Why do you make photographs?

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momus

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Having a photography show has been a long time goal. COVID furnished the time, isolation and extra money to make the prints. But after recently returning to the part of the country in the U.S. where I grew up, that desire disappeared into thin air.

Just happy to be back where I belong and fit in? That's a guess though, it's hopeless trying to figure out where inspiration comes from, or why it leaves.

It got me wondering why others here make photographs?
 
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KerrKid

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I just take photographs to preserve memories. Sometimes they are pictures of travels, sometimes things I think are cool looking, sometimes pictures of friends and family.

Btw...being in the place you belong is a wonderful thing. Glad it happened for you.
 

redbandit

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It is true the "why" behind the things you do can be monumental, but the why is not always the answer you need to worry about.

The questions that need to be answered for yourself are

1. is your need to take photographs better then the other persons? On some sites, the reason you take a photograph is more important then the HOW you do it, or even how WELL you do it. But on some photography sites, your personal politics and beliefs are more important then anything else.

DO you take the photograph to make yourself happy, do you do it to make others happy? To preserve a random moment that really doesnt matter?
 

grahamp

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One tends not to question or fully experience the familiar sights. If one has a history with a place, every object or vista has a whole story, and may seem mundane. That's why travel, a new technique, or a new subject can be stimulating - there may be preconceptions in your mind, but no stored experiences.

Getting around one's own head can be difficult.
 

mshchem

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Having a photography show has been a long time goal. COVID furnished the time, isolation and extra money to make the prints. But after recently returning to the part of the country in the U.S. where I grew up, that desire disappeared into thin air.

Just happy to be back where I belong and fit in? That's a guess though, it's hopeless trying to figure out where inspiration comes from, or why it leaves.

It got me wondering why others here make photographs?

What's not to love. Capture a moment in time. Fun chemistry, cool cameras. Seeing and being able to influence the final work.
 

Daniela

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I just love the process of walking around and capturing little details and beautiful light. It connects me to the outside world and allows me to play with it. This is monumental for me at this point in my life...and very fitting that I'm focusing on light as I/so I come out of darkness✨
 

guangong

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I just love the process of walking around and capturing little details and beautiful light. It connects me to the outside world and allows me to play with it. This is monumental for me at this point in my life...and very fitting that I'm focusing on light as I/so I come out of darkness✨

I couldn’t say it any better. My feelings exactly.
 

ooze

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With a photograph we can see the past in the present; we have grabbed and stopped time*. This is amazing and I often have it in the back of my mind when I make a photograph. Humanity has been able to do this for only 184 years.

*Yes, there are all sorts of caveats, but still, the core idea remains.
 

Sirius Glass

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It makes me happy.
It records history.
It can make a nice gift.
It can be used to record family at a given time and perhaps used for genealogy.
 

MurrayMinchin

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For me, the answer is in the way I photograph, where I try to strip away all preconceptions and attempt to photograph things and scenes as they 'see' themselves.

I mostly photograph Nature, so the experience of going on a hike by myself becomes deeper as I try to open myself fully to the essence of a particular place. My job is to walk in this state of openness, and then when things begin to coalesce into what seems like a strong photograph, I'll move around the scene until the strongest images are found.

It amazes me, when hiking with other people, how they invariably stare at the heels of the person in front of them. I photograph to have as deep an experience of a place as I can.

Check out these quotes from the writings of John Szarkowski...there's bound to be something which falls close to answering the question "Why?" for pretty much any photographer:

 

AnselMortensen

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To make sure that my camera works.
🤪🤓

But seriously...mostly to document and isolate moments in time... of subjects and light that intrigued me when seen through an appropriately-sized ground glass window.
 

MurrayMinchin

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Pieter12

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For me, the answer is in the way I photograph, where I try to strip away all preconceptions and attempt to photograph things and scenes as they 'see' themselves.

I mostly photograph Nature, so the experience of going on a hike by myself becomes deeper as I try to open myself fully to the essence of a particular place. My job is to walk in this state of openness, and then when things begin to coalesce into what seems like a strong photograph, I'll move around the scene until the strongest images are found.

It amazes me, when hiking with other people, how they invariably stare at the heels of the person in front of them. I photograph to have as deep an experience of a place as I can.

Check out these quotes from the writings of John Szarkowski...there's bound to be something which falls close to answering the question "Why?" for pretty much any photographer:

This has always been my favorite Szarkowski quote:
"The hard part isn’t the decisive moment or anything like that—it’s getting the film on the reel."
 

Sirius Glass

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Because nothing feels like a sliver gelatin print in ones hands.
 

ic-racer

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I collect stuff that interests me. There is a lot of interest in the way light reflects off things so one can make out common shapes and objects. They aways look different, depending on the light, so there is some incentive to make a record of the visual event.
 

AnselMortensen

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I photograph to espouse the primordial subconscious, and to visually repudiate the bilateral sense of obfuscation imposed by the paradigm brought forth by onomatopoetic subterfuge and its metaphorical diaspora.

Oh, wait...sorry, I thought this was the
"What is Your 'Artist's Statement' thread"....my bad. 🤓
 
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I photograph to espouse the primordial subconscious, and to visually repudiate the bilateral sense of obfuscation imposed by the paradigm brought forth by onomatopoetic subterfuge and its metaphorical diaspora.

Oh, wait...sorry, I thought this was the
"What is Your 'Artist's Statement' thread"....my bad. 🤓

We think alike.
 

VinceInMT

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I do for many of the same reasons already stated. I like the process (of film). I like to document things. And since I do draw and paint, I like to get images that I might use as reference for another piece of work.

I can get more philosophical and cerebral if I include my drawings and paintings and answer "Why do I make pictures in any medium?" It's because I have to. I have thoughts and images that rattle around in my mind, sometimes for years, and in order to deal with them I have to create the image. Sometimes it is done in photography, sometimes in drawing. As I have written elsewhere, on occasion I'll make the photograph and mess it for some time in the darkroom and never really get to the level of satisfaction I want. (Barthes "punctum.") I'll go out and reshoot it and go back into the darkroom, still not satisfied. It ends up getting filed in the "Unfinished Ideas" drawer. Many of these end up becoming drawings or paintings that I am quite satisfied with.
 
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Pieter12

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I'll go out and reshoot it
I find that if I try to reshoot or recreate a photo, it often lacks something. Probably the spontaneous, subconscious urge that drove me to take it in the first place. Unless, of course there is an obvious error or oversight when shooting or processing the original.
 
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