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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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what else would you do?
Old 04-04-2013   #1
back alley
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what else would you do?

what if...

you wake up one day and decide that you suck at photography and want to try another hobby/creative effort...

what else would you choose?
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Old 04-04-2013   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
what if...

you wake up one day and decide that you suck at photography and want to try another hobby/creative effort...

what else would you choose?
"inquire within"
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Old 04-04-2013   #3
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Old 04-04-2013   #4
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Old 04-04-2013   #5
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Old 04-04-2013   #6
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Printing...
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Old 04-04-2013   #7
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Old 04-04-2013   #8
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It would play out a little different for me I suppose....

If I woke up and I sucked at photography, that would certainly mean I was no longer able to make a full time living off of it.

So the first thing I would do is sell everything and take that money and get a science degree with an emphasis on applying it to renewable energy technology, which ironically, is currently a hobby. I could not do photography as just a hobby because I would no longer have the time to dedicate to it that I have now and the creative freedom that provides me, it would be too hard to lose that and just have to "settle".

So if my hobby of solar became my job and I left photography behind, I think I would engage in playing more guitar...as my hobby.
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Old 04-04-2013   #9
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but photography is just a hobby right? whether or not you suck at it is irrelevant.
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Old 04-04-2013   #10
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Thats happened many times.

Most of the time I'm out shooting the next weekend anyway.

I suppose I may spend more time playing around with camera repair but I don't know if I'll have the eye sight long term to stick with it.
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Old 04-04-2013   #11
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It is something I pondered years ago - I chose children
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Old 04-04-2013   #12
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Making love to beautiful women would be the master hobby.
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Old 04-04-2013   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
what if...

you wake up one day and decide that you suck at photography and want to try another hobby/creative effort...

what else would you choose?
Been there, done that. But because it is mostly just a hobby, I accept those mornings and keep on shooting.
Seriously: I would improve my Hammond organ skills and look for more jam sessions.
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Old 04-04-2013   #14
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I could either throw myself into more woodworking (small items not big huge projects) or buy that old school motorcycle, tear it down and build it back up...
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Old 04-04-2013   #15
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Old 04-04-2013   #16
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As someone said,
it is always rewarding
to do something really
hard. I would probably
try marathon running
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Old 04-04-2013   #17
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I know I suck at photography but see no reason to pick a different hobby, it's too much fun
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Old 04-04-2013   #18
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Old 04-04-2013   #19
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Old 04-04-2013   #20
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It is just a hobby as others have said. I too know I am not good at this hobby, for all the crappy pictures I have taken over the years, its those few that I really like that keeps me going. At the end of the day it does not matter how good u are in any hobby, the important things about a hobby is that u enjoy it.

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Old 04-04-2013   #21
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This is a really interesting case study in personality types....

I thought about what types of hobbies I have engaged in over the years and they all turned out to be things like guitar playing, Mtn. Biking, snowboarding, climbing, or in the case of my early childhood years, photography. But they were never things like say, stamp or coin collecting.

And in every case, if after trying my best at it for a reasonable amount of time I was still not very good, then I would not enjoy it. That was the case in mountain biking after a couple years, so I gave it up.

I like to challenge my self, compete and reach as high as I can. If I were not good at a hobby, I would not enjoy it and I would move on. We are all different....
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Old 04-04-2013   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KM-25 View Post
This is a really interesting case study in personality types....

I thought about what types of hobbies I have engaged in over the years and they all turned out to be things like guitar playing, Mtn. Biking, snowboarding, climbing, or in the case of my early childhood years, photography. But they were never things like say, stamp or coin collecting.

And in every case, if after trying my best at it for a reasonable amount of time I was still not very good, then I would not enjoy it. That was the case in mountain biking after a couple years, so I gave it up.

I like to challenge my self, compete and reach as high as I can. If I were not good at a hobby, I would not enjoy it and I would move on. We are all different....
It is better to start off not very good and improve steadily from there. Whilst I agree that natural aptitude is good, the capacity for continued improvement makes the journey worthwhile. if we all start off perfect, where is the challenge ?
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Old 04-04-2013   #23
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I'd throw myself at my second hobby - running.

(My enthusiasm for photography waxes and wanes from week to week, month to month - sometimes I cannot shoot enough, other times it might be weeks when I don't pick up a camera. I have to be in the right frame of mind for photography, relaxed and not stressed out. Now running is almost the reverse as I find that it is a great stress buster for me.)
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Old 04-05-2013   #24
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So you suck at making pictures . . . you are now in a large, and friendly, group of us who have no delusions or pretense about our talents.

I also suck at gardening and really suck at cooking, but I love doing them as much as I love sucking at making pictures.

Life is too too short to fret about silly things like this.
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Old 04-05-2013   #25
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Old 04-05-2013   #26
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Just file it under bad decision, next morning will be different...

