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dsphotog
4-May-2016, 12:55
I just viewed the video about Vivian Maier, it showed that she was a major hoarder, this got me thinking... Is the actual act of "Taking a picture" a form of hoarding?

BrianShaw
4-May-2016, 14:17
I just viewed the video about Vivian Maier, it showed that she was a major hoarder, this got me thinking... Is the actual act of "Taking a picture" a form of hoarding?

I suppose it depends on how many pictures one takes and keeps. Taking a lot of pictures is not hoarding, but seems more like the crime of conversion to me - taking possession of something (image, likeness, soul) that is not the rightful property of the photographer. Maybe not culling ones negatives could be considered hoarding.

Jac@stafford.net
4-May-2016, 14:32
I suppose it depends on how many pictures one takes and keeps. Taking a lot of pictures is not hoarding, but seems more like the crime of conversion to me - taking possession of something (image, likeness, soul) that is not the rightful property of the photographer. Maybe not culling ones negatives could be considered hoarding.

With respect and with great interest, could you expand on that part of your statement, please?
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lecarp
4-May-2016, 14:46
Photography, no. Buying more and more equipment that you really do not need or use, yes.

Toyon
4-May-2016, 14:47
I don't think it is a form of hoarding, but there are obsessive-compulsive photographers and equipment gatherers. I wouldn't want to conflate "taking" a photograph with possession. Otherwise "taking a crap" would have highly unpleasant consequences. Nor do I believe that a photograph "captures" the "soul" of a person. At best, it conveys to the viewer, a momentary and relatively unambiguous sense of that person. A kind of two-dimensional place holder around which the mind can build a fictive construct based on their visual reading of mien, apparent context, and presumptions and prejudgments.

jnanian
4-May-2016, 14:53
i can see how it can be suggested that capturing moments on film is a form of hoarding, but that is what photographers do. and i agree wtih lecarp that
often times photographers are not happy with the gear they have, they are always searching for a silver bullet, buying, and buying more "stuff"

Jac@stafford.net
4-May-2016, 15:08
Hoaders are people who keep everything regardless of utility, or in our case images memorable or of aesthetic value or not. If that is the condition then if we could look at the mountains of crap many of us, and almost certainly most of digital mavens store... Need I go on?

I'm looking for any way I can re-purpose the miles of film I've wasted,
,

Drew Wiley
4-May-2016, 15:42
Hoarding memories, along with multi-layered experiences all the way from tripping the shutter to the drymount press, yes. Just plain hoarding... well, that's what my wife thinks!

Ken Lee
4-May-2016, 17:22
According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compulsive_hoarding):


"Compulsive hoarding, also known as hoarding disorder, is a pattern of behavior that is characterized by excessive acquisition and an inability or unwillingness to discard large quantities of objects that cover the living areas of the home and cause significant distress or impairment."

Some artists with exceptional creative abilities produced enough work to fill up entire galleries and museums but nobody's complaining about them.

As with so many things artistic, a disorder - like beauty - is in the eye of the beholder.

Rory_5244
4-May-2016, 18:40
LOL, we use photography as cognitive behavioural therapy for people with the disorder at my hospital psych clinic. Susan Sontag wrote about the philosophy behind taking pictures: Brian Shaw is on the right track. :D

LabRat
4-May-2016, 19:43
LOL, we use photography as cognitive behavioural therapy for people with the disorder at my hospital psych clinic. Susan Sontag wrote about the philosophy behind taking pictures: Brian Shaw is on the right track. :D

Yea, Susan Sontag (I think I remember) stated that photography was the extension of the hunter/gatherer instinct... And something about the male species sublimating the kill of the hunt with (shooting) photos...

I personally don't take much photo crit too seriously... Apples and oranges comparing visual language to written language... And many of the authors just need to get out more, and see/feel/sense the world... (And stop breathing so much library dust...)

neil poulsen
4-May-2016, 22:31
If indeed photographers tend to be hoarders, I don't think that it's limited to images. :o

Peter Gomena
5-May-2016, 00:50
I steal time, I hoard moments, I collect sunlight.

Robert Bowring
5-May-2016, 05:46
"Is photography a form of hoarding?" Who cares? What difference does it make?

bigdog
5-May-2016, 07:21
... Vivian Maier ... was a major hoarder ...

Correlation does not equal causation.
One is not a viable sample.
Etc.


Is the actual act of "Taking a picture" a form of hoarding?

No.

