Page 4 of 4 FirstFirst ... 234
Results 31 to 39 of 39

Thread: Putting it all together

  1. #31
    Jack Flesher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    1,078

    Re: Putting it all together

    Of course -- thank you for the correction!
    Jack Flesher

    www.getdpi.com

  2. #32

    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    632

    Re: Putting it all together

    another potentially valuable discussion gets sidetracked into stupidity oblivion

    *sigh*

    Cyrus, in my own limited experience on this issue, a body of work tends to find the photographer, rather than the other way around. The secret is to keep on working, and to keep on asking the question you are asking. And in the huge pile of nopes and never-minds from a year's shooting, there will be a few interesting photos-- those ones that are surprising to you, even though it was you who took the photo. There's something different about those ones, maybe a sense of newness or strangeness, or just pure luck that something happened in the frame that you didn't even see at the time. And you think, "I'm going back to that place, there is something there," and a year later you're still going back there despite whatever costs and difficulties try to get in your way. And pretty soon you find that you have a whole collection of those different ones, and they add up to something that you can't quite figure out, but there is a kind of magic in it, and other people see it too, and reflect that back to you when they look at the photos.

    And the really messed-up part is, when you look closely at those ones, and talk to people about them, you come to realize something that you didn't realize earlier-- that all of them are of solitary things that no one else noticed, or all of them are dead things with a strange beauty, or all of them have the same kind of sad curve to them, or there are no people in any of them, or whatever. So you discover in retrospect that you were actually looking for this particular thing the whole time, but didn't know it, maybe as an external reflection of your own inner landscape-- a mirror of your own feelings of loneliness, or isolation, or abandonment, or alienation or whatever it is for you (and make no mistake: we all do that, and we all have it in us, however enlightened we pretend we are).

    So then you have a body of work, and at the same time, unfortunately, now that you have figured out the key, the project is over. So you print it, show portfolios, put it on your website, maybe have a show, etc. And now you have to start on something new, because once you know the key to that series, if you try to do it again, the results will be formulaic, boring, dead, dull, lifeless, etc. And honest people who see the new work will tell you that, and it will be something you already know yourself even though it is difficult to accept and admit.

    And I must say, having produced something like seven "bodies of work" by now (five of which have never been exhibited), this process is difficult, exhausting, frustrating, and--more than anything else--frightening, because you never know when the creative thread will run out, but that possibility sits there on the horizon as dark as death itself.

    And so you feel the fear, talk to your friends about it, make a sacred place for it (because it is the one reliable indication that you are on the right track), and get back to work, and so it goes.

    ~cj

  3. #33

    Re: Putting it all together

    Quote Originally Posted by chris jordan View Post
    another potentially valuable discussion gets sidetracked into stupidity oblivion

    ~cj
    Well, excuse people for living!

  4. #34
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    9,712

    Re: Putting it all together

    Well stated Chris.

    And for what it is worth.....during my most productive years, shooting b&w fine art, I only owned two lenses, a 90mm and a 210. I almost never used the 90. I don't recall feeling constrained and virtually never cropped more than a touch on the edges. You tend to learn to see within the limitations of your equipment rather than lament the lack of equipment.
    Last edited by Kirk Gittings; 21-Oct-2006 at 17:44.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  5. #35

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    9,476

    Re: Putting it all together

    While slow and steady prodding will usually win in the long run, you should be prepared for the magic moment when you get "hot". It is like being in the "zone" when playing a sport exceptionally well -- and everything you touch just works. It is true and it does happen. And then you can create an entire body of work in almost no time.

    Of course this can also be diagnosed and treated with lithium, as there are often definite lows that follow. But I suspect that a lot of great artists were never treated by modern medicine, much to our benefit.

  6. #36

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Posts
    2,420

    Re: Putting it all together

    You say you have been doing this a few years - is that a few years of not getting the camera out much or a few years of at least 500 sheets a year with LF? If you are not shooting much, then force yourself to start shooting at least 100 sheets a month, and I bet you will find that you have found a theme by the time you get to 1000 sheets. If you have already shot a couple of thousand sheets, then spend some time looking at your index prints of all of them, not just the keepers, and see if there is a pattern there you are missing by only looking at the keepers. You may have a theme, you just might not have taken any good examples of it, so your keepers distract you from seeing it.
    Last edited by Ed Richards; 21-Oct-2006 at 19:37.

  7. #37

    Re: Putting it all together

    I can't think of anything more to add to the excellent comments from paulr and Chris, but I chuckled when I read this:

    So then you have a body of work, and at the same time, unfortunately, now that you have figured out the key, the project is over. So you print it, show portfolios, put it on your website, maybe have a show, etc. And now you have to start on something new, because once you know the key to that series, if you try to do it again, the results will be formulaic, boring, dead, dull, lifeless, etc. And honest people who see the new work will tell you that, and it will be something you already know yourself even though it is difficult to accept and admit.


    Since I've been guilty of carrying on far too long myself - probably every time in fact. And the first time it happened was complicated by the fact that it corresponded with my move to LF. It took me a while to realize the photographs were 'dead and lifeless' not because of the equipment but because the project was finished. And the funny thing is, the reason I got in to LF was so I could do a 'better job' on that project!

    Cheers,
    Eric

  8. #38

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    2,590

    Re: Putting it all together

    Thanks Chris

    Luck does indeed have a large part in it - at least for me at my level of photographic skill (in fact, right now its probably mostly pure dumb luck~!)
    Actually I notice that whenever I try going back to a place that caught my eye, for whatever reason I just can't reproduce the same environment. I've even become a bit superstitious about this - if I don't get the shot I say that it "wasn't meant to be" (which my rational mind says is a completely bonkers thing to say) but I suppose that's how I've learned to cope with missed opportunities...

  9. #39
    Rio Oso shooter
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    203

    Re: Putting it all together

    Cyrus the people that have responded to your post are, for the most part, masters of the art. I too have the same superstition but I think that photography helps you see the details that you have seen before, but did not understand. I am an older guy who has looked at many sunrises and sunsets and have realized each is different. The moments that I have captured with LF are unique, fleeting and surprisingly difficult to recreate. The trouble that I have with taking images is that I find beauty and a strange resonence that makes me feel "obtuse" surprisingly often, even when I don't quite get it right. I wish someone could tell me how to get from the vision to the final image. Difficult, very difficult. We are, after all, capturing a moment, distorting it and putting it on our wall where it was never really intended to be.

    Hope I have not been to peasant,
    Richard Adams

Similar Threads

  1. Putting shutter blades back
    By Joakim Ahnfelt in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 2-May-2006, 03:46
  2. Putting LF black and white on the WWW
    By Ed Richards in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 24
    Last Post: 16-Dec-2005, 06:38
  3. Protar V 6.5x8.5: worth putting in shutter?
    By Daniel Geiger in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 11-Dec-2005, 19:42
  4. Replies: 11
    Last Post: 16-Nov-1999, 11:38
  5. Putting a new shutter on a old lens
    By andrea milano in forum Lenses & Lens Accessories
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 30-Oct-1998, 11:33

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •