photographer's philosophy

Discussion in 'Medium Format' started by stephen_poe|1, Aug 12, 1998.

  1. I am interested in other people's thoughts on this subject.
    <p>
    How does the way in which we practice our photography as individuals reflect our philosophy? If we practice photography in more than one audience (i.e.: I photograph both as a job and for my own pleasure), does our practice vary?
    <p>
    My example --- In more recent years I have become more and more conservative in my technical approach. I used to be almost frantically changing cameras, trying different focal legnth lenses, filters, films, etc. As my career has expanded and developed a bit, I have found that I am less interested in trying every different little thing in the stuff I do for my own pleasure --- I use two cameras each with a single lens almost exclusively for that( a medium format camera with an 80mm lens and a 35 mm with a 35mm lens). Certainly a large part of this change to a simplified technical approach is that having access to all the expensive pieces of gear through my work lessens their appeal --- I know now that having a few different focal legnth lenses in the kit may make getting the job done easier in my studio work, but in the work I do for my own pleasure I would rather see what I can do with a smaller, lighter, more limited set of gear.
    <p>
    A large part of what is running my current thoughts on this change in philosophy is that I think I have lost interest in photography as a purely technical exercise --- I am more interested in it as a method of observing the world. Thus I am fascinated more by stories of how people became interested enough in a certain subject matter in order to photograph it than what camera or lens they used. Trying to remain very consistent in technical matters (using the same film and developer for example -- I use 1 b&w neg film, only 2 or 3 different transparency films, 2 or so color print films only) helps keep technical aspects under control --- there are fewer surprises over what did or did not work since the technical remains constant.

    Does anyone else have thoughts on this subject?
     
  2. Actually, as my experience has progressed my attitude towards photography; business vs pleasure is 180degrees opposed from stefan's.
    When Iwas kicking around as a photojournalist for the local metro newspaper or shooting weddings on the side I was far more concerned with keeping minimalistic equioment than on my own time. When I'm getting paid I have to make split decisions, I don't have time to dork around with filters, lenses, etc.
    If I was carrying 50lbs of gear I didn't have the mobility I needed to concentrate on compositions. If I was swapping lenses all the time I would lose a great shot. Hurdling Church pews and police barricades with 3 camera bodies bouncing around your neck should be an olympic sport.

    <p>

    As a journalist I had to capture images that would grab the attention of the veiwer regardless of the medium it was displayed on. The more emotional or political in nature the better. As a wedding photographer I had to have a minimum of "cutesie kid shots" and pictures of the bride with every Uncle she doesn't know the name of.

    <p>

    Conversely if I'm shooting for myself I'll spend days scouting a composition and several hours thinking about how I'm going to shoot it. Then, when I'm on the spot I'll frequently try every lens I have until I have a composition I like. Only then will I click the shutter. As a personal philosophy I'm facinated with the interaction of light, objects, form and the way we percieve them and less into subjective intrepretations.

    <p>

    //scott
     
  3. An extremely interesting question, I too am experiencing similar feelings to Stefan. When I started in photography, it was a simple affair - an old,old Contax and one lens. As time has gone on, I too have gone through a frenzy of changing cameras in an attempt to improve both technically and artistically.
    My current system is a pentax 67, 3 lenses and the usual paraphernalia of filters etc. On a trip to India, I ditched every filter and accessory possible in an attempt to minimise the restrictions caused by the gear, a few days ago I considered wandering around London to capture photographs and picked up my photo rucksac and tripod and thought what the hell am I doing with all this stuff.
    I too am moving towards the simplicity angle. With a rucksac full of gear and bits all I can really capture is landscape, buildings e.t.c and photography is becoming restrictive rather than inspiring.
    Having said that, I think we all circle around in these phases and I still find myself craving medium format quality. I guess like everyone else I want 67 quality camera with close focusing lenses, advanced metering in a Leica M6 style body.

