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how would you describe your personal vision?
Old 05-11-2013   #1
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how would you describe your personal vision?

or would you bother?

i believe that i was influenced many years ago after doing some reading...influenced to look for the 'vignettes' in life...also described as 'photo moments' perhaps...this has led to my 'style' of creating images that contain a 'picture'...some might say pretty pictures...
i think this is common in home decorating as well, to create various vignettes around the home, be they as simple as an arrangement on a mantle or how furniture is placed in a room.

it struck me today that there are many photographers that don't bother with vignettes at all but that they see a scene in motion, a slice of activity as it is happening and that they try to capture it in order to tell a story. their images have, to me, a fuller context and a richer reason for being.

it's like comparing screenwriters to set decorators...

anyway, it got me thinking about my images and how they differ from other's images.

make sense to you?
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Old 05-11-2013   #2
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I don't bother. I'm not an artist, so I don't have an artist's vision or anything like it. All I'd like to do is go to beautiful places and attempt to do them justice by recording them at least adequately.

If I had a vision statement outside my first exhibition, it would say "I hope my photos are adequate".
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Old 05-11-2013   #3
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Old 05-11-2013   #4
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Old 05-11-2013   #5
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Joe, that is a multi-layered question there.

It depends for me on what I happen to be doing with a camera in hand in the first place. If it is a documentary of a town, for instance, it is far different than if I am shooting portraits. If I am shooting because of something that catches my eye without thinking, then, it may be because I react to something "pretty", colorful, or geometric.

Having an extensive career in architecture and civil engineering, I'm afraid that I am hopelessly drawn to geometry in my surroundings but also the beauty of the motif and/or surroundings. Also the historical significance. Documentary photographers are like that.

Lately, I find myself coming away with contrasts in life. These interest me a great deal. Imagine looking out the window of the hospital after several weeks and realizing that the people standing around outside talking are only there for a smoke break. With an IV in the arm and the bag of fluids on a wheeled stand so they can walk outside and smoke a cigarette! It is the scene at the hospital we resided in from November through February this year...odd and intriguing, yet sad.

My own new personal vision? Documentaries of people living through difficult situations. But that will have to wait for awhile, I am just not physically up to that task.
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Old 05-11-2013   #6
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How do you describe 'personal vision' in anyone's photography without falling into the traps of either platitude or pretentiousness? If I think of my favourite photographers -- Roger Fenton, Brassai, Willy Ronis, Raphael Schott, whoever -- then the best I can say is, "I recognize it when I see it." [i]A fortiori[i], the same is the best I can say of my own work.

What is more, it varies from series to series: Roger Fenton's Crimean War series is not the same as his still lifes, and Raphael Schott's Circus series differs from his Dolls series.

Let others decide whether you're an artist (or even an Artist, with a capital A). By all means listen to what they say, to see if there's any overlap. My own pictures (depending on the series) have been described as 'playful', 'old fashioned', 'spiritual', 'boring' and ''you b*astard, how did you manage to make a really good picture out of nothing like that?"

Sometimes, these wildly different labels have been applied to the same picture.

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Old 05-11-2013   #7
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This is something that I struggle with. I feel that describing my photography/vision sounds too artificial and pretentious. I just shoot and hope to figure things out through time. I try to answer these questions but I just can't.
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Old 05-11-2013   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sejanus.Aelianus View Post
I have no vision. All I want is to capture memories. It's a bonus if they make sense to other people.
That has always been my goal.

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Old 05-11-2013   #9
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I thought I had a photographic vision once.

Turns out it was more of a hallucination than a vision.
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Old 05-11-2013   #10
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Mine fits two words perfectly, IMO.

Truth
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Old 05-11-2013   #11
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I understand what you mean sort of I think.

It is like you are trying to capture that is beyond the superficial...

Something about soul maybe. Really masterful with the tools.

As far as my personal vision I would say I admire really good photographers because they achieve this ~ sort of like I know it when I see it. So I aspire to be as good as them. I'm not there yet for sure but I feel like I am making at least a little bit of progress don't know that I'll ever get there though.
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Old 05-11-2013   #12
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I had a photo teacher once tell me: "the perfect picture story is one image."

I've since adopted it and modified it to words my own: a good photo is one where, when someone looks at it for the first time, they evaluate the feelings within the photo and say "I understand those feelings."

I'm not there yet.
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Old 05-11-2013   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noisycheese View Post
I thought I had a photographic vision once.

