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Heroique
4-Sep-2015, 13:49
"[Your name here], why aren't you out shooting?"

I've noticed the question popping up, more often these days, usually in threads addressing LF aesthetics, speculation, or math. The ulterior question being: "You say you're a photographer, but here you are, head in clouds, facing a computer screen, not the GG." If true, the trend may very well indicate changing demographics here over the years, or maybe changing attitudes. In any case:


1) If you're an actual LF photographer – field or studio – what's your reaction when you come across this question, whether addressed to you or to others?

2) And if you're an armchair photographer (in the best sense of the word), what's yours?

3) Can you explain why the question is sometimes justified – or why it never is?

To address question #1, I've come to believe that it's almost always a self-convicting & self-embittered question, best met with a smiling silence. For example: "Heroique, why aren't you out shooting?" [The rest is silence.] ;^) To be sure, I don't think I've ever seen the question be productive, except in those occasional cases when it's offered in humorous fashion.

But I'm curious about your view – and don't worry, if I have a temporary pass for not being in field or studio right now, so do you!

Old-N-Feeble
4-Sep-2015, 14:03
The only time it bothers me is when it's intended as an insult. There are reasons some people shoot very little or not at all... economic, time, health, etc.

Eric Woodbury
4-Sep-2015, 14:44
yesterday I was at work
today, taking a break from the darkroom to write this
tomorrow is another day. I'll let you know, but I pretty much can't take a pic without driving a few hundred miles first.

Alan Gales
4-Sep-2015, 14:45
I had a back fusion so I am up and down all day. Every so often I have to sit for a little while and give my back a rest. I'd rather be on here than watching the boob tube. My daughter and I are going shooting tomorrow morning. I'm taking the 8x10 and she will have her OM-1 35mm. After a couple hours I will come home but my back will most likely be shot for the rest of the day. The Cards are playing the Pirates tomorrow afternoon so my Lazy Boy recliner will be full! ;)

With me it's a health issue (my back) and a money issue. Most of the time I shoot my tiny Fujifilm X100s digital camera but I love shooting the big camera when I can. I've always been an amateur photographer so it's a hobby. I mostly do it for my enjoyment so to quote Cartman, "I do what I want!". :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0-KZS1dDyw

Vaughn
4-Sep-2015, 15:18
I lost my darkroom a year and a half ago...been doing some things in my kitchen (120 up to 8x10 film developing and simple platinum printing), but tray development of the 11x14 negs, larger platinum printing, and carbon printing have been put on hold. I have been in my new home since July. Working on the foundation of my new place now (no sense putting in nice level work spaces only to move the house around a bit!) and it needs some electrical and plumbing work, too. I have less climate control in my new place, so carbon printing might be more of a three-season thing -- just not in the summer).

But having a back-log of negatives to develop is one of my biggest stumbling blocks...right now that is with the 11x14. I do have some 120 to develop but that is okay...fun stuff!

October and November are drawing near -- my favorite time in the redwoods (along with the rest of Winter -- always hate to see Spring arriving and all those nasty leaves blocking up the views!LOL!) Now that I am retired, I can head up to the redwoods at the drop of a hat (when the weather conditions are ideal) and process film when I want. The boys are off to colleges, too!

1) The only time I hear the question is on this forum. I ignore it.
3) Justified if it is an honest question, but most of the time it is a sign that someone is getting frustrated on the forum and wants everyone else to shut up.

David_Senesac
4-Sep-2015, 15:41
Never gotten that question which tends to reflect that I don't live in a photography centric day to day world like fair numbers of more hard core members here.

I've worked in hi tech of Silicon Valley for decades where it is far easier to made a reasonable living than selling images and do not have commercial photography skills or education so am under no pressure to make images for the sake of income. So although yes from time to time I've been modestly selling images for nearly 3 decades on the side, I don't need to get out in the field except to satisfy my compulsive passion for the activity, aesthetic art form, and often exciting adventure. And that is balanced against other things I enjoy doing in life. What I really like are the experiences that the pursuit of landscape and nature photographer brings me to. And despite being one of the older photographers on this board, I continue to get out in the field a great deal. This is what I've been up to in 2015 and indeed there has been quite a bit of exciting adventures. Just starting the slideshow bottom left will provide a short tour.

David
http://www.davidsenesac.com/2015_Trip_Chronicles/2015_Trip-Chronicles-0.html

Maris Rusis
4-Sep-2015, 15:46
For me "shooting", that is camera-work in front of subject matter, is only a minor part of the process of turning exposures into the actual pictures that are going to be exhibited as an end point.
Non-photographers tend to think it's all about cameras because that's what they see photographers doing.
They rarely see the hours of technical labour involved in turning exposures into negatives and the hours of creative labour using those negatives to make fine photographs.

When some one asks me "Why aren't you out shooting?" I'll say "I haven't always got the time, I'm too busy making photographs."

hoffner
4-Sep-2015, 16:02
Too busy to read your posts.
BTW, why aren't you out shooting instead of writing them?

Michael E
4-Sep-2015, 16:56
On a forum, this question comes somewhere between "you have no idea what you are talking about, please shut up" and "go in peace, but go now". It rarely is well in meaning.

At a party, it is closely related to "if you are a photographer, why don't you have your camera with you?" (if I told you I was a plumber, would you expect me to bring my tool kit to the party?). It is usually the start of a stupid discussion of some photography-related nuissance. My favorite was "my boyfriend says Minolta builds the best cameras", no need to bother with a thoughful reply.

To answer the question in earnest: I wish I was "out there" shooting far more. I really do. But I have two jobs, a child, and a major house restoration project. Today, I got up at 6:00, made breakfast for my son, dropped him off at school, started working at 7:00 (photography assignment), continued working at my academy job until 10:30 p.m. to get some stuff off my desk, then went home to develop 12 rolls of 120 film. Now it's 2:00 a.m. and I'm going to bed without getting "out there" to shoot my own material. Thanks for asking.

Bill Burk
4-Sep-2015, 17:51
My favorite was "my boyfriend says Minolta builds the best cameras", no need to bother with a thoughful reply.

My friend Jim tells the story about the time we met a group of women on a trail... One said "My boyfriend has a Canon"... Jim says "I'm sure he does".

Corran
4-Sep-2015, 20:15
I think some people need to talk less and shoot (or print) more - and not necessarily just here, I mean everywhere, especially in real life. Is that wrong?

Yes I am aware I have 3300+ posts here, though on the other hand it's only about 2 per day since joining so not that many really. I think I shoot way more film than most though (not that it's an indication of quality :p)

Doug Howk
5-Sep-2015, 04:20
Several reasons:
Last year I was quite productive at least with MF cameras. I was shooting old church interiors all within a 2hr driving radius. Now would have to travel much farther in order to continue this project or need to find a new project.

Ed Weston said should be able to look down at your feet to find something to photograph. But he never visited Florida. Its boring and I need a change of location [moving North next year].

For past 3 years have had knee problems. But recently started taking a supplement and now ready to hike.

But the weather has been so hot this Summer thanks to all us humans that any prolonged efforts can be dangerous. And my jerry-rigged darkroom in garage has been too hot even early in morning.

Been reviewing my older, never-printed negatives; and finding some interesting possibilities. So once weather cools will be in darkroom more than in the field.

jp
5-Sep-2015, 05:47
I think some people need to talk less and shoot (or print) more - and not necessarily just here, I mean everywhere, especially in real life. Is that wrong?

Yes I am aware I have 3300+ posts here, though on the other hand it's only about 2 per day since joining so not that many really. I think I shoot way more film than most though (not that it's an indication of quality :p)

Right on! I think you're improving as a result of the extra shooting.

People like Jonathan K crank out good stuff without even leaving their house, so unless someone is writhing in pain stuck in bed, some people aren't going to buy excuses regarding location.

I'm trying to improve as well, and I am more motivated by people that shoot than people that talk. I like to talk too. But I'm going shooting today.

Alan Gales
5-Sep-2015, 08:03
Ed Weston said should be able to look down at your feet to find something to photograph. But he never visited Florida.

I don't know. There are an awful lot of cell phone vacation pics of people's feet in the sand. They send them to their friends to make them jealous! ;)


Just got back from shooting my 8x10 with my daughter. A fellow approached us interested in my camera. He told me that he was just an amateur. He said that the light was gorgeous and he bet I got some beautiful images. I told him that I hoped so and I was also an amateur who just happened to have a big camera. For some reason people think I know what I am doing when they see my Wehman! ;)

DrTang
5-Sep-2015, 09:42
resting today

but monday and tuesday though

then the following sunday

Heroique
5-Sep-2015, 11:35
Yes I am aware I have 3300+ posts here, though on the other hand it's only about 2 per day since joining so not that many really. I think I shoot way more film than most though (not that it's an indication of quality :p)

Probably a matter for the psychologists, but I almost never remember post counts, large or small, from people whose contributions are useful and interesting – you're one of them. To be sure, I may not have raised an eyebrow had you stated 129 posts, but I would have recognized "Corran."


3) Justified if it is an honest question, but most of the time it is a sign that someone is getting frustrated on the forum and wants everyone else to shut up.

