Seeing life through the viewfinder

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by amanda mumma, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. My husband says I am a hopeless addict - this question is posed to
    see how others 'view life'. Everything I see I relate to
    photography, the way the light is caressing that young girl's
    profile, the texture of that wicker basket accentuated by the side
    lighting, that interesting old man's face with a thousand lines from
    his lifetime's know what I mean? I find myself
    thinking, mmm f8, 60th a lower perspective - that darn red bucket in
    the background etc etc. Am I crazy???!!!
  2. Yes. Yes you are.

    And so are a large percentage of the rest of us.
  3. Add me as another member of the loony bin :)
  4. jbq


    You're crazy, just like most of the rest of us...

    My wife tells me "nice tree", I immediately think "but I won't be able to get sunrise or sunset light hitting it in way that allows me to have a nice background".
  5. Count me in as a loon!
  6. Oh! For sure!

  7. Welcome to the asylum!<br>
    I have the problem of having permanent grid lines in front of my eyes... ;)
  8. I've been on a number of LF workshops.... the best part is spending the day with 10 other people who also think it is perfectly normal spending > 1 hr getting a single 'perfect' image with an 8x10 (or 4x5) camera.... try explaining that to a not shooter!
  9. I'm wondering what shutter speed to use on this computer screen, so I would still have shadow detail around it?!!&#9787;
  10. jbs


    Amanda Radovic, You get my Eggs'actly award...;)...J
  11. In my family I'm considered charmingly excentric, but I think they really mean slightly nuts. I guess we're all in the club to one degree or another. It's nice not to be alone.

  12. Most "normal" people, I think, miss the incredible gifts given
    to us everyday visually. It's a choice to see, to really see, and
    photography helps me appreciate and choose how I would see things
    with my camera. It's the best of both worlds, right-brain and left-
    brain, being affected emotionally by the scene and also analyzing
    how best to record it with technique and camera position. I do it
    every weekend in the sky, considering background, lighting, expressions, shadows, and the final print. I'm learning now to slow down and use the camera on the ground to record what I choose to see
    and how I want it to be seen in my prints. Blue Skies! Doug
  13. I won't say anybody is nuts because they act the way they do when it comes to photography. Considering how one might view my obsessive photographic behavior, one might come to the same conclusion about myself.


    One does need to have balance in their thinking. There's times to turn it off and enjoy the person you're with, without thinking about a camera. There's times to turn it off and just enjoy the view for the entertainment that it provides.

    That's not to say that my wife doesn't catch me looking at my hand in soft lighting coming through a window. This doesn't mean that I don't out of the blue stop and enjoying changing shadows as my hand twists in this soft light. This doesn't mean I don't stop, revel and enjoy light cascading through a window onto a statue or objects on a shelf in a curio cabinet. This doesn't mean that I don't see potential in a location where we're having dinner or driving past. This doesn't mean that I don't daily read on technical matters revolving around photography. This doesn't mean that I don't daily address equipment information to better my mechanical knowledge in regard to using equipment in possession. This doesn't mean that daily I don't web search to improve my knowledge base on photographic art. This doesn't mean I don't sometimes wish I had my camera; intentionally left at home so as to "NOT" interfer with the experience of sharing time with my wife. I make my wife feel important by leaving my camera at home. She likes that and because at times I leave the camera at home, she's accepting of the camera when I do bring it.

    Again, I do feel there's a time to turn it off.

    The point is to not deride obsessive behavior, which I at times will freely and openly exhibit but the point is to just comment that sometimes we have to come out of photographer's mode, come down to earth and just be a person; a person enjoying the company of others. Sometimes it's appropriate to enjoy the wine and not the image of the wine.

    Myself? I can't enjoy the fullness of my wife's laughter if I'm concentrating on getting a shot. Quite often, my wife's laughter is a direct result of my efforts because I like making her laugh and I can't make her laugh if my thinking is on getting the shot and not on conversing with her. It tickles me to no end when I can get my wife to laugh fully, openly and without reservation. So which is more important, getting the shot or making your spouse laugh? Which is more important, the taste of the wine or getting a shot of the winery?

    If one wants to get a shot of a glass of wine, do. If one wants to go on an outing and get shots of vineyards and wineries, do. If one wants to get shots of grand landscapes or artistic shots of whatever that they would want to hang in a museum, do. A time and place for everything. Make the time to visit, the place. State; "Today, I'm going to this area to get shot's of wineries and glasses of wine." And then go have a good time getting shots of wineries.


    Remember to take the time to turn it off so you can enjoy others as they were ment to be enjoyed, without a camera.

