As they say about fishing-"It's not about the fish...it's about the fishing".
Can be taken at least two ways:
You just never catch any fish and are a lousy fisherman
It's just getting out there and enjoying yourself.
I prefer number two-the same with photography.For me,a bad day may lead to a better
one next time out.
Just my 2 cents.
"An object never performs the same function as its name or its image"-Rene Magritte
"An image of a dog does not bite"-William James applied to photography
Overheard on the bank of a stream...
Typical dumb question:
Doofus: What are you doing?
D: Oh, yeah? Where are the fish you've caught? (complete with terminally irritating smirk).
F: I said I was fishing. I didn't say anything about "Catching".
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Being in art school, I have a different take on the phrase "it's all about the final image." I consider myself a Modernist in my aproach to art, so I consider only the aesthetics of the final print as the most important part of the photograph. Classmates of mine are post-modern in their art, so the print is only the means to an end in order to tell the audience a message. Their photographs are about the subjects, mine are the subject.
As an amateur/hobby photographer I consider myself very fortunate in this aspect.
There is absolutely no pressure on me to produce anything, so I do as I feel. For me, it is a question of the 'adventure' and 'learning' gained through the process and not the end result. My recent adventures with FP4 and Rodinal are silent witness to this; I have nothing to gain from messing around with this stuff, I do it because I find the process challenging. I suppose it is a question of setting a goal for myself and seeing if I can reach it. In fact, my recent experiments had little to do with printing at all! I just wanted to see if I could achieve useable negatives.
That said, however, I have to admit that I'm surprised and humbled when someone praises my prints. Last week we had some friends over for dinner and my wife wanted me to show our guests some prints. I was very reluctant to bring any out (it makes me very uncomfortable to have people look at my prints) but in the end I did and was quite surprised by the favourable comments. In this case, then, I suppose that it was about the image insofar as I managed to communicate a message to an audience.
Just my $0.02.
Max Power, he's the man who's name you'd love to touch! But you mustn't touch! His name sounds good in your ear, but when you say it, you mustn't fear! 'Cause his name can be said by anyone!
Ed I love it and soooo true
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
Jim I'm with you on the second reason. I suspect the difference between fishing and photography is that my family don't expect me to have anything to show from fishing, except for either a suntan or the flu
There again my family think I've gone back to string and a bent pin as I've moth-balled my F100 (might even sell it off soon) and have been shooting with a Fully Manual Pentax clone for the last few weeks. Photography has never been as much fun but I could do with a nice sharp Ashi 50mm lens.
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If all of the enjoyment to be had from a photograph was what was going on inside of the photographer's head, or, even worse, the intricacies of the process used to create the photograph, or, even worse, what was going on in the photographer's head during the execution of the intricacies of the process, then photography would be pretty damn boring.
"I am an anarchist." - HCB
"I wanna be anarchist." - JR
Far from true for me
The whole experience of getting out and finding something that stimulates me to take the effort to find the very best camera location to set up my tripod and choosing the most appropriate lens focal length to render the the size relationships of objects in space and the filter choice to vary tonality are the the heart of the creative process for me. I tend to intellectualize a great deal in my prhotography. When printing I first establish the correct overall contrast and I do not do a great deal of dodging or burning. I tend to be clumsy with my hands. I find it much easier and satisfying to provide a negative thru exposure and development that does fight me. OI wosh to retain as much as possible the original tone relationships that I captured in exposing and developing. Of course trees, rocks, buildings here in Wisconsin tend to stay in place and not to become impatient with a fussy old geezer. Even my still life photos the objects tend to stay put, as long as they are not in my wife's way. If I were involved in street photography with less predictable conditions I might find myself doing a song and dance number on the darkroom...watch your feet, I said I was clumsy.
It being all about the image is the concern of editors and art directors. For me, as a photographer, the means and the end are equally important.
I screw up a lot when I shoot pictures. I get nothing but stories and memories when this happens. Sometimes that's pretty close to good enough. When I actually accomplish something nice, it's icing on the cake.
The fishing metaphor is much more apt than it might appear on the surface: If you fish for a living, depending upon it to feed, clothe and house your family, then of course the amount of fish you catch - or your results - are the only really important thing. If for you fishing is an activity, and you are not dependent upon your catch for dinner that night, then the experience - or process - is the thing.
As far as photography is concerned, if it is your profession - even a part time one - then the final image is the most important thing because that is what the client or patron is buying, which allows you to feed, clothe, house you and your family. If you don't depend upon it for a substantial portion of your income then you have the luxury to focus upon the process and explore the outer and inner world through that process.
This is not to say that a working photographer does not also enjoy the process (or a working fisherperson does not also enjoy his/her process), but the bottom line for them will be different - they have to be paid for the fruits of their labor. It's not really an either/or proposition. Each person decides for themselves what is most important, and if it feels right and true then that is the only validation the individual requires.
Latent Images Plastic Toy Cameras
"Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive" - Howard Thurman
Originally Posted by roteague
I would guess that there are many different answers, as each of us examines our internal processes.
Of course, the final image is important; but I think one thing that distinguishes most of the APUG group from a more commercial group, is an emphasis on process, as well as result. In thinking further about it, if there were one thing that what we do is "about," that would be emotion. The important thing in any good photograph is emotion; all the rest is merely stuff; glass, metal, plastic, paper, chemicals, etc.
Personally, I enjoy the process of looking for the world to reveal itself to me in the form of perfect little rectangles that hold still for me. Even if there is nothing tangible to show for the day, I love it. When the process is ultimately successful, and there's a finished image to share, I look at the silvery, luminous object I've made, and I feel like I've been given a second gift.
I think this is about the most fun you can have with your clothes on!