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Author Topic: Motivation  (Read 26849 times)
Rob C
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« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2010, 01:36:40 PM »
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Quote from: ivokwee
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?


If your definition is as you say, then you are staying true to your thought. However, that's a single definition - yours. I don't think anyone else is trying to define photography, just suss out what makes photographers photograph. At least, that's what my OP was about.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2010, 01:52:27 PM »
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Quote from: walter.sk
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.



I understand your allusions! However, I see not rebellion but a tweaking by the nose (and especially the wallet) of the popular credibility - a checking out of how far they can take this thing along the highway of mockery of those same collectors and pundits playing the game with them. Frankly outrageous, in my view, and you could throw in pix of empty, decaying swimming pools as companion pieces to the same show. You begin to touch the same base as Fred and his Magnum thoughts...

Interestingly enough, I am not totally agin such pictures. And they have their very singular uses - as backgrounds to some YouTube music videos, for example, they function perfectly in providing a perceived flavour of 50s/60s American life. But that's distinct from their intrinsic photographic value as an art and still doesn't really address the motivation for their being - at least, we can't tell that from the videos. Their value is retrospective.

But anyway, nice to see you spending time on this - thank you.

Rob C
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Rob C
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« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2010, 02:13:06 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
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.



Amen! The trick, however, is to combine devotion with reward and that takes quite a lot of creative accounting, even if not all fiscal. I'm not so sure I agree with the wedding scenario as a temporary salvation - at least, for me it did represent a fate worse than bankruptcy - but I guess my guardian angel was feeling in a good mood when I made the easy decision to stop doing that work. The trouble with saying this is that it can be construed as an attack on wedding shooters. It should not be seen as that, just that my personal interest simply can't live in that box. I would have been better staying on and finishing my mech.eng. apprenticeship than do that.

I think that one of the problems with photography is that it takes over your life - or maybe it would be more accurate to say that running a photo business takes over your life. I often thought that it was a job for a single man, that there wasn't space for caring or considering the well-being of anyone else in that life - just the state of the business, of your career. Fortunately, those dice were cast before the business became reality! But, nothing can ever really take away what's inside and wants out - when a man's got to shoot...

Rob C

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feppe
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Oh this shows up in here!


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« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2010, 03:06:15 PM »
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Quote from: Steve Weldon
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)

I believe I qualified my "vital" assessment with YMMV. If Thailand's economy is in such a great state that they can withstand a 5% hit on their GDP, great for them. In current economy a 5% hit on GDP would be devastating to many countries.

I don't understand how you can call the auto industry a straw man argument, as I was merely using it to illustrate how significant the tourism industry is to an economy. To clarify: the US economy is hurting in large part due to Detroit hurting.

I have no idea where your tirade about colonialism or comparing EU came from. I'm talking about the GDP of a country, not dissing your mother...

I'm done with this.
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Rob C
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« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2010, 03:30:59 AM »
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Guys, we're all getting sidetracked! We're discussing motivation in photography, after all, though I do see how it can lead to more easily coped with themes...

Having said that, I think it one of the nicer things about this place that there is motivation to expand a little on threads; I find the debating society approach quite sterile. Life doesn't actually move in such well defined paths, as most of us here can testify only too well; were it otherwise, who'd have anything to muse over?

Rob C
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #45 on: August 05, 2010, 04:15:14 AM »
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Quote from: feppe
I believe I qualified my "vital" assessment with YMMV. If Thailand's economy is in such a great state that they can withstand a 5% hit on their GDP, great for them. In current economy a 5% hit on GDP would be devastating to many countries.

I don't understand how you can call the auto industry a straw man argument, as I was merely using it to illustrate how significant the tourism industry is to an economy. To clarify: the US economy is hurting in large part due to Detroit hurting.

I have no idea where your tirade about colonialism or comparing EU came from. I'm talking about the GDP of a country, not dissing your mother...

I'm done with this.
A YMMV statement doesn't change the definition of a word.. 5% is 5% is 5% to any country.. and many countries have taken much larger hits and not been "devastated."  You're dramatizing for effect and it's not working here.

