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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 19 Apr 2008 (Saturday) 06:28
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Why do you do it?

 
motion_projekt
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Apr 19, 2008 06:28 |  #1

Just for my curiosity's sake, i figured i'd try to stimulate a little more discussion on here. Everyone on here has a certain style of shooting that they have. Why do you do what you do? Why have you chosen to shoot in a particular style? What draws you to it?

I guess this question stems from my never ending quest for knowledge and understanding of my environment, people, and people around me.

To start the discussion...what draws me to photography. The ability to manipulate light, to capture each moment as it comes, and freeze it in time. For as the moment comes and passes, there will never be another like it. The process of documenting the happenings, and the small things that people do that they don't notice. I like the fact that with photography i am able to pluck a moment out and freeze it in time, saving it forever and ever, and being able to share it with other, and future generations. I believe that children are my favorite subjects, i've found that they are uninhibited in their expressions of emotion. They always bring out the best in everyone around them and their innocence and carefree outlook never fails to bring a smile to my face. After saying that, i do think that i just enjoy photographing people in general. Capturing emotions and conveying how i perceive the situation, or that moment is what I'm about. By doing this, I seek to change the way we all view the world.

hope that doesn't sound too preachy. ;)


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John_B
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Apr 19, 2008 07:21 |  #2

motion_projekt,
Why I Love Photography - Is because I Love to capture Nature (or the moment) while we still have it :)

Why I Love taking my photos in M (manual) - Is because I Love to claim I took the photo ;)


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Mike ­ R
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Apr 19, 2008 07:33 |  #3

My shooting style changes depending on the subject. Sports and Landscapes are very different. When I'm shooting landscapes I want to capture it with my vision. Which may be very different than how others see it. When I shoot school sports. I want to capture the kids in a way that will make the parents proud of them, even the kid who may only get 2 minutes play time because of how poor he plays (Yep, I was that kid years ago and still can't throw a ball straight)


Mike R
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Tom ­ Reichner
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May 26, 2019 10:48 |  #4

Yes, I know this is an old thread ... so what? . The topic is interesting and worth responding to ..... I find it odd that it only got a few responses back when it was started - yet threads about gear get dozens of responses. . It's like forum members don't understand what matters and what is interesting to discuss.
.

motion_projekt wrote in post #5360490 (external link)
Just for my curiosity's sake, i figured i'd try to stimulate a little more discussion on here. Everyone on here has a certain style of shooting that they have. Why do you do what you do? Why have you chosen to shoot in a particular style? What draws you to it?

.
This is a great thread and it asks a question that needs to be asked more often. . I think we would all benefit from giving more thought to our shooting style, and to thinking about what we want to capture and why we want to capture it.

As one who mainly shoots wildlife, my main goal is usually to create images that are aesthetically appealing. . I am not very interested in "capturing a moment" or in documenting something I saw so that I can "preserve a memory". . For me, photography is not about memories, it is about beauty.

I want to create images that are flawless and free of any distracting elements. . Therefore, when I am out in nature with wildlife, I am always looking for a way to make the scene before me appear a bit better to the camera. . If a few blades of grass in the foreground are catching the light in a distracting way, then I will stop shooting and look for a position to move to where those blades of grass won't be in the frame anymore. . Or, if sidelight causes one side of the animal's face to be shaded a little too darkly, then I will look to move around so that I can get the shading just right. . If, in doing so, I scare the animal away, so be it. I'd rather have no photo at all than a photo with problems.

Of course there are many times where I have to make compromises and settle for things that are less than ideal ..... but it really kills me to do this and I am never content with those compromises.

So I suppose my style could be described as obsessive compulsive, where I fret over every little thing that finds its way into the frame. . I want everything to be perfect. . I will often return to the same place to photograph the same animal over and over and over again, looking for an opportunity where finally everything about the scene will be just right, and I will finally be able to capture an image that is ever so slightly better than all the other images I have captured of the same thing in the same place. . I have a very clear picture in my mind's eye of exactly what I want my photo to look like, and I keep trying until I get something very close to that. . I fail far more often than I succeed.


.


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Owain ­ Shaw
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May 26, 2019 13:04 |  #5

Good question, and I have to agree, one we should all pause to consider from time to time.

My engagement with Photography has changed a few times over the years. With where I'm at right now, I enjoy taking pictures of things I find interesting (visually and/or socially) and I enjoy the act of seeing these things and documenting them, recording them or showing them in some way - but mostly because I enjoy the seeing and the creativity.

