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Thread: Running out

  1. #1
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    Running out

    Race-car drivers have a self-deprecating expression they sometimes invoke to explain off-track incidents: "Going into Turn 9, I ran out of talent..."

    Last night, looking for old pictures to contribute to an upcoming "25 Years Of _______" collection, it occured to me that in terms of photography, I probably ran out of talent in about 1989.

    I wasn't too shocked by that, since it's all too easy for me to get comfortable with my own limitations! But it also would mean that all the time, money and effort I've invested since then in cameras, lenses, publications, workshops, materials, etc. actually hasn't had any effect. All that stuff may have enabled me to make pictures more easily, or deliver them in different formats/media, or have more fun making them... but the pictures themselves aren't really any better.

    Anybody else ever feel that way? If so, does it bother you?

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    Re: Running out

    Actually most days I feel the opposite; notice I said "most days". I've had days where I begin to doubt myself and wonder if I should rethink everything and maybe sell everything and find a nice desert island. Then I look at what I just shot and am surprised at how well I actually did.

    I also have a tenancy to revisit older work and attempt to reprocess them using techniques that I currently use. Sometimes it works for the better then again I'm reminded of the old saying that you can't make a silk purse from a cows ear...


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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    I go through peaks and valleys of shock and euphoria. The peaks are usually centered around a particular image that I find some joy with. I see something that I like or that surprises me because it resonates as being a vision uniquely my own, but these kind of peaks are usually short-lived. The valleys of shock come when I recognize that for all the churning and sweat, I'm not great and probably never will be. At that point, some sort of pollyanna energy kicks in and I tell myself, "So what! The short-lived joys are worth it and who knows, this might just be a step in some direction!"

    But the really sad truth is not that I'm no better than I was 25 years ago (one could argue that I have indeed improved) but that the personal/emotional stumbling blocks and barriers to my aesthetic/creative evolution are still with me and exactly the same as they were 25 years ago. So much for maturity. Maybe what I really need is photo-therapy. Now there's an idea for a workshop!

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    Re: Running out

    Note that I'm not saying I'm depressed about my photos, or that I want to stop making them or give up.

    I'm just saying I'm tempted to wonder if there's any point in expending money or effort in things that might promise to let me make better pictures... that maybe I should just accept that, qualitatively, they're about as good as they're going to get.

    Sometimes I feel like a college student who's working so hard to get an A in one class that the rest of his course load suffers... it might make more sense to scale that back and concentrate on getting Bs in all his classes...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    Interesting thread . I have hit many low points in my career and sometimes they may last as long as 6 months when you are just shooting to shoot or get a job done with no real creative juices flowing. Not sure what it is but you hit a wall and get depressed and it takes some type of change or project in your life to correct it and get that juice going again. I feel this is very normal among artist or the creative types and you just have to find ways to plow through it and get back on track again. Change in system or lifestyle. Maybe exercise more or even just changing your routine, drive a different way to work for a month. Try anything to get you out of those slumps, it will happen just need to find the right thing to do it. But losing it for a time I think is a very normal human behavior.

    No ad here but try a workshop with others that maybe something you don't normally shoot. Hanging out with other photographers for a couple days is a nice retreat
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Running out

    I usually just head off to an art museum or gallery showing or something like that. I find that it does a couple of things. One is that it allows me to really step away from any slump or boredom I may be experiencing in my own work, and two, it helps to see how others, painters or photographers or even sculptors, tackle issues of form, light, and how things look. I usually find that opens up the way I start looking at stuff. Then I go out with a simple camera, like the M8 and a single lens and just experiment doing stuff I would normally not think about doing in normal activities. That usually seems to work.

    Reading books and stuff like DVDs can be helpful too, but honestly, hands on playing around is still the best, and when done in a risk-free environment, it is a whole lot of fun.

    LJ

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    Re: Running out

    I've found my Holga good for the dry times of the muse. Do worry about anything just click away Random things for the mind to order later. It's the later that starts up that conversation with the muse.

