"Please stop me before I snap again."

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by landrum_kelly, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. "Why did I take this picture?!"
    Are you a compulsive snapper? Is it a virtue or a vice? (Perhaps even a sickness?)
    Again, why did I take this picture?! It obviously has no redeeming value. (Post your own if you wish, along with whatever you might have to say.)
    --Lannie
    00e5mx-564838284.jpg
     
  2. Other than the fact that it's too dark, I don't think it's a bad composition at all, Lannie. The "subject" may be a little boring, but I like the way the sign lines up with the road, and also the way it contrasts with the rest of the scene (with respect to both brightness and colour). The effect is that one's eyes first fix on the sign, and are then drawn down the road. The texture of the lower part of the image is interesting, too, with the noise lending an almost painterly quality to the dirt.
     
  3. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    There is only one thing to do. Make a 36 x 24 inch print and hang it in an art gallery with a $7,500 price tag on it.
     
  4. The title of this thread with regards to Lannie's issue is that it should read IMO...
    "Please help me decide which images to trash after viewing on my calibrated editing workstation".
    Crap! That's too long a title.
     
  5. There is only one thing to do. Make a 36 x 24 inch print and hang it in an art gallery with a $7,500 price tag on it. --James Dainis​
    That bad, eh?
    --Lannie
     
  6. "Please help me decide which images to trash after viewing on my calibrated editing workstation".​
    Thanks, Tim, but I really was hoping to get some responses to my other questions: "Are you a compulsive snapper? Is it a virtue or a vice? (Perhaps even a sickness?)"
    Perhaps there are no other compulsive snappers out there.
    --Lannie
     
  7. There is only one thing to do. Make a 36 x 24 inch print and hang it in an art gallery with a $7,500 price tag on it.​
    That's not stupid. Elitists will love it because common people will be baffled at why such a boring shot (no offence, Landrum, but you know it's true!) is worth $7,500. The elitist can always chuckle and say that you just have to have an 'understanding' of what the artist is trying to accomplish, and that only simpletons believe that a photograph has to be aesthetically pleasing, or, heaven forbid, has to have good technique.
     
  8. Trying to determine "redeeming value" at a moment of seeing or emotive response is a slippery slope. That is the time to feel not think. Shoot first...ponder, philosophize and edit later. And yes, I am a compulsive shooter. It's neither virtue nor vice. It's my response to all the wonder around us and the sense of gratitude I feel to be able to see it and catch a bit of it.
    00e5nZ-564839684.jpg
     
  9. A snap I took after a day on a Lough Conn in Ireland, fishing salmon without catching anything worth mentioning.
    00e5oG-564846284.jpg
     
  10. Lannie - you are not alone!
    http://www.photo.net/no-words-forum/00e5fj
     
  11. The very admission by the fact one keeps the image and posts it for others to see online or in a print negates the point of it being an aesthetically unworthy, impulsive/compulsive simple snapshot.
    Or someone is really lying to them self that's for sure.
    And no, Lannie, I'm not an impulsive/compulsive snap shooter. I'm a curator of my own tastes in what I see through my camera's viewfinder. I never lie to myself. I either like it and keep it or I don't and toss it. Or I pan my camera toward some other scene that shows up in the viewfinder I find speaks to me and trip the shutter. I'm not into machine gunning style of photography though it can imbue a level of spontaneity according to the subject matter.
    I kept the toilet paper image shown in Colin's "No Words" thread link for other reasons that have nothing to do with the topic but I posted it anyway because I saw that it fit the topic according to what others would think was humorous. So in a way I was lying to myself in order to play to the crowd's sensibilities. That's just showmanship, nothing more.
    So I guess the next question should be why did I keep that image. And so I have to ask you, Lannie, why did you keep that dark image of what looks like road construction in a rural setting? What in the original scene appealed to you enough to point the camera and trip the shutter?
    I guess this topic boils down to if one has to ask why they keep an image they have doubts about then it's probably best to toss it. Life's too short and there's way too many photographs others are looking at instead of yours and ours.
     
  12. Colin, I love that thread! Of course, it had to be one of Julie's. . . .
    --Lannie
     
  13. My No Words thread was about making *you* wonder about the photographer. Not about making *me* wonder about myself. It's my purpose to make you wonder why.
    If you're not wondering ... those are the pictures ("snaps") that need to be stopped and not done again.
     