I should have mentioned this earlier, let's not forget the #2 remark:

"You guys can keep at this, I'm going out to shoot." [Goes to refrigerator to scrape bottom of peanut butter jar, returns to computer to see cool stuff on ebay.]

Same state of mind, also best met with a smiling silence. >>> ☺

Kirk Gittings
5-Sep-2015, 11:53
BSing a little and shooting a lot instead of BSing a lot and shooting a little certainly has its merits but it implies that quantity somehow is a virtue which is indefensible unless you are a beginner and need the practice.

mdm
5-Sep-2015, 12:52
I think many of the greats worked at it constantly, name one who didn't. They may not have burnt film every day, but they were still working at it. I am thinking Paul Caponigro, Strand, Friedlander, Weston, Penn, Avedon. Restrict yourself to one exposure a year and see what it does to the quality of your output. They worked at it because that was their work, it's a hard thing to find work that sAtisfies.

bob carnie
5-Sep-2015, 12:58
I photograph a few time a year, basically I shoot in controlled sets and all my work is done in advance, getting the props , thinking about how they will be shot.. The actual exposing of the film is the most boring and least critical step.

I also know a photographer who travels once a year and photographs for a month at a time , the other 11 months he works to pay for the month. I can state his work is outstanding.

So I am not really sold on the idea of getting out there and shooting to keep sharp.

Alan Gales
5-Sep-2015, 13:40
I shoot all the time even if I don't have a camera on me. It's a habit. I can be in a Doctor's waiting room and trying to figure out what would be the most interesting composition that I could make in the room. I may be crazy but it sure beats reading a 4 month old issue of People's magazine!

They say when Eric Clapton was in the Yardbirds he practiced playing his guitar all the time but Jeff Beck rarely practiced when he was the lead guitarist of the same group. I guess it comes down to what works for you.

Corran
5-Sep-2015, 13:52
Restrict yourself to one exposure a year and see what it does to the quality of your output.

Reminds me of a book my friend showed me. The photographer restricted himself to one exposure a day, for a year. The resultant 365 photos made the book. I thought the majority of them were poor. No one can have a 100% success rate, and artificial restrictions is not going to change that.

Speaking of getting "out there," I am shooting right now. Waiting for a rain shower to dissipate.

BrianShaw
5-Sep-2015, 14:10
the only time it bothers me is when it's intended as an insult. There are reasons some people shoot very little or not at all... Economic, time, health, etc.

x2

mdm
5-Sep-2015, 14:13
I have a book called chased by light by Jim Brandenburg, he restricted himself to 1 exposure a day for 90 days. He was a Nat Geographic photographer so must have been used to making many many more exposures than that in a day. He did an outstanding job. He was working at it every day.

Kirk Gittings
5-Sep-2015, 16:49
Restrict yourself to one exposure a year and see what it does to the quality of your output.

You are aware, I presume, that is not what I am referring to.

So this is how I make a significant portion of my income. All my income comes from photography and about 30% comes directly from the sale of prints from my LF photography. The rest is digital commercial architectural photography and teaching photography. There are a few group shows that I do every year and these require fresh work. So I do work at it. But working at it is as much about planning as actually shooting-finding locations and picking times of the year that are likely to give me the lighting I want.

Also, unlike when I started shooting LF in 1978, I do my editing before I set up the camera rather than after I develope the film. After some 40 odd years at this I can look at a subject/view and know what it will print like and whether I am likely to bother printing it or whether it will sit in a file forever. This results in a lot less shots taken and a much higher percentage of "keepers".

Alan Gales
5-Sep-2015, 17:06
Also, unlike when I started shooting LF in 1978, I do my editing before I set up the camera rather than after I develope the film. It results in a lot less shots taken and a much higher percentage of "keepers".

When I started shooting 35mm in 1982 I burnt through rolls of 36 exposures (and keeping notes) like anyone should be doing when they first start learning. After awhile I started buying the 24 exposure rolls and eventually I felt that 12 exposures on a roll was too many sometimes. :)

I fully agree with you that editing before you set up the camera saves you a lot of time and money and really thinking about what you are shooting does yield a much higher percentage of "keepers".

Corran
5-Sep-2015, 18:27
On the other hand, if two experienced photographers go out and one shoots 20 sheets and gets 5 keepers, but the other shoots 100 and gets 10 keepers, who's doing it right?

(Both!)

It just depends on your style and way of working. Also, "keepers" may be subjective.

Alan Gales
5-Sep-2015, 19:25
Keepers are always subjective! ;)

tgtaylor
5-Sep-2015, 21:52
Just finding a worthy subject is not an easy task. I know Ed Weston said that he could take a good picture by just looking down at his feet but have you ever seen a print he took of his feet? I haven't. I think Ansel Adams comes closer to the truth when he wrote that if “you get a good one a month, you're doing good.”

