Luminous Landscape Forum

The Art of Photography => But is it Art? => Topic started by: HSakols on January 02, 2019, 09:25:46 am

Title: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: HSakols on January 02, 2019, 09:25:46 am
Now that photography is such a ubiquitous part of life, what is an original or novel photograph?  I mean what really hasn't been done?  I find that the photography I like best may not be so original but I just like it. 
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: RSL on January 02, 2019, 09:39:00 am
What photography do you like best, Hugh?
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: HSakols on January 02, 2019, 10:37:06 am
I have always been drawn to western landscapes.  I grew up backpacking the Sierra Nevada - AKA The Range of Light.  Much of my inspiration has come from spending quite a bit of time outside in the mountains.  Now that I'm in my 50's, I realise I'm not as fast or strong as in my 20's but I still feel compelled to get out as much as I can - I feel a sense of comfort and hope being in wild places.  I also like to get away from the hours I spend with needy children in my classroom.  Some of the work I'm attracted to now include:

http://www.charlescramer.com
https://www.michaelfrye.com
http://portfolios.williamneill.com/index
Keith Walklet http://quietworks.com/FRAMES_FILES/QW_FILES/ABOUT_US.html
https://guytal.com
https://vernclevenger.com
Mike Osborne 
http://www.johnsexton.com

 There are many others I'm missing, but this stuff makes my socks go up and down. 

Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Rob C on January 02, 2019, 02:52:31 pm
How to put this gently? Firmly grounded in accepted genre, that collection, and therefore impossible to see as original.

That's the curse of photography, and why we can never have our own Picasso or Seurat.

We are grounded in reality or stupid things that depend on smoke and mirrors, or is that just Photoshop?

It's a minor art at best, and far more honest when presented as craft. In my opinion, at any rate.

Rob
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: rabanito on January 02, 2019, 07:03:46 pm
How to put this gently? Firmly grounded in accepted genre, that collection, and therefore impossible to see as original.

That's the curse of photography, and why we can never have our own Picasso or Seurat.
It's a minor art at best, and far more honest when presented as craft. In my opinion, at any rate.


Andy Warhol's First "Selfie" Sells for $7.7 Million at Christie's
A piece of garbage  that I wouldn't have in my kitchen

The same house sells a Turner "The Lake of Lucerne from Brunnen, with a Steamer " for only 1 Mio Dollars,
Quo vadis, art?...

Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: KLaban on January 03, 2019, 05:02:19 am
How to put this gently? Firmly grounded in accepted genre, that collection, and therefore impossible to see as original.

That's the curse of photography, and why we can never have our own Picasso or Seurat.

We are grounded in reality or stupid things that depend on smoke and mirrors, or is that just Photoshop?

It's a minor art at best, and far more honest when presented as craft. In my opinion, at any rate.

Rob

I prefer to present them for what they are, images, pure and simple, and let others worry where to place them.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: rabanito on January 03, 2019, 05:20:47 am
I prefer to present them for what they are, images, pure and simple, and let others worry where to place them.
+1
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on January 03, 2019, 06:21:42 am
It may have been done by others, but not by me. There are a lot of places that I would like to go to and take pictures of:)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: rabanito on January 03, 2019, 07:06:41 am
It may have been done by others, but not by me. There are a lot of places that I would like to go to and take pictures of:)
Hahaha
Avoid Yosemite, Your chances for originality will be strongly reduced.
There has been  ∞ + 1 photographers doing beautiful pictures there
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Rob C on January 03, 2019, 12:22:31 pm
But we wander off the question: what is originality in photography?

Something may be new to us when we do it, but that isn't originality. That's not to say that folks won't enjoy doing it, but they still can't claim it as original if it's just more of the same. Which most everything, today, has to be because time (and too many photographers) has taken care of that.

;-(
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: HSakols on January 03, 2019, 02:50:58 pm
Quote
Avoid Yosemite, Your chances for originality will be strongly reduced.

I guess I'm doomed as a photographer  ;D I enjoy the history of photography in Yosemite as it has evolved over time. 
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Rob C on January 03, 2019, 04:45:16 pm
I guess I'm doomed as a photographer  ;D I enjoy the history of photography in Yosemite as it has evolved over time.


No, not doomed at all. Just don't get hung up on the matter in your own work if there is no way to best the problem.

It hits everybody with a camera if they get around to thinking about it, but I guess most never do think that much about such matters.

