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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 27 Nov 2013 (Wednesday) 14:12
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Can we stop saying "This is just a hobby"?

 
Nathan
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Nov 28, 2013 20:27 |  #46

Again, I have no problem with it being a hobby.


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20droger
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Nov 28, 2013 22:05 |  #47

icopus wrote in post #16487246 (external link)
If I referred to myself as an artist, I probably would be run out of here on a rail! I think my wife would suggest I might be better with clay.

Yeah, it's just a hobby with me. To call it anything else, that would be embarrassing.

Tarred and feathered?




  
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Sparky98
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Nov 29, 2013 08:20 |  #48

Nathan, I think you are placing too much emphasis on the word "just". When most people say that photography is "just a hobby" I don't think they are intending to lessen the importance of photography. It is phrase people use. For some, maybe most, I think it might be a sort of defense mechanism where "just a hobby" is a sort of cover for their feelings of inadequacy as a photographer. You said you didn't want to parse words but isn't that exactly what you are doing? There are a lot of words and phrases that are misused, like ain't, there and their, to and too, and others that irritate me but I have decided I just have to get over it.


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kenwood33
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Nov 29, 2013 08:27 |  #49

you are taking this hobby too seriously


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Lowner
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Nov 29, 2013 09:10 |  #50

kf095 wrote in post #16484983 (external link)
......photography is the hobby for many of us here, including me.
I prefer to call things what they are.

Me too.


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Markk9
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Nov 29, 2013 10:13 |  #51

It's a hobby for me, I have zero plans to ever become a pro. I'm also a hobby pilot, I fly for fun, not pay.


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AZGeorge
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Nov 29, 2013 11:12 |  #52

Yep, words can be fun.

Through the centuries of its use hobby has often had a negative connotation, beginning with its associations with the use of a toy horse, a hobbyhorse, rather than a real one. My photography, usually done on an amateur basis, is real.


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OhLook
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Nov 29, 2013 11:24 |  #53

Sparky98 wrote in post #16488039 (external link)
Nathan, I think you are placing too much emphasis on the word "just". When most people say that photography is "just a hobby" I don't think they are intending to lessen the importance of photography.

I think they're lessening its importance without intending to. Their use of the word shows that they believe photography as a hobby is less significant than photography as a job/career. When "just" means "only," it does imply a comparison in which the thing referred to is lesser than something else. "We need more potatoes. There's just one left." "You won't be hired for this job with just six months of experience."

I feel that calling an activity a hobby trivializes it. Nathan doesn't; he only objects to "just." Perhaps the phrase "just a hobby" comes naturally to people who tend to evaluate an activity primarily by whether it brings in money.


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Christopher ­ Steven ­ b
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Nov 29, 2013 13:21 |  #54

^You're providing cherry-picked examples to show only one meaning for 'just'.

If a blind person asks me if there are blue and red hues in my new painting and I tell them 'just red', I'm not diminishing the significance of 'red' as a hue--I'm really saying that there is only red in the painting. That says nothing about how good the painting is or how worthwhile I think 'red' is.

As I suggested above, I think when people say it's 'just a hobby'--the meaning of this (if we're wittgensteinian about meaning) often is: don't take me too seriously, don't compare me to the pros, this is only a fun thing for me, I'm not that good yet'. Ie they're generally appraising their own abilities and not the worth of the hobby of photography.



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Azathoth
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Nov 29, 2013 14:56 |  #55

Photography it's just a hobby for me.


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drvnbysound
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Nov 29, 2013 15:23 |  #56

Photography is only a hobby for me ;) Is that better?

I know that I've said that photography is just a hobby many of times, and I still feel that way today. I don't say it to lessen it's importance... actually, if it weren't important to me I wouldn't pursue it as a hobby. When I say that it's 'just a hobby', I'm generally inferring that I have no plans for it to become anything more; at least not at the present time. My use of the word is meant to explain my involvement to another person. It is not meant to explain how anyone else is involved or how important it is or isn't to anyone else. If you want to know how Suzy feels about photography, ask her... maybe it's her profession. If so, good for her.

The more I think about it, I usually only consider the 'activities' that I actively pursue (e.g. research, leaning, doing) to be a hobby. Next week I will play some basketball. It's not a hobby... just something that I want to do.

Ahh, fun with words... and our individual views on how they are or should be interpreted - not a hobby of mine!


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drvnbysound
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Nov 29, 2013 15:27 |  #57

kjonnnn wrote in post #16488750 (external link)
Frankly, if the concept of whether photography is or is not JUST a hobby, motivates you to the point where you need to rant about it, you probably have a pretty good life. Be happy and enjoy it.

bw!


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OhLook
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Nov 29, 2013 15:33 |  #58

Christopher Steven b wrote in post #16488508 (external link)
^You're providing cherry-picked examples to show only one meaning for 'just'.

If a blind person asks me if there are blue and red hues in my new painting and I tell them 'just red', I'm not diminishing the significance of 'red' as a hue--I'm really saying that there is only red in the painting. That says nothing about how good the painting is or how worthwhile I think 'red' is.

It's true that "just" has other meanings and I used only one kind of example. I deliberately selected examples that were analogous to the usage in "just a hobby."

"Just" can minimize or belittle, and it can exclude something without prejudice, as in your red/blue example. To me, "just a hobby" minimizes and belittles, by implied comparison with paid work. Are you doing something that matters in the world outside your own mind? No, it's just a hobby.

As I suggested above, I think when people say it's 'just a hobby'--the meaning of this (if we're wittgensteinian about meaning) often is: don't take me too seriously, don't compare me to the pros, this is only a fun thing for me, I'm not that good yet'. Ie they're generally appraising their own abilities and not the worth of the hobby of photography.

"Don't take me too seriously" and "I'm not that good yet" are things you can politely say about yourself but not about the person you're talking to. "Don't take yourself too seriously" and "You're not that good yet" will likely offend. This difference is crucial. If people want to say their photography is just a hobby, fine. I just (!) don't want them calling mine one, because I do take it seriously even though no one is offering to validate it by throwing dollars at me.


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drvnbysound
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Nov 29, 2013 15:43 |  #59

What's interesting [to me] is that is exactly what I am not saying [or implying] when I say it's just a hobby for me; I am not saying that it's only for fun, or that I'm not that good, or don't compare me to the pros. Because I take the hobby seriously, I know how good I am and I have ideas as to where my photography needs improvement. Just because it's 'just a hobby' for me doesn't mean that I don't take it seriously. Heck, I wish I could tell you how many hours I have logged on this forum to provide a data point as to how important it is. I will say that it's some number of HOURS per day.

To me, "just a hobby" means that I enjoy doing it, that I want to learn more about it, that I want to get better at it, that I want to do it as often as I can, and that I have no expectation for it to be anything more or less than those things.


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1Tanker
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Nov 29, 2013 15:48 |  #60

OhLook wrote in post #16488769 (external link)
"Don't take me too seriously" and "I'm not that good yet" are things you can politely say about yourself but not about the person you're talking to. "Don't take yourself too seriously" and "You're not that good yet" will likely offend. This difference is crucial. If people want to say their photography is just a hobby, fine. I just (!) don't want them calling mine one, because I do take it seriously even though no one is offering to validate it by throwing dollars at me.

Who said anything,about saying it to other people?? :rolleyes: This whole thread and subject, is strictly about your reply to someone asking "you" (or me).


Kel
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Can we stop saying "This is just a hobby"?
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