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Author Topic: More about the process and less about the result  (Read 8168 times)
Telecaster
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« on: February 05, 2014, 02:27:32 PM »
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Beach art as a kind of sand mandala: http://www.viralnova.com/beach-art/

I currently have in my possession three prints of my own digital-era photos. All the rest have either been given or thrown away. Last month I went through my electronic photo archive and deleted everything except the original (mostly RAW) files. I may take another pass through it and wipe most of the originals too. Increasingly I photograph simply because I enjoy doing it. Being there to do it matters. The photos themselves don't matter much beyond the brief thrill of capturing what I intended to capture or, even better, running into the unexpected and capturing something of that. As I get older I prefer to be less bound by what I've done previously and more focused on what I'm doing now. I like the idea of a photo existing for a brief time after I've taken it and then just disappearing. Like Mr. Amador's beach art.

-Dave-
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Rob C
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 03:11:35 PM »
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Beach art as a kind of sand mandala: http://www.viralnova.com/beach-art/

I currently have in my possession three prints of my own digital-era photos. All the rest have either been given or thrown away. Last month I went through my electronic photo archive and deleted everything except the original (mostly RAW) files. I may take another pass through it and wipe most of the originals too. Increasingly I photograph simply because I enjoy doing it. Being there to do it matters. The photos themselves don't matter much beyond the brief thrill of capturing what I intended to capture or, even better, running into the unexpected and capturing something of that. As I get older I prefer to be less bound by what I've done previously and more focused on what I'm doing now. I like the idea of a photo existing for a brief time after I've taken it and then just disappearing. Like Mr. Amador's beach art.

-Dave-



Dave,

I understand from where you come.

I have a few more digital prints than that - one of each of the ones in the 'sale' slot in the website - I think. The printer lies there, churning away once a day to preserve its inner workings, but it hasn't seen a file in months. And I really don't care.

In most ways, a print is redundant in my life. The only way I show stuff now is via the Internet: it's easy, the whole world can see it if it wants to, but best of all, I enjoy having an easy trawl through it now and again. Unless one has a huge market in print sales, what's the point of spending hundreds on boxes of paper and the same on inks? It's madness. Printing, when you know you can do it, stops being interesting and takes on the colour of chore. Where Donovan questioned the motivation of shooting for amateurs, I now question that of printing for the same group, of which I am part. That is worlds removed from the priorities and requirements of the professional worker, where both shooting and printing are basically about eating well. The peripherals can delight too, and with luck that's a given, but in the end, peel away the gloss and its money and keeping the show on the road.

Giving prints away as personal justification for all the effort and cost? You really, really know the recipients want them?

In fact, even the experience of shooting digitally has faded into a rather grey fog... there isn't the thrill of wondering if you still know how to measure light, if you can still hack all the many things that come into producing the 'perfect' shot. It never is, of course, but you know what I mean. I hope.

Without doubt, should I ever again find myself in another environment where the possibility exists, I see myself returning to film. I grew up with, earned my living with it, and I guess I've come to realise I may as well go out with it. Should the time come for me, maybe printing stuff again will take on a fresh attraction; for now, I don't think so, really.

Rob C
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WalterEG
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« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 04:09:23 PM »
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Dave,

Thank you so much for raising this most pertinent of speculations.  My experiences are not dissimilar to your own which is why I participate so little in this sheltered workshop for the self-deluded.

Indeed the DOING of photography is both a compulsion and a great delight for me.  Of course, I have the remnants of a successful commercial career to occupy my efforts at times but the rigours of commercial expediency meant long ago that I had to embrace the digital workflow and so that aspect of photography for me is tantamount to monkey tricks for me the client holds up the flaming hoop - I jump through the flames - the client gives me a biscuit.

However, true passion passion for communicating  AND passion for craft rests in non-commissioned work for me.  The craft aspect is immensely rewarding.  I shoot large format black & white and I get enjoyment from every stage of the process (no pun intended).  At present I scan my negs and save two versions - a 360 dpi 16 bit TIFF for subsequent printing and a toned 72 dpi 8 bit JPEG for storing on-line and in my iPad.

The communication part of the equation is incredibly serendipitous in many ways and I love that too.  Firstly it gets me out into the world (unless I am shooting nudes in my studio) and I encounter people.  The reaction of passers by is altogether different with a view camera than with a 35mm DSLR or a mirrorless.  Who can ever be sure of just how rewarding encounters with real people on neutral turf can prove to be?  There is also the communication through the distribution or revelation of outcomes to interested parties.  I do not seek or nurture comments on my work I prefer it to make a statement rather than open a debate a debate in variably marred by an imbalance of visual literacy  on the part of the viewer.  Particularly here in Australia there is a tendency even for aficionados to be trend followers.  In the commercial world TREND has some relevance but in making personal statements there is little justifications of TRENDS.  I should point out, I guess, that exhibition and sale of work in commercial galleries is a form of commercial photography in my view.  You hang a picture on a wall or post it for sale in the interweb and put a price on it ..... it is commerce and thereby commercial.

