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01-21-2022, 08:00 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fotus Tuus Quote
I think so too.
Glad you found this thread to be helpful.
Angky.

01-26-2022, 09:23 AM - 1 Like   #17
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More ramblings : I´ve been thinking about these comments while I go through boxes of prints, trying to separate the frustrations that stem from lack of technical aspects from those that come from lack of vision. Technical aspects can be learned, but improving one´s vision is something else.

The search of a "Change of Style" often stems from the frustration of being unable to see a more thrilling version of the scene "in your mind´s eye" and on top of that finding that you´re also unable to meet your own technical expectations.
You go out photographing at crack of dawn Saturday, return before lunch with 60 frames, only to discover that Michael Kenna´s images look much, much better.

Of all the artists it is probably the photographers that work the least. Musicians, dancers and painters spend many hours a day practicing their crafts. Except for those that teach photography, most photographers I know don´t practice very much. The reason is "I already know how to photograph. What I need are more opportunities". "¿Really?" Photographing nature, I have lost many great opportunities because I wasn´t prepared. The camera settings were not ready for what I had come to photograph; wrong lens on the cameras, right lens in the other bag in the trunk; film not loaded correctly. We have all been there.

One of the worst things of digital photography is its steep learning curve. Open the box, take out the camera, put in batteries, take a few photos and you´ll have acceptable images in your hand. They´re in focus, colorful and crisp. Why practice and what should I practice ?
Working with film, the answer to that question is much simpler: first, master the chemical and physical aspects of exposure, development and printing in order to produce an image, and once you´ve mastered that part, you can go on and pursue the aesthetics you expect.

I´ve seen a few excellent photographers at work, and the difference between their images and mine, is the time they spent researching and practicing for each particular subject matter.
I participated in a workshop called something along the lines of "visual exploration". One exercise consisted in looking for angles and compositions until you ran out of ideas. Make a sketch of every composition you come up with. Once you ran out of ideas, put film in the camera and take 9 or 10 frames, all different from the sketches done before running out of ideas. The concept was quite simple: Drain all your classic go-to compositions and perspectives and then start from scratch.
I learned many interesting aspects during this exercise: I had to spend a lot more time looking at my subject and less time photographing. Average light conditions are normally poor, but there is always a best time to photograph something. What is the essence of your subject ? What makes it so appealing to photograph ? What do you need in terms of light and technique to show that in your photos ? If you want to show texture, where must the light come from, to get that almost 3D feeling from your image.

If you like Michael Kenna´s landscape images and you work hard, you might take some photos that look like you are trying to imitate Michael Kenna. But if you´ve gone that far, your photos will already be closer to the images in your mind´s eye than they were before. Not yet a new style, but already closer to your vision.
01-26-2022, 08:39 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Rockstroh Quote
More ramblings : I´ve been thinking about these comments while I go through boxes of prints, trying to separate the frustrations that stem from lack of technical aspects from those that come from lack of vision. Technical aspects can be learned, but improving one´s vision is something else.

The search of a "Change of Style" often stems from the frustration of being unable to see a more thrilling version of the scene "in your mind´s eye" and on top of that finding that you´re also unable to meet your own technical expectations.
You go out photographing at crack of dawn Saturday, return before lunch with 60 frames, only to discover that Michael Kenna´s images look much, much better.

Of all the artists it is probably the photographers that work the least. Musicians, dancers and painters spend many hours a day practicing their crafts. Except for those that teach photography, most photographers I know don´t practice very much. The reason is "I already know how to photograph. What I need are more opportunities". "¿Really?" Photographing nature, I have lost many great opportunities because I wasn´t prepared. The camera settings were not ready for what I had come to photograph; wrong lens on the cameras, right lens in the other bag in the trunk; film not loaded correctly. We have all been there.

One of the worst things of digital photography is its steep learning curve. Open the box, take out the camera, put in batteries, take a few photos and you´ll have acceptable images in your hand. They´re in focus, colorful and crisp. Why practice and what should I practice ?
Working with film, the answer to that question is much simpler: first, master the chemical and physical aspects of exposure, development and printing in order to produce an image, and once you´ve mastered that part, you can go on and pursue the aesthetics you expect.

I´ve seen a few excellent photographers at work, and the difference between their images and mine, is the time they spent researching and practicing for each particular subject matter.
I participated in a workshop called something along the lines of "visual exploration". One exercise consisted in looking for angles and compositions until you ran out of ideas. Make a sketch of every composition you come up with. Once you ran out of ideas, put film in the camera and take 9 or 10 frames, all different from the sketches done before running out of ideas. The concept was quite simple: Drain all your classic go-to compositions and perspectives and then start from scratch.
I learned many interesting aspects during this exercise: I had to spend a lot more time looking at my subject and less time photographing. Average light conditions are normally poor, but there is always a best time to photograph something. What is the essence of your subject ? What makes it so appealing to photograph ? What do you need in terms of light and technique to show that in your photos ? If you want to show texture, where must the light come from, to get that almost 3D feeling from your image.

If you like Michael Kenna´s landscape images and you work hard, you might take some photos that look like you are trying to imitate Michael Kenna. But if you´ve gone that far, your photos will already be closer to the images in your mind´s eye than they were before. Not yet a new style, but already closer to your vision.
Thank you, Peter, for taking the time to write all this!
A couple of your points ring very true. Especially the one about, "I need more opportunities."
Opportunities seem to appear every new day. I no longer travel much, so I have to get my images from where I regularly go. Add to that the need I have for practice. So I keep practicing but keep doing so in the same places. The result is that I keep seeing new photos every time I go out. Each old place holds a new vision every new day.

As for my original reason to consider a new style, I was getting concerned that I might be getting too narrowly focused--too "narrow minded" to appreciate other people's excellent images simply because I wasn't training myself in other venues. Also, I've been getting a bit concerned that my "same-ol'" images might begin to bore people. So, no, I'm not getting bored myself; I just want to learn how to view my biggest interest--nature--in new ways. And I want to learn how to appreciate other people's interests through eyes that understand them.

I surely do thank you for your inputs. Other folks beside myself have appreciated what you've written as well.
I'll keep trying to expand my abilities into new areas, but I'm finding it very difficult to tear myself away from the nature-scapes that keep grabbing my attention. So I'm not getting much growth in other venues of photography. Yet, I'll make some growth little by little. And, once again, thanks for your perspectives.
Angky.
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