But it doesn't end with finding the “right” subject. It took me three days to take the negative for the last print that I posted on my website and it only worked then because the print (salt) toned as I wanted it. On my last image shot earlier this week the subject and composition was perfect but the tone on the print didn't turn out as I wanted. That may have been due to the high relative humidity on the day that I printed it and/or to the time of day that it was taken. For this subject the sun illuminates the east side or the west side of the subject and not its front or facade which determines the composition. So its back to reprinting and/or re-shooting the negative.

Even with street photography where you would expect to shoot more negatives it's iffy. On my last two outings I took zero shots on the first but got three good negatives on the second. Just lucky, of course, but you have to be out there to be lucky.

Thoma

John Kasaian
6-Sep-2015, 08:17
The elements of "money" and "time" have to be in the proper ratio for the 'dorff and I to go outside and play.
Right now getting the kids healthy and back to school requires 100%.

Old-N-Feeble
6-Sep-2015, 09:44
The elements of "money" and "time" have to be in the proper ratio for the 'dorff and I to go outside and play.
Right now getting the kids healthy and back to school requires 100%.

We need a "thumbs up" smiley. Priorities are always to family first.

Heroique
6-Sep-2015, 11:38
I have a book called chased by light by Jim Brandenburg, he restricted himself to 1 exposure a day for 90 days.

Does anybody remember that old "One LF exposure per day for a year challenge" thread?

The LFer who lasted longest reported back that he quit after about 90 days. He'd had enough.

Most of the posts, I recall, objected to the absurdity of such an exercise – but one should remember the average age here is about 49 years, and many of the disapproving remarks expressed, if implicitly, that physical exhaustion is often tied to imaginative exhaustion; additional comments questioned the link between forced activity and inspiration. Wisdom, one might say, is a compensating reward for the waning vigor of youth.

John Layton
9-Sep-2015, 12:01
Sometimes here in Vermont I make the excuse that there are way too many trees...but I like trees! More to the point - at home there are so many other demands on my time besides taking out my LF cameras, that my "best" LF work is often accomplished while someplace else, and then usually when I can immerse myself for at least a few days in a row.

Then again...many of my "home front" activities help to keep me whole. Hiking/kayaking with my wife and dog without a camera, having folks over, household building projects, working on my cars (love doing this), getting out on the J.D. for a little "seat time," cooking, banging away on my old Martin, and in general keeping up the place.

At the end of the day, it just might be the cameras that eventually take the back seat - hard to believe this now...but time will tell I guess.

adelorenzo
9-Sep-2015, 12:24
It's some combination of 1) holier than thou, 2) elitism, and 3) complete nonsense since if the premise is that shooting is better than spending time on this board, and therefore we should all be shooting photos, then this board would not exist.

Michael Graves
9-Sep-2015, 16:40
I just did a rough (most likely inaccurate, but fairly close) count of my processed negatives and yet to be developed negatives. I have roughly 600 rolls of exposed and developed 120 and 35mm film that I'm gradually making my way through scanning. The very best are being saved in a separate binder and I plan to spend the winter printing in the wet darkroom when shooting in Vermont is less that pleasurable most days. I still have 16 rolls of 120 and 9 rolls of 35mm waiting for attention. In my 4x5 library, I have approximately 900 exposed sheets, and perhaps 400 5x7 negatives. 8x10 doesn't get as much attention as it deserves and I was able to count those. 240 negatives....15 to 20 of which I will print. I still have 12 4x5 film holders with film still to develop and 6 5x7 holders waiting for the developer.

So I don't just hang out here. I get out and shoot at least two days a week when the weather is good. And by good, I mean warmer than 10F degrees in the shade. I don't like cold. I shoot in the rain and I love shooting in the snow. But I just don't like bitter cold.

You'd think by now, I'd have gotten good at it, wouldn't you?

Old-N-Feeble
9-Sep-2015, 18:48
tonight i think it isn'tr me anymorer

Lenny Eiger
12-Sep-2015, 12:34
This week some fellow told me I should do platinum prints for a similar price to a lab print. I should be able to get the print to a 95% result on the first try. The project might take a day and a half, for which $400 was considered too much. I had a crown put on my tooth this Tuesday in 1 1/2 hours that cost $1275.

Something is very wrong here. (No, I'm not doing the print, I refuse.) I can appreciate that down the line this person's personal economy means that he can't sell it for much, or he can't sell enough to warrant expensive custom printing. I have more experience than the dentist does, altho' I will add that he was an artist at it. However, he is doing something that has a recognized value and working in the arts is still second class citizenry.

