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Thread: Where are the great shots? Am I a cynicist or a realist?

  1. #101

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    Re: Where are the great shots? Am I a cynicist or a realist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    The thing is, after 25 years, I have all the right gear and the know how to do that and every other iconic shot, but my question is, who cares. No one will ever see it. No one wants to see it.
    Yeah, to me, the last thing the world needs are more of my photos. But I like puzzles. And trying to take an interesting photo of a tired or iconic shot is a pretty good puzzle. Iíve been working on the taking an intereting photo of the golden gate bridge. Complete failures so far, but itís keeping me entertained...

  2. #102

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    Re: Where are the great shots? Am I a cynicist or a realist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    Will, if I recall correctly, that very toilet was in Rhyolite, Nevada, just down the road from me. Maybe I can find his tripod holes?? Thanks for the encouragement. Like I said, I'm not quitting, but then again, I'm not showshoeing into Bodie in a 40 mph blizzard at -22 degrees to get THAT picture. I guess I no longer believe in that picture. But y'all will have to endure my antique vehicles a while longer.

    Wills got trashcans. I got mailboxes

    mailboxes, preston castle, ca

    btw, I went looking on line for this picture and someone had stolen it, cropped it, painted in the mailbox flags, and it was on pinterest with an entirely different link.

    Does that mean I'm famous?
    Yeah, you're famous. And you are going to be more famous after the book. Mailboxes, Preston Castle, CA. Now there is a classic Galli interpretation!

  3. #103
    Dave Karp
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    Re: Where are the great shots? Am I a cynicist or a realist?

    You got me thinking Jim. That could be dangerous. :-)

    That idea of "who cares?" is kind of interesting to me. When my late father-in-law was nearing the end, I asked him some questions about his photography -- why he got into it and stayed with it for many years, other stuff. His response was "Who cares?" I did not have a clear answer in my mind at the time, other than that his daughter cared, and I did, and so did the rest of his family and the other people who cared about him. I have been thinking about "who cares" on and off since then. Your post got me thinking about it again.

    Does it matter who cares so long as YOU care?

    I see a parallel in martial arts. I have been doing martial arts for a while now. At least three days/week for many years. The whole idea is just to keep learning and getting better. Slight improvements over time leading to significant improvements. Age makes some things harder and experience make some things easier. You start out knowing next to nothing and you keep learning. You work at continuous improvement. Your belts change colors. Eventually you may get some stripes on your belt. Who cares? It's a personal thing. I'm not going to be Bruce Lee or anyone else famous. I'm mostly dangerous to myself. It's a process. The doing of it keeps me going. The reward is internal.

    After awhile, I realized that it is the same with my photography. I have been a photographer of some sort for longer than anything else I have ever done. I never aspired to be an artist. I was just learning, having fun, and making photos. I never thought of making it a career. I just kept plugging along. I thought I was good in the darkroom. Then I learned I had a lot to learn. So I took the opportunity to learn more about it. I got better. Slow progress over time. More learning. Now, once I knock off the rust, I'm better than I ever was before. There is no doubt about it. There is also no doubt that I have a lot to learn. The improvements won't as dramatic as when I started, but there surely is room for improvement. There always is. As a result of all that practice, my vision is stronger. My technique is better. I am more likely to achieve my vision. I am learning completely new things too. Since my darkroom opportunity is limited, I am slowly learning to scan and print. Not what I prefer, but it is what I can do right now. So, I'm still learning. I think I am getting better at that too. I finally made some Epson prints that I am proud to hang on the wall. I don't get to practice any of it as much as I would like, but it is still fun to get out there and do it. It's the doing. It's nice that some people like my photographs. Some people don't get it. I love it. Who cares if anyone else cares?

    I think that the doing of it is the goal. The doing is also the reward. Whatever else might come is icing on the cake.

    Who cares? For me, it's me. Others who care about me care, but if it was only me, I guess that would be OK. I would do it anyway.

    It turns out that for me, the icing has been pretty sweet. The doing of photography changed my life. I met my wife through photography. Both of our dads were avid photographers. Who cared about what they did? We did. We spent time with them doing it. They taught us, sure, but that time we spent together was invaluable. Bonds were forged. Our dads joined a photo club and eventually we met each other. Both of us treasure the time we have (or had) sharing photography with our dads and with each other. It seems that your daughter is a photographer. Who cares? I imagine that both of you care. Does anyone really need more than that? One of my sons is developing an interest in photography, which makes me happy. More icing on the cake.

  4. #104
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Where are the great shots? Am I a cynicist or a realist?

    +1.

  5. #105

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    Re: Where are the great shots? Am I a cynicist or a realist?

    I'm late to the conversation, but who cares?
    Mr. Galli's work has been an inspiration to me, so I care.
    Lots of good points have been discussed here as this issue is a pretty common one among old hands.

    Beauty seems to me to be what's at stake.
    Look at a landscape (or old car, or barn or?)
    If it is someplace or something beautiful enough you want to be "there" and this includes using all your senses---the smell of forest duff or snow or motor oil; the tactile sensation of granite or say, rusty (or waxed & polished) metal or maybe peeling, whitewashed siding; the sound of rushing snow melt or wind on the trees or the surf singing her ancient song or a four banger's valves clacking merrily, then there is potential.
    You love that place or that building or that piece of rust bucket that you can only possess visually.
    At that point, I have to ask myself if I can put that on a sheet of film and print it on paper so to carry that image away with me, like a thief----like Robin Hood!
    Because if I love that thing, the chances are others will love it too and the image can be shared with them.
    From time to time I visit shut-ins. Sharing you photographs with them is a kindness, and probably the most pointed criticism I've yet to experience is when a patient leaves word to the nurses station to take me off the visitor's list.
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

  6. #106

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    Re: Where are the great shots? Am I a cynicist or a realist?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    ...another worn out shot of the sea stacks. LF black and white fine art version. Crystal sharp with 90 second exposure so the sea looks like a blurred gray fog and the fabulous rocks break through gloriously. <...> I have all the right gear and the know how to do that and every other iconic shot, but my question is, who cares... No one wants to see it.
    No they don't. Guess why? For exactly the same reason you do not want to make it: simply because that number_XXXXX copy of the 'iconic shot' is NOT ART.

    Art is a form of study/exploration. If you learn nothing making that picture you aren't practicing art. You are able to produce a 'perfect' picture nevertheless.... but it wouldn't it be just perfect boredom?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    It's unnecessary to attempt to correct me and give me all the arguments I've already given others about "you do it for you" etc. nothing else matters, every artist brings his unique vision, blah blah blah. Heard them all. GIVEN them all.
    Unnecessary? But isn't that TRUE? If it awards nothing to you, it's just not art at all. And the viewers do feel that, too, and just pass by, bored no less then the author was when he produced the thing....

    And a person who does not want to make those boring 'perfect copies' is right.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Galli View Post
    ... We asked if she'd sit for a portrait and I did this with Tina's (my daughter) B&J 4X5 and a 6 3/4" Gundlach f3 Cinema petzval. Not an important picture but we were having great fun.... Not art, and doesn't need to be.

    http://www.largeformatphotography.in...8&d=1516313197
    Sorry but I am totally sure you are very wrong in your evaluation of this picture. This IS ART.

    Though it really need not to be. Art does not ever need to be... That's how it comes into being, actually.


    .... All the above are my very personal opinions. And I hope anyone who disagrees would please forgive me for the somewhat pushy style of it....

  7. #107
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    Re: Where are the great shots? Am I a cynicist or a realist?

    Well said!

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