PDA

View Full Version : Giving up photography


Roger Hicks
04-25-2009, 14:30
What, if anything, would make you give up photography? Roger Fenton, a very great photographer, and one of the founders of the (later Royal) Photographic Society, did so. In his 40s, I think. Would you? If so, why?

Tashi delek,

R.

ruben
04-25-2009, 14:41
Hi Roger,

For some reason, still to be included by you, you did not differentiate between being forced to leave photography and doing it voluntarily for another craft or field of interest. Since both paths are absolutely diverging situations, I don't think you missed it, your op is unclear to me.

Cheers,
Ruben

Pickett Wilson
04-25-2009, 14:41
Getting too old to hold a camera. I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I didn't take photos. Been doing it too long.

Roger Hicks
04-25-2009, 14:48
Shalom Ruben!

I deliberately include both. What would force you, as well as what would make you think, "Oh, to hell with it"?

Warning: this is a trick question. I'd give up photography for Frances tomorrow; but equally, I'd not have fallen in live with her, let alone married her and stayed with her, if she'd wanted me to give up photography. We'll have been together 28 years on my brother's 56th brthday, May 14th 2009.

But (for example) would I give up photography in occupied Tibet? I don't know, but I like to think I wouldn't.

Tashi delek,

R.

FrozenInTime
04-25-2009, 14:49
Did HCB not essentially give up photography : wikipedia
"Cartier-Bresson retired from photography in the early 1970s and by 1975 no longer took pictures other than an occasional private portrait; he said he kept his camera in a safe at his house and rarely took it out. He returned to drawing and painting. After a lifetime of developing his artistic vision through photography, he said, "All I care about these days is painting — photography has never been more than a way into painting, a sort of instant drawing.""

There are times when I feel the need to throw off the complications of 'serious photography' and enjoy the simplicity of a point and shoot digicam.
Once I get too old to have a darkroom or even operate a computer, that print button on the back of a digicam will finally come into it's own.

Dave Wilkinson
04-25-2009, 14:57
Well....perhaps not entirely give up! - one of the most pleasureable aspects of my photography is to wander around the nearby Yorkshire moors and dales, just taking in the beauty of it all. I have allways wished that I could draw or paint the wonderfull scenery satisfactoraly, And look on in total admiration when I come across someone sat doing so. Sometimes both of us have taken sketch pads and pencils on a day out, in stead of cameras, and often thought about taking some lessons, now if by some means I achieved competancy with water colours or pen and ink..........:)
Cheers, Dave.

momus1
04-25-2009, 15:02
If I won the lottery. Then I'd find a posse of hot babes and jet around the world seeking all manner of self inflicted trouble. If my wife reads this, ha, ha, just kidding, I'd donate it all to charity and continue working in the darkroom.

raid
04-25-2009, 15:16
My late father gave up photography overnight.
Once we returned to Iraq from Germany,and once we were subjected to the wraths of living under the Baath rule, my father did not enjoy taking photos anymore. He put away his Bolex 8mm camera and his Zeiss RF camera for good.

ruben
04-25-2009, 15:22
Shalom Ruben!

I deliberately include both. What would force you, as well as what would make you think, "Oh, to hell with it"?

....
R.

Well I have written and deleted just now my post. I will be smarter and wait to see where all this is going.

Cheers,
Ruben

ruby.monkey
04-25-2009, 15:28
My death would do it, unless I can train my ectoplasm to operate an OM-2N.

__hh
04-25-2009, 15:30
If/when my eyesight no longer allows me to do so

J J Kapsberger
04-25-2009, 15:32
The death of film would make me do it.

sevo
04-25-2009, 15:34
Force? Health, insufficient eyesight, and pretty much any situation where it would be incompatible with the basic survival of my child(ren) - I might disregard risks to my own life for the love of art, but I would not risk the life of those dependent on me.

Out of free will? Well, for any stronger interest. I have changed directions in my life quite a few times. Photography is not the only true way of expression, nor the only one I am reasonably skilled in - and what's more, I haven't yet lost my curiosity for learning even more...

Sevo

bgb
04-25-2009, 15:40
Death would do it :)
Finding no joy in the world around me ... not seeing photos and potential photos everywhere i go
Total lack of inspiration would be the dark side of giving photography away - Been there it sucks :(
On the bright side i would feel no need to capture my surroundings if i loved the area and people i was with, would be like collecting beautiful butterflies and storing them between the pages of a dusty old book

Brian Sweeney
04-25-2009, 15:40
Death. If they quit making film, I'll just shoot digital. It is not as relaxing, but I'll still do it. I suspect that the production of film will outlast me.

I'm 51 now, and have been taking pictures since I was 6. So far, it's been a lifetime hobby. So, Death.

ruben
04-25-2009, 15:41
Ok, a moment after deleting my post I seem to catch what the op is about and I am sorry for having deleted it.