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Re: Running out

    Lots of fascinating responses here. Again, I'm not complaining about dry-up or photographers' block or whatever.

    But so much of the photography culture is devoted to "making better pictures" that I'm wondering what happens if you reach the point of saying, "That's it, this is as good as I'm going to get."

    People do come to terms with this idea. Dance is another artistic culture in which everyone's always trying to get better, and yet there's a common saying among dancers that "you have to dance with the body you've got." I'm just trying to work out what the photography equivalent is.

    Mind you, I'm not even sure I've reached this point myself! For example, I probably would have no trouble convincing myself that my pictures would be better if I had a new Leica S2! And since I'm never going to have a spare $30,000 to spend on photography, I'll be able to tell myself indefinitely that the reason I'm not progressing is simply that I don't have a spare $30,000 -- not that I've "run out of talent"!



    Footnote: I made the attached photos in the same room, at about the same time of day, of the same type of subject matter, overall mood, etc. The only real difference is that I shot the b&w one in June 1990, and the color one last Wednesday! Nineteen years of additional experience and technological advancement don't seem to have made much difference. And yet I like both pictures, I'm happy with them, and I'm glad I made them. Hmmm, maybe I haven't so much "run out of talent" as just run out of motivation to improve...

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    No question I have had the same feeling. Sports it happens all the time ..progress is consistent until you run up against your natural ability ..tennis ,golf etc. Same in business ..you have more experience but aren t really any smarter or work any harder. I look at the images I took in the 80s and I am only marginally better.

    Photography you do have the advantage of technology. I can do things with digital I could never image with film. Just the faster 21 lux on the M8 has opened up night shooting that was difficult just a few years ago..same with the D3/d700.

    Guy s point about the workshops mirrors my experience. Find something new. I took a workshop on street shooting..didn t know anything about it. Spent two weeks on the streets of Prague and I thought I had reinvented myself . This summer I took two weddings (hadn t shot one in 35 years ) think I was a little rusty? But it was fun to push myself to watch all the videos and struggle with the new flashes etc. So I am now trying to keep at my street shooting and add breath to my skills.

    I think a part of this is also maintaining focus and a clear sense of purpose. I am at a level of shooting over 20K images a year (and this is normal shooting not machine gunning a D3 for sports). I lose interest faster in a collection .... editing and post processing 1000+ images feels like work .

    Maintaining the fire in the belly to do better is a critical factor in getting better.

    You are not alone in feeling that improvement is hard to come by.

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    Re: Running out

    I'm seeing an interesting sub-text here. Are we looking for technical or aesthetic improvement? I don't think they are the same

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by johnastovall View Post
    I'm seeing an interesting sub-text here. Are we looking for technical or aesthetic improvement? I don't think they are the same
    I agree and have the same question. My response above was to what I had thought was a question about aesthetic improvement.

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    Lots of fascinating responses here. Again, I'm not complaining about dry-up or photographers' block or whatever.

    But so much of the photography culture is devoted to "making better pictures" that I'm wondering what happens if you reach the point of saying, "That's it, this is as good as I'm going to get."

    People do come to terms with this idea. Dance is another artistic culture in which everyone's always trying to get better, and yet there's a common saying among dancers that "you have to dance with the body you've got." I'm just trying to work out what the photography equivalent is.

    Mind you, I'm not even sure I've reached this point myself! For example, I probably would have no trouble convincing myself that my pictures would be better if I had a new Leica S2! And since I'm never going to have a spare $30,000 to spend on photography, I'll be able to tell myself indefinitely that the reason I'm not progressing is simply that I don't have a spare $30,000 -- not that I've "run out of talent"!



