Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 2 [3]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: The next 10,000 post thread?  (Read 7759 times)
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #40 on: May 25, 2012, 04:41:42 PM »
ReplyReply

Looking back at my own archive, I see that I am nowhere near 10,000 photographs. Even including the stuff I shot for work, it can't be much more than 5,000 in the fifty-odd years since I started. And many of those were just routine site and building records.

No, the real stuff, the pictures that at the time I hoped meant something (but often didn't, and counting the failures as well of course) come to no more than about 1,500. In the last forty years, that is. And it is still far too bloody many.

I had hoped, and still hope in a way, to say something meaningful - and for that, perhaps ten or twenty really good pictures should do. I have those pictures in my mind's eye, but I cannot manufacture or invent them. They are waiting for me, out there somewhere at some particular time and light, and when I do see them I just hope that I am ready. There probably will be no more than ten or twenty, once all is said and done. Some of them I have already, some are still to come.

John


John, I've got a box of A3+ prints culled from all I've got left from work days as well as all I've got left from retirement days - so far.

It comes to not a lot, and even from that box I get different opinions of my own about it every (rare) time that I access it, which is usually only when someone shows curiosity. The last time those prints saw light was when famous mountain sculptor Chris F visited and made me eternal up at Formentor.

The problem is that very little photography is able to keep its excitement alive. Repeated viewing kills what's left of it and after a while, it all looks the same or one starts to wonder why it was ever shot in the first place. At least with a painting there's the love of the medium and the joy/agony/despair one felt making it. That has some durability to it, maybe akin to birth pangs, but I'll never really know, obviously enough.

But anyway, it gives us all something to do, at best, or to write about as second best. Or vice versa?

Rob C
Logged

HSway
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 61



WWW
« Reply #41 on: May 25, 2012, 05:16:19 PM »
ReplyReply

Obviously the practices, technique and study are all there as is the inspiration (the one from the outside so to speak) in my opinion. Taken individually it’s a unique set of rather rough structure to be generalized too in detail. - at the same time no achievement in any field is possible without it.
Michaels’ point about the keepers makes it easy to digest even very widely Smiley

Hynek


Just to be clear, I'm certain that HCB didn't mean 10,000 "keepers". I imagine he meant all shots, including tests, experiments, and failures.


Logged

John Camp
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1258


« Reply #42 on: May 25, 2012, 11:53:11 PM »
ReplyReply

Not for me. For me, routine and boredom came as a result of study. Photography, as studied, became predictable and boring. I learned too much stuff and it stands in the way of being creative and looking with fresh eyes. If anything, I think I have to un-study photography and forget everything everyone told me.


I don't know whether or not you're an American, but that's a very American attitude, and IMHO, leads to amateurish and usually fairly inane art. If you look at the very greatest and most innovative artists in almost any field -- and I'm talking Van Gogh, Cezzane, Picasso, Ansel Adams, HCB, Gerschwin -- they all had a deep and serious appreciation of what both their predecessors and their contemporaries were doing. With a lack of study, you don't bring fresh eyes to what you're doing, you bring unsophisticated eyes. You tend to reinvent the wheel, and frankly, the wheel doesn't need reinventing. Translate what you've said to literature: If somebody who wanted to be a writer said that he/she found literature boring, I'd ask, "Why in God's name would you want to be a writer, then?" Same with photography -- if you find the study of it boring, you're probably in the wrong field.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #43 on: May 26, 2012, 03:08:49 AM »
ReplyReply

I think you're misinterpreting what was written: it wasn't not to study/learn about the past, but that once one has done that, then fine, digest it but move on and free your own mind and vision.

Frankly, John, that's one of the main reasons that I advocate not having tutors. When I joined the in-house photographic unit of a very large industrial company in the UK I was obliged to go to night school and join the Institute of British Photographers course as a condition to my employment though I had already learned more in a week within the unit than I ever did over subsequent months of college. As I've mentioned in the past, I had little interest in engineering and associated work, but the job was my one and only route into pro photography so I clung on until I had nothing more to benefit from the place. However, I did learn important techniques such as colour processing and batch printing by hand. Anyway, my interest was fashion and from that interest I was very aware of all the leading photographers in that field.