It's my belief that our culture needs people (artists) who can help the general populous access their feelings (and their humanity), have them appreciate their connection to the land we live in which is quite exquisite, and appreciate how amazing most people are. There is a lot of money here in the US, and if our country could stop doing some of the other things the politicians have us spending our money on, we could live in a paradise, where everyone could follow their passion. (I'm trying not to be political but its an inherently political question.)

I was very dedicated over most of my life and I had many successes.. College teaching jobs, galleries in Carmel, etc. However, I was never financially successful at this. Certainly not to what a small family needs in California. Our culture doesn't value the arts in general. The average person likes my work very much, but can't afford it, our economy is so lousy. The galleries and museums are showing inane, stupid crap, for the most part. No one wants to represent my work at this point. Apparently, I am out of touch with the latest and greatest conceptual mumbo-jumbo. I need to reinvent myself, rework the whole portfolio, that takes a lot of time, some money, etc.

So the question of "why aren't I shooting more" just makes me mad, just makes me want to tell the person asking to take a flying leap. If society doesn't want to see what I have to offer, then why should I bother? Because I chose to work in the arts, at 63 I have no savings to speak of and I wonder if I will ever have a time where I don't have to work. If I knew what I know now about how the arts function financially, I would never have started. There are a handful of us who are doing well, and I'm sincerely happy for you. If one more person talks to me about following dreams I'm going to holler.

At this point I only do it because I enjoy it - its for me. And I'll shoot when I damn please... but not much lately, working much too hard to stay afloat.

Lenny

Corran
12-Sep-2015, 13:28
The galleries and museums are showing inane, stupid crap, for the most part.

I find it very strange when someone says this, but complains that they aren't getting the recognition/sales/gallery shows/whatever with their work. That's how it works. Not everyone can be a successful artist, and not everyone's art is going to be what is seen in galleries or sells, regardless of its merit. I was just at an artist talk yesterday and the show was a bunch of very large assemblies and structures, with a few large-scale canvas works. None of it was even for sale I don't believe. There would be no point - this isn't the type of work that is sold to private individuals. He talked about how he was just driven to make such things. He was an art professor at a small community college, which obviously doesn't pay a lot. I'm sure you would call his work inane. Truth be told, I didn't care much for most of it, but I can appreciate his methodology and some of the themes he incorporated.

That's life. If you love what you do, great. I mean, I get it - I went to an art festival a few weeks ago and made zero sales. No prints, no instant portraits, no nothing. It turns out this was more of a counter-culture hangout than I was led to believe. They don't have money - well, after they spent it all on a new skateboard, anyway.

It's the same thing in music. Only a few make it as musicians, despite the multitudes of hobbyists, who may be fantastic, but simply not in the top 1%. And on the other hand, it is certainly possible to work in an ancillary field - this is why I am a recording engineer and live sound guy. I'm not good enough to make it full-time as a symphony musician. I've made peace with that. You have a career in printmaking / scanning, same thing.

Lamenting the lack of art appreciation or whatever in the USA is pointless. It is what it is, you can't change that, and even if you did, that doesn't guarantee any more success than before. To make another connection to music - wouldn't it be nice if every medium-sized city had a symphony? I played in two smaller symphonies for years, and for 2 rehearsals and 1-2 concerts, we were paid a whopping $300-$400, including travel. I think it boiled down to $15/hr. It was a joke, monetarily. No one plays in those types of symphonies for their job - even if they did 5 or 6 symphonies they wouldn't be making enough to live on, not to mention scheduling conflicts. So a lot of people lament the death of classical music in the USA in the same fashion. There's no jobs and no money in it.

Truth be told, I can think of 2 or 3 stand-out photographers here who should be nationally recognized by now. But they aren't. Perhaps one day they will be, or perhaps they will be mere memories. Who can say?

Jerry Bodine
12-Sep-2015, 14:38
...I have more experience than the dentist does, altho' I will add that he was an artist at it. However, he is doing something that has a recognized value and working in the arts is still second class citizenry...

Off topic, but this reminded me of something I read recently about a heart surgeon who took his Mercedes to his mechanic for a bit of maintenance work. Later in the day he went to pick up his car, and the mechanic started telling him about his point of view. "You know, doc, it occurs to me that you and I both do the same kinda work - open her up, work on the valves and stuff - yet you make a LOT more than I do. Why is that?" The doctor thought a bit and quietly said "Next time try it with the engine running."

