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  1. #21
    Troy Hamon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flash19901
    I could see withholding project or concept information in a competitive situation. But I have never withheld any information photographique when it would benefit another's mastering of the craft.
    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.
    Last edited by Troy Hamon; 04-22-2006 at 11:50 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray Heath
    g'day Troy
    i've had feelings like your at times, and have been annoyed that others may use 'my' idea and get credit that should have been mine
    but ultimately i've come to realise that everything has been done or is being done and these concerns can become an excuse for not getting on with the work
    i always strive to do my work my way, then if it comes under scrutiny and comparison with other work it stands or falls on it's merits
    i just checked out your website, nice images but why your name so large
    maybe you need to not hold on so close and so tight
    Hi Ray,
    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.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWGirl
    Aw, geez, David... I'm sorry. hahaha!

    I think it's possible to go along thinking about an idea, and suddenly, you meet someone (or a couple someones) who are on the same wavelength as you... they have either taken the shots you've thought about, or are in the process. This can have an interesting effect... you can either decide not to pursue those ideas for fear of someone accusing you of copying, or you can go ahead and shoot away with your own vision.

    I think the bigger problem is in not shooting anything... you can become 'frozen' into inactivity if you take too much time to think about things. That's not to say you should go about shooting 'willy-nilly'...make a plan, make decisions, but in the end... make photos.
    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...

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    In recent years, I've come to adopt a more relaxed attitude about image ideas, similar to what Donald describes, and often share my thoughts with those who are willing, or are forced, to listen. I'm not too fearful, however, because the number of people with minds as twisted as mine are few. Who else, for example, would construct a swimming pool, albeit a small one, just so a rubber mouse could fake his demise?

    The challenge was that he didn't float.
    Ralph...I love the image. How did you prop him up so he was level?

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Brown
    I don't even mention them. I just think of something and it shows up in the gallery. :o
    David,
    Does this mean you are clairvoyant or unlucky?

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Some years ago I was very protective of the concept of an image that I was producing and went on to protect. While I was super protective, a good friend...another photographer asked me if that was the only idea I thought that would ever have.

    Operating from a scarcity viewpoint establishes scarcity in our lives. I believe that and that is why I freely give away ideas that I discover.
    Hi Donald,
    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.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark H
    Nearly all the projects I've thought of ahead of time either didn't get started or didn't hold my attention once they did get started. My series have been the result of finding that I was drawn to a certain subject again and again; then looking through the images I realized "Oh yeah, that's what I wanted to do".
    I work for a hospice and I've often considered doing a project that focuses on terminally ill patients and their family and friends. Others have done this. I have not yet pursued this particular project. However, last week I was working with the family of a 2-1/2 yr. old child and, because of the strong bond that developed with the child and her family, I did take a number of pictures. Several of them were taken just hours before the child died. When I looked back through the photos, I realized how strongly they were influenced by the relationship I had with the child and her family, as well as my thoughts about what was taking place over the 10 days I was involved with them. No one else could have taken those pictures.
    I think that if I had a "goal" of taking those photos, it would have turned out very different.
    Hi Mark,
    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.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by jnanian
    i have ongoing projects i have been working on for 20 years or so.
    i know people have photographed the same things, and to me it doesn't really matter, because i am not them, they are not me, and we don't see the world through the same lens .. but as the years go by, the project shifts a little bit, and while it is the same project, it is different in a certain way.

    strange thing - as i write this i am reminded of an assignment for a newspaper i was given. i went to a big fabric plant and photograph how they were doing things for the war-effort. i went there and shot a bunch of frames and the one that was published was of a guy looking at camouflage fabric after it was printed and coming down into the bin. the next day there was a story in the large daily paper on the same subject. it was shot by a different photographer, at a different plant &C, but it was the same image ( with a different person inspecting the fabric ) -- i guess sometimes different people see the same thing

    i do have some techniques that i use that i won't tell in full what they are, sometimes it is the technique, that gets you to the final image, not just the exposing the film.

    john
    Hi John,
    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...

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poco
    I think it depends on the importance one places on the conceptual underpinings of a project. Since I believe the images themselves are more important than the concept and those images are so individually seen and derived, I don't hold my ideas all that jelously. In fact, here's an idea that's gauranteed to be good for a NEA grant that I'll throw out for anyone to take: drive through any small US midwestern town and photograph the three highest points visible -- those will always be the water tower, grain elevator and church steeple ...representing the universal requirements for commerce, survival infrastructure and (apparently) spirituality in man. Write it up in fancy words and I'd be shocked if the NEA didn't give you a bucket of cash to go from town to town documenting those three landmarks. ...of course, I could be wrong :rolleyes:
    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...

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I mentioned an idea here once. Next thing I know my idea showed up in the gallery. I don't make my ideas too public anymore.
    Hi 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.

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