I agree entirely. I'm not very concerned about process myself. I used to be, when I was first doing my own developing and printing, but I settled into a set of materials and processes that work for me and have just stuck with them. I understand in theory the value of knowing the effects of every possible control to the nth degree. But my life is already too scientific (as Murray says, I'm a biologist), and I'm much more interested in the feeling or atmosphere of an image than the details of its process or presentation. I probably just settled on a process that doesn't obstruct my own ability to convey the feeling I want. And I would never hide how I do my work technically...if anybody cares it's divided D-23 (or sometimes Microdol as Bath A), prints developed in Dektol. If Kodak abandons Dektol (or have they already?) I'll find another print developer. Don't much care...which will probably offend some folks. Sorry.
Originally Posted by flash19901
Last edited by Troy Hamon; 04-22-2006 at 11:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Originally Posted by Ray Heath
I don't really think it is about the 'credit' though that certainly comes into play. I've been thinking about this for a long time, and for some reason this morning I just felt like sharing my little conundrum with everyone...
More than credit, I think it might be just caution that the market for my work can be impacted by the volume of similar work. If similar work were produced that limited the marketability of my own, and it was my own idea that germinated into another project that was the problem, it would be unfortunate. I don't want credit for the idea or for their work. But if work is produced that is similar to my own, I don't want to wonder whether I should have kept my mouth shut. As is, I know that it was produced independently.
Some of my images have been used without attribution in the past. That irritated me and so when I prepared my web site some time ago, I took to watermarking my images with a large version of my name. However, the psychological impact of that event has worn off, and I've been thinking that I will go back and remove the watermark, because I just don't like it. When I look at them, I have the same thought you did, why the name so large? I'll fix that soon.
Originally Posted by BWGirl
I agree with everything you have written here. As for being 'frozen'...I've been there accidentally. When our second child was born there were a couple years where I didn't see my cameras and they didn't see me...that's it though. More recently, I've been building a darkroom and that's made me antsy, but I've had two huge projects going in the meantime that I've been taking photos for. I've finally gotten the wet side ready and have developed all the negatives from the past year. Hopefully I'll be printing soon. One project will take the next 20 years, the other should be complete by Christmas...
I think in part I'm trying not to have conversations about my projects because I don't want somebody to influence me...
Ralph...I love the image. How did you prop him up so he was level?
Originally Posted by rbarker
Originally Posted by David Brown
Does this mean you are clairvoyant or unlucky?
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Originally Posted by Donald Miller
This is one of the reasons that I was interested in other people's work practices, because I see the truth in this. But I'm not worried about my ideas running short, I already have too many written down and will never even complete those. I expect to do only a few of the ones I currently have in mind, add many to the list, and probably do only a few of those. As I mentioned in another response, the process of thinking about many of the points made here has made me think...I suspect that one of the primary reasons I'm hesitant to discuss my projects in progress is that I don't want input yet, I don't want to be diverted...they're intensely personal projects. And I'm happy to have my partially completed projects on display. They demonstrate the tenor of the original concept and I can refer to that, or if improvements are suggested I can decide at that point how diverted I want to get. Interesting point.
Originally Posted by Mark H
When I conceive of a project, it is usually because I've seen something that immediately connected in my mind as an exciting image, and have made some connections that suggest others related. In developing the theme, I think about what images, at a minimum, would be needed to make the project complete. These then become the foundation of the project's origin. In practice, my success rate with these planned images is much higher than for others, but is still less than 50%. The process of planning these images and thinking about the project as a whole, the intended theme, and how to convey it, makes my eye very ready to see related opportunities. I end up shooting many more unplanned images than planned ones for any project. The very strongest images are usually from the unplanned ones, though many of the planned images turn out rather well also.
I wanted to explain my working method a bit more, because I think you hit the nail on the head. The strongest images come to us in unplanned ways (although for a studio master like Ralph, this may not apply...) and it is really a question of being ready for them. The planning I was talking about doesn't really seem to limit me so much as prepare me for the opportunities that arise. Eisenhower was a big champion of battle plans, but he said that the value of the plans wasn't the final plan but the process of preparing it, and how it helped you to be ready when the plan didn't really work out.
Originally Posted by jnanian
Your technical expertise is greater than mine...I don't really have any great technical secrets. Just a fussy eye and a nitpicky nature in the darkroom. And I totally agree that two people can see the same thing. But I also think two people can see the same thing and make virtually the same image but each image can feel completely different, though nearly identical...
Originally Posted by Poco
I both agree and disagree with you...I think the images are important, but the concept of the project or a knowledge of the subject can often be very important. Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother doesn't mean much if you don't know about the project or that the subject is a...migrant mother. In my opinion.
As for your NEA idea, I think your clear direct communication would prevent you from any chance of success.
A more grandiloquent elocution of the thematic material and its postmodern context and relevance would be of central importance; the statement you prepare in request of the munificence must be compellingly opaque, must in fact, persuade you yourself, by the sheer weight of its bombasticity and self-righteous condescension toward those unable to penetrate its vagaries. After reading the proposal, it should be so difficult to fully grasp the nature of the offering that each reviewer would cower in shame rather than suggest that they don't understand it; this should at least help get to the second round...
Originally Posted by mark
That's unfortunate. In my case, I'm generally not worried about individual images but about larger projects, but I can understand your feeling. There are always overlapping ideas and one benefit of waiting to discuss my ideas is that I never have to wonder. If somebody makes an image I have in mind or in negative form, I know it was completely independent. If they make one I've already printed, well, I've already printed it so I don't feel like I have to worry about it. Not sure it makes sense, but there it is.