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  1. #1
    markbarendt's Avatar
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    Creative Maturity

    Okay, so I was listening to NPR and they interviewed John Mellencamp.

    This is part of the transcript
    INSKEEP: Mellencamp traveled around with old reel-to-reel tape machines from the 1950's. He brought his band to an old Texas hotel, where the 1920's bluesman Robert Johnson once recorded. He even recorded at a historic black church in Savannah, Georgia. Because of the simple recording, producer T-Bone Burnett had no way to mix the sound of different instruments, or different versions of a song. They just had to be right.
    Mr. MELLENCAMP: There's no, you know, half of this song here, and half of that song there. Everything was one take. Every performance was the way it was played, from beginning to end. T-Bone and I both laughed at I said, T-Bone, what the hell were we doing in the '80s?
    (Soundbite of laughter)
    Mr. MELLENCAMP: Why did we record these songs over and over and over and over again? When I was a kid I recorded the song "Hurt So Good." And we cut that track a hundred times, but first of all because we couldn't play and we never could get the rhythm to work. And you know, so we just kept playing it, da, dun, dun, dun, we couldn't get that part right, you know, so we just kept over dubbing and playing and over it. And it was like, I would never, as an adult make a record like that again after this experience. Why? Because this was so much more musical and so much more fun than actually - of course, we can play now, too. That helps.
    (Soundbite of song, "Save Some Time To Dream")
    Mr. MELLENCAMP: (Singing) Save some time to dream. Save some time for yourself. Don't let your time slip away or be stolen by somebody else.
    What struck me was the "of course we can play now, too" quip.

    Had to giggle because there's a ring of truth in that. The skills that I'm good at have been honed over years.

    I see in new photographers passion and wonder, but almost everything is an accident, like the younger Mr. Mellencamp, volume, large numbers of takes are needed to get something good. He is essentially admitting that he wasn't that good at his craft back when.

    Over time, if we stick with it, we can become skilled in any craft and a single take becomes plenty to get something.

    For me now, not having to worry if my exposure is workable or not, or how to get a certain effect, and all that jazz is freeing. I can think about an idea instead instead of the machine.

    Kinda fun growing up.
    Mark Barendt, Ignacio, CO

    "We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin

  2. #2
    David Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Kinda fun growing up.
    Yes. Yes it is.
    David
    Taking pictures is easy. Making photographs is hard.

    http://www.behance.net/silverdarkroom
    http://silverdarkroom.wordpress.com

  3. #3

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    But one would have thought that when grown up a bit, the believe that playing in a place someone else, someone admired, played in would be something special would have passed.

  4. #4
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Had to giggle because there's a ring of truth in that. The skills that I'm good at have been honed over years.
    Kinda reminds of a couple of sayings my father used to quote "the harder I work the luckier I get" or my favorite, "it's not the arrow, it's the indian"
    Real Photographs are Born Wet !
    http://www.steve-sherman.com

  5. #5
    jp498's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt
    I see in new photographers passion and wonder, but almost everything is an accident, like the younger Mr. Mellencamp, volume, large numbers of takes are needed to get something good. He is essentially admitting that he wasn't that good at his craft back when.
    That's an honest and objective opinion. I can see that in photography too.

    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt
    Over time, if we stick with it, we can become skilled in any craft and a single take becomes plenty to get something.
    I immediately disagreed, but really almost agree. I gave up on Piano after years of practice because I wasn't talented at it. I could read music, learn a song, practice, get the timing right, and after a while sorta play something like it should sound. I decided I'd rather be a good piano listener than a bad piano player. You used a music example, but music is far more than craft; there is an element of talent involved. I'm even not talented enough to decently provide some simple drums. I can follow music and timing well enough to sing along and know when singing picks back up such as starting a new verse to a song.

    In LF photography, the talent isn't in the action, but prior; knowing what will make the photo you want in terms of light, composition, subject, etc...

    Your extrapolation to photography is indeed agreeable. I'll go further; we can appreciate photography or music more so after learning where are talents are weak.

  6. #6
    Marco B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbarendt View Post
    Had to giggle because there's a ring of truth in that. The skills that I'm good at have been honed over years.

    I see in new photographers passion and wonder, but almost everything is an accident, like the younger Mr. Mellencamp, volume, large numbers of takes are needed to get something good. He is essentially admitting that he wasn't that good at his craft back when.

    Over time, if we stick with it, we can become skilled in any craft and a single take becomes plenty to get something.

    For me now, not having to worry if my exposure is workable or not, or how to get a certain effect, and all that jazz is freeing. I can think about an idea instead instead of the machine.

    Kinda fun growing up.
    Love your words!

    It is just now, after some 5-6 years in photography, and reading and learning a lot here on APUG, that I feel I finally start to get a real grip on things... it indeed feels a kind of liberating having to worry less about the outcome...
    My website

    "The nineteenth century began by believing that what was reasonable was true, and it wound up by believing that what it saw a photograph of, was true." - William M. Ivins Jr.

    "I don't know, maybe we should disinvent color, and we could just shoot Black & White." - David Burnett in 1978

    "Analog is chemistry + physics, digital is physics + math, which ones did you like most?"

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marco B View Post
    Love your words!

    It is just now, after some 5-6 years in photography, [...]
    Will you stop saying things that just make others look old!

  8. #8
    stradibarrius's Avatar
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    Mark, Your thoughts go hand in hand with a thread I started a few weeks ago. I am just beginning to feel comfortable with the equipment and process to hopefully move to the next step of actually taking some photgraphs that are more than snapshots with really good equipment.

    To jp498's point, years ago I decided I wasn't the level of musician "I" wanted to be so I started making violins. I have been able to touch many more lives by making the violins for musicians who were really talented than I would have ever been able to do by trying to be a performer.
    "Generalizations are made because they are generally true"
    Flicker http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradibarrius
    website: http://www.dudleyviolins.com
    Barry
    Monroe, GA

  9. #9
    Steve Sherman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jp498 View Post
    I gave up on Piano after years of practice because I wasn't talented at it.
    I would suggest that your lack of perceived talent was more about lack of passion in your pursuit. Talent is relative and subjective in the end.

    2 cents
    Real Photographs are Born Wet !
    http://www.steve-sherman.com

  10. #10

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