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  1. #21
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    I believe that everyone has a "Modus Operandi" - particular channels we follow when we do photography. Those methods is closely related to "style" - which really is the characteristics of a work - photograph - that we inevitably display that will serve, symbolically, as our identity.

    In the past, it was de rigueur among some photographers to keep meticulous records - to nearly fanatically - record shutter speeds and f/stops, film, time of day, phase of the moon ... barometric pressure and possibly a host of other TECHNICAL parameters. A notebook was a necessity. I think there was some, "If I set my camera to the *same* f/stop and shutter speed - I get a photograph of equal `value'."
    The surrounding technical information is, undeniably, of some interest - I will NOT "knock" anyone that does this.

    To me - the most important information in the making of a photograph is the particular mindset and emotional state of the photographer at the moment of releasing the shutter. An entry in a notebook might read:
    "May 4 - On the road to Gloucester, through Magnolia. Overcast and windy. Depressed, struggling with a bad head cold, late for an appointment - some sort of a strange noise in the engine, breakfast did not sit well. Then I "saw" it - fantastic, unique wave action among the rocks along Route 127. Stopped, did a U-turn, parked in an illegal space for a moment, jumped out of the vehicle - and the result is frames 6,7,8 and 9.

    That would be, only rarely, recorded (see: Late for appointment). I would have a memory, as inefficient as memory may be, of that information and a lot of it would resurface when I re-visited the final print/s

    There is so much more. An "entry" might be: "May 4. Watching Scottish Soccer (Football) on the 'tube' in my studio while waiting for the model. Idly glanced over and realized that a shaft of light from one of the windows was backlighting one of the columns I use as props. Decided to use the same lighting on the model - If time did not alter it significantly. If the light "went away" would duplicate it with strobes."

    That is examining the process on a "micro" level. Even more interesting might be "Macro".
    Here goes - one facet of "me" - very incomplete and somewhat oversimplified:
    There are *NO* "mistakes in photography. There are two distinct "types" of results: The wonderful, expressive, "far better than it has any right to be", successful photograph; and the interesting excursions into the unknown (or at least, unexpected) for the noble purpose of gathering information.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  2. #22
    David R Munson's Avatar
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    It strikes me as fairly important to know your own MO. That is, be aware of how you really work. How can you really grow as a creative individual if you don't have some basic understanding of where you're coming from in the first place?

  3. #23
    bjorke's Avatar
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    This discussion shows the value of periodic re-assessments of your work -- what it means, what you're doing right, what you're doing wrong. Use a notebook, and go through your proofsheets -- occasional the past few months' worth, very occasionally the past many years' worth. This will help you understand the character of your work, how it has changed (for good or ill), and often leads to insights about things in your work that you had not previously recognized. Keep an eye open too for exceptions -- experiments or "awkward" photos that don't easily fit into your own understanding of "my ouevre" -- the interesting ones are often signposts toward new places for your work (or sometimes, warnings ).

    • [color=red]Non-characteristic, summer 2003[/color]

    "What Would Zeus Do?"
    KBPhotoRantPhotoPermitAPUG flickr Robot

  4. #24
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    ... More thoughts...

    I've been searching for a proper place to enter this, not wanting to start more categories ...
    This really defines a lot of my modus operandi ... whether I like it or not. At any rate, they might be worthy of future thought and discussion:


    "I know perfectly well that I myself have no special talents", he wrote. "It was curiosity, obsession, and sheer perserverance that brought me to my ideas."

    - Albert Einstein

    and:

    "He smiled and gently asked me to put my equations on the blackboard, and then came these words, which I shall always remember:
    "Please go slowly. I do not understand things quickly."
    This from Einstein!"

    - Banesh Hoffman, Physicist who collaborated with Einstein.


    I do NOT suggest anything like being on the same level as Einstein... far from it. At the same time ... I do share some mindsets and idiosyncracies.

    I love it when a never before thought of insight shatters stereotypes.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  5. #25

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    Francessco It's nice to see you back!

    When I got into photography of course I was obsessed but my "M.O" was to make money. That did not work as well as I had planned (well not near as much as I dreamed) but the thing that did happen and was unexpected: It awoke my senses.
    Stop trying to get into my mind, There is nothing there!

  6. #26
    rbarker's Avatar
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    I have two separate MOs. One for when I'm trying to understand, interpret, and bring to film (life) someone else's idea (i.e. a commercial assignment where the AD is king [or, queen]), and a different one for my own photography. The latter MO is loose and adaptive, responding to both my mood and my surroundings. While I tend to be an obsessive planner, I also try to pay attention to whatever alternatives might come along.
    [COLOR=SlateGray]"You can't depend on your eyes if your imagination is out of focus." -Mark Twain[/COLOR]

    Ralph Barker
    Rio Rancho, NM

  7. #27
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    Ed are you looking for the "way we work" which to me is a mechanical thing, or the "why we work" which can be more of a Maslow type of analysis, or the "why do we do" which is more of a philosophical self revealing comment on our photography?
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  8. #28
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rose
    Ed are you looking for the "way we work" which to me is a mechanical thing, or the "why we work" which can be more of a Maslow type of analysis, or the "why do we do" which is more of a philosophical self revealing comment on our photography?
    Yes.
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

  9. #29
    Eric Rose's Avatar
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    common Ed, that's a little broad don't ya think? Books have been written to explain lesser things.

    I'll answer the "why do we do". I try to transmit my views/values and attitudes to viewers of my photography by interpretating my surroundings thru the mechanical process of photography.
    www.ericrose.com
    yourbaddog.com

    "civility is not a sign of weakness" JFK

    "The Dude abides" - the Dude

  10. #30
    Ed Sukach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Rose
    common Ed, that's a little broad don't ya think? Books have been written to explain lesser things.
    Not really. I claim to be "holistic". I do not want to, nor do I think it is a "good" thing to fragmentize oneself into subordinate parts. I want to learn abut the how, why, and mechanics - all of it - and, even more important - the way it all works together. Therefore - "Yes".

    P. S. ... "common"??? Well OK, if it is to imply "universal". It surely was not meant to be "inferior" to some elite class - was it?
    Carpe erratum!!

    Ed Sukach, FFP.

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