    <p>

    Tapas
     
  4. I think everything we do reflects our personal style and philosophy. I too find simplifying very beneficial to my photography. I have several medium format lenses, but when I go on a trip I usually choose just one to see how much I can do with it. To me photography is more about vision. It changes the way we see our surroundings. If I do black and white, I tend to see the World in grades of tone, if I do color photography I notice interesting color combinations, if I am doing 3D photos I pay more attention to the foreground/background relations. If I am lucky I get a few nice shots, but it almost doesn't matter. Photography has increased my awareness.
     
  5. Well, since my first (and main) manual camera is a Pentax 6x7, I have been extremely slow to buy more lenses. Actually, I'm only using one 90mm LS lens. So this means that I must spend more time trying to figure out the composition. I've been told that using one lens is a "discipline", but I'm not quite sure what is meant by that. After all, lens length simply denotes frame cropping and spatial expansion or compression.

    <p>

    My main experimentation lies with film. I shoot about as much IR as normal B&W, and about 1/4 as much color film. I really haven't stopped experimenting with any film I've picked up (especially IR), mainly because I don't have what I consider to be a "scientific" comparison chart.

    <p>

    When I am photographing a scene, I use my 1/2-frame Olympus Pen-F to document it, and then shoot one or two rolls with the 6x7. Yeah, the 6x7 is slow (with Zone system metering), and with the way I use it, probably not too much slower than a 4x5. Would I do street photography with the 6x7? I could, but part of street photography is blending in, and with the bayonet-mounted metal sun shade attached (you can screw in a 105mm filter into it), I become the center of attention. (when I was photographing the BB Missouri, the camera drew quite a few stares -- real man's gunboat, real man's camera :)

    <p>

    I've never considered photography to be a technical exercise. It's always been to bring an image, a sense of what something looks like, to someone else. I have an excellent visual memory, but a lousy skill at verbal communication. So photography enables me to say, "This is what it looks like." If it's something somebody wants to buy, great. Sometimes I do portraits, one product shoot, but mostly it's a lot of learning.
     
  6. Excellent topic, Stefan.

    <p>

    When I first began photographing, my subjects were always things, mostly birds. And even though my interests gradually expanded, my subjects remained things. Macro was about small things, scenics were about large ones. My concerns were about photographing them well, by which I meant getting them technically perfect. 35mm was a good format for doing this.

    <p>

    Eventually the thrill of photographing various things wore thin, and I began to restrict my photography to things that seemed visually interesting. Feel free to laugh at that one, folks, but it really did take me a while to discern a distinction. And what do I mean by visually interesting? For me, seeing something about or within a subject that causes me to pause and regard it in a new way is one element that defines visually interesting. Of course, "the same old thing in a new way" can be a photographic cliche, but I didn't know that then, and so I proceeded to shoot a whole lot cliches. I, of course, thought I had discovered real photography. About this time I began to believe that bigger would be better. I wished that I had larger formats.

    <p>

    Another eon passed. I acquired larger formats, but kept the same photographic philosophy. Guess what? Bigger wasn't always better. After all, many folks were competently shooting the same old things in new ways, and after looking at their work and my own for a while, it no longer felt new, or good. Did I say feel? Yep, and that was probably the first time that I knew what was missing. Feelings. Shooting _things_ in novel ways didn't elicit feelings for and about my subject. Duh! Memories, associations, values, relationships, stories, moods, harmonies: these are some of the triggers of emotion, and for me they are the keys to a meaningful photograph. (Landscapes and travel).

    <p>

    Now I work backwards from feelings. Oh, I still pause before anything visually interesting and wait to see what emerges from the interest. But it's easy for me to see something in some new way without ever feeling anything special about it. And when that happens, I just put the gear away and move on. I now wait for the feelings. Once they're there, I follow them back to the part of the scene that's evoking them--and then try to photograph only that part. "That part" is never a thing. And I can't always get it right. And I don't shoot much film anymore. And editors hardly ever use the images I like most. But, hey: I only shoot what I like these days, so I end up liking what I shoot. As for gear, the movements on a view camera help me connect relationships, and the 43mm/Mamiya 7 allows me frame deep shots quickly, so those are the tools I use. Actually, I'm drawing more and photographing less, but that's another story--or at least another chapter.
     
