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Author Topic: Listen, and never ask again.  (Read 17380 times)

BernardLanguillier

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #40 on: March 30, 2013, 11:09:46 PM »

The problem is that it's all out of my control: I see or I do not see. This stuff about 'challenges' I simply can't understand: it's just up to nature and happenstance, unlike paid work where it's all up to skill and money to achieve the result required.

I am not sure in fact. I think there is a clear methodology to the creative process or the expensipn/re-birth of the vision. But somehow I don't seem to be able/willing to force myself to apply it consistently.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!

Rob C

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #41 on: March 31, 2013, 04:28:36 AM »

Bernard -

Possibly there is a system, but in my own experience it only exists within a working situation because, then, there is no time to swan around thinking great thoughts: you just get on with whatever there is needs doing. Remove the financial imperative and it sinks into something much softer - a sort of maybe, maybe not space where it doesn't really matter and might just be a waste of time doing whatever just in case it doesn't work. And should it work, so what?

Perhaps it comes down to personality, but I'm not sure about that, because if it did, then failure would be staring one in the face all the time. Now that I think about it, doesn't that measure the freelance situation? Isn't disaster always but an assignment away? I've known several guys in this business constantly talk up their situation, yet a month later the doors are closed. I had a printer cl¡ent like that: stock reply to any question was 'no problem! We can do it" Except that they couldn't.

Rob C

David Sutton

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #42 on: April 01, 2013, 02:54:18 AM »

I was looking at the words of "King Henry" last night, and had forgotten the other meaning of "woo" is "to seek to achieve".

Let never a man a wooing wend
That lacketh things three.
A store of gold an open heart
And full of charity.
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Rob C

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #43 on: April 01, 2013, 04:12:37 AM »

I was looking at the words of "King Henry" last night, and had forgotten the other meaning of "woo" is "to seek to achieve".

Let never a man a wooing wend
That lacketh things three.
A store of gold an open heart
And full of charity.



Warning from a metropolitan divorcé?

Rob C

David Sutton

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #44 on: April 01, 2013, 04:47:08 PM »



Warning from a metropolitan divorcé?

Rob C

For starters, more a warning from my bank manager when I mention my next photography purchase.   ;)
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Rob C

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #45 on: April 03, 2013, 04:14:05 AM »

For starters, more a warning from my bank manager when I mention my next photography purchase.   ;)


I didn't know you lived in Cyprus!

Rob bC

NancyP

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finding the creative spark
« Reply #46 on: April 03, 2013, 07:12:06 PM »

Rob C, you seem to be running into "photographer's block".

"(fill in the blank) block afflicts a lot of people in a lot of areas, particularly people who work solo much of the time. I have had the same phenomenon, in scientific research.

Sometimes teaching your subject to talented or curious beginners is a way to get the zest back in your pursuit of the subject.

Do you have hobbies or interests outside of photography? Might there be some way to combine hobbies and photography? Or just pursue the hobby and forget about photography for a while.

Do you have a writer friend you could collaborate with for a project? Is there a non-profit organization that needs some photographs in order to explain or perform its mission?

Go for a hike or a car trip with outdoor walking excursions, and just look around sans camera. Fresh air and exercise help elevate lousy moods.
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Rocco Penny

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #47 on: April 03, 2013, 08:00:47 PM »

farbeitfromme to say whats what especially in the case of humans,
but have you seen robs cell phone snaps?
Go look,
um I wouldn't call it "photographer's block"
hey rob justa shout...
:):D
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Rob C

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #48 on: April 04, 2013, 04:55:30 AM »

Nancy, Rocco –

Well, there are problems, but probably no more so than for anybody else. In most ways I know I’m damned fortunate to be where I am, to have achieved whatever I have, etc. but perhaps it’s that none of the past seems to count for much in the present: it’s the thought of tomorrow that used to drive, but when there’s no professional tomorrow, then what? It wasn’t just photography – it was very much the entire photographic environment – life-style, I suppose – that was the buzz. The planning of shoots, pricing – casting, recce work and all of that; seeing different countries in high style on a client’s tab, all of it gave a huge sense of being alive, of being part of something exciting, something different to the guy next door. Especially to my guys next door in suburbia, no offence meant!

Then of course, it’s the missing half of the personal equation, and nothing, even work, could replace her, so I guess it’s the road we all travel in one way or the other - the credits roll up, the music fades, the audience gets up…

Creativity doesn’t ever die: one day it just finds itself without a home.

;-)

Rob C

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #49 on: April 04, 2013, 10:09:13 AM »

... in high style on a client’s tab...

So, not doing it, but being paid for doing it is key? Or, to extend the metaphor, to find joy in sex one needs to... ;D

Rocco Penny

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #50 on: April 04, 2013, 10:59:57 AM »

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Rob C

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #52 on: April 04, 2013, 11:19:07 AM »

So, not doing it, but being paid for doing it is key? Or, to extend the metaphor, to find joy in sex one needs to... ;D



Almost there but not quite: without the peripheral buzz it's just a wank. Anyone can do that.

Shit! maybe that's where the glaucoma came from: they always did say "it's bad for your eyes, darling!" Oh well, could have been worse.

;-)

Rob C

Rocco Penny

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #53 on: April 04, 2013, 11:21:32 AM »

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NancyP

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #55 on: April 04, 2013, 03:17:03 PM »

Rob C., you aren't alone. Grief and depression and "stuckness" happen to most people. If you can join a non-photography hobbyists' group (eg, community chorus), or go to church/temple/mosque and work on a community assistance project with fellow congregants, or volunteer as docent at a museum or zoo, or... any activity that isn't photography and gets you out among people, it might help with the depression and stuckness. I am not being a pollyanna, this is what I have done in the past and present to get out of major depression and stay out. Sciemtific research, or photography, or any single pursuit, can't provide everything to a person's spirit.
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Rob C

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #56 on: April 04, 2013, 04:05:17 PM »

Rob C., you aren't alone. Grief and depression and "stuckness" happen to most people. If you can join a non-photography hobbyists' group (eg, community chorus), or go to church/temple/mosque and work on a community assistance project with fellow congregants, or volunteer as docent at a museum or zoo, or... any activity that isn't photography and gets you out among people, it might help with the depression and stuckness. I am not being a pollyanna, this is what I have done in the past and present to get out of major depression and stay out. Sciemtific research, or photography, or any single pursuit, can't provide everything to a person's spirit.


Hi Nancy

Thanks for the interest, and it really is appreciated, but the trouble is that I’ve never been much of a ‘joiner’ and this LuLa thing is about as far as I’ve ever gone into habit! I did find myself invited to join a local ‘art’ group a few year ago, and I did so along with maybe eighty other people. Within a year the numbers had fallen to a core of perhaps twenty or fifteen, the eighty never turned up at any meeting, just on paper prior to the inauguration, and even the original president walked out at the end of the first year: the reason was language. The guy was from Madrid and didn’t speak the local patois which is a version  of Catalan. The ‘official’ language is supposed to be Castilian but on this island there is the same heady sense of isolation and nationalism that affects many other tiny groupings who find themselves washed up on the edges of the main national  identity, and they take refuge in being difficult. In effect, though most local people speak both versions of Spanish perfectly, they refused to continue with the lingua franca everyone else foreign to the island understood… so, when the second year began I realised it was all going right over my head – intentionally. I didn’t return after the first meeting of that second year, and left them to carry on speaking in code.

I didn’t leave much. During the first year they organized a series of shows and absurd events over a couple of weeks of peak tourist season. At the first meeting post-events, the folks at the helm were praising the shows as a success. When I asked how many painting, photographs, sculptures etc. had been sold, the answer was one. I replied that in my sense of definition, that wasn’t success, it was financial disaster. I was greeted by a nervous giggle… who needs this crap? Fantasists.

Actually, one of the greatest problems faced is time: it takes forever to get out of the apartment every day, and I don’t really want to venture forth unwashed, a mess of  breakfast dishes and unmade bed (hmm… sounds an idea) awaiting my return! That leaves half a day to think self, and I do my best with some luck at times and often none at all. The thing is, working for a living is a thing that brings its own unavoidable disciplines, but messing about as a retired old geezer is something very else! For a start, one no longer has the energy or physical strength to cart stuff around very far. But anyway, on that score, I long ago concluded that it made more sense to venture forth with a single lens and do what one could with it without the distractions of ‘choice’.

I understand your point about looking for something outwith snaps, but to tell the truth, I have a limited set of abilites, and though I’d enjoy getting into music, I have no talent for that, and even the pros that I used to photograph have had next to no gigs this winter nor yet this summer. The crisis. Nobody spends anything they can avoid spending. Not much MFD about these parts, but I could be mistaken and have just never seen it.

Ciao –

Rob C


jerome_m

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #57 on: April 04, 2013, 04:18:57 PM »

One aspect that is essential in this discussion, yet has not been mentioned yet, is the aspect of publication. Taking pictures (or producing any form of art) is only half of the equation: you also need a public. Without somebody to actually watch the picture, the picture itself is meaningless. You also want to communicate what you have seen to somebody else. Without the ability to show your pictures, without someone to appreciate them, taking pictures becomes a pointless exercise. As somebody told me once: "I take pictures because I enjoy taking pictures, but sometimes I wonder why I put a film in the camera. It would be much easier without it". Yet, taking pictures that nobody ever sees is like throwing bottles into the sea and never getting any message back.

Some amateurs, probably a lot more than one would believe, still take pictures and never show them. Think about Vivian Mayer and 50 years of undeveloped film in cardboard boxes. That is a good illustration to your saying: "you do it because you have no option".

Of course undeveloped film does not exist with a digital camera. And, in our modern world, it would appear at first sight that the problem of publishing pictures is largely solved: the Internet makes it easy to publish.

