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  1. #1

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    Hi,

    what do you do when you know something would make a great photo but when you take it it looks like the proverbial "crap".... I see tons of stuff that I think look great, then when I've taken them and printed them, they look very plain !!!!!maybe I should just be more discerning ...........


    ta ade

  2. #2
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ader
    .... what do you do when you know something would make a great photo but when you take it it looks like the proverbial "crap".... I see tons of stuff that I think look great, then when I've taken them and printed them, they look very plain !!!!!maybe I should just be more discerning ...........
    I don't really think *any* of my work is so bad that I'd label it "crap". The majority (not overwhelming!!) is less than what I would call "successful".

    What do I do with the unsuccessful ones? I'll store the contact sheet, and possibly a print or two, and re-visit them at a later date. Often (no, I don't count) I'll find that some take on a new life wen seen with fresh (or, more properly, "re-freshed") eyes.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  3. #3
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I think that is just a part of the photographic art.
    So many elements must work together to make the final image, Subject, lighting, atmosphere, optics, film choice, processing, printing, presentation.

    When all those things come together on a single sheet of paper, you have the definition of a superior photograph but that is bound to happen rarely. As a photographer becomes more experienced and develops his eye and technique the chance of bringing these elements together in a single image goes way up but I don't think that it is realistic to expect that magic to happen every time.

    If I see a subject that I believe will make a good photograph and the results are disappointing, I will return and reshoot multiple times if necessary (and possible).

    -Neal
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ader
    Hi,

    what do you do when you know something would make a great photo but when you take it it looks like the proverbial "crap".... I see tons of stuff that I think look great, then when I've taken them and printed them, they look very plain !!!!!maybe I should just be more discerning ...........


    ta ade
    Quite a bit of that may be involved in seeing only the subject material at hand and not seeing the light. You could take a picture of an empty soup can in great light and make a good looking picture, but the best scenery under bland lighting looks, well...., bland.
    Try to involve yourself in seeing the quality of the light and you may start seeing a difference in your shooting.

  5. #5

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    Once again we are involved in the who really knows zone. I agree with the statement : "Try to involve yourself in seeing the quality of LIGHT". Yet in some ways that only satisfies the needs for images based on immediate gratification. Those images are kind of like fishing, you can bait your hook, pick the best time of day at your favorite spot and toss in the line. Then wait for luck to intervene. There's a lot of photo-artists who have been very succesful this way and I love their work. A succesful piece of art is really an exploration of all the elements, This exploration requires destruction, evaluation,re-assembly then destruction again. So that you understand the very instincts that attracted you to this idea in the first place. Hopefully along the way you're creating then re-creating your Idea allowing it to detract you then returning back to the essential components with refreshed opportunities for evolution. I think this path is called a series, but really by default because, you've used it to explore. There's all kinds of light, just as there's all kinds of subjects to light. It's really fun to chase it, watch it, and re-create it, but beyond that the conversation between light, the subject and its environment is what we need to listen to and translate to our veiwers. It takes fortitude and some luck combined with technology. We can build our own pond and seed with the fish we hope to catch. With some feeding and nurturing the fishing becomes more predictable, develops its own personality and periodically offers some great supprises.

  6. #6

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    First off, it is all practice. In my mind a good photographer is ALWAYS practicing. You may take the best picture ever, and you should be proud of it, but you should also always be thinking "how can I do better". It is all about building on your past mistakes and triumphs.

    Secondly, look at what other images you like. Now, this is tricky, but don't try to reproduce them, but try to let them influence you. Look at cropping, angles, exposure, etc. and see what you like. Do you like contrasty images? Tightly cropped images? Images where the subject is off center? Look at what you like and try to work off of that. Everyone has different tastes.

    Thirdly, post images here in the critique gallery. I have found that APUGers tend to be GREAT critics. They don't criticize, but critique. This can give you ideas to build on.
    Official Photo.net Villain
    ----------------------
    [FONT=Comic Sans MS]DaVinci never wrote an artist's statement...[/FONT]

  7. #7

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    I try not to pre-judge prospective photographs. Film is relatively cheap (I shoot only 35mm and 120). I'd rather waste a frame than miss a potentially worthwhile photo. While I don't shoot recklessly I do try to be generous.

    That philosophy has rewarded me with at least a few unexpectedly good photos. And there have been a few instances when I've declined to snap the shutter and later wish I'd gone ahead and made the shot.

    Like Neal I'll return to site or subject as often as necessary when I believe it has potential and previous efforts lacked only the right light or something else - preferably something I can control.
    Three degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon.

  8. #8
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    The question was,

    Quote Originally Posted by ader
    ... what do you do when you know something would make a great photo but when you take it it looks like the proverbial "crap"....
    I was replying rather narrowly to that specific question. If you modify that to "What do you do NEXT...", I would answer, somewhat simplistically, "Move on".

    Every photograph you author will NOT be a wonderful masterpiece... not *EVERY ONE*. At whatever level you are, there will be some that ARE.
    As far as I know, there is no one set method, mindset, philosophy ... short cut ... that will guarantee success. There IS one way to invariably guarantee that you will NOT make a "wonderful masterpiece", and that is to stop.... not take the photograph at all.

    There are (and were) *many* well-respected, "great" photographers. Each seemed to share one distinguishing trait - the were ALL different... and they all regarded their differences as sacred to their art. Ansel Adams did NOT "see" things in the same light as did Edward Weston. Horst was markedly different in viewpoint than Irving Penn. I agitate in a different manner than Aggie does...

    What to do... NEXT???
    Keep at it. One of the hardest lessons I've had to learn is that the body of knowledge/skills you will gain from experience (and I really don't know of another way - experience can be directed by teachers) WILL improve YOU. The more you do, the more instances there will be of "wonderful work".

    Stillman Clarke - from an article in Camera and Darkroom - said it ... he spilled the great "Rosetta Stone" secret of photography. Some of us had to endure the trials and tribulations, to struggle up the mountain, to finally obtain "The Great Secret" - which he revealed - and I am about to relay to all here... Ready? ...

    "Shoot, and shoot... and shoot some more. It will come. It *WILL*."
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  9. #9
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    It reminds me of my wilder days when, living in LA I would go to bars and try to pick up girls. Some of them looked sooo good while I was sitting talking to them. They even looked good when I took them home. Unfortunately the next morning I was wondering what the hell I had been thinking.

    Perhaps while viewing the scene you were about to photograph you kind of fell into kind of an infatuatiion with it and were seeing it with rose colored glasses. The next morning in the darkroom reality fell onto you like a ton of bricks.

    Then again perhaps I'm just full of shit.


    Micahel McBlane

  10. #10
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blansky
    Perhaps while viewing the scene you were about to photograph you kind of fell into kind of an infatuatiion with it and were seeing it with rose colored glasses. The next morning in the darkroom reality fell onto you like a ton of bricks.
    Then again perhaps I'm just full of ...
    Micahel McBlane
    Fecetitious. The word is "fecetious", from the Latin, "Feces". Means the same thing.

    No, I don't think you are being fecetious.
    The same process probably happens. We become "infatuated" (as good a word as entranced, or hypnotized, or fascinated) and possibly that "infatuation" sort of dulls the senses. Later, in the cold light of day, we MAY intellectualize, or rationalize, or filter the image through our "good/bad" filter ... or our "guilt" filter --- or something - but it just doesn't seem the same.

    Human beings are wonderful entities ... but SO damn complicated! Sometimes. it is better to just DO ... and let the chips - and fecetiousness - fall where it may.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

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