I photograph everyday scenes and objects rather than scenes which might more readily be regarded as beautiful, but for me there is something interesting there and I enjoy making pictures of these things which catch my eye. I come from a nice enough but unspectacular area, and learned to see photographically by making the best photographs I could with what was available. I like Eggleston's idea of being "at war with the obvious", and from the very beginning I've not been naturally drawn to taking pictures of iconic landmarks in cities I visit but will happily photograph a brick wall if I like the colour. This seems to be what I most truly enjoy with Photography, and it's this I try to focus on these days - and hope I will continue to do so without too many other diversions.


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goalerjones
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May 26, 2019 13:19 |  #6

My journey began back in college. As an art major i was used to working with pencil, pen and ink. I used photographs that I took for my subjects. Then it began to change. I saw the pictures as the medium I favored. Many years away from it now, but since last May I'm back, fully immersed in the process again (along with an back-to-school crash course in the new digital tech). This time however I am using my pictures for our church social media pages and I shoot events for them as well.

Focus has always been abstract in my initial approach but while in my car driving to see patients I am always looking for a good vantage point to get landscapes or clouds, etc. The event images are getting better with each outing and I've "been accepted by the herd" so to speak and they no longer run from me, but rather to me for pictures. I also realize that this is the last time I may see some of our congregation out at events as they're aging, so I try my best to be a chronicler of sorts.




  
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OhLook
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May 26, 2019 16:12 |  #7

Owain Shaw wrote in post #18867745 (external link)
I enjoy taking pictures of things I find interesting (visually and/or socially) and I enjoy the act of seeing these things and documenting them, recording them or showing them in some way - but mostly because I enjoy the seeing and the creativity.

I photograph everyday scenes and objects rather than scenes which might more readily be regarded as beautiful, but for me there is something interesting there and I enjoy making pictures of these things which catch my eye.

That's a very good statement of what motivates me. Thanks, Owain, now I don't have to write up an explanation.

There's a small number of contributors in the urban-life threads whose images suggest that they proceed the same way. Seeing their work helps me feel understood.


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Owain ­ Shaw
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May 27, 2019 02:12 |  #8

OhLook wrote in post #18867812 (external link)
That's a very good statement of what motivates me. Thanks, Owain, now I don't have to write up an explanation.

There's a small number of contributors in the urban-life threads whose images suggest that they proceed the same way. Seeing their work helps me feel understood.

You're very welcome.

Indeed, there are a few of us around and one of the nice things about the internet has always been that one can find others who share interests or ways of seeing, but certainly not the same geographical location. At times it can be like seeing a different part of the world through a familiar lens.

I remember being very pleased when (I believe) you started the "Urban Scenes (sky is okay)" thread. I remember thinking 'this is just the thread I needed!'


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Jeff_56
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May 28, 2019 08:34 |  #9
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I like documenting the world I live in both personally and for the community I'm in. I started out in photography from a journalist POV. And I realized how great it is to look back at the world as it was before me through photos. I am into history in a big way and have been a long time. I have collected thousands of photos that I took and others took and I share them in social media with the thousands of people who share my interest.

I do enjoy taking photos just to create an image that will be appreciated. I've done lots of that also especially with wildlife. I've been the guy who will set up in a swamp and wait for hours to get that one shot I want of whatever animal. And I also photograph flowers, landscapes and macro images (generally insects showing how they live). I like photography. I just like journalism and history more. I do both but my big reason for having a decent camera is that I really appreciate the high quality photos others have taken in the past that show me what their world was like. I want people to look at my photos and thank me for taking them.




  
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Road ­ Dog
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May 28, 2019 09:27 |  #10

My "style" (and my ex-wife would argue I have none) has been largely influenced by the magazine I work for. The owner has a certain look she wants for products, food and portraits. I've found that I really like the look she goes for, and I've adopted it into my shooting even when I'm not doing a magazine shoot...


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Neither of those are images I would've created before working for the magazine...

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aezoss
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May 29, 2019 07:31 |  #11

>what draws me to photography
Family.

My better half and I are out 3 or 4 evenings a week searching for birds and sunsets together. Our kids are in their late teens and still come along more often than not. We'll drive out to the middle of nowhere just to see what kind of mischief we can get into. Some of the best moments are when a camera never leaves the bag.