Lenny Eiger
12-Sep-2015, 16:26
Lamenting the lack of art appreciation or whatever in the USA is pointless. It is what it is, you can't change that

Bryan,

Thing is, things used to be better. In my father's time the distribution of wealth was much different. A house cost $6,000. There have been plenty of times when the arts flourished. They aren't now, and what you say is correct, no amount of stamping one's feet is going to change that. The only thing one can do is move to a more forward thinking country, which I would do happily if I was in a position to do so.

All that said, the truth is that I felt I had a responsibility to give back to my world. It's what my father taught me as a young child. Wife feels the same way, she had to have a career where she "helps people". I no longer feel that way (nor does she). It's been a lousy journey where the world didn't respond the way I wanted it to. Had I known that only 1% would succeed I wouldn't have started. I would have gotten a career where financial reward was part of the equation. I certainly wouldn't encourage anyone else to start in photography. How will they eat?

There is no reason to shame anyone with "[Your name here], why aren't you out shooting?" Or his "ulterior question..."

it's analogous to "Do what you love, money will follow" which is totally false... Love and money follow different rules.... and if you aren't making money, does that mean you aren't a loving person? Shame is a bad thing.

I had a good buddy who went to the Berklee College of Music (in Boston) in the 70's. He studied Jazz Fusion, did his 30 years of playing scales for 6 hours a day and became masterful at the music he loved. Of course, now no one wants to listen to "easy listening jazz" except for a very small group. Market went away. At one time Joe Sample, Earl Klugh, The Rippingtons and Cbick Corea (among lots of others) were all over the radio. No longer.... it's someone tomatoes or mouse or whatever... I used to feel sorry for my friend, a very talented musician, and then it happened to me. Post-friggin-modernism. He does studio work now, and most of the time can be found working at Whole Foods, somewhere in LA. I can see there's a bad decision here or there, but should someone who works for 30 years at something be relegated to working for minimum wage? There's something off. Ayn Rand's principles didn't work for this guy.

My scanning and printing business is far too small to support me and my family. Most of the time I am writing software... which is also constantly changing. Now I am having to learn new languages all the time. I work 7 days a week, and am so stressed I can't see straight. I won't complain that the world has gotten fast; but it would be a lot nicer if it were more fair, and the arts were give half a chance. 30 years to get a job at Whole Foods is pretty unfortunate, even if one doesn't like Jazz Fusion.

Lenny

Randy Moe
12-Sep-2015, 16:38
It's some combination of 1) holier than thou, 2) elitism, and 3) complete nonsense since if the premise is that shooting is better than spending time on this board, and therefore we should all be shooting photos, then this board would not exist.

Succinct, I admire that. Well put.

Old-N-Feeble
12-Sep-2015, 17:20
Off topic, but this reminded me of something I read recently about a heart surgeon who took his Mercedes to his mechanic for a bit of maintenance work. Later in the day he went to pick up his car, and the mechanic started telling him about his point of view. "You know, doc, it occurs to me that you and I both do the same kinda work - open her up, work on the valves and stuff - yet you make a LOT more than I do. Why is that?" The doctor thought a bit and quietly said "Next time try it with the engine running."

But heart surgeons stop the heart and use machines to oxidize the blood to keep the brain and other organs alive. The heart is stopped during cardio surgery. ;)

Randy Moe
12-Sep-2015, 17:45
But heart surgeons stop the heart and use machines to oxidize the blood to keep the brain and other organs alive. The heart is stopped during cardio surgery. ;)

As a dyno engine tester, I did adjust and make changes while engines were both idling and at racing condition.

We tested many parameters while running. When distributors were still externally adjustable, well into the 90's, it was required by Ford to loosen the distributor while running wide open, full load and adjust the timing for audible detonation. I was never a fan of this, but I could do it without destroying the engine while my coworkers could not. Hot, noisy, dangerous work that paid well. The point was to create the toughest test of pistons AND our head gasket. Those detonations are destructive to both. We blew up engines by the 6 pack. They were shipped 6 at a time on factory pallet. The test was continuous 100 hours of wide open throttle, full load.

Human doctors may catch up...before I need the same thing.

Our picture of Ford 5.0L doing the test. 35mm

139562

Jac@stafford.net
12-Sep-2015, 18:20
Speaking out here for some who might not want to reveal: I'm no good at all unless I awake at 3:00AM to medicate for essential tremor and arthritis. Then it is difficult to sleep again which creates persistent fatigue. I'm only 70 years-old, and many of our members consider me a youngster. I admire them, but we all are not the same.
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Iluvmyviewcam
12-Sep-2015, 19:30
I only shoot about 12 to 20 projects a year. Still I am backed years with photos I have not looked at. I can't work all the time. I got ADD and like forums to vegetate and relax.