  14. I will definatly agree that after starting photography my viewpoint changed on life. It makes me appreciate much more about my surroundings.
  15. I have had a good giggle at some of the answers and a good think about some of the others. I do leave the camera at home and there are times when I regret doing so BUT yes it is important to respect the fact that my husband and kids need special time where I don't pick up the old trusty. I can't be a true part of the action if I am on the sidelines shooting it! I truly think that the art of photography is wonderful, recording life is intrinsic to human nature - its a way of saying "look I walked this Earth and this is what it was like in my day" _ something to leave behind when we are gone. It also trains you to see the beauty (and the ugly, strange, funny etc) in life. I never thought about how it utilises the right and left side of the brain in unison - the arty side of the brain coupled with the technical side. No wonder I sweat when I shoot! I come away from a job and feel like I have participated in sport - tired but uplifted from the adrenaline rush! Do you get that adrenaline rush too?
  16. jbs


    Especially on a shoot...;)..J
  17. Actually, it is not a surprise that life is more than what viewfinder thinking reveals.

    A top athlete doesn`t train 24 hours a day as well. Best performance is only possible with poise and balance.
  18. Bernd wrote
    A top athlete doesn`t train 24 hours a day as well. Best performance is only possible with poise and balance.
    Not being a top athlete, I won't have to worry about this problem but I do believe in stopping and smelling the roses without a camera in hand:)
    Today I took no pictures but I did stop to enjoy the weather. I had breakfast with my teenage son, shared time with the wife and had a couple of glasses of some mediocre (wish I could say different) 1999 Napa, California, Merlot with today's BBQ'd effort:) Today, I learned more about Minimalist photography and checked out a newly aquired Speedotron D402 Brownline power pack, hooked up to a PocketWizard receiver and a Sekonic L-358 w/transmitter; way cool setup. Today I critiqued a photo and commiserated online with fellow photographers.
    The point of the above, and I'm agreeing with you Bernd, photography is not just about getting the shot and life's not just about photography:)
  19. A couple of weeks ago, we had a hard freeze here, and a relative was commenting on a view he had of the sun setting over a partially frozen ocean.

    His comment: I saw how beautiful it was and wished you were there with your camera!
  20. I suggest you read 'Grammars of Creation' by Professor George Steiner in which he discusses the whole conundrum of creativity, invention and discovery and the psychology of those who engage in what we term creative activity. Yes, a lot of people think I'm weird but as the Bonzo Dog Doodah Band said in 'My Pink Half of the Drainpipe', "if they're normal then I want to be a freak for the rest of my life".
  21. Those whom the gods would destroy,they first make mad. A divine insanity, Amanda is what I mean. But it goes beyond looking at the world through a 2:3 frame, watching how light falls and bounces on a face. If you always look at the world as a photographer, you get to wake before sunrise to hike a mile or two or more. Keep a pilotlike checkoff list for packing a photo bag. Stop in your tracks before the bubble packs at any camera store and swivel to look. Climb a rusty ladder to reach the top of a water tank. Go to Spain. Get out in gusty rain,hell or high water. Worry about your equipment's rain protection before your spouse's mealtimes ( Erase the latter.) It will settle down eventually. When you have so many negatives and discs unfiled that you can relax and say well, I made my statements, that was a very good year, and look at sunsets without waiting for the magic moment.Aloha,.Gerry
  22. I know the part of trying to temper your photographic desires with the
    reality that.. you have to just watch sometimes. One of my favorites
    is taking pics of bands performing, and sometimes I force myself to leave the camera at home (as typically I'm just shooting from the crowd for fun)... just so I can actually realize my age, and stand with a beer in hand and just enjoy the music.. not dodging the pit and trying to not get mugged..

    Life is beautiful. We should capture it as often as possible, but also just sit back and enjoy it with our eyes... (the last part felt forced)
  23. Addict! Couldn't agree with you more. Except, perhaps, that it is also the other way round.....everything I take photographs of relates to "life". It's especially nice when both viewpoints meet at the same place.
  24. My kids have gotten used to seeing me bounding up the stairs at any moment to grab my camera. I have a number of spontaneous shots in my portfolio. Like some of the others, photography has helped me appreciate much more the everyday beauty life offers. I don't take my camera everywhere, but I do tend to see the world in terms of photographic opportunities now - and I like it.

  25. I look out of my window towards the south-west. Yes, the weather looks right, the clouds are massive. I put my camera and light-meter in the rucksack. I grab a few rolls of film. I put on my waterproof and walking boots. I sling my tripod over my shoulder. I tramp two miles across the fields to 'my' tree. I set the camera on the tripod, load a film and wait. Is the light right? Will that cloud drift into the right position? I take a light reading, cock the shutter and ... wait, wait , wait ... now! I shoot a few frames, wait a few seconds for the cloud to move. I shoot a few more frames. The light's fading. Two mile trek back home. Into the darkroom. Load the film in to the tank. Is this a job for pyrocat? Or maybe D23? Process the film, hang the negs in the dryer? Coffee. Take negs out of fryer and examine. They look good. Contact sheet. Print that one. Yes, it's OK but ..., that cloud isn't quite right. Try again, maybe tomorrow ....
  26. Great courses in photography and "Seeing"

    clases are on Zone system; vision (seeing); large format lf;
    black and white (b&w) Advanced and beginning; Digital Photography
    and video
    from $100 - 55
    Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts
    801 Chase Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401
    Local: 410/263-5544 Baltimore: 410/269-1087
    Washington: 301/261-1553 Fax: 410/263-5114

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