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Author Topic: Motivation  (Read 26714 times)
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #20 on: August 03, 2010, 09:11:57 AM »
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[quote name='KLaban' date='Aug 3 2010, 08:48 PM' post='379679']
Well, I'll give it a try, but I do have to wonder how many folk are going to welcome me into their lives and homes because of my bike.]

There are plenty of social events surrounding cycling, or motorcycles, or even ultralights or dogs..  A commonality to meet and greet and make new friends.  Of course if you're talking about using your camera as a tool to perform a service then your Black and Decker will get you an invite if your handy with it..

[Yup. It seems that there are those, who despite years of discussion cajoling and encouragement, cannot be helped. I'm now trying tough love but don't hold out too much hope.]

Aye, I think I see where you're going with this.  Perhaps a bit unfair to apply it to this thread unless there's some history I'm not aware of.. but I do get your point.  I use 'fun', if I can get people to think photography is fun then I can get them to take one of my workshops, model for a portfolio, or even buy a print.. it is a constant exercise though.



[At last we agree on something. This is precisely what I've been encouraging certain folk to do for years but seemingly without success. As I've said, I'm even trying tough love, but now I'm at the point where I should probably just accept that, at least for them, discussion and thought is all that's left. I really hope I'm wrong.]

I hope you're wrong too.. but I suspect there is a fair amount of truth in what you say.  Personally I enjoy such discussion because I have to be home sometimes and exchanging thoughts on the internet is far preferable to me than sitting in front of the television..
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RSL
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« Reply #21 on: August 03, 2010, 09:45:59 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
"People who want to create are the "artists." As Eric said, some art is good, some isn't. The problem with taking the discussion in that direction is the definition of "art." We've been over and over it in the past, and we never get anywhere. But the point is that these people are trying to convey something beyond "I was there" or "this is what it looked like" to their viewers. I think that urge is different from the urge to do, say wedding photography or fashion photography, and certainly from the urge to do product photography. Seems to me that all three of these genres fall more into the recording class than into the creative class, though I've certainly seen some creative work in all three."  - Russ.

This can lead into a different direction altogether. In fact, I think that you have chosen to miss the greater part of the function of the three types of work you quoted, Russ; devilish advocacy, perchance? Recording is far from being the motive for fashion and even for product: glamorization is closer to it since there is ever the selling aspect, even for a bottle of detergent. As for weddings - I couldn't wait to dump them - even did so at about the fourth such assignment before I knew if I could make it doing anything else. Why? Simply because there was no interest in those people's lives, their spouses-to-be nor any part of them. But then, I wasn't really driven by money, strange to say. The driver was the work that I wanted to do; a quick, painful failure at fashion or girls would have been far better than a lifetime of brides and grooms, even with a big reward in the bank. Back to that biblical thing I mentioned some days ago: what would it benefit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?

Yes, you are right that some achieve this creativity where many don't, but that's also a measure of the components as much as of anything else. It's no accident that some models get all the work! But creativity is core to those jobs - it's part of why some get them and others never will.
Rob C

Rob, I'd agree with your word, "glamorization." I'd also agree with your statement that creativity is what leads to some models getting all the work. The same thing applies to plumbers, cab drivers, accountants, and people in most fields of work, though "creative accounting" can lead to problems. Creativity is a part of human nature and I think it's always there. But only to some degree. It doesn't take long to separate the people with a high level of creativity from those with a low or non-existent level.

But let's get to the "driven by money" idea. A lot of people with a certain degree of creativity make money as a result of their creativity, but -- and here's my neck sticking out -- an artist doesn't do what he does for money. He does it because he HAS TO DO IT. If he happens to make money doing it, great, but if he doesn't make money at it he'll take a part-time job -- perhaps even descend to shooting weddings -- to support what he does, and he'll starve before he'll stop doing it.

I know my three classes of reasons for making photographs overlap and, in a debate I probably could take the other side and debunk the divisions, but I still think you pretty much can sort most photographers into those classes.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #22 on: August 03, 2010, 10:12:42 AM »
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Quote from: KLaban
Well, I'll give it a try, but I do have to wonder how many folk are going to welcome me into their lives and homes because of my bike.



Yup. It seems that there are those, who despite years of discussion cajoling and encouragement, cannot be helped. I'm now trying tough love but don't hold out too much hope.



