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Simon Says -- SimonSawSunlight Photo Technique From time to time its been suggested that RFF have a mentor Photography help section in terms of Technique - how to shoot this or that. 1st of all I had to find someone whose work I really like. 2ndly that photog had to be willing help others. That's the catch: so many excellent photogs just are not wiling to make the time for that, or just as likely, simply don't give a damn about helping others. SimonSawSunlight is an excellent up and coming photog whose work seems to go well beyond his 24 years.

You can view Simon's work at http://www.simonbephotography.com/  and www.facebook.com/simonbphotography Simon has been published in in FAZ (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung), LFI (Leica Fotografie International) and more recently in Radiate Magazine. He also recently had a large solo-exhibition in Berlin. Not too Shabby! So, let us begin this adventure and see where it goes. Thank for taking this on Simon!


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s.u.i. - shooting under the influence
Old 05-01-2013   #1
SimonSawSunlight
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s.u.i. - shooting under the influence

i feel no shame in confessing that i do it. sometimes more than i would like to, in hindsight. but it's gotten me some good pictures, pictures that i might not have taken otherwise. changing perspectives is not a bad thing in photography, and things certainly look different from under the table.
also, i can proudly claim not to have lost or broken any of my gear and such during one of these manoeuvres. or maybe i'm just lucky.

what's your take? if you have pictures to show, please do.



ps: as a musician on the other hand, i generally avoid drinking before gigs, especially when playing the drums in jazz bands.

şerefe!



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Old 05-01-2013   #2
nikon_sam
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I have told many people that "Photography is my Drug of choice..." does that count...???
Truth be told I don't drink or take anything that alters my brain or it's ability to function clearly...don't need or want to...
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Old 05-01-2013   #3
N.delaRua
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Living in a city where drinking is so ingrained in the culture, going out essentially includes drinking. I've been shooting a friends band for a little while, and I think drinking has not hurt my compositions but likely caused me to press the shutter button more often even when the light meter and settings say that may be a bad idea... I like my results. My last roll of Illford 3200 has some really thin negatives, but those where shot at f/4 with no light so I expected to miss some shots.

I think pressing the shutter with less inhibition is a good thing... especially with film because I try to be so selective when I am sober that sometimes I go out and don't even take a single shot!

















Edit: with respect to playing music (guitar), I don't mind having a couple of drinks. That loosens me up and makes me want to take more chances, but there defiantly is a tipping point that is hard to define where to much drink means sloppiness and bad rhythm means bad music.
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Old 05-01-2013   #4
grapejohnson
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I drink with my friends a lot, so it's not a surprise that most of my favorite pictures were taken while drinking.

kandaci by scottkessler, on Flickr
weed on the other hand is a lot more hit or miss.

Untitled by scottkessler, on Flickr
I thought this next one was going to be completely incredible while high and it was pretty disappointing, to be honest.

Untitled by scottkessler, on Flickr
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Old 05-01-2013   #5
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To me, drinking is something I do when everything is done and I'm relaxing in the evening. A few bad photographs don't hurt anybody (as long as I'm not getting paid for it), but other things can be very affected. I find I can't play my horn very well after a couple of drinks. I would never get out a gun or try to fly my plane after even one drink. I sometimes drive after a glass or two of wine, but never if I've had more.
Just my way I guess.
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Old 05-01-2013   #6
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Shooting drunk is always good fun. I get a lot of junk and a lot of pictures that are interesting to me. Helps me go in new directions.
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Old 05-01-2013   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grapejohnson View Post
weed on the other hand is a lot more hit or miss.

Untitled by scottkessler, on Flickr
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that's a ****ing crime; what a photograph.

I have taken some photos drunk. I dont drink that much now, and I drank even less in grad school when I was mainly doing the social drinking thing (now it's an issue of private enjoyment, I never drink to get drunk personally). I dont think it really made much of an effect on my photos since I've always been more of an impulsive or instinctual clicker rather than a particularly pensive one.

don't drink and drive, tho.
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Old 05-01-2013   #8
KM-25
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In my line of work, it is often unavoidable....
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Old 05-01-2013   #9
Katie
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I have several rolls... just have issues posting here, as I don't usually put them on flickr. Have them on my website, but cannot link from there.