I was perfectly right Roger in making my distinction about the circumstances under which a person may leave photography, even if photography has been a most central part of his life.
The circumstances, the reasons, the objectives to achieve - all these and more are part of the decision. I would say that a person forced by circumstances to leave, most of the chances will return.

In principle I can leave photography for a long period and restart it later. In fact this is exactly what has happened to me. The period in-between was one of doubts, uncertainity, etc. But these problems were not due to leaving a holy shrine illuminating my life per se, but due to the problems external to photography.

After solving those problems I have found myself in another square within photography. I have to re-define my purposes after accepting and settling my accounts. Since the first period was full of joy and excitment but not glory, who knows, perhaps my second one will be positive as well or even better.

At my 54 year on the planet I find life is quite complex to establish hard patterns, quite caotic to foresee any future, and nothing is to be discarded. It is more about how do you move and decide, than about fixed trenches.

Cheers,
Ruben

Drewus
04-25-2009, 15:49
I don't see how I could give up something that, to me, is really just an artistic medium that I enjoy doing. It's not my job, I don't make a career out of it, and even if I did I would still take photo's when I felt like it.

I don't go out hunting for photo's, I just carry my camera around and take shots of stuff that interests me. It's like writing, drawing, painting, or anything else. It's there when I feel like doing it.

navilluspm
04-25-2009, 16:18
I can't give up photography right now (because my wife loves scrapbooking and and kids are 3 and 1) but sometimes I do wonder what the purpose of it all is. I take pictures, but never really look at them. Maybe once in a while. Sometimes photography distracts from what is truly important for me, when I "need" to get pictures developed and my kids just want to play, or that I have a camera between myself and my child when playing.

I can see giving it up - I have done it in the past, but I also came back. I guess I need balance. that's all. I need to have fun with my kids with out the camera, but be ready to capture memories on film (or CCD/CMOS sensor) as well.

Micky D
04-25-2009, 16:25
"Never mind photography..." (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73478) and now "Giving up photography".

Where is this leading you Roger?

charjohncarter
04-25-2009, 16:26
When the Wedding Photographer (capitals on purpose) did my wedding in 1964, He had photographed my wife as a 3 year old and he came to the wedding with a wide angle Hassy. He had had Polio and used two crutches with forearm supports. He did a wonderful job; strobe, natural light, portraits. This guy was old and good. Why give up something you are good at for any reason.

Al Kaplan
04-25-2009, 16:36
About fifteen years ago I started feeling really burned out. Photography was moving in directions that held no interest for me. I could no longer make the kind of money that I'd been making, and it was more and more difficult to shoot traditional black and white. I packed up my darkroom and just about completely stopped shooting, especially B&W.

I started doing more writing and a lot more fishing, culminating in getting my Coast Guard boat captain's license, becoming a fishing guide, winning tournaments and speaking at seminars. That's when I discovered that I had epilepsy. I've now got that under control, but I also bought a 15mm Heliar lens and a Bessa L body. Suddenly photography was FUN again.

My son would like me to be spending more time in the darkroom printing up my old negatives. These days I'm mostly shooting cheapy Walgreens house brand (Fuji?) color film and scanning off drugstore prints for my blog http://thepriceofsilver.blogspot.com and I've gotten re-involved in the local political scene. I love politics! I wander around town with Monkette, my toy monkey, the 15mm Heliar equipped Bessa L and a few spare rolls of film stuffed in my pocket.

Is it great photography? It's good enough that Monkette gets invited to all the right parties and she always brings her favorite photographer with her (she doesn't drive). I shoot one or two 24 exp. rolls a week and post on the blog daily along with some tongue-in-cheek commentary, usually about local politics. With city elections coming up on May 12th Monkette lets everybody know that she was responsible for Kevin Burns re-election to the mayor's seat two years ago. She's probably right, too. Day after day the blog was getting more hits than the Miami Herald's coverage of the mayoral race. She had a seat of honor at the victory party.

Once the election is over Monkette thinks that I should continue photographing her. She dreams of catching big fish and winning fishing tournaments. Gotta keep photography FUN!!

amateriat
04-25-2009, 16:38
I'd already given up photography once–in fact, the circumstances rather closely mirror Ruben's (I had a lot of turbulence in my life about fifteen years ago). Yes, it was more a case of au revoir rather than farewell, but I didn't snap a single picture for something like two years. I did miss it, in spite of it being self-imposed exile, but I had too many things going rather badly to give my photography my best. I've credited my involement in photography in my youth as a bulwark against a lot of awful stuff happening then, but this was different, and required some kind of hiatus.

And now? It would likely take the Grim Reaper or blindness to make me drop it...it's too vital to me, and I have too many ideas in my head that I wish to get onto film somehow, more than I'll likely ever get to. It's a wonderful feeling.


- Barrett

charjohncarter
04-25-2009, 16:47
Al, great story, we are the same, almost, age; so too many years of taking photos to turn back. That is really cool, be sure to redo your old negatives. I'm sure your son, as my kids do, will love them. And I totally agree most politicians are elected my monkeys

dcsang
04-25-2009, 16:50
I did it just after high school - lost interest in it completely - nothing really that caused it though - that was 1984 - didn't come back to it till 1998 when digital cameras became more "mainstream"

Dave

Bob Michaels
04-25-2009, 16:54
What, if anything, would make you give up photography?

Simple. If I found a better way to communicate the emotion I want to communicate, to convey the thoughts I want to convey, to express my message better than I could through visual images, I would do it.

It is the communication, not the prints, not the cameras, not the film for me.

bean_counter
04-25-2009, 17:05
being forced to photograph made me quit for a while.

yeah, forced. when we adopted our daughter, one of the requirements of the the agency was that we shoot four rolls per week of her.

we had just moved, my camera gear had inadvertantly been put in storage and we didn't know where it was, and we were dead broke (think Leica is expensive? try adoption!) - so I ended up using a cheapie P&S.

there are only so many shots you can take of an infant w/ a p&s. without getting sick of it. no matter how much I love her! :angel:

marke
04-25-2009, 17:09
About 3 years ago, I began to lose my passion for wildlife photography. I also thought I wanted to try my hand at the other extreme of the focal length, so as not to be separarted from my subject. I felt a desire to challenge myself to be IN the action. But at first I thought I would be putting down the camera for good, until I suddenly got interested in street. And the way it happened was kind of interesting.

My future wife came up to Milwaukee from the Chicago suburbs for weekly reheasals (she is an opera singer). So if I wanted to see her on those days/nights, I had to meet her in downtown Milwaukee. Well, all my life I have avoided the city as much as possible. Well, suddenly I had the motivation to get into the city that would eventually lead me to trying street photography. Where formerly I was a photographer who avoided humans in my images, and I was now NEEDING them to give me back the passion that had faded away.

You just never know where life is going to take you!

Once I get too old to have a darkroom or even operate a computer, that print button on the back of a digicam will finally come into it's own.

Funny to think that that's what we actually had with the Polaroid. The closest thing that we have to that now is the small injet printer. I have an HP for that kind of thing, but actually rarely use it.

marke
04-25-2009, 17:19
Simple. If I found a better way to communicate the emotion I want to communicate, to convey the thoughts I want to convey, to express my message better than I could through visual images, I would do it.

That is what singing often does for me. Sometimes it can carry me through a period when I'm feeling visually dry.

It is the communication, not the prints, not the cameras, not the film for me.

Amen, brother.

Chriscrawfordphoto
04-25-2009, 17:49
Peter Henry Emerson, one of the leaders in the movement to have photography accepted as art in the 19th century, changed his mind and declared that photography was not art. Henri Cartier-Bresson gave up photography in the 1970's, also saying that it was not art. I will never give it up in my lifetime.

mabelsound
04-25-2009, 17:56
Depression maybe? I gave it up once before, when I was in college, and years later gave up my other great avocation, music. But I came back to them both.

le vrai rdu
04-25-2009, 18:19
Peter Henry Emerson, one of the leaders in the movement to have photography accepted as art in the 19th century, changed his mind and declared that photography was not art. Henri Cartier-Bresson gave up photography in the 1970's, also saying that it was not art. I will never give it up in my lifetime.
oh really ?


never say never

Drewus
04-25-2009, 18:35
I thought Cartier-Bresson gave it up because he discovered that he much more enjoyed drawing and painting to taking photo's as he got older. He always viewed photography as a means to create an instant drawing.

aizan
04-25-2009, 18:54
something even more absorbing!

NickTrop
04-25-2009, 19:32
For many purists, it might be when film is no longer available. I have floated in and out of this hobby throughout my life. I don't know why. It has been consistent for the last 5-6 years, though. If you do this for a living, like anything else you do for money and not for fun, you might just burn out to it and never want to take a picture again for the rest of your life - understandable. Or - creative burn out, like musicians, authors, and filmmakers. You just run out of fresh ideas and just repeat yourself...

Roger Hicks
04-26-2009, 02:16
"Never mind photography..." (http://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73478) and now "Giving up photography".

Where is this leading you Roger?

Dear Micky,

Good question. I can't imagine giving it up but I've been writing a lot more lately (not about photography!) and there are only so many hours in the day. This also ties in with what was said elsewhere about communication, rather than the medium, being the important bit.

Then there's equipment. Increasingly, I find that this divides into kit I REALLY like (such as the M8.2 and 24 Summilux, or MP and 35 Summilux) and stuff that I'm just not interested in any more. I really ought to get rid of at least half the cameras in my possession.

On the other hand, in May/June I'm hoping to do a tour of Central and Eastern Europe in the Land Rover with Frances and Aditi, and no doubt I'll be shooting a lot then.

Perhaps it was prompted by the fact that today I have to shoot some boring illustration shots of equipment to illustrate articles, and that yesterday I got 'pictured out' scanning film and selecting M8 shots for one of the articles. As someone else said, being forced to take pics is a turn-off.