Corran
12-Sep-2015, 20:23
Thing is, things used to be better. In my father's time the distribution of wealth was much different. A house cost $6,000. There have been plenty of times when the arts flourished. They aren't now, and what you say is correct, no amount of stamping one's feet is going to change that.

Well I suppose this is where politics would rear its head so I guess I can't really discuss further.


I had a good buddy who went to the Berklee College of Music (in Boston) in the 70's. He studied Jazz Fusion, did his 30 years of playing scales for 6 hours a day and became masterful at the music he loved. Of course, now no one wants to listen to "easy listening jazz" except for a very small group. Market went away.

Tastes and markets always change. I think we all (artists, musicians) have to keep that in mind. Learning new skills and styles is a good hedge for the future. Of course we as LF users are already stuck in the past, but what I think is interesting is the intersection of traditional film, especially LF, and modern techniques, such as scanning and digital printing, even with traditional papers but using digital output.

I don't know the solution. I certainly would love to dedicate myself 100% to shooting traditional landscapes with LF. I also realize though that it won't pay the bills, at least right now. I'm looking for a new job in a new place specifically to be able to pursue a new path, one which may enable me to make photographs while earning a living wage. We'll see. I can only hope, and work hard, and let the chips fall where they may.

ImSoNegative
12-Sep-2015, 22:01
My friend Jim tells the story about the time we met a group of women on a trail... One said "My boyfriend has a Canon"... Jim says "I'm sure he does".

lmao

John Kasaian
13-Sep-2015, 06:06
If I were out shooting right now, I'd be coated with ashes floating down from the Rough fire.:rolleyes:

Doug Howk
13-Sep-2015, 07:10
In today's art market, I'd give up if had to correlate sales with taking pictures. I've only briefly made a living as an "artist" [garden designer in Charlottesville, Va area]. When moved to Florida had to change careers in order to survive. Now that I'm retired from computer programming, have the "luxury" of placing NFS stickers on prints in exhibits. This also avoids the embarrassment of nothing selling ;-(
Just waiting for cooler weather to get out with a camera.

Old_Dick
13-Sep-2015, 07:55
I'm in Jack's situation, just a few years younger. Between an immunosuppressant, pain killers, muscle relaxers, NSAID, TNF and the side effects, I'm still in 24/7 pain. Only the severity changes. Hard to feel creative sometimes. I want to shoot more, sometimes I shoot more drugs into my body then I shoot film.

Still Vertical

Kodachrome25
13-Sep-2015, 14:17
I try not to pass judgement on how people spend their time, I just know how it affects me and who I really come to be inspired by.

If I spend more than an hour a week on a forum I tend to get pissy, provocative and to be completely honest....depressed. Because even if I am not making photographs, I have so many other things I can or should be doing that make me feel connected to my life and my real, tactile community.

In short, I do exponentially better when I limit my time on a place like this to practical uses, not topics like this one.

As far as other people I look up to, am genuinely inspired by or mentored by, they are simply not on places like these or at least never post, only use it as a read only as the good resource it is.

Two in particular stand out as of late as I read the reasons given here as physical ones for not shooting:

1. Back in 2006 a friend of mine was diagnosed with advanced lymphoma. He went through hell, the prognosis was not good either. So as he emerged from it's debilitating effects, he started to make photographs of the room he was bedridden in. Then as he gained strength, he ventured physically and photographically further and further outward until by 2010, he came up with a body of work that was made into a book. He is doing great, takes on assignments, teaches at the ICP in New York. He made zero excuses for not shooting.

2. Another friend of mine who is currently battling cancer is looking at it being terminal. He married his male partner when it became legal to do so and every bit of energy he has is spent making photographs. A couple months ago he went to Iceland as a dying wish to photograph it's land and people...it was a toll on his body and risk to his chemo treatment, but he more than fights his affliction, he pushes it aside and makes photography a priority.

These people inspire me to keep moving forward, to avoid the idle banter of living life in front of a glowing screen of wishful thinking and to truly *live* in the moment and in the real world. The world that allows the best photographs to reel by, the real relationships to be fostered and all the senses to be used.

So in 100% of the cases in which I leave forums behind, I find my self 100% better off. My wife can tell when I have been on them too much too....I get really bummed out and I lose my sense of presence and sense of self.

Vaughn
19-Sep-2015, 21:39
Well, just got back from photographing. Left Thursday morning for a couple nights of backpacking in the redwoods along Redwood Creek (Redwood National Park). Perfect weather...everything cleaned up with the recent rain and the creek up a couple inches. Times of no wind. Nights stayed semi-clear the first night and clear the second -- great stars!

