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Author Topic: Time, photography and how we use it  (Read 6832 times)
Peter McLennan
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« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2010, 07:53:40 PM »
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Most of us grow older everyday, only at a slow pace that makes the process hardly noticeable.

My question to you. How do you feel photography relates to time and has this been changing?

A good question, Bernard.

Yesterday, tramping a kilometer or so to a favourite spot, bearing two D300s, the largest-available Gitzo and a backpack, I was reflecting on the weight of the tripod on my right shoulder.  

"This ain't as easy as it used to be.", I said to myself.  "If you want to photograph places you haven't been to yet, you'd better get busy."

At 64, I really appreciate the fact that time is my most valuable photographic resource.
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RSL
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« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2010, 08:18:47 PM »
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Absolutely not. What I'm saying is that holding photos in the critique corner to the same standards is like setting the high jump bar at 2.40 meters in a regional competition (there are only 7 men in the world who've jumped that high).

But is that a reason to lower our objectives? Why should anyone set his objective at 2 meters when the real objective is 2.4 meters? I think we all adjust our critiques to lower levels as we go along, but that shouldn't change the real objective. This is exactly why Rob and I both keep telling everyone who wants to do good photographic work to study the work of the masters.
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feppe
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« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2010, 08:42:51 PM »
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But is that a reason to lower our objectives? Why should anyone set his objective at 2 meters when the real objective is 2.4 meters? I think we all adjust our critiques to lower levels as we go along, but that shouldn't change the real objective. This is exactly why Rob and I both keep telling everyone who wants to do good photographic work to study the work of the masters.

I'm in full agreement there. Nevertheless, not even a prodigy like GSP trains at 100% intensity 100% of the time.

Fortunately I'm sure quality of our photographic output is not limited by genes, unlike how it is in sports
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2010, 10:20:06 PM »
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Fortunately I'm sure quality of our photographic output is not limited by genes, unlike how it is in sports
Hmmm. I wonder if you can get steroids to aid the photographic muse!

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Lost
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« Reply #24 on: September 27, 2010, 01:46:04 AM »
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Absolutely not. What I'm saying is that holding photos in the critique corner to the same standards is like setting the high jump bar at 2.40 meters in a regional competition (there are only 7 men in the world who've jumped that high).

You make it sound like the critique corner is only a place to pass judgement!

I had hoped that it might be somewhere that it might be somewhere where people would make constructive comparisons and suggestions for things to try to improve.  As such, set the bar as high as possible and explain what, in your opinion, would help improve the image.

The value of LL is the experience of its readers. If I want popularity, all I need to do is post random photos to Flickr with their saturation/sharpness/MSG cranked up to 200%, posting the result to one of the many mutual back-scratching groups. If I want to take better photographs, then I need the considered help of those that have spent much more time in photography and who have a lot more experience as a result...
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 07:30:43 AM by Lost » Logged

Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: September 27, 2010, 04:30:52 AM »
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You do realize you're comparing LL critique corner to some of the most celebrated photographers of all time?

But that's the thing about exposure: you have to have faith, self-belief or just boldness. If you don't, why submit yourself to the Internet where the very best is available for almost direct comparison could anyone be bothered enough to make it?

Of course, this opens the gates to definition once more...

But going back to the immediate confines of LuLa - I think that what is seen is very often good technical ability with nothing more in the pics than that. And I think it's not really a matter of the shooters being good or bad, more that there is so little outwith the clichés that can be said in pictures. It's just too late in photo history to be doing anything new. Almost everything you can imagine already fits within some genre and, thus, the embrace of cliché.

It's just too, too late for us all to be pioneers.

Rob C
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stamper
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« Reply #26 on: September 27, 2010, 06:14:57 AM »
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You make it sound like the critique corner is only a place to pass judgement!

I had hoped that it might be somewhere that it might be somewhere where people would make constructive comparisons and suggestions for things to try to improve.  As such, set the bar as high as possible and explain what, in your opinion, would help improve the image.

The value of LL is the experience of its readers. If I want popularity, all I need to do is post random photos to Flickr with their saturation/sharpness/MSG cranked up to 200%, posting the result to one of the many mutual back-scratching groups. If I want to take better photographs, then I need the considered help of those that have spent much more time in photography and who have a lot more experience as a result...

I think that there are a lot of good photographers who visit Flickr. I wouldn't condemn them all? Just look about the signatures to see how many on here have Flickr accounts. Feel free to ignore my signature as this isn't a plug. Wink
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stamper
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« Reply #27 on: September 27, 2010, 06:17:50 AM »
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But that's the thing about exposure: you have to have faith, self-belief or just boldness. If you don't, why submit yourself to the Internet where the very best is available for almost direct comparison could anyone be bothered enough to make it?

Of course, this opens the gates to definition once more...