At last we agree on something. This is precisely what I've been encouraging certain folk to do for years but seemingly without success. As I've said, I'm even trying tough love, but now I'm at the point where I should probably just accept that, at least for them, discussion and thought is all that's left. I really hope I'm wrong.
I'm too "young" in internet forums (and Lu-La is the first and only forum I'm in) to be aware if this topic has been already discussed many times in the past and leaded nowhere.
I guess each time is a sort of renaissance and déjà vu.

I understood from the beginning that Keith was talking about meeting people to an intimate degree. Although I must say that I've discovered that there is a more powerfull passport than the camera if what you want is a date with a gorgeous lady and end in her house: a dog!
Buy a dog and go to the park with the dog. Very soon it will meet many lady's dogs...  It works better than any MF.

Now...if what you want is a more profound human experience, and I guess that is what Keith was talking about, (do not mean that you don't like dogs)
the camera can be a passport. But, are we talking about tourism there?

I know 2 guys here, photographers, that do that and I've seen a movie of exactly what I understand Keith is talking about, captured by a friend and it was really impressive how deep things where going.
Specially, there is an old district in Madrid far from the center that most tourist don't know it exists. This district is under the heavy speculation of high buildings and stuff like that. In some years it will have disppeared and all a cultural and arquitectural heritage with it.

These 2 guys are operating in that district, and because of their cameras, they managed to enter micro-world with humanity, love, and lots of strong messages and content emerged. People open their door because they trust them. They where able to go deep in people intimacy.
But that is not tourism. Those guys are clear about what they are doing, their ethics, and the sense of all that.
This is not even street photography because there is no instant.
This is pure photo-reportage. But before all, human exchange.

But it depends what is the camera for each one. I've been asked to join if I wanted these guys, doing social reportage. I knew that as a human experience it would have been incredible and always improvised. But in my case I don't need the camera neither want to use it to take some pics of the sheppard who invited me to have a cognac and a nice talk. It happened to me many times, I did not have the camera with me, thank god. I feel like Rob when it comes to photography. I have to take photographs, do not know why, but I have also to not take photographs. I'm also happy when I live the camera at home. What would be the sense? I never brought my paintings on hollidays when I was painting!?! and in fact I do not know what holliday means as a tourist because like Steve, I like to live in a country for awhile. If not, I'm not travelling if there is not a good reason, and generally they are professional. That is just me and no criticsm at all if you want to also use the camera as a passport and travel the all world and photograph or paint or draw...

Now, about the tourism...that's another story.
There is no more anti-glamour, anti-erotic and anti-esthetic than a tourist costume. They all look the same with their birkenstock and colored socks, big bellys, beer can and the 15mp camera with smile detection in the hand. It is completly decadent, (we are talking about rich countries people aren't we?)
Sorry but I can't deal with this.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 10:42:18 AM by fredjeang » Logged
walter.sk
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« Reply #23 on: August 03, 2010, 10:50:15 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
My thought/question, basically, boils down to this: why do people take cameras with them on holidays and shoot local buildings, museums, town halls, lakes, tourist 'attractions' or, even that LuLa favourite, icebergs? I can understand the professional travel photographer having to do this - well, there used to be a branch as such in the profession - where some commercial gain might be had, but for the amateur, however good, where lies the motivation?
Rob C
Interesting question.  I, for one, take pictures avidly when traveling or on vacation.  However, I do the same in my own city, NYC, as well as the surrounding urban and more rural areas.  My actions come from a pair of parallel fascinations.  First is with experience: experience of my surroundings, the people in them, the man-made elements in them and nature's final say on both of those.  Second is with the experience of photography, which for better or worse has been a drive in my life since age 4 or 5.

I enjoy the process of seeing.  This includes things new to me as well as things very familiar to me.  I enjoy the process of reaching for my camera when I see something that says something to me, and that "something" is not always expressable in words although sometimes it is, too.  I enjoy the challenge of making my camera (not 6, but 8 megapixels) through composing and then postprocessing and printing, capture the essence of what moved me when I saw the scene.  I am particularly moved by contrasts in time, contradictions, our impact on nature, and the reverse: nature's impact on us.

