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03-11-2011, 10:16 AM - 1 Like   #61
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkj66 Quote
Hi

Could not help supporting your opinion bkpix - even though the thread is somewhat old now.

I agree completely with your view on general photography trends. There are literally millions of shots of squirrels, sunsets, eagles in a quality far better than most amateur photographers are capable of making. So why shoot any more??

It IS boring as h?(/&). I almost get into at state of frenzy if i see another macro of a bug. It is absolutely pointless to shoot this, unless you are going to use them in a new textbook on bugs.

Look at works by - say Cartier-Bresson, Kertescz, Robert Frank etc. That is interesting photography for ya.
You fail to miss the point that this same argument holds true ofor all genre of photography. Therefore, why try doing anything, Bresson, Adams et al. beat us to it. Lets dump all our gear and take up an interesting endeavor.


Last edited by Blue; 03-11-2011 at 10:33 AM. Reason: typo
03-11-2011, 10:24 AM   #62
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For me the great joy of nature photography is watching animals and learning to live in their world. Last week I watched geese taking a bath for awhile, and learned that at the end of the process, they spread their wings to dry (and hence offer a wonderful photo.)

Great shot or not, any time that I can be outdoors and learn at little about the world around me, the Outting was a success...
03-11-2011, 10:40 AM   #63
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
You fail to miss the point that this same argument holds true ofor all genre of photography.
Yep. If you're not interested in a particular type of photography, chances are you'll find even the best shots to be boring, doesn't matter if it's nature, sports, street shots, portraits, or whatever.
03-11-2011, 01:18 PM   #64
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Why is nature photography so boring?

'Cause you haven't noticed the copperhead snake you almost stepped on? Yet!

Some days you eat the bear, some days the bear . . . well, it IS nature ya know.

H2

03-12-2011, 04:45 AM   #65
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Boring Photography

I will expand the subject to cover all of photography - because there ARE boring photographs in all areas of photography. In fact i would say that probably 9 out of 10 shots are boring across the board. My point is though that 999 out of 1000 nature photographs are boring. And that goes for Ansel Adams too. His shots are devoid of feelings if you ask me. They rarely stir anything in me when i look at them. That is not to say that they are not beautiful - on the contrary. But beauty is NOT automatically interesting. In fact, almost never.

OK. Some will admit they make photographs that are basically copies of, say, what Adams did and then excuse them by saying, they will only look at them themselves. Bullshit. Every photographer wants to show of what they do. Even those that are very shy in that regard. Take for instance the recently discovered work by the late Vivian Maier Vivian Maier - Her Discovered Work which she kept for herself for 40 years. I have no doubt that she would have loved to see her photographs receiving the recognition they are about to now. Just look at those selfportraits made from reflections in store-windows etc. She is hoping that someone will discover her.
Photography is all about emotions. Not lions or sunsets.

mysticcowboy - that "nature shot" with the tyre in it, actually says something to the viewer. It could be seen as a comment on the pollution and general "throw away" mentality of moderne civilization. The angle of the shot makes me think that you really did not want to take the shot or at least you did not want to emphasize the tyre too much. Why not go all the way and really put the tyre on display. And maybe if you waded around the object a bit, you would be able to put other objects within the shot that could enhance the meaning of it, by some sort of relation (Industry, highway, fishing boat, whatever, in the other half of the shot) .. just an idea

Photography is, finding that bit of truth, that lies around just to be found, and condense it into a photograph
03-12-2011, 08:03 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkj66 Quote
My point is though that 999 out of 1000 nature photographs are boring. And that goes for Ansel Adams too. His shots are devoid of feelings if you ask me. They rarely stir anything in me when i look at them.
I'm going to guess that you've never seen Adams' work anywhere except online or in books, right?
03-12-2011, 10:10 AM - 1 Like   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkj66 Quote
I will expand the subject to cover all of photography - because there ARE boring photographs in all areas of photography. In fact i would say that probably 9 out of 10 shots are boring across the board. My point is though that 999 out of 1000 nature photographs are boring. And that goes for Ansel Adams too. His shots are devoid of feelings if you ask me. They rarely stir anything in me when i look at them. That is not to say that they are not beautiful - on the contrary. But beauty is NOT automatically interesting. In fact, almost never.