Rob
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 03, 2019, 04:54:24 pm
On my first visit to Yosemite in about 1965 I bought several Ansel Adams prints. Each was printed by Ansel, numbered and signed and mounted, each print 8x10"  mounted on Strathmore mounting board.

Price: $6 each.   :)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: rabanito on January 03, 2019, 04:56:21 pm
I guess I'm doomed as a photographer  ;D I enjoy the history of photography in Yosemite as it has evolved over time.

I took a look at your webpage and find your pictures pretty good.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: rabanito on January 03, 2019, 04:57:35 pm
On my first visit to Yosemite in about 1965 I bought several Ansel Adams prints. Each was printed by Ansel, numbered and signed and mounted, each print 8x10"  mounted on Strathmore mounting board.

Price: $6 each.   :)

Old Age has it advantages  :) :) :)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: KLaban on January 03, 2019, 05:00:46 pm
Old Age has it advantages  :) :) :)

But in 1965 Eric was young and more to the point, insightful.

;-)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Rob C on January 03, 2019, 05:25:53 pm
Old Age has it advantages  :) :) :)

Really? I try to find them every day, but I guess I'm just too slow to see them.

They told me that I would have lots more time to do the things I want to do. They lied. It takes me much longer to do the things I have to do, never mind find time for things I might like to do, and those are all off the programme anyway because that damned lottery win keeps going to the wrong people.

If you want to do it, do it now, whilst you can; you may never get the chance again. Whatever it is.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 04, 2019, 12:49:31 am
Old Age has it advantages  :) :) :)
I'm sure it does. But when I wake up in the morning, I can never remember where I left them.   :(
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Ivophoto on January 04, 2019, 03:46:25 am

If you want to do it, do it now, whilst you can; you may never get the chance again. Whatever it is.

Thatís a good advise, Rob.

Only, young peoples have to work to build that little pile of money that could allow doing what they want. And when that pile of money reaches a certain height (above carpet level) then the taxmanís visit reset the whole exercise.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: rabanito on January 04, 2019, 04:02:51 am
Only, young peoples have to work to build that little pile of money that could allow doing what they want. And when that pile of money reaches a certain height (above carpet level) then the taxmanís visit reset the whole exercise.

I think Rob is referring to doing what is possible for your own situation.
I for myself did whatever i wished as far as I could but the Ferrari and becoming Grandmaster in chess must wait until two or three future lives.

And perhaps in three generations the cars will be "Chan'g Phee Li" and the game Mah-Jongg or whatever the Chinese are planning for the future - if there is one :'( :'( :'(
Title: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Ivophoto on January 04, 2019, 04:13:52 am
I think Rob is referring to doing what is possible for your own situation.
I for myself did whatever i wished as far as I could but the Ferrari and becoming Grandmaster in chess must wait until two or three future lives.

And perhaps in three generations the cars will be "Chan'g Phee Li" and the game Mah-Jongg or whatever the Chinese are planning for the future - if there is one :'( :'( :'(


True. It is about expectations. I guess Rob is talking about the UP! Message.

But, is not all coming against cash? Is Ďfreedom of doingí not a very expensive state of being in a capitalism?

Not saying that the socialistic redistribution works.
The trick is to get yourself on the receiving side of the game. Thatís a skill a totally miss. But this is politics, isnít it?
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Rob C on January 04, 2019, 04:25:14 am
I think Rob is referring to doing what is possible for your own situation.
I for myself did whatever i wished as far as I could but the Ferrari and becoming Grandmaster in chess must wait until two or three future lives.

And perhaps in three generations the cars will be "Chan'g Phee Li" and the game Mah-Jongg or whatever the Chinese are planning for the future - if there is one :'( :'( :'(


Both you and Ivo are right: money is one problem and later on, health and energy loss both become equally difficult to handle. Not working makes you very aware of the finite quality of your money in your bank (money getting you practically no interest whilst the bankers, strangely, can afford to grow ever fatter), against the equation of possibly outliving your resources. Then what? Selling matches on the street corner, and becoming a street shooter's object of entertainment and online discourse? Does anybody even need matches anymore? Maybe one could become a professional street model, start a street model agency, even!
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: KLaban on January 04, 2019, 05:38:28 am
I give you that immortal line from The Graduate...One word, Plastics Pensions.

;-)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on January 04, 2019, 05:38:33 am
Hahaha
Avoid Yosemite, Your chances for originality will be strongly reduced.
There has been  ∞ + 1 photographers doing beautiful pictures there

But they would be my pics:)

BTW, I recently had the time to carefully read William Neil's 40 year career spanning book, some of his Yosemite photos are stunning.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on January 04, 2019, 05:42:46 am
But we wander off the question: what is originality in photography?

Something may be new to us when we do it, but that isn't originality. That's not to say that folks won't enjoy doing it, but they still can't claim it as original if it's just more of the same. Which most everything, today, has to be because time (and too many photographers) has taken care of that.

;-(

Well, under that definition, then it means to do something that no one has done before. Simple. A few years back, a NatGeo photog took aerial pics of the deserts from an ultra light aeroplane, I have his book, wonderful. Today, it would be easier with a drone, and original.

The thing is, it is  impossible to know what has been done by everybody, which hampers the classification of what is, or is not, original.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Rob C on January 04, 2019, 07:58:22 am
I give you that immortal line from The Graduate...One word, Plastics Pensions.

;-)

Your attention was more literary than mine: all I remember is that nice Mrs Robinson's legs and the equally seductive Alfa Romeo topless, but I'm not sure the best choice was having the car topless.

There you go - can't have everything.

;-)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: amolitor on January 05, 2019, 02:41:10 pm
While it is nearly true in some reasonable sense that every photograph has been taken, it is not true that every photograph has been placed beside every other photograph.

The originality is -- mostly, but not completely -- in bodies of work, sequences, books, these days.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Rob C on January 05, 2019, 03:49:20 pm
While it is nearly true in some reasonable sense that every photograph has been taken, it is not true that every photograph has been placed beside every other photograph.

The originality is -- mostly, but not completely -- in bodies of work, sequences, books, these days.


I waited many years before I bought a Peter Lindbergh book: he put out so many that I figured it best waiting for a late one, which I did. He is fond of ladies with cigarettes... does that count as originality today?

:-)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Hariver on October 21, 2020, 08:42:53 am
In my humble opinion, originality is when you take a simple photo, but this photo become loved by lots of people! Even if they cannot find a reason. I mean come on, have you seen those popular photos? They seem pretty simple, yet lots of people are ready to spend a lot of money for them. One good example of that is one company that I know. Look at their commercial photography prices (https://photographyprices.co.uk/commercial-photography-pricing-and-rates/), they are insanely high. Nevertheless, people are paying for it and are paying big money. To understand what Iím talking about you can go see their website and the catalogue. I surely guarantee you will be pretty surprised.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: David Eckels on October 21, 2020, 09:40:12 am
Not to give a technical answer to a philosophical question, but I will: Every photograph is original. It is original in terms of the photographer that took it with the camera she used at the time she took it, where the earth was in its track through the solar system and on through the universe, down to the quantum fluctuations in the sensor....

But I think that has nothing to do with the essence of Harold's question. Whence originality is one thing, what one is seeking to communicate is another. Shakespeare used unoriginal words to say something original, or maybe to merely observe timeless truths. So, was he original? Perhaps I have redefined the meaning of Harold's question or missed the point, if so, je m'excuse. I think we've done something original if we connect with another soul. If it is one soul or a million, worthless in monetary terms or ridiculously expensive, one image or a thousand, it doesn't matter. But does that mean we should stop trying to connect?

I say feed your soul. The need is not original, but it's the only soul you will nurture. Or not.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Alan Klein on October 21, 2020, 11:10:17 am
It may have been done by others, but not by me. There are a lot of places that I would like to go to and take pictures of:)
It's the going to that very nice also.  There's nothing like seeing Yosemite from Inspiration Point.  No picture could do that justice.  Being there is unique, a singular experience.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Alan Klein on October 21, 2020, 11:15:29 am
But we wander off the question: what is originality in photography?

Something may be new to us when we do it, but that isn't originality. That's not to say that folks won't enjoy doing it, but they still can't claim it as original if it's just more of the same. Which most everything, today, has to be because time (and too many photographers) has taken care of that.

;-(
Scenes where you're at home with beautiful light can be unique, or at least rare. At least they're personal and mean something to the photographer.  There are few people who live unique lives.  Yet all our lives are unique to us and valuable to the people we love and who love us.  It's all good. 
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: KLaban on October 23, 2020, 06:01:17 am
What appeals and what I find refreshing are attempts to deliver something very different to the norm which assails on a daily basis.
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: diane29 on December 30, 2020, 08:15:03 am
True, true. Can't seem to find the originality in photography anymore. Pretty sad, really. It is hard to find something new in photography, because we are in 2020 and everything was already done. Maybe in ten years the situation will change, but till then just admire the beauty we have. I started doing photography, more particularly the aesthetic pictures. I like them and they are trending now. I started to learn some new information about marketing and I try to improve my skills and my knowledge in general.