The problem has not been solved, the second part of the journey is still no completed. It is easy to put up pictures for people to see. It is still difficult to have people actually watch them. For that, the pictures need to be of interest to them. Now, "interest" or "interesting" are overused words in the English language, but I am using the word in its original meaning here: the viewer needs to find something in the picture that belongs to what he or she is interested in. For a pro, that problem does not exist: if someone is hiring you to take a picture, that person is per definition interested in the result. A pro photographer is someone producing pictures of interest to the clients (and not necessarily of interest to him or her). For an amateur, the opposite is true: you are producing pictures which interest you, but there is no reason that they would be of interest to anyone else. And it has nothing with the photograph being aesthetically pleasing, impressive, artistic or anything of that kind. The world is full of very nice pictures which interest nobody.

Bridging the other half of the journey is dependent on finding people interested in what interests you. A bit like the Bechers did: they liked to photograph water towers and found out that there were people regretting that those disappeared without leaving a trace. Could you do that? Could you find people interested in what interests you? What are you interested in?
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Rob C

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #58 on: April 04, 2013, 05:05:54 PM »

One aspect that is essential in this discussion, yet has not been mentioned yet, is the aspect of publication. Taking pictures (or producing any form of art) is only half of the equation: you also need a public. Without somebody to actually watch the picture, the picture itself is meaningless. You also want to communicate what you have seen to somebody else. Without the ability to show your pictures, without someone to appreciate them, taking pictures becomes a pointless exercise. As somebody told me once: "I take pictures because I enjoy taking pictures, but sometimes I wonder why I put a film in the camera. It would be much easier without it". Yet, taking pictures that nobody ever sees is like throwing bottles into the sea and never getting any message back.

Some amateurs, probably a lot more than one would believe, still take pictures and never show them. Think about Vivian Mayer and 50 years of undeveloped film in cardboard boxes. That is a good illustration to your saying: "you do it because you have no option".

Of course undeveloped film does not exist with a digital camera. And, in our modern world, it would appear at first sight that the problem of publishing pictures is largely solved: the Internet makes it easy to publish.

The problem has not been solved, the second part of the journey is still no completed. It is easy to put up pictures for people to see. It is still difficult to have people actually watch them. For that, the pictures need to be of interest to them. Now, "interest" or "interesting" are overused words in the English language, but I am using the word in its original meaning here: the viewer needs to find something in the picture that belongs to what he or she is interested in. For a pro, that problem does not exist: if someone is hiring you to take a picture, that person is per definition interested in the result. A pro photographer is someone producing pictures of interest to the clients (and not necessarily of interest to him or her). For an amateur, the opposite is true: you are producing pictures which interest you, but there is no reason that they would be of interest to anyone else. And it has nothing with the photograph being aesthetically pleasing, impressive, artistic or anything of that kind. The world is full of very nice pictures which interest nobody.

Bridging the other half of the journey is dependent on finding people interested in what interests you. A bit like the Bechers did: they liked to photograph water towers and found out that there were people regretting that those disappeared without leaving a trace. Could you do that? Could you find people interested in what interests you? What are you interested in?


jerome_m

You are right, of course, and it’s exactly the same thing I’ve said repeatedly: there has to be a purpose to make it worthwhile. Which also fits in nicely with Terence Donovan’s dictum about the greatest problem facing the amateur being a reason why to take a picture. I don’t think that, in isolation, it brings its own reward for either pro or am. Something more is required, and used as therapy for the overcoming of anything else, I imagine it simply adds a further level of tension or even angst. It can’t be a lot of fun shooting stuff nobody sees or, if they do, brings no response. And even response needs to come from someone the author respects for his views on the matter in hand.

So yeah, at the end of the day, the best praise or ego-massage is money changing hands.

;-)

Rob C

Ray

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Re: Listen, and never ask again.
« Reply #59 on: April 04, 2013, 05:18:13 PM »

I agree with Nancy, Rob. For me, for example, part of the interest in photography is associated with travel to exotic locations. Without the motive to take photographs, I probably wouldn't visit certain locations, or spend as much time there interacting with the locals or waiting for the light to be right, and without the motive to travel and get about, I probably wouldn't be so interested in taking photos.

When I return to home base with several gigabytes of RAW data, the processing of such images becomes another interesting activity in itself, selecting and cropping, manipulating and stitching etc, and whilst I'm doing that I feel as though I'm reliving the experiences I had on my travels when I initially captured the shots. It's almost like getting two holidays for the price of one.

Whilst I've always been interested in photography, the activity of processing my own images in a literally dark room, never appealed to me. When it became possible to process my images in a literally light room, sitting comfortably in a chair in a room with a view, my interest in photography increased.

I find it fantastic that my digital negatives can potentially be processed again and again in so many different ways with increasingly more options as time goes by and as software becomes more sophisticated.

However, it's perhaps easy to offer advice when one is still active and fit. If you are really having so much physical difficulty in getting around, and making your bed, and are reluctant to even visit the beach in case you bring sand into your house, I can appreciate that photography might not be much of a priority.

I also find it a bit of a pain attending to basic chores like cleaning the house, washing the bed sheets, weeding the garden etc. It's why I suggested a move to a place like Thailand might help in your situation. I don't know what the cost of living is in Spain, but in Thailand one can rent a fully serviced apartment for about the same cost as the rent of a small unserviced room in Australia.

As I get older I would prefer to be as free as possible from time-consuming chores.

Ciao!

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