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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 16 Aug 2007 (Thursday) 23:00
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Serious Stuff

 
SRPhotographic
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Aug 16, 2007 23:00 |  #1

I've got something that's been bothering me for some time.

I feel that taking pictures of birds and pretty landscapes and little league games is all done in vain.

I feel that I have a responsibility to focus on serious issues instead. Put myself to good use, if you know what I mean. I have a photographic ability and not using it spread social and/or environmental awareness seems like a shame.

Thoughts or feelings?


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blackshadow
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Aug 16, 2007 23:54 |  #2

Up to you... but my response to that type of thing is yada yada yada...


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timbernet
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Aug 17, 2007 00:09 |  #3

Someone posted this: http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthre​ad.php?t=360246

Looks like a good project to get involved with...




  
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PhotosGuy
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Aug 17, 2007 09:16 |  #4

... but my response to that type of thing is yada yada yada...

:D

It's a balance. Personally, I like "pretty pics" that make the subject look good, but when I'm paid to do PJ work, I'll get what the client needs.


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 17, 2007 09:27 |  #5

SRPhotographic wrote in post #3741759 (external link)
I've got something that's been bothering me for some time.

I feel that taking pictures of birds and pretty landscapes and little league games is all done in vain.

I feel that I have a responsibility to focus on serious issues instead. Put myself to good use, if you know what I mean. I have a photographic ability and not using it spread social and/or environmental awareness seems like a shame.

Thoughts or feelings?

Turn your lens on what your passion is. Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Robert Frank, Danny Lyons, Bruce Davidson, Diane Arbus they all did it along with hundreds more. How many flowers, puppies, sunsets and clown photos are already in the world. Show us something new that you care about. I say do it and do it with passion and maybe long after your gone they will still be talking about your images like they do Walker Evans.

Allot of our national parks became parks because men like William Henry Jackson chose to turn the camera on them. Could you just imagine a housing development or mining operations in Yosemite or Yellowstone? Coulda been developed if not for the camera. I think you're really on to something DO IT....




  
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highlandpiper
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Aug 17, 2007 13:10 |  #6

Just me but, as a photographer who prefers to shoot birds and wildlife, I think shooting such, especially since so many are threatened or endangered, is pretty serious stuff. What better way to spread environmental awareness? Not that you can't do other stuff, but if a picture you take of a snow covered mtn. or a soaring bird makes one kid want to go outside instead of sitting in front of a computer I say that is a good thing.


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Titus213
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Aug 17, 2007 17:20 |  #7

I would think that the environmental awareness gig is about filled up. How many pictures of melting glaciers do we need? I think we still have some left over from the 30's.

How about the social condition of man? Lots of downtrodden masses to photograph.

The kind of stuff your talking about isn't something you can do. It's something you have to live. Go live it.

...and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?


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20droger
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Aug 17, 2007 17:38 as a reply to  @ Titus213's post |  #8

Shooting wildlife or scenery is not insignificant when that wildlife or scenery is disappearing at an ever-increasing rate. How many more photos do you think there will be of the Iromote Cat or the Amo Leopard? Very few. What about the Golden Toad? None, since it's now extinct.

Would that there were photographs of the Passenger Pigeon, or the Dodo.

Yes, I know. Do we need pictures of common songbirds? There are, after all, millions of them. In the 1700s, there were millions of passenger pigeons. Flocks were big enough to darkened the sky and break the branches of trees. I haven't seen one lately, though.

As for scenery, have you ever seen a photo of the Valley of the Smokes? Neither have I. Nor will we. It's gone, forever.

Even if only from casual photographers, pictures may outlast their subjects. It happens all the time.

Besides, there are so few real pleasures in life. There is absolutely nothing wrong with merely enjoying onesself, and with sharing that joy. And that, to me, is one of the essences of photography.




  
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Wilt
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Aug 17, 2007 18:02 |  #9

What is your photography for?...Business related pursuits? or personal pasttime? a tool for accomplishing life's goals? Different strokes for different folks!

Some people hike for personal fitness, others hike to spend time outdoors, others hike to help in the cause of nature preservation, others hike simply to avoid polluting the world more, yet others hike as part of a cause, and yet others hike simply to get unique photos! Different stroke for different folks.

