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WHY DO YOU TAKE PICTURES?

Discussion in 'Weekly Poll' started by Damien_Demolder, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. Damien_Demolder

    Damien_Demolder Well-Known Member

    Go to the Home Page to take part in our latest poll - What is the main reason you take pictures?

    Martin Parr (interviewed in this week's issue) thinks AP readers are a bit small minded - and that you all only take pictures to recreate photos and photographic styles you have seen before.

    Is he right? And does he understand what motivates amateurs to take pictures? Are you striving for artistic greatness, or do you simply enjoy the action of pressing the shutter button? Many enthusiasts use photography to help them enjoy other hobbies, and others to simply record life events and occasions. Which category do you fit into?

    Thanks for taking part.

    Damien
     
  2. Clodhopper

    Clodhopper Well-Known Member

    I take pictures because I can ;) (can't do bu**er all else...)

    Dunno which one to tick though :D

    The name Martin Parr is vaguely familiar... Does he have a style worth copying?
     
  3. ChrisBrookes

    ChrisBrookes Well-Known Member

    I take pictures because I enjoy it ! I think the second biggest qualifier for me is "to make pictures that are pleasing to look at". in fact I take pictures for all the reasons except for, B to help me remember.

    Ooh is that what Martin Parr thinks ! I have to say though that when I have taken a picture that I think is unique, after a little searching on Flickr or the web I can often find very similar images! I have been at college since September and when I present images to the lecturer she often says " oh that is very like so and so's work " but I am blissfully unaware that the photographer existed !! So I don't try to emulate the styles of other photographers but some happy coincidences to happen occasionally. The simple fact is though that if its a good idea someone will probably have thought of it and done it first ! In any case emulating or copying is a great way of learning if thats how you choose to learn and the person being copied should be chuffed , as what do they say "imitation is the finest form of flattery" or something along those lines ! Thats my take anyway !
     
  4. Hotblack

    Hotblack Dead Horse Flogger

    Only one answer really - because I enjoy it. All the other reasons are involved but are secondary to the enjoyment of doing it. What's the point, otherwise?
     
  5. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Because I enjoy it. Mr Parr can rest assured I shall not be copying his 'style.' In fact, I can't say I've taken any images in the mould of my favourite photographers, they use a style which is quite different to mine (Michael Kenna, Joe Cornish, Mapplethorpe, Tomatsu, Maeda etc).
     
  6. Dave_Cox

    Dave_Cox Well-Known Member

    Wot he said ^^^^^^^^

    I take them for all of the reasons listed, but if I didn't get enjoyment both from the taking and the finished image then I'd quit.
     
  7. nspur

    nspur Well-Known Member

    I think the choices should have been checkboxes and not radio buttons so I voted three times, omitting the "make pleasing images" one because that's only a byproduct of my snap-crazy photophilia.
     
  8. OneTen

    OneTen 'Two Breakfasts'

    Because I enjoy it. :D I really get a kick out of taking pictures.
     
  9. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    Because I enjoy it, but really need a box for "all of the above"!
     
  10. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    ^^^ WHS ^^^
     
  11. bench_ubbster

    bench_ubbster Well-Known Member

    Agree with you Richard.

    For me it's an addiction. Getting a kick from it just as some people get a kick from booze or fags etc. With me, photography must trigger some release of neurotransmitters (dopamine, 5HT etc) which stimulate parts of the brain associated with reward and pleasure.

    As for Martin Parr, he should stick to his day job rather than making glib remarks. Yes, some people will try out or 'borrow' styles or techniques, but they will also adapt and mould them to suit. It's called evolution (well in some cases that is not necessarily for the better :rolleyes: ). I don't think anybody wants to be a clone
     
  12. Carrie

    Carrie Well-Known Member

    Think we're a very similar bunch here.

    I do it because I enjoy it.

    If I have a photo that I think is nice enough to put on the wall for a while - great!

    Although I don't try to capture a moment (either to record it, or remind me of it) at the time of taking, looking back through the results generally reminds me of the time/place and evokes pleasant memories.

    If someone else has done something similar, good for them, but does that really matter?

    He's a pro, totally different ball game, he has to work for different masters in order to make a living. I do that in the day job as well, it's necessary to pay the bills and keep a roof over my head - and to be able to buy the camera kit :)

    My photography however is done for me, and as long as I'm enjoying it why does he think I'd care what he thinks?
     
  13. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    I take pictures because I enjoy it - god knows why because it can be frustrating, uncomfortable, expensive, never enough time, at times anti-social (no you cant come you'll get bored traipsing over soggy ground, you know you do). It's an addiction, nearly a vice!
     
  14. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    cos I enjoy it.
    By the way Damien please stop shouting with your headlines, it's the weekend and some of us are trying to relax.
    Now where did I put that jackhammer...ah yes there it is on top of that pane of glass :D
     
  15. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    Well, like pretty much everyone else, it seems, I voted 'because I enjoy it'. If there had been a 'because I'm driven to' I'd probably have chosen that - but that would arguably just have been pretentious. :)

    But of course all this doesn't actually address Martin Parr's point - people could just enjoy reproducing familiar pictures, and in general I think there is far too much of that in amateur photography. It's actually the thing I find most disheartening about it - I want to see stimulating and original images but so often I'm just presented with the same tired old subjects. I won't bother going through it all again here, but I will just cite a couple of threads from the last year or so which illustrate precisely this point:

    Buachaille Etive Mor Watch

    Most over-photographed locations
     
  16. john_g

    john_g Well-Known Member

    Hmmm... I voted that I want to make photographs that are pleasing to look at but, of course, if I didn't enjoy it, I wouldn't do it. I think the poll results are going to be very skewed by the fact that, for us amateurs, photography is a hobby and we must, by definition, do it because we enjoy it. I think that answer should have been omitted and maybe replaced by another along the lines of 'because I find it therapeutic'. But then we'd all want to be checking multiple answers (can this be an option or are all polls here based on radio buttons?

    With regard to aping the works of other photographers, I enjoy looking at great images, whether photographic or produced by other artisitc means, and no doubt this influences how I approach taking pictures - I'd be disappointed if I ignored this way of improving my 'seeing', but the only photographer I'm aware I tried to emulate is Edward Weston when I went through a phase of taking monochrome pictures of fruit and vegetables. In the end it did concern me for two reasons: that my thinking and intention wasn't intrinsically mine (even though I wasn't trying to copy Weston's photographs) and, secondly, because his pictures were always better than mine! Now I just do my own thing even though I'm aware that, with so many photographs being taken, it's more than likely that someone else has taken something similar. I don't think that diminishes my artistic intent however, so I just get on with it.
     
  17. Badgerman

    Badgerman Well-Known Member

    Because I enjoy it and love the challenge that Wildlife photography throws at you, If it was easy, I would give it up…Wildlife that is….
     
  18. Rhys

    Rhys Sasquatch

    ...because I enjoy it.

    ..if I didn't I wouldn't do it.

    As for Martin Parr, probably a very nice bloke but have never really liked his pictures - personal taste I guess.
     
  19. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    actually I've been thinking about this and yes I do enjoy taking pictures, I don't always enjoy the results, however that's me and I'll have to get over it. :D
    One thought however did cross my mind.
    Should there have been another box.
    "To alleviate any guilt I feel about spending all that money on that nice camera and lens..."
     
  20. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I take pictures to annoy Martin Parr - I had always assumed this act was mutual. :D
     

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