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Author Topic: the more you know, the better the pictures?  (Read 5556 times)
Rainer SLP
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« on: September 19, 2002, 06:16:10 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']The more you shoot
The larger your experience[/font]
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regards Rainer

please visit www.rsfotografia.com


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Dale_Cotton
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« Reply #1 on: September 20, 2002, 10:18:01 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']"if you go to an area you know well and/or read a lot about or if you go right into the unknown?"

- An area I know well is an area I've already mined. The more I know about an area the better my chances of being at the right place at the right time, but conversely my chances of getting a new composition are that much slimmer.

An new area is a gamble; but I can reduce the odds against me by researching the whens and wheres. If I get those right then I have a potential gold mine of new material.

"And do you look at the work other photographers made of the area you're going to - or do you need 'an empty mind'"

- Personally, I'd rather take pictures that have some element of newness to them, of not having been done before (but of course that gets harder every year with six billion people and seven billion cameras on the planet and counting). In that wise, the more pictures I've seen, the more I know about what's already been done and so about what not to do over again. (In technical disciplines this is known as absorbing prior art.)

OTOH, this might not be a good advice for a young person or anyone inclined to hero worship. If you strongly admire Galen Rowell for example, then you go to an area he's taken famous shots in, you would have a tendency to want to take those shots over again. And if you go to an area Galen didn't shoot in, you'd still tend to take pictures in his style.[/font]
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« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2002, 06:16:15 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Dansroka said it perfectly.[/font]
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AWeil
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2002, 03:25:14 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Well, I think, quite oldfashioned maybe, that equippment has little to do with it. It's what you see, that matters. Of course you can use different and new technologies to translate what you see and perhaps improve upon that 'translation' of your visions - but after all - it comes back to what you want to convey of your impressions.
A.Weil[/font]
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Wim van Velzen
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2002, 03:12:31 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']When do you deliver your best work:

if you go to an area you know well and/or read a lot about
or if you go right into the unknown?

And do you look at the work other photographers made of the area you're going to - or do you need 'an empty mind' (if you understand what I mean :: )[/font]
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AWeil
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« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2002, 03:37:50 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Experience helps - but for me it's the mood I'm in: in a relaxed and happy state, I have the ability to be open, to see, to focus and concentrate. Looking back, the best work came out of the best moments - strangely independend of knowledge or technology.[/font]
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Dan Sroka
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« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2002, 12:41:51 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I agree with AWeil, mood has a lot to do with it. I always think my best work comes when I am relaxed, and "eyes wide" on the world.
For me, it's the difference between looking (actively seeking out) and seeing (passively allowing yourself to observe) -- I do best when I am "seeing".  It's funny -- I can feel myself slip into this zone, and once I do, it's often hard to stop (a problem if your driving home...!)

When I went to Yosemite for the first time, the weight of all the great work that has been done there was heavy on me: how can I add to this, or find my own voice? But as I walked around the trails, it surprised me how much more beautiful the park was than anyone has ever captured. So there was still work to be done there! And luckily, Ansel (et al) already captured all the primary images, so I didn't have to waste my time recreating them.  I could sit back and enjoy the sun setting on Half Dome, and look for my photos elsewhere.

So the challenge for me is to try to remember that there is always something new to be found, whether visiting a master's old stomping grounds, or simply shooting another still life of a flower.[/font]
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dfourer
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2002, 02:52:39 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Reading this topic, I was surprised to find out that others feel the same way I do.  Nature photography as a hobby tends to be rather private, so I didn't realize that my experience is not so unusual.

I take most photos when I get in a mood where I think I'm seeing more, and I'm feeling good.  I don't know if this makes the best art but so far it doesn't make bad art.  My mind is focused.

A really, really new place is overwhelming and also I probably done't have the right equipment or film or it's not the best weather or time of day or season and so on.  I start out with some plans.  I might say "I want to look for reflections in water, distorted by a gentle breeze, with local flora".  So I need fast enought film to stop the ripples, The weather can't be too breezy, but sun would be nice.  I light rain shower creates nice patterns in the water surface.  I might come home with what I had in mind or I might find something else while I'm there.  You can't knock it when you stumble on something unplanned and it works.

As for work that's already been done--that's a concern.  When I am out and about and feeling that focussed and excited feeling about what I'm seeing, It's hard to believe that what I see and feel and want to share is not unique.  

Every time a new technology comes along--color film, better lenses, digital cameras,--there is a flood of really new work.  Once you could say that about traveling to places no one had been to with a camera before.  Most of us are well behind that leading edge, can't afford the cost perhaps.  but does anyone have any doubt that they can produce new stuff?  

I view published work and exhibits and study the techniques.  It's a great help to get the photographer to share how he/she did a photo.

-----David Fourer[/font]
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David Fourer, Chicago
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