Quote Originally Posted by MurrayMinchin
But, as Szarkowski suggests out in "Atget Pointing", the work isn't derivative if you look upon the world in a unique way, even if your chosen subject matter is considered...tired.


Murray, I think that I went on to express that...perhaps not as well as I might have.

In order to see things in unique ways, I don't think that it means photographing and presenting the same thing from the same viewpoint. Usually this unique viewpoint does not involve simply positioning the camera in a slightly different spot, using a different focal length lens, or photographing at a different time of day.

A case in point would be a typical derivative subject matter of a stream, rocks, and trees. No matter how one tries to rearrange these in relation to each other they still remain what they are...trees, rocks, and streams.

Normally seeing things in unique ways involves exploring aspects of these known and readily identifiable objects. What I mean by "aspects of" are lines, patterns, shapes and textures. Most photographers, in my observation, are caught up in seeing things like everyone else does. That is why the Park Service has come almost to the point of erecting signs that direct one to the tripod holes where some images have been made.

I think that we, as photographers, have been afforded both a blessing and a curse. The curse is that we see things pretty much as everyone else does. The blessing is that we have the opportunity to discover, for ourselves by discovering new ways of seeing, more about the readily known objects that I lump into a generic classification of "things".

It has been my observation of my work and the work of those that I have encountered that very few aspire to this uniqueness.