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What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

Yesterday I had a very enjoyable outing to Pin Mill (and later Felixstowe Ferry) with my friend Dave, a keen artist. We followed a familiar routine of Dave finding a suitable spot to make some watercolour sketches whilst I roamed around the location in search of photographs. I haven't done much landscape photography lately, but soon I was following tried and tested formulae that have served me well in the past and at the end of the day I headed for home with several shots which I found reasonably pleasing.

However, when processing the images on my computer I remembered a current thread on this forum started by Steve (Ricoh) entitled "What does your photography say about you?"

http://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=44819

This set me thinking; my landscape photography hasn't progressed much in twenty years and I continue to follow the same ingrained approach that almost guarantees technically correct pretty scenics, interspersed with a few "interesting" close-up and detail shots. Even making allowances for not being at this location early or late enough to benefit from the possibility of more spectacular light, I had to admit that what this particular set of pictures said about me wasn't very flattering. Tired, hackneyed clichés well within my comfort zone springs to mind. A reflection of my life, really - safe and sure but rather dull and lacking in excitement.

Here's the evidence:-




















All the above taken at Pin Mill and the following one taken at Felixstowe Ferry.





BTW can anybody see the crocodile in No 1 or is it just me?
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

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BTW can anybody see the crocodile in No 1 or is it just me?
You can see only one?

I would probably have taken a similar approach to the photographs.

Harold
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

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You can see only one?

I would probably have taken a similar approach to the photographs.

Harold
Oh dear, now that I look again I can see more than one too.

That's the point, Harold. You, me and 1000 other photographers would all have taken a similar approach. Without doubt it produces "nice" photographs, but where is the original thinking and innovation? Maybe Snaarman should start running courses.
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

Yes several..............
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

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Oh dear, now that I look again I can see more than one too.
Me too.

I can remember getting stuck in the mud somewhere near there, and leaving a pair of leaky deep-waders behind.

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Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
That's the point, Harold. You, me and 1000 other photographers would all have taken a similar approach. Without doubt it produces "nice" photographs, but where is the original thinking and innovation? Maybe Snaarman should start running courses.
This is probably true. I suspect that, like me, you get more pleasure form going out taking photographs than enjoying the end result.

To my deep embarrassment I have vivid memories of the day that I spent out with my OM4Ti, not realising for several hours that the film leader wasn't properly loaded in the take-up spool, and that I had been shooting blanks!

Yes, I was annoyed with myself, but the pleasure for me was in taking the photographs in the first place, so there was noting lost really.
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

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Me too.

I suspect that, like me, you get more pleasure form going out taking photographs than enjoying the end result.
Ah, I think you've just hit the nail on the head. Maybe the very act of taking a photograph connects us with the location more deeply than if we were there without a camera and is reason enough for doing so. Photography isn't for a purpose, it is the purpose.

BTW I can relate to your experience with the film not loading properly, eventually you start to wonder just how many shots are on that roll!
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

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BTW I can relate to your experience with the film not loading properly, eventually you start to wonder just how many shots are on that roll!
I got to 38 or 39 exposures, and I was still winding on!

It was at that point I also noticed that the rewind knob wasn't turning as I wound on.
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

John, your photographs say to me you're a safe pair of hands, someone who does tried and tested methods, someone to be relied upon.
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

John - you're too self critical I think. There will be days when the mood will bag the predictable and days when it'll push you go off piste, so to speak. Don't let one day influence the rest. Go out with the objective of doing something different and repeat until it works!
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

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John, your photographs say to me you're a safe pair of hands, someone who does tried and tested methods, someone to be relied upon.
Yes, that's really the problem.
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

I can't remember who it was who first said this, but when referring to rules, eg rules of thirds etc, he (I'm fairly certain it was a he) said there's only one rule, that being there are no rules. Forget rule of thirds - the frame is your canvas, so fill it as you wish - but of course less is more since it's subtractive 'art'. Most of the great images (according to my eye) tend to be open ended, allowing the viewer to decipher the content, to make their own story from the image.
However, I know this sort of stuff is difficult for landscape, probably one of the reasons why I don't do landscapes or create images of stuff I see in front of my lens.
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

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John - you're too self critical I think. There will be days when the mood will bag the predictable and days when it'll push you go off piste, so to speak. Don't let one day influence the rest. Go out with the objective of doing something different and repeat until it works!
What Paul said.
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

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Originally Posted by Zuiko View Post
Ah, I think you've just hit the nail on the head. Maybe the very act of taking a photograph connects us with the location more deeply than if we were there without a camera and is reason enough for doing so. Photography isn't for a purpose, it is the purpose.
But sometimes I am reminded by non-photographers, that
the connection you speak of actually reduces the experience, because we are looking for the shot, rather than taking in the 'totality' of what is before us. That view worries me as possibly true, but having been a snapper for so long I would hate to miss a shot
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

John, as others have said I think you are being hard on yourself. Somedays inspiration is harder to come by than others.
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Re: What Do My Pictures Say About Me?

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John, as others have said I think you are being hard on yourself. Somedays inspiration is harder to come by than others.
I would agree with both of those sentiments; especially the second.

To which I would add; a blank canvas is always a difficult place to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricoh View Post
I can't remember who it was who first said this, but when referring to rules, eg rules of thirds etc, he (I'm fairly certain it was a he) said there's only one rule, that being there are no rules.
Harry Day also said that "Rules are for the protection* of fools and the guidance of wise men".

I don't think this statement had anything to do with photography (unless you include speed cameras), but it remains equally valid.

To be honest I have never really followed or understood the Rule of Thirds; it just kind of happens.


* Quoted as 'obedience' in some texts.
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