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Thread: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

  1. #1
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Seattle, Wash.

    Post Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    "[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!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    South Texas

    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    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.

  3. #3
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003

    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    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.
    my picture blog

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2010
    St. Louis, Mo.

    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    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!".

  5. #5
    Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Humboldt County, CA

    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    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 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.
    "Landscapes exist in the material world yet soar in the realms of the spirit..." Tsung Ping, 5th Century China

  6. #6

    Join Date
    May 2006
    SF Bay Area

    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    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.


  7. #7
    Maris Rusis's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Noosa, Australia.

    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    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."
    Photography:first utterance. Sir John Herschel, 14 March 1839 at the Royal Society. "...Photography or the application of the Chemical rays of light to the purpose of pictorial representation,..".

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    Too busy to read your posts.
    BTW, why aren't you out shooting instead of writing them?

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Leipzig, Germany

    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    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.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Pacifica, CA

    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael E View Post
    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".

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