But going back to the immediate confines of LuLa - I think that what is seen is very often good technical ability with nothing more in the pics than that. And I think it's not really a matter of the shooters being good or bad, more that there is so little outwith the clichés that can be said in pictures. It's just too late in photo history to be doing anything new. Almost everything you can imagine already fits within some genre and, thus, the embrace of cliché.

It's just too, too late for us all to be pioneers.

Rob C

IMO the difference between a good photographer and a very good one is imagination? This is where many - including myself - struggle. Sad
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stamper
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« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2010, 06:33:03 AM »
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Quote
The value of LL is the experience of its readers. If I want popularity, all I need to do is post random photos to Flickr with their saturation/sharpness/MSG cranked up to 200%, posting the result to one of the many mutual back-scratching groups.

Unquote

Regarding the back scratching I have just discovered on Flickr it is possible to delete comments that have been made about your images. I don't know how long this has been possible. The other day I commented on a good image I saw and stated that if the horizon had been straight then it would have been a very good image. Later I noticed the comment was no longer there but the squinty horizon still was! At first I thought I had hit preview by mistake. The back scratching comment has more merit to it than I first thought.  Undecided
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Lost
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« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2010, 07:49:02 AM »
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I think that there are a lot of good photographers who visit Flickr. I wouldn't condemn them all? Just look about the signatures to see how many on here have Flickr accounts. Feel free to ignore my signature as this isn't a plug. Wink

Sorry - I didn't mean that to be a condemnation of Flickr users in general!  I was trying to make the point that there are other better avenues for self-promotion than posting something here...

I have a joint Flickr account (m4barcelona) that we use regularly, mainly for friends and family overseas to see what we have been doing. I might be a bit touchy about this because we have had several recent Flickr mails asking to join groups that have a policy of 'post three favorites for each one you receive'!
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feppe
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« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2010, 11:10:48 AM »
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You make it sound like the critique corner is only a place to pass judgement!

I had hoped that it might be somewhere that it might be somewhere where people would make constructive comparisons and suggestions for things to try to improve.  As such, set the bar as high as possible and explain what, in your opinion, would help improve the image.

This is veering even farther away from the OP, but what the hell.

Unfortunately that's what 90% of the "critique" corner is. I find almost zero value in critiquing a photo which the critic feels "should" have been taken, instead of the photo that was taken (and presented). Saying you should have taken two steps back might have not been an option due to a busy road. Coming back at a later time for better light might have not been an option due to a flight leaving. "Doesn't follow rule of thirds" and I'm banging my head on the keyboard - although in fairness haven't seen that one on LL.

9% is along the lines of "nice shot, thanks for sharing," which are nice for validation if they come from people you respect, but still have zero value unless that's what you're after. The remaining 1% is actionable, helpful and valid critique and advice.

I keep wondering if portfolio critique events are any better.

Last time I posted on critique corner I did receive useful advice and made changes to the photo I posted, so maybe I'm being a bit too harsh.

The value of LL is the experience of its readers. If I want popularity, all I need to do is post random photos to Flickr with their saturation/sharpness/MSG cranked up to 200%, posting the result to one of the many mutual back-scratching groups. If I want to take better photographs, then I need the considered help of those that have spent much more time in photography and who have a lot more experience as a result...

No reason singling out Flickr: there are several threads on LL which are filled with feel-good feedback loops and unrestrained sycophantism. Flickr-whores' cranked up saturation and clarity, and abuse of HDR become LL's impressive clients, important degrees, and cameras costing more than a good new car.

Again, in fairness, things are generally much worse outside of LL.

Yes, it's certainly a Monday Tongue
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RSL
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« Reply #31 on: September 27, 2010, 12:00:53 PM »
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I'm in full agreement there. Nevertheless, not even a prodigy like GSP trains at 100% intensity 100% of the time.

But photography isn't a sport. To train at less than 100% intensity any time you're out with a camera is a big mistake.
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Riaan van Wyk
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« Reply #32 on: September 27, 2010, 12:30:34 PM »
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My question to you. How do you feel photography relates to time and has this been changing?

Cheers,
Bernard


People put different values on time, I have found Bernard. Regardless of it being behind a camera or not. I do feel that my time spent with a camera is extremely important to me though.
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feppe
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« Reply #33 on: September 27, 2010, 12:32:43 PM »
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But photography isn't a sport. To train at less than 100% intensity any time you're out with a camera is a big mistake.

I know you're a very black-and-white guy, but that's taking it to the extreme.

They're called snapshots, or just having fun with a camera.
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RSL
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« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2010, 12:33:41 PM »
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But Rob, even if we where (re)producing clichés;
when I watch, let's say, Winograd or any master that size, it feels so fresh, powerfull and great that déjà vu does not matters, it is simply excellent.

Fred, Run through Robert Frank's The Americans, and then get out Garry Winogrand's Figments from the Real World and run through that. See any similarities? Garry was doing almost the same kind of thing Robert was doing, but he had a slightly different approach. The result is fresh, even though there are similarities all over the place. Actually, if you go back and look at some of Walker Evans's street shots you realize that even Robert Frank was a latecomer to that particular approach, but the way Robert handled it was just enough different from the way Walker handled it to make Robert's photographs clearly Robert's.

