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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 23 Feb 2014 (Sunday) 01:22
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Being too technical with your work?

 
cdifoto
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Feb 25, 2014 23:36 |  #121

airfrogusmc wrote in post #16718076 (external link)
He does the proof is in the work and it's there for all to see. You should check out some of his photo essays from Life Magazine. He is saying learn real knowledge and he didn't need a meter because he really learned to see and capture light. He would have never learned that if he hadn't pushed himself to learn it. Thats what he is saying. Don't rely on the meter, learn it so it becomes part of who you are.

How did he learn to see and capture light without a meter? Trial and error, right?

Okay so let's get a meter and eliminate (or reduce) the trial and error. Save lots of time and film in the process. If this guy is so deliberate, then using a meter isn't a big deal. What's so bad about using an extra tool that's commonly available and built into almost every camera made today?

Preaching that using a meter is somehow a sin is just about as silly as preaching that flashes should be forbidden. It's a means to an end. A tool. A supplement.

Do I care that I "need" my meter? No. Why? I have tons of batteries. Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared!


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Clean ­ Gene
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Feb 26, 2014 00:23 |  #122

RMH wrote in post #16717813 (external link)
Thank you so much, i've had a bit of a realization this evening...

I went home and looked through my prints to see if I could spot any themes or patterns (yeah, i'm a bit odd, if i like an image i print it. i did start on film....) and something jumped out at me;

My daughter is very different to me - i was a shy introverted child with little confidence. My daughter has such a big personality I'm amazed it fits in her little body!! She's bold and brave and happy and shouty!!


But when I look though what I feel are my better photos of her... they're all quiet little moments of introspection or quiet interest in things, and there's very little eye contact in most of them.

I suddenly feel like rather than just photographing her, to some extent I've also been photographing me...

(these are chronological, hopefully they show improvement over time)


This is repeated over and over again, quite unintentionally.

As a parent I kinda feel a bit guilty -- My intention I was just documenting my daughters childhood.

As a photographer I'd fascinated to think that maybe my photographs do actually have some kind of meaning to me aside from being photos I like of my daughter. That maybe there is a bit of me in there...

Sorry if this is a bit over the top sounding, esp to those that are more technical minded (I'm generally to be counted amongst those). Maybe this is just all BS and I'm reaching to find something that's not there, but I feel did find something interesting I didn't know was in my own work.

Obviously I have other photos that more accurately reflect her personality, but they're never what I consider to be my better ones...


Other photos I take seem to follow a similar trend...

I think this is a good start, and I think this is also a good reason to NEVER DELETE ANYTHING.

Some people will disagree, but I'm personally of the mindset that people don't do things for "no reason." Yes, there's a reason and there's a meaning, even if you don't know it. If someone takes a crappy photograph and then asks, "why the hell did I take this picture", then that's NOT a rhetorical question. Even if it is crappy (and I am NOT saying that these images are crappy), there's still a reason why the person found it interesting or compelling enough to doument. There's SOMETHING in there, even if the photographer doesn't know it. So it would be a good idea to try to identify what's happening there, why the photographer was compelled to make that image (even if it's a crappy image). Once these kinds of things are known, then the photographer is in a better position to use his tendencies to his own advantage.

But I think that's a good starting point. It's very important to put this kind of attention to one's own work, even if the work stinks (maybe even ESPECIALLY when the work stinks, because people learn the most from their FAILURES). And I think it should ideally go beyond whether or not the work is good, that should also address why those decisions were made in the first place




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Feb 26, 2014 00:28 |  #123

RMH wrote in post #16716706 (external link)
^^^ I want to, but stuggle to apply this to my photography. After 10 years of SLR photography I think I'm making some slow compositional progress, but when people start talking about communicating, I'm a loss as to what, if anything I'm trying to communicate :(

I feel like there's next step I need to take in my photography, and this is it -- meaning.... but not sure how I do that...

Maybe I just have nothing to say :cry:

You certainly have something to say; you probably just don't know what it is. When you take a photo of something, there is a reason why you chose the subject. You are surrounded by things - dozens of things, hundreds of things - they are everywhere. Yet at that moment, you chose that one particular thing to make a photograph of. Why? When you can answer that question, then you will be well on your way to finding out what you wanted to communicate with that photo. And based on what you shared in post #108 above, it seems like you are definitely starting to "get it".


"Your" and "you're" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"They're", "their", and "there" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one.
"Fare" and "fair" are different words with completely different meanings - please use the correct one. The proper expression is "moot point", NOT "mute point".

  
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Owain ­ Shaw
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Feb 26, 2014 01:10 |  #124

Allen probably knows, it's in one of the videos he's posted on composition, either the B&H one or a different one - about taking time to identify what it is that made you take the photo in the first place.

