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Author Topic: Time, photography and how we use it  (Read 5621 times)
Lost
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« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2010, 03:16:52 PM »
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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.

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.

What nonsense!  Tongue

Why shouldn't photography should be fun and inventive?  Having "fun with a camera" is surely the best way to get some inspiration and try something new?  In my time, I have photographed with everything from a pin-hole camera to a 200km radio array.  We routinely use our Flickr stream for games and word-play, with pictures ranging from Hello Kitty to images of silica banana cell casts - taken with an electron microscope sharp enough to make you despair at ever using your Leica ever again Smiley

Is this high-art photography? Of course not, but it is a lot of fun and helps give some inspiration for when you really are trying to take a "proper" photograph. I can not believe that there is really nothing new to do.


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.

Spot on. However, I find any outside input potentially useful for new ideas or breaking out of a rut. You may or may not agree with the critic, but if they can make you think about something differently then perhaps the criticism has value as a source of new ideas (and quite often in a very different context).
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RSL
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« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2010, 05:06:56 PM »
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What nonsense!  Tongue

Why shouldn't photography should be fun and inventive?  Having "fun with a camera" is surely the best way to get some inspiration and try something new?

What you "lost" when you read that entry is the fact that going beyond "having fun with a camera" doesn't exclude the fun factor. Trying for excellence and succeeding is about as much fun as I can think of. Not trying for excellence and succeeding is about as boring and unfun a pastime as I can think of.
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2010, 10:18:12 PM »
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"Trying for excellence and succeeding is about as much fun as I can think of. Not  trying for excellence and succeeding is about as boring and unfun a pastime as I can think of."

yep
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michswiss
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« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2010, 10:42:47 PM »
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What you "lost" when you read that entry is the fact that going beyond "having fun with a camera" doesn't exclude the fun factor. Trying for excellence and succeeding is about as much fun as I can think of. Not trying for excellence and succeeding is about as boring and unfun a pastime as I can think of.

Understanding what other's have seen as excellence and then bringing your own interpretation or vision to it is the hard part.  Even in street photography, I think there's a responsibility to tell a story.  There are no new stories or images, but done well, each is unique and worthwhile. 
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Lost
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« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2010, 01:05:46 AM »
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What you "lost" when you read that entry is the fact that going beyond "having fun with a camera" doesn't exclude the fun factor.

Of course, but sometimes I think these things need to be said explicitly.


Trying for excellence and succeeding is about as much fun as I can think of. Not trying for excellence and succeeding is about as boring and unfun a pastime as I can think of.

Absolutely!

Now off to find some *real* coffee and see anything around can inspire some photographs about time...
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Rob C
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« Reply #45 on: September 28, 2010, 04:09:14 AM »
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"It is like intensive agriculture: we produce more for cheap but this has a cost: bad taste or no taste at all. Can not find, and this is not a joke, a proper tomato in Madrid now. They look beautifull but they have no taste at all."

And it's as bad here, in Mallorca. We used to buy everything from the Sunday market in Pollensa, then after I was alone I had neither the heart nor the need anymore because I'm a terrible cook. I bought some tomatoes last week, they looked beautiful, so three came home with me to make a snack in the evenings. Almost immediately I had to throw one out - they had been frozen, yet the owners of the shop have a finca where they grow their own... the same with out-of-season fruit: it comes from South America and is either too ripe or too much the other way.

And I think photography, related to time, is much the same too.

In the case of amateur photojournalism, which is where some on this thread major, however much they may feel differently they do eventually admit to working a worn groove. As to whether or not they are in the right place at the right time or not, that is, for them, usually out of their hands; but, for the pro pj it is not: he has to be there where the riot, the political protest, the march takes place. And that's why his batting average is so much higher: he is in the right place at the right time. And to complicate the problem, he has a reason to be where he is whilst the amateur does not, he has only a wish to get something, anything. (Donovan...?)

There is a huge difference betwen catching a couple having a kiss on 5th Avenue and catching a soldier blowing away a prisoner on another street in another country. The intentions of the photographers are probably identical, but the opportunities - as the risks - are worlds apart. I feel that the shared excitement is largely imaginary. But we have made heroes out of these war junkies, weekend supplement whores, or just crazies. And I think we have because they go where most sane people fear to tread. Slightly perverse?

But back to time.

It was mentioned that photographic souvenir value counts for a lot, that it can bring comfort in old age. Perhaps, but with it can come as much regret as solace. I recently posted a pic of my old dog – dead twenty years; yes, searching for it because of the thread on dogs was a sort of mild fun, but it also opened up another can of worms, memories of walking with her with my late wife, with the kids, all of us playing with her in the snow in the local park during her first winter in life, and is that sweet? I wonder; I think it is probably more bitter than sweet.