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Old 05-01-2013   #10
Doug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon_sam View Post
I have told many people that "Photography is my Drug of choice..." does that count...???
Truth be told I don't drink or take anything that alters my brain or it's ability to function clearly...don't need or want to...
Same here... hindering my ability to function is hazardous.
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Old 05-01-2013   #11
charjohncarter
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I got some, Rancho Leonero:






and about fifty years ago:



Sometime I think I do better sui.
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Old 05-01-2013   #12
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just realized i have way too many of these eeek


Untitled by MrEllis, on Flickr


Untitled by MrEllis, on Flickr


Untitled by MrEllis, on Flickr


life by MrEllis, on Flickr


natashaaa4 by MrEllis, on Flickr


r money by MrEllis, on Flickr


jess by MrEllis, on Flickr
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Old 05-01-2013   #13
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I do it every now and then. It can be a fine combination. I suppose the under-the-table level of drunkenness combined with photography is the closest some digital-only people come to the experience of shooting film, in that they get to be surprised later on by pictures they can barely remember taking.







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Old 05-01-2013   #14
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I like to photograph under the influence of caffeine and sugar...
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Old 05-01-2013   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redisburning View Post
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that's a ****ing crime; what a photograph.

I have taken some photos drunk. I dont drink that much now, and I drank even less in grad school when I was mainly doing the social drinking thing (now it's an issue of private enjoyment, I never drink to get drunk personally). I dont think it really made much of an effect on my photos since I've always been more of an impulsive or instinctual clicker rather than a particularly pensive one.

don't drink and drive, tho.
Thank you so much for the kind words, man. I tend to take a lot of pictures as well, drunk or not. I was definitely drunk for this one, though.

beer by scottkessler, on Flickr
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Old 05-01-2013   #16
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actually I don't like shooting 'SUI'...
prefer to be in control of my senses when Capturing the Moment
So just a Beer or a Spritz is enough for me

I do Love shooting in low light & Bars

at home, kicking off my shoes and making Cocktails is a different story...


Tanteo in the mix... by helenhill_HH, on Flickr
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Old 05-01-2013   #17
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I've done it. Taken some OK pictures while drinking; but the results with weed, which invariably makes me think I've just taken THE picture of a lifetime, are just too big a disappointment afterwards...
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Old 05-02-2013   #18
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When I started working professionally, as an assistant in an advertising studio in London in the 70s, part of my job was to open the first bottle of wine at about 11:00 am and to keep 'em coming until we all went home that night. Now the buggers all drink mineral water. It's mostly cultural, and it was more fun in those days.

There's also the question of how far under the influence you are. There's a difference between having a slight glow on (half a bottle of wine or a couple of pints) and being well drunk (a couple of bottles or eight pints); and, of course, there are many steps in between.

Then there's whether you can hold your booze. Some people are better photographers when pissed as farts than they are when they are sober. Others are miserable killjoys and rotten photographers, drunk or sober.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 05-02-2013   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
When I started working professionally, as an assistant in an advertising studio in London in the 70s, part of my job was to open the first bottle of wine at about 11:00 am and to keep 'em coming until we all went home that night. Now the buggers all drink mineral water. It's mostly cultural, and it was more fun in those days.

There's also the question of how far under the influence you are. There's a difference between having a slight glow on (half a bottle of wine or a couple of pints) and being well drunk (a couple of bottles or eight pints); and, of course, there are many steps in between.

Then there's whether you can hold your booze. Some people are better photographers when pissed as farts than they are when they are sober. Others are miserable killjoys and rotten photographers, drunk or sober.

Cheers,

R.
I agree with Roger. It really all depends. I have friends who are sloshed after a drink, and others who can polish off a 4 or 5 pints and you would never tell. I suppose I am somewhere in the middle. Like Helen, I enjoy a few drinks in the evening, but not when out and shooting. Now, I have certainly been out with my camera while have a couple pints in a bar or restaurant and have snapped a few shots, but I see that as different than getting drunk and then going shooting.

For the record, though, I see nothing wrong with it. To each his or her own.
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Old 05-02-2013   #20
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To add to what Roger said, I would say similar culture changes are responsible for the terrible bores driving Formula One cars these days.

For me personally, a few or quite a few drinks can be part of my normal existence. Photography is part of my normal existence too, so the two naturally overlap!

There could be a significant US-Europe cultural split on this one, as there is on alcohol consumption in the more general sense.
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Old 05-02-2013   #21
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Huh? von oliverleschke auf Flickr


I need a drink (or 4) von oliverleschke auf Flickr



Green von oliverleschke auf Flickr
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Old 05-02-2013   #22
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Nice thread.
I like taking photos when i'm drunk enough to not care who or what i'm taking photos of anymore but still sober enough not to fall over while doing it. this one was taken on a festival some years ago - still like it...


Untitled by NeeZee102, on Flickr
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Old 05-02-2013   #23
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I agree with Roger. Shooting with a "glow" is great fun (a couple of drinks) and can yield good results. Shooting while drunk results in a lot of crap (for me, at least).