  14. Or someone is really lying to them self that's for sure.
    And so I have to ask you, Lannie, why did you keep that dark image of what looks like road construction in a rural setting? What in the original scene appealed to you enough to point the camera and trip the shutter?
    I guess this topic boils down to if one has to ask why they keep an image they have doubts about then it's probably best to toss it. Life's too short and there's way too many photographs others are looking at instead of yours and ours. --Tim Luckingbill​
    Well, Tim, I was really out for a walk and decided to further explore an area that was under construction, and so I walked a bit further than usual. I suddenly remembered that, well, I was carrying a cell phone. So, even though it was getting late, I started snapping, as you can see in the folder that it came from ("S. Main St."). Some of the shots I actually liked. . . a little bit This one I really did take just to remind myself years from now "how it used to look way back when it really was a really rural road." (It's changing fast on that side of town.) The real question for me is not why I took it but why I bothered to crop it and try to make it into something by applying Levels as well as Shadows and Highlight in Photoshop. I'm still not sure about that, given that the original was even more boring than what is shown here. (Karim Ghantous and I are in agreement about its being inherently boring.)
    I started the thread with no intention of posting the picture to the thread--but I had (as I mentioned above) posted it earlier to the folder "S. Main St." That folder started back in June when I decided that I would document the changes that were coming with routing a new road underneath the Norfolk and Southern mainline that runs through town. After seeing this thread, a friend suggested that I add this picture so that the thread would not be moved to the "Philosophy of Photography" forum. So, within a very few minutes of starting the thread, before the clock expired on making changes, I added the photo and slightly edited the thread.
    All that said, it reminds me of something that Brian Mottershead (yes, our past Site Administrator) once said: "Some of the worst photography on Photo.net is just failed attempts at fine art." To the extent that I liked the colors of the dirt here (I am actually not kidding about that), and to the extent that I liked the way "Levels" brought out the colors of the sign, yes, it really came to be an attempt to make it into something worthy. Alas, it really is finally just boring, and I don't see any way that that can be changed. I haven't even bothered to clean it up. Mark Pierlot sees the one thing that I saw in it: the dirt. I love the dirt. I actually do.
    I have taken some pretty sorry pictures over the years. I don't think that this one is sorry. It's just. . . boring, irredeemably so.
    The original thread topic was interesting enough--and perhaps more coherent before I stuck this picture on it, but I am always glad to get feedback. I'm just a bit surprised that the photo became the focus. Even so, I am glad that one or two people see what I saw, or wanted to see, in this shot.
    Could it sell? Well, "Elvis on Velvet" sold, didn't it?
    I'm still more interested in the psychological question of compulsiveness in photography. . . .
    --Lannie
     
  15. If you're not wondering ... those are the pictures ("snaps") that need to be stopped and not done again.​
    Julie, I feel a compulsion to find out if there are other sickies out there whose compulsiveness has come to fruition in images.
    Sometimes I feel that my compulsion to back up my junk is the sickest part of my entire photographic enterprise. Can I really believe that very much of my stuff is worth more than the crap that it really is? Oh, the pain, the pain. . . of having to live with the obvious and irrefutable fact of one's mediocrity. I'm pretty sure that I am much better at starting schizoid threads that manage to go off in several different directions at once. I think that I shall call this schizoid writing style a manifestation of sophisticated "nuance." The problem with my threads is that I try to start them "on the cheap." Worse still is the tendency to try to "save" these failed threads by going off in even more new tangents. But that's a whole 'nother sickness that we need not get into here. . . unless Fred is lurking around here someplace.
    --Lannie
     
  16. "Some of the worst photography on Photo.net is just failed attempts at fine art."
    You think that's a bad thing? Q: How do you think any fine art gets made? A: By making lots of failed attempts at fine art first. (And do you accept that it's a failure? It's up to you to know where the power lies, not the people you are intending to puzzle/move with your creation. Their doubt is part of the motivation of art.)
    Put a $7500 price on your picture. Hang it in a gallery. In rejecting it, people will have to think about it. That makes the $7500 part (or in this case all) of the art. Making people think.
     