Quite often, days go by without my picking up a camera. Rarely, a week or more. It's been much like that for the last 43 years...

Tashi delek,

Roger

Pickett Wilson
04-26-2009, 02:54
Roger, I think that's the consequence of most professions. I have friends who are FBI and ATF agents (I shot handguns competitively for years, so you picks up a few odd friends along the way :). They all say that they thought it would be cool carrying a gun all the time when they first started, but that carrying a couple of pounds on your hip all the time got to be a real drag pretty fast. And professional musicians who go weeks at a time if they aren't recording or touring without ever touching a guitar. Or writers who go for long periods without sitting down in front of MS Word.

I think that just goes with the the gig, you know?

Dave Wilkinson
04-26-2009, 03:34
Roger, I think that's the consequence of most professions. I have friends who are FBI and ATF agents (I shot handguns competitively for years, so you picks up a few odd friends along the way :). They all say that they thought it would be cool carrying a gun all the time when they first started, but that carrying a couple of pounds on your hip all the time got to be a real drag pretty fast. And professional musicians who go weeks at a time if they aren't recording or touring without ever touching a guitar. Or writers who go for long periods without sitting down in front of MS Word.

I think that just goes with the the gig, you know? I can undrstand this, I've mentioned before that my main pleasure is being able to get out to beautiful places and photogenic scenery, if I could no longer do this, that would be the killer. Sometimes I shoot little, or nothing - but usually go home happy. Lately it's just been a Nikon P5100 P&S in my jacket pocket....there if needed, and often giving amazing results.
Cheers, Dave.

le vrai rdu
04-26-2009, 06:46
I thought Cartier-Bresson gave it up because he discovered that he much more enjoyed drawing and painting to taking photo's as he got older. He always viewed photography as a means to create an instant drawing.
that's true :) I heard his interview

visiondr
04-26-2009, 07:04
When I can no longer make images I'm proud of.
When those images become so derivative as to become banal.
That day gets closer all the time with the enormous proliferation of online images. Everyone has a camera and everyone thinks he or she is a photographer. I sure wouldn't want too be a professional today.

When I began shooting twenty five years ago, the art of photography was also the craft of photography. Today, photography has long since lost its mystery. When you can Photoshop your images to perfection, picture taking skills are nice to have but are much less important. Imagine if they invented an automatic paintbrush? I realize that this is a spurious argument, easily dismantled. But it is just how I feel at the moment. As the character Syndrome says in "The Incredibles": when everyone can be a super(hero), no one will be.

ChrisPlatt
04-26-2009, 07:31
Sometimes reading this forum makes me feel like giving up photography. ;)

Seriously though, a year working at Olympus right out of tech school made me give up photography for ten years.

Working nights for the last five years has seriously curtailed my photography but fortunately not my interest.

Chris

Al Kaplan
04-26-2009, 08:11
Just as a goof I bought a new ribbon for my 1965 Herme's 2000 manual portable typewriter and took it over to Starbucks one evening, sat down out on the patio and started typing. It amazed me just how many people there are these days who've NEVER seen a manual typewriter, or even an electric for that matter. Another time I showed up with a 4x5 Anniversary Speed Graphic complete with side mount flash with a 7 inch reflector. No film holders or flash bulbs, but it sure atracted attention sitting there on the table next to my coffee cup.

I'm not about to give up B&W film photography but about the only use the typewriter gets these days is doing preprinted forms and lables, and it makes a great prop, as does the Speed Graphic.

Pickett Wilson
04-26-2009, 08:28
The usual reaction to my RB67 is, "Man, that thing must be at least a hundred megapixels!" Love old typewriters.

ruben
04-26-2009, 08:53
I thnk the mention of HCB is not relevant to anything practical or positive in the context of this discussion. I have seen a lot of his great images, but not read any of his books, and saw one of his latest TV interviews due to the mention of it here at RFF, and....

....well, I do not think his images are less good than anyone else's opinion here. But the man I saw at that interview was an arrogant self inflated elitist minded one, speaking about Picasso and other painters as if they were his equals, comfortably proclaiming being an Anarquist and blah blah blah.

This is not the type of artist filled with humility, in view of his deep understanding of life and Arts. This is not the type of artist telling you "it is not just me, it is the depht of Art which I am just a servant of" - but on the contrary. At that interview he was just a man trying to sell more pics.

Therefore I will continue enjoying his great images, but not pick him as the first example on how to approach the place of Art in your life, nor the place of your life in the world of Art. This is not what I want for myself at his age, if I happen to be successfull or not.

On the contrary, in case the future has for me any success I wish myself to remain cool (cold) minded and humble. And in case not, I wish myself to be proud of my efforts, regardless of the results. Because it is the efforts what will enrich my spirit, and because success and recognition are forcefully mixed with the Way to Canossa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_to_Canossa.

Because what we are dealing here is about decisions in life, decisions in the context of each one surroundings, decisions which define us, not about big shots paying rent at the towers of success.