OK. Some will admit they make photographs that are basically copies of, say, what Adams did and then excuse them by saying, they will only look at them themselves. Bullshit. Every photographer wants to show of what they do. Even those that are very shy in that regard. Take for instance the recently discovered work by the late Vivian Maier Vivian Maier - Her Discovered Work which she kept for herself for 40 years. I have no doubt that she would have loved to see her photographs receiving the recognition they are about to now. Just look at those selfportraits made from reflections in store-windows etc. She is hoping that someone will discover her.
Photography is all about emotions. Not lions or sunsets.

mysticcowboy - that "nature shot" with the tyre in it, actually says something to the viewer. It could be seen as a comment on the pollution and general "throw away" mentality of moderne civilization. The angle of the shot makes me think that you really did not want to take the shot or at least you did not want to emphasize the tyre too much. Why not go all the way and really put the tyre on display. And maybe if you waded around the object a bit, you would be able to put other objects within the shot that could enhance the meaning of it, by some sort of relation (Industry, highway, fishing boat, whatever, in the other half of the shot) .. just an idea

Photography is, finding that bit of truth, that lies around just to be found, and condense it into a photograph
Dude, that line of BS might be true *FOR YOU*, but that doesn't mean it's true for everyone. I take photos for ME, and frankly I don't give a damn if anyone else has ever taken a shot like it before. And, to be blunt about it, whether I take it for myself or to show off to friends, or to sell for a bazillion dollars - is irrelevant and I don't *care* what you think about it. Don't like something - don't look at it!

Jim
03-12-2011, 11:32 AM   #68
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A point I've mentioned before (and will likely do so again)

Our human visual systems are wired so that we generally divide what we see into things and personas. Looking at things, we want to see great detail, great resolution. But we can recognize a persona despite a great *lack* of detail, a classic example being a 12-pixel-square block that is recognizably a portrait of Abe Lincoln.

We see personas in faces and body segments, human or otherwise, that seem to display 'character'. We also see personas in images that remind us of such creature features. The very word 'portrait' indicates this -- it is a *portrayal* of character, whether by images or words or gestures or music or whatever. Pictures and descriptions of things show us exteriors; portraits, pictures of personas, hopefully reveal hidden interiors.

There have been studies indicating that people generally like to see certain natural elements in paintings and other pictures, and some painting hacks exploit this by churning out 'scapes with far mountains, closer trees, some water, some animals, a human village, people with recognizable features, etc. And we know that eyes are grabbed faster by persona pictures than by thing pictures, so more hacks have for eons churned out nice-face-and cute-critter pictures.

So, to the topic question: Why is nature photography so boring? Nature photography that emphasizes personas *ain't* boring. Whether spiders' eyes or squirrel faces or even a track of footprints across a drift or dune, we see and are attracted to an evocation of consciousness, of creature-hood.

But photos of things, no matter how 'beautiful' and detailed... Well, after we've taken in those details and recognize the scene, we move on. Ho hum, seen that, time for something else. We may pay closer attention if the scene is familiar, someplace we've actually been. Hey, that's the tree I fell from and broke my arm! Look, I was nearly swept over that waterfall! We make a personal connexion -- we insert our own personas into the scene. But if we ain't never been there, it's just another pretty picture, yawn, what's next?

To a photographer, nature photography can be great fun. So is masturbation. Don't get caught in public performing either.

03-12-2011, 12:51 PM   #69
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Photography

Nature photographers fall in the same category as butterfly collectors or moose hunters. They see them as a trophy. YES ... i got that hare spot on. You might as well have a stuffed groundhog or something .. it is the same thing. And actually a stuffed animal would be much more interesting. It is a real animal, it is life size and 3 dimensional. You can even touch it. A picture of a squirrel is just a picture of a squirrel and nothing else. It will not take you anywhere, it will not do anything else for your imagination than depict a rodent. For the life of me i cannot fathom what could possibly be new in it when squirrel photographers already have shot 1000 of them of their own and probably looked at ten times as many shots by other photographers in magazines or the web etc..... whats the bleeding point?

Another thing is that what most nature photographers are interested in is not reality but a fairytale "post-produced" version of reality. The more spectacular, clean and polished it is - the better apparently. There are not many pictures of rotting corpses, dead birds etc.. which is as much, well even more, realistic than say AAs world.

"To a photographer, nature photography can be great fun. So is masturbation. Don't get caught in public performing either."

I would like to say that photography and photographs are two different things. "Doing" nature photography is good fun. You see the world around you with alert eyes and get some fresh air etc. But "looking" at conventional nature photographs is generally boring.
03-12-2011, 01:10 PM - 1 Like   #70
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One of the things that always amused me about being in SF was the signs everywhere that made a point of telling people to take scenic pictures HERE. I always avoided those spots like the plague because I didn't want anything in my portfolio that could have been taken by any one of another billion people.

