what is it, what is it that makes you press the button

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by jnanian, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    this isn't one of those " why do you like photography" or " what is art" or " a great photograph" or "drama" &c thread ...
    hopefully you have read on ..

    there are a million different reasons to push the button or in the case of a pinhole camera, or large format camera
    or slow shutter speed image &c for going the extra step, committing it to film ( or paper or metal or glass &c ),

    some folks have a bad memory and just use photography to remember stuff they know they will forget
    like in 30 seconds: other people its to commemorate an event/time/ "feeling"; other people its because
    they had some sort of thing, to photograph a person or thing at a certain time or place; others its because
    they had indigestion. or nothingbetter to do, or wanted to use up the last frame; others who
    were doing a film or print test; or maybe there is some sort of abstract reason like "to see what something looks like on film"...

    i have my reasons /// terrible memory, sometimes to commemorate something, sometimes cause i "had to" and sometimes
    because i had nothing better to do ..
    usually is is the last reason ...

    using film or paper or whatever else is such a PITA
    its a burden, sometimes on expense ( lab ) or time and expense ( processing at home )
    not to mention the cost or raw materials ( film or paper or whatever else it is ); or even
    having to edit the 30 exposures taken on the card

    its probably been asked 50 times before but why do you commit it to someting tangible
    ( when it will take 20 years to know why you really made the exposure to beging with ) ?
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Lots of reasons.
    In one case (as an example), I was out with a friend I met through APUG and other connections, and our stated purpose was to find something we wanted to photograph and create something as a result from that.
    While he was doing this:
    upload_2017-10-12_20-8-29.png

    I looked down into the water and mud and saw this:

    upload_2017-10-12_20-10-12.png .

    How could I say no?
     
  3. jim10219

    jim10219 Member

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    My fiancé is a professional photographer. So that was my in. I gave a run at being a professional musician and painter before, but those didn't work out for me. Basically, I like doing things that no one has done before, which puts me in no man's land as far as genres go. It's really hard to market yourself if there's not a scene already established that you can be a part of. So now I'm doing photography because a print is a lot cheaper to make and sell than a painting, and doesn't demand you deal with all of the clickiness of the music world. I can be free to do what I like and experiment as much as I want without worrying about how much time and money I'm going to spend on something only to have a few people actually care to try to understand it. It's a lot different of a situation when you spend a day or two making several prints versus a month on a single painting or song.

    So it's just a medium of self expression that seems a bit more practical than most others I've tried.
     
  4. Theo Sulphate

    Theo Sulphate Subscriber

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    I feel compelled to capture something that I see which I think is special. These are usually nature or people photos.

    Additionally and in a separate vein altogether, I see myself as wanting to record places that I know will soon change. These are usually landscape or city photos.
     
  5. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    I get called by the greater self to stop and record; I'm just a vessel to record light
     
  6. michael_r

    michael_r Subscriber

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    Hi John,

    My photographs are usually urban landscapes so they are about place/time and an awareness of the places/spaces around me. I try to make art out of these things.

    Michael
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    It has to be something that resonates emotionally for me, 99% of the time. The remainder is visual note-taking. I do take a fair amount of what I would call "experiments" where I have an idea, and I set up a shot and take it to see how well my idea works. It might fail, but I at least tried.
     
  8. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    A voluntary nerve impulse sent from the brain to the finger. Sometimes, an involuntary nerve impulse, a twitch.
     
  9. sionnac

    sionnac Subscriber

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    Inspired by emotion, beauty, landscape, light, people.... sometime when it's windy this time of year I just like to go leaf-catching.
     
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    jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    lately i have more photographed with my eyes than my camera
    and i see more light than a scene more and more ..
    i can't explain it ... shadows on a garage or wall,
    not sure if it is the light of obstruction of it .. the movement ...

    thanks !
    i wish i had 3 months rent and a steady income
    a long time dream of mine is to have a storefront and photograph
    everyone who walks in, whether they have the $$ for "enlargements" or not ..
    i gotta read studds turkel again ...
     
  11. blockend

    blockend Member

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    Photographs never look like I think they're going to, they're either better or worse. So I've given up on any idea of control long ago. Intention and realisation are different things. Curatorial skill is the best thing long term photographers can develop, a sense of seeing what's in the back catalogue and compiling it into a consistent vision.

    I'm with Garry Winogrand - photographs take a year or two to mature and are best seen with 20/20 hindsight. That's in complete contrast to modern photography, where a shot is taken, posted and dies on the tide of imagery within hours.
     
