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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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The non-photographer's spouse says...
Old 11-21-2015   #1
esearing
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The non-photographer's spouse says...

the other day my wife sees some images on Facebook that were well shot at a workshop by an old friend of ours. The images were shot in great light with good post processing and had lovely colors and saturation. subject matter - seen it before.

She asks me - Why don't you ever take pictures in color? I have been shooting color for the past 25 years and only in the last couple of years found that I really love black and white even if converted digitally.

I've also gotten the disapproving comments about gear acquisitions that we all have.

What has your significant other said to you that made you realize they have no appreciation for your hobby which you are passionate about?
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Old 11-21-2015   #2
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As I'm just off to pick her up from her current exhibition of hand coloured silver halide prints... not a lot!

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Old 11-21-2015   #3
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"Why do you take pictures of people you don't even know?"

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Old 11-21-2015   #4
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It is what it is Helen. Males have issues to deal with too.
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Old 11-21-2015   #5
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A few years back on this forum I started a very similar thead about my lovely wife's very similar remarks.
I told her things like "It's not a picture of [_______]. It's a picture. And [_______] just happens to be in it."
And "It's not a pictue of a coffee pot. It's a picture of what I want the coffee pot to look like".
(You know .... artsy quotes like that.)

I do meet her half way and "take nice pictures" of family stuff. She loves those. But my favorite stuff? ..... she just asks "Oh, is that one for the art show?".

EDIT: As far as my spending $$$ on gear, my wife has never been negativel on that. It's just that she doesn't quite understand my personal favorite pictures.
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Old 11-21-2015   #6
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Sad that you'd make light of anyone's misfortune Helen, particularly based solely on gender.
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Old 11-21-2015   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esearing View Post
What has your significant other said to you that made you realize they have no appreciation for your hobby which you are passionate about?
My better half is super supportive and surprised me last year with an M240 under the Christmas tree. And was worried that - as an old film shooter - I would reject the present. She shoots a u4/3 system and has a better eye than me.

I think you should consider listing yours in the WTT classified section.

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Old 11-21-2015   #8
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I'm with Helen. Or should I say, "we're with Helen on this one..."

The collective contains spouses, ex-and-current lovers, partners, parents, descendants, and other less categorizable relationships. Most of us are not professional photographers ( but some are) but all work in creative fields and are literate. Literate not only with the written, but the visual, aural, and other forms.

The comments I've heard have run the gamut from "interesting", "beautiful", I'd like to see that in colour," "that's pretty weak, go out and reshoot it," "powerful", "where did you find that?", "do you have time to shoot this layout for me or should we we subcontract?" "Get your fingers out of my eyes so I can shoot this thing,","Will, can you make dinner, I'm gonna need an extra hour or two on this", "can I have my fifty-two back, please?" "Weird, you shot that wide? Why didn't you go long and flatten it?"
"Your pictures are terrible lately. I liked you better when you were less constrained by your self-righteousness. Maybe you should have a double martini and eat some red meat for a while. Have an affair." (That last is verbatim, caught on a MOS guide track.) The accuser seduced the offender and the remain happily married some ten years later. His photos (and her filmmaking) are stellar.)
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Old 11-21-2015   #9
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My hours at work have been cut back significantly & thinking on stuff we might can sell, right off the bat the wife was saying,
"you are NOT selling any of your cameras" You worked too hard for them. I have a good wife.
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Old 11-21-2015   #10
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Same as with Frank.
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Old 11-21-2015   #11
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My wife is pretty understanding with my photography, but everything has to be tack sharp for her.

"oh, too bad you just missed the focus..."
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Old 11-21-2015   #12
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I have been fortunate and that my wife has been supportive of my hobbies. At times there may have been a look or two with some of my purchases along the way, but she certainly has had a chance to practice love, tolerance and patience with me. It has also allowed me to reciprocate and spend many hours walking through gardens and nurseries as well as quilting and yarn stores.

Certainly, for me anyway, the ability to practice love, tolerance and patience came easier in the second half of my life.......
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Old 11-21-2015   #13
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Until my wife got her iPhone and started using the camera I got a large amount of "comments" about vertically oriented pictures. Now I don't hear that at all.

Support from both wives has been very good all. The first got me an M6 shortly after we became DINKs. Number 2 has agreed to let me stop the car at any time on a trip to take pictures (safer than shooting while driving). As she is a bit focused on being early/on-time IMHO this is a bigger deal than the M6 was.

