November 22nd, 2010, 12:50 PM
OK Im struggling a little bit..
OK, I think Im missing the point a bit, or completely..
Partly because Im up to my eyes in study for exams, Im well aware that I haven't taken any photo's. I have my camera with me every day, but my mindset isn't just right at the moment.
I walk through London everyday, so there should be plenty of opportunities, but either Im not seeing them, or Im still in the mentality of 'holiday snapper' which was my only experience before.
By that I mean taking photo's of things as a memory because you know you won't be going back, or because it is spectacular.
Im being as gentle as I can here, but some of the photo's I see here, although there is nothing wrong with them, Im thinking 'why would you take that photo?' What is the story behind it, what are you trying to remember by capturing that image? What made that stand out for you so that you had to capture the moment..
Please, please please don't anyone take offence at that, as Im not having a go, or trying to do anyone down, but Im trying to understand what is the reasoning behind it all...
I am using my S95, there has been a couple of nights out and I have lots of people snaps, and Im happy becuase if it wasn't there, I wouldn't have captured the memories.
Its the everyday photo bit Im struggling to get - I sort of had it a couple of weeks ago, when I was trying to get the light trails while waiting for a friend, but even that wasn't random as I was shooting for a particular effect..
I think it is a case of not shooting things because they are not unique? I see buses outside of St Pauls, I s'pose I could take a picture, but it happens everyday, hundreds of times a day, Im not sure it is interesting enough for a photo..
I told you I was struggling...
, on Flickr
November 22nd, 2010, 01:08 PM
Hello Martin, I feel your pain! I think a lot of people will be more able to help you than I but one of the things you should be looking for is THE LIGHT! The right light can transform the mundane into something spectacular. The golden light of late afternoon or early morning, even silhouettes can make those buses look really special :)
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November 22nd, 2010, 01:13 PM
There are probably almost as many ways of and reasons for taking photographs as there are people with cameras in their hands. Some folks are trying to just preserve memories, some are trying to document some event or season, some are trying to make a socially relevant comment, some are going for some higher level of "art", whatever that means to them, and some of them just want to take pictures of difficult subjects just to later pixel peep and see what their camera's can do. Some shots may have meaning to others, some may not. Some may or may not even have meaning to the photographer. But I think almost everyone goes through periods when they're just seeing everything as they walk through life and just have to take photos of it all, and other periods when they're seeing NOTHING, even if all of the same stuff is there in both periods. Sometimes its good to give yourself a little kick in the butt to push through the dry spells, but sometimes you just have to give yourself a break and not worry about it. I was very into actively "seeing" when I was a young photographer really taken with the art and the craft of it. And then I made a very conscious decision that I still wanted a camera to remember things, but I was much more interested in being an active participant in life and didn't care much about observing it as actively as you need to when really working at photography. And now I'm back at a point in my life where I'm very happy being a more active observer and really focussing on that active 'seeing' thing again. And sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't!
I'm not sure if this response has anything to do with what you were asking, or if you're even asking anything. But that's what it made me think of...
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November 22nd, 2010, 01:15 PM
Have a look at a few of the Galleries on the MU43 site
maybe start with this - just may give you a few ideas - most people on the site are "keen enthusiasts"
Street - Mu-43 Gallery
There are quite a few pages
plus have a look at the Quests - put together by Don as he tries to "coach" some of us
Main - Mu-43 Gallery
Weekly Image Galleries - half way down the page - Quests - again - may give you a few ideas
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November 22nd, 2010, 01:25 PM
When I was a boy, about 11 years old or so, I lived in London for about 4 months. I have always wanted to go back, as a photographer, and get the Moore sculptures at sunset in Hyde Park.
Originally Posted by mmacleodbrown
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November 22nd, 2010, 01:46 PM
I think I might be stuck in the every picture has to be a big one mentality..
Either that or the 'every photo has to say something'
Will work my way through the links Bill, hopefully I will get the mindset behind some of them...
Tanngrisnir - Im appalled to say that I didn't know there were any Henry Moore's in Hyde Park, but I have only been to Hyde Park once. Maybe I will try and get some pictures for you of those sculptures - it's not the same but..
, on Flickr
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November 22nd, 2010, 02:09 PM
You know how you never really fall in love if you're trying to fall in love. But then when you stop caring about it and get very comfortable living your own life, then "WHAM!", you fall in love? Or how if you're involved in a violent sport like Rugby or American football or a few others, if you worry about getting hurt and play cautiously, you're gonna get hurt - but if you just play with abandon you generally don't? Or if you're a golfer, hitting the ball as hard as you can with great violence almost never makes for a good shot, but relaxing and hitting it so smoothly and dead solid perfect you barely feel the ball when the club strikes it - THAT'S when the shot goes exactly where you want it to go.