I enjoy seeing something in the familiar that many others overlook.  I enjoy finding the beauty in a scene that many would consider ugly, and vice-versa.  When I shoot a record shot I try to capture the angle and perspective that will later remind me
and perhaps show others, how I saw what I saw.  I also enjoy, sometimes many years later, the memories of the experience evoked when I occasionally review my old pictures.

I have stood on the observation deck of the Empire State Building and enjoyed the company of tourists from all over the world, sometimes helping them spot sights that they are looking for to shoot, and the exchanges have always been gratifying. When I travel, I have found as a tourist that local people are eager to show me what they consider impaortant to see in their area.

When I see all those people, arms extended and eyes squinting at almost-dimmed out LCD's, I realize that there is a love of photography that makes it so popular, and it can be considered a democratization of art.

I also admire the amateur painter whom I pass at the ramp from Riverside Drive to the GW Bridge, who paints the same buildings every time I observe him.  I also see, while I am photographing the power of the sea and rocks off Ocean Point, Maine, the same straw-hatted lady, year after year, who paints the "same" ocean scene, just for the sheer enjoyment of translating what her inner eye senses about that scene into physical movement and feel of brush and paint on textured canvas.

Yes, I don't mind selling my prints, either.  But the urge to shoot is very longstanding, and I would not be surprised to find that many of those tourists with point-and-shoots experience some of the same joys, with some of the same motivations, that I experience.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 10:51:06 AM by walter.sk » Logged
fredjeang
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« Reply #24 on: August 03, 2010, 10:59:46 AM »
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Quote from: walter.sk
Interesting question.  I, for one, take pictures avidly when traveling or on vacation.  However, I do the same in my own city, NYC, as well as the surrounding urban and more rural areas.  My actions come from a pair of parallel fascinations.  First is with experience: experience of my surroundings, the people in them, the man-made elements in them and nature's final say on both of those.  Second is with the experience of photography, which for better or worse has been a drive in my life since age 4 or 5.

I enjoy the process of seeing.  This includes things new to me as well as things very familiar to me.  I enjoy the process of reaching for my camera when I see something that says something to me, and that "something" is not always expressable in words although sometimes it is, too.  I enjoy the challenge of making my camera (not 6, but 8 megapixels) through composing and then postprocessing and printing, capture the essence of what moved me when I saw the scene.  I am particularly moved by contrasts in time, contradictions, our impact on nature, and the reverse: nature's impact on us.

I enjoy seeing something in the familiar that many others overlook.  I enjoy finding the beauty in a scene that many would consider ugly, and vice-versa.  When I shoot a record shot I try to capture the angle and perspective that will later remind me
and perhaps show others, how I saw what I saw.  I also enjoy, sometimes many years later, the memories of the experience evoked when I occasionally review my old pictures.

I have stood on the observation deck of the Empire State Building and enjoyed the company of tourists from all over the world, sometimes helping them spot sights that they are looking for to shoot, and the exchanges have always been gratifying. When I travel, I have found as a tourist that local people are eager to show me what they consider impaortant to see in their area.

When I see all those people, arms extended and eyes squinting at almost-dimmed out LCD's, I realize that there is a love of photography that makes it so popular, and it can be considered a democratization of art.

I also admire the amateur painter whom I pass at the ramp from Riverside Drive to the GW Bridge, who paints the same buildings every time I observe him.  I also see, while I am photographing the power of the sea and rocks off Ocean Point, Maine, the same straw-hatted lady, year after year, who paints the "same" ocean scene, just for the sheer enjoyment of translating what her inner eye senses about that scene into physical movement and feel of brush and paint on textured canvas.

Yes, I don't mind selling my prints, either.  But the urge to shoot is very longstanding, and I would not be surprised to find that many of those tourists with point-and-shoots experience some of the same joys, with some of the same motivations, that I experience.
Great post Walker. I liked it.
Well, understanding you and sharing some of your points, others where I differs completly but your arguments come from real a deep feeling.
Many folks, as much many different approach and ways of living photography. And because of this diversity it is so interesting. There is a place for everyone there.
Oh and by the way, congrats for your 8MP camera! they are so rare nowdays...
I use now a 4.5 MP DP1 and enjoy it very much.