  7. Very interesting question, thanks for asking it.

    <p>

    As an engineer of 35 years experience I tend to be technical.

    <p>

    As an ordained clergyman of 10 years I tend to seek the beauty in creation.

    <p>

    As a 'Grampy' I see both beauty and technical excellence in photographing my grandchildren.

    <p>

    As a photographer for 45 years I am constantly amazed at the beauty of a sun rise or sunset.

    <p>

    Mostly, my personal photoggraphy is focused on the wonder of creation, created reality.
     
  8. The really good photographers mature out of their "techie" stage sooner or later. They look at photographic equipment as tools to accomplish their need for self expression. Their camera becomes a part of their being and all their technical manuevering: exposure, lighting, filtering, composition etc. become automatic and almost not part of their thought process. Instead their whole being is engrossed in capturing that fleeting moment, that unique emotional expression caught in real time.

    <p>

    But before we can learn to run, we have to learn to crawl. This is why we all start as techies, overly and obviously concerned with all the technical manipulation. If we are really good, we then learn to fly and break free.
     
  9. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Most photographers who have a distinct or strong style work with a fairly limited setup and films/developers/paper. This is usually obvious from their work - a consistent vision in part requires showing things in a consistent way. The vast majority of photography web sites show a failure to stop playing with lenses, films, subjects; the results demonstrate a lack of style and a preponderance of chaos.

    <p>

    A great online example where one can see the inherent relationship between vision/style and an intentionally limited amount of equipment and tools is at Zone Zero (http://www.zonezero.com) which features a number of excellent photo displays. It is quickly obvious how much the photographers have limited their choices.

    <p>

    It is really only possible to judge the relationship between the technique described and the resulting style that people are describing here by seeing their photographs.

    <p>

    I unloaded much of my equipment and stopped experimenting with films several years ago, and since then have developed what people tell me is an immediately identifiable style. Before that, I had a hodge-podge similar to much of what I see on the web. I now work with fixed lens cameras with focal lengths from (35mm equivalent) 28mm to 50mm in 35mm, 6x6, and 6x9. I use two black and white films, one in 35mm and one in medium format, and one color film that I only shoot in 6x6. Results can be seen at http://www.hyperreal.org/~jeffs/gallery.html.
     
  10. Good topic. What we are talking about is our creativity - how we see and how we incorporate our vision into an image. Certainly equipment can get in the way, especially if we are trying to learn to see with many different points of view (cameras, lens, filters). I've found that creative images can be made on just about any equipment by working within its frame of reference. More equipment can bring more creative choices, but not more creativity.
     
  11. Although this is an exellent topic it appears this thread is going in same direction that many others have; "technique/experience vs hardware". I can read between the lines. There is an attitude of "anti-technocracy" underlying many of the posts. All well and good - to a point.

    <p>

    If I follow it to it's logical conclusion then we can assume great photographers don't use Sinar P's, they instead use card-board pinhole cameras.

    <p>

    >>If we [[[practice]]] photography in more than one audience<<

    <p>

    Once again everybody is clustered around in a group behind the lens and basically knocking equipment and talking religion. [[[practicing]] by my definition is the "ENTIRE" process of photography from conceptualizing the image to final reproduction. Why not bash Zone System and other bondage and discipline techniques that murk up the art?

    <p>

    Camera gear is one half the equation for me. Everybody has vision and creativity, that's, uh, why we use film in our cameras. Judging from some of the posts I'm wondering if we should even bother using film in our cameras at all. We can all just wander around with our cameras, talk philisophy and visualize. Perhaps that explains why %90 of personal galleries online are full of the typical dark, brooding, b/w photos that serve as monuments to valium and prozac.