  17. Here is one I'm still wondering why I took it and especially why I kept it.
    00e5pE-564848984.jpg
     
  18. It's up to you to know where the power lies, not the people you are intending to puzzle/move with your creation.​
    Julie, I can often see something that has power in one of my photos, but sometimes it is not enough to "carry" the photo. I mean by that that it is perhaps a small part of the photo that simply does not reflect the overall quality of the photo--nor redeem the photo as a whole. A small burst of color may be nice, but what about the rest of the picture? Those are the ones that should be tossed, at least as claimants to art, in my opinion. One can keep them as souvenirs or documentary shots, but there is no point in wasting other persons' time with them as professed "art."
    If we feel no power in our own photo, why indeed should we offer it up to others as something potentially worthy?
    If, on the other hand, there is something there that keeps forcing its way into our consciousness, I see no problem with tentatively offering it to others in order to see what they think. How does one retain the power of autonomous judgment on such things? I really don't know. I would be the first to confess that my opinion of my own photos is very often influenced by what others think of it. Nor am I at all certain that my own private judgment is all that autonomous to begin with, as if I were some free-standing buttress or island whose own aesthetic judgments came out of a cultural vacuum.
    --Lannie
     
  19. Trying to determine "redeeming value" at a moment of seeing or emotive response is a slippery slope. That is the time to feel not think. Shoot first...ponder, philosophize and edit later. And yes, I am a compulsive shooter. It's neither virtue nor vice. It's my response to all the wonder around us and the sense of gratitude I feel to be able to see it and catch a bit of it. --Louis Meloso​
    I like that, Louis, especially "It's my response to all the wonder around us and the sense of gratitude I feel to be able to see it and catch a bit of it."
    --Lannie
     
  20. Lannie, Except for the darkness, it could be an Eggleston picture!
     
  21. "Why did I take this picture?!"
    Again, why did I take this picture?!
    That folder started back in June when I decided that I would document the changes that were coming with routing a new road underneath the Norfolk and Southern mainline that runs through town.After seeing this thread, a friend suggested that I add this picture so that the thread would not be moved to the "Philosophy of Photography" forum. So, within a very few minutes of starting the thread, before the clock expired on making changes, I added the photo and slightly edited the thread.​
    So the topic of this thread has nothing to do with asking contributors whether they're compulsive snap shooters.
    So the truth is out.
    Lannie, why not just post the image and re-title the topic asking whether others here are photographing with the intent of recording changes in their community. I am shooting with the same intent in my local community due to increased population growth and how the city is handling it with regard to our parks being loved to death.
     
  22. Aside from the original intent behind this topic I still find a discussion about adopting a compulsive bent as a way to randomly react to one's surroundings as an interesting motivation in developing a collection of photos that may or may not have the potential of saying something new and interesting.
    Only I saw this not behind the camera or rummaging through folders of my images in Bridge/LR but in rifling through a folder of thumbnail previews of jpegs I save to for posting in the No Words forum whose random subject titles created a unique organized collection I wouldn't have thought to put together.
    How it works is the Mac OS thumbnail folder view allows organizing the view by name, date modified by hitting keyboard combo which reorganizes thousands of thumbnail previews. I noticed my feelings toward my images randomly associated together viewing this way changed both for good and not so good. See the screengrab below. Every keyboard "page down" and rearrangement created a new collection that changed my mind about my world I photographed that I don't remember from when I first tripped the shutter.
    It was an interesting discovery for me. Try it for yourself and see how you feel about your random collection created by various No Words topics.
    00e5qf-564856884.jpg
     
  23. So the truth is out.​
    Tim, I recognize, of course, that nothing that I can say is going to convince you that the entire thread was not a plot on my part to be sure that one of my least memorable photos would get so much attention. In fact, however, I had no idea that my photo would become the primary focus of the thread.
    You may believe that or not. There is nothing else for me to say. As usual, I could have done better in my hurried original post.
    --Lannie
     
  24. I'm not harping on the image, Lannie, or your intent behind it. Not accusing you of any deception.
    Just trying to determine where you want this topic to go.
     
  25. So, within a very few minutes of starting the thread, before the clock expired on making changes, I added the photo and slightly edited the thread.​
    I must be wrong about that. I must have added the photo and edited the thread before I finally submitted the thread. I don't know how to add a photo after a post has been made. I'm not even sure that that can be done.
    As for where I want the thread to go, here was the original idea:
    Are you a compulsive snapper? Is it a virtue or a vice? (Perhaps even a sickness?)​
    After my friend suggested that I put the picture with it, I began to hope that people would not only address those questions, but give examples of some of their own shots of similar ilk.
    --Lannie
     