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walter.sk
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« Reply #25 on: August 03, 2010, 12:08:14 PM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
Oh and by the way, congrats for your 8MP camera! they are so rare nowdays...
I use now a 4.5 MP DP1 and enjoy it very much.
Mine is an aging 1DMkii, and it still serves me quite well.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #26 on: August 03, 2010, 01:52:38 PM »
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I bought the 4.5 MP Sigma with all its"hassles" reputation because it is a real tool and truly pocketable. I wanted that option for street as I do a lot of street for my personal pleasure.

The thing I've been learning with street photography is what Russ end Erik were talking about in this thread. What is interesting is when you tell a story and when you witness an interaction, a significant relationship (Erik words). I came to that after a lot of sweating and shooting like crazy and the result is that I take now very very few photographs, because if you want to witness a story and not shoot whatever scenery you end shooting much much less. Many times now I'm back with no pictures, but I better be back with no pictures and not loosing time in post prod and dedicate me to other activities than coming back home with many bad or really average pics just for the fun or in case a keeper will be hidden in the card.

Russ pointed many times here that the true really good street pics are very very little in a year of time and I certainly confirm that.
And it is not because one shoot all the time compulsively that the rate of good pictures will increment.

But street to me is like my big school. Street is my master if I might say, and each time I'm on the street I feel humble, knowing that I won't probably get the pictures I would like to take. But a wired attraction tells me I have to do it.

But then, Rob is right on the money about his views on the motivation. At least I share completly his thoughts. What's the purpose?
I also start to do a professional activity in photography, it cames by itself and again there is the oscur force that "tells us" that we have to do it, and obedient, I do it, it is as simple. I love it, I enjoy. But when the lights are off, when everybody went home, when the pics are done, I don't want more camera. Actually, I feel somewhere sad. After a fashion shooting I feel empty. I want to live the studio.

I just finished a movie yesterday and today it's not so fun. Sure Rob knows that when he just finished a fantastic session with a great model. The girl is back home, the studio is empty. The pictures are done. What to shoot then?
Nothing.

Just living this silence, until the next work.
« Last Edit: August 03, 2010, 03:39:53 PM by fredjeang » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2010, 04:43:38 PM »
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Fred, I don't enjoy reading about empty studios: it is the second-saddest thing that happens after a session that went well. I used to feel so low that it was over that I didn't even want to process the films. This sounds bizarre to somebody not involved with those interchanges, but I can't imagine getting that emotion from a scenic. When we went on foreign shoots, I used to think of it as almost a sort of commando raid: we made our own rules as we went along, broke local real ones and did recces of different areas, just like some big adventure and unconsciously stored up memories for those years ahead when we probably all knew it would be over, finished, and somebody else's turn in the sun. The end of a good trip really was the saddest moment in photography, much as I imagine the end of making a movie might feel, the breaking up of a unit that might never regroup again.

This afternoon I got a first-hand reason for people taking 'tourist' pictures, and had it not been for this topic, I wouldn't have noticed. The granddaughters had both been on a sailing course last week and today they took their mother out for a short sail around the Bay. When they were back here, they began to unload their pics into the small computer I have for books, and from outside I could hear them giggle and laugh out loud at the shots they had taken in the boat. Now that was a damn good reason for making pictures. Personal, at a moment of happiness and something that linked them all together on a different plane from the moment before the snaps were made. It was just an extension of the moment and will probably be shown to their Dad when they all get back to Scotland tomorrow night, and then forgotten. But worth it nonetheless. And no spoken pretensions to art or anything else.

"When I see all those people, arms extended and eyes squinting at almost-dimmed out LCD's, I realize that there is a love of photography that makes it so popular, and it can be considered a democratization of art." - walter.sk

That's the part in your post that throws me. Everything else I think I understand, but the leap to the conclusion that we are witnessing anything to do with 'love' for photography or the democratization of art is just beyond my power to accept. I think of EPCOT and those Kodak 'shoot from here' signposts... if anything, I think it represents, epitomizes the mindlessness of the tourist photo experience.

Rob C

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feppe
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« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2010, 07:21:25 PM »
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Quote from: Steve Weldon
I wouldn't say tourism is "vital" to Thailand anymore than we can say its vital to America or the UK or anywhere else.  It's just another industry like any other.  Thailand is hardly the third world country hungry for any tourist dollar that comes along that people think it might be.  And considering the caliber of 'tourist' so common to this country.. I'd dare say Thailand would be far better off without tourism.  But then this becomes a very complicated discussion.  I just wanted to point out that Thailand has a huge export economy which is doing quite well and it's not living off tourist dollar handouts..