As you can see, I just don't agree with Rob's insistence that everything has been done and therefore anything new will be a cliche. In a sense, since Cartier-Bresson no one has done anything on the street that's not derivative. But if you go back a bit further you realize that even Henri's stuff could be considered derivative of Andre Kertesz, yet, if you look at their photographs the differences jump out at you.

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But somewhere, Russ pointed that if you do one exceptional keeper/year you are lucky, that is what happens most of the time, but these guys where/are able to produce many of those/ month...where is the secret?

You can learn the secret by counting the pictures in The Americans and Figments from the Real World, and then read the texts that tell you how many frames these guys actually shot to put together these books. When Garry Winogrand died he left behind something like 300,000 developed but unedited frames and 2,500 undeveloped rolls of exposed film. I don't think Robert was quite so wasteful, but he shot a hell of a lot of frames to put together The Americans. You can't get this information from The Americans itself, but you can get it from Looking In, the catalogue for his latest show

I stand by my estimate of one exceptional keeper per year, at least for myself, but I'm not doing the kind of intensive shooting these two guys were doing. I'd be willing to bet that if you were to compare exceptional keepers to frames shot, I'm not far off from either of them. Why do I say this? Becuase I have an exceptionally high regard for my skills? Absolutely not. I say it because street photography is like fishing. You can have all the gear and all the skills, but you still have to be lucky enough to be there when the exceptional keeper (the fish) exposes itself to you.
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RSL
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« Reply #35 on: September 27, 2010, 12:48:01 PM »
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I know you're a very black-and-white guy, but that's taking it to the extreme.

They're called snapshots, or just having fun with a camera.

Harri, It depends on what you're setting out to do. Yes, we see an awful lot of "fun with a camera" snapshots on User Critiques. I make vacation snapshots too. I call them "record shots." But I don't post them anywhere for someone to critique. They stay in my comb-bound books. Maybe that's "extreme," but that's just my "black and white" nature. I have something like 24,000 photographs in my current Lightroom catalog but my primary web site has roughly 200 broken down into 6 categories. The total on the web isn't going to grow much because when I add I also subtract.

I tend to believe that the folks who post on LuLa are trying to get beyond "just having fun with a camera." Maybe that's too "black and white" a belief.
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feppe
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« Reply #36 on: September 27, 2010, 01:23:33 PM »
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Harri, It depends on what you're setting out to do. Yes, we see an awful lot of "fun with a camera" snapshots on User Critiques. I make vacation snapshots too. I call them "record shots." But I don't post them anywhere for someone to critique. They stay in my comb-bound books. Maybe that's "extreme," but that's just my "black and white" nature. I have something like 24,000 photographs in my current Lightroom catalog but my primary web site has roughly 200 broken down into 6 categories. The total on the web isn't going to grow much because when I add I also subtract.

I tend to believe that the folks who post on LuLa are trying to get beyond "just having fun with a camera." Maybe that's too "black and white" a belief.

You did say "To train at less than 100% intensity any time you're out with a camera is a big mistake." Anyway, this is a pointless distraction so I'll stop.
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RSL
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« Reply #37 on: September 27, 2010, 02:14:53 PM »
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You did say "To train at less than 100% intensity any time you're out with a camera is a big mistake."

That's what I said. And when I make record shots I try to make good record shots.
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NikoJorj
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« Reply #38 on: September 27, 2010, 02:24:50 PM »
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Almost everything you can imagine already fits within some genre and, thus, the embrace of cliché.
As long as it's only "almost" there's something more to discover, so I wouldn't worry too much about that, and anyway it's the geniuses' job to discover it, not mine, so I can continue to simply try to grasp a few personal things in time.

Reading Le Temps retrouvé these days, I'm biased to think that this "grasp in time" concept can be said for many forms of art, that try to extract fleeing things from the flow of the time and make them more permanent.
That applies to many levels of creation, from my own clichés, simply trying to grasp the awe I feel in front of the mountains, to the HCB masterpieces above that really show a slice of humanity.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2010, 02:39:09 PM by NikoJorj » Logged

Nicolas from Grenoble
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« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2010, 02:36:13 PM »
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Photographers like Winograd where actually having an artistic goal but what all those "new clubs" like Flickr are doing is that the first motivation is somewhere else.  

I'd think that an artist creates for herself more than for any other one's consumption ; and that's the fulfilling of this egoistic need, that makes it of interest to others.

That doesn't rule out any critique at all ; for me, the interest of a critique section is not in the facebookian like/don't like commentaries, but more in that people can share why they like or don't like the thing, and what does or does not resonate with their own egoistic need - the premise being that all those selfish needs may be close enough between individuals to share some elements.
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Nicolas from Grenoble
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