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Author Topic: One Great Big Selfie  (Read 2492 times)

JNB_Rare

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 07:24:49 PM »

The best photography is an expression of the world, not the self. The self is an obstacle.

A value judgement?

I tend to take from such schools of thought any ideas that may help my appreciation for, and openness to photographic approaches. Take Miksang photography for example. Two quotes from the introduction:

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Miksang means ‘Good Eye’ in Tibetan. We all have a Good Eye as part of our human makeup.  This means we have the ability to see the world in a pure way, without overlays of meaning and value, pleasure, dislike, or disinterest.

When we can see with our Good Eye, the world is always fresh, because everything we see is as for the first time. There is no memory, no association, only the world manifesting to us, as it is, out of nowhere.

This "discipline" of seeing is not entirely divorced from our self, however.

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Through our images we can express our experience of seeing. Our photographs will carry within them our heart, our mind, the blood of our experience.

Reading further about Miksang has been interesting, and helpful in explaining what happens when I'm in a certain frame of mind. But I can't say that I have ever become a devotee, disciple, or follower of any one school or person. Not in my character, I suppose.

JNB_Rare

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2017, 07:31:41 PM »

Interesting; are you then suggesting we just put the camera on auto-everything, switch on a motordrive and chuck the camera up in the air as it fires, thus removing all personal input bar, of course, location? How awkward, that last bit!

Rob

In the 1970's I met a man who was doing just that. Old camera, set hyperfocal on lens, set self-timer, and hurled it up into the air. Used a baseball glove to catch the camera and repeated until all frames were exposed. Can't say I ever saw much of interest – perhaps one blurry image of him on the ground with another white blur for his Samoyed which was racing around.

elliot_n

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2017, 08:08:11 PM »

Take Miksang photography for example.

Thanks for the link. I like some of their ideas, but the pictures are insipid - over-simplistic compositions of leaves, petals, hands, water etc. An American fantasy of eastern mysticism.   
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farbschlurf

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #23 on: September 07, 2017, 06:01:53 AM »

In the 1970's I met a man who was doing just that. Old camera, set hyperfocal on lens, set self-timer, and hurled it up into the air. Used a baseball glove to catch the camera and repeated until all frames were exposed. Can't say I ever saw much of interest – perhaps one blurry image of him on the ground with another white blur for his Samoyed which was racing around.
Anyone know Wenders' Lisbon Story?
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GrahamBy

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #24 on: September 07, 2017, 06:38:32 AM »

Evidently Andre was good at beating his chest and posing.

There is a an oft-cited phrase in French
"Ce que l'on conçoit bien s'énonce clairement"  =>  "That which is well conceived can be clearly explained"

It's from Nicolas Boileau, born at the end of 1636. He was a satirist who was often censored by Louis 14th for mocking, among other things, the church.

I can only imagine that he remains equally unpopular today in the arts world...

(Another quote;
Quel lion, quel tigre, égale en cruauté
Une injuste fureur qu'anime la Piété ?

What lion, what tiger, can equal the cruelty
of the unjust fury that drives the pious?)
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Telecaster

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2017, 03:54:25 PM »

(Another quote;
Quel lion, quel tigre, égale en cruauté
Une injuste fureur qu'anime la Piété ?

What lion, what tiger, can equal the cruelty
of the unjust fury that drives the pious?)

The human condition in a nutshell.  :)  A surplus of self-flattery and a deficit of humility.

-Dave-
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Rob C

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #26 on: September 07, 2017, 04:55:03 PM »

"Take Miksang photography for example."

"Miksang is photography in which we use the camera to express our visual perceptions exactly as we experience them. Because we know how to prepare ourselves to receive perceptions when we see them, and we know how to understand exactly what we have seen, we then know exactly how to express what we have seen with our camera. The resulting image is an exact expression of our eye, mind, and heart as it connects with the perception."

I could never agree with the above quotation from within the Miksang one.

Speaking, modestly, only for myself, I have to admit that I am not at all sure about some of the things that I see, and especially about any intrinsic meaning that they may or may not hold, clutched oh so closly to their heart.

That there can be an exact understanding about something we see is a bit optimistic; there could be as many valid perceptions based upon something seen as invalid ones; how are we to know unless they are things that we, ourselves, have arranged?

As for any photograph ever being "an exact expression of our eye, mind, and heart as it connects with the perception." requires a photographic skill beyond anyone I know. And I'm afraid I have to be modest here, too.

In short, this is nonsense.

Referring to Graham's first quotation: I bet Jeanloup knew that dictum too!