Tourism in Thailand is worth 550,000 million baht, which is almost 5% of the GDP. I would call it vital, but YMMV.

By comparison, 10% of US GDP comes from auto industry.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2010, 08:21:56 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
...from outside I could hear them giggle and laugh out loud at the shots they had taken in the boat. Now that was a damn good reason for making pictures.

"When I see all those people, arms extended and eyes squinting at almost-dimmed out LCD's, I realize that there is a love of photography that makes it so popular, and it can be considered a democratization of art." - walter.sk

That's the part in your post that throws me. Everything else I think I understand, but the leap to the conclusion that we are witnessing anything to do with 'love' for photography or the democratization of art is just beyond my power to accept.
Rob C
Don't you think at least some portion of the tourists go home and look at their pictures on the computer with the same joy that your grandchildren felt when seeing there own?  And by "democratization of art" what I mean is that now anybody who enjoys looking at a scene or subject and framing it in the LCD for the pleasure they get out of it, and get a kick out of sharing it with others, is in a very real sense going through the same process that a trained and art-educated person does, in a less elitist way?
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #30 on: August 04, 2010, 12:49:35 AM »
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Quote from: feppe
Tourism in Thailand is worth 550,000 million baht, which is almost 5% of the GDP. I would call it vital, but YMMV.

By comparison, 10% of US GDP comes from auto industry.
Thailand's total GDP is in excess of 8.5 trillion baht based overwhelmingly on exports.. it's the second largest economy in SEA.  The 4-5% of GDP from tourism is hardly "vital", especially when you consider the average annual GDP growth is 5-7% over the last few years.  

"Vital"
I'm using this way:  "necessary to the existence, continuance, or well-being of something; indispensable; essential: vital for a healthy society."   And 4-5% of any countries economy is not "vital" to the existence of that country, nor is it indispensable to the country.. heck, it's less than their lowest VAT category..

The great colonialism mindset.. its really outdated.   If Thailand closed off all tourism today we'd merely see GDP growth drop from 5-7% to either zero growth to 2% growth.   This would be the immediate most serious consequence.  By the 2nd or 3rd year the resources being directed towards tourism would be reallocated  and GDP growth would rebound, perhaps even higher as the resources 'could' be allocated to activities more profitable.. who knows.. but to think the country couldn't survive or its somehow "indispensable", not even close..

Btw.. I don't think the US auto industry which is in the manufacturing sector is anything more than a straw man argument, but you might have mentioned that tourism to the US accounts for 8% of it's GDP (largest in the world (for a single country)btw, exceeded only by the entire EU at 9.5%).. and while 8% (or 9.5%) is significant, I don't think the USA or the EU would cease to exist if tourists stopped getting off trains, planes and automobiles.

It's actually a bit funny.. Thailand's tourism is only about half as important to their GDP as tourism is to the EU's GDP.. Perhaps Thai's should start boarding planes and save the EU from it's eventual demise.. ;o)
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fredjeang
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« Reply #31 on: August 04, 2010, 02:29:51 AM »
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Few days ago in a fashion shooting in the lunch break, I was sitting in the restaurant next to a model and she was talking about Tailand.
In short, she was used to go to Tailand and enjoyed it, but she pointed that in the latest years it has become an unbearable disneyland, out of control.
The result is that she won't go back to Tailand until the situation change. She was saying that Cambogia is a more healphy experience and worth the trip
but that Tailand is too much.

I confirm Steve's post about how dirty they leave the places, included religious places. The locals have to clean them.

Same experience in France. I use to go to the big Landes (unstopped sand dunes on the sea), very wild and width area so no massification. You can find space.
But you have no idea how dirty tourists leave those beaches.
France has a big infrastructure and therefore you have special trucks for cleaning the tourist beer cans and plastic bags. Even the trucks have a hard time.

More interesting to notice is tourism in this area comes from northen country, so concerned about being green, being clean etc...but it seems that when they are away
in another country, throwing away plastic bags and beer can is absolutly normal while they would put me on jail if I through away a cigarrette in their streets...

Very interesting...

Rob, I experience the same as you about the shooting when all is done. "The end of a good trip really was the saddest moment in photography, much as I imagine the end of making a movie might feel, the breaking up of a unit that might never regroup again."

