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"There is a image in every scene, the question is, do you see it?"

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by NickCyprus, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    From the moment I've read this comment posted by our forum member Lucille, it's been stuck to my head and I can't take it out
    Probably because its so damn true and it includes the meaning/the essence of photography in just a few simple words

    The question is, what do you do when you "don't see it"?
    In other words, do you think the "eye" for photography is a gift/talent one is born with or something that you develop along the way with constant practise? And what do you do when you catch yourself not having the needed inspiration in things to take photos of?


    Share your thoughts :)
     
  2. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    Some people do have a photographic eye as a gift. No question about it.

    But the rest of us ca develop it with training.

    Photography truly is everyman's hobby. Today more than ever because the digital format and mass production of decent optics means that anyone can take good photos.

    But it is good to be self-critical. The moment you become complacent you stop developing as a photographer.
     
  3. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    I'm very suspicious of the idea that one is "born" with anything creative. It may get developed at a very early age, but I'm pretty firmly in the "nurture" camp when it comes to anything artistic. Practice, practice, practice.

    Usually I just quit shooting and go have a beer. There's always tomorrow. Until there isn't. :p
     
  4. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    There are natural photographers. I've seen people who never used a camera just frame shot after shot perfectly. They can't tell you how they did it, it's just there.
     
  5. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Good advice - I think I'll try it :D


    That's one reason I posted this topic/asked this question - cause I agree with the above comment (I actually have an example of such a person living just a floor above me and I just can't explain it logically, you know? )
     
  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I think much of this is your perceptions. While you may look at a photogragh taken by a "natural" photographer and marvel at it, I may look at it and say "meh!"

    Like most art, photography is pretty tough to quantify as to the level of talent that created it. ;)
     
  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    Well, you could be right, of course. And if you've ever seen the documentary Born into Brothels, there's an amazing kid in it who took to the camera like a fish to water.

    What I question is whether this natural skill is one that we pop out of the womb with, or if it's something we develop fairly early, when our childish scribbles get praised by the adults around us, and this encouragement makes us eager to learn how to "see" compositions, and how form and empty space, and light and shadow interact. After that, moving to a camera is just like trying a new instrument when we already have a good grasp of music.

    Who knows? Can anyone say for sure? And while we're asking unanswerable questions: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? ;)
     
  8. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    +1

    I do think art is about perception almost as much as it is technical skill. There was a certain now-deceased actor who took up painting, and made quite a bit of money selling his paintings. I've seen some of the paintings, and I didn't think they were very good from a technical standpoint. On the other hand, as I mentioned on the other thread, an in-law looked at my "Ordinary Things" photos and said "yuck", although several of you liked them. As I tell my children often, much of life is about personal preference. If I can look at a scene, frame it to get what I want from it, and adjust the camera settings to get the most from the scene, I'm happy.

    Tony
     
  9. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    I believe there are people who are born with natural ability. Probably a lot more than we would notice. After all, if they never pick up a camera, how would we know? Even if they did, having the 'eye' and capturing what they see is not the same thing. What if they didn't even like photography?

    But I also believe you can develop it. I know that as I go about my daily life now, I see the world around me differently than a year ago. I notice things I never would have before. That's not to say, it would make a good photo even if I could capture it but by seeing things differently there is some kind of development going on.

    I think street photography is great for this kind of development. It's photography of opportunity and that trains the eye.

    I have often read that to make a good photographs, you should shoot what you love. I don't know if I agree with that at least from the aspect of learning. It seems to me that when I take photos of the people I love, I focus too much on the subject and miss other elements that might be detrimental to the photograph. This is another reason I think street is good for developing an 'eye'. The people are just part of the scene, I don't really care about them except for how they impact my photograph.
     
  10. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    That's because you take those different pics for different reasons. Whether subconsciously or not, your street shots are taken for "art", your shots shots of loved ones are just that- love. Doesn't matter about weird stuff in the frame 30 years from now, it's the people you'll see. ;)
     
  11. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    Agreed, however it doesn't make for good training of the eye in my opinion.
     
  12. freddytto

    freddytto TalkEmount All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2011
    Puebla, Mexico
    IMO, I think that over time, those not born with a photographic eye as some of us, we need practice daily, this way learn to handle a good frame and play with the light, and everything to make our pictures come out better, to be honest I've seen amazing pictures of flowers here and to me that does not work, I feel that my shots are boring, so I need to practice a lot and run a good technique.
     
  13. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    David
    May I just say here that I really love reading all these considered thoughts from photographers I admire? This place rocks!
     
  14. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    All work and no play... ;)
     
  15. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    Also, the question was what you do when you lack inspiration to take photos.

    What I do is to keep taking them anyway. Inspiration is just a subjective notion of how much you are enjoying yourself doing something.

    Even if you feel no enjoyment, you can still practice photography and even take good photographs. Some of my photos that I personally like the most now, were taken on days when I felt really uninspired and had to force myself to use the camera.

    I also agree with Changsa that street is good training for the eye. One of the best landscape photographers I know of, Meyerowitz, started as a street photographer, one of the first modern ones.

    Meyerowitz was an ad man, who in the early seventies became suddenly infatuated with serious photography. So he quit his job, borrowing a camera from his boss, and became a street photographer in New York. But the photos to his arguably best work, Cape Light, were taken while vacationing with his family on Cape Cod.

    I think that is one of the most compelling reasons to pick up a camera and keep snapping, whatever and wherever.
     
  16. Lucille

    Lucille TalkEmount Veteran

    351
    May 22, 2013
    I was driving, came into a dark road in Mariposa, and the lights of Albuquerque were illuminating the sky..

    I saw this image in my minds eye, then I captured it with my Sony Rx1.

    It was very dark, but a long exposure and some light painting helped me capture what I saw in my minds eye...


    0615-2.
     
  17. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    Really stunning shot :) Being able to pre-visualise a shot is also a mark of a true photographer.
     
  18. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    484
    Mar 25, 2013
    Really stunning shot :) Being able to pre-visualise a shot is also a mark of a true photographer.
     
  19. gio

    gio TalkEmount Veteran

    382
    Sep 12, 2012
    Manchester, uk
    100% this, it's your perception of the photo that you are judging,if it fits your criteria of a great photo, that's fine, but it might not fill anybody elses, you are probably looking uncritically at the photos.

    born with talent is a no, no in my book
     
  20. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Stunning shot, Lucille.

    Tony