After a lifetime of supply what I term as photographic haberdashery in compliance with the banal demands of the worlds of advertising and publishing I simply crave to be able to think out loud for myself.

Without doubt, should I ever again find myself in another environment where the possibility exists, I see myself returning to film. I grew up with, earned my living with it, and I guess I've come to realise I may as well go out with it. Should the time come for me, maybe printing stuff again will take on a fresh attraction; for now, I don't think so, really.
Rob C

Rob,

My Epson has sat dormant on the workbench for a couple of years now.  Like yours, mine is switched on and the nozzles kept warm and flowing.  There is a stack of paper on the shelf and a couple of sets of ink cartridges in the drawer.   There it remains and is likely to remain.  My hope is to clear the spare room, the one into which there is no space to enter or move, and set up my Durst and a set of trays.  There is a charm and seductive quality to a silver gelatin print that is just absent in an ink-jet.  Yes, the ink jet print, like the digital camera, yields a hitherto unattainable level of perfection as a by product of hitherto unattainable levels of perfect manipulation and enhancement.  But, for me, it is a soporific perfection.  Terminally boring in its lack of character or uniqueness.  Film is flawed: granted.  And so too is enlarging.  But, do you know what?  I revere the aberrations and the flaws and the imperfections.  I also relish the process of the silver print ..... including the esoteric aromas, the ruby glow of the safelight and the calming concerto of the running water.

And the bottom line, I guess, is that if none of it happens and it all just remains a pipedream, then that is perfectly okay, too.  Piepedreams can be their own rewards.

Cheers,

W
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wmchauncey
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2014, 10:09:16 AM »
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I oftentimes ponder the contents of my hard drive which holds little of everlasting value.
Have come to the conclusion that I'm gonna make a book of my bestest stuff along with a thumb drive in case any of my children would want then printed.   Wink
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The things you do for yourself die with you, the things you do for others live forever.
A man's worth should be judged, not when he basks in the sun, but how he faces the storm.

My stuff...http://1x.com/member/chauncey43
degrub
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2014, 12:53:38 PM »
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An M-Disc  may be what you want instead of a thumb drive if you need permanence.
http://www.mdisc.com/what-is-mdisc/
Frank
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kikashi
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2014, 11:34:26 AM »
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Thank you so much for raising this most pertinent of speculations.  My experiences are not dissimilar to your own which is why I participate so little in this sheltered workshop for the self-deluded.

Over 1,100 posts in less than three years constitutes minimal participation?

Jeremy
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melchiorpavone
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2014, 08:02:25 PM »
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Beach art as a kind of sand mandala: http://www.viralnova.com/beach-art/

I currently have in my possession three prints of my own digital-era photos. All the rest have either been given or thrown away. Last month I went through my electronic photo archive and deleted everything except the original (mostly RAW) files. I may take another pass through it and wipe most of the originals too. Increasingly I photograph simply because I enjoy doing it. Being there to do it matters. The photos themselves don't matter much beyond the brief thrill of capturing what I intended to capture or, even better, running into the unexpected and capturing something of that. As I get older I prefer to be less bound by what I've done previously and more focused on what I'm doing now. I like the idea of a photo existing for a brief time after I've taken it and then just disappearing. Like Mr. Amador's beach art.

-Dave-

Get an old camera, a Leica or Pentax or something, and don't put film in it, then go out and "shoot".
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Telecaster
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2014, 03:11:51 PM »
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Get an old camera, a Leica or Pentax or something, and don't put film in it, then go out and "shoot".

Hah, I've done that a few times...unintentionally.   Smiley  Photographed the most amazing dry thunderstorm I've ever seen that way. It's funny: I thought I had b&w film in the camera and so I remember the storm, very clearly, in b&w too.

-Dave-
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Isaac
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« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2014, 09:24:54 AM »
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Get an old camera, a Leica or Pentax or something, and don't put film in it, then go out and "shoot".

Just pop the memory card out of a new camera and
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sailronin
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« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2014, 10:52:03 PM »
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I enjoy the "process" I just ordered a 4x5 field camera (all my previous 4x5s were monorail).  I thought when I gave away my last large format gear 8 years ago I would be totally digital. Now have finally given in to the idea I like the entire process of large format photography...just have to see if I like it as much as I remember.
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Thank you for looking, comments and critiques are always welcome.
Dave

http://sailronin.smugmug.com
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