What if you could make only 72 photographs?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by Theo Sulphate, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. Theo Sulphate

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    Suppose you accidentally enter the Twilight Zone and can make at most 72 photographs for the rest of your life (note: this does not mean you die upon making the 72nd photo).

    What types of photos do you make? Of what? When do you make them? Do you devise specific criteria? Do you think you would make all 72?

    What if you're told you can never see these photos - does that change anything?

    What if you were presented with this situation as a young child (old enough to operate a camera and mature enough to make reasonable decisions) - what would your photographs be of?

    You needn't answer all these questions, just pick those of interest, if any.

    There are some obvious choices, but I won't list them; I'd like to know your thoughts.
     
  2. Ko.Fe.

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    What if you're told nobody can never see these photos - does that change anything?
     
  3. jtk

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    Given that 72 exposure rule I'd stop photography entirely.

    I'd commit my photo-energies to competitive traditional archery and my physical fitness,
     
  4. Ces1um

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    72 photos- I've got about 45 years left on this earth. I think I'd take a yearly family photo and one photo for each yearly vacation I'd take with my wife. I'd record those memories of family and forget about the artistic stuff.
     
  5. Vaughn

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    With my definition of 'making a photograph' (creating an image on paper worthy of keeping), I would be grateful if I can make 72 more photographs before I become physically unable (due to age) to make any more. At 64, I figure I have 15 good years of print-making in me and another ten years to tell people how good I use to be. That's 4 or 5 prints a year for 15 years to get to 72. No change in subject or approach.

    I always will see my photographs -- even if I do not have a physical or digital copy.
     
  6. Chan Tran

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    I would take all 72 of them in rather short time and most won't be of anything interesting. If I can't see the photos I would never take them. (take it back I once did take photo of a wedding and hand the film over to the bride and never in contact with her again but I did that for her not for me)
     
  7. carioca

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    I like your signature:
    "Great photography is about the visual effect upon the viewer, not sharpness." - Stephen Gandy, Cameraquest
    But your Twilight Zone question tells and teaches me nothing that I could learn of.
    Limiting myself, to me, is giving up in advance.

    Sidney
     
  8. OP
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    Theo Sulphate

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    Sometimes clever ideas and creations are due to limitations. That is certainly true in the world of engineering; it can be true in photography as well.

    But I respect your point of view.
     
  9. David Brown

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    I would make none. What if I finished #72 (and didn't die as you said), but then realized what the perfect photograph should be? Then what? I shan't go there.
     
  10. Sirius Glass

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    I would appeal or ignore the order. No one can inflict illegal orders like that on me.
     
  11. MartinCrabtree

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    yet......
     
  12. OP
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    Theo Sulphate

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    It's not an order, it's a Twilight Zone scenario where you have one camera that can make 72 photos. There are no other cameras or film in that world. Otherwise, everything else is the same.

    I want to know what people consider truly important. In our world now with no limitations, photos are as common as rocks and often as equally worthless.

    Some of the responses so far I've found unexpected and interesting.
     
  13. Lee Rust

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    I have several half-frame 35mm cameras, and finding a good subject for 72 exposures is a familiar concern. Sometimes it takes a month or two to finish a roll. If those 72 were to be my last photos ever, I'm sure I would be much more judicious about clicking the shutter... more family members & significant events, etc... fewer sunsets and street shots. But 72 would roll around eventually and my days as a photographer would be done, just like life ends whenever your number comes up. If I didn't die with the last shutter click, I would go on and learn how to draw or paint pictures instead.
     
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  15. mooseontheloose

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    I don't really take pictures of friends or family, but if I only had 72 physical pictures to take, then that's probably what I would focus on. Especially as my parents age (with me far away), I'm too aware of what I'm missing.
     
  16. jtk

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    Theo, thanks for this thread.
     
  17. Nodda Duma

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    I’d start drawing again.
     
  18. Bob Carnie

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    I would set up a pinhole camera and do year long exposures, I would do the second exposure once I was confident with the first exposure.
     
  19. Arthurwg

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    Mine would all be female nudes. Quite a challenge as I have yet to make one of those.
     
  20. jnanian

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    theo

    nothing would change, i would do exactly as i am doing now.

    if i was a kid, not sure what i would photograph when i was a kid
    with my first camera i photographed the shrubs where i lived.
    probably would do the same thing if i was a kid again..
     
  21. OP
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    Theo Sulphate

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    Half-frame 35mm and a single roll of film is partly how I chose 72 photos; the other is that 72 years has often been cited as an average contemporary lifespan.

    Thank you, everyone who has replied; the responses have been enlightening.
     
  22. 4season

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    If I couldn't view the photos, perhaps I'd turn my attention to a different sort of camera: The camera obscura! Either to use as drawing aid or simply for it's own sake.

    Even if I could view them, I don't know that limiting the number of photos would somehow make them more precious.
     
  23. Alan Edward Klein

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    Sometimes when I'm shooting my MF film camera, I hold off taking a shot because I don;t want to waste film. Obviously there's plenty of film that I could buy. Nor because I'm cheap. I think there's a hoarding gene in my DNA. I don't want to waste a shot if I think it's not the" "perfect" one.
     
  24. MattKing

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    The only time I used to do this was when I was shooting weddings, and I was at a point in the process when stopping to reload wasn't a good idea.
    I miss 220 film.
     
  25. Eric Rose

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    I would take 72 pictures of my sweetie.
     
  26. Sirius Glass

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    I agree. Why take the photograph just to throw it away without printing.
     
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