Photography as Magic

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cliveh

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Is photography Magic?
 

Chuck_P

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When that image starts appearing in the developer tray.....it certainly feels like it.
 

Vaughn

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Can be.
 

momus

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I'm sitting here reading stuff that people are posting from all over the world to an online website. That is magic.

A leaf falls to the forest. It begins to deteriorate due to rain and sun. It transforms into it's base elements, and that is pulled up by the roots of a tree nearby. It then reappears as....a leaf.

What caused this to happen? Wind, rain and sun mainly. So when you look at that leaf, you are really looking at the sun's warmth and light, the rain which came from the clouds, and the wind that blew the clouds over the tree.

A drop of dew on a single blade of grass reflects all the stars in the heavens above.

Magic.
 

Sirius Glass

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Photography has always been magic, especially for me.
 

Nicholas Lindan

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If you are talking about real magic and not slight of hand, then:

Any technology that is not understood is magic.

In engineering these days you take something from the department down the hall, do your thing to it and then pass it on to the next department - what the departments on either side of you do is use a technology referred to as "FM" - Fucking Magic.

The days when you could understand a hi-tech product from start to finish are long gone - as are automobiles you could routinely fix by yourself.

I'd say, as chemical photography can be understood from start to finish, that it is not magic. Of course, as you dig too deep into its workings you disappear down a quantum mechanical rabbit hole. But quantum mechanics comes under the rubric of fairy tale rather than magic.
 

NB23

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I’m looking at an image I shot and I don’t understand how I managed to get the shot. It doesn’t comply with the moment..and I was there! So yes, it’s magic.
 

Don Heisz

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It's Magic!

1670412066174.png
 
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I'm sitting here reading stuff that people are posting from all over the world to an online website. That is magic.

A leaf falls to the forest. It begins to deteriorate due to rain and sun. It transforms into it's base elements, and that is pulled up by the roots of a tree nearby. It then reappears as....a leaf.

What caused this to happen? Wind, rain and sun mainly. So when you look at that leaf, you are really looking at the sun's warmth and light, the rain which came from the clouds, and the wind that blew the clouds over the tree.

A drop of dew on a single blade of grass reflects all the stars in the heavens above.

Magic.

Many say God.
 

Sirius Glass

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Having grown up with very wide angle lenses that distorted badly and thus avoided, I now find the two extremes of rectilinearly correct very wide lenses such as the 38mm Hasselblad SWC and the 30mm Hasselblad Fisheye lens facinating. The newer lenses out for 35mm cameras with the 20mm lenses or shorter are a real please to use. All very much magical.
 

SomewhereLost

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"F-ing magnets, how do they work?"

When we don't understand things, the perception that these things are "magic" in nature, is likely some sort of psychological fill-in device to keep our brains going because frankly, most of us barely understand anything. Most people don't have a clue about cameras besides point and push button. In some ways, there's very much a "magic" in this, especially when, without fully understanding what they are doing, they get results they really like.

I know this is probably kinda dumb to say, but not knowing everything about the craft and digging for the answers is "magic" in its own right. Do you remember the first time you got that look you wanted? Of course you do. It's burned into your happy memories.

Thing is, when you start to understand the craft, the idea of "magic" becomes somewhat absurd to the mind. That amazing result you are looking to create is no longer a mystery of wonder. It's an analysis away from replication. Does this kill "the magic" of photography? I'd say to some degree it can because how often have you looked at something of your own and overanalyzed it to death, only to then have someone say, "wow, great picture!"
 
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"F-ing magnets, how do they work?"

When we don't understand things, the perception that these things are "magic" in nature, is likely some sort of psychological fill-in device to keep our brains going because frankly, most of us barely understand anything. Most people don't have a clue about cameras besides point and push button. In some ways, there's very much a "magic" in this, especially when, without fully understanding what they are doing, they get results they really like.

I know this is probably kinda dumb to say, but not knowing everything about the craft and digging for the answers is "magic" in its own right. Do you remember the first time you got that look you wanted? Of course you do. It's burned into your happy memories.

Thing is, when you start to understand the craft, the idea of "magic" becomes somewhat absurd to the mind. That amazing result you are looking to create is no longer a mystery of wonder. It's an analysis away from replication. Does this kill "the magic" of photography? I'd say to some degree it can because how often have you looked at something of your own and overanalyzed it to death, only to then have someone say, "wow, great picture!"

The magic happens when the viewer says, "Wow, that's great."
 

Daniela

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Yes, it is!
While we can understand the process, the fact that I'm able to sometimes get a gorgeous photograph with the light just right, on a puddle from yesterday's rain and with a person walking by at the right moment always leaves me feeling perplexed. I think it's the combination of things that have to happen, plus my ability to see it and capture it, that gives photography that exhilarating mystery that feels like magic.
 

foc

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Yes, it is!
While we can understand the process, the fact that I'm able to sometimes get a gorgeous photograph with the light just right, on a puddle from yesterday's rain and with a person walking by at the right moment always leaves me feeling perplexed. I think it's the combination of things that have to happen, plus my ability to see it and capture it, that gives photography that exhilarating mystery that feels like magic.

Something like this??? 😆

henri-cartier-bresson_behind-gare-st-lazare-690x560.jpeg
 
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If the man wasn't black the photo would lose its magic. (HCB, man jumping off ladder into puddle: "Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare") would lose it's magic.

I agree. I am being controversial. Lately everyone thinks you need to see details in shadows. It's become the "in" thing whether using the Zone system or even digital where the camera allows you to open the shadow areas.
 
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