When you are young, you seldom think about the distant future; pictures you shoot are about the moment, not an imaginary future you may or may not see.

It is said that time is a healer. I seriously doubt that. I believe that time allows things to distil, that it slowly eliminates the inconsequential subtexts and leaves you with the enormity of what has been lost staring you full in the face. And I believe that it is usually a matter of loss in old age. Personally, other than the kids, there is now nobody left of my family or little social group that knows much first-hand about me, my early life, my interests, where I went or what I did. And isn’t that revealing? What I did, where I went… and at the time it wasn’t just in the singular, but that’s how it becomes when thought is all that remains. One retreats ever more into the self. The alternative, becoming everyone’s new best friend is too sad to contemplate. And the hypocrisy in such would be as intolerable as it would transparent.

So in the scheme of things, photography is different things to each of us depending on opportunity, age and desires. Is it a bedroom key? Does it supply relief from a killing day-job? Does it give that adrenalin rush nothing else can?

All I know right now is that it gives me an out from the racing heads, the vicious circles that otherwise creep in unbidden and eat one’s mind like a worm.

Thank God for photography at this moment, this period in time. I wish it could also fix blood pressure, low or high, though I suspect that its buddy, the computer, is a malevolent big mother doing its best to kill me too.

Rob C

 
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #46 on: September 29, 2010, 07:33:11 AM »
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Well, it is very pleasure for you to put up with such a question. The musical time has shirked or been expanded depending on how you look at it. I quite agree with you at this point.
Anyway, I hope more solutions will be put up to keep a balance between the time and photography in our life.

Hum... yes... the balance.

Photography isn't a natural skill of man. It is one that we acquire and like all acquired skills it needs to be maintained. I play tennis better when I devote one hour to it every week, the same applies to photography.

So the balance between time and photography will always be a compromise in terms quality. Like 2 vases exchanging liquid whose total amount has to remain the same. The time we try to save by doing less photography will comprise the quality of the photography. Since photography manipulates time, freezes or slows it down, it looks like we cannot really cheat with time.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
Rob C
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« Reply #47 on: September 29, 2010, 10:49:29 AM »
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Hum... yes... the balance.

Photography isn't a natural skill of man. It is one that we acquire and like all acquired skills it needs to be maintained. I play tennis better when I devote one hour to it every week, the same applies to photography.

So the balance between time and photography will always be a compromise in terms quality. Like 2 vases exchanging liquid whose total amount has to remain the same. The time we try to save by doing less photography will comprise the quality of the photography. Since photography manipulates time, freezes or slows it down, it looks like we cannot really cheat with time.

Cheers,
Bernard

"Photography isn't a natural skill of man. It is one that we acquire and like all acquired skills it needs to be maintained. I play tennis better when I devote one hour to it every week, the same applies to photography.”

Wow, Bernard, I can’t say I agree with you on this one. I think photography, as in seeing, is so fundamentally inside one that there is absolutely no need to do it all the time in order to retain the skill – it won’t atrophy if you don’t.

Where I would say you may have a point is in the ‘special tricks’ department, doing your panos and all that stuff (I wouldn’t even know where to start with that), and I’m pretty sure that the same can be said for Photoshop skills, to a degree. But that’s a slightly peripheral concern. The real meat of photography is in the vision, and doing it every day doesn’t always improve that, either. I see some sites where the guy finds a lighting setup that works and bang: everything is the same forever, hundreds of the same.

But flash and all that stuff is quickly relearned if you neglect it for a while. It isn’t the central thing at all.

Tennis is so different an idea that it is unfortunate you chose it to illustrate your point. It, tennis, depends to a huge degree on your physical condition a well as your co-ordination and eyesight; photography doesn’t depend on those physical attributes at all – it is living relatively safely inside your head.

Rob C

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Rob C
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« Reply #48 on: September 29, 2010, 10:53:06 AM »
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I think that the tragedy of humanity has to do with time.
And time is ego
and ego is suffering...
to not suffer any more, all we have to do is erase time.
How? not projecting any more the ego into the past or the future, wich are both unexistents.
Grin Gosh, I should do a speach in Oprah.


Almost as Hamlet might have put it.

;-)

Rob C
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Lost
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« Reply #49 on: September 29, 2010, 01:45:47 PM »
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Wow, Bernard, I can’t say I agree with you on this one. I think photography, as in seeing, is so fundamentally inside one that there is absolutely no need to do it all the time in order to retain the skill – it won’t atrophy if you don’t.

I think that photography is an odd mix of natural (seeing) and unnatural (camera driving) skills. Both of these for me change over time, and how they collide governs the images produced. Whether you see this as atrophying or growing is perhaps largely subjective (and certainly I am not the right one to judge!).
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