  26. I still find a discussion about adopting a compulsive bent as a way to randomly react to one's surroundings as an interesting motivation in developing a collection of photos that may or may not have the potential of saying something new and interesting.​
    Speaking for myself, Tim, I don't know that this was so much a "compulsive bent" that I "adopted" as a compulsive tendency which I allowed to "flow" (so to speak) without any attempt at self-restraint. I admire those who "censor" (or at least discipline) themselves as they shoot. I'm sure they get better photos than I do.
    Tim, that is an interesting perspective that you have gotten using LR. Sometimes I just open my entire portfolio here on PN and ask myself (not in so many words), "I wonder what anyone else would think if they just ran their eyes over the entire pattern of forms and colors."
    --Lannie
     
  27. HERE is an interesting one, Tim. Perhaps you can tell us what you were going for on this one.
    --Lannie
     
  28. I am not. But at most it would count as a personal foible. And who is to judge if not oneself. Not me.
     
  29. Lannie, the picture you posted at the beginning has bright red and white striped patterns. I think we are all attracted to patterns, diagonal and converging lines, strong graphics of any kind, bright colors, faces, animals, sunsets, ocean waves, the list goes on and on. In some ways we are very primitive in that our visual systems are hard wired to be stimulated by certain things. That's why we snap pictures. Its up to the individual to edit them, however, to try to weed out the really banal, boring, cliched stuff. That is a more subtle task and volumes have been written on what is worth looking at and what is not. We each have to just do what we like and hope maybe other people will resonate with it.
     
  30. We each have to just do what we like and hope maybe other people will resonate with it.​
    That's the bottom line, isn't it, Steve? Knowing that it is inherently boring, and that no amount of manipulation could have saved it, I probably should have discarded it when I first saw it on the screen.
    Why did I shoot it? I think you answered that. Why did I keep it? Well, that's another issue entirely. Winnowing out our weaker shots is surely an essential function that we all have to do lest we waste our own time along with that of others.
    --Lannie
     
  31. HERE is an interesting one, Tim. Perhaps you can tell us what you were going for on this one.
    --Lannie​
    I was going for an abstract of a balanced composition of random soft shapes and harmonious colors created by the bokeh of a long lens I hoped would convey a dreamlike vision with the shrub branch in sharp focus to add contrast and bring it down to Earth as a real photograph and not a painting. I found the scene sitting in my living room pointing my 300mm lens out my window about 12 ft away.
    It is not a compulsive snap. I knew that I would get something that appealed to me. I have a background in design, graphics and illustration and have been an artist since I was six years old that guided my choice on my tripping the shutter and keeping the image. So I have an eye that I developed over years as a professional visual communicator to help me be deliberate in my selections on what's a keeper and what's not.
    And I didn't use Lightroom to show that screengrab of random thumbnails created by my responding to No Words topics. I used Mac OS folder view of No Words folder jpegs set to thumbnail view which I just discovered as a handy way of visually creating random image grouping collections.
    Since I edit one image at a time of a small collection of shots in one folder of one event during a specific time and place in CS5 Bridge, I don't get to see how they relate to the rest of my other images in different folders taken at different times and places. This way of randomly viewing them together makes them look different. They seem to compliment each other while other groupings don't.
     
  32. Lannie, just for the heck of it claim that you've shot that with M3 and the price would certainly go to 10K, eh ?
    Les
     
  33. ... hmmm ... really old dude with a long photographic obsession/interest in roads of all kinds in all weather (see his portfolio) starts a thread about "stopping," of being stopped; thread is headed with a photo of a blocked, danger/no-entrance icon off a very dark road. What's going to make you stop? What stops all of us?
    [It's Sunday, Lannie. Put your head out the door and you'll hear the faint sound of Baptist congregations. They too are afraid. If this sounds preachy, be warned, I have poems just waiting to be quoted from.]
     
  34. I'm afraid of the Baptists. Married one. Holy crap.
    Quote to me, Julie. Quote to me.
    --Lannie
     
  35. What shall we give Lannie? Nice, serious Wallace Stevens? No, better start with Philip Larkin:
    The Life with a Hole in it
    [first verse of three]
    When I throw back my head and howl
    People (women mostly) say
    But you've always done what you want,
    You always get your own way
    — A perfectly vile and foul
    Inversion of all that's been.
    What the old ratbags mean
    Is I've never done what I don't.​
     
  36. Howl for me, Julie. Howl for me.
    I'll meet you on the Appalachian Trail at 3 p.m. sharp, near the I-64 cut at the Rockfish Gap Entrance, milepost 105.4. If you don't see me, howl. I'll be in a '95 Stealth Honda. Hell on wheels.
    I don't understand the poem.
    --Lannie
     
