Our beloved No Words forum is . . .

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by Julie H, Jun 3, 2017.

  1. ... really good for you. The No Words forum may be, IMO, one of the most useful and valuable exercises you can do to work on/with your photography.

    Last summer, I jumped into that forum with both feet and had more fun that I've had in ... I can't remember back to when photography was so much pure fun. But I felt sheepish and not a little guilty for spending so much time picking out pictures to match the posted themes and/or going out with those themes in mind. Did that really bother me?

    Nope. But it does please me no end to now have found what for me seems to be not only a good reason to post to the forum (which I hope to get back to soon), but makes it one of the best things you can do for your photography. Tastes great and is good for you!

    Here's what got me to this happy conclusion (for myself; I'm not promoting it for anybody else). I just got a new book by a photographer that I like, Pieter Hugo. He's known for 'adult' semi-journalistic, hard-biting pictures mainly from/of Africa (he's from South Africa). This new book, by contrast, is portraits of children; gorgeous, innovative portraits of children. How did he make such an odd switch in subject matter?

    He writes:

    When I returned to Rwanda on assignment in 2014, my own children were one and four years old. They had changed my way of looking at things. Whereas on previous visits to Rwanda I'd barely seen any children, this time I noticed them everywhere.​

    Something changed in Hugo's life (he now had children of his own) to trigger an awareness of children everywhere. The interesting thing, to me, is that they were always there, he just didn't see them. Something had to "change [his] way of looking at things."

    Which brings me back to No Words. Last summer, when I was posting there all the time, every day (many times a day, if I admit it), I would look at the forum themes posted (for example, right now I see Sunglasses, Leaning, Smokers, Bus Stop, Smile!, Leaning, Unusual Signs, Cakes ... ) and they would act as mini-triggers; those mini-triggers would "change [my] way of looking at things." All those things would jump into view in my already-made pictures or when I went out looking for such things.


    Everything, or almost everything that we each — and I include in that all photographers from the least of us to the greatest, most famous, most exalted of us — is already in the presence of whatever it is that will be the topic of theme of our yet-to-be made great or not so great photographs. It's all already there. We simply need that trigger to "change or way of looking" and suddenly we "notice them everywhere."

    No Words exercises that process of making us notice. Naturally, noticing is just the beginning, but it is key.
  2. Norman 202

    Norman 202 i am the light

    this coincides with my own view on photography that i have formulated in my Fundamental Theorem of Photography which states, anyone who so wishes will take a few great photos in their lifetime.

    the NW forum is proof of this.
    Landrum Kelly likes this.
  3. HoofArted

    HoofArted SE Ohio

    The No Words thread is my first stop when I sign in here. It's a lot of fun!!
    Landrum Kelly and dcstep like this.
  4. SCL


    As I scan the lists of new posts when I log in, I particularly look for compelling No Word latest entries and love to jump in if I have something to contribute. I love the creative takes many of you contribute.
  5. Hi Julie, one of the reasons I like the "No Words Forum" is because of my limited ability to put words together as fluently as yourself.
    The main reason though is the demise of the "Critiques Forum", it is now since the changes a mere shadow of it's former self. In NW I find renewed interest in trawling through my photo collection and seeing members take on the subjects that arise. It also means I need to get out and take even more photos............GC.
  6. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Frankly, No Words has been and still is the most interesting feature of PN across the incarnations!
    dcstep likes this.
  7. Rather than be repetitious or wordy, I'll just note my agreement with all the comments above.
    PapaTango likes this.
  8. No Words

    Never liked the word "No"....a confining word.
  9. I admit I feel a little guilty when I dig out a photo from the past to participate, but I'm revisiting some photos I haven't seen in years and some I don't even remember taking. I wonder whats in those two big file boxes full of slides.
    Moving On and HoofArted like this.
  10. Sandy Vongries

    Sandy Vongries Administrator Staff Member

    Sanford -- if yours are anything like mine a bunch of good shots along with a lot of "why did I take that pictures"
    Moving On and DavidTriplett like this.
  11. May-Day-PNET.jpg
    The traditional Photo.net May Day parade

    No Words is my second favorite (after Classic ...). I especially appreciate that the "No" is not taken so literally or rigidly that context or identification of the image has to be omitted.

    There were times when that was not so. I would not blame the former leader of Photokistan, personally, however.
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  12. No Words: My favorite venue, which should be obvious from my participation level. The most phun (sic) is when I or others can incorporate double- or even triple-entendre into our responses.
  13. Hmmm.... No words in the Philosophy forum?
  14. Julie, I can't agree more. No words has 2 triggers for me - exploring opportunities for new and interesting images that I hope will stimulate some responses - and the chance to 'talk' to other photographers by responding to their images. The lack of judgement - the joy of sharing - and the 'no' words makes this forum a joy to be involved with.
    Is there philosophy in talking about 'no words' - definitely- the single image, without words, can be understood in so many ways - giving rise to thinking about concepts such as interpretation, abstract and concrete, absoluteness, beauty, identity ...... great philosophical concepts.
    michaellinder likes this.
  15. It's interesting, some of the photos in the no words threads give me the feeling of listening to really good music, that electrifying sensation. The only way to channelize those feelings is to hit the like button. It's like pushing the entire city water supply through a sink faucet. But I enjoy the 'liking'. It's a silly playful exercise where I am sharing my feeling not only with the photographer, but with others in the forum. It's like saying, 'you like it too? Isn't that a good one!'
  16. My education as a budding amateur photographer certainly is enhanced by viewing each image posted on a No Words thread. Better still, I take advantage of the opportunity to compare these images with my own, taking note of different styles, different techniques, and likely differences regarding the ingredients required for image making.
    Ian Copland likes this.
  17. There are almost no words that convey the pleasure I receive from participating in this forum.
    Gerald Cafferty likes this.

  18. >>>> :):D ... :cool:.....................................................................:rolleyes:
  19. I wish smileys were allowed in the no words forum, next to the 'like'!
    :D:D:D just kidding.
    michaellinder likes this.
  20. I agree with the above even though I am too often too lazy to hunt down the pictures I know would go there. But it's a grand showcase not only for good photographs, but for out of box thinking about what things are and mean.

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