    <p>

    When involved with photojournalism I had to limit my pictures to a density difference in my prints of 1.80 measured on a densitometer. Otherwise they couldn't (and wouldn't) be reproduced. For portraiture and weddings I had to limit my cropping to 3/4 and shoot the same formula again and again to impress the Brides mother and not freak out the lab with too many scenes. As a commercial photographer I once again limit my dynamic range to the printing process and what can be reproduced.

    <p>

    Of course our philosophy changes with audience. A good photographer can do that because we have to to survive and changing philosophies is part of personal growth and exploration. Otherwise the audience would fire us or lynch us because we would saturate the medium with more dark and brooding images of park benches and staircases - thank goodness for critics and editors. Equipment consists of inanimate tools that don't care.

    <p>

    //scott
     
  12. It's interesting to note the changes in MFD readership over time. I tried to start a similar thread last year, and several readers suggested that I "leave the philosophy to the coffee shops and talk about photography here." Needless to say, I'm glad to see this topic resurface. Photography, I think, represents an intersection between science, technology, art, and emotion. We choose individually to emphasize these "parts" in different degrees, which in turn helps define our personal philosophy. People choose formats, film, developers, papers, and all the rest in a manner that reflects that philosophy. Over the several years that I've subscribed to this digest, I've concluded that the point of intersection for us is a choice of film format. This is also, quite clearly, a point of departure.
    I'm not convinved that discussions such as this are "anti-technology," nor do I think they are inappropriate. Indeed, I would argue there is a great deal to be learned by understanding the "vectors of departure" from that common point of intersection. Debates over equipment, lens quality, film types, etc., are all such vectors.
    I'm not a professional photographer. I photograph for the sheer pleasure of it, and because I enjoy the meld of technology and art. I photograph the subjects I do (mostly landscapes) because of (1) a love for the outdoors, and (2) a professional interest in environmental policy. I have the luxury of being able to take "assignments from within" (as Ansel Adams called them), and to focus all of my photographic energies on these whims. Likewise, I admire professional photographers who can switch back and forth between paid assignments (photographing water softeners!) and personal assignments, as appears to be the case for many contributors to MFD. I'm curious-- how do you do it? --JCM
     
  13. The common thread here with all of us who read and respond to this forum is our interest in photography and our use or potential use of MF cameras. I also agree that many people myself included get involved because cameras are interesting gadgets. As the years go by
    I have found that my interest is less in the technical aspects(perhaps because I feel that I have mastered these to the point that I don't agonise much about what film I use or if my developer is the best for getting max shadow detail), but in creation of images.

    <p>

    I photograph things in the world that I find visually interesting and perhaps create some emotional response in me. The challange for me is to get that image on a white piece of paper that only has black and shades of gray forming an image that others MAY also find visually and emotionally interesting.
    I get excited just like a kid when I think I have captured such an image. Too often when the work print is viewed for the first time, disappointment and fustration are the first emotions.

    <p>

    Less frequently I feel the same excitement viewing the work print as I experienced when I released the shutter. I had that rush Tuesday night when a shot I found quite interesting and looked great as a negative, turned up as a great 8x10 work print. I rushed back and racked up the enlarger to get a 16x20 of this one!. Two prints later, I had a print that was not only visually intersting in the curves and lines, but had a tactile texture to it as if you could touch the surface of the print and feel the roughness of the hemp (picture was a rope lying on a dock).

    <p>

    I'll let family and friends see it, I will take it to my club and hopefully get a warm fuzzy or two and then hang it on the wall, until I tire of it or have a better print I want to be a constant visual presence in my life. I might even try to sell it in the future.

    <p>

    B&W photography and golf are my drugs of choice!!!!!!! Great addictions!
     
  14. This is my second post to this subject. It is prompted by a comment I read and used to repeatedly state: "A camera is a tool. It is part of a system for making images."

    <p>

    We need the proper tool for the job. You don't build a house with a tack hammer!

