented by tourists). What's the difference between a selfie and someone asking you to take their photo so they can remember their trip? Granted, 10 years ago, not many people asked me to take a picture of their meal (but I did have an old couple ask me to take their photo in a fancy italian restaurant recently, so that is kind of similar). Again, the zero-cost of taking photos means we (all ages) take pictures of things we wouldn't have considered worth it before.
I also think the use of selfies is a poor example because it doesn't fall under the categroy of 'art' to me, or any of my friends. It is a snapshot. A pictoral journal entry. No more fine-art than a written journal entry is a short story. When I look at the photographs taken and intended as 'art' by people my age, I see art. I see personal styles. I don't see direct autobiographical journal entries.
So my question to you is: When you look at the photos of the younger generation: are you looking at their art, or their journals?