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Thread: Thoughtful Photography

  1. #1
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Thoughtful Photography

    I had popped over to Luminous Landscape, PhaseOne IQ 180 Field Review, by Mark Dubovoy, and saw something I never thought I would see: "Thoughtful Photography."

    Then I read his definition of "thoughtful photography."

    1. Mount the camera on the tripod and look through the viewfinder. Because of the custom mask, it is quite easy to decide which lens to use and adjust the camera to properly frame the image.

    2. After the camera is locked in position, mount the chosen lens on the camera and connect the PC sync cable.

    3. Measure the distance to the key object in the image using the Disto D5. Enter the distance in the HPF ring.

    4. Choose a lens aperture, ISO and shutter speed appropriate to the image (guess the exposure).

    5. Make a test exposure.

    5. Evaluate and confirm framing, focus, leveling and exposure using the tools in the IQ 180 touch screen. Perform any necessary changes or tweaks.

    6. Shoot the final image. If not satisfactory, repeat step 5 and shoot again.
    (Must ... control ... fist of death!)

    Doesn't "thoughtful photography" have anything to do with the image being made?

    When I practice "thouthful photography," I think about what I want to photograph. I might travel hither and yon, or I might hang around the house. I think about what should be in the frame, what what is better left out. What does something "say" about a concept? Am I maximizing what I see? What about a different angle? Is the sun in the right position? Am I making something that I find interesting? How does it make me feel? How might it make others feel?

    These are some of the things I think about when I make a photograph. How about you?

  2. #2
    Resident Heretic
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    Re: Thoughtful Photography

    I don't pay a lot of attention to LL. Things like this is why. From my point of view, those guys just don't get it. Probably from their point of view, I'm the one that doesn't get it. Who cares? Photography isn't a contest.

    Bruce Watson

  3. #3
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughtful Photography

    I think many here would share your frustration w/ Mark Dubovoy’s ideas.

    The quote below suggests the poor man is very lost indeed:

    “The real test of how valuable and desirable all this technology is comes down to whether photographers will be willing to put their hard earned money on the table and buy the device.”

    At least he sounds happy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    How might [my photo] make others feel?
    The great forgotten question among many photographers. Deserves a thread of its own. For many, photography is an exclusively individual enterprise, and the question above just isn’t that important. If you read a lot of theory-of-late, and believe it, the possibility of communicating “what you mean” is illusory; and self-regard, it would seem, has no better encouragement. Me, I think asking this question can, and will improve one’s photography, and deserves an investment of faith from everyone.
    Last edited by Heroique; 12-Jun-2011 at 18:34.

  4. #4
    Cordless Bungee Jumper Sirius Glass's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughtful Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Heroique View Post
    I think many here would share your frustration w/ Mark Dubovoy’s ideas.
    Which leads on to ask, "Why is bandwidth being wasted on this subject???"
    Nothing beats a great piece of glass!

    I leave the digital work for the urologists and proctologists.

  5. #5

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    Re: Thoughtful Photography

    Let's face it, photography is definitely not rocket science, no need to overthink it...

    But come to really think of it, I really don't like this recent fad for bitching about what others do or say.

    I also think that if they really must exist, threads like this belong to The Lounge. There is already one "complaining thread" going right now, with much more thought and humor invested in the posts than here.

    What Bruce said - who cares?

  6. #6

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    Re: Thoughtful Photography

    I'm confused by, both, this thread, and its spinoff. The subject has never inpired me to think about it. I'm hoping the comments of others mioght get me thinking something interesting about something I've just never thought about.

  7. #7

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    Re: Thoughtful Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian C. Miller View Post
    I had popped over to Luminous Landscape, PhaseOne IQ 180 Field Review, by Mark Dubovoy, and saw something I never thought I would see: "Thoughtful Photography."

    Then I read his definition of "thoughtful photography."



    (Must ... control ... fist of death!)

    Doesn't "thoughtful photography" have anything to do with the image being made?

    When I practice "thouthful photography," I think about what I want to photograph. I might travel hither and yon, or I might hang around the house. I think about what should be in the frame, what what is better left out. What does something "say" about a concept? Am I maximizing what I see? What about a different angle? Is the sun in the right position? Am I making something that I find interesting? How does it make me feel? How might it make others feel?

    These are some of the things I think about when I make a photograph. How about you?
    I think about some of those things when making a photograph. But I don't expect to read about them in product reviews. Or did you miss this sentence at the beginning of the article:

    "O.K., now that I have made that disclosure let's proceed with the REVIEW." (my caps)

    The article in question is a review of a photography product, i.e. a digital back. It isn't an essay about the thought process involved in making photographs. And in the language you quote he's describing how to use the product that he's reviewing, which is pretty much what reviewers do.

    He says that "thoughtful photography" is a term he's using to describe the experience of using the product he's reviewing. It doesn't purport to be a "definition of thoughtful photography" as you claim.

    I don't read a review of a photography product expecting to see an essay on hanging around the house or traveling hither and yon or on how a photograph made with the product will make the photographer or others feel or any of the other things you tell us you think about when making a photograph. Do you?
    Brian Ellis
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
    a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

  8. #8
    Format Omnivore Brian C. Miller's Avatar
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    Re: Thoughtful Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ellis View Post
    He says that "thoughtful photography" is a term he's using to describe the experience of using the product he's reviewing. It doesn't purport to be a "definition of thoughtful photography" as you claim. Of course you didn't mention the fact that this is a product review. From your message one would think this is an essay on making a photograph or the things one should consider when making a photograph. And that isn't at all what it is.
    As a matter of fact, in the first sentence, "PhaseOne IQ 180 Field Review" should have been a dead giveaway that the source of the quote was a product review. You weren't really confused about that, were you?

    The "On Photography" section of the forum is exactly the place to discuss things like this. What is "thoughtful photography" to you? Is it nothing more than setting up the camera and making a good exposure? Or is there more to it than that? Is there any philosophy of photography at all in your life? Why persue "art" if there is no philosophy behind what is produced? Without philosophy, doesn't art devolve into some kind of repetetive psychosis? Why touch brush and paint to canvas? Why bang on a rock with hammer and chisel? Why load up a cumbersome box and expose film?

    The basis of what we do is the art of communication. We are trying to communicate an idea from noggin A to noggin B. Our medium of artistic expression is photography. If we are choosing to express something, thinking about the final product should be de rigueur.

  9. #9
    Abuser of God's Sunlight
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    Re: Thoughtful Photography

    Read it in context. It's his dumb name for a method of working with a technical camera that is much simpler than what he's been able to do in the past. The idea being, he's thinking less about nuts and bolts so he can think more about substantive things.

  10. #10

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    Re: Thoughtful Photography

    I guess in a day and age when photography for many requires no thought thanks to automation, giving thought to a photograph at the time of capture is a novel idea and worth notice......

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