Cheers,
Ruben

Ronald M
04-26-2009, 08:58
I met a retired pro who recenty had his knee fused so it will no longer bend. He refuses to quit.

PS. Get tested for strep before surgery to avoid this. There is $1,500,000 in that leg and it does not work and never will. No not a typo, one million, 500 thou. And six months in a nursing home + 5 surgerys.

Peter Wijninga
04-26-2009, 09:26
We all seek pleasure. If photography doesn't give you any, give it up!

xayraa33
04-26-2009, 09:41
Fascist police with batons

le vrai rdu
04-26-2009, 09:51
I thnk the mention of HCB is not relevant to anything practical or positive in the context of this discussion. I have seen a lot of his great images, but not read any of his books, and saw one of his latest TV interviews due to the mention of it here at RFF, and....

....well, I do not think his images are less good than anyone else's opinion here. But the man I saw at that interview was an arrogant self inflated elitist minded one, speaking about Picasso and other painters as if they were his equals, comfortably proclaiming being an Anarquist and blah blah blah.

This is not the type of artist filled with humility, in view of his deep understanding of life and Arts. This is not the type of artist telling you "it is not just me, it is the depht of Art which I am just a servant of" - but on the contrary. At that interview he was just a man trying to sell more pics.

Therefore I will continue enjoying his great images, but not pick him as the first example on how to approach the place of Art in your life, nor the place of your life in the world of Art. This is not what I want for myself at his age, if I happen to be successfull or not.

On the contrary, in case the future has for me any success I wish myself to remain cool (cold) minded and humble. And in case not, I wish myself to be proud of my efforts, regardless of the results. Because it is the efforts what will enrich my spirit, and because success and recognition are forcefully mixed with the Way to Canossa. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walk_to_Canossa.

Because what we are dealing here is about decisions in life, decisions in the context of each one surroundings, decisions which define us, not about big shots paying rent at the towers of success.

Cheers,
Ruben

you may have missed something , or a bad translation, hcb come from a rich family, but is not arrogant etc ;)

novum
04-26-2009, 13:43
Selamat petang! I hope Frances is doing better, Roger.

I shoot 100% film and I like to think what I do approaches "art," when I'm at my best. I almost never shoot to document. Painting has pulled me away from photography in the past, and now I want to do lithographic printmaking. I love photography, but within the overarching practice of making art. So if film becomes too troublesome to bother with eventually, then I'll let it go and pursue the older graphic arts.

JoeV
04-27-2009, 04:34
Just as a goof I bought a new ribbon for my 1965 Herme's 2000 manual portable typewriter and took it over to Starbucks one evening, sat down out on the patio and started typing. It amazed me just how many people there are these days who've NEVER seen a manual typewriter, or even an electric for that matter. Another time I showed up with a 4x5 Anniversary Speed Graphic complete with side mount flash with a 7 inch reflector. No film holders or flash bulbs, but it sure atracted attention sitting there on the table next to my coffee cup.

I'm not about to give up B&W film photography but about the only use the typewriter gets these days is doing preprinted forms and lables, and it makes a great prop, as does the Speed Graphic.

Al, do a search on the phrase "typecasting" and ignore the results relating to Hollywood. You'll find a handful of blog sites dedicated to writers who write by manual typewriter, then scan and post their results as image files.

I still haven't gone out to the local coffee shop with (one of ) my manual portable(s), but am constantly tempted to. A manual typewriter in good working order is just as functional as a manual rangefinder in good working order. Last summer, on vacation at the beach in Oceanside, Ca, I sat in a beach chair and typed on my Royal Mercury. Loads of fun, and the looks one receives from the younger generations are priceless.

~Joe

Al Kaplan
04-27-2009, 05:02
When I first got married in 1964 my bride had spent a year in Geneva, Switzerland staying with her aunt and uncle (he was a diplomat) and doing her senior year in high school. She insisted that we buy the Hermes, which at $119.95 was about four times what any other portable sold for. About fifteen years later the keys were getting sticky and I told a friend of mine that had a typewriter repair shop that I was going to bring it over. He told me that "cleaning and lubricating" a typewriter was one of the world's biggest money making scams. He told me to drench everything with WD-40, work all the keys, and repeat the following day. Then over the next couple of days clean up the dripping mess with paper towels. I've had to do it once more since then, and I've probably used half a dozen ribbons over the years. I wish that "Just drench it in WD-40" worked on Leicas.

A few years ago, after a hurricane, most of Miami-Dade County was without power for as much as two weeks. When Starbucks got back on the grid I was one popular guy when I brought over half a dozen power strips from my lighting kit (I left the strobes and umbrellas home). For the next few days they must have tripled their coffee sales as everybody hung around, recharged their cell phones, and tapped the keys on their laptops.

feenej
04-27-2009, 05:29
For many purists, it might be when film is no longer available. I have floated in and out of this hobby throughout my life. I don't know why. It has been consistent for the last 5-6 years, though. If you do this for a living, like anything else you do for money and not for fun, you might just burn out to it and never want to take a picture again for the rest of your life - understandable. Or - creative burn out, like musicians, authors, and filmmakers. You just run out of fresh ideas and just repeat yourself...