Turns out it was more of a hallucination than a vision.
Kind of what I found about myself.
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Old 05-11-2013   #14
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I'm telling the story of my family through images. I'm hopeful that one day we will all get to enjoy the images as much as I do now. It's a continuing narrative of mostly routine moments from our lives. I suppose some of those are vignettes.
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Old 05-11-2013   #15
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i'm NOT talking about art, ART or artists...

i am talking about how YOU SEE things when you photograph.

unless you are a blind photographer shooting in the dark, then, you do see when you shoot.

for years i saw 'images' as small vignettes of life...do you?
if not, then how do you see things?

don't get all caught up in the word 'vision'...i'm not asking for artist statements...
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Old 05-11-2013   #16
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"how would you describe your personal vision?"

in one word - declining.
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Old 05-11-2013   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.sge View Post
There's a difference? Surely you're creating what you're seeing based on what it is you see.
what you see or what you look for?
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Old 05-11-2013   #18
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i also am in seach mode...
today, it just struck me that i am looking for a certain type of scene to make an image...

so, not really looking at but looking for...seems to me that this would really limit what/how i see the world...
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Old 05-11-2013   #19
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I can tell you what I think I'm doing, but what matters is what my photos tell someone...and that all depends on the viewers experiences and interpretations.
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Old 05-11-2013   #20
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My main focus (no pun) is loneliness. Mans inability to live together with others. Sometimes we are close, sometimes we even succeed to live together with others, for a while. But often we are lonely, separated by open space or even alone in an (urban) landscape.

These are images I see and that make me trip the shutter.
In writing I also work from this premisse, the inability to live together.

I'm not glorifying it, although I am kind of attached to my sense of loneliness. It's more like making loneliness visible and letting others decide whether to embrace it or discard it.
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Old 05-11-2013   #21
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Quote:
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Mr. Alley,

I guess all we can really hope for is that whatever it is we're seeing and spitting back into the world is something that will impact a viewer in a way at least similar to the same way it moved us. It's no easy undertaking, I'm sure.

Daniel
don't be so formal...call me back!

i'm trying to seperate the end result (the image) from the process...
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Old 05-11-2013   #22
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My digital collages are all inspired. I see them in my mind before I make them. My job is to get the necessary images in my archive, or create new ones to be as faithful as I can to the original vision. It can take some time to get it all together, sometimes even years, and I need to pay attention to things that may change and wait for the sometimes fuzzy parts to become clear. I never make one of these just to make one. I need life experiences and insights before I can create a new one. So in some ways this is incoming, the Universe expressing itself through me with the symbols that hint at a deeper meaning than I can comprehend.

My b&w images are outgoing. Me looking at the Universe and getting a reflection of where I am in my awareness. I pick the time, the pace and the gear, but I never know what I will photograph. I try to stay in the moment, and notice whatever I notice. I often go to the same places again and again, and am amazed at the different things that present every time. For me, this work is all about seeing and the photograph is just the record of that seeing. i am not a professional. artist, but I am not ashamed to say that I make art, because it feels like that is what I am doing, no matter what anyone else may say.

I am humbled often in these two activities and feel the doing of them is the real prize, not the financial reward or the recognition. I hope to be able to follow this path, which began for me in 1995, wherever it goes.
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Old 05-11-2013   #23
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Old 05-11-2013   #24
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I se ein this very particular order:

Dynamic of a scene.
forms.
movements.
When all these things sing together, I take the shot.

Or I just go for the moment when it's about humans in movement.
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Old 05-11-2013   #25
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I look for signs of life, whether they be intelligent... or not.
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Old 05-11-2013   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.sge View Post

This burger isn't tempering these delicious black IPAs well enough, so please keep that in mind. But I will stuggle say the following. I'm my own worst (or possibly best) editor. And with that know that I'm disappointed with my rolls of film most of the time.

I was at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden the other day and came upon a scene that I could Fibonacci and Rule of Thirds the hell out of. There's a building with a beautifully sloping roof with plants growing on top of it. Off in the distance, there's a bit of urban decay going on that supports and contrasts new life perfectly. And the negative is just the right. As I'm zooming into it I can see it has all of the right elements, but two. There's no heart in it. As such, I don't see the point of it. I don't want it my wall. If I saw it on a wall at MOMA I would give it barely a glance.

I love street photography, but find it's the hardest combination of desire and happenstance to master. Some guy buried in his cell phone just walking down the street isn't going to do it for me. Some pretty girl might do it for me, but her just walking down the street, no matter how cute, again, isn't going to do it for me in a print. But something that seems to say something... Something where the scene supports a beautifully sad or happy moment that makes me curse myself forgetting to open up to f/4.0 instead of f/11 because I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot my exposure was set to the sunny side of the street is what compels me. Even in a city like New York City where with 8.5 million people and counting, I find scenes that might grab me are either few and far between, or I'm just not seeing what I hope to. As a result, what I see on the rare flickr streams/rangefinderforum galleries/whatever blogs I happened upon that motivate me to try again also humble me.Who knows how they waited or a tried again to find that image that moved them enough to display it proudly.