Even when I go to popular photographic spots I try to find something to take pictures of at the time that isn't just like the 10,000 shots likely taken by people before me that same month. I can't even stand to wear the same shirt as someone else. Last thing I want is to have my photos look like those of someone else.

IMHO, you do have to study the work of other photographers. It's part of learning the craft, but blatantly going for the same look or photographing the same iconic things? Not if I can help it. I don't want to see Ansel Adam's work updated in my photos. I admire his work, and I've learned a lot from studying him, reading his books, but the last thing I want is BE him.

There are way too many things in this world to photograph to spend your time taking pics of things that have been photographed to death already. If you can't do it and do it differently? Then why even bother? Doing that, for me, that's a major part of what makes the difference between those who will go on forever doing simple snapshots of popular subjects and real photographers. I want very much to be the latter, not the former. I don't want to be someone who just copies art. I want to make it.

I don't mind the occasional snapshot of some place famous, so I can remember somewhere I have been, but even then I don't want that snapshot to look just like it came from some generic drug store post card. Might as well just spend the quarter and buy a post card if that's all I am aiming for....
03-12-2011, 01:56 PM   #71
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rkj66 - you, apparantly, don't like photography at all - I suggest you donate all your equipment (if you even have any) to your local Goodwill or the equivelent and go swim in the cesspool of life you seem to prefer.
03-12-2011, 02:17 PM   #72
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The pleasure in being able to appreciate nature in its unique splendour in anything but boring - to someone who appreciates it.

Generalising to say that nature is best appreciated in real life and photographs of it are insipid is somewhat short-sighted, or simply emotive. Personally, the more I shoot in nature, the more I am inspired to look, learn to see, feel, and encapsulate those visions as best and as creatively as I can on 'film'. Not only does it please me to do so, it also stirs interest in others who see the imagery.

In this regard, the appeal for the genre can be limitless, but stifled by our own deficiencies or own personal lack of interest.
03-12-2011, 02:32 PM   #73
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Be charitable.

Somewhere between that shot you envy, that shot you find boring, and that shot you took yourself, is a good photograph.

It's not you it hasn't captured.

It's your mood.

And on another day in another life, it might get you yet.
03-13-2011, 01:55 AM   #74
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To ChipB, you are not right there. In fact i am extremely interested in photography. Whenever i can find the time i will grab my camera bag and get out to shoot. If my friends ask me to do a wedding i will do it (they know that i will not portray the fantasy wedding world, but reality. In fact they like my sense of honesty in the shots). I photograph my family and my kids (even film them with my 100$ fujifilm compact). I use my android phone to shoot if i dont have my DSLR with me. I have seen a few photo exhibitions, though they are not so common in my part of the world. I have read many books on the subject (mostly about street photography and so called photojournalism). But all this is not important. My message is - try to take photographs that will be interesting to other than one self - at least once in a while. If you are a dedicated nature photogrpaher, your family and friends will likely tell you how great your shots are, primarily not to offend you, if they really think they are boring since they dont know much about (the technical side of) photography.

Speaking of tech. A friend of mine had just bought Canon gear in the 10000$ range and the first shot he showed me was of a seagull standing on ice looking stright into the camera. All he was raving about was how sharp it was at 200mm (with a 2x on). The shot was bloody awfull. Just goes to show.
03-13-2011, 01:57 AM   #75
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To ChipB, you are not right there. In fact i am extremely interested in photography. Whenever i can find the time i will grab my camera bag and get out to shoot. If my friends ask me to do a wedding i will do it (they know that i will not portray the fantasy wedding world, but reality. In fact they like my sense of honesty in the shots). I photograph my family and my kids (even film them with my 100$ fujifilm compact). I use my android phone to shoot if i dont have my DSLR with me. I have seen a few photo exhibitions, though they are not so common in my part of the world. I have read many books on the subject (mostly about street photography and so called photojournalism). But all this is not important. My message is - try to take photographs that will be interesting to other than one self - at least once in a while. If you are a dedicated nature photogrpaher, your family and friends will likely tell you how great your shots are, primarily not to offend you, if they really think they are boring since they dont know much about (the technical side of) photography.

Speaking of tech. A friend of mine had just bought Canon gear in the 10000$ range and the first shot he showed me was of a seagull standing on ice looking stright into the camera. All he was raving about was how sharp it was at 200mm (with a 2x on). The shot was bloody awfull. Just goes to show.
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