I think it plays a big role in the reason of your open post about motivation.



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stamper
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« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2010, 03:44:13 AM »
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I have "only" been into photography for ten years and already I am becoming cynical about the process of shooting and seeing things. Rob and others have been into it three or four times longer either as a professional or an amateur. I often wonder how a professional manages to split the thought process, apart from the money thing, and take photos for pleasure? If you have been into photography for a long time, or any other pursuit, then there comes a time when you think that you have done it all and it is time to move on to other things. Photography is an expensive way of passing the time. If you didn't do it you would have to do something else or lie in bed all day. Analysing it too much will I think give you grief and make you think of putting the camera in the cupboard, possibly permanently? As to going places and taking photographs I find you don't see the place if you are constantly looking through the viewfinder. When you do look at the scene you tend to look at it from a photographer's point of view and not as an interested spectator. As to meeting people you tend to talk to other photographers and end up talking "equipment" In the ten years of shooting with thousands of journeys made I have only once went out along with another photographer. Sad? I think it is the best way to get what you want and how you want it. Moral of the story keep shooting and don't over analyse why.
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Rob C
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« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2010, 04:13:17 AM »
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Quote from: walter.sk
Don't you think at least some portion of the tourists go home and look at their pictures on the computer with the same joy that your grandchildren felt when seeing there own?  And by "democratization of art" what I mean is that now anybody who enjoys looking at a scene or subject and framing it in the LCD for the pleasure they get out of it, and get a kick out of sharing it with others, is in a very real sense going through the same process that a trained and art-educated person does, in a less elitist way?




I was thinking about that same thing as I wrote the lines. However, I couldn't equate the kids' experiences with any love for photography per se. It is complicated. One of the girls won a photographic competition in Glasgow and had a b/w shot put into a local calendar. I thought she might have been interested in photography and continued, but it just stopped dead in its tracks. On this short holiday, I asked her if she was still interested and she said well, sort of, but there's no time. I then said that if she developed an interest again, she could have my D200 but her folks could buy whatever glass because I still wanted to keep my stuff for the other cameras. She wasn't motivated to jump at the chance despite the fact that she snaps everything that happens.

What I think we see with her, as with the folks you describe doing the photo yoga number, is an interest in the 'moment' but not in the actual process of photography.

I take issue with your 'elitist' connotation - knowing something about the medium doesn't imply elitism which I think smacks more of a sense of superiority, however misplaced that often seems to be. Elitism as a function of camera ownership yes; that I can imagine being prevalent in certain circles, but even that can fall flat on its face unless the people one wants to impress are clued up enough to know about prices... vanity, status symbolism, but not really photography in the sense of a love for the medium. Camera clubs spring to mind.

Regarding the value of tourism in a national sense - figures are one thing, but tourism perhaps tends to be a localised phenomeon. Thus, the failure of it in the Spanish islands and along the Costas has put millions of native construction workers and thousands of North African migrant ones out ofwork. They still have to eat, and European Community unemployment  benefits are generally more realistic than the UK ones: why else the queues of wannabe illegal migrants lined up awaiting a lift across the English Channel into Britain, considering the fact that those people are already within the EU, which, incidentally, shows little sign of hampering their crossing to dump within Britain. But that's a measure of the stupidity/cynicism of a previous government touting to catch the vote of the dispossessed on the basis of the more the merrier, and thus the larger such a group the greater the volume of the left-wing vote.

But, depending on tourism prevents the creation of other activities and the mindset becomes one of six-months working and six-months on the dole. Comfortable? Perhaps, but somebody has to finance the inactivity and, if they don't, the prices for the working months scream rip-off, which they do!

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2010, 06:11:28 AM »
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Quote from: stamper


 "I often wonder how a professional manages to split the thought process, apart from the money thing, and take photos for pleasure? If you have been into photography for a long time, or any other pursuit, then there comes a time when you think that you have done it all and it is time to move on to other things."

Ah, stamper, you have touched on a sticky one! I would say that for the pros that I have a personal regard for, the two, business and pleasure, are one and the same. What they do for business is what drew them into the thing in the first instance.