Before the trip I searched and searched around the house for my 4x5 -- cleverly hidden from myself in my last move (July). Had to take the 5x7 instead, but only could find 5 holders so that is what I went with. Loaded them up with TMax400 and actually came back with 2 sheets unexposed. . I carried the camera on the tripod over my shoulder on the way in, but was able to put the camera in my pack and strap the tripod to my pack on the way out (more room in the pack with the food and beer gone). Not too far...just 1.25 miles down to the creek and then a few miles up the creek bed with several crossings. Pretty steep hike up back to the van, but did pretty good for an old man...good to be alive! I went with a friend and he carried my two lenses and light meter up the hill for me.

Might be a couple weeks before I process the negatives...have to go to Hawaii (just taking the Rolleiflex!)

Willie
20-Sep-2015, 06:12
One needs time to process film and print. One needs time to contemplate the work, locations, light and future considerations. Planning trips, managing the logistics and getting into the mindset that allows for more creativity all taked downtime from shooting. Then there are the physical limitations - both mine and weather related.

Life intrudes in so many other ways as well.

Michael E
20-Sep-2015, 07:44
Before the trip I searched and searched around the house for my 4x5

Not being out shooting because you can't find your large format camera (of all things) is the best excuse ever!

Vaughn
20-Sep-2015, 09:14
Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
Before the trip I searched and searched around the house for my 4x5
Not being out shooting because you can't find your large format camera (of all things) is the best excuse ever!

Well, the dang 4x5 is so small! The 5x7 was already on a tripod and set up in the living room, saying "Take me! Take me!" Seems like I am always tripping over the 8x10 and 11x14, but no way I was backpacking with those beasts!

Heroique
20-Sep-2015, 09:15
Might be a couple weeks before I process the negatives…have to go to Hawaii (just taking the Rolleiflex!)

Makes me think we need a companion thread, "Why aren't you in the darkroom?"

I can't think of a better reason than "I have to go Hawaii!"

When back home, the next best reason is "I have to get sand out of the Rolleiflex!"

Vaughn
20-Sep-2015, 09:20
...When back home, the next best reason is "I have to get sand out of the Rolleiflex!"

Better than saying, "I thought this was the underwater Rollei model..."

I retired Sept 1st -- got to make the most of it!

Old-N-Feeble
20-Sep-2015, 09:50
Better than saying, "I thought this was the underwater Rollei model..."

I retired Sept 1st -- got to make the most of it!

I suggest you start immediately. One never knows when he/she will no longer be able to ambulate and think clearly. Stuff happens in the blink of an eye. Other times stuff creeps up on you while you ignore the degradation, having more important issues to address over the weeks/months/years. There is only today. There is no tomorrow.

Peter Lewin
20-Sep-2015, 10:37
Sometimes the answer is painfully simple: health. LF photography requires a certain amount of walking while carrying moderately heavy weight (I know some use trailers or other wheeled gadgets, but most of us don't). I've pretty much lost August and September due to a cardiac procedure to fix an arrhythmia, which while it was successful came with enough complications and medications to make me really look forward to getting the 4x5 out come October!

Fr. Mark
20-Sep-2015, 20:36
I read this thread while waiting thru several six minute cyanotype exposures. Not ready to do LF at night, at least not outside!

Caveat: I'm a hobbyist. I give a few pictures as presents, haven't sold any yet. I haven't done many yet I'd be willing to sell!

I like painting too (oils) of the same sorts of subjects I photograph. It is easier for me to get a recognizeable likeness of a person with film. But, I find that to get a photo I want to take, develop and print---it takes me as much time as painting. Now, I'm still relatively new at both painting and photography.

In both cases time has been spent on making tools too. Ie UV exposure unit, tanks for film hangers, easel that goes on my tripod when the camera doesn't, most recently an adapter to put a Sinar shutter and DB lenses on a home built 8x10 luggable camera.

I do wonder if I would take more pictures if I had lighter cameras with bigger negatives/transparencies than 35mm. Been eyeing a 1950's 6x6 to fold up and carry around maybe with a v light tripod. Or when it isn't 90zillion degrees with humidity to match, keeping the press camera in my car 24/7. Then I'd also have to make enlarged negatives...

Sometimes timing is the problem. I saw a picture last Thursday orFriday afternoon: a whole lotta mushrooms---like a city skyline---in the neighbor's mulch around a tree next to the road. But, my son needed to get to a lesson, there was no time to get a camera or indeed even go back with the iPhone, and when I next checked the location, the mushrooms had faded to mush.

Finally, I feel for the person who said that they get out of sorts reading this forum. Mostly I don't see that, I see a lot of people with a lot of experience who have helped me for free, but I have seen some very harsh things written. I do wish that would stop.