B2 (;->
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Old 11-21-2015   #14
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Was lucky, was a photographer when I met my wife, so it's the only way she knows me. She has been blessedly supportive ever since. No complaints on this end.
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Old 11-21-2015   #15
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Years ago I committed matrimony. When we were married we set to decorating a new house. When it came to what is on the walls she volunteered "not any of YOUR photographs." Did I mention she is an ex-spouse?
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Old 11-21-2015   #16
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I too am one of the lucky ones. My partner and I met in art school, and share photography and cameras as a passion. However to appeal to Helens comment, one from my father;

My partner works in sculpture and collage, and made a small figure study from plaster, and collaged over it. Its a great piece. My dad walks in, looks at it and goes is that "is that...(long pause)...art?"
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Old 11-21-2015   #17
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My husband.. AHEM.. supports my hobby insofar as it doesn't empty the bank account gearwise. Photographically he will be working out in the yard and tell me to come out, he sees something I should photograph, or do I want to shoot inside the car engine (macro) since he has it open. When out of town he will take photos of what he sees to share them with me. It's more of a sharing thing with him, not art, but what I always hear is "Do you have your camera with you?" or "Can you get this it's kinda far away" or "I don't know if you are interested in this kind of thing but.."
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Old 11-21-2015   #18
esearing
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenhill View Post
I do think the OP might be airing abit of possible tension at home
but also like me a use of tongue in cheek
Nope, Just celebrated our 25th year of marriage and are generally happy. She tolerates my photography and gives me ample time on vacations to practice. But she isn't slipping Leica's or other gear under the tree or getting up at 4:00 am with me to drive up to the mountains to hike to a distant spot only to take 4-6 LF shots. Of course I don't hang with her on Friday nights during the "Say yes to the dress" marathons.

Those of you with artistic minded spouses are lucky in some ways and not so lucky in others. Your critics know what they are talking about and probably know what you really spent on that new gear.
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Old 11-21-2015   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmdood View Post
Years ago I committed matrimony. When we were married we set to decorating a new house. When it came to what is on the walls she volunteered "not any of YOUR photographs." Did I mention she is an ex-spouse?
Why did you marry her in the first place?

Maybe it is because I'm single, but I'm always surprised the way some people talk about their life partners (I hate it when they call their partner "the boss""). Good to see that a lot of folk here describe their partner as being supportive - they might not understand what you do, but they care because you care.

So, don't post what your significant other said to you that made you realize they have no appreciation for your hobby which you are passionate about, but tell us how they support you!
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Old 11-21-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esearing View Post
Nope, Just celebrated our 25th year of marriage and are generally happy. She tolerates my photography and gives me ample time on vacations to practice. But she isn't slipping Leica's or other gear under the tree or getting up at 4:00 am with me to drive up to the mountains to hike to a distant spot only to take 4-6 LF shots. Of course I don't hang with her on Friday nights during the "Say yes to the dress" marathons.
Your wife is very supportive, she doesn't understand what you're doing, but she is supportive anyway. But you go to this site to complain that she doesn't like it when you spend a lot of money on gear and you complain because she doesn't like your photography. What do you do for her? Why don't you hang with her on Friday nights? Do you support her as much as she does you?

Why don't you celebrate the fact that you have a great wife?
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Old 11-21-2015   #21
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So, Addy 101 is in what we say? Is he in charge of the whole Internet, or maybe the whole world? Did it occur to you she might have had other qualities and the remark about the photos in the wall didn't come until we were married for a couple of years? I think you should limit your remarks to cream cheese and tulips.
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Old 11-21-2015   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esearing View Post
She asks me - Why don't you ever take pictures in color? I have been shooting color for the past 25 years and only in the last couple of years found that I really love black and white even if converted digitally.
Maybe it's a good question

IMHO a compelling color image is harder. No novelty.
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Old 11-21-2015   #23
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My friends get tired of the camera always present. In the end they all are happy with the images I send or print for them.
My Girlfriend is a great photographer. So is my mom who has had a lot of fun learning more advanced techniques. She's even adopted the Ricoh GR from me
I think this subject could be anything that "distracts" our attention and/or resources that might be directed at our significants and friends.
It's not photography specific.
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Old 11-21-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmdood View Post
So, Addy 101 is in what we say? Is he in charge of the whole Internet, or maybe the whole world? Did it occur to you she might have had other qualities and the remark about the photos in the wall didn't come until we were married for a couple of years? I think you should limit your remarks to cream cheese and tulips.
Alternatively, you might consider taking a greater interest in photography. Why did it take two years before your wife realized that it mattered to you? Either you weren't very interested or she was very, very slow. Quite apart from the incredibly weak anti-Netherlands slur, you really ought to try "cream cheese and tulips" yourself. You may find that they are more intellectually, artistically and emotionally challenging than you can handle.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-21-2015   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addy101 View Post
. . . So, don't post what your significant other said to you that made you realize they have no appreciation for your hobby which you are passionate about, but tell us how they support you!
YES!

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-21-2015   #26
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For the life of me I cannot think of a dutch cream cheese. I am sure they exist - maybe a limited shelf life prevents their availability in Ireland. I do like dutch hard cheeses.

It's always going to be a bit tricky when your significant other doesn't share your interest in a particular hobby. It's best to give them the benefit of the doubt and be slow to take offence at careless comments. Consider that it may be a symptom of general dissatisfaction in the relationship or even life in general - in which case consider if there is something that could be done to help (could be as simple as a bunch of tulips or helping them discover an interest).
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Old 11-21-2015   #27
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I'm very lucky in that while mine doesn't partake, she's very supportive of my photography.

She has told me that when we first started talking, and I mentioned photography she thought "oh great, another plastic camera whiz" (lomographer), which is now a term we both use.

