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02/16/2019 03:58:20 AM · #1
Why do we take photo’s?

Let’s be honest here and try to say what the primary motivation behind us going out and capturing a moment is.

Is it to be appreciated by someone else? or Is it just for the photo itself?
So when you press that button and hope for a good result, what’s that hope about, are you pressing that shutter button to be appreciated or are you just trying to capture something what you consider interesting with no regard to how it’s percieved?

No judgement here, whatever the motivation is it’s just whats happening and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Is all this about being appreciated or are can you still be motivated to shoot without that appreciation?

02/16/2019 04:15:12 AM · #2
interesting post ..

i often see taking photographs as similar to being a performer ..
in some ways i do take photographs for myself .. but then its very motivating for me to get feedback ..

when i'm shooting bugs however .. i love getting in the zone where i'm connecting with that insect ..
and actually looking for an insect to shoot puts me in a zone where my thoughts stop .. and i'm in the moment .. like a meditation ..
shooting family .. i take those photos for them .. as a record of special times like birthdays and such ..
events .. i love connecting with ppl thru my photography .. its like having a dog .. its a talking point ..
in nature .. once again .. being in the moment ..

but for me personally i do need that feedback and hopefully some appreciation for what i shoot ..
and that could come down to my own personality .. i thrive on words of affirmation ..
i know that we are all different ..
i think of Vivian Maier .. i think she did it just for the love of taking photographs .. ??
02/16/2019 04:18:12 AM · #3
then i think of the times i've gone out taking photographs for a challenge possibly ...
and the act of trying to get something that i think is good enough to enter .. i could take a lot of photos and spend quite a bit of time doing it ..
and then come away with nothing ..
but .. i have spent that time doing something i love ...
and the fact that i could delete most of those photos does not detract from the fact that i was in my happy place ..
02/16/2019 04:23:53 AM · #4
also i have great difficulty going with what i love .. and not second guessing what i think other ppl would like to see ..
which i feel takes away from my 'creative' process .. as i lose myself in trying to please other ppl ..
02/16/2019 05:25:40 AM · #5
Originally posted by roz:

also i have great difficulty going with what i love .. and not second guessing what i think other ppl would like to see ..
which i feel takes away from my 'creative' process .. as i lose myself in trying to please other ppl ..


That’s very honest of you Ros and i have to say that it was exactly the same struggle that happened here for a long time. That need to please and be appreciated seemed to be in opposition with the natural flow of how things would be seen if there was no need for appreciation.

02/16/2019 05:44:59 AM · #6
Originally posted by roz:

then i think of the times i've gone out taking photographs for a challenge possibly ...
and the act of trying to get something that i think is good enough to enter .. i could take a lot of photos and spend quite a bit of time doing it ..
and then come away with nothing ..
but .. i have spent that time doing something i love ...
and the fact that i could delete most of those photos does not detract from the fact that i was in my happy place ..


Yes exactly and that happy place seems to be often overlooked in the quest for appreciation and results.

02/16/2019 06:21:58 AM · #7
Cause my uncle was a photographer and my mother worked in his shop; I grew up with bread and photos and I breathe celluloid, fixing and development since I was born. I wanted to be a rock star but the photography won.
I would been a great a rockstar, I'm sure
.
.
.
.

:)

The first part is serious
02/16/2019 10:31:29 AM · #8
I take photos because I am still in awe of what a camera can do. It is a magnificent achievement, and I do everything I can to twist it and subvert it. I am like the gorilla with that suitcase, but also the person watching the commercial, amazed at the punishment that suitcase can take.
02/16/2019 10:34:55 AM · #9
What a multi-dimensional question. When I think about what I value in life, I immediately consider the realms of beauty, love, and truth. My happy place involves the appreciative/receptive aspects and the generative/creative aspects of these aesthetic realms.

Photography encourages me to see with clarity and awareness wherever I look. I see and appreciate more - the play of light and shadow, repetition and shapes, colors and dynamic ranges, momentary events and lasting compositions. And the process of making images helps me better appreciate an increasingly wide range of images produced by others. It sometimes helps me make better images. Create beauty and appreciate beauty - enriches life both ways.