Rob

Telecaster

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #27 on: September 09, 2017, 03:44:07 PM »

I like Winogrand's take: "I photograph to see what things look like when photographed." This acknowledges the camera's vital role in the process. (And if you're using film, its role.) Cameras don't see things the same way we do. Not to mention that the act of photographing—being there with a light-gathering gizmo—can change the behavior of what you're photographing. The notion that anything about perception can be "exact" or "pure" is nonsense. Perception is interpretive and interactive to the core.

-Dave-
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Rob C

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2017, 03:48:00 PM »

I like Winogrand's take: "I photograph to see what things look like when photographed." This acknowledges the camera's vital role in the process. (And if you're using film, its role.) Cameras don't see things the same way we do. Not to mention that the act of photographing—being there with a light-gathering gizmo—can change the behavior of what you're photographing. The notion that anything about perception can be "exact" or "pure" is nonsense. Perception is interpretive and interactive to the core.

-Dave-

And boy, can it change one's own!

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #29 on: September 10, 2017, 07:16:25 AM »

Now who was it who said that for him/her, the aim of photography was to learn to see without a camera?

It's fascinating to read eg Daniel Dennet on the nature of consciousness: we really see very little of what we image seeing, the brain fills in a lot of gaps. So learning to see with the impartiality of a camera is actually a major challenge.
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Rob C

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #30 on: September 10, 2017, 11:25:05 AM »

Now who was it who said that for him/her, the aim of photography was to learn to see without a camera?

It's fascinating to read eg Daniel Dennet on the nature of consciousness: we really see very little of what we image seeing, the brain fills in a lot of gaps. So learning to see with the impartiality of a camera is actually a major challenge.


Um, the camera has no mind, but whoever points it does. Are you suggesting one get drunk first in an attempt to diminish personal input? Strikes me as close to the "turn on, tune and drop out" theory beloved of some musicians some decades ago.

;-)

Rob

elliot_n

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2017, 12:00:31 PM »

Alcohol (and other drugs) can be useful for the beginner. The more experienced photographer will have learnt to still their mind without intoxicants. To see clearly, the photographer must stop thinking.
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Telecaster

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2017, 04:29:09 PM »

Um, the camera has no mind, but whoever points it does.

Right, thus the interactive nature of the photographing process. The mindless machine is externally directed.

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Are you suggesting one get drunk first in an attempt to diminish personal input? Strikes me as close to the "turn on, tune and drop out" theory beloved of some musicians some decades ago.

Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out. Timothy Leary.

Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn is in the process of writing All These Years, a three-volume bio-tome on the band. Vol 1 came out a couple years ago and is subtitled Tune In. I don't know anyone with doubts about the subtitles of vols 2 & 3.  :D  Beyond the period reference they're just so appropriate!

-Dave-
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Rob C

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2017, 04:33:37 PM »

Alcohol (and other drugs) can be useful for the beginner. The more experienced photographer will have learnt to still their mind without intoxicants. To see clearly, the photographer must stop thinking.


I give up!

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #34 on: September 11, 2017, 07:37:09 AM »


Um, the camera has no mind, but whoever points it does.

It's a question of the difference between what the mind of the pointer thinks the camera is pointed at, and what one discovers later on the monitor that it was pointed at :)
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Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #35 on: September 11, 2017, 10:27:36 AM »

It's a question of the difference between what the mind of the pointer thinks the camera is pointed at, and what one discovers later on the monitor that it was pointed at :)
+1.   ;D
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-Eric Myrvaagnes    (A sampler of my new book is on my website.)
http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my photo website (Server is back up). New images each season. Also visit my new website: http://ericneedsakidney.org

Rob C

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Re: One Great Big Selfie
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2017, 02:51:31 PM »

It's a question of the difference between what the mind of the pointer thinks the camera is pointed at, and what one discovers later on the monitor that it was pointed at :)

http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=118771.msg998930#msg998930

"Yes, I find the same thing happens with the 'windows' things that fascinate me. I discover all manner of alternatives within the shot once I have it on the monitor. I have even made mistakes that, immediately that I see them, make me think hey, why didn't I think of that?

No wonder free photography becomes so amazingly addictive, even if I am doing a little cold turkey right now.

Rob"

.........................

Yes, but that doesn't mean I don't think before shooting, as I wote in the above. More, it's that there are such things as serendipity and the lucky accident, and all sorts of crazy things that go down between seeing and shooting.

I really don't think you can expand that to suggest that the camera, per se, does anything of it's own. All I think we are talking about is that everything has within itself a range of alternatives, and that maybe we are initially attracted by one that's dominant at first sight.

Rob
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