Her mum said something that I initially thought "HEY!?" about, "she shoots like you, without thinking" but I realised that she was talking about my street stuff, and she was meaning how reactive it is, not that there's no thought involved, so I didn't get sensitive haha (plus she was talking about Mary Ellen Mark at the time, and its impossible to be annoyed being in the same sentence as someone that good).
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Old 11-21-2015   #28
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My wife doesn't know a f-stop from a door stop but she does know that dinking around with old cameras gives me pleasure. She seldom raises an eyebrow when she sees a small charge on the card for some film or chemicals or batteries. When I unloaded some stuff at a camera show she came along and helped and got a big kick out of the whole thing.

Oh, one more thing. She takes better pictures with her i-phone than I do with my old film cameras. She has an eye, I'm Mr. Techno-man with no more artistic talent than your standard house brick.
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Old 11-21-2015   #29
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Old 11-21-2015   #30
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My wife's very photogenic so I take a lot of pictures of her. Her primary complaint? Too many solo images of her and not enough of us together, especially when traveling -- you know, the typical tourist snaps.

That, and: "you have more bags than I do."
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Old 11-21-2015   #31
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This was a recurring theme in the worst words in photography thread of a couple of years ago,

http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...ad.php?t=95524

with my favourite on this theme being:

Quote:
Originally Posted by oftheherd View Post
Wife while on a trip:

I don't feel like stopping just so you can photograph that. It's not interesting.

If you wanted to use that other camera why did you leave it it the car?

Why are you are wasting money taking so many photos of the same thing?

What, you're changing rolls again? How many rolls are you using on this trip? What does that cost?
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Old 11-21-2015   #32
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Roger--since you and Frances have supported each other totally through books and many other things photographically--you may not be totally qualified to chime in on this one! :-) :-)
Love your books, BTW. That's you and Frances...
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Old 11-21-2015   #33
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Mine doesn't really care. Doesn't know anything about cameras, let alone film.

Tonight. I need to move my film from the freezer. Doesn't care, just get rid of it.
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Old 11-21-2015   #34
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Quote:
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My wife's very photogenic so I take a lot of pictures of her. Her primary complaint? Too many solo images of her and not enough of us together, especially when traveling -- you know, the typical tourist snaps.
Keith - a selfie stick is the answer!
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Old 11-21-2015   #35
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I tried for a long time to get my better half use my M9. She did get along with it but never warmed up to using it, consequently just the technicalities came in the way of taking pictures due to lack of experience. Additionally wearing glasses made focusing slow and difficult.

I traded in some film M's and got her a Leica Q. Today we spent in NYC almost all day and she took 300+ shots. She obviously enjoyed taking photographs because she was able to capture what she wanted fast enough. And I am surprised about the framing and composition, filling a 28mm frame and not ending up with lot's of empty foreground or disturbing objects in the frame isn't that easy. Of course post processing these needs to be taken care of by myself but when I was done, she joined to see all pictures. Usually she asked for a lot to be deleted, as she wasn't satisfied with how they turned out, not this time. I used my MM and although being very impressed by the IQ of the Q, she immediate said of the black & white MM files: "...now that is even better, so much more 3 dimensional"

Wanna get you spouse interested and enjoying photography, get her a Q.
Highly recommended
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Old 11-22-2015   #36
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Quote:
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Wanna get you spouse interested and enjoying photography, get her a Q.
Highly recommended

Maybe this should be a thread about how to convince your significant other to use your gear :-).

I am on vacation and brought my first film camera, a Nikon FM with 35mm lens for my wife to use while I use my Fuji GL. She's getting better at it and always asks me these fun little questions about metering. It took some convincing to have her use it. She keeps saying now "I'm just worried they will all turn out like crap!" To which I reply, "How is it any different with digital?"


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Old 11-22-2015   #37
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The title just makes no sense in light of the responses.
The non-photographer's spouse says...

What has your significant other said to you that made you realize they have no appreciation for your hobby which you are passionate about?
Was the OP trying to say, "What does the non-photographer spouse say to the photographer?"

"The non-photographer's spouse" -- is the photographer (who is a member of the RFF).
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Old 11-22-2015   #38
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The title just makes no sense in light of the responses.
The non-photographer's spouse says...

What has your significant other said to you that made you realize they have no appreciation for your hobby which you are passionate about?
Was the OP trying to say, "What does the non-photographer spouse say to the photographer?"

"The non-photographer's spouse" -- is the photographer (who is a member of the RFF).
Dear Fred,

True. But I think we were all being generous, because the meaning was clear enough, even though the title wasn't.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 11-22-2015   #39
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Earlier this week.

"You spend too much money on camera stuff"

Me " I spend more money on the cats than I do on camera stuff"
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Old 11-22-2015   #40
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My bride of 37 years has no interest in photography or cameras. But I was a photographer when we met and she understood it was an everyday part of my life. Has been supportive of my photography, whether B&W or color; and, has never cared what equipment I've bought. We don't have any photos on our walls, only geometric abstract paintings, art both of us love.
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