    <p>

    Discussing 'tools' and 'techniques' is the beginning of learning. It is the Apprentice Stage of image making.

    <p>

    Discussions on refining techniques, e.g. getting depth of field intuitively, seeing color balance, seeing composition, knowing the extent of required 'fill flash' and how to do it with either a focal plane or in the lens shutter, knowledge of studio lighting etc is the 'intermediate stage' the licensed plumber.

    <p>

    Creating highly satisfactory images for you peers and superiors to
    W O W over is the 'Master' plumber.

    <p>

    Finally, Ansel Adams technique is the 'virtuoso'.

    <p>

    So, as I read this group and RCPMF, and I've read them for almost 2 1/2 years, I see the progression in photographic maturity among those present. I don't see any reason to shoot down technical or equipment discussions just put them in context.

    <p>

    For myself, I hope I'm a Master. I know I'm not virtuoso
     
  15. So far, this thread has mostly touched on a very limited part of a philosophy of photography -- that having to do with equipment and materials -- with most contributors taking a minimalist approach. Nothing wrong with that. Picasso said that limited means unleash creativity. When I first began in photography about 30 years ago, I had a Nikon F with two lenses and a Yashica TLR with one (taking) lens. I learned early on that whenever I picked up the Nikon it would have the wrong lens mounted, but when I picked up the Yashica, it always had the right lens.

    <p>

    Having said that, most of the important aspects of a philosophy of photography have not been touched upon. Why do you photograph? How do you choose a subject? What is the essence of photography, anyway? Is self-expression the goal of photography? What are the most important considerations in photography?

    <p>

    I highly recommend the new book "On Being A Photographer" by Bill Jay and David Hurn. It is available from the publishers of LensWork Quarterly (also a very valuable publication), and at $12.95, is worth 10 times its cost. Check it out at www.lenswork.com.
     
  16. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The excellent book referenced by Dave Jenkins can be summarized by this quote from it: "Photography is only a tool, a vehicle, for expressing or transmitting a passion in something else."

    <p>

    This explains the problems with the "learn the tools and technique and the rest will follow" approach to photography. The majority of photographers, including many who have "virtuoso" technical skills, seem to have nothing to say, or at least be unable to say it. The sequence suggested in an earlier message is inverted. One must first have something to say, a vision to communicate. One then learns to use the tools to better express it.

    <p>

    It is interesting how much passion and expression appears in the photographs of children given their first camera in a class, far more than in the work of many zone system devotees and camera fanatics. This is what equipment minimalists are often working towards, a place where the power of communication is foremost.
     
  17. I agree that cameras/lenses/films/developers/papers/etc. are simply the tools for building a great image out of your vision. For some people, simplifying the tools will help them to "focus" on the vision. Or certain tools may be the right ones for expressing their personals vision. But I strongly disagree with a previous post stating that only those who have a simplified array of tools have a strong sense of style while those using a variety of tools have a chaotic hodgepodge of pictures.

    <p>

    A photographer's "style" is a matter of his (or her) vision. It is not a matter of the tools used. This is true for any artist. Would you claim that Picasso didn't really have a "style" because he used a wide variety of tools?
     
  18. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    It doesn't make sense to compare Picasso to a photographer - Picasso could make choices a photographer can't make. However, if one looks at a painter's work, one often sees a similar set of perspectives and textures that could be viewed as analogous to choices of lenses and films. In fact, the choice of perspective is often a very strong determinant in style of artists.

    <p>

    "Style" does result from tools and how they are used, and a very broad range ot tools results in a broad range of styles, usually corresponding to a lack of a single vision. Once again, I will recommend the ZoneZero site, as it is one of the few multi-photographer sites with photographers who have developed strong individual styles. It is very easy to see how the tools help to create the style, and by limiting the tools, create a consistent style.

    <p>

    This doesn't mean that all of one's work must be done with one small set of tools, but if one wants to communicate, one must provide some consistency over some set of subjects. Many photographers modify their styles as time goes on, or work in several different modes, and this does require a broader range of tools, obviously.
     