There'll be a lot less shutter noise in our house when the kids leave home. It's a rapidly approaching moment I'm not looking forward to.

Style? Not really. Point, shoot, that's it.

At one point I was trying to create art. Set that aside to create memories instead.




  
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Dan ­ Marchant
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May 30, 2019 08:14 |  #12

I didn't use to have a style... I used to shoot everything and then process each individual image according to what I thought look best. Friends all seemed to like the image but after a bit of time I ceased to enjoy then because they had no meaning for me. I also felt that the lack of coherent style made it less impactful.

I really enjoyed the style of Salgado's work (at the time I was dabbling with Landscapes). Although I moved away from landscapes I stayed with black and white as my chosen style. In addition I started focusing in on only shooting subjects that meant something to me. I like to focus on the local life of people within big cities and would actively refrain from taking a picture if the subject didn't fit my style.

After three+ years of that I have noticed a change this year. Having established my style I now feel comfortable venturing out of it when I have specific reasons to do so. I now have two specific projects (not just random images) that require their own style. Both are colour, different from each other and from my usual topics, but has a specific style that fits the project.


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mckownphoto
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May 30, 2019 10:46 |  #13

I got my first 35mm camera when I was 6 .. first pro camera when I was 12 .. I'm 44 now .. so I do things just because that's who I am & what I do ... I get bored every few years .. so I change. Everyone has their own story but for me asking why I do a certain thing with photography is kinda like asking me why I prefer green enchilada sauce on tacos instead of red .. I just do.


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Gregsiem
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May 30, 2019 11:54 |  #14

Started with a Brownie Box, advanced to an Instamatic 25 and then on to a 35mm view finder (Halina Paulette) at school. Canon AE1 after school and finally on to XSI and then 7D/2

Taking photographs is just what I have always done. You brush your teeth, you shower, you change your clothes, and you take photographs. For me it is just part of who I am.

Birding and photography are a great intersection point for me now that the photography equipment price levels are affordable to enable me to pursue both interests simultaneously.


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Jul 14, 2019 17:31 |  #15

motion_projekt wrote in post #5360490 (external link)
Just for my curiosity's sake, i figured i'd try to stimulate a little more discussion on here. Everyone on here has a certain style of shooting that they have. Why do you do what you do? Why have you chosen to shoot in a particular style? What draws you to it?

Tom Reichner wrote in post #18867672 (external link)
Yes, I know this is an old thread ... so what? . The topic is interesting and worth responding to ..... I find it odd that it only got a few responses back when it was started - yet threads about gear get dozens of responses. . It's like forum members don't understand what matters and what is interesting to discuss.
.

And I shall reawaken it from its shorter nap. ;)

I started taking photos as a kid in the 60s with b&w and eventually color film. I just liked taking pictures. I still do, though today it is all digital.

In the recent years I've grown with my photography and even to some degree with video. Photography is a hobby for me, albeit a semi-serious one. I'm a mathematician working in R&D, and a lot of what I do is analyze lots of data, creating algorithms to accomplish my work. Programming is picky and precise, and a misplaced character can make the difference between a program that runs properly and one that does not. While my code and algorithms are "pretty" and artistic in their own way, photography allows me to be more creative and expressive.

I'm always trying to grow in my photography, and in the last year reached a point where my work changed. While I'm not sure I have a style per se, I do guide my work by a single idea: My photography celebrates life. That's it. I actually keep a concept posted in my photography notes on my computer that says, "Celebrate Life™". If I start to lose track of where I am, I go back to that concept to recenter myself.

Below is probably one of my recent favorite photos, along with a link to the online album where it resides. The project was called, "Twelve", and it was a look at New York City in ways it had never been seen before. Yeah, right. But why not? I took over 1800 photos; 12 survived. I just love this one. It's baby, a photographer, mom, and sister out on a sunny day in Brooklyn. It's all about life, joy, happiness. Is that a style? I dunno, but it follows the concept of Celebrate Life.

In the album I mostly avoided icons of NYC. Where they appear, they're just a part of the image, not necessarily the subject. Given some of the photos, if you didn't know this was NYC you might not guess where it is; if you were then told it was NYC, if I've done this right you might think, "Yes, of course"

Photo album: https://grahamglover.z​enfolio.com/p551615661 (external link)

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Why do you do it?
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