I also enjoy the validation and learning (sometimes both) that often comes from feedback about my images, and I enjoy letting others know how I appreciate their images (note to self: comment more). Making images can be a solitary experience, sharing them becomes a pathway to friendship and fellowship, locally and even around the world. Give love, receive love - "everybody everybody wants to love, everybody everybody wants to be loved ...".

The aesthetic realm of truth involves learning and teaching, experiments and facts, evidence and justice. I enjoy making images that show the world in a new way, that provoke thought, that challenge assumptions (and also images that just look pretty too). I enjoy noticing image details that were undetected in the moment of capture. I enjoy learning new skills, as well as teaching others. I can even appreciate negative feedback that helps me learn. I know that some images can change the world, and I can appreciate those images even if I haven't made such am impactful one myself.

Those are at least some of the reasons why.

02/16/2019 10:36:01 AM · #10
For me it's a way of exploring and it is what it has in common with my other main pastime of cycling. Looking for interesting shots gets me exploring an area in detail instead of merely admiring the initial view.

There's also some personal satisfaction in creating a scene with qualities I have admired elsewhere.

And I'm a tech nerd. Lots of dials switches and buttons. My ex wife used to say that I liked computers because of all the buttons.
02/16/2019 10:39:00 AM · #11
Originally posted by roz:

also i have great difficulty going with what i love .. and not second guessing what i think other ppl would like to see ..

I think we all do that second guessing, but the interesting thing is, when I have just said "to heck with it, I'm entering this one because I like it" I seem to nail the popular appeal at least just as much, maybe more often. Maybe we overthink the popular appeal approach.
02/16/2019 10:52:55 AM · #12
For me I just because I want to try doing something different though I was reading about the depression with Photography, there was a new publication over NPR

There was another here on this topic

Message edited by author 2019-02-16 10:53:42.
02/16/2019 11:18:01 AM · #13
There's a lot of fog around the question and getting to the root isn’t necessarily easy but maybe the reason I enjoy taking photos is the ability of the camera to capture those special moments that are always happening but seldom noticed in our usual hectic vision of life. Walking around with a camera slows you down and the normal banality of the things around us become infinite in their possibilities.

Another possibility Is that there’s no reason at all, it could be just a like that seems to need a story to validate itself. I often go running through the woods with the dogs, hiding from them and making silly noises so they find me, I’ve never asked why I do that, maybe photography is the same.
02/16/2019 11:26:12 AM · #14
Everybody seems to have a different angle on this. Like 21_F.gif Roz I get lost in the moment when I take the photos, I look at the tiny camera screen and think how fantastic. I come home, put them on the large screen and think what a pile of rubbish ;)

My husband some years ago asked why do I take photos? They will just finish in some drawer and be mostly forgotten. That shook me and I thought about how to share them. How do they acquire a longer life? That was in 1995, I had no answer till 2010 when I joined DPC! Suddenly I got feedback, I learned new things, I shared my photos with others like me. That was great!

Now I am a bit burnt out. Still love it but I find it difficult to shoot for challenges, to shoot the subjects I don't like. My only current incentive to score higher at DPC is to stop 21.gif Alexkc from overtaking me in the official Top Ten Most Ribbons ;) (yes I am competitive by nature :)

So no much depth here but there is still some fun :)
02/16/2019 12:09:59 PM · #15
Love the question, John!

I've always been a story-teller; I used to be a writer, until chemo took that skill away from me. I was desperate for another way to be able to externalize what I saw in my head, and photography did that for me.

Photography literally helps me connect better with the world. When I carry my camera, My perceptions go into overdrive; shadows, details, movements, colors, everything comes into great detail, like I'm absorbing vast quantities of information to distill them into one perfect moment. Even when I'm organizing a shoot, everything becomes clear, logical, easy.

When I work with human subjects, I feel my own energy, even heartbeat, try to match their own; we seem to enter some third dimension where there is a direct communication from what I see in my head to what they do with their bodies.

I love shooting for challenges because it often makes me think in ways I normally wouldn't; however ENTERING challenges is actually the antithesis of this: the process of receiving a score below what I