That said, I like shooting at breweries/bars. Here's a few:





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Old 05-02-2013   #24
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There is no legal limit in my country.
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Old 05-02-2013   #25
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I don't do it often, although this shot was taken after tasting Absinthe for the first time...



I'd had a few so I'd loaded Acros instead of Neopan 400 (on purpose) so I pushed it to 800
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@goupil le fol in bruxelles after few beers...
Old 05-02-2013   #26
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@goupil le fol in bruxelles after few beers...

weird place btw.


025.13 by atelierdelvizio, on Flickr
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Old 05-03-2013   #27
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I love shooting drunk! Mostly for private stuff, nothing I'd throw at a broader audience as my "work".
I also dropped one camera on a NYE party .. a Revue rangefinder of not much value. It was kinda still functional (not really but enough) and gave me some useful pics even after the drop.
I have nothing online right now, will search for something post-able later.
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Old 05-03-2013   #28
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I don't do it, and can't understand why anyone would.

I will say this: Walking around glassy-eyed and smelling like a distillery while snapping pictures of strangers will do more to harm the cause of street photography than a hundred Bruce Gildens firing flash guns in the faces of their fellow city-dwellers.
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Old 05-03-2013   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarullifoto View Post
I don't do it, and can't understand why anyone would.

I will say this: Walking around glassy-eyed and smelling like a distillery while snapping pictures of strangers will do more to harm the cause of street photography than a hundred Bruce Gildens firing flash guns in the faces of their fellow city-dwellers.
No one said completely wasted .. tipsy or a little bit more than that. (ok when I dropped my Revue I was a bit further down that alley)
Also I mostly shoot people I know when I'm in such a situation.
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Old 05-03-2013   #30
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I don't do it, and can't understand why anyone would.

I will say this: Walking around glassy-eyed and smelling like a distillery while snapping pictures of strangers will do more to harm the cause of street photography than a hundred Bruce Gildens firing flash guns in the faces of their fellow city-dwellers.
Isn't this a tiny bit on the po-faced side? First, there's "glassy-eyed and smelling like a distillery". Most people can hold a few drinks without this happening. Second, why does it have to be "snapping pictures of strangers"? Third, I'd have thought that most people would put up with an amiable drunk more easily than with an aggressive stone cold sober jerk firing a flash in their face. Attached: Bristol Arts Centre Bar in the 1970s, Nikon F, HP5 and Polish hat dance, about 2007, M8. No-one is likely to approach the Polish hat dance entirely sober.

Cheers,

R.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bristol Arts Centre bar.jpg (66.5 KB, 69 views)
File Type: jpg polish hat dance.JPG (43.7 KB, 45 views)
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Old 05-03-2013   #31
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I only shoot under the influence when I'm drinking.
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Old 05-03-2013   #32
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Back during my drinking days if I had carried a camera with me I'd have lost it for sure. Now my drink of choice is coffee. I think my camera is pretty safe with me.
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Old 05-04-2013   #33
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After a fair amount of red wine I shot friends



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Old 05-07-2013   #34
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As long as you don't spill your drink on your camera or fall on it, what's the harm??
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Old 09-25-2013   #35
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college by scottkessler, on Flickr

college by scottkessler, on Flickr

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Old 10-27-2013   #36
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LSD

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lysergic selfie by scottkessler, on Flickr

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Old 10-27-2013   #37
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What more can I say?

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Old 10-27-2013   #38
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Old 10-27-2013   #39
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I must confess, that even if I was born in the land that invented the vodka ( according to us, Poles of course ), I emigrated while still young to the south (Italy), where I embraced the wine drinking philosophy. As a consequence, I only got drunk once in my life - having been treated by some villagers near Pescara with their home made wine, which only subsequently has turned out to be almost 16% strong...
Perhaps this has undercut my artistic expression somewhat, but I still find myself enthralled enough, just by making the photos, while everybody else has fun...


20120102 by mfogiel, on Flickr

"especially when playing the drums in jazz bands"
- thumbs up Simon ! That's my favourite music...
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Old 10-27-2013   #40
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What more can I say?



Can I just point out the purple Holga in the room here? <insert smiley icon face here>



I've done my fair share of shooting while under the influence. It's had both positive and negative effects. I've gotten keepers that would have otherwise eluded me. Some of these are among the images that I'm most proud of. I've also shot one heck of a lot of out-of-focus, poorly framed crap that flatters no one - myself or my subjects. Those never see the light of day.

Is it useful? Is it worth it? For the keepers, yes! For the rest, well, as with so many things there are no absolutes.
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