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  1. #11
    wfe
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    I too am with Claire on this one. When I first got serious about black and white photography I set out to be a distinctive great photographer :rolleyes: Well these thought patterns have changed quickly as I have been humbled many times. At this point I don't know if my work has a personal style or not. I try not to think about it and just follow what I feel strongly about.

    Regards,
    Bill
    ~Bill
    "Real Art is a Thin Breath Exhaled Amidst a Struggle in the Mind"
    Fine Art and Portraits

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Claire Senft
    This is a topic that I have strong opinions about.

    I believe that they way to develop a personal style is by doing the work that interests you in the manner that you see fit.

    Setting out to develop a persoanl style is. in my opinion, a fruitless task. Work, work, work. The style will come and it will be all yours.
    I gree to a point. Trying too hard is fruitless, trying to improve, by learning or understanding what it is that motivates you, and why is not fruitless.

    Blindly waiting for your style to arrive, might work, pursing it does work. The problem is balancing your intuition (or heart which is where the gutz of the style thing resides) with your intellect. Too much of the former and you'll achieve Barry Manilow , too much of the latter and you have Bernd and Hilla Becher.

    What is most important is doing and reviewing.

    *

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrcallow
    What is most important is doing and reviewing.
    Yup!

    Murray
    _________________________________________
    Note to self: Turn your negatives into positives.

  4. #14
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    The good photographers that I trained under ( took seminars from etc) all said to be "successful" you must develop a recognized style. With that style you can charge X number of dollars and not be like the rest of the herd.

    That "style" may be unconscious, may be "you" but I don't think it is entirely so. I think it's a conscious self evaluation of what you like (moves you) what "fits" you and how you wish to be seen.

    We'd all like to think that like a "savant" that this all happens naturally and maybe in some cases it does, but I'm more inclined to think it is thought out and developed.

    And I don't think it necessarily makes it contrived, because it's thought out.

    As for financially, having a recognizable style puts you in a place where you are alone with no peers (or few), but still allows for some growth. Doing what everyone else does just makes you a member of the herd.

    I also think that having no training in the craft of photography and producing hack work is not a "style" but merely the work of an untrained wannabe.


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

  5. #15

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    I agree with Claire to a point. I think it will come naturally as long as you do what you like. But you have to KNOW why you are taking the image. Answer the serious questions of why you are taking it. Being able to describe, if only to yourself, the purpose of your image. This can only come through reflection about the whys, instead of the hows of your work. I think this is where shooting with your heart, and not your head comes in.
    Technological society has succeeded in multiplying the opportunities for pleasure, but it has great difficulty in generating joy. Pope Paul VI

    So, I think the "greats" were true to their visions, once their visions no longer sucked. Ralph Barker 12/2004

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Moore
    There seems to be a point in your photography where the equipment and the chemicals and the techniques don't matter anymore. This is not because they aren't required or that you won't learn new things or mix in new ways, but because this is all superfluous. You can and could learn all of the techniques and with enough practice you can master them... that is no more than just practice to the point of unconcious action.

    At what point, after you have hit this wall, do you find your path in photography? Or does this never happen?
    I find myself wondering about this frequently.

    And Jeanette, I don't know that I ever had to write one of those, "What I did last summer" papers.
    Diane

    Halak 41

  7. #17
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    I agree with what several people have said, but let me try to express it differently.

    There are a couple of ways to develop a personal style (aka vision), I think.

    The first method is to examine current art trends, stretch that in some direction, and repeat. If you stretch the trend far enough, most people won't figure out that it's contrived. If you're a "real artiste" you'll be able to artfully deny such claims. A lot of commercially-successful work may fall into this category.

    The second method is more difficult. It entails defining and refining your personal philosophy until you really understand how you feel about the important elements that pervade everything, and then figure out how best to reflect that in your work. Then, it doesn't matter what the subject is, that same core emotion will be reflected in how you photograph it.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  8. #18
    Michel Hardy-Vallée's Avatar
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    A personal style might not be necessarily interesting.

    Look at all the different people around you (everybody is different) and look at how many people you find interesting (not as much).

    By definition, everything we do bears the mark of our personality. If we're boring or just bored, then we may do things that no one else will notice.

    Every rock is different but they don't all hold you in awe.

    Art is about its content; if it's empty, has no themes or makes no statement, shows no reflexion whatsoever, engages with no experiences, or creates no reaction, intellectual or emotional, as unique as it may be it is worth nothing.
    Using film since before it was hip.


    "One of the most singular characters of the hyposulphites, is the property their solutions possess of dissolving muriate of silver and retaining it in considerable quantity in permanent solution" — Sir John Frederick William Herschel, "On the Hyposulphurous Acid and its Compounds." The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, Vol. 1 (8 Jan. 1819): 8-29. p. 11

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  9. #19
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeremy Moore

    .... wonder if personal style develops on its own or if must be actively sought. Also, if a personal style is found, can it be broken out of?
    I don't think Style CAN be developed consciously. It IS there, no matter what. It is a metter of stablity and defintinion ... as to whether other people can recognize that stye or not.

    I not only beleive Style cannot be developed consciously, I beleive that its presence can NOT be AVIODED, either.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  10. #20
    rbarker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
    . . . I not only beleive Style cannot be developed consciously, I beleive that its presence can NOT be AVIODED, either.
    I think I mostly agree with that, too. The trick is to be consistent enough (i.e. stop bouncing around mentally or emotionally) that others will recognize it as your style.

    As to the conscious development of style, I think there is a conscious process involved, but its focus is on refining one's thinking and emotions, not on the style itself.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

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