I'd give it up if there was no film. Or maybe I'd make my own dry or wet plates. There are millions with digital cameras, any one of which could take my place.

Tom A
04-28-2009, 11:37
When I shot for a living, my personal shooting suffered. Having to take pictures of large industrial operations with flash, large format etc is not "photography" - it is illustrations or technical information on film. After 4-5 days of 16 hour work - the last thing you wanted to do was to go out and "take pictures". The industrial work is interesting from a technical point - it is problem solving and technical know-how - but fun. No way. Standing ankle deep in black sludge, consisting mostly of hydrochloric acid and having to use a scuba tank with a breather - it is not fun.
When i stopped doing that kind of work, photography became fun again. I still am fascinated by the chemistry of film and paper and keep experimenting.
These days i load up cameras with different films, soup them in various concoctions and look at the result. Occasionally I get a good shot, but thats not why i do it.
The good thing is that film, at least black/white is having a bit of a come back and its demise is premature. All right, I do stock up (latest count 1100-1200 rolls in the fridge and freezer and another 5-6000 ft of XX incoming). That should keep me going for another year or two.
If I had to stop shooting - I could keep myself busy for many years editing what's in my files anyway. I never could stop being interested in photography. Web sites like Flickr and RFf keeps the interest up.
Sometimes I go to Flickr, pick one of the big sites (Black and White Photography, M2 Nirvana or whatever) and put it on "slideshow" mode and sit back, watching images go by. Not all are good, but you get into an almost Zen like trance watching it.

JohnTF
04-29-2009, 08:19
I'd give it up if there was no film. Or maybe I'd make my own dry or wet plates. There are millions with digital cameras, any one of which could take my place.

From what I have seen, Foma and Neobrom in the Czech Republic, just stop coating glass plates about 15 years ago. ;-)

A friend uses the available emulsions to re-coat glass plates to shoot in his field cameras.

Regards, John

colker
04-29-2009, 08:49
What, if anything, would make you give up photography? Roger Fenton, a very great photographer, and one of the founders of the (later Royal) Photographic Society, did so. In his 40s, I think. Would you? If so, why?

Tashi delek,

R.

Filmmaking. It can be more interesting.

Tedley
05-02-2009, 13:23
I could probably find myself giving up if I were obliged to use only a tiny digital compact without a viewfinder, lacking any form of manual control and shooting Jpegs only. I would feel so uninvolved at that point that photography would cease to involve me.

Ted.

minoltist7
05-02-2009, 13:39
I don't see any reasons to give up, beside death, loss of vision or other physical disability.
I hope my kids (born in digital era) will see me printing in darkroom

Morca007
05-02-2009, 13:54
Reading 'On Photography' made me want to throw away my cameras and never look at another person again. :-P

Rob-F
05-02-2009, 14:05
I've had dry spells lasting several years, but I always come back to photography. There were periods when I had nothing to say photographically. There were other times when I was busy with other forms of self-expression, like restoring my old house.

But to give it up? For good? Not unless I physically could not do it anymore. Or maybe if I suffred such a great loss that life lost all meaning. But then, photography might be the one thing I could still find meaning in.

Roger, what is, Tashi delek? Is it like, A la Prochain? Arriva Derchi?

A la Prochain,

Rob

dave lackey
05-04-2009, 03:58
What, if anything, would make you give up photography? Roger Fenton, a very great photographer, and one of the founders of the (later Royal) Photographic Society, did so. In his 40s, I think. Would you? If so, why?

Tashi delek,

R.


???

Nothing. It is a part of who I am.

Lilserenity
05-04-2009, 04:36
Death but I am trying to work out how to smuggle a Leica on me to the other side ;)

Seriously though, I really do mean death or possibly going blind but even then I'd probably still carry on doing it!

If they stop making film in the future I'll grudgingly move over to digital but I don't plan on doing the latter, whilst I can still buy film, shoot film, process film and print film in the darkroom -- I'm sticking with it. That said, I'd sooner switch to digital than stop my photography.

Let's face it though, film isn't going away just yet.

Roger Hicks
05-04-2009, 04:45
I've had dry spells lasting several years, but I always come back to photography. There were periods when I had nothing to say photographically. There were other times when I was busy with other forms of self-expression, like restoring my old house.

But to give it up? For good? Not unless I physically could not do it anymore. Or maybe if I suffred such a great loss that life lost all meaning. But then, photography might be the one thing I could still find meaning in.

Roger, what is, Tashi delek? Is it like, A la Prochain? Arriva Derchi?

A la Prochain,

Rob
Dear Rob,

I think that's probably the closest to how I feel. The point is not to define yourself as 'a photographer' or 'a motorcyclist' or whatever, because if you define yourself like that, then don't do it for a while, you don't know who you are.