[moderator's edit: link to marketing website removed as irrelevant to the thread]
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Alan Klein on December 30, 2020, 09:46:07 am
No, it's not Mono Lake outside Yosemite.  Just a small reservoir an hour from where I live in New Jersey.  I was the only one there at the time.  I wasn't fighting anyone for tripod space. I just waited for the light.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/50768568606_9df4d4c645_o.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2kmfbGo)
Chestnut Point, Manasquan Reservoir (https://flic.kr/p/2kmfbGo) by Alan Klein (https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/), on Flickr
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Alan Klein on December 30, 2020, 09:48:17 am
I shouldn't have titled it with the location.  Now everyone's going to go there.  :)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: HSakols on December 30, 2020, 10:37:29 am
Nice photograph Alan.  Here in Yosemite there is a cool group of local photographers that continue to produce magnificent work.  Yes, when you first arrive you are drawn by icons, but there is more to the place.  Here is a photo I got about a month ago after the first snowstorm. 

Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Alan Klein on December 30, 2020, 10:44:25 am
Nice shot Hugh.  Of course, I'm jealous of you guys out there.  When my wife took me to Yosemite for the first and only time, I understood why Inspiration Point was called that.  It was awesome.  Of course, a million people stood at the same spot I did and this is the best I could get.  But you're right.  There's plenty of really great photos out there, where ever "there" is for you, especially if the light is right.  You don't have to travel across the country to get a "keeper".  Of course, you're welcome to come here to NJ.  I'll show you all the great spots.  :)
(https://live.staticflickr.com/5206/5262311653_27965ce4db_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/921HVg)
Yosemite Half Dome (https://flic.kr/p/921HVg) by Alan Klein (https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/), on Flickr
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Alan Klein on December 30, 2020, 10:56:48 am
There is nothing stopping people from going back to the same place to get a different take on the place.  Here's a BW shot I had taken a couple of years ago, feet from the color shot I posted above. Totally different impact. The advantage of doing this is you already know the spot, what to expect, and can wait for different times of the year, or day, or lighting conditions.  Plus, it's close to home.  Not much wear and tear.
(https://live.staticflickr.com/1662/23825714672_dbc96fdbc0_c.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Cip1U1)
Stumps (https://flic.kr/p/Cip1U1) by Alan Klein (https://www.flickr.com/photos/alanklein2000/), on Flickr
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: HSakols on December 30, 2020, 10:59:31 am
I never tire of Inspiration Point! Yosemite for me is pure passion. New Year's Eve last year my wife and I camped out just above this amazing spot for chilli yet pleasant evening.  No camping out this year, due to park restrictions and COVID.  I must say we haven't gone anywhere in months, and are feeling a bit stir crazy in our deep dark canyon. 
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Alan Klein on December 30, 2020, 11:12:21 am
I've been getting out a little alone to photograph as the color shot above I took a few weeks ago.  My wife yells at me to wear a mask.  Or stay at home. And there's always some dumb guy you bump into who's walking his dogs and then coughs as he walks by.  Hopefully, with the vaccines, it'll be over soon and we can all get back to some normality. 
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: HSakols on January 10, 2021, 10:03:34 am
This is my first image of the year that I took in Yosemite.  It was well off the road and no I did not wear a mask.  I walked to clump of trees and found this in the shade.  The best part was that I took the image a 12:00 noon.  That would never happen come summer.  Sorry no Half Dome. 
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on January 10, 2021, 10:16:11 am
Nice first shot of the year.

It's good that you didn't cough on them before taking the photo.  ;)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: rabanito on January 16, 2021, 02:25:31 pm
I've been getting out a little alone to photograph as the color shot above I took a few weeks ago.  My wife yells at me to wear a mask.  Or stay at home. And there's always some dumb guy you bump into who's walking his dogs and then coughs as he walks by.  Hopefully, with the vaccines, it'll be over soon and we can all get back to some normality.

I always cough. This gets them out of the way. ;)
Title: Re: What is Originality in Photography?
Post by: Alan Klein on January 16, 2021, 02:53:21 pm
I always cough. This gets them out of the way. ;)
Oh.  So that was you.   :o