It is funny that you should bring up Bodie as cliche. I did some research on it and I definately say that, aside from the web sites I looked at, I have never seen a photo of bodie. SO, cliche to one is an undiscovered treasure to another. The easy answer is to not shoot where you feel is too cliche'. The hard answer is to shoot the same from a different perspective. Has anyone shot from under the cars looking out?
Freeman Patterson has an exercise where you have to shoot photos in your bathrrom. I think it was twenty five. Another one he has is to throw a hoop into the air and you have to make a photo of what is in the hoop when it lands. Both are real PIAs but they force you to look from every angle imaginable.
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
I don't think it's worth thinking about. Taken too far, you'll never shoot anything, because in reality it's all been done before.
Also, there are two things at work here: one is the thought process about "it's been done before." The other is the direct experience of the photograph. I'm all about that direct experience. When I see a print that:
- is from a negative that was properly exposed;
- is thoughtfully composed;
- is well printed on fine materials;
- is well mounted and presented;
- is hung in a favorable spot with good lighting;
then "it's been done before" is low on my list.
I guess it may also make some difference whether you're shooting to please yourself, or to sell prints. If it's selling prints, then definitely don't worry about. My best sellers are my most trite shots. What to do? Cash the check.
"If You Push Something Hard Enough, It Will fall over" - Fudd's First Law of Opposition
The way I see it, you gotta get it out of your system, take the camera out and take the shot, but once you print it ask yourself if it is really a fresh view of the subject, if it is not, then just save the print, say you been there, done that and move on. It is what I did when I visited Page, AZ. Took a couple of shots of the slot canyons, and moved on....of course, the shots were exactly like the million I have seen before, but it was still good to get it out my system just to see if I could do it. To tell you the truth I nejoyed just visitng and leaving the camera at the hotel. Funnily enough, the best shot was of the lake from the hotel......
Originally Posted by jimgalli
But what sets those photos apart from the millions of photos of these subjects that have been done before? A companion picture of the overdone shot that you didn't take?
Originally Posted by Lee Shively
I'm not trying to pick on Lee here, but I agree with Doug - it has all been done before, but it hasn't yet been done by you. Or if it has been done by you, and you still feel drawn to it, it hasn't yet been done to your satisfaction, or by you at that particular time, etc.
That's where the originality comes from anyway (IMHO).
I wonder what it would be like if Weston had gone to Greece instead of to Mexico....
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Anyone can appreciate a fine print. But it takes a real photographer to appreciate a fine negative.
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I think it really depends on your audience and their exposure. OK that sounds a bit grand, but places are only cliché if you or those seeing them have seen similar shots 000's of times before.
The classic around here is the postcards and grockles (tourists) always have to have the shot of the seagull on a statues head. Here we laugh our heads off at people taking the shot but the person taking it can go to great lengths to get the angle where they can point and shoot. Errrm there again I've even seen a few Leica users doing it (give me the beauty and I'll take real shots).
I'm a great believer that no matter how many times it's been done before as already posted it's not been done by you and hopefully you can put your own style into the shot.
Enjoying the discussion. The best answer so far is Will Whitaker's chair photo. Great "other" shot Will.
BTW the Eastman improved #2 was a pleasure to use.
I agree completely, i like getting them out of my system.. Cause ifi don't it will bother me and eat me alive..So just take the picture and move on, its up to you if you want to print it.. Nothing wrong with having the photo in your files..
Originally Posted by Jorge
You may not want to reshoot it if you already have it but if you don't i say Why Not?
Maybe I'm missing something here... but for a location photographed so often I have seen no photographs of Bodie... any on this site?
Everything is new to someone...
Anáil nathrach, ortha bháis is beatha, do chéal déanaimh.
Here's one of my 6 shots from Bodie Friday last. BTW it was 16 degrees out and I survived the night under the stars. That'll inspire you. jg