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  1. #1

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    Good pictures -- bad places

    More than once, I have found that I get a disproportionate number of good pictures from places I didn't really enjoy while I was there (e.g Istanbul and Han China) and disproportionately few from places I found more congenial (e.g. Transylvania, even if the food isn't as good).

    Has anyone else found this? Any ideas on why? My weak hypothysis is that the contrast is what matters, and with the places I don't like, the pics seem better, whereas with the ones I do, the pics don't seem to do it justice.

    Cheers,

    Roger

  2. #2
    Loose Gravel's Avatar
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    No, I think I get better pix when I relaxed. What didn't you like about Istanbul? I find it interesting and easy.

    -LG-
    Watch for Loose Gravel

  3. #3
    roteague's Avatar
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    I can't say that. Since I mostly shoot landscapes, I have to have a feeling for the place in order to get good images, those places I don't like, I find it hard to have good feelings for. Fortunately, I have found very few places that I've been that I didn't like very much (Japan, Paris) - I haven't found anyplace that I don't like at all.
    Robert M. Teague
    www.visionlandscapes.com
    www.apug.org/forums/portfolios.php?u=2235

    "A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist" -- Louis Nizer

  4. #4

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    Speaking from my own experience, I think that it is a mistaken belief that place has a consideration in making of meaningful photographs.

    Good photographs have everything to do with what is inside us and very little to do with what is external to us.
    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

  5. #5
    TheFlyingCamera's Avatar
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    I try to see interesting things in any place that I am, even or especially in places I don't like (although I try not to stay for long in places I don't like). Even when I don't have a camera with me, I look at where I am - if the buildings themselves lack interest, are there interesting details? are the people interesting? what about the plants? the overall landscape? I think perhaps being someplace you don't per-se relate to can force you to think more critically, so you do make better images because you're forcing yourself to SEE more.

  6. #6
    blansky's Avatar
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    As a portrait photographer I can get frustrated at the fact that some people have sort of a beautiful aura about them and yet may be not so traditionally beautiful, but getting that on film can be very illusive.

    It always pisses me off when, I look at the finished print and I know that I missed it. Sometimes it reveals itself, but other times it will escape the film.

    Perhaps the feelings you get when at beautiful places or places you feel the most comfortable is the same thing. You can't quite capture the intangibles. You capture the scene but can nail down the feeling.


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

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Donald Miller
    Good photographs have everything to do with what is inside us and very little to do with what is external to us.
    I agree with this. My state of mind affects my photography much more than where I am. That said, where I am and what's going on there has a great impact on my state of mind. When there are crowds, or I am uneasy for some reason, I do not see well at all. When I am alone and free from worries, I find that I can see good photographs regardless of location.

  8. #8
    SuzanneR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt miller
    I agree with this. My state of mind affects my photography much more than where I am. That said, where I am and what's going on there has a great impact on my state of mind. When there are crowds, or I am uneasy for some reason, I do not see well at all. When I am alone and free from worries, I find that I can see good photographs regardless of location.
    Very true.. Some of my favorite photos were made in my back yard! And when we took a trip to Europe last spring to visit my grandmother, I got a great photograph of my son in the hotel bed! Like you Matt, I see good photographs wherever I am!

  9. #9

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    LG: Well, put it this way. I spent four of my first ten years in Malta, which explains a certain anti-Turkish bias. And I'd been to Greece several times before Turkey. Then, when we arrived the first time, a cartoon Turkish immigration official (fat, badly shaven, in an ill-fitting uniform) stole ten pounds (UK -- about ten million Turkish lire) from me and was well upset when he failed in his attempt to get twenty pounds (UK) from my wife (travelling on a US passport) in lieu of $10: he clearly didn't think we'd have US currency with us on a UK charter flight...

    Robert, Donald, FlyingCamera, Matt, Suzanne: yes, that's what I'd have thought too. That's why I posted it -- I was very puzzled at how it happened. I was shooting essentially to satisfy the UK tax-man that this was a legitimate business expense, not because I liked the place.

    Michael: I think that's it. When you're comfortable/happy/ecstatic and can't capture it, you feel let down.

    Cheers,

    R.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanne Revy
    Very true.. Some of my favorite photos were made in my back yard!
    Wherever I feel being in my backyard or some kind of playground from my childhood experiences, I have full control taking good pictures.

    Yesterday I drove around the rural part of Japan by the coastline not far from where I live and found this little path in the bush to get to the cliff from the road. There were many butterflys and little wild flowers there that I don't see in other places. Usually even in this kind of rural areas, everything is already covered with asphalt concrete.

    It was only a five, ten minute walk, but I was so excited and happy.

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