I can't help but hope that as long as I keep looking, I'll find what it is that compels me to keep a camera around my wrist and ready.

Edit: I forgot to suggest that the process can always be a joy for the love of the process itself. But yes, the result, in my experience, can and often are a letdown. I want every frame to sing to me in a way that that scene sung to me when I took it.
This (+ extraneous characters)
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Old 05-11-2013   #27
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The question is a good one. I find it focuses my work to have some sort of definite and cohesive project in mind, a target, and I always have concentrated on that.

Years ago it was to show how strange and dark the world was. I guess the world changed, because that doesn't work for me anymore. I took a workshop with David Vestal in around 1973, and he asked what I wanted to do; when I said news photography, he said he thought it would be interesting, and that maybe I would be the strangest news photographer ever, or an idea to that effect.

When I actually was a news photographer, it was to communicate what I wanted to show, but to do it in a way that was interesting enough to draw in people who weren't attracted to the subject, as dynamic and artistic as possible, and impossible to edit (my challenge to keep away my editor's scissors).

Now I am shooting pictures only of people I know, trying to show who they are, in a positive way, on top of the newspaper goals. I'm not as sharp as I was when I had to come up with six good pictures a day, six days a week, but I'm working on it.

I've never been satisfied to shoot pictures just because they were "attractive" or "beautiful". Years ago, in the 60s, there was a [Swiss or German?] magazine named Photo Technique, I think. It appeared to be an advertising arm of Linhof, or something like that. It was filled with grandiose shots of landscapes, etc. , but all I could make of it was that it looked like a catalog of calendars and postcards--superficial, attractive, and meaningless. When I first saw a copy I was about 12 years old, and right then I knew I would never want to do anything like that. If there's an anti-goal that I have, that's it.
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Old 05-11-2013   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d.sge View Post
This burger isn't tempering these delicious black IPAs well enough, so please keep that in mind. But I will stuggle say the following. I'm my own worst (or possibly best) editor. And with that know that I'm disappointed with my rolls of film most of the time.

I was at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden the other day and came upon a scene that I could Fibonacci and Rule of Thirds the hell out of. There's a building with a beautifully sloping roof with plants growing on top of it. Off in the distance, there's a bit of urban decay going on that supports and contrasts new life perfectly. And the negative is just the right. As I'm zooming into it I can see it has all of the right elements, but two. There's no heart in it. As such, I don't see the point of it. I don't want it my wall. If I saw it on a wall at MOMA I would give it barely a glance.

I love street photography, but find it's the hardest combination of desire and happenstance to master. Some guy buried in his cell phone just walking down the street isn't going to do it for me. Some pretty girl might do it for me, but her just walking down the street, no matter how cute, again, isn't going to do it for me in a print. But something that seems to say something... Something where the scene supports a beautifully sad or happy moment that makes me curse myself forgetting to open up to f/4.0 instead of f/11 because I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot my exposure was set to the sunny side of the street is what compels me. Even in a city like New York City where with 8.5 million people and counting, I find scenes that might grab me are either few and far between, or I'm just not seeing what I hope to. As a result, what I see on the rare flickr streams/rangefinderforum galleries/whatever blogs I happened upon that motivate me to try again also humble me.Who knows how they waited or a tried again to find that image that moved them enough to display it proudly.

I can't help but hope that as long as I keep looking, I'll find what it is that compels me to keep a camera around my wrist and ready.


Edit: I forgot to suggest that the process can always be a joy for the love of the process itself. But yes, the result, in my experience, can and often are a letdown. I want every frame to sing to me in a way that that scene sung to me when I took it.
Well put. Truth is, I like that composition that lacks heart. I get in a rhythm when I am out, especially in familiar places, and I see shapes and relationships. If I strike a pleasing composition taken from a seemingly random set of buildings or whatever, I feel a certain calm, pushing back the chaos. I was in Sydney recently, a great place for street photography really, but my radar for shapes and compositions was completely overloaded. In the CBD the buildings are so tall and so close together and it was so dark and there were so many people I was right off my stride. The few "street shots" I took were nothing much. I have to recover and I will have another look through them.
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Old 05-11-2013   #29
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I suppose what Captures my Attention to click the shutter
Is the Play of Shadows intermingling with Light...

Catching the Atmosphere & Emotions conveyed in Everyday Life
in such simple things as a Step, A Glance, A Touch
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Old 05-11-2013   #30
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Old 05-11-2013   #31
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Quote:
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i'm trying to seperate the end result (the image) from the process...
I'm not sure that's possible. I need the process to make the image. Images, at least for me, don't "just happen." Oh, I take snapshots and most of them are just that... exactly the same as a million other snapshots taken by a million other people. The images I take that I'm most proud of though happen because of the process. I form the idea, plan the work and work the plan to make the image.

