The evolution of your personal photography
The new year is approaching and I've been in a reflective mood. Mostly, I've been looking back on my personal photography and considering how it has progressed. I'm actually pretty satisfied.
I used to shoot almost every day and I shot rolls of film and only printed a few frames or kept a couple of transparencies from each roll. I now go weeks at a time without exposing a single frame. When I do shoot, I only make a very few exposures and I print only what I consider the best. This, of course, means I get more "keepers".
At one time, I seldom used a normal lens. I went wide or long for everything. Looking at my photographs over the last couple of years, I can't find any that were done with anything longer than a normal lens. I don't remember the last time I used a telephoto but I still use wide angles and my most used lenses are now the normals, whatever the format.
I've always been a general photographer. I can't commit to any one genre. But it appears I have standardized on black and white as my medium for whatever genre. I haven't shot a color photograph since 2003. I know this because I still have the unprocessed film in the freezer with the date and subject written on the cassettes. Black and white was my first love in photography and I've come full circle in this regard.
I'm pretty happy with how things are going. How has your photography changed over time and are you satisfied with how things are progressing?
My 28mm lens was the least used on my 35mm camera. But now I use a 90mm on 5x7", and a 21mm on 35mm, more than the other lenses. I think wide angle is something which takes a while to learn to use.
I do take colour pictures once in a while. But 90% of everything is B&W.
-- Ole Tjugen, Luddite Elitist
I still shoot two formats, 35mm and medium format but have to say that I am much happier with medium format and find myself shooting more MF. As far as change and progress I too have not settled on one genre but have been focusing on people and portraits for the most part. My compositions and printing continue to improve. I have experimented with some alternative processes (Lith and bleach back) with a fairly good level of success. I continue to put efforts into improving on exposures and negative quality and they have improved. I don't believe that there is a destination but that photography and making art is a never ending journey and I am enjoying it learning new things every day. I also believe that it is important to reflect back on one's work to get a good perspective on progress. My work has sold more this year than in past years which is great but I don't consider it a measure of success. I have to like the photographs for me to consider them a success.
I was more of a general photographer for many years, shooting both color and B&W, mostly 35mm, although I dabbled with 6x6 for a while. I got my first 4x5 about 15 years ago, but didn't do much with it; about 5 years ago I got serious with it. I shot about 60% B&W for years (mostly Ilford), but in the past 20 years or so, I have gravitated to almost shooting exclusively color; last year for example, I shot 20 sheets of B&W and between 500 and 600 sheets of Velvia. The work of photographers like Jack Dykinga and Joe Cornish interest me much more than Ansel Adams. Likewise, I used to hate the work of people like Lisl Dennis, because of her constant use of wide angle lenses, but now I find that I am using my 80mm and 135mm 95% of the time (LF).
I am reading a book now called "Landscape Within" by David Ward. It is an excellent book, mostly about the ethics and philosophy behind photography - mostly landscape photography, and why it moves us. I highly recommend it, if you are interested in this type of thing.
I'm thinking about the same thing recently. I start taking pictures 5 years ago, most of them were color film, and not that often. For the past two years, I took a lot of B&W films and start to develop them by myself and love to do it. I still don't have an enlarger yet, but I will have one in near future. As far as lens goes, I use more and more 35mm and 50mm now. I still shoot some slides now and then, not much. I was drowning to B&W, don't know why I like it so much and don't want to find out.
I am in the process of getting my 4X5 system ready, very excited.
That's all I am sure of so far. I think I made some progress as far as technique goes, but I am very confused with my style and subject, don't know what exactly I want to shoot and how to see a subject. In a nut shell, I am confused.
Sponsored Ad. (Subscribers to APUG have the option to remove this ad.)
Interesting questions ...
How has my photography changed over time?
Truthful answer: I really don't know. I am fairly certain it HAS changed, but in what manner? I don't know - probably because I don't really know what it was like in the first place. I do see some of my earlier work in a different light now. I will print the images I rediscover after a period of time - and that I see differently - more clearly now.
Am I "satisfied" with my progress? Whooo, boy!! Not really ... I am NEVER truly satisfied with anything I do ... I'll just choose a point where I stop working on an image. As far as "progress" goes ... how can I answer ...
NAH! - But I don't see any choice, other than to keep on keeping on.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
In a way which led to an exaggerated and unhealthy use of wides !
Originally Posted by Lee Shively
Until I reached a point where I detected that I obviously had forgotten that there are longer lenses, because I tried to make a 50mm shot with a 25mm.
So my intentions for the new year are to use longer lenses when needed, also more people shooting, less boring and static stuff, getting faster and more vivid. ;-)
A la recherche du temps perdu: www. bersac.de
I am becoming more thoughtful as a photographer. Hence, I spend a lot of time trolling for pictures without having a camera in my possession. In short, I am really learning to "see" and chase the light. Without having a camera, I don't feel compelled to burn negatives on every whim or impulse. When I am riding along in my car, my wife often asks me "why are you so quiet and obsessed"? My answer is: I am taking pictures with my minds eye. Once I have a feel for a subject, I specifically go back with the intention of capturing an image with the light that I think is best. This has made me photograph "on purpose" rather then at impulse. I don't take as many photographs on film; however, I believe that I am improving my vision.
I currently use the Hasselblad Camera. I built a 4X5 camera last spring. In a few weeks, I think that I will gain the courage to use it... Thanks for asking. This question actually made me consider what I was really trying to do...
Often wrong, but never in doubt!
About my work
I find that moving up to 8 X 10 has ben a trying experience .
I love it jet i am not used to it and I hope I get there ,the logistics are so diferent not to mention economicsfrom 6X7 or 4x5.
I find that I am more ntersted in making abstracts or abstract compositions
I want to push the space and dimention on the print tours the viewer
ans so far I find I have much to work on , Idid resive a welcome coment this year that was rather satisfying to me Gordon (Mark) said Your work is more about the subject than what a seen in some time and Richard Sullivan told me I do not like lower pictures but your are o.k. witch I take a a great complement.
The Apis 2005 was lots of fun and it was great to meet so many wonderful people and to have them apreciate your work ( sorry but print look better on hand) any how I hope I can keep working and getting closer to my goals
This time last year I didn't even know how to develop a roll of film. Now I'm developing (E-6 as well), printing and seemingly coming across something new almost every time I pick up the camera. Obviously the past year has been a whirlwind of ideas by default since I started from nothing, but I look forward to refining my technique and continuing to learn from fellow Apuger's and others over the next year and years to come. The funny thing is that I look at a print I made almost a year ago and it's like "What was I thinking, this is horrible" Hopefully I'll be able to do the same thing a year from now. Its a sign of progress I think.