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WHY DO YOU TAKE PICTURES?

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

  1. turbulentwheat

    turbulentwheat Well-Known Member

    at least she didnt lose her head (or did she??)
     
  2. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    no she outlived him
    given that he was infected with syphilis(allegedly) I'm not sure it was a good thing :eek:
    She died in childbirth 20 months after he died.
























    ...she had married someone else...Lord Seymour who I believe was the father of Jane Seymour...no not Dr Quinn medicine woman :D
     
  3. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here


    Maybe they were rather intended to try to get photography enthusiasts to expand their horizons a little [no pun intended, although the symbolism is certainly convenient! ;-)], to see a bit further, or more deeply? Perhaps he's actually being positive, rather than merely slighting people.

    I know that for about the last ten or twelve years I've been growing more and more dissatisfied with the shallowness of so much photography that I see (yes, including my own). And that issue is writ large whenever the photographer appears merely to be trying to reproduce their own version of what has been done a thousand times before, or just generally to make pictures that look like so and so's. There's a vapidity about it which just doesn't push the buttons for me any more. The pictures at best might look pretty, pleasing the eye perhaps, but they do nothing for my mind. They're just decorative, and that's it.

    Well, decoration is fine, but by definition it's not the most important thing. And I've pretty much had my fill of it. I don't suppose I'll ever stop pointing my camera at things that look pretty - that's just an instinctive thing - but I do want more from pictures if I'm to find any real value in them. I want to 'connect' with something - it might be a statement about something (like Martin Parr's work, as I now understand), or it might teach me about something I've not encountered before, like a good photojounalistic article, or perhaps it might just make me look into the eyes of some person I would never otherwise meet and feel some sort of empathy with their condition, or whatever. But it has to do something much more profound than just look nice on the wall. It has to mean something to me.

    So, more power to MP's elbow, I say. I'm still not wild about his lighting, or his use of colour, but at least I do now know why he does what he does, and that he has something to say through his pictures that just might be worth listening to.
     
  4. quiteone

    quiteone Well-Known Member

    I take photos for two reasons
    1 To record what I see, mainly to recreate it in a painting or sketch.

    2 Because I like it.

    This Parr bloke seems to me to be a bit of a muppet
    Not impressed with his work or his web site
    I guess he's only where he is today because he has some arty f**rty brigade behind him.

    I bet he eats Marmite too.
     
  5. spinno

    spinno Well-Known Member

    ...not tripe then........ ;)
     
  6. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    I can't say I disagree with you Huw, I understand what you and he are getting at. I am also very guilty of being bored to death of some images and also guilty of taking some of those boring ones (in fact probably 90% of the time) but who are we or anyone else to say, don't do that do this.

    There are many enthusiasts who will strive for originality but there are also many who don't, but the main thing I'm getting at is it's a hobby for most and so what if they are rubbish and boring at it the main thing is they are enjoying themselves. :)
     
  7. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I'm firmly in the "Because I enjoy it" category... indeed I enjoy the act of taking pictures so much I have more pictures than I have time to process them. Sometimes I have the nasty suspicion that I actually enjoy the taking more than the end result.... :eek:

    If Martin Parr thinks that we all take pictures just to recreate particular photos and styles then he's either playing Devils Advocate or being a bit of a twerp, guess I'll have to buy this weeks issue to find out.

    Of course he could be talking about club photography where I do find that there is a tendency for the style and substance of the pictures to be depressingly uniform - especially in the 'advanced' classes - though that could be attributable as much to the standard of judges and judging as to the actual nature of the 'togs themselves.

    Personally I don't think I'm striving for artistic greatness (fat chance... :D) but I do try to get my take on the subject into the picture - not that I always succeed of course. I've more than my fair share of snapshots and 'Oh God, why did I take that' pictures... :D
     
  8. CircleOfConfusion

    CircleOfConfusion Well-Known Member

    I think just about every photographer goes through a stage of "copying" styles, its part of the whole joy of learning about photography. I know some will disagree but I think a lot of photographic "styles" are largely down to the techniques used (film type, lighting, composition, focal length etc.). And so often when anyone is trying to learn a new technique or try something different they are inadvertently or deliberately copying someone's style.

    I'd hate to be in a world where every time I was about to take a photo I'd have to stop and think whether it's been done before and if I could do it better. I doubt I'd ever take another photo again! :eek:
     
  9. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    Definitely agree with you there Steve, in fact for me it would be a total hindrance to any artistic flow and creativity I may have!
     
