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

  1. #31
    Land-Scapegrace Heroique's Avatar
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    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    Quote Originally Posted by mdm View Post
    I have a book called chased by light by Jim Brandenburg, he restricted himself to 1 exposure a day for 90 days.
    Does anybody remember that old "One LF exposure per day for a year challenge" thread?

    The LFer who lasted longest reported back that he quit after about 90 days. He'd had enough.

    Most of the posts, I recall, objected to the absurdity of such an exercise – but one should remember the average age here is about 49 years, and many of the disapproving remarks expressed, if implicitly, that physical exhaustion is often tied to imaginative exhaustion; additional comments questioned the link between forced activity and inspiration. Wisdom, one might say, is a compensating reward for the waning vigor of youth.

  2. #32

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

    Sometimes here in Vermont I make the excuse that there are way too many trees...but I like trees! More to the point - at home there are so many other demands on my time besides taking out my LF cameras, that my "best" LF work is often accomplished while someplace else, and then usually when I can immerse myself for at least a few days in a row.

    Then again...many of my "home front" activities help to keep me whole. Hiking/kayaking with my wife and dog without a camera, having folks over, household building projects, working on my cars (love doing this), getting out on the J.D. for a little "seat time," cooking, banging away on my old Martin, and in general keeping up the place.

    At the end of the day, it just might be the cameras that eventually take the back seat - hard to believe this now...but time will tell I guess.

  3. #33
    adelorenzo's Avatar
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    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    It's some combination of 1) holier than thou, 2) elitism, and 3) complete nonsense since if the premise is that shooting is better than spending time on this board, and therefore we should all be shooting photos, then this board would not exist.

  4. #34

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

    I just did a rough (most likely inaccurate, but fairly close) count of my processed negatives and yet to be developed negatives. I have roughly 600 rolls of exposed and developed 120 and 35mm film that I'm gradually making my way through scanning. The very best are being saved in a separate binder and I plan to spend the winter printing in the wet darkroom when shooting in Vermont is less that pleasurable most days. I still have 16 rolls of 120 and 9 rolls of 35mm waiting for attention. In my 4x5 library, I have approximately 900 exposed sheets, and perhaps 400 5x7 negatives. 8x10 doesn't get as much attention as it deserves and I was able to count those. 240 negatives....15 to 20 of which I will print. I still have 12 4x5 film holders with film still to develop and 6 5x7 holders waiting for the developer.

    So I don't just hang out here. I get out and shoot at least two days a week when the weather is good. And by good, I mean warmer than 10F degrees in the shade. I don't like cold. I shoot in the rain and I love shooting in the snow. But I just don't like bitter cold.

    You'd think by now, I'd have gotten good at it, wouldn't you?
    Michael W. Graves
    Michael's Pub

    If it ain't broke....don't fix it!

  5. #35

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

    tonight i think it isn'tr me anymorer

  6. #36

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

    This week some fellow told me I should do platinum prints for a similar price to a lab print. I should be able to get the print to a 95% result on the first try. The project might take a day and a half, for which $400 was considered too much. I had a crown put on my tooth this Tuesday in 1 1/2 hours that cost $1275.

    Something is very wrong here. (No, I'm not doing the print, I refuse.) I can appreciate that down the line this person's personal economy means that he can't sell it for much, or he can't sell enough to warrant expensive custom printing. I have more experience than the dentist does, altho' I will add that he was an artist at it. However, he is doing something that has a recognized value and working in the arts is still second class citizenry.

    It's my belief that our culture needs people (artists) who can help the general populous access their feelings (and their humanity), have them appreciate their connection to the land we live in which is quite exquisite, and appreciate how amazing most people are. There is a lot of money here in the US, and if our country could stop doing some of the other things the politicians have us spending our money on, we could live in a paradise, where everyone could follow their passion. (I'm trying not to be political but its an inherently political question.)

    I was very dedicated over most of my life and I had many successes.. College teaching jobs, galleries in Carmel, etc. However, I was never financially successful at this. Certainly not to what a small family needs in California. Our culture doesn't value the arts in general. The average person likes my work very much, but can't afford it, our economy is so lousy. The galleries and museums are showing inane, stupid crap, for the most part. No one wants to represent my work at this point. Apparently, I am out of touch with the latest and greatest conceptual mumbo-jumbo. I need to reinvent myself, rework the whole portfolio, that takes a lot of time, some money, etc.

    So the question of "why aren't I shooting more" just makes me mad, just makes me want to tell the person asking to take a flying leap. If society doesn't want to see what I have to offer, then why should I bother? Because I chose to work in the arts, at 63 I have no savings to speak of and I wonder if I will ever have a time where I don't have to work. If I knew what I know now about how the arts function financially, I would never have started. There are a handful of us who are doing well, and I'm sincerely happy for you. If one more person talks to me about following dreams I'm going to holler.

    At this point I only do it because I enjoy it - its for me. And I'll shoot when I damn please... but not much lately, working much too hard to stay afloat.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  7. #37
    Corran's Avatar
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    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    The galleries and museums are showing inane, stupid crap, for the most part.
    I find it very strange when someone says this, but complains that they aren't getting the recognition/sales/gallery shows/whatever with their work. That's how it works. Not everyone can be a successful artist, and not everyone's art is going to be what is seen in galleries or sells, regardless of its merit. I was just at an artist talk yesterday and the show was a bunch of very large assemblies and structures, with a few large-scale canvas works. None of it was even for sale I don't believe. There would be no point - this isn't the type of work that is sold to private individuals. He talked about how he was just driven to make such things. He was an art professor at a small community college, which obviously doesn't pay a lot. I'm sure you would call his work inane. Truth be told, I didn't care much for most of it, but I can appreciate his methodology and some of the themes he incorporated.

