This thread is funny.
If you have a case of the *it's all been done*s then you need a break. Or a few rolls of film. Either way it's not going to make a lick of difference on how I shoot, nor the 1000's of other photographers who see new with every glance.
Maybe you should take up sport fishing -- wait they have all been caught. How about coins -- nope, all been collected. I know . . . star gazing -- but they have all been seen.
To worry about what every man has done before you is to remain still. I prefer to move on, and create an impression for the next guy to worry about.
Absolutely. "Timeless masterpieces" are essentially self-defining, if an artwork has a quality which speaks to viewers/audiences today, despite having been made 5, 50 or 500 years ago, then people will continue to respond to and enjoy it.
Originally Posted by GaussianNoise
In response to the previous thread, I would say worrying would be an inappropriate reaction and a waste of time. What is better is for artists to be aware that they need to move forward through the phase where they are pastiching other workers they admire and towards the point where they are speaking with their own voice. This is the most fun of all!
Now they are working on computers that will store every photograph that exists in the world. You want a picture of spear-fishing in Surinam? Push the right buttons and you'll see it in milliseconds.
You wished for it? Here it is!
"Digital Railroad unveils rights-managed photo feeds
Digital Railroad Inc., Scottsdale, Ariz., USA, demonstrated its rights-managed Photo Feeds at the DEMO@15 conference, providing individual photographers and photo agencies with the technology and distribution power of a major photo wire service. Digital Railroad is an application services company dedicated to solving critical technical problems facing the creators, sellers and buyers of digital imagery worldwide.
Photographers can automatically deliver timely, rights-managed images to individual buyers and blogs, exponentially promoting their new photos into the global marketplace, says the company. Subscribers receive thumbnails and metadata linked back to high-resolution images in member archives. The Digital Railroad member photo archive directory is available at www.digitalrailroad.net/corpsite/directory.html."
If you tone it down alot, it almost becomes bearable.
- Walker Evans on using color
OK, let's take an obvious (one of many) example: Yosemite. I simply love cameras and photos and do it for myself. I know I'll never be able to exceed the greats (or even equal them). But how, how, I ask, could I go to someplace like Yosemite and NOT take my cameras?
Originally Posted by Andy K
Oh, well, I'll leave the Zen issues to smarter people ...
If anyone truly feels it's all been done, and they are not worthy, please PM me and I'll send you an address so you can send me all of your cameras! :rolleyes:
I'll revisit something I've written about before...
At a Coffee House, I entered into a conversation with a student who had enrolled in Photography 101 at a local Community College. His class had been given the assignment, "Photograph Something Never Seen Before", and was wondering what to do.
I thought of exposing a sheet of paper to ambient light, developing it to max black and claiming it was a photograph of a black hole. Never seen before, not seen now ... but it HAD been photographed. Mean, wise-ass .. but it would make the assignment.
But then ...Why? The world is filled with images and scenes "never seen before" ... and which will never be seen again. Go outside and take a photograph. It is, for all practical intents and purposes, impossible to record another image exactly the same as the first. The sun will have travelled, changing the shadows, and the lighting balance. Clouds in the sky will have moved... Leaves on the trees will have been moved by the wind ... The film in the camera will not be the same piece of film - on another frame the characteristics are slightly `different'. I had remembered a number of times from the past, when I had photographed something ... a stump, with a flower growing out of it... and after processing and printing, tried to improve what I considered to be "flaws" - the light wasn't quite "right"... the camera angle was "off". Revisiting the site... I couldn't even come close to what I had envisioned in the first photograph ... over the time of a day or two ... "everything" had changed.
So, go to Yellowstone.. Discover Ansel Adam's tripod holes. Use the same camera he used, the same film, the same aperture and shutter speed, the same filter - whatever. It will NOT be "the same" as Adam's image. Similar, maybe - but certainly not the same.
Will your image be better? I have *no* idea, and I will submit that no one else will know, either. The (massive) problem here is one of aesthetics -- who decides what is "better"? - by comparison to what set of parameters? - and I'll be even more revolutionary: Why does "being better than ..." matter at all?
"Every photograph has already been taken?'.. Of course not - no more than every book has already been written; every symphony has already been composed; every chess game has already been played; every thought has already been thought ... need I go on?
Ed Sukach, FFP.
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erm... are you sure you're disagreeing with the right person David? I said just because it's been photographed before, doesn't mean it can't be photographed again.
Originally Posted by David Brown
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
Why paint, write, scuplt, act, or dance, its all been done before? Because its there. I take photographs because I choose to. For a more practical reason is that the photographs that I have taken are of people and places that no longer exist, and my style or sensibility is very much different than the generation of photographers that preceded me, or the photographers that will come after me.
I guess it depends upon the purpose of the photograph. If it is simply to do a theme, like landscapes, street reportage, whatever, to have a print of that genre to hang on the wall, then sure its all been done before many times.
Originally Posted by fred
However, if the photograph is intended to capture a slice of time and preserve that record of what was there at a given time, then photography can never become obsolete.
I was recently looking through an album of my car clubs past events, and it was interesting just to look at the regular cars parked in the street 20 years ago. Things like Pinto wagons with the fake wood on the sides parked behind a 71 Chevelle. As a representation of what existed, each of these photographs are unique and can't be done again.
No matter if there is a fancy digital retrival system for stock photos, new ones would always have to be added just to capture the essance of life at any given time. If we'd all quit photographing in 1980 "because its all been done before" we'd have no idea of what a street scene looked like in 1990.
Mea culpa! Actually, Andy, I was trying to agree with you. Apologies for my poor communication skills.
Originally Posted by Andy K
(I was also trying to lighten the mood a little. I often realize AFTER I've posted something that nobody can see my tongue's cheeky placement ... )
Just suppose that in some hypothetical future that every possible picture exists or can be created automatically upon request...
To operate such a system you'd need to go into this hypothetical system and search for the subject that you require. You'd then need to place them in the arrangement that you require, and select the camera postion, and virtual lens and focus to frame the image. You'd then need to select a virtual exposure, and virtual film repsonse.
Of course most people my choose to select "auto" for most of these, but then most people select automatic when they use a film camera.
Every possible picture does exist already in a theoretical sense. If you give a million monkeys a million disposable cameras you could collect every one. The problem of searching them to find the right one is EXACTLY the same as going out and shooting the image for yourself - apart from fun stuff of being out in the world.
Photography is totally about SELECTING an image, searching the world to find it, and finding the optimal version of a particular time and place. Place that all on a computer and it's really no easier than doing it for real...