Maybe I am jaded, but I see too many 'cause marchers' who accomplish nothing apart from ****. They could be more active trying to change things, than carrying signs in protest in passively trying to influence someone else to change things.

But, to me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being able to share beauty with others, through photography. Or there is nothing wrong with preserving your own sanity by using photography to simply help to relax, and keep you sane for your family.


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20droger
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Aug 17, 2007 18:05 |  #10

Wilt wrote in post #3746354 (external link)
What is your photography for?...Business related pursuits? or personal pasttime? a tool for accomplishing life's goals? Different strokes for different folks!

Some people hike for personal fitness, others hike to spend time outdoors, others hike to help in the cause of nature preservation, others hike simply to avoid polluting the world more, yet others hike as part of a cause, and yet others hike simply to get unique photos! Different stroke for different folks.

Maybe I am jaded, but I see too many 'cause marchers' who accomplish nothing apart from ****. They could be more active trying to change things, than carrying signs in protest in passively trying to influence someone else to change things.

But, to me, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being able to share beauty with others, through photography.

I agree. If you want to support a cause, be a doer, not a talker.




  
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Naturalist
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Aug 17, 2007 18:10 as a reply to  @ 20droger's post |  #11

We each have our own passion. For some it is birds and others it is insects. If you feel like you need to turn your lens to a higher calling, then by all means do it bacause the world definitely needs more people that are passionate about a cause and photography can be the tool to bring your cause to the forefront whether it is Adams' Yosemite, Blacklock's Lake Superior, Brandenburg's North Woods or SRPhotographics _________.


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 17, 2007 18:16 as a reply to  @ 20droger's post |  #12

Photographers like W.Eugene Smith when people were being poisoned in a Japanese village called Mimamata where people were dying from mercury poisining from a major manufacturer dumping it showed the horror of it with his camera at risk to his own safety. He was in danger of his life thru the entire project. If that ain't doer I don't know what is and because of his efforts he changed things.
http://en.wikipedia.or​g/wiki/W._Eugene_Smith (external link)
http://www.photo-seminars.com/Fame/euge​smith.htm (external link)

Dorothea Lange
http://lakelandschools​.org …es/aa_lange_pow​er_2_e.jpg (external link),

Walker Evans
http://www.worcestersh​ire.gov.uk/home/walker​_evans-2.jpg (external link)
and the other photographers of the FSA documented the hard times of the great depression.




  
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nicksan
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Aug 17, 2007 22:30 as a reply to  @ airfrogusmc's post |  #13

You don't have to be saving the world or curing diseases to be doing something of significance.

I take photos b/c it appeals to my creative side much like playing the guitar does. Those things are signifant to me. Does that make me selfish? If I thought that those things were meaningful to the world, then I would be self righteous.

IMHO, doing something "meaningful" should never be premeditated. You either do it naturally (out of natural desire to "help the world") or not do it at all.


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poloman
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Aug 17, 2007 22:45 |  #14

I don't share your concern when it comes to photography. It is beauty that I'm interested in.

Now, my 2 cents....Unless you address the propensity we humans have for over breeding you haven't accomplished anything. This one issue is the root of all our troubles yet no one ever talks about it because if we slow down our economy will stop growing. Just wait to see what happens when we exceed the planet's ability to sustain our burgeoning mass.


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airfrogusmc
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Aug 17, 2007 23:08 as a reply to  @ poloman's post |  #15

SRP said he wanted to do something more with his work. I think theres a place for it just like theres a place for the "pretty photographs". In fact I have yet to see any images on this site that deal deeply with an issue. I've seen some BEAUTIFUL photographs and thats great, I love to see them but in the world I think theres room for more.

Heres an interesting quote by Ansel Adams in June of 1943 and this guy took some BEAUTIFUL photographs.

"Documentation-in its present social interpretation of the term-will burst into full flower at the moment of peace. Herein lies the magnificent opportunity of all photographic history. Here is where the camera can be related to a vast constructive function: the revelation as it is born and grow into maturity."

I can't find the exact quote right now but I have read where he said if he were a new photographer (late 40s) he would be using a small camera (Hasselblad was small to him) and documenting the human condition. I think we need to appreciate it all if its good.




  
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