One night in class, the chap supposedly teaching portraiture and I had a little contretemps: I happened to mention David Bailey with some deep sense of respect and this dodo replied that should his photography resemble Bailey's he'd give up. Right. I didn't go back and I did retain the job, until I left for the commercial world. Cracks about teaching and/or doing are not entirely based on fiction. Worse, this chap actually held a senior post in one of the top commercial studios in Glasgow. I suppose there was a certain Schadenfreude in the air when my own little operation survived the demise of that studio many years later…

Insofar as the non-professional photo world is concerned, I think it even less desirable to follow leaders. If not for the freedom to develop one’s own vision, free of other's ideas, why bother with it at all? Perhaps that's why so many people all do the same kind of thing these days: tutored clones?

The single aspect of learning/teaching that I think is now essential, if only to save precious time, is the face-to-face, one-on-one learning of Photoshop from someone with the time and interest to impart the knowledge. To me, PS isn’t about photography at all: it’s but another science – a technical exercise that now stands in the way of transferring art to paper or screen, but with the fairly successful annihilation of the competition, which other path to follow in order to reach one’s goal?

Rob C
Logged

dreed
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1251


« Reply #44 on: May 26, 2012, 07:25:01 AM »
ReplyReply

I don't know whether or not you're an American, but that's a very American attitude, and IMHO, leads to amateurish and usually fairly inane art. If you look at the very greatest and most innovative artists in almost any field -- and I'm talking Van Gogh, Cezzane, Picasso, Ansel Adams, HCB, Gerschwin

Sorry, I don't think your list of names is right. I don't see how you can put Ansel Adams alongside Van Gogh or Picasso. HCB, maybe.
Logged
dturina
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 152



WWW
« Reply #45 on: May 26, 2012, 09:52:42 AM »
ReplyReply


Best photo advice you'll ever hear; be pleased it comes from yourself.


Ahh, but difficult to follow that advice is. Easy, seductive is the dark side. Smiley
Logged

Danijel
dturina
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 152



WWW
« Reply #46 on: May 26, 2012, 12:27:08 PM »
ReplyReply

I don't know whether or not you're an American

In fact I'm Martian. We prefer to grok and not cram.
Logged

Danijel
John Camp
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1258


« Reply #47 on: May 26, 2012, 12:45:33 PM »
ReplyReply

Rob,

You're not talking about *learning.* You're talking about people with various social problems and about disfunctional teaching. There is exactly *one* way to learn something, and that is to teach yourself. Teachers don't actually inject learning into your brain -- they're just pointers. They present information. If you resist learning, you can defeat the best of teachers. So don't confuse learning with bad teachers or poor schools or other problems. Learning is completely distinct from such things.

The other thing about learning is that it's also unavoidable. If a person lives anywhere that he can actually buy a camera, then he's learning about photography. He can't avoid it, given our media-saturated environment. He may not be consciously learning, but he is. By consciously learning, a photographer can at least make choices. If all he does is wander around with a camera and try to develop his own vision, it's mostly likely going to look like a bad version of advertising photography, because he's learning that whether he wishes to or not.

Logged
Ray
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 8887


« Reply #48 on: May 26, 2012, 09:28:23 PM »
ReplyReply

Rob,

You're not talking about *learning.* You're talking about people with various social problems and about disfunctional teaching. There is exactly *one* way to learn something, and that is to teach yourself. Teachers don't actually inject learning into your brain -- they're just pointers. They present information. If you resist learning, you can defeat the best of teachers. So don't confuse learning with bad teachers or poor schools or other problems. Learning is completely distinct from such things.

The other thing about learning is that it's also unavoidable. If a person lives anywhere that he can actually buy a camera, then he's learning about photography. He can't avoid it, given our media-saturated environment. He may not be consciously learning, but he is. By consciously learning, a photographer can at least make choices. If all he does is wander around with a camera and try to develop his own vision, it's mostly likely going to look like a bad version of advertising photography, because he's learning that whether he wishes to or not.



Some good points, John. However, I think you are underestimating the importance of teachers. They can and should be more than mere pointers and providers of information. They should also impart enthusiasm for the subject. They should, hopefully, inspire their students.

Learning involves a process of making mistakes. Without mistakes, it's difficult to imagine that any real learning could take place. One could say, there can be no learning without mistakes, but there sure are lots of mistakes that take place without subsequent learning.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #49 on: May 27, 2012, 03:03:05 AM »
ReplyReply

As ever, we simply agree to disagree.

That's the trouble with chats like this one: we all arrive from different points of the compass and the inevitable differences in our journeys make it impossible for us to believe the other's traveller's tales. Well, not to disbelieve, I suppose, but to seriously question whether the other travellers were actually asleep in the back of the car, only to awaken when the driver arrived at the motel.

But hell, no harm's done.

Rob C
Logged

Pages: « 1 2 [3]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad