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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 19 Dec 2016 (Monday) 04:18
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Getting bored of photography

 
WaltA
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Dec 29, 2016 18:26 |  #136

Nathan wrote in post #18226894 (external link)
My point is that EOS-Mike isn't completely wrong and I think your response was a bit derisive. In the broadest sense of the word, photojournalists have created some of most memorable images in photographic history and many of those may be considered art. Among them, are those greats that will be remembered throughout history 100 years from now, including some of the people you mentioned. EOS-Mike didn't name any of the photojournalists he was thinking of, in any case.

In the end... photojournalism, street photographers, whatever the term... those are just labels. What matters in the end, in your terms, are their bodies of work.

It seems that we need to label people (or things or food or whatever) in order to understand or evaluate something.
I've been saddled with a number of labels - some good, some bad, some unimportant).

I believe we tend to overlook things because of their labels. I know I see a thread about Macro Photography and say to myself "I'm not interested in Macro Photography" and I move on. But I could probably learn something if I put the labels aside and just looked at the bodies of work.

Getting back to the original point of this thread, maybe looking at other photographic avenues (ignoring the labels) might help the thread starter get his mojo back.


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urbanfreestyle
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Dec 30, 2016 02:58 |  #137

I think my issue stems from striving to get 'that image' every time i go out and the lack of appreciation i recieved in return.

To be honest it could just be the society that i now live in. a crappy meme of a chimp sniffing his finger can get over a million likes and shares and comments but a carefully planned shot that is technically great can barely get 5.

I found an interesting article the other day that felt it was written for me, the link is below:
http://olympustrip.co.​uk …njoy-digital-photography/ (external link)


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-Duck-
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Dec 30, 2016 03:35 |  #138

I feel you just need to simplify things for yourself. For one, definitely stop worrying about what other people 'think'. Who cares. Take the accolades as they come. Actually, go ahead and relish in it. But to worry about what is not being said... not worth it.

I have been thinking about your situation, specially now that you have your 'new' camera and mentioned getting back more into street photography. Have you considered starting a blog? Here is my thought.

Instead of worrying about 'getting the image', when you head out into the streets try thinking in terms of 'getting the story'. By this I mean immerses yourself in your surroundings. Become an observer. When you see a story begin to unfold take a few shots. If the story is a good one, take even more shots. Once you feel you have that story go back home and start writing that story down into a blog entry. You then illustrate that story with a select few photos you took.

Make it personal. Make it observational. Make it funny or sad or poignant. Make it yours then release it to the world. Invite comments and see how people react, but don't judge the reactions. Don't defend your images or your stories. See where they go.

It just may be the spark you need. Who knows.


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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 30, 2016 03:35 |  #139

urbanfreestyle wrote in post #18227420 (external link)
I think my issue stems from striving to get 'that image' every time i go out and the lack of appreciation i recieved in return.

To be honest it could just be the society that i now live in. a crappy meme of a chimp sniffing his finger can get over a million likes and shares and comments but a carefully planned shot that is technically great can barely get 5.

This statement makes it seem as if you are shooting in order to receive praise from others; as if you need other people to confirm the validity of your endeavors, or to confirm your ability. I don't think this is healthy. It really shouldn't matter what the heck other people think or say......or fail to say.....about your work.

Likes and shares - what does that do for you? Those things are really pretty worthless - they have no more value than a 'photo credit' that accompanies a published image. You shouldn't need approval from others to validate anything you've done - your own feelings about your work should be validation enough.

I suggest that you seek to please only yourself. Maybe even stop showing your work to any people in any way whatsoever, until you can break this need for positive feedback.

If one of the reasons that you do photography is to get approval or acceptance from others, then I think that you will always struggle with a deep down feeling of discontent. Conversely, if you ever get to the point where you really don't care about having your work accepted or praised by other people, I think that photography could become a very rewarding hobby for you, a hobby that will never bore you.

.


"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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-Duck-
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Dec 30, 2016 04:15 |  #140

urbanfreestyle wrote in post #18227420 (external link)
...To be honest it could just be the society that i now live in. a crappy meme of a chimp sniffing his finger can get over a million likes and shares and comments but a carefully planned shot that is technically great can barely get 5....

I'll take a different viewpoint here.

Yes, that chimp smelling his stinky finger will get more shares and likes over the carefully planned and technically executed image because of one thing and one thing only. EMOTION. An image that evokes a strong emotional response will always win out regardless of whether it's technically adept or not. Unfortunately there is no shortcut or crash course you can take that teaches how to create emotionally driven images. That skill needs to be honed and sharpened through practice, observation and understanding all the tools at our disposal. And then some may never achieve it as eloquently as someone else.

As the old adage goes, if you want to make interesting images put something interesting in front of your lens.

Going back to my previous post, with street photography the goal is not just to make images but to capture stories as they are occurring. Hoppefully stories that engage the viewer. They're out there, you just have to be observant.


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urbanfreestyle
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Dec 30, 2016 04:20 |  #141

Thank you both for your replies, i think these are the ones speaking to me most.

Shoot more for me,
Immerse myself in the surroundings,
Simplify
Worry about my own validation rather than others.

I have actually taken a few photos that i sit back and think WOW.... but then post it online and get no reaction.


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urbanfreestyle
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Dec 30, 2016 04:23 |  #142

-Duck- wrote in post #18227439 (external link)
I'll take a different viewpoint here.

Yes, that chimp smelling his stinky finger will get more shares and likes over the carefully planned and technically executed image because of one thing and one thing only. EMOTION. An image that evokes a strong emotional response will always win out regardless of whether it's technically adept or not. Unfortunately there is no shortcut or crash course you can take that teaches how to create emotionally driven images. That skill needs to be honed and sharpened through practice, observation and understanding all the tools at our disposal. And then some may never achieve it as eloquently as someone else.

As the old adage goes, if you want to make interesting images put something interesting in front of your lens.

Going back to my previous post, with street photography the goal is not just to make images but to capture stories as they are occurring. Hoppefully stories that engage the viewer. They're out there, you just have to be observant.


My emotion of the chimp shot is that it's stupid so i move on.

Sadly the image that i got the most feedback on also had 2 requests to be taken down and a message from facebook saying someone was worried i was suicidal.


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MatthewK
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Dec 30, 2016 06:52 |  #143

In regards to "The Image" conversation: shooting a planned photo vs. an impromptu photo all comes down to what you want to do as a photographer. It doesn't mean one result is better than the other. Some people relish the planning and foresight that comes with a "project"; others love not being constrained. The commonality is that both types LOVE what they are doing. In the end, that's all that matters, right? Don't be judgey.

~~~~~

Shoot for yourself, not for someone else's expectations.

Admittedly, I've struggled with this as well, and not just in photography... that need to feel wanted, to receive validation from people that what you do is important and good. It's highly exacerbated in this age of likes and comments sections, shares and up-votes. At one point I had a self-defeating attitude that if I wasn't the best at something, then it wasn't even worth trying. If you aren't the best, you don't get noticed, right? So when it comes to setting yourself apart from the crowd (in a business aspect) you get stuck in that trap, with the notion that if you don't stand out that other people are getting the work and accolades, and you'll never be successful because you'll never be noticed. So why keep trying, right?

I don't remember when it happened, but at some point I started worrying more about whether or not I received validation from other people. That mentality confines you to a prison of thought that's not your own. The struggle is breaking free of those confines and making your photography yours again. I'm still working on this, and I know that I am having success when the urge to go out and capture an image comes of its own accord, and it's only AFTER I get home and see my work that I think "I might share this with someone". To me, that's what it means to shoot for myself.

Find what makes you happy (in photography, and life in general), and tune out everyone else that isn't that. If taking photos for likes and validation is what makes you happy, but it's making you unhappy that you aren't achieving... well, I don't know what to tell you :-P


well that didn't last long...

  
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DreDaze
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Dec 30, 2016 09:27 as a reply to  @ urbanfreestyle's post |  #144

If you're taking photos for yourself...who cares how many likes you get...are you happy with them?


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Dec 30, 2016 09:35 |  #145

DreDaze wrote in post #18227639 (external link)
If youre taking photos for yourself...who cares how many likes you get...are you happy with them?

Some people find such validation in the number of likes they get from social media, that it distorts their perception of the image itself. I know a particular someone who's on cloud 9 off the likes she gets from Facebook - not because the images are particularly good, but because the standards are not as discriminating as more experienced photographers or paying clients. The likes basically come from within her also-addicted-to-Facebook-validation circle of friends.

(I could get in big trouble for this post.)


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Dec 30, 2016 09:41 as a reply to  @ Nathan's post |  #146
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F*ck Facebook. Put your photos onto some more professional sites and ask to be critiqued...you'll get much more relevant feedback. If you need Facebook likes to justify your photography then you have bigger issues. Today's young society I don't understandwith their need to be acknowledged with likes from strangers.




  
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Dec 30, 2016 09:42 as a reply to  @ Nathan's post |  #147

Don't get me wrong, i like to get likes myself...but if people don't like a photo i spent a lot of effort to get, it doesn't change my feelings about the photo...i just assume they're idiots...:)


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Dec 30, 2016 10:08 |  #148

I ejected from Facebook and Instagram almost 5 years ago now, and my life is better for it in so many ways. It's easy to get caught up in all of it, gauging your success by how many people see and like your work. And it's exhausting, especially when it's one of the best ways to market and promote yourself when starting out. Seemingly overnight I dropped off of all social media, and I shuttered my first attempt in the photography business. I really dislike (no pun intended) Facebook and social media... it's all too fake, impersonal, and it distorts reality.

So these days, the only validation I get is from people here on POTN :love: :love: :love:


well that didn't last long...

  
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Dec 30, 2016 10:12 |  #149

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18226954 (external link)
But the photoraphers that Allen mentioned are not really photojournalists, they are fine art and/or street photographers. Street photographers are attempting to create art. Photojournalists are attempting to document meaningful events. These are completely different objectives and have completely different emphasis. I see no way in which these two disciplines are similar, other than the fact that they each use camera gear to capture images and that their subject matter usually (but not always) includes humans.

.

I like your distinction between street photographers and photojournalists, but I think all photographers endeavor to create art. Each photographer is in pursuit of his own [art]. But like I said earlier... they're just labels. As WaltA points out, people get distracted by labels - but on that point, some of the photographers Allen mentioned were photojournalists, too. In his thirties, Winogrand was a photojournalist with his images published in commercial magazines. Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange were documentary photographers, and I'd argue more "photojournalist" than "street." Again, these are labels and I think the lines between them are blurred, especially considering the influences of others' works on one's own personal style.

I think that as photographers, we are all documentarians. Like writers, we interpret reality. The only real division is that between fact and fiction. There are those of us who record reality for what it is and then there are those who challenge the notions of what's there. We can create a record of events and memorialize them as they were. Or we can write a fiction as a novelist might, blending what is real and what is not into a creative expression of what we see. We can either capture a scene for all of its natural and untouched state. Or we can manipulate lights, adding props, costume and processing to achieve our visions. As photographers, we can document what's real as well as what's not. Fact and fiction are the only true categories and even between them the lines are blurred.

All else, whether documentary photography, photojournalism, landscape, portrait, commercial or fashion... these are all constructs we've created because we feel the need to compartmentalize and sort. In order to understand something, we feel the need to describe it. In describing it, we begin to label it. The consequence of that is we tend to forget that there's more to a thing than the category in which it was placed. Just as in taxonomy, we've sorted organisms into genus and species but have to be reminded that they are connected by family, class and order and, even broader, by kingdom and phyla. How many of us even think about domain? The difference, however, between science and photography is that the lines around science are more readily drawn. Photography is an art and, as such, those lines are not as clear.

Rambles.


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airfrogusmc
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Dec 30, 2016 10:53 |  #150

I don't think all photographers have art in mind. Most of the greats create because they have to and art is left for those that label those kinds of things.

And I don't think labels are anything that those creating think much about and if they do they shouldn't. For the most part I think that they (labels) are pretty silly.

Love this piece by Winogrand
About 50 seconds in
https://www.youtube.co​m/watch?v=3RM9KcYEYXs (external link)

and this by Ansel Adams
"It's easy to rest upon vague security of words; the terms "beauty", "dignity", "spirituality" and "function" and but symbols of qualities, and are vulnerable to connotations. Let us hope that categories will be less rigid in the future; there has been too much of placing photography in little niches-commercial, pictorial, documentary, and creative (a dismal term). Definitions of this kind are inessential and stupid; good photography remains good photography no matter what we name it.I would think just "photography" ; of each and every photograph containing the best qualities degree to achieve its purpose. We have all been slaves to categories, and each has served as a kind of concentration camp for the spirit."-Ansel Adams

Unfortunately it has only gotten worse since Adams wrote this in 1943. I say just create and let those that need piles to put things in do just that.

"Art for arts sake is dead, if it really ever lived" Steichen.

"we must always be logical in our critical estimates; most of photography is not intended as art and should ot be judged as such." - Ansel Adams

So just shoot and do it because of a passion that you have to see and capture that vision. And don't worry about the masses. Remember that some of the greatest work ever created was panned by the masses at the time it was created.

I love this quote by the great dancer Martha Graham
“No artist is ahead of his time. He is the time. It is just that others are behind the time.”-Martha Graham
I never think about creating art when I am working. I try to remain a blank slate and open to anything.




  
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