As for having done it all and moving on to fresh pastures, I don't know - I never reached the point of saturation. In my case, what happened was that the market vanished and there was nowhere left to go that I wanted to go. I am currently in a state of limbo - rough love notwithstanding - where I am burned up with mental images of shots I want to make but lack the opportunity, now, to do. The ability to transfer my allegiance from girls to bricks and glass is not happening, and trees and rocks have as little success in weaning me away from the main deal. So, it isn't a matter of boredom as much as a matter of opportunity. And sadly, a great motivator in all of it was the assignment-as-challenge-to-shine. Especially over the local competition.

Of course, independent wealth might have alleviated some of the angst, made some more photography possible, but that still leaves out the big buzz of being chosen to do something for the money.

"In the ten years of shooting with thousands of journeys made I have only once went out along with another photographer. Sad? I think it is the best way to get what you want and how you want it. Moral of the story keep shooting and don't over analyse why."

Again, I think you are absolutely right. I can't for the life of me imagine the point of a group shoot - and that has to cover so-called workshops. Can you imagine the atmosphere of six or seven photographers pointing their cameras at the same poor girl? At the same little tree or saguaro, horse or goat? It's the equivalent of a bunch of student sitting the same exam, but working together to submit a single paper. Who the hell is the author? Of course, there are those seeking social intercourse, and that's fine too, no worse than spending hours here, but what has it to do with the development of one's own photographic vision or ability? I am willing to admit it might help ability, but hardly personal vision, which is a fruit best tended through one's own efforts. In the same category I would put clients who want to be on the shoot - just enjoy the holiday and let the actors do the acting; have that second lunch or G&T and let the people you pay do the work without you sitting on their shoulders like a friggin' parrot!

Regarding analysis - well, I think it makes for interesting reading, as I find this thread to be, but as you point out it has a danger built in if you apply it too personally. (feppe's rule of thirds!) But of course, that doesn't mean one shouldn't think about the whats and whys of one's actions. Perhaps the danger is magnified for a person without a huge conviction: in that case, the motivation might really seem disproportionate to the expenditure of time, money and energy that's going into it all. In which case, why not just walk away?

Rob C
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fredjeang
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« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2010, 07:26:16 AM »
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Stamper and Rob, Touché! (right on the money in french).

Yes, for the pro, business and pleasure are one and the same!

I can't agree with this separation that we sometimes tend to label about the artist and the business or so called professional.
A videographer like a photographer can be all the time with his camera and film whatever he experienced. Does that mean that a Godard would not be an artist because he just
film when he has a movie in production?

In between lines I often read that in fact if one can't find a motivation out of the assignment then something is suspect. I don't share that point of view.
Does an artist has to be broke all the time and suffers like hell and been misunderstood and live in misery to be qualify as a true artist? Those concepts are all bullshit.
The same to the beleif that once you become professional you sold your soul to the devil and stop to be a creative artist.
Of course those are cultural beleifs far from being the reality.

When I look at Magnum, and see those wonderfull photographers really, it is 80% cult of the hugly, discusting imagery, showing suffering, misery...very very rarelly beauty.
Magnum photographs impact for sure, but I rather watch in the end a rock or a river pic. Yes they hardly move me but I'm fed up of this discusting imagery associated to art.
Is Magnum decadent? I think so. More exactly I think they exploit perfectly the popular imagery of the more provocative and hugly art is, the more authentic.

Rob, about the team as a sort of commando, I agree. Difficult to understand if you have not experienced it, and what means the human adventure associated with it, and the estetic and artistic chalenges.

After that, difficult to be moved by a fence under a sunset as a photographic experience.

But all my respect for the people who feel that deeply and made their images with.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 07:40:46 AM by fredjeang » Logged
Rob C
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« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2010, 08:52:10 AM »
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Quote from: fredjeang

"When I look at Magnum, and see those wonderfull photographers really, it is 80% cult of the hugly, discusting imagery, showing suffering, misery...very very rarelly beauty.
Magnum photographs impact for sure, but I rather watch in the end a rock or a river pic. Yes they hardly move me but I'm fed up of this discusting imagery associated to art.
Is Magnum decadent? I think so. More exactly I think they exploit perfectly the popular imagery of the more provocative and hugly art is, the more authentic.

Rob, about the team as a sort of commando, I agree. Difficult to understand if you have not experienced it, and what means the human adventure associated with it, and the estetic and artistic chalenges."



