Just a few points:
Some people shoot with their heads and some shoot with their hearts.
I think a lot more women shoot with their hearts than men.
I've never taken a picture to "communicate" anything. I have no need or desire to communicate, teach or preach through photography.
I take pictures to please myself and sell them to people who like them.
I still think structure is important, and in fact necessary, to learn. Then break the rules.
90% of what I shoot, I crop for style? impact? for the hell of it? in the darkroom.
A rule is just like religion. It tries to impose conformity.
I couldn't think of anything witty to say so I left this blank.
Simone Weill: "Beauty is the supreme mystery in this world".
Originally Posted by PhotoJim
Way back when I was an undergraduate, my school had 2 programs of photographic approach: One was the BFA program that operated under the philosophy that the tools were secondary. Be creative first and learn to use the tools as you need them.
The other school was the BS program that stressed mastery of the tools and apply that mastery to creative use.
I got the BS degree (I always like saying that). My minor was in Fine Art.
Although I would agree with the metaphor that a good typewriter (or word processor these days) doesn't make a good writer, I think that an inability to write legibly does nothing to communicate good writing to anybody.
Picasso was a masterful draftsman. Long before he developed cubism, he mastered the tools of drawing and paint. Once he had accomplished that, his genius was to apply that knowledge to a vision that was as free as that of a child.
Thanks to everyone for your input. Now my geek side will be allowed to speak:
As I said before, Im a techie geek. I graduated with a degree in Physics....It doesn't get more geeky than that. Once I got into the 'real' world though, my biggest life lesson was that everything on the planet can be made up by numbers and figures; with the exception of people. Emotions, likes/dislikes, etc are all radicals. I guess Im still learning to figure that out....Which was why I started this thread to begin with.
My geek mind still says that perhaps if I had a better understanding of psychology for example, I can calculate what most people find pleasing about a photograph, or what subject 'speaks' to most people. I could then dissect that information, and apply that to my own personal interests in subjects, and create a balance of my photographic interests vs. 'most people'. Then maybe in that, I would find out what truly appeals to me as well. Then the little voice in the back of my head screams and proclaims that I would be "...taking the art out of art !"
So, here I am. After reading what I just wrote, I will admit what may be the most honest statement in this thread:
From an outside perspective; its clear that I am not confidant in my artistic skill and expression. That is obvious; as I am trying to lean on my comforts.
I admit that whole heartily.
Like McDonald's did with food or TV producers did to entertainment or corporate music conglomerates did to music.
Originally Posted by SteveH
Giving "most people" what they want doesn't ensure creating something better.
That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
I said that photo composition can be left to chance. I never said that it cannot be crafted. I said that painting &c forces you to compose. I'm afraid your logic is faulty.
Originally Posted by billschwab
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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I think I shoot with both my head and my heart, I'm not sure where one ends and the other begins - the same is also true of the 'rules' and 'technique' - I prefer not to think about them, which is why I find it hard to bring them to the forefront, and give them undue presence. I like to think it's automatic - you do it in a certain way, at a certain time, depending on the outcome you want. But I don't like to pay undue attention to what is "correct" (or, in vogue).
Originally Posted by blansky
I thought you might like this quote from Joe Cornish - from a Zen maxim I believe, which pretty much says it for me:
"First develop an infallible technique, and then put yourself at the mercy of inspiration."
In fact it does seem to me like quite a lot of us feel much the same way.
Originally Posted by Stargazer
Another quote I like, though I'm not sure where it comes from is:
Good fortune is when preparation meets opportunity.
i.e. always be ready for any chance which may arise.
"People who say things won't work are a dime a dozen. People who figure out how to make things work are worth a fortune" - Dave Rat.
Hello Steve H,
There is a psychology aspect to why some people like some works of art, or even why some people don't like certain works of art. The statement I don't know about art, but I know what I like is something that can often come up in discussions about works of art. Sometimes people can learn a bit about themselves when they figure out way they like certain works of art, and that process can become easier when people tend to choose very similar images. Unfortunately, it is not always that simple, and can rarely be dissected into formulas nor rules.
When studying for a degree in art, many students will start with a basis of foundations. These are mostly guides to seeing aspects of works of art; since we know there are not really rules. This includes simple concepts, like a diagonal composition, symmetry, asymmetry, et al; and often moves to more complex ideas such as warm or cool, push and pull, analogous colours, or atmospheric perspective. Some concepts mirror drafting or architecture, since architecture is a large aspect of the history of art. None of these things quantify works of art, which does not mean they are without value, simply that they are guides.
As a practical example, I recall that in one class in which we maintained a sketchbook, we had a later exercise to review our compositions. Our sketchbook began with the simple instruction of needing a certain number of images before the next class session, and that we should spend a certain amount of time doing the sketches. That later assignment came after the class was introduced to the concept of the Golden Section. Our assignment was to create a transparent GS template which we could use to check our previous drawings. The idea was to find how many drawing somehow fit into a Golden Section (GS) composition in one way or another, then write up a report about that including some example images. I was a little surprised how many of my drawings fit into GS proportions or intersections. This happened in my first semester in college in 1994. Anyway, that is only one example, and hopefully it gives somewhat of an idea that fits your questions.
A G Studio
Well, this very loosly links into the current thread:
zefrank on "Ugly" (and "rules")
(and the vote on the ugliest myspace page:
Originally Posted by reellis67
I've never found the words to explain how I shoot. I think you have just provided me with the words.