And I'm most fascinated with people interacting... either with one another or with the camera (or me,) That's followed closely by shapes and the interplay of light and dark. And when I can get that interplay of light and dark and include a person somehow, I feel like I've nailed it. And that's taken me in some interesting directions.
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Old 05-11-2013   #32
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I do not have affixed formula for seeing. I may, for example, go to a marina to photographs boats. When photographing the boats I start to see other things not necessarily associated with boats - patterns in light or reflections, shapes and textures. This was a significant departure for me, as my photos were a bit rigid in the past. I still use the rule of thirds and other compositional maxims while photographing, but I am starting to shoot more looking at the quality of the light as the main subject, or a pattern or texture. How I see is difficult to put into words. It is more emotion for me. One of the main influences on my way of seeing was the book The Tao of Photography - Seeing Beyond Seeing by Philippe L Gross and S. I. Shapiro.
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Old 05-11-2013   #33
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I guess I look for images that are nice to look at.... well composed, and edited...
With Street, I try.... - try - to capture an image that shows a human element, be it a inward dark thought, or a more common emotion that we all can relate to.
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Old 05-11-2013   #34
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I'm not sure that's possible. I need the process to make the image. Images, at least for me, don't "just happen." Oh, I take snapshots and most of them are just that... exactly the same as a million other snapshots taken by a million other people. The images I take that I'm most proud of though happen because of the process. I form the idea, plan the work and work the plan to make the image.

And I'm most fascinated with people interacting... either with one another or with the camera (or me,) That's followed closely by shapes and the interplay of light and dark. And when I can get that interplay of light and dark and include a person somehow, I feel like I've nailed it. And that's taken me in some interesting directions.
separate for the purpose of this discussion only...
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Old 05-11-2013   #35
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Old 05-11-2013   #36
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Quote:
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i'm trying to seperate the end result (the image) from the process...
When I am making images, I will scan my frame edges to make sure I am not cutting off hands, feet ears or heads. I will think about how much depth of focus I want and set the aperture accordingly. If I want to blur movement, I will think about what shutter speed I need to produce the blur I am trying to capture. I will check to make sure that my verticals are straight and my horizons are level. I will look for overlaps in my background and adjust my shooting position to give some separation between elements in the frame. I will check my frame edges and corners to make sure the elements that are close to them have a bit of room to breathe and are not jammed up against the frame edges or into the corners.

When making documentary or street images, I find myself pressing the shutter release halfway down and waiting like a snake preparing to strike, waiting till I get the optimal arrangement of my human elements in the frame.

I try to anticipate that exact moment and feel a sensation of tautness rise within me as my subjects approach optimal arrangement. I get this feeling of tension - both mentally and physically - that a sniper must get once has his shot set up as he waits patiently for the precise second to take his shot.

Most of this processing happens on a subconscious level; I don't take five minutes to consciously think through every shot. It has pretty much become instinctual. I somehow "know" when the shot is just right and I release the shutter at that instant.

Of course, not every shot works out. Photographing people is sort of like trying to photograph corks bobbing on the surface of a choppy lake. The more people in your frame, the more "corks" you have to try to visually manage, compose around and anticipate their next move or non-move. It is really a challenge to get good documentary or street images.

That is a big part of what makes this type of photography so rewarding when you nail an image just the way you hoped to.
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Old 05-11-2013   #37
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Hmmmm...Hehehe, fuzzy
Have You been drinkin again Gabor ...wink, wink !!
That would be "intoxicated and fuzzy" !
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Old 05-11-2013   #38
paulfish4570
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Location: Lapine, in deep south Alabama
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ok, on second thought:
1) my photography is phlegmatic.
2) my vision is light vs. dark
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Old 05-11-2013   #39
mdarnton
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http://www.urbandictionary.com/defin...#39;t%20happen
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Thanks, but I'd rather just watch:
Mostly 35mm: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mdarnton
Large format: http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaeldarnton
What? You want digital, color, etc?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stradofear
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Old 05-17-2013   #40
kaiwasoyokaze
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there are some interesting answers for most. for philosophy of shooting, can i say I take pictures because I have to?

for me, photography gives me a excuse to go out to places normal people will seldom visit. it's also a reason to trespass into areas not allowed for people to go into.

that's how i end up somehow discovering a slum town in the middle of a mountain that local people didnt even know about while i was hiking.

the reason is I use photography as a way to keep active and stabilize myself as i suffer from chronic depression. Pressing the shutter is a way to keep my mind clear from noise and bother. also I have a bum memory so I have to shoot to remember what I have done. My visual memory is a mess (as my other sensory memories are stronger). So with picture in hand I can relive that moment with the smells and sounds actually.
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