    That's life. If you love what you do, great. I mean, I get it - I went to an art festival a few weeks ago and made zero sales. No prints, no instant portraits, no nothing. It turns out this was more of a counter-culture hangout than I was led to believe. They don't have money - well, after they spent it all on a new skateboard, anyway.

    It's the same thing in music. Only a few make it as musicians, despite the multitudes of hobbyists, who may be fantastic, but simply not in the top 1%. And on the other hand, it is certainly possible to work in an ancillary field - this is why I am a recording engineer and live sound guy. I'm not good enough to make it full-time as a symphony musician. I've made peace with that. You have a career in printmaking / scanning, same thing.

    Lamenting the lack of art appreciation or whatever in the USA is pointless. It is what it is, you can't change that, and even if you did, that doesn't guarantee any more success than before. To make another connection to music - wouldn't it be nice if every medium-sized city had a symphony? I played in two smaller symphonies for years, and for 2 rehearsals and 1-2 concerts, we were paid a whopping $300-$400, including travel. I think it boiled down to $15/hr. It was a joke, monetarily. No one plays in those types of symphonies for their job - even if they did 5 or 6 symphonies they wouldn't be making enough to live on, not to mention scheduling conflicts. So a lot of people lament the death of classical music in the USA in the same fashion. There's no jobs and no money in it.

    Truth be told, I can think of 2 or 3 stand-out photographers here who should be nationally recognized by now. But they aren't. Perhaps one day they will be, or perhaps they will be mere memories. Who can say?
    Bryan | Blog | YouTube | Instagram
    All comments and thoughtful critique welcome

  8. #38

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Lenny Eiger View Post
    ...I have more experience than the dentist does, altho' I will add that he was an artist at it. However, he is doing something that has a recognized value and working in the arts is still second class citizenry...
    Off topic, but this reminded me of something I read recently about a heart surgeon who took his Mercedes to his mechanic for a bit of maintenance work. Later in the day he went to pick up his car, and the mechanic started telling him about his point of view. "You know, doc, it occurs to me that you and I both do the same kinda work - open her up, work on the valves and stuff - yet you make a LOT more than I do. Why is that?" The doctor thought a bit and quietly said "Next time try it with the engine running."

  9. #39

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Lamenting the lack of art appreciation or whatever in the USA is pointless. It is what it is, you can't change that
    Bryan,

    Thing is, things used to be better. In my father's time the distribution of wealth was much different. A house cost $6,000. There have been plenty of times when the arts flourished. They aren't now, and what you say is correct, no amount of stamping one's feet is going to change that. The only thing one can do is move to a more forward thinking country, which I would do happily if I was in a position to do so.

    All that said, the truth is that I felt I had a responsibility to give back to my world. It's what my father taught me as a young child. Wife feels the same way, she had to have a career where she "helps people". I no longer feel that way (nor does she). It's been a lousy journey where the world didn't respond the way I wanted it to. Had I known that only 1% would succeed I wouldn't have started. I would have gotten a career where financial reward was part of the equation. I certainly wouldn't encourage anyone else to start in photography. How will they eat?

    There is no reason to shame anyone with "[Your name here], why aren't you out shooting?" Or his "ulterior question..."

    it's analogous to "Do what you love, money will follow" which is totally false... Love and money follow different rules.... and if you aren't making money, does that mean you aren't a loving person? Shame is a bad thing.

    I had a good buddy who went to the Berklee College of Music (in Boston) in the 70's. He studied Jazz Fusion, did his 30 years of playing scales for 6 hours a day and became masterful at the music he loved. Of course, now no one wants to listen to "easy listening jazz" except for a very small group. Market went away. At one time Joe Sample, Earl Klugh, The Rippingtons and Cbick Corea (among lots of others) were all over the radio. No longer.... it's someone tomatoes or mouse or whatever... I used to feel sorry for my friend, a very talented musician, and then it happened to me. Post-friggin-modernism. He does studio work now, and most of the time can be found working at Whole Foods, somewhere in LA. I can see there's a bad decision here or there, but should someone who works for 30 years at something be relegated to working for minimum wage? There's something off. Ayn Rand's principles didn't work for this guy.

    My scanning and printing business is far too small to support me and my family. Most of the time I am writing software... which is also constantly changing. Now I am having to learn new languages all the time. I work 7 days a week, and am so stressed I can't see straight. I won't complain that the world has gotten fast; but it would be a lot nicer if it were more fair, and the arts were give half a chance. 30 years to get a job at Whole Foods is pretty unfortunate, even if one doesn't like Jazz Fusion.

    Lenny
    EigerStudios
    Museum Quality Drum Scanning and Printing

  10. #40
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Your thoughts on the "Why aren't you out shooting?" post

    Quote Originally Posted by adelorenzo View Post
    It's some combination of 1) holier than thou, 2) elitism, and 3) complete nonsense since if the premise is that shooting is better than spending time on this board, and therefore we should all be shooting photos, then this board would not exist.
    Succinct, I admire that. Well put.
    sin eater

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