Is photography as an art form more akin to "performance", or to "composition"?
There are clearly more people able to "perform" music, then there are people able to "compose" music. I can imagine that lots of practice allows for better "performance", but I doubt the same holds true for better "composition".
In addition: doesn't it also require a certain amount of (life) experience to be able to judge "when & what" is actually worth capturing? And isn't this really what the quote may be referring at?
You've just illustrated the single greatest factor this
snapper faces: why bother? Was a time before turning pro that I saw it all as a pre-destined learning process, with the professional carrot dangling as motivator in the far(?) distance. Then, once in the business, business itself and its momentum and opportunities for lifestyle that that brought carried me along from crest to crest, or from the peak of one depression to the peak of the next (always hard to judge at the time).
Now, with all that but memory, why make images anymore?
It’s very easy to imagine that, once into photography, it will provide its own reward and, thus, motivation. It doesn’t necessarily do anything of the kind. I find that trying to enthuse myself into shooting stuff remote from pro days is both difficult and not really particularly rewarding of itself. I sometimes wonder if it’s an inevitable reaction to growing older or whether the lack of financial reward somehow removes its validity, its payoff, as it were, though certainly I don’t mean that in monetary terms alone. Either way, there appears little reason to justify the effort both in the mythical field as on the all too real typist chair at the friggin’ computer.
I see this as perhaps being somewhat wider-spread than realised: could a lack of real motivation for image-making per se be the reason so many ‘photographers’ spend hours on pixel-peeping, on camera talk, on printers/inks and Photoshop or whatever columns? Are the associated games of greater real reward (or interest) than what actually goes into the front of the lens?
Speaking of which, I think that today brought on a unique change of mind regarding my general view on landscape. For this I must thank Chuck K. whose latest black/white work is on show somewhere here on LuLa this morning. Previous to those images, and though I am already familiar with his website, I felt that landscape was essentially not a lot more (at best) than an exercise in editing what God had already created. Now, I’m no longer quite so sure of my ground (no pun etc.). The reason for this is as follows: colour landscape seems to be an exercise in shooting what’s there and turning that into as accurate as possible renditions of what was seen, with every little detail as crisp as can be, the more colour or/and detail able to be reproduced the better (Zone etc.). However, Chuck’s current crop is different. I hope he takes no offence, but the images, to me, are of nothing remarkably interesting in itself, but boy, what that has been turned into is something very much else! I wonder if it would have worked in colour, but in black and white there is no other fair word to use: creative. Never thought I’d see a time I would honestly claim that for landscape, but I won’t deny what I saw today.
It would be nice to feel similarly inspired to go out there and do some of the same… but. But, that’s somebody else’s bag, and what’s the point of faking it (if one could) for one’s own?