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03-13-2011, 06:08 PM - 1 Like   #91
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
That ant photo is actually very interesting to me and I think the one of the beaver is just awesome. Why? Because the first shots helps me to understand how an ant's daily work goes on and the second shows me an animal I seldom see in my daily life from a very interesting perspective. Neither one I think was a particularly easy shot to make.

I never take nature or it's creatures for granted. There are wonders all around that some people completely miss in terms of nature every day. I'm a major portrait person, but I don't just do portraits of people. Creatures can move me every bit as easily emotionally as people do, and no, I don't think every photograph I see necessarily should have a story, but for the record I think both of those pictures above DO have something of a story to them and I like them all the more for going there.

How often do you get down to the eye level of a working ant? Or get to see a beaver in the water from that perspective? Those ants are working their arses off to take those caterpillars apart so they can feed their young with the parts there of. That beaver is totally and joyfully present in his element in that place, in that moment in time. Both shots bring me right into their respective worlds and show me things I'd probably never see otherwise.

That's just not boring to me.

There are several people on this board that seem to specialize in taking picture of certain things in nature. I'm sure some people would think that what they do is boring, but I never do. The same could be said for pictures of people that are also very common, the kid shots for instance. But again, I'm never bored by any of that.

Seeing through the eyes of another person for a minute or two is never boring to me and a photograph doesn't always have to be perfect to make me smile or to bring me to tears. I like high end fashion photography AND squirrel shots. I like shots of people's pets AND hard nosed journalistic shots.

The one major thing that having a good camera has taught me is that almost NOTHING in this word is boring unless I don't even make an effort to see to really see them. Even the most simple ordinary things can be totally fascinating when seen through a camera lens.

A pile of colored pencils thrown on a glass table, a rusty bolt on a barn fence lit just so, a leaf and a piece of fern on a concrete sidewalk arranged by nature into something very like the figures in a zen brush painting, a tabby house cat paused at the top of a fence with an intense feral look on it's face that could have easily graced the face of a hunting leopard, these are all ordinary images that I've seen in the past year, taken by people here that have stayed with me long after first viewing.

Photography, like life itself, is only as boring as we expect it to be. In the end it's all just a matter of opening up your eyes and not taking everything around you for granted. If you can do that, simply stop having those expectations of what's boring and what's not? You may find that the smallest, most insignificant things, can surprise you into seeing them in ways you never would have thought of before.

I don't take anything for granted, or at least I try not to. When you think about it we only have so many days on this earth. I just think it's a pity to miss all of the things I could be seeing because I am too busy or too blind, or too convinced that they are not worth even looking for to see them. In the end it's all about perception I guess. One person's easily dismissed event is often a small miracle to another.

Excellent post magkelly ... thanks so much for the clear and inspiring articulation; I love your perspective!



03-14-2011, 04:04 AM   #92
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
That ant photo is actually very interesting to me and I think the one of the beaver is just awesome. Why? Because the first shots helps me to understand how an ant's daily work goes on and the second shows me an animal I seldom see in my daily life from a very interesting perspective. Neither one I think was a particularly easy shot to make.
I am glad that you get a better understanding of ants lives by looking at photographs. It is always good to learn new things. May i recommend that you buy a book on ants if you really want to expand your knowledge of these animals. Likely the photographs therein will be even better and the right context will be described alongside the shots.
But .. if one is not really interested in how ants live, this shot is boring. It cannot be interesting in other aspects than for ant-study. If you do not get this point, there is no need to discuss it further. It is a matter of fact.
Frankly i do not care how difficult a shot was to make. That alone does not qualify for anything. You could walk out your door a take the greatest shot in the history of photography. It doesnt have to be difficult to be good.

QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
How often do you get down to the eye level of a working ant? Or get to see a beaver in the water from that perspective? Those ants are working their arses off to take those caterpillars apart so they can feed their young with the parts there of. That beaver is totally and joyfully present in his element in that place, in that moment in time. Both shots bring me right into their respective worlds and show me things I'd probably never see otherwise.
That's just not boring to me.
The photographer has published his shot (since it is shown in this forum). Therefore he must be on the venture to tell other than himself something. That is what i call "The story" (find a better description if you care). OK. So if i printed the ants out and showed the shot to, say my brother, who has no interest in photography whatsoever. What would it tell him? "A bunch of ants catching a caterpillar" and maybe "Either they are going to eat it or they will drag it of to their queen (?)". Thats it. What else is there to be imagined? Actually i would call this shot one of the least boring nature shots i have seen lately, but that says a lot about this type of photography altogether.

QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Seeing through the eyes of another person for a minute or two is never boring to me and a photograph doesn't always have to be perfect to make me smile or to bring me to tears.
That is what it is all about. The point here is that, that ant-shot says nothing about what the photographers thinks or what he sees when he looks thru the lens. It is all objective recording. No feelings. You said so yourself by referring to the "daily life of ants". In fact you argument against your own statement.

QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Photography, like life itself, is only as boring as we expect it to be.
Wrong. Photographs do not show any life unless we, the photographers, induce some life into them, by choosing how they are framed, what timing, what angle, what exposure ... etc etc. to make that life come through to the viewer. Because this is extremely hard to define and takes years of practice and learning to do just sporadically well, most will fall back and take mundane shots of situations that are boring. Just to get SOMETHING on the flashcard.

QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
In the end it's all just a matter of opening up your eyes and not taking everything around you for granted. If you can do that, simply stop having those expectations of what's boring and what's not? You may find that the smallest, most insignificant things, can surprise you into seeing them in ways you never would have thought of before.
Somebody show me the greatest nature shot in history, or just a contender. Show me what that "open your eyes" is all about?
Otherwise it is very easy. Find out where the beaver lives. Take your camera out there. Get close enough. Shoot. No need to open your eyes for anything else than making sure the beaver is in the frame and you dont accidentally fall into the lake.
03-14-2011, 04:59 AM - 2 Likes   #93
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In an earlier post, someone said something like since no one plays like Michael Jordan, then what's the point of playing Basketball anymore? Yet people still do. And if you don't have an NBA team in your local city or town, people still go watch local matches in minor leagues and such. Are they boring compared to the NBA?

You can change that to any sporting event. For me, Pele was the best football player ever, but that doesn't mean that everyone should have quit playing because there was no point. No one will play better, so everyone should quit.

You can also look at painting. When people learn, they often end up doing the "Flower Pot" we've seen a million times, or the "nude woman" during workshops. It's been done a million times, and will be done a million times more. Some find it unoriginal and boring, others are passionate about it.

I am personally fed up of people posting pictures of cute kittens online, yet the sites that specialize in that are amongst the most popular on the internet. It's just not for me. Do I think less of people that go check every day? No, it makes them happy. For me, it would be a version of Hell.

You seem to have to relate everything to the "human" side. Some don't. Some find portraiture to be immensely boring. Some avoid humans altogether in their pictures.

I post pictures because I, personally, myself, like them. Someone out there might like them too. Or hate them. Good for them if they either like them or hate them, or don't care at all. Most people are like the flower pot painters. They are proud of their result, whether it be boring for others or not. Someone will find them interesting.

If we'd be a professional photographer website where the standards would be extremely high, then you might have a point. But we are in a community where everyone, from the most basic shooter to the seasoned pro, can share pictures. As such, if you browse through, you might find some members who's pictures are interesting to YOU, and others that are boring for YOU.
03-14-2011, 06:07 AM   #94
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Photography, like life itself, is only as boring as we expect it to be.
Very true. My daughter and I used to talk all the time about what we considered to be "good" music. I was trying to turn her on to classic artists, while she was always touting someone new. I took her to a number of concerts as she was growing up, hoping to broaden her viewpoints, but she was always too determined to prove me wrong so she rarely paid attention to the performances. Then...about 4 or 5 years ago, some of her friends started introducing her to classic rock. The first band she discovered was Z.Z. Top. She was amazed to learn that she'd been to one of their concerts because she didn't remember it. I said, "That's because you said it was 'boring' so you laid down on the grass and tried to go to sleep." Then she discovered Eric Johnson by playing Rock Band. Yes, she'd seen him in concert, too, but again thought it was boring, so she spent the entire concert at the back of the crowd, trying to talk to her boyfriend on her cellphone. Most recently, she's discovered the Beach Boys. She said, "Don't tell me I've been to one of their concerts, too!" I said, "Yep...they were the band that you called 'a bunch of old guys' (she was right about that) so you tuned them out and played your Gameboy instead of listening to the music." Now, I'm just waiting for her to discover B.B. King and the Allman Bros. lol

03-14-2011, 06:19 AM   #95
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RKJ how about this shot?

03-14-2011, 07:02 AM - 1 Like   #96
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Consumers have turned their backs on photography as a hobby.
My conclusion therefore is that all photography must be boring.

Chris
03-14-2011, 07:14 AM   #97
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Chris wins!

03-14-2011, 07:36 AM   #98
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flickeroo Quote
In an earlier post, someone said something like since no one plays like Michael Jordan, then what's the point of playing Basketball anymore? Yet people still do. And if you don't have an NBA team in your local city or town, people still go watch local matches in minor leagues and such. Are they boring compared to the NBA?
In general. Dont try to be Michael Jordan or Pele. Figure out what it was that made them great. What was it they did and how did he do it? Try to use that to make yourself better.

QuoteOriginally posted by Flickeroo Quote
You can also look at painting. When people learn, they often end up doing the "Flower Pot" we've seen a million times, or the "nude woman" during workshops. It's been done a million times, and will be done a million times more. Some find it unoriginal and boring, others are passionate about it.
In painting you have all the time that is practically feasible to use for making it interesting. In photography the whole "painting" is made within fractions of a second. So you have to be very particular about what, where, when and how you make that photographic painting. If you do not - it is next to certain it will be boring.

QuoteOriginally posted by Flickeroo Quote
You seem to have to relate everything to the "human" side. Some don't. Some find portraiture to be immensely boring. Some avoid humans altogether in their pictures.
Is there any other way than human to make a photograph moving? Portraiture is not "human" in this regard. It is a documentation of a face or person. In my kids school there are the usual sessions where so called "professional" portrait photographers offer their service so I can buy their "work" afterwards. These portraits are usually boredom incarnate. I prefer my own shots of the kids playing in the garden or running in the snow etc.. than these sterile setups.

It is close to sick if a person wants to avoid humans. Just think about it ... "i prefer being with insects instead of humans". Those people should get their head fixed first before throwing their "bug"-shots in my direction.

QuoteOriginally posted by Flickeroo Quote
I post pictures because I, personally, myself, like them. Someone out there might like them too. Or hate them. Good for them if they either like them or hate them, or don't care at all. Most people are like the flower pot painters. They are proud of their result, whether it be boring for others or not. Someone will find them interesting.
A good start is to figure out which shots you like yourself. The hard part is to find out which of those would interest other people. Then you have to see it with other peoples eyes. Then that amount of shots you liked has been narrowed down to one or two out of hundreds. Some photographers have a "one shot" philosophy. No matter how many shots they make one a day (session,hike..) they can only keep ONE.
03-14-2011, 08:20 AM - 1 Like   #99
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I find wedding photos boring.
03-14-2011, 09:02 AM   #100
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There is so much more to that beaver shot than THAT. That shot is a perfect animal portrait. It's got emotion. It's got movement. It's got great perspective. I'm truly stunned that you can't see any of that.