One great thing about digital (there's no stopping you taking multiple photos of the same thing with film to try out different compositions, and if you think a subject has potential, it may be worth doing that) is that you can see your photo immediately after taking it and (the LCD isn't ideal) have a rough idea whether it captures what you wanted or not. If it doesn't you can re-shoot and try to get it again. The video talks about this, and about taking the time to stay there and figure out what you saw and how you want to show it - even/especially if the photo is 'crappy', taking time to realise why the idea in your head to photograph something went from photogenic to crappy, and trying to get it back.

This will present problems and solutions that will marry the technical and artistic - you may need different settings, to use a different lens or even additional lighting to bring out what your eye, your artistic vision, sought to capture.

On the subject of the light meter - it's not so much that there wasn't a meter, the meter was in his head.


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airfrogusmc
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Feb 26, 2014 06:37 |  #125

cdifoto wrote in post #16718087 (external link)
How did he learn to see and capture light without a meter? Trial and error, right?

Okay so let's get a meter and eliminate (or reduce) the trial and error. Save lots of time and film in the process. If this guy is so deliberate, then using a meter isn't a big deal. What's so bad about using an extra tool that's commonly available and built into almost every camera made today?

Preaching that using a meter is somehow a sin is just about as silly as preaching that flashes should be forbidden. It's a means to an end. A tool. A supplement.

Do I care that I "need" my meter? No. Why? I have tons of batteries. Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared!

Yep I know some today don't get it but sometimes the long road is not the easy one but the best of the two journeys. Wouldn't you love to be able to look at a scene and know not only the quality of light but also the intensity and then be creative enough to have made some of the iconic images of your time? Be prepared with real knowledge.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Feb 26, 2014 06:39 |  #126

Owain Shaw wrote in post #16718231 (external link)
On the subject of the light meter - it's not so much that there wasn't a meter, the meter was in his head.

The best place for one and not gotten the easy way. ;)




  
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pwm2
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Feb 26, 2014 06:41 |  #127

airfrogusmc wrote in post #16718622 (external link)
The best place for one and not gotten the easy way. ;)

But when it breaks, all hope is lost :p


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RMH
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Feb 26, 2014 06:45 |  #128

^^^ LOL



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airfrogusmc
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Feb 26, 2014 06:52 |  #129

pwm2 wrote in post #16718623 (external link)
But when it breaks, all hope is lost :p

:lol:




  
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airfrogusmc
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Feb 26, 2014 07:06 |  #130

Getting to a point where technique is second nature and you can just create without thinking and fumbling with technique is the place you need to get to. To me that means having enough knowledge and technical skill to be able to capture your vision. Bresson claimed that he was not a technical photographer. He was just technical enough to be able to capture his vision.
"For us the camera is a tool, the extension of our eye, not a pretty little mechanical toy. It is sufficient that we should feel at ease with the camera best adapted for our purpose. Adjustments of the camera – such as setting the aperture and the speed – should become reflexes, like changing gear in a car. The real problem is one of intelligence and sensitivity." - Henri Cartier-Bresson




  
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airfrogusmc
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Feb 26, 2014 07:08 |  #131

Owain Shaw wrote in post #16718231 (external link)
Allen probably knows, it's in one of the videos he's posted on composition, either the B&H one or a different one - about taking time to identify what it is that made you take the photo in the first place.

The first question any of us should be able to answer is why.




  
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Feb 26, 2014 07:12 |  #132

RMH wrote in post #16716782 (external link)
I've just started reading "The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression". Hopefully that'll help!

Any recomendations on an art history book?

I enjoyed this book very much.


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RMH
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Feb 26, 2014 07:12 |  #133

airfrogusmc wrote in post #16718648 (external link)
Getting to a point where technique is second nature and you can just create without thinking and fumbling with technique is the place you need to get to. To me that means having enough knowledge and technical skill to be able to capture your vision. Bresson claimed that he was not a technical photographer. He was just technical enough to be able to capture his vision.
"For us the camera is a tool, the extension of our eye, not a pretty little mechanical toy. It is sufficient that we should feel at ease with the camera best adapted for our purpose. Adjustments of the camera – such as setting the aperture and the speed – should become reflexes, like changing gear in a car. The real problem is one of intelligence and sensitivity." - Henri Cartier-Bresson

I think part of the trouble these days is that cameras have got so complicated that they can be very distracting, and at least to the beginner or semi-beginner, it's hard to know what is important and what is not. The work-load of shooting a perfect jpeg is astonishingly high. I shoot RAW to lighten the workload at point of capture as much as for reasons of pure image quality. Knowing exposure by reflex is hard. Also thinking about sharpness, WB, contrast, saturation, colour tone, etc etc? AAAGH!



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airfrogusmc
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Feb 26, 2014 07:21 |  #134

They can be very distracting to even a very accomplished photographer.




  
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airfrogusmc
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Feb 26, 2014 07:25 |  #135

Also Westons Daybooks of Edward Weston Volumes 1 & 2
http://www.amazon.com …-California/dp/08938144​58 (external link)

It talks about his creative struggle to find himself visually.

And Ansel Adams Autobiography.
http://www.amazon.com …ansel+adams+aut​obiography (external link)




  
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Being too technical with your work?
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