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  1. #21
    Troy Hamon's Avatar
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    I agree with many of the opinions expressed here, which either makes me agreeable, a waffler, or perhaps just confused...

    The way Jeremy framed the original post gave me the impression that he took it as a given that first technique must be mastered to some level. I suspect that this depends on the person, and I know that there are some that start out with a camera and make strongly personal images without knowing the first thing about photography. Some photographers (Mary Ellen Mark, for example, if my memory is correct) never even learn to operate a camera with what most would consider to be wonderful technique or a great grasp on technical detail. But their 'personal style' can still be seen throughout their work. For others, including the F64 group, the style is highly dependent on the technique. For some people, technique is the chicken, for some the egg, and for all of us, just a tool...

  2. #22
    Gay Larson's Avatar
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    Having a personal style is something I find baffling and even more so after reading all of the posts (beautifully written as they were) to this forum. All I recognize is that after 10+ years of pursuing a greater depth an understanding in the art of photography I know that I am inexplicably drawn to subjects I would have never thought I would have been. I really wanted to photograph beautiful landscapes but found myself being totally engrossed in very old dilapidated buildings and gritty images. Not at all the way I saw myself. However I have found such satisfaction and joy in this part of me. Personal style, perhaps, the other day I showed my sister an image and she said "Oh yes, I would have known it was yours anywhere". (of course she's family)
    Prints available in the APUG GAllery
    www.gaylarsonphotography.com

  3. #23

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    For me, photography is seeing. Beyond that I think people need a little technique just to produce images reliably on the film, and I have seen what happens when this isn't the case. Once the potential photographer has this "background", then they can see whether they are going to develop more fully, leading to more technique, which after that as others have said, may / should become less important.

  4. #24
    rfshootist's Avatar
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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.
    Perfect answer, Claire ! I don't know what I could add, it's all said.

    bertram
    A la recherche du temps perdu: www. bersac.de

  5. #25
    rfshootist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mark
    I think it will come naturally as long as you do what you like. .
    Absolutely. After a long time of practising and dealing with several issues, just to learn how to master them, there necessarily must come the point where you ask what style you will/shall have in future. And in principle it is the question of your personal identity as a photog, you can't stay the jack of all trades forever.

    There is no other way to find it than to deal photographiclly with all those things only which you are really interested in, in the sense of a personal concern, from what reason ever. This way you get a headline for your work, later a "style" too.

    It does not make sense IMHO to try to be someone else, maybe someone whose work one admires. If I admire a work or style this does not say I myself as a photog can be successful too with the same issue.

    So if one photographs what one likes, one is on the right way to a style, which is more the result of consequently going forward with continuous effort than something like a goal one has to achieve. Style is a side effect I'd say, proves you are going in the right , in YOUR direction

    My personal experience:
    I once was criticised by others that i seldom shoot people, places only, again and again, and later I criticised myself for this strange kind of inability, wasn't I one of those who admired so deeply Doisneau, Ronis, Boubat and all the other masters of La Photographie Humanite ?

    I felt a bit ashamed that I oviously was totally blind a this point, but it forced me to deal with my relationship to my neighbours in general and I discovered that it was more distant and discrete than I had thought all the time.
    Good or bad, from this moment on I gave up the idea to become a good people shooter.
    So on my way to a style I learned some new things about myself too.
    Another effect which makes photography so fascinating for me.

    Quite a bunch of babble I'd say, a minute after I had told Claire that :rolleyes: I have nothing to add..... Well, couldn't help it.

    bertram
    A la recherche du temps perdu: www. bersac.de

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker
    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.
    This is where I've been in a last couple of years with photography, and I find it like running a marathon.

  7. #27

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    What is good about these threads, there is no answer - at least not 'one size fits all'. Each person will have to give some thought as to what it means to them.

    Here is a link that I felt is a good illustration of how one artist reacted to his own journey... http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5410362
    Mike C

    Rambles

  8. #28
    reellis67's Avatar
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    That's a great piece Mike! I listened to that story on the way to work this morning - very appropriate to this thread I think.

    - Randy

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbarker

    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.

    Ralph, I agree with this so very much...it makes no difference what one is photographing when the core is recognized and embraced.
    Art is a step from what is obvious and well-known toward what is arcane and concealed.

    Visit my website at http://www.donaldmillerphotography.com

  10. #30
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    I think part of what is missing here is that many here have the luxury (or not) of ever having to sell what they do.

    To be "honest" with their "style" for them may be relatively simple. Just do what you want. What moves you. And you are happy. The chances of being "discovered" and earning real money from this may be pretty small.

    If one wishes to make a living at "art", or photography, one must be a little more conscious of the marketplace. I think it is still possible to have an identifyable style while being commercial, but I think it needs to consciously thought out at the same time.

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

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