  37. Lannie, just for the heck of it claim that you've shot that with M3 and the price would certainly go to 10K, eh ?​
    Leszek, the only thing I've got in a Leica is a Telyt 560, but no body. With an adapter, it will fit on my truly beloved old Canon T2i (the only thing left from my Canon EOS collection). Howzat? It surely will have that Leica glow, and so I can back off on Levels in PS.
    --Lannie
     
  38. So I have an eye that I developed over years as a professional visual communicator to help me be deliberate in my selections on what's a keeper and what's not.​
    Well, Tim, it's a keeper alright. That's for sure.
    Tell me, though. What is "window bokeh" and where can I buy some? Sounds sort of like Glade air freshener.
    This way of randomly viewing them together makes them look different. They seem to compliment each other while other groupings don't.​
    I see what you're getting at. Looking at my thumbs in my portfolio is not random enough. They've already been grouped in categories.
    --Lannie
     
  39. Lannie, the framing of your OP puzzles me a bit. Not only do you ask whether I have a compulsion to shoot photographs, but you also ask whether it's "... even a sickness." Although I do confess to displaying some odd, perhaps neurotic, behavior from time to time, shooting photographs is not something that is uncontrollable or something that I choose not to do but do it anyway. I do choose it, period. The reasons behind this choice vary, in all likelihood, from one instance to the next.
    Nor do I wonder why I shot a particular photograph when, after the fact, I realize that it may be utter crap. I do shoot lots and lots of photographs, some of which I immediately (and wisely) discard after initially uploading them. Many images I've posted on PN have been slammed, and correctly so. But this does not lead to questioning my motives for shooting them. I'm primarily interested in the learning I can derive from the process.
    Finally, I also confess to shooting subjects that, I suspect, most photographers would pass by. Please see the following examples.
    http://www.photo.net/photo/18240211
    http://www.photo.net/photo/18195758
     
  40. Not only do you ask whether I have a compulsion to shoot photographs, but you also ask whether it's "... even a sickness."​
    Well, Michael, that was mostly tongue in cheek, but I have seen persons so compulsive in other ways that, yes, I would have to call them "sick." I don't see any a priori reason why that could not happen with photography as well.
    --Lannie
     
  41. Lannie, in all honesty, I get your point. I was just trying to show that, at least in my opinion, it didn't really apply to me.
     
  42. I was just trying to show that, at least in my opinion, it didn't really apply to me.​
    I imagine that it would be pretty rare for compulsiveness to become a debilitating condition among photographers, or a condition that interfered with normal functioning. I certainly did not think of anybody's work in particular as exemplifying compulsiveness--not even mine, in fact.
    --Lannie
     
  43. "Do it like you mean it and don't apologize for it."
    A quote from my German memaw, may she rest in peace.
     
  44. I don't see anything wrong with your shot. I don't like it much and it's presumably underexposed, but I don't think you need
    to torment yourself. The investment in time was slight, I assume. We all waste time most of the time, so it's no worse
    waste of time than, say, playing a video game.
     
  45. Robin, I didn't say that I found lots of deficiencies in these examples.
    Lannie - Fair enough . . .
     
  46. We all waste time most of the time, so it's no worse waste of time than, say, playing a video game.​
    Robin, I would say that that locates its place in aesthetic space pretty darned well. There are moments when I think I see something in the photo, but most of the time I just see the garishness--and I hate garishness. Knocking out the color might get rid of the garishness, but then it would really be empty.
    --Lannie
     
  47. If I like the idea behind a photo but have any kind of feeling that it didn't work then, I usually just delete it. Otherwise one fusses over it and yet it still remains unsatisfactory in the end.
     
  48. Otherwise one fusses over it and yet it still remains unsatisfactory in the end.​
    Yes, that is the essence of a failed shot--poorly shot, poorly processed, or else nothing that processing can save. I should know better by now.
    This one was cropped from a shot made to document an area that I knew would change as urbanization spreads this way--and that is all that it (or at least the original) will ever be.
    --Lannie
     
  49. hi Lannie wouldnt it be a shame if the one great shot we took was poo pooed by everyone and it turned out to be a masterpiece? they say we change who we are every 2
    yrs so if we look at photos we have taken from 2 yrs gone by or so i guess some of them may have become greater and some of them ... what the hell was i thinking
    photos?
     

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