  19. My philosophy in my personal work is to try and communicate to the viewer my relationship to the subject; that is, what is the essence of the subject that I am drawn to. This approach results in much of my shoting being done with long and macro lenses to isolate the subject.

    <p>

    However, I relate differently to different subjects. Time of day, weather, emotional state, relative health etc. all affect my reaction to a given subject, so I do use a wide array of tools to communicate: Wide angle for the grand scene or the exaggerate proportions, WA + extension tube for a strong subject in a soft environment, middle lenses for appropriate intimacy and long lenses to isolate or compress distances and so on.

    <p>

    After a year of exhibiting at art shows, I can verify Jeff's comments about having a well defined style. Jurors, judges and art critics love it. In my opinion it allows them to pigeon-hole artists and judge them without expending too much effort. I have yet to be caged, however, and have had no complaints from the general public. For me, photographic variety is the spice of life!
     
  20. I like to take photos with a minimal amount of gear. Mostly street
    photography with a fixed length lens, B&W neg film, manual
    focus/exposure. Here's why: I dork out with computers for a living.
    This means 10 hours a day I'm sitting at a desk diddling keyboards and
    mice and other crummy plastic mass-produced technological artifacts. I
    actually prefer the results of ink drawing to photography but drawing
    means I go from sitting 10 hours at my computer to sitting 4-5 hours
    at a drawing desk.

    <p>

    Photography allows me to wander around and still pretend that I'm
    being artistic at the same time. Fewer options make me feel less like
    I'm a slave to another box with buttons. However, I still like being a
    gearhead and figuring out techie camera stuff when I'm in the mood.
    Also, I live in NYC, so I guess I could wander around and pretend to
    be artistic without producing any sort of art at all and be in good
    company. In any case, I'm more into the idea of photography as a way
    of observing the world, but the technical aspects remain important to
    keep my photos from looking like crap.
     
  21. hello rolf, we seem to be a little behind the curve with this
    particular "thread", (note date).

    <p>

    unlike some of the participants in this forum, i believe philosophy to
    be the driving element of any endeavor. morality serves to determine
    the aspect ratio of the frame within which the world is considered.
    "this" is inside, "that" is cropped out, thus, a point is made.

    <p>

    the practical considerations in bringing this perspective to forum,
    are what makes philosophy fun instead of an academic exercise, what
    scott called "talking religion"... just hot air.

    <p>

    the mechanics of writing, painting, sculpting or photography attract
    people of different temperments and capabilities. and so i have arrive
    with a Rollie sl66 or a 600 se or a rb67 or a diana, and someone else
    has a ticonderoga #2 or chisels.

    <p>

    once i determined that i could make photographs that made people think
    of things that were not IN the photograph, i was hooked. so, large
    issues illustrated or evoked by metaphor became the subject, and i
    looked for objects that led people to these issues. it's tough to do,
    especially if you work in color, as i did exclusively for many years,
    and more difficult if you photograph naked people, witness all the
    interest in jock sturges' and david hamiltons' books at Barnes and
    Noble. (i can't believe these two guys got lumped together, it's like
    ed weston vs helmut newton... two different planets, same solar
    system, but...)

    <p>

    i had an interesting conversation with a very famous photographer at
    one of his exhibits. this guy is a very successful commercial
    photographer of people and things, hired for his style, which he then
    applies to the job at hand. in the exhibit were photographs made with
    a wonderful assortment of cameras from disposable to 8x10. some of
    these photographs were exhibited more than once, printed differently.
    a platinum print, one on portriga, one on elite, the silver prints all
    toned with custom made toners designed by this guy. it was a very
    cohesive show, nothing pschyzophrenic (sp?) about it. you can't
    mistake albert watson's style.