  12. Ko.Fe.

    Ko.Fe. Subscriber

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    I don't think I need to explain here why family pictures are taken...
    For the rest it was explained by GW. I like to photograph to see how it looks photographed. And I prefer film for it...
     
  13. bvy

    bvy Subscriber

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    I frame more shots than I take. It's got to come together in the viewfinder -- or really pique my curiosity about how it will look as a photograph (another nod to GW). Otherwise, I say that it "fell apart."
     
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  15. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    Minor White once said, "all photographs are self portraits". So, I'd guess, we press the button to learn more about ourselves...
     
  16. tnp651

    tnp651 Subscriber

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    When photographing inanimate objects, I ask myself: what attracts you to this subject? Is it light, color, texture, form, pattern, composition? Or something else? What will more completely fulfill that attraction? What can I crop out to make the image stronger?
     
  17. keenmaster486

    keenmaster486 Member

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    What is it that makes me press the button, you say?


    Same thing that makes me say "wow".

    Same thing that compels me to open my eyes a little wider and drink in the sights, sounds, and smells like life-giving water.

    Same thing that can bring me to tears and make me sit down and think for a while.

    Same thing that gives me the drive and ambition to get out of bed many mornings.

    Same thing that gives me pause when listening to beautiful music.

    Same thing , in fact, that makes me want to press the record button and capture that music.

    Same thing that makes me try, though I'm not too good at it, to represent what I see with paper and pencil.

    Same thing that moves me to exercise what command of my language I have and write words on paper.


    I believe we were made with an instinctive desire to capture and preserve. Time goes by, second by second, and moments pass fleetingly. Life is full of beautiful things, but few are permanent. They exist as temporary moments of time, quickly coming and fading away as quickly. We were made to love these moments. We love them so much, we want to capture them, preserve them, make them more permanent, create a copy to keep with us forever and carry something of the original with us.

    Whether it is Michelangelo carving the beauty of youth into eternal marble, or Ansel Adams capturing a beautiful landscape the particular way it appeared on that particular day, or the recording engineer hitting that button and listening to Miles Davis send cool vibes through the microphone and onto millions of records for generations afterward to enjoy, or Alfred Hitchcock placing some of the greatest acting ever performed on film, or C. S. Lewis putting pen to paper and recording the wonderful stories he discovered in his own mind -

    It's all the same thing.

    We're just capturing the beauty of this world, right things, good things, powerful things, things that make us sit back and say "wow!"

    Because we want to be able to go back to that slide, that print, that sculpture, that painting, that audio master tape, that book, that film, so we can say "wow" again.

    And again.

    And again.

    And this goes even deeper. I believe God made us in his image - if this is true, we are all reflections or "photographs" of God.

    And, if that is true, our desire to capture things that make us say "wow" comes directly from that which we ourselves are reflections of.


    And that's pretty darn cool if you ask me.
     
  18. Taking photographs reminds me to look around, be more observant and view everything multiple ways including with "different eyes".
     
  19. Ces1um

    Ces1um Subscriber

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    I use photography as a way to encourage myself to get outdoors, go places, take the dog out and go for a hike somewhere new. There are a lot of cool places to see and photography is a great way to encourage getting out and seeing them.
     
  20. Peter Schrager

    Peter Schrager Subscriber

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    I'm just a keeper of light
    Just a moment in time
    All pictures have some meaning
    And more as time goes on
    I play with light
    And it plays with me
    There's no words can express it
    And simply no reason to
     
  21. blockend

    blockend Member

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    This is one of the differences between film and digital photography. Because there's no cost, time or weight penalty to photographing "everything", it becomes harder to separate the wheat from the chaff. There are situations when numerous captures are a real benefit, wildlife photography, fashion, sports require lots of options.

    In film days I took too few shots. Now I'd say if in doubt press the shutter, but engage brain first and set the camera to single frame.
     
  22. Andrew O'Neill

    Andrew O'Neill Subscriber

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    That was a fun day. We have to do it again!
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    I agree!
     
  24. Larry the sailor

    Larry the sailor Subscriber

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    Sometimes it's just a cold weather/arthritis induce muscle spasm.
     
  25. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Garry Winogrand

    OK, so I stole that quote. Putting aside family snapshots, I press the shutter because I see something and I want to see that something as a photograph.

    As for the something, it can be anything (but at the moment, the anything tends to revolve around cars.... its a curse actually).
     
  26. k.hendrik

    k.hendrik Subscriber

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    Foghorn J.Leghorn taps me on the shoulder and say; look boy, I say look boy, elucidate!
     
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