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  1. #11
    Michael Slade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdef
    I...can only suggest you be still, and listen very carefully. Good luck.

    Jay
    Jay,

    I appreciate that we are on separate ends of the spectrum, but as you note, we have some commonalities. I find that it is true with just about anyone I consider 'different' from me...and I think that they find that it is true with them when they get to know me. I think that all in all, many of us share the same core values. Thank you for pointing that out.

    I also thank you for the advice to be still and listen. I was slightly agitated last night and slept in fits.

    It's amazing that A.D's comments have gotten inside my head like this. It's been a while sine someone has.

    Perhaps I'm searching too, as someone else has mentioned in their post. I share a bit of that as well.

    THANK YOU for the very thoughtful comments. I have been on various photography boards and have not found the level of insight and discussion I have found on my short time here, in many other places.

  2. #12

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    This certainly has been a thought provoking thread. I would like to thank you, Michael, for having the courage to expose yourself to us in this way. It has helped me to realize what it is in my own work that I strive to achieve.

    We are remarkably similar. Married, two kids, home, family, politics. Amazing.

    Thanks.

    -Ben

  3. #13
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Hi Michael, standing at the crossroads is interesting eh?

    When photographing out in nature, are you alone? I find that if someone else is with me, even if we aren't talking, just thier presence inhibits my ability to really see what is before me, or to absorb the essence of a place.

    Next time you go by yourself, you might want to try this; try not to photograph scenes to make images meaningful to yourself, but try to photograph them as the scenes see themselves. Thinking way back about 20 years, I think Szarkowski (sp?) would call them "The thing itself" photographs. To do this you have to drop all preconceptions, empty yourself, then walk through nature fully aware of all that surrounds you...slowly, previously unseen interrelationships begin to emerge.

    Anyways, works for me and may be an entertaining shift of gears for you. Take care and feel good knowing that just in asking yourself these questions means you're moving forward!

    Murray

  4. #14
    Michael Slade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Diss
    This certainly has been a thought provoking thread. I would like to thank you, Michael, for having the courage to expose yourself to us in this way. It has helped me to realize what it is in my own work that I strive to achieve.

    We are remarkably similar. Married, two kids, home, family, politics. Amazing.

    Thanks.

    -Ben
    Thank you.

    But, where do you stand on the things that *really* matter? Coke or Pepsi? Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip? Chevy or Ford? Hehe.

    Standing at the crossroads is difficult. It seems that I have been not approaching it for many years because I knew it would be.

    When I photograph out in the 'sticks' as I call it, I am usually very much alone. It is for that reason that I enjoy it so much. I let the land talk to me, and try to do it justice and record the memory and impression of being in that space during the moments I was there.

    I appreciate those comments too, it strikes resonance within me.

  5. #15
    eclarke's Avatar
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    Crossroads

    Maybe the crossroad is deciding whether you are doing the photography for yourself or for everybody else. The nice thing about photography is that you don't have to justify it with reasons..Evan Clarke

  6. #16
    Ole
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    Quote Originally Posted by eclarke
    Maybe the crossroad is deciding whether you are doing the photography for yourself or for everybody else. The nice thing about photography is that you don't have to justify it with reasons..Evan Clarke
    Evan, you've got it!

    Doing photography for everybody else is a guaranteed way to "stifle the spirit". Do photography for your own sake, or for the love of photography. The only way to put soul in the picures is to believe in what you do: Not believe in the commercial qualities or in what others will think, but believe in the picture as an image of some aspect of yourself.
    -- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
    Norway

  7. #17
    juan's Avatar
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    I agonized over this for years and finally decided that a lot of it is a load. I now drag my camera through the woods and swamp and don't photograph until something moves me emotionally. I don't worry about what anyone else thinks. And interestingly, I find the photos that moved me the most also seem to draw the most comments from other folks.

    As for political statements, I think Tina Modotti's work well illustrates the dangers. Her early work, IMHO, shows talent and vision. I would have liked to have seen it mature. However, she became a committed communist and her photographs became icons for her political views. Perhaps they moved her, but, again IMHO, the political symbolism overwhelms.

    OTOH, if you were to trot over the The Fox News Channel and take some photos of my old friend Juliet Huddy, you'd have some very lovely photos indeed.
    juan

  8. #18
    Michael Slade's Avatar
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    Juan,

    I am going to hi-jack my own thread for a minute...

    I noticed you have an affinity for all things Speed-Graphic. I have 3 Grafmatic film holders, two are in good condition, one is in near mint and has the instructions!

    I have been wondering what to do with them...

    Oh yeah, Juliet is cute.

  9. #19

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    posted by Juan:

    As for political statements, I think Tina Modotti's work well illustrates the dangers. Her early work, IMHO, shows talent and vision. I would have liked to have seen it mature. However, she became a committed communist and her photographs became icons for her political views. Perhaps they moved her, but, again IMHO, the political symbolism overwhelms.
    Juan: As a cyber forums illiterate person, please, tell me what exactly means IMHO.

    Tina Modotti, even that she was a very talented person, never consider herself a photographer, that's why her "photography" never matures, and not for her involvement in politics.
    Jose A. Martinez

  10. #20
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    I think you're just having a mini crisis brought on by this person you respect who critiqued your work. Unfortunately, or not, that's what critiques do, if they are honest, is give us an outsiders viewpoint of our work, which usually is beneficial, because we are often too close to our work to really see it.

    Many people who don't do photography for a living, have the luxury of following their heart, or whatever, to lead them to take the pictures that enrich their soul.

    As a pro, one has to attract, impress and satisfy clients, and at the same time try to grow as a photographer. Obviously, commercial work is a compromise and a collaboration, so the fact that it does not show your soul is understandable.

    When we started out in this field as professionals we probably all copied everyone we could, so that we would be competent enough to attract clients. Unfortunately in doing so we get locked into a "style" that is really not our own but merely the "style" of the present trends.

    So my advice, for what it's worth, is number one, don't necessarily show a person critiquing your work, your 'commercial' work. Show them your personal work. That's the easy part.

    The next part is, consciously try to get your commercial work to look more like your personal work, at least some of it. In doing so you may find yourself more in demand as a photographer because you will set yourself apart from the herd, because nobody else can do work like that.

    We all go through plateaus in our work and perhaps you're on one now and this person that critiqued your work has rattled you a bit and maybe inspired you to move towards a new goal.


    Michael
    I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.

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