'Tashi delek' is normally translated as 'May it be auspicious', but my Tibetan isn't within a thousand miles of good enough to know if that's literal.

It's used as a greeting, and also (secondarily) in the sense of 'cheers' or 'prosit' or 'santé' when raising a glass.

Tashi delek,

R.

lubitel
05-04-2009, 07:59
kind of feel like giving it up now. just had a photo show this month - spent alot of money on printing, didn't sell one print, and kind of starting to wonder where i am going with this. Photography has been my obsessive hobby for the past 4-5 years, but there has to be some kind of goal in mind when shooting. the months before the show were most exciting: going through all the negatives, scanning, making the choice of what will be in the show, then actually PRINTING them on good paper and seeing them "live" was great. The opening was great fun as well. But all of this is a very expensive hobby if its just for fun. Work has to be seen in my opinion. Otherwise its like a musician only playing for himself. There has to be some kind of audience, feedback, meaning.

Tom A
05-04-2009, 08:25
[QUOTE=Lilserenity;1046437]Death but I am trying to work out how to smuggle a Leica on me to the other side ;)

I have left instructions that in case of my untimely death (leaving a lot of unprocessed stuff behind) I be "grounded" with a M2 and a 35 and some bricks of Tri X. Don't know if I can bring it along - but at least I would be trying. Dont know if I have to prepare for hot weather developing or a darkroom with harp's playing though.

denmark.yuzon
05-04-2009, 08:41
The death of film would make me do it.

i agree...

telemetre
05-04-2009, 11:58
A few years back, I was in a friend's funeral. It was a misty and heavily overcast day. Just as the people were advancing towards the cemetery, the sun suddenly appeared, and looking at the scenery I thought to myself "what a wonderful view" and barely stopped myself before taking my camera out. I was extremely angry with myself. Following this, I didn't shoot a single frame for perhaps two years. It is highly probable that I would have given up photography altogether if I shot that picture. But I'm sure nobody would notice or care if I stopped shooting anyway.

Pavel+
05-05-2009, 00:11
When everyone else on the planet is a photographer. It looses all meaning. It is getting close now.

StanSmith
05-05-2009, 00:33
Photography is not just about the photography. When I gave up motorcycling I gave up an entire lifestyle and a group of riding buddies and people named Earl. Without photography I would be less inclined to travel or read certain books or hang out at certain places.

palec
05-05-2009, 01:38
I would give up photography after loosing interest in it... I did it once few years ago, it's easy.

novum
05-05-2009, 14:38
I love shooting and then rushing back home to develop my film too much to stop. I'm addicted to the process. I get temporarily burned out now and then, but I just can't stop for long.

WDPictures
05-05-2009, 15:19
Aperture64 (#71) What is it that we can do to talk you down off the ledge? Got me to look at your Flickr stuff anyway. Good images particularly your Skylands State Park set...

johannielscom
05-05-2009, 15:27
Funny you ask Roger, I've been given it thought before.

If I'd go blind, I'd probably get a wide angle lens and fast film for sufficient DOF and keep snapping, I'm pretty sure that if my hearing would take over only a bit (true guestimate focussing distance!), I could get shots in focus.

It would be a poor substitute for the real thing, but at least I would get to fondle my cameras without being pitied for dragging along empty cameras and never produceing an image again.

Arthritis or paralysis would only mean I have to pay someone to set the gear up and handle it, I'd still 'call the shots' myself.

I have an interest in photographing things that produce a certain horror or fear with my viewers. The controversy between depicting the remnants of life, despair and loneliness on the one side and the easthetic-driven process of focussing, framing, lighting and DOF on the other side intrigues me. I visit grave yards with a camera to find the shots I love.

Only death would do the trick. I'd probably die trying to photograph myself, like Aldous Huxley did die on mescalin to describe his own death.

Rui Morais de Sousa
05-20-2009, 07:18
Hi Roger,
Already a little older thread, but I only saw it today...
I only read a couple of comments, but I thought that I could give an opinion.
Before starting, allow me some background: Portugal has reached half a million (official) unemployed people (out of 10 million population).
Minimum wage around 400 euros a month (some Public company's CEO's earn 1.800 euros a day!).
Lots of precarious jobs.
Highly corrupted people on leading posts.
We have a "Socialist" government that long ago forgot the meaning of the word socialist. People are only numbers (that they can hide in statistics) and what we really need is TGV!
They tend to over see the hunger some people suffer.
Connections are much more important than competence or knowledge.

The list could go on and on...

Photographicaly speaking: the last 35mm Tri-X I bought cost 8 euros! (As a long time professional customer).
To shoot a 8x10 color transparency I need to order a minimum of ten boxes for over 1.500 euros.
The market for photo products schrinks and schrinks.
For example, I never saw a Zeiss Ikon camera around here (I mean: in Lisbon, here in Montemor surely not...).
RFF members should not take for granted that the world is the same all over ("Buy, sell, experiment, sell again, buy another one"...).