Originally Posted by mmacleodbrown
Kind of like that with photography and just about every other creative endeavor I've ever tried. Same with playing guitar. If I'm trying to do something grand, it never is. If I'm just trying to enjoy the process and then find myself getting completely lost in the moment, THAT's when something grand occasionally happens. If you enjoy carrying a camera and taking photos, just get into enjoying it and don't worry about the results - its digital, the mistakes are FREE!!! And if you don't enjoy the process, why are you doing it?
I can think of very few photographs that I knew were gonna be good when I shot them that ended up being good. It happens, but it happens very rarely and its usually a shot of something static. Most of the ones I thought were gonna be really good are generally nothing to write home about. But I usually find a few I really like, some of which I barely remember shooting, and definitely didn't think would amount to anything at the time. And its only from enjoying the process enough to just be out there shooting a lot that I "lucked" into the good ones. Its obviously not all luck, by doing it you develop instincts and you put yourself in the position to let those happy accidents happen. But the best ones still feel a bit like accidents. And I'm grateful for them. And those others that I thought were gonna be great but weren't? Well, those were more fun when I shot them because I was so damn sure they were gonna be brilliant. So I got a great moment out of it, even if not much of a photograph!
So, have fun with it, don't worry about it (unless somebody's paying you and even then you're better off to let it come to you). Or put it down for a while if you can't have fun with it. The results will come when they're ready - its largely not up to you. Or at least that's a helpful attitude to take...
Sorry to pontificate, but that part of your quote above really struck a chord with me.
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November 22nd, 2010, 02:28 PM
Martin, I'm glad you posted your quandaries about photography. You've already gotten some thoughtful feedback. I'd suggest several things, some of which have already been suggested. Have you considered going to the library and taking out some photography books by well known and well regarded photographers from the past? Yes, present day photographers and yes even those who post right here also have plenty of merit, but it can help to look at some of the old guard such as Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Paul Strand, Dorothea Lange, Gary Winogrand, Imogen Cunningham, Sally Mann, to name just a few... And you can check out the Spotlight section here: Spotlight , too.
Each photographer will have their own way of looking at the world, as you do, too. Sometimes those ways of looking at things change depending upon life and experiences. We each find our own way, but we're influenced by so many different things in our lives, from other people to life events...to where we live. What turns one person on doesn't turn on someone else. I will say that even if I don't "like" a photograph as in I don't want to hang it on my wall - I still know that it is a great photograph.
Every photographer, every writer, every artist has something within them that compels them to do what they need to do, corny as that might sound.
Keep your eyes open and don't think too much about what you're doing, Martin, because that will stop you in your tracks. Go out, have the camera with you and use your eyes and heart. Sometimes you might even want to leave the camera home and just look.
Seriously, don't dwell on this too much. I used to play tennis quite a bit, and when I first got back into it after quite a hiatus my father gave me a great book called "Inner Tennis"... The more you think about that serve or drop shot or forehand, the worse it's going to be. It's the same, I am sure, for any athletic endeavor whether it be ballet or baseball. If you think too much, you're going to choke.
So my advice - go out and have fun and let things happen. If you don't get off on someone else's photos - that's fine, it's yours that count for you.
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November 22nd, 2010, 02:29 PM
Hey, Ray - it seems as though we were posting at similar times I started mine and was interrupted.
Plenty of good food here for thought for us all.
November 22nd, 2010, 05:02 PM
Ray - I think BB and yourself have hit the nail on the head...
Im definately trying to think about it in an arty sort of way and maybe I need to stop that as Im not an arty sort of person to be honest, I definately lean towards the technical side..
This morning I was looking out my door, and saw a weed poking its head out of a pile of dead brown leaves - I was thinking ' life admidst death' or some other bull. Yes, the colour contrast between the green and brown was vaguely interesting, but to be honest - it was pushing it! It would have been a **** photo..
I quite enjoyed trying to shoot the light trails, even though my poor little s95 doesn't really have the apperture range for it, that was shooting for a particular effect, and Im going to have a go at the water drops when I get my K20D, as that interests me as well. Maybe I need to concentrate on the technique side more until I find my 'niche'...
I completely agree with the 'thinking too hard about it' bit, and I will have a look through flickr and other sites, see what interests me and take it from there. I promise I will try and relax as well
Thank you again for your kind words and advice..
, on Flickr
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