Seriously, sign up for a photography workshop and get professional input, sometimes it's just a seemingly minor adjustment from "suck" to "not too bad at all". Keep shootin' and get rid of more bags

... and for me it would be oil painting, impasto, alla prima, kind of the M3 style of painting .
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Old 04-05-2013   #27
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I fall into the group that already sucks...

I've always wanted to try my hand at painting, but I doubt I'd be any better at that than photography.
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Old 04-05-2013   #28
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Surf the web.

Write humorous posts thereto.
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Old 04-05-2013   #29
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It is just a hobby for me, I may well suck at it, but it does not bother me too much. With more time on my hands, and no photography, I'd play around more with computers probably. The interesting/niche ones, not PC/Mac/iPad/Android etc.
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Old 04-05-2013   #30
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Cooking, drawing, woodworking, writing, maybe collage, work with found objects, maybe explore the different mediums of painting..
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Old 04-05-2013   #31
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Pretty confident my writing would benefit from that, I gotta pour out those creative juices somewhere and while there's a complete novel waiting, I've hardly gotten past a few chapters, a lot of studying on cultural and historical aspects of the novel's setting, and the psychological outline of main characters.

Suppose I'd make progress if I didn't spend so much time fiddling camera's and browsing the internet...
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Old 04-05-2013   #32
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Great question.
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Old 04-05-2013   #33
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Birding probably..

On first glance, birding seems to be about watching birds and spending time in the field studying their behaviour..

But don't forget that there's that tremendously rewarding other aspect to it; collecting binoculars and scopes. Start with FSU binos, and then suffer GAS for Zeiss or Leica glass. Endless pondering about which one to get, about MTF curves, about that Zeiss character versus Leica glow.. sounds familiar doesn't it?
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Old 04-05-2013   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Bragg View Post
It is better to start off not very good and improve steadily from there. Whilst I agree that natural aptitude is good, the capacity for continued improvement makes the journey worthwhile. if we all start off perfect, where is the challenge ?
Well of course, and how far one goes or how much money one sinks into a hobby is all over the map.

Lets take mountain biking for instance. When I moved to the town I live in now, I already had a decent bike, lightweight, well tuned, etc. and I enjoyed riding it in the sense that I still do which is some nice winding single track through groves of trees in wilderness and certainly as transportation in the small mountain town that I live. But when it came to doing some of the more technical rides that my friends often do it was just not my cup of tea to constantly try to nuance my way through things like "The Rock Garden" or over a terraced set of roots called "Stumped".

After two years of taking my lumps and bumps such as a cracked helmet, a broken elbow or a jammed toe that gave me my now very painful bone spur, I knew I was not going to get any better without exposing my self to what I felt was too much risk of losing the ability of doing the other things I love to do. So while my friends have went on to buy high tech new full suspension bikes costing 3-5K, I am still riding my circa 1996 hardtail and I am fine with it...

No one starts off perfect and some journeys take longer than others such as in the case for snowboarding for me when I have neighbors and friends who have won Olympic medals at it, it took me about 10 years to get to an expert level.

But photography is very different for me, it all started at an early age and by age 11, I knew it would be my life, my job and certainly my calling, so I more than stuck with it, I made damn good and sure I excelled at it very early on before I poured tons of money and time into it. That is why if I could no longer enjoy the freedoms I currently have in doing it as my job, I would not even do it as a hobby, it would be too hard to see it be reduced to that at this point in my life...

We are indeed all very different....
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Old 04-05-2013   #35
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Music... and I already did stop photography for 10 years to do music.
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Old 04-05-2013   #36
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I've never thought I was a particularly good photographer -- a certain level of technical competence, yes. Inspired, creative, or interesting as a shooter, I suspect definitely not. So it wouldn't affect my enjoyment of it as a hobby. I also play guitar, and do martial arts. As with photography, I'm competent but not outstanding at both. That's enough for me to still get lots of pleasure out of all three.

With photography, much of the pleasure is with participating quietly in the world in an active way. When I'm walking for pleasure, with a camera, I'm attending to the world around me. Aware of the appearance of things, enjoying the light, shapes, and so on. Even if I didn't show the photographs to other people (and I mostly don't), the process would still be pleasurable.

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Old 04-05-2013   #37
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i have returned to whitetail deer hunting, but that is not year-around.
i have taken up bushcrafting, and am sufficiently into it to call it a passion, fully the equal of photography.
one records my world, heart, mind and soul; the other immerses me in the physical world.
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Old 04-05-2013   #38
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I wake up every morning knowing I suck.

That is why this is a "hobby" and not my profession.

-and that is why I keep doing it! One morning, I may just get my worm.
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Old 04-05-2013   #39
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Move south and play golf every day.

But I suck at that too.
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Old 04-05-2013   #40
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Not sure what else I would do. I had other hobbies in the past that I had trouble working into my day-to-day life. I will say that I think photography is a hobby that you suck at 99% of the time but you keep at it for the 1% of the time you don't (or is it 0.1%?).
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