A manufacturing sector comparation to a tourism sector is very different, straw man at best.. especially when both subjects being compared have the exact same sectors to compare and one is choosing not to use them.  And no.. I don't think the US is "hurting to a large part" due to the auto industry.. the current economic issues of the US and globally in fact.. are far more complex.   To be more precise, the auto industry is 'down' because of the economy.. the economy goes down, people buy less 'things'.  Things like automobiles.   One is a cause, the other an effect.  The auto industry didn't "cause" anything.  (at least not this time)

The bottom line is I don't think 5% of any countries economy is 'vital' for anyone but those involved in that 5%.. the country will survive and depending on the country, it's economic policies, and its resources.. recover faster or slower.
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stamper
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« Reply #46 on: August 05, 2010, 10:25:50 AM »
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A manufacturing sector comparation to a tourism sector is very different, straw man at best.. especially when both subjects being compared have the exact same sectors to compare and one is choosing not to use them.  And no.. I don't think the US is "hurting to a large part" due to the auto industry.. the current economic issues of the US and globally in fact.. are far more complex.   To be more precise, the auto industry is 'down' because of the economy.. the economy goes down, people buy less 'things'.  Things like automobiles.   One is a cause, the other an effect.  The auto industry didn't "cause" anything.  (at least not this time)

The bottom line is I don't think 5% of any countries economy is 'vital' for anyone but those involved in that 5%.. the country will survive and depending on the country, it's economic policies, and its resources.. recover faster or slower.
[/quote]


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blansky
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« Reply #47 on: August 05, 2010, 02:02:59 PM »
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Who can say why most people do anything. The snappers that take "holiday pictures" do so for a variety of reasons. Ego--- I was there an you weren't, while showing them to friends. Sheep--- because everyone else is doing it so I'd better. etc

But in my opinion the reason a lot of people take photographs is for the emotional hit they get when they are able to relive them back home, months and years later. Maybe it's sort of primal, to prove to themselves that they exist and were there and did something. Maybe it's to record a once in a lifetime experience that they know deep down they will never repeat. Maybe for them and a lot of us it's the reason that attracted them to photography in the first place. The ability to stop time.

Nothing else can really do that. With these magic little boxes we have the ability to stop time, as it is whirling towards an unknown future. We can stop the age of our ever changing children, stop their smiles and glee in mid stream, we can capture the love we feel and maybe once felt for a loved one who may or may not be here any more.

That to me is the essence of photography as I practice it. Not provocative throwaway advertising pieces, not sterile scenics, not masterfully executed technical masterpieces, but instead recordings of human beings caught in a split second in time that provide an emotional twinge to the person that looks at it.  And it may even be a poorly exposed, poorly composed snapshot of someone standing grinning in front of some landmark in a far away place.

As a portrait photographer that's what photography is all about. The quality of what various people produce will vary but the emotions are still there. It is much like in the evening when all the noise of the day is gone and you are sitting with your loved ones, it's the feeling of completeness that you have as you look and hold them. When you are old and alone those are the moments you will long for and on your death bed that is what you will remember.

So in my opinion, let them snap away. And I ALWAYS ask anyone with a camera that is obviously a tourist if they would like me to photograph them in front of something. Especially the couples. They need to be together in the photograph.


Michael
« Last Edit: August 05, 2010, 02:08:02 PM by blansky » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #48 on: August 06, 2010, 05:58:37 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

Rob,
Having had a look at your website, I think I'm getting an insight into why you are not motivated to take photos when on holiday, or when travelling to a new, exotic or just different location.

Having (apparently) spent half your life as a photographer shooting the female breast, most other subjects must now seem rather flat and uninteresting.

Perhaps you should ask yourself, why would anyone pay significant sums of money to go on holiday or take excursions to see sights that are not worth photographing?

I can understand someone who suffers from technophobia, who has an aversion towards digital products, not wanting to even own a camera. I can understand someone who just wants to relax by the hotel swimming pool and read a few novels, not being interested in taking photos. I can understand someone who is busy and pressed for time, who doesn't want to bother taking photos, and I guess I can understand why someone who lives in an over-familiar, mundane environment, has no motivation to take photos of subjects that cannot compare with the beauty of the female breast, or the allure of a Pirelli Calender model.

Is that last example you?

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Rob C
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« Reply #49 on: August 06, 2010, 02:32:28 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
Rob,
Having had a look at your website, I think I'm getting an insight into why you are not motivated to take photos when on holiday, or when travelling to a new, exotic or just different location.

Having (apparently) spent half your life as a photographer shooting the female breast, most other subjects must now seem rather flat and uninteresting.

Perhaps you should ask yourself, why would anyone pay significant sums of money to go on holiday or take excursions to see sights that are not worth photographing?