    Footnote: I made the attached photos in the same room, at about the same time of day, of the same type of subject matter, overall mood, etc. The only real difference is that I shot the b&w one in June 1990, and the color one last Wednesday! Nineteen years of additional experience and technological advancement don't seem to have made much difference. And yet I like both pictures, I'm happy with them, and I'm glad I made them. Hmmm, maybe I haven't so much "run out of talent" as just run out of motivation to improve...
    Actually the shot 19 years later is a lot better with composition,mood , framing and placing your subjects.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I agree and have the same question. My response above was to what I had thought was a question about aesthetic improvement.
    But they relate very much to each other . As you become more proficient in your technical abilities than this frees up the creative abilities to concentrate on the image and not how to go about doing it. You can get very hung up on the how than the why early in your shooting experiences.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    I totally agree Guy, and investing the time to enhance the technical can certainly payoff when it comes to realizing the creative. I just wasn't sure what the OP was asking in his first post.

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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I totally agree Guy, and investing the time to enhance the technical can certainly payoff when it comes to realizing the creative. I just wasn't sure what the OP was asking in his first post.
    But some times the technical can get in the way of the creative as Bill Pierce says:

    "Never ever confuse sharp with good, or you will end up shaving with an ice cream cone and licking a razor blade."

    Bill Pierce - Leica M photog and author

    "The market wants a Leica to be a Leica: the inheritor of tradition, the subject of lore, and indisputably a mark of status to own."
    Mike Johnston


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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    That is true but if you have the technical to a point that it becomes automatic not much thought needs to go into it and frees the creative . Not sure what Bill says but I will read it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    Gosh, reading all this makes me feel very, very fortunate. I've been taking photography very seriously as an amateur for over ten years, and much less seriously for about ten before that, and I feel I'm still improving dramatically as time goes on. I look at photos I took only about five years ago and think "Gosh that was crappy!". I look at a large framed photo I bought at a gallery about 10-15 years ago that I thought was absolutely beautiful, and now I look at and think, "Eh, it's OK, but I can do better than that."

    The advent of digital (which for me was a Nikon D70) gave me a tremendous leap forward in technical quality, since I learned a great deal more about proper exposure, focus, and focal length when I could get immediate feedback on what I was doing wrong. That didn't particularly help the aesthetic quality, but I do find that the aesthetic quality has been slowly but steadily improving over the years just with practice.

    I've never, ever felt that I was in a slump. My only problem is going back to yesteryear's photos and being very disappointed with most of them because my standards have been steadily increasing.

    Sorry, I don't mean to brag, but just wanted to share my very different experience from what most others here are saying.

    Lisa

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    Which really brings up the most important part of this. Some folks are just flat out born with a eye for photography and some are taught and developed . Being a instructor I see this all the time as some from the beginning workshops now have really developed a eye over time. But some folks come in and already have it or had it since birth but really just form it better in time. You can learn to see but that process takes some years behind it to develop composition and artistic output. For people that already have a eye there work is basically the same as when they started ( I am luckily one of those people that was born with it) but as time marches on we develop a style and fine tune our vision. But folks that need to develop a eye this process with experience seems a more dramatic change as they continue on. I seen some folks after 2 years improve so much it is mind blowing when I look at there images on review now compared to when they first started. Seriously take classes , workshops , shoot with others and be involved in photography all this stuff really helps you develop yourself. Just hanging out on this forum we learn a ton from seeing others work.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: Running out

    I am going through an interesting period.

    My early work (the good stuff) I think was much freer in overall look.

    The newer stuff is technically much better but lacks that freedom of spirit.

    I think I am now at the point where the technology is on autopilot and I need to resurrect the old "love for the subject" so as to get back to that freer look but with the improvements brought about from the technology.

    A hard concept to explain without comparisons of images which I may do.

    Woody

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    Change your shooting Woody , go out and shoot stuff you have NEVER shot before. It could be anything so don't worry about that but it stretches the creative and sounds like you are where I get once in a while just in a shooting slump which I find perfectly normal. Us longtime shooters just fall into the traps and we need to get out.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  21. #21
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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I agree and have the same question. My response above was to what I had thought was a question about aesthetic improvement.
    My original intent was to talk about aesthetic improvement. However, since photography is a technology-based art form, it's hard to avoid a certain amount of spillover.

    In general I think that you're leading yourself astray if you assume that improving your technology (i.e. buying more stuff) will improve your aesthetic results -- even though consumerist photo-culture is based on that exact assumption.

    However, it's very legitimate to note, as someone did earlier, that sometimes having the right technology makes it possible to realize pictures that previously you might have been able to imagine but couldn't actually make, and that can make aesthetic progress possible.


    In fact, eons ago I gave a lecture about the history of dance photography, which I titled Technique, Aesthetic, Public. My thesis was that for any kind of photography to progress at any given moment, there had to be three things: a technique (a way of making the picture); an aesthetic (a conceptual framework for imagining the picture); and a public (a group of people interested in seeing the picture... because nothing happens if nobody sees the dratted thing!) If you don't have all three ingredients arriving at the right time and in the right proportions, nothing happens -- kind of like an internal-combustion engine, another technological artifact that has caused me a lot of frustration over the years!

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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Actually the shot 19 years later is a lot better with composition,mood , framing and placing your subjects.
    I'd love to say that's because of my being 19 years' worth of smarter... but actually it's all down to the people in the newer picture deciding to stand farther from the door, and me happening to have a somewhat shorter lens on the camera that day!

    [As a mental-fun-on-a-slow-day exercise, try imagining how various famous photographs might have been affected by similar factors: "Hey, guys, let's put up the flag the other way"... "Put down that pepper, Edward, I'm going to cook it for dinner"... "Sorry, Mr. Adams, I don't think we've got enough gas to make it to Hernandez"..."Gene, I told the kids they can't go to the garden until they've cleaned up their room"..."Keep your hands to yourself, sailor!"...]

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    Subscriber Member Jorgen Udvang's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post

    Anybody else ever feel that way? If so, does it bother you?
    It's my biggest fear every time I grab my gear and walk out the door, so I fight it with all I have, every day. This is very individual obviously, but for me, challenging myself is what works. I do things in a different way, just to try it, get on a train to somewhere, just to see what I find there, take photos of people I've never met, up close or far away.

    The biggest obstacle to renewal for most people is that they have too much to lose. There's family and business and car and dog and sailboat and holiday in Spain and whatnot, and what will happen to all that if I drive a different road to work?

    But change is the key, and it doesn't even have to be to the better, at least not initially. Change means challenge and challenge means improvement, or at least seeing things from a different angle.

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    Re: Running out

    Very interesting subject. One of the best ever IMO.

    All we can do is share experiences and relate certain observations gained during the process of growth. Mine come from different creative disciplines ... which sometimes helps in figuring out growth in photography. The first step is to question yourself ... which you are doing.

    For much of my career I was an Executive Creative Director working for one of the largest Ad agencies in the world, Young & Rubicam. At times I was managing over 100 creative people ... not just administratively, but creatively. My job was to help them to keep moving forward and to deepen their talent. Here are a few morsels I picked up while doing that:

    Expand beyond yourself. Most people that are questioning themselves look inward. It's very easy to become isolated and complacent with the status quo. Try looking outward. There is a book called "Geniuses Together" ... where it points out that almost all great leaps forward in most any discipline were fueled by outer contact with like minded people, or more importantly more talented and accomplished people. Ad agencies are teeming with talented people, and also afford each creative person contact with some of the best photographers, cinematographers and graphic people in the world. I told my people to pay attention to these people and pick their brains.

    To push my photography, I made contact with a very successful and accomplished photographer in NYC who mentored me. Dinner conversations with him were a tonic that fueled creative growth because he thought completely differently than I did. He is still pushing me to this day.

    It is VERY important to pick who to associate with very carefully. Teaming up with people like you will be fun, but won't necessarily provide the goose you may need to move forward. Look to new places and faces.

    Stop looking behind you. It was not uncommon for now very famous fine art painters to destroy their past work so it would stop infecting their chance at the future. Stop pining for the "good old days" and set your attention on what's to come, not what was. What "was" is still being evaluated with old creative standards ... you need new ones.

    Provide yourself with a new purpose. Part of re-inventing anything is for it to have a purpose beyond your own self satisfaction. As Picasso said, "a painting kept in the closet, might as well be kept in the head". Picasso's work helped redefine how many other visual disciplines actually thought about time and space. He was still moving forward right until he dropped dead at 90.

    This of course wasn't a problem with advertising since the purpose is obvious. Strange as it may seem, wedding photography did that for me. It was a completely different kind of photography to me ... but one with a purpose. My challenge then was to do it differently than from anything I had done before ... which meant forget what I had done before.

    Try teaching or mentoring someone else. Nothing moves you out of studying your own belly button faster than teaching someone else. Take a raw talent under your wing, it's an elixir! One-on-one not over the internet. I have wedding assistants that have taught me more fresh thinking than you can imagine. Now I know why my mentors put up with me .... there was something in for them too!

    Embrace technology, then ignore it. This may seem strange coming from a gear whore like me, but I actually do ignore all the differences and embrace the similarities of technology. They are all just boxes with media in them and some lens on front. They all work the same way. Some allow more or less of this or that, but are essentially the same. It usually only takes about 10 minutes to figure it out and get shooting. All the rest of the minutia is a huge distraction from getting on with the task of creative expression. People tend to hide in technology to avoid really moving forward on a personal level.

    I get reminded of this almost daily by my pal Irakly Shandize, who is years behind in spending $$$$ on technology and light years ahead in creativity ... which he teaches to great effect with photographers that are stumped about their personal growth .

    -Marc

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    Re: Running out

    Marc, I was going to reply but none of the things I would have said come close the the truth of what you have said.
    I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

    Website: http://www.timelessjewishart.com

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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Rubinstein View Post
    Marc, I was going to reply but none of the things I would have said come close the the truth of what you have said.
    Thanks Ben. You know, one of the hardest things to do is "unlearn" ... to empty the vessel and regain innocence so to speak (cliche' alert!).

    When Picasso was once touring a children's school and came across a bunch of kids painting, he was asked what he thought ...

    "When I was their age I could draw like Raphael. It has taken me a lifetime to learn how to draw like them."

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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Change your shooting Woody , go out and shoot stuff you have NEVER shot before. It could be anything so don't worry about that but it stretches the creative and sounds like you are where I get once in a while just in a shooting slump which I find perfectly normal. Us longtime shooters just fall into the traps and we need to get out.
    Thanks Guy

    Great advice, which I will take immediately.

    I think my other problem is that for the past two years I have been fiddling with various cameras, lenses, techniques etc and simply stopped being a shooter. That is one of the reasons I love your workshops. They get me out shooting again as opposed to wandering around the technologies.

    I think that along with following your advice to shoot something different I will also follow some earlier advice to grab one lens only and force yourself to get the compositions you want using old and tried techniques. So I am going out with the M8 and the 35 Lux for a couple of weeks and see what happens

    Woody

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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by Ranger 9 View Post
    I'd love to say that's because of my being 19 years' worth of smarter... but actually it's all down to the people in the newer picture deciding to stand farther from the door, and me happening to have a somewhat shorter lens on the camera that day!

    [As a mental-fun-on-a-slow-day exercise, try imagining how various famous photographs might have been affected by similar factors: "Hey, guys, let's put up the flag the other way"... "Put down that pepper, Edward, I'm going to cook it for dinner"... "Sorry, Mr. Adams, I don't think we've got enough gas to make it to Hernandez"..."Gene, I told the kids they can't go to the garden until they've cleaned up their room"..."Keep your hands to yourself, sailor!"...]
    A good book that helps in these matters is Ansel Adams 50 famous photographs and how they were made. Ansel describes in detail how he captured these images so we can imagine what we can do with our gear and our shots.

    Woody

  29. #29
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    Re: Running out

    I'm going to have to spend more time digesting Marc's response in particular, as it seems rather stellar. (And comes from a real-life "Mad Man," too! Are you gonna tell us if real life was anything like the TV show...?)

    Woody, I'll have to track down that Adams book. Oddly enough, I don't care all that much for his photos personally, but what I've read of his writing has always been clear, interesting, and generally BS-free (much more so than that of many of his disciples!) Years ago in a textbook I ran across his description of making "Moonrise, Hernandez," and it's a hoot -- sounded like that teenage car game called "Chinese fire drill"!

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    I'll add my thanks to Marc for his excellent and encouraging post. As much as I value the technical discussions that take place on this forum, it's this kind of thing that ends up being the most nourishing in the long run.

    And I will humbly add one additional factor to the stew of ingredients necessary for creative advancement; fostering a decent work ethic. I believe it takes a lot of hours and some real concentration to master almost anything. The same can and should apply to something as slippery as an internal creative "awakening." Sometimes it's nothing more than just putting one foot in front of the other, starting (in some direction, new or otherwise) that can lead to discovery and a eureka moment. I'm not sure how else to articulate it except to quote the Nike slogan and suggest that sometimes you have to "just do it."

  31. #31
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    Re: Running out

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    I'll add my thanks to Marc for his excellent and encouraging post. As much as I value the technical discussions that take place on this forum, it's this kind of thing that ends up being the most nourishing in the long run.

    And I will humbly add one additional factor to the stew of ingredients necessary for creative advancement; fostering a decent work ethic. I believe it takes a lot of hours and some real concentration to master almost anything. The same can and should apply to something as slippery as an internal creative "awakening." Sometimes it's nothing more than just putting one foot in front of the other, starting (in some direction, new or otherwise) that can lead to discovery and a eureka moment. I'm not sure how else to articulate it except to quote the Nike slogan and suggest that sometimes you have to "just do it."
    BIG truism here ... inertia is hard to overcome when it comes to non-tangible stuff ... screwing around with gear is easy, screwing around with your head is a lot harder

    That's why it helps to get involved with others who will call you on all the nonsense that we bury ourselves in sometimes.

  32. #32
    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    First this is a great thread. Just wait until the working stiffs on the forum retire. When I was working ...I was fortunate to have an international management position that afforded travel just about anyplace I wanted. One of those jobs where you were tested everyday and there we 6-7 great people behind you. Never had any time to worry about really anything. Then you retire....yikes .. Now you can really think things thru plus the motivation is 100% internal.

    What I am finding is that ..you want better pictures...get out there one hour earlier,stay one hour later...eat lunch on the street , go out in the rain and cold and heat. Take a chance to get that special image. Not once in the last two years have I been sorry when I pushed myself . No substitute for F8 and be there. Or maybe I should just relax and learn to enjoy the journey a little more? Probably a little of both.

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    Subscriber Member KurtKamka's Avatar
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    Re: Running out

    Excellent thread.

    Curiosity keeps me motivated. I want to understand and try to capture the human experience. Sometimes I'm successful and other times not so much. And yet, there is something all-consuming in the hunt.

    I always feel excited to download each memory card full of images ... the minute that excitement ends, however, I will pull the plug. If I'm unable to bring my willingness to try to understand that which is around me into my images, I know that I'll have let myself down. I have no problem if technique and equipment let me down ... I can easily change them. But if I loose my willingness to try to capture the 'why' ... that'll be something more fundamental that'll take a lot more work to address.

    I like to try to understand how people shoot from looking at the images they present. That includes beginners, amateurs, professionals and the long-dead. The images present small glimpses into how they process the world around them. When I look at some of my downloaded images and I feel that they stink, I try to approach the imaging from someone else's perspective. Sometimes that'll send me off into a new direction.

    For me photography is free-form like jazz. It offers endless opportunities to react to and live in the momentary fragments I'm able to shape into a reality of my own making. For anyone that's interested, there's a great Herbie Hancock DVD out there call "Possibilities" that illustrates his approach to music as he records something new, original or with a group of other artists. In the DVD, he recalls his early days working with Miles Davis. He relates how Miles would instruct others in the band to forget about practicing in their hotel room ... practicing was for the stage in front of the audience.

    Kurt

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