DrTang
5-May-2016, 08:52
collecting maybe

hoarding usually means not being discernable and photography is highly discernable



photographers are collectors...I think of myself as a collector and documenter way more than anything to do with 'artist'

fishbulb
5-May-2016, 13:56
Yea, Susan Sontag (I think I remember) stated that photography was the extension of the hunter/gatherer instinct... And something about the male species sublimating the kill of the hunt with (shooting) photos...

Interesting. Seeing a group of photographers has sometimes reminded me of a group of hunters with their guns. In either case, often older, out of shape white males for whom a wild, animalistic hunt isn't socially acceptable, much less physically possible.

Many successful photographers have been unabashedly predatory in their work - collecting subjects or stories, taking something, getting something out of them. Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton both spoke about this phenomenon - Avedon in defense of it, and Newton against it.

Jim Galli
5-May-2016, 14:26
Photography in itself is amoral. So the question as posed is moot.

A couple years back I got a phone call about some old cameras in a basement. Marginally interesting but in an oak lawyers cabinet were thousands of excellent negatives of our desert communities and their peoples taken from roughly 1938 to 1953. The fellow mostly used a 5X7 with decent anastigmat lens. 4X5's when he was in a hurry. Probably a press camera as they aren't as excellent.

I'm sure his wife thought he was a hoarder. His children also showed no interest. Finally a grand daughter inherited the stuff and was interested in the cash value of the oak cabinet. I asked if the negs would remain in the drawers if I bought it, and she was more than glad to do that. So for $600 bucks I bought an important slice of local history and am in the process of preserving it. There are coffee table books. He had a very sympathetic eye. I'm really glad he hoarded. Maybe someone will dust off my crap in 75 years and have some fun.

Peter Lewin
5-May-2016, 14:43
I don't think collecting images (i.e. photography in itself) is hoarding, but I have some concerns about negatives and work prints. I tend to file even poor or mediocre negatives, and to keep more work prints than I should (not the steps I go through in making a final print, but I tend to make multiple copies of the final print in case I screw up the spotting, toning, or mounting). On one hand, it is often fun to look through the old contact sheets and not-so-great prints, but on the other hand the boxes and loose leaf binders to tend to accumulate.

Jac@stafford.net
5-May-2016, 15:10
she was more than glad to do that. So for $600 bucks I bought an important slice of local history and am in the process of preserving it.

Amazing and wonderful! Documentary photography is a long-term commitment. You have a treasure. Thanks for being there for the rest of us.
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stawastawa
5-May-2016, 23:28
I just viewed the video about Vivian Maier, it showed that she was a major hoarder, this got me thinking... Is the actual act of "Taking a picture" a form of hoarding?
What an Excellent Question!

I tend to keep to many things, hoping to find use of them someday, so I agree much with the idea that all that comes along with photography can lead to hoarding. And I think Brain says it right:

Maybe not culling ones negatives could be considered hoarding.


I steal time, I hoard moments, I collect sunlight.
Here Pete I think hits the heart of it, the essence of why many of us go out with camera in hand.


hoarding usually means not being discernable and photography is highly discernable.
photographers are collectors...I think of myself as a collector and documenter way more than anything to do with 'artist'
DrTang submits an interesting view. I think the 'collecting' sometimes gets the better of our 'discernment'. (we take that flower photo in harsh sun on a digital quick cam because we dont have such an image yet. Which brings us back to culling our negatives, make bad images that slightly improve and get rid of the old!). But generally yes, we go about and dicern something, sometimes consioucly sometimes unconsciously, and make a snap - when we look at that snap again we either agree and solidify our discernment, or we put it aside. The making of abstract work intrigues me here, as so often I am frustrated wondering "will this work" and "what the bagebers do it even men that it 'works' ?!? "


Jim thank you for preserving this indeed! and thank you joe for recognizing it.

Amazing and wonderful! Documentary photography is a long-term commitment. You have a treasure. Thanks for being there for the rest of us.
.

Maris Rusis
7-May-2016, 23:12
Curiously, in British parlance, hoarding can mean a billboard and the public display of photographs, billboard-style, for advertising, self promotion, or art is part of the medium's history.

angusparker
28-Nov-2017, 14:54
I agree with others that taking pictures isn't hoarding but holding onto to a lot of equipment qualifies. Here are my thoughts on "culling the lens herd." Enjoy! http://www.angusparkerphoto.com/blog/2017/11/culling-the-lens-herd