I can understand someone who suffers from technophobia, who has an aversion towards digital products, not wanting to even own a camera. I can understand someone who just wants to relax by the hotel swimming pool and read a few novels, not being interested in taking photos. I can understand someone who is busy and pressed for time, who doesn't want to bother taking photos, and I guess I can understand why someone who lives in an over-familiar, mundane environment, has no motivation to take photos of subjects that cannot compare with the beauty of the female breast, or the allure of a Pirelli Calender model.

Is that last example you?


Absolutely.

And therein the problem: what do you do about it when the client factor disappears?

I see lots and lots of shots around the place of lesser models and it makes me wonder about the motivation/eye of the snapper. I can't remember in which thread this came up recently, but the model is as important in a creative sense - if not more so - than the photographer; you don't see the snapper, but you do see the girl. The problem is, if the girl looks like the 'girl next door' (a lie if ever the magazines promoted one - it's the last thing they or guys seek) then you have pretty well wasted your time. You can stick a zillion lights on her, be as clever as you want, but a pig is still a pig, even with lip gloss. Not everybody, some pros included, seem aware of this. Damn, there's a trail of refining, more refining and many more tears from rejection before the top of the heap even gets to the right castings! Nobody just walks right in and scoops the cream. Yep, famous overnight, after several years of nothing much. Please, nobody say Kate Moss and airport in the same breath.

Still in the personal mode, I've looked at as many different genres as I can think of as being remotely interesting or practical for me to consider, and after a couple of shoots, they simply bore me silly.

Perhaps as Klaban indicated, one might be destined to ruminate forever - a sort of photographic Flying Dutchman. Wish I'd realised that before buying more and more tin, plastic and glass. (I'm thinking cameras, but might just as well be dreaming cars.)

I think I should save your quotation above for posterity and post a copy in front of the monitor. By the way, glad you had a look at the site - thanks for that.

Ciao

Rob C
« Last Edit: August 06, 2010, 02:35:34 PM by Rob C » Logged

KLaban
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« Reply #50 on: August 06, 2010, 04:48:56 PM »
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Rob

I must have written a dozen or more posts to this Motivation thread and ended up trashing the lot. It’s a difficult situation.

I understand the passion you had for your work and for the life that went with it. I understand the dilemma you face now that this life and work is no more. What I find difficult to understand is the enthusiasm you show here for photography and yet your lack of enthusiasm for making images.

OK, tough ain't going to work, but hell, I'd tried everything else. What saddens me is the waste of talent.

Best

Keith
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KLaban
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« Reply #51 on: August 07, 2010, 02:49:33 AM »
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I should add, if I felt you were happy with your current situation then I'd understand, but the fact is the angst is there for all to see.

Keith
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Rob C
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« Reply #52 on: August 07, 2010, 03:58:04 AM »
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Quote from: KLaban
Rob

I must have written a dozen or more posts to this Motivation thread and ended up trashing the lot. It’s a difficult situation.

I understand the passion you had for your work and for the life that went with it. I understand the dilemma you face now that this life and work is no more. What I find difficult to understand is the enthusiasm you show here for photography and yet your lack of enthusiasm for making images.

OK, tough ain't going to work, but hell, I'd tried everything else. What saddens me is the waste of talent.

Best

Keith



Keith

Coming from you, the very last sentence cheers me up no end. Thanks for that.

However, there isn't a lack of enthusiasm for making images - there is a lack of opportunity for making the ones that appeal to me. As the Meerkat hints, those are two different things; tweetch! All genres are not the same, as you well know, and the act of pointing a camera at something you have little interest in is worse than not pointing at all. On the other hand, were I talking photographic business right now, you would be right; I have had to kick my own ankles at times to prevent myself picking up the 'phone and ordering a Nikkor 24mm Tilt/Shifter in pursuit of yet another blind alley. Damn it, my wallet is shrinking fast from such misadventures!

It isn't hardware, software or underwear (well, maybe the latter) that causes the angst that cripples the mind - it's the vicious circle. I would be only too happy were I to wake up with a new enthusiasm for shooting Mediterranean atmospherics, for example, but I don't any more, not since Tony Stone asked me not too because all the agencies were groaning under the weight of such stuff!

Maybe it's akin to finding one's self in a harem but deeply in love with someone else. How would you resolve that? Eff them all whilst saying a mental sorry all the while...? I have a suspěcion I'm not doing that either, just saying the mental sorry, over and over again like a friggin' mantra! I'm gonna buy one of those self-help manuals; might even become a great mechanic! Could do worse: the last oil change the Ford had (last week) cost me €110 and would have been much higher had I not warned the garage that I didn't want plugs or anything else as Rusty's life hangs on a thread that I might cut at any moment.