Regarding Magnum, I suspect that their original raison d'être vanished with Life and all the rest of the PJ market, taking with it the bits that depended on access to movie productions and stars. What can they do now that's still valid? Selling images like a stock agency to advertising seems a strange thing for them to be doing; perhaps motivation haunts them too! As you know, France was a leader in PJ agencies - nearly all gone there as well.

On the second point, about personally experiencing the 'trip' experience in order to understand it, I never really thought about it like that. Of course I should have understood how unlikely it is that folks outwith it can understand what it meant.  I have done the odd solo stock shoot and never regretted going home from that! It simply isn't the same thing, there is no communal creative soul; odd that a bit of a natural loner like myself feels such a need.

Rob C
« Last Edit: August 04, 2010, 08:55:07 AM by Rob C » Logged

walter.sk
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« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2010, 09:37:18 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
I take issue with your 'elitist' connotation - knowing something about the medium doesn't imply elitism which I think smacks more of a sense of superiority, however misplaced that often seems to be. Elitism as a function of camera ownership yes; that I can imagine being prevalent in certain circles, but even that can fall flat on its face unless the people one wants to impress are clued up enough to know about prices... vanity, status symbolism, but not really photography in the sense of a love for the medium. Camera clubs spring to mind.
Rob C
I have nothing against the training, education and experience that mark the work of many excellent photographers.  I used the term "elitist" in the same vein found often in these forums, especially "But Is It Art," in which anyone referring to his/her work as "art" is discussed with disdain.  Against that view of "art" I compare the process of looking, seeing, putting the camera up (though no longer necessarily up to one's eye), making the picture, and printing out the favorites to look at, share with others, and feel anything from pleasure to pride.  I see this as "naive" art, in the same vein as people ranging from "Grandma Moses"
to Rousseau.  And since anybody at all can now pick up an inexpensive tool that will enable this process I referred to it as a "democratization."  Several well known photographers have made their reputations with "snapshot-like" pictures of gas stations across the US, or street intersections in the midwest, and part of the conception in their work is, in a way, a rebellion against the "rules" of salon photography and an elevation of the non-stylized "average Joe's" view of things as shown in their snapshots.

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ivokwee
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« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2010, 01:19:55 PM »
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I think tourists are actually the ones staying pure to the essence of what photography is about: a way to remember and share visual experience. That is there only motivation and genuine. A simple snapshot can mean a lot to a person, maybe nothing to someone else. The best way is to dig up some old picture of yourself whenyou were a kid or so, I am sure emotions will arise.

It is us "Photographers" that maybe should be ashamed that forget the essence of the photograph. Seeing photography as "making money", creating art, showing of their gear, then peeping at pixels rather than feeling the experience....

What is more worth? a snapshot taken by yourself of something you experienced yourself, or postcard of a famous photographer from the same thing?
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2010, 01:32:16 PM »
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Quote from: fredjeang
Few days ago in a fashion shooting in the lunch break, I was sitting in the restaurant next to a model and she was talking about Tailand.
In short, she was used to go to Tailand and enjoyed it, but she pointed that in the latest years it has become an unbearable disneyland, out of control.
The result is that she won't go back to Tailand until the situation change. She was saying that Cambogia is a more healphy experience and worth the trip
but that Tailand is too much.

I confirm Steve's post about how dirty they leave the places, included religious places. The locals have to clean them.
Thailand and Asia in general can be brutal to females.  Many women leave damaged both by their treatment of an openly sexist and male dominated society, and by how they're treated by their fellow countrymen which is usually men showing extreme hostility towards western women and a crude adoption of the Thai treatment of females..  This is sad.  Unfortunately countries with open prostitution (it's technically illegal here but...) and sex industries tend to bring the lowest common denominator from our own countries.

Trash..  Thai's and Cambodians and most citizens of SEA can be absolutely fastidious in their immediate homes (inside) and certain sites of spiritual and/or religious significance.. and near criminally filthy from right outside their front door to the destruction of natural original growth beaches and forests.. it's hard to wrap your mind around it at times.  Then.. they'll post a "no littering" sign in a tourist area and slap tourists with a 2000 baht ($70 USD) on the spot fine for a dirty kleenex.. while letting hundreds of Thai's walk by throwing whatever they want on the ground.

It can be frustrating.
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