  10. ChrisBrookes

    ChrisBrookes Well-Known Member

    In photography I live for the moment and hopefully capture it, there is no doubt others will have captured similar before, but the point is, this is me doing it ! and I have not done it before, so I will be happy if my image meets my standards , sod anybody else !
     
  11. beejaybee

    beejaybee Marvin

    ^^^ WHS ^^^ (more or less).

    Even if I have done it before, I might still want to repeat the shot - because I think I can do better - usually I'm wrong but the satisfaction when I do manage to improve is terrific.

    For my own part, I don't care a foetid dingo's kidney what Martin Parr or anyone else thinks.
     
  12. Mojo_66

    Mojo_66 Well-Known Member

    My God, I'm a Parr emulator withough realising :D

    [​IMG]

    It's Blackpool though, nothing so classy. ;)
     
  13. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    there's a lot of 'em about... :rolleyes:
     
  14. parisian

    parisian Well-Known Member

    Is emulation the sincerest form of flattery or simply a lack of thought, creativity or the ability to 'see'?
    On the one hand it enables the creatively challenged to at least produce something worth hanging on the wall. On the other it does demonstrate that people are perhaps not taking the time to think, to explore, to imagine.
    Visiting a well known scene or scenario, getting the exposure and framing correct are all well and good but basically you may as well invest a few pence in a postcard and save the time and effort.
    In the specific Mr Parr may well be wrong but in the general I feel he is very right indeed.
    Huw - is there such a word as 'vapidity'? :eek:
     
  15. huwevans

    huwevans Not Really Here

    <Grabs Pocket Oxford Dictionary from down beside desk and confirms...>

    Yes. :)
     
  16. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Maybe, but it's extremely hard to take such a lesson from someone with such a rigorously repetitive artistic vision, I feel.
     
  17. Ian_A

    Ian_A Well-Known Member

    As reported, his criticism is very precise and not targeted at photography enthusiasts in general:

    The solution is obvious - we should stop reading AP!

    Reproducing what other photographers have done is a valid way of learning*, the problem comes if that's all you ever do, and don't move on to 'do your own thing'.

    However, every picture you look at will influence you, even if it is only subconsciously, and consequently the more pictures you look at, the better photographer you may become - you have conscious and subconscious resources to draw and build on.

    "The trouble with professional photographers is they're all men in suits who own a camera and know how to make money with it - they have no souls ... " - s'easy to stir it! ... :rolleyes:

    *Didn't famous artists run schools in the past, training apprentice painters to work in their style?
     
  18. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    Crikey Peter if that's the case I'd better give up now, most of my holiday snaps are postcards I should imagine! And at least 1/2 of my collection

    Why does everyone have to be creative? Perhaps some just enjoy the technical side of things, and I know for certain there are many on here that for the most part enjoy just collecting cameras.

    I've never quite understood this 'seeing' thing to be an absolute given if you own a camera.

    Some wish they could, some don't and some just enjoy their hobby despite how good or bad they may be. It's all really down to personal choice imo.

    Just had to look your word up Peter :) so what context is that in?
     
  19. parisian

    parisian Well-Known Member

    Evenin' Tanya, the word 'vapidity' was used by Huw in an earlier post in this thread and him being a clever git of course was absolutely correct.
    I am not knocking the postcard shot but when I am teaching this game I do challenge the students to move away from what they know into new areas that present more of a challenge to them.
    There are areas here in Snowdonia where the photographer needs to be very good at climbing to extricate themselves from the tripod holes that other have left. All taking the same scene and boring me silly when they hand their homework in. I simply ask that they attempt to 'see' something different. To wander until a new vista opens up - eventually they will and then they begin to learn. Following the others simply does not challenge them sufficiently and I think that is what Martin Parr was saying.
    Just BTW forgetting your postcard statement I think you 'see' pretty well.
     
  20. Seven

    Seven ..or eight

    Hello Peter, I'm sure it's been ages since we were in the same thread!

    Oops sorry I obviously didn't read Huw's post properly and not realised, always guilty of scan reading! :eek:

    Ah different ball game there I feel as you have students who choose to and are looking to improve their photography so yes of course they should stretch their minds more that's all part and parcel of the learning curve and most will carry on you would hope.

    I think the trouble is Martin Parr was generalising too much.

    Any way before I become vapid myself by keep repeating my words but in a different way it was quite heartening to read that he is

    'Enthusiatic about photography's digital future. 'The great thing about photography is that the audience for it, and the number of participants in it is getting bigger all the time' he says 'Everyones a photographer now. There's more interest in photography than ever before, so that's very exciting'

    Btw thank you for your compliment.
     

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