My youngest granddaughter got home to find that the postman had called: she got all her five As! One more year doing more and then, with luck, joins her sis at uni. Some things are really good. Eff that manual!

;-)

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #53 on: August 07, 2010, 10:49:10 AM »
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Have you been on the Sangria Rob? Some very good insights there which must strike a cord with many posters.
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Rob C
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« Reply #54 on: August 07, 2010, 11:12:14 AM »
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Quote from: stamper
Have you been on the Sangria Rob? Some very good insights there which must strike a cord with many posters.



I wish! Just coldish coffee...

Rob C
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Ray
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« Reply #55 on: August 08, 2010, 10:27:23 AM »
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Rob,
The following shot which I took in the  Russian Museum in St Petersburg might be just up your alley. I was surprised I was allowed to take photos (albeit without flash or tripod). However, for such occasions I wish I was carrying a D3s.

The nature of the subject matter caught my eye, obviously because I have an artistic temperament.

But I was not familiar with the painter, Henryk Siemiradzki, and my ancient Greek history was not up to scratch. But the internet has revealed all.

The main subject is a high class err!.. escort. It seems that in ancient Greek society, wives had a very 'background' role of chores and raising children. However, the Greeks did have a goddess of love ,beauty and sexuality, called Aphrodite, and certain Greek women, possessed of natural beauty, tried to emulate the characteristics of Aphrodite.

One such woman was Phryne, depicted in the painting. The most famous statue ever sculpted of the Goddess Aphrodite, totally lurid and scandalous, was based on Phryne, sculpted by her then current lover, Praxiteles.

To cut a long story short, Phryne became very wealthy as a result of her natural attractions; ruffled a few feathers because of her numerous love affairs, and ended up in court, charged with the very serious offense of profaning religious occasions. (We all know what happened to Socrates).

Her defending lawyer was an ex-lover, Hyperides. Unfortunately, the case against Phryne was so strong, it seemed a forgone conclusion that she would be found guilty.

In a last-ditch attempt to save the day, Hyperides ripped off Phryne's clothing to reveal her breasts in their full glory. He argued, 'How could such God-given attributes possibly profane any religious festival?'

This was a knock-out blow. The case was dismissed.

[attachment=23574:033_Phry...miradzki.jpg]

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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #56 on: August 08, 2010, 09:10:52 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
Rob,
The following shot which I took in the  Russian Museum in St Petersburg might be just up your alley. I was surprised I was allowed to take photos (albeit without flash or tripod). However, for such occasions I wish I In a last-ditch attempt to save the day, Hyperides ripped off Phryne's clothing to reveal her breasts in their full glory. He argued, 'How could such God-given attributes possibly profane any religious festival?'

This was a knock-out blow. The case was dismissed.

[attachment=23574:033_Phry...miradzki.jpg]

And all along I assumed that it was Rob who ripped off her clothing!


Eric

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Rob C
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« Reply #57 on: August 09, 2010, 04:16:58 AM »
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Me? Bodice ripper? I am the genuine mild-mannered Clark Kent with unexpectedly tonsured hair and no telephone booth.

And there you see my problem with landscape. Like for the painter in question, the prettiest scenery in the world but serves as backdrop to a yet finer figure. And I just can't get over that basic problem of perception. I sometimed think of Keith's Greek pics and how much more they would mean to me were they but gracing another, contemporary Greek goddess... One day, one day he'll surprise me with such a thing.

But seriously, the location in that painting is superb, but it wasn't left empty!

Rob C
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« Reply #58 on: August 09, 2010, 10:02:11 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Me? Bodice ripper? I am the genuine mild-mannered Clark Kent with unexpectedly tonsured hair and no telephone booth.

And there you see my problem with landscape. Like for the painter in question, the prettiest scenery in the world but serves as backdrop to a yet finer figure. And I just can't get over that basic problem of perception. I sometimed think of Keith's Greek pics and how much more they would mean to me were they but gracing another, contemporary Greek goddess... One day, one day he'll surprise me with such a thing.

But seriously, the location in that painting is superb, but it wasn't left empty!

Rob C
But Rob: Empty is beautiful!

I guess it does boil down to needing more equipment: We need to get you a good telephone booth.





Eric

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Rob C
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« Reply #59 on: August 09, 2010, 01:49:15 PM »
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Quote from: Eric Myrvaagnes
But Rob: Empty is beautiful!

I guess it does boil down to needing more equipment: We need to get you a good telephone booth.


Eric


But I shall still refuse to wear my undies on the outside!

Rob C
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