This list also could go on and on...

I don't wish to make a long post (as I always tend to do...), but In fact I am in a kind of trap here: I would hate to give up photography (a passion of decades), but I am beeing forced to do so, as I can't afford it! (Now I am even trying to forget about my condition as a professional photographer, I am only talking as a lover).
On the same time, this whole situation (and some of the directions photography is taking) makes me sometimes think: "What the heck! Why should I care? I give it up! It's over!"

Wish I can keep the flame forever burning, though!
Wish the sun shines again! This tunnel is getting too long...
Cheers,
Rui

P.S.: I read the email you received. I am very sorry for that. You don't deserve it!
You are one of the nicest (and knowledgeable) persons around!
But my, already not so short, life as taught me an evidence: the most arrogant people are always the most mediocre ones.
I've seen it in teachers, army officers, docters, writers, architects... Why not in photographers? (yes, I have seen that too. Could sing a song about it, if my voice would just come out).
From my former seven year-experience as a cab driver at night, I would say that that person was just doing drunkard small talk...
All the best, and excuse me for such a long post.

AL-MOST-LY PHOTOGRAPHY (http://ruimoraisdesousa.blogspot.com/)

Ben Z
05-30-2009, 07:08
What, if anything, would make you give up photography?

What would make me give it up is if I tried to do it for a living. Having to produce images that meet others' expectations, and endure rejection and criticism, would just kill all the fun of it. I wouldn't want to do my profession as a hobby, or any of my hobbies as a profession.

gavinlg
05-30-2009, 07:17
If I somehow got a job driving professionally. F1 driver or test driver or car development tester. That's where my true passion lies, but still and motion imagery is not that far off, and I wasn't lucky enough to have parents that were both well pocketed and patient enough to help me develop a professional driving career.

I do think about it often though...

gavinlg
05-30-2009, 07:21
If I somehow got a job driving professionally. F1 driver or test driver or car development tester. That's where my true passion lies, but still and motion imagery is not that far off, and I wasn't lucky enough to have parents that were both well pocketed and patient enough to help me develop a professional driving career.

I do think about it often though...

Actually I just realised - that's a lie, I'd still take photos because I need that creative outlet. However, I could word it better with "I would give up photography to be able to take a decent crack at a driving career in Formula 1"

F456
06-19-2009, 10:46
Hello Roger,

Having to do too much photography would be one reason, as for others in this thread. But harsh comments from people whom you look to for example are another more decisive factor for me.

I might have given up when I was finding my feet with my first Leica - a new M6 - and was given an earful by a school colleague about how he'd gone through my negatives in the darkroom and found them entirely devoid of exposure accuracy, life, and expression. What I had done was all worthless. The Leica was an expensive con since MF was the only way to achieve technical quality... ... so the comments went.

This was a sudden blow from an unexpected quarter, coming from someone I viewed as a friend and expert - he was an art and photography teacher. Looking back I think he may have been a bit jealous too, or at least unhappy with his own life.

I know I'm not a great photographer, but I'm very glad I stuck with it despite the harsh criticism. From soon after that event my photography really took off and, with the encouragement of another friend who is a darkroom magician, I began to capture people and events, or just people in the moments in between, to a much improved standard. Operation of the simple rangefinder camera became more and more instinctive and I think I developed a good sense of the right moment and good framing as I took more and more photographs.

It's easy not to notice the flaws in our heroes and to be put off by their comments.

Letting the obsession take over too much is another endangering factor for me, if not for everyone. In the last few months being busy with other forms of work and with outdoor exercise has probably been good for my hibernating photography, which I hope will emerge refreshed in a week or two.

Cheers,
Tom

mh2000
06-19-2009, 11:18
After being a photography major, I gave up photography completely for 15 years. Concentrated on painting, sculpture and writing. Didn't miss photography at all. Then I had kids, no longer had the endless studio time and started taking snapshots of the kids... next thing I knew I was back into my fineart photography. If I found something else more satisfying I would do that, for now, photograhy is working for me.

Audii-Dudii
06-19-2009, 12:01
I no longer recall what the circumstances were that caused me to put away my cameras, but from 1984 through 1996, I'd be surprised if I shot more than a half-dozen rolls of film.

However, I do recall the circumstances that led to me to pickup where I left off and start photographing again: Suddenly finding myself with a family. As much as I enjoyed having them around, I found UI craved the solitude I used to enjoy and photography (at the time, landscape photography) allowed me to indulge myself in that regard, as it gave me an excuse to get out of the house and hike around the desert for a few hours at a time.

Thirteen years on, the family is gone, but I still very much enjoy the time I spend making photographs. At this point, I can only imagine that death or a disabilitating injury will stop me from continuing to do so in some form or fashion. That said, I won't promise that the subjects that fascinate me today will continue to fascinate me tomorrow (for example, I can't recall the last time I headed out of the house specifically for the purpose of photographing the landscape), but IMO, that's part of the fun!