    <p>

    i also helped hang a show of harry callahans' work several years ago
    in atlanta. pace/magill had sent crates of prints to be hung and harry
    evidently didn't know exactly what was coming, so we spent a good deal
    of time sequencing them around the room. now just for perspective, i
    was shooting nothing but color 4x5 then, printing it myself, and
    agonizing over 1 or two units... just nuts. so we pull out of a crate
    2 prints of the same image, and one is about 10 units more yellow than
    the other, so i asked harry which print did he want to hang? he looked
    sort of stuck for a few seconds and then said to me, whom he hardly
    knew, "why don't we hang both of them!".... so we did.
     
  22. is it schizophrenic?
     
  23. Minimalist approach? Are you joking? Do you know how much this
    stuff costs vs what my paycheck is? Do you know how heavy MF
    equipment is vs a Pen-F or Minox?

    <p>

    At one time the equipment didn't cost so much, but now collectors are
    in the market place. Up goes the price. Hasselblad, Mamiya RB/RZ,
    Pentax 67, none of those are really handheld cameras! From a weight
    perspective, I could easily mistake my P6x7 w/300mm Pentacon lens for
    a barbell.

    <p>

    OK, my philosophy of photography: I photograph what I like. I do it
    with what I have.

    <p>

    Is doing street photography with a Diana/Holga/whatever a good idea?
    Yes! If it gets stolen, you won't care!!

    <p>

    Jerry Uelsmann said, "...I'm not going to grow another head and
    suddenly do street photography...". I wrote to him that it sounded
    like a good game plan to me. Who here can imagine Jerry with two
    heads, standing with a Leica in front of a bizzarre street scene?

    <p>

    Agonize over units of color? Not me. I don't even know what a unit
    of color is, and I only see variations when someone rubs my nose in
    it.

    <p>

    (Oh my, the advantages of being a hick from the sticks. If my family
    had been richer, we'd a had ourselves an outhouse. What do you mean,
    a bidde isn't a drinking fountain? I'll stop shooting at you if you
    stop standing between me and the target on the back of your shirt.
    [two of the preceding three are true. you figure out which two for
    yourself])

    <p>

    I suppose I'll start the angst trip once I get my enlarger set up.
    One of my coworkers tells me that I'll have big black circles under
    my eyes from trying to make the perfect print.

    <p>

    Print philosophy: Do I like it? Good!

    <p>

    (and has anybody noticed that you can ask the server to expire your
    cookies? Is that similar to losing your cookies?)
     
  24. 40 years in:

    My first serious cameras were 6x6 TLRs with normal lens only. I found the pictures that fit into the format. There were quite a few.

    I have some LF and MF stuff, but most of my work for now is N70, 28-105 lens, a few filters, tripod, Fuji Provia 100F.

    I'm spending a lot of time refining my lighting to get a certain beauty in my images. Lot's of bracketing in 1/3 stop increments.

    Younger people have to try out a lot of things, but most older people probably have a small kit of things they use a lot. Galen Rowell seems to hike a lot with an FM10 and short zoom.

    At this point I think I could walk into Target, by whatever SLR kit they had, and take good pictures.
     
  25. What bobby has learned after photographing for 50 years.

    1. The subject alone doesn't make the picture. The picture happens at the intersection of the light, the subject, and the photographer's ability to see the potential. Three things coming together simultaneously (like the Bermuda Triangle).

    2. Some things that look good in real life don't photograph.

    3. Some things that don't look like much and you would walk right past them, can photograph really well. The reason is that the pattern of values in the picture, the way the film "sees" the image, is an important part of the result.

    4. Andreas Feininger wrote that great effort will always be required to make a good picture. This means that Ansel Adams got good pictures of Yosemite because he lived there, and if he messed something up he could go back and try again. I live by the Mississippi River. I expect myself to take better pictures of the Mississippi that of Yosemite.

    4A. Give yourself a self-assignment and return to it until you are satisfied.

    5. There is such a thing as a right or wrong camera for a given photographer. But there is a right camera in a given price range.
     

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