But I kind of get it I guess that you don't. My Dad is a bit like that. I look at a truly lovely old building and I see craft and style and something worth preserving. Something to linger over and check out more thoroughly. He just sees some old building that hasn't got all the modern conveniences he likes. He passes it by.

I'm a cup half full person. He's a cup half empty. I'm almost never bored with the world around me but he takes it totally for granted. The myriad of little interesting things that happen all the time, he misses them completely and doesn't seem to regret it. I get lost in observing them, often lose track of time and place. It drives him nuts. He jokingly calls me absent minded, but I think he's just used to living with blinders on.

All those photos I found the other day looking through their old stuff? Until I put them in his lap and asked him to tell me about them it was as though they had absolutely no meaning for him. That pile was "boring" to him. To me it was a fascinating piece of family history, one I'd never seen before. He couldn't have cared less at the beginning, but we finally connected over it once he started telling me who those people were and when they were taken. A few childhood memories, a few questions later and those pics weren't so boring.

Actually I'm with the poster above. I love portraits but I get dead bored looking at wedding pics about 99% of the time. Does that make those pics boring to everyone else? Of course not. They're just not my cup of tea really that's all. One of the reasons I'll probably never do a wedding shoot even though they pay well.

QuoteOriginally posted by rkj66 Quote
Show me what that "open your eyes" is all about?
Otherwise it is very easy. Find out where the beaver lives. Take your camera out there. Get close enough. Shoot. No need to open your eyes for anything else than making sure the beaver is in the frame and you dont accidentally fall into the lake.
03-14-2011, 09:40 AM - 2 Likes   #101
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkj66 Quote
well .. I have have put up a shot in a "album". It is from some friends wedding and i entitle it "till death do you part" ... The little story is all about the look on the grooms face in contrast to the glow of the bride. It is just a splisecond when the groom had that look - the rest of the time he lookede like the happiest man in the world. This photograph will tell anyone who looks at it something if they care to look with "interested" eyes. And mind you .. This shot is the only one of 500+ shots that day that i would qualify for "publication". The rest is best kept in the couples wedding album, because only them and their guests would feel anything for them. Everyone else would most likely be bored.
0001a - rkj66's Album: Till death do you part - PentaxForums.com

b-o-r-i-n-g!!!
03-14-2011, 10:40 AM   #102
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QuoteOriginally posted by dude163 Quote
RKJ how about this shot?

That is an impressive explosion. I guess it is a vulcaninc eruption of ash? Have seen some documentaries on how they roll down the mountainside with a surprisingly great force. Many who thought they were in safe distance from one of these have been killed when they come down.

But as a photograph ... hmmm .. it is a really big explosion ... and eeh ... that is really it isnt it!? What magkelly meant, was not "an eyeopener" but having "open eyes" in judging photographs. Maybe if there were some people running away or something along those lines, it would be much better or just a city nearby. The explosion becomes touching if we see how it affects us. Otherwise it is just a fact.
03-14-2011, 10:44 AM   #103
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaztee Quote
I find wedding photos boring.
I agree. Except in very rare cases when a "decisive moment" appears , which i humbly think mine could aspire to be seen as.
03-14-2011, 10:53 AM   #104
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChipB Quote
b-o-r-i-n-g!!!
I guess i have hit you real hard with my comments. No it is not boring. If both of them were smiling it would have been boring. Pretty yes, but really boring. It is not in anyway a fantastic shot. I posted it to show a point. That it is not only about the subject that you shoot but how that or those subjects interact to form a certain truth you can relate to. Does that make any sense to you?
03-14-2011, 11:06 AM   #105
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QuoteOriginally posted by rkj66 Quote
I guess i have hit you real hard with my comments. No it is not boring. If both of them were smiling it would have been boring. Pretty yes, but really boring. It is not in anyway a fantastic shot. I posted it to show a point. That it is not only about the subject that you shoot but how that or those subjects interact to form a certain truth you can relate to. Does that make any sense to you?
The picture is not boring. It made me chuckle. The grooms face...
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