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Thread: The seeing eye

  1. #1
    Aggie's Avatar
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    …There are too many people studying it [photography] now who are never going to make it. You can’t give them a formula for making it. You have to have it in you first, you don’t learn it. The seeing eye is the important thing. -Imogen Cunningham,


    When do we stop studying? When do we go out and just do?

    Yes learning the craft is all important. I for one have pursued the learning end quite avidly. My real question is; When do we become satisfied with our capabilities enough to practice what we have studied? When do we trust ourselves enough to trust in our senses?

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    When do we become satisfied with our capabilities enough to practice what we have studied?

    As soon as you have something to say. For me that was during my first semester of photography in college.

    Unless, of course, you meant commercially. In that respect I'm clueless.

  3. #3

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    Aggie said:
    "When do we stop studying? When do we go out and just do?"

    When we have learned how to see. That is a far different matter then learning the technical craft. If we go out and "just do" then we are going to burn a lot of film, spend a lot of money, and waste a lot of time. "Seeing" is a far different matter then just looking. It is a far different matter then copying or emulating the work that someone else has done before.

    The ability to "see" is something that we can develop. The one workshop/course that I would recommend today would be Michael Smith's since his workshop deals with this most important consideration. Everyone else is hung up on how to "do it" from the technical side of things.

  4. #4
    noblebeast's Avatar
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    [quote="Aggie"]…When do we stop studying? When do we go out and just do?[quote]

    When we stop waiting for permission/validation from others.

    For further reference check out the quote Cheryl shared with us a few days back.
    Latent Images Plastic Toy Cameras

    "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive" - Howard Thurman

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    Aggie's Avatar
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    Oh I have no problem going out and doing. What I was asking is more of when do we as photographers learn the nuances of our senses, and let them become extentions of ourselves. Our senses are what leads us to see. Our senses are what help us see differences in light, the development in the darkroom, tonal ranges, and the final print compared to the initial view of what we saw.

    Our senses are what helps us know our equipment to the point you could forget your light meter and still know how your camera needs to be set for the scene in front of you. Our senses are what allows us to fine tune the print while we are in the darkroom, whether we do it by sight or densitometers. In essence it is our senses that must be allowed to do. After the classes, after all the gee whiz gizmos, after the emulation, it is our senses that are the final qualifier of the ability to capture what we envision.

    I hope that states it better. This is not about me taking another workshop.

  6. #6
    127
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
    When do we stop studying?
    Never

    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie
    When do we go out and just do?
    Now

  7. #7
    Joe Lipka's Avatar
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    One Twenty seven has it. In Art and Fear, the lesson is explained in a sculpture class. Half the class was to be graded on the best piece of sculpture, the other half was to be graded on the weight of sculpture produced. The best piece came out of the group that was graded "by the pound."

    Remember, "photograph" is a verb.
    Two New Projects! Light on China - 07/13/2014

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    250+ posts and still blogging! "Postcards from the Creative Journey"

    http://blog.joelipkaphoto.com/

  8. #8

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    Cunningham was a crusty old bird. In one of her classes a student asked when she was going to show them how to do platinum. She told them when she thought anyone in class was making images worthy of platinum she would show them.

    I'll get back on track so I don't get accused of taking this thread elsewhere.

    I think going out and just doing is the hardest part. Taking those first steps means a person may stumble, or make a mistake. The willingness to trust yourself is also the willingness to make a mistake. We have been taught from early on that mistakes are not good things, that if you make a mistake you do not know what you are doing. Blame it on education.

    We never stop learning. We can stop the technical stuff because too much of that gets in the way. If we think for even one moment that we "know it" we begin to rot, and stagnate. Once the basics of the craft are learned photography becomes a very reflective and evaluative process. It is through this reflection and evaluation that we continue to grow, and learn.

    I'll quit babbling now.
    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

  9. #9
    lee
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    Being able to maintain the enthusiasm without the group (classmates) is a very hard thing to make happen. Motivation is key here. In truth, some have it and some don't. I went to shool the last time in the early 1970's and it was a very exciting time because of all the group hugs (photographically speaking) No one had a problem turning out the work. I saw a ton of work. Some good and some not so good, the point is I saw a ton of work. Eat breath and sleep photography. Now, in reality I am on my own. I have a few online friends (like here and a few other sites) but I have to generate all the motivation I need myownself. To answer Aggie's question about when to do, it varies with each person. There are those that need to attend workshops continually and there are those that never do.

    Get a project and go for it.

    lee\c

  10. #10
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    When do we stop learning and just go out and do it?

    For me it is not a "windowshade" proposition. The "learning" never stops - nor do I want it to. The "Just go out and do it" never really stops, either. They both happen at the same time ... the experiences in the "practice" feed back into the pe-conscious - the same place that the education - formal or informal - winds up.

    I don't think about it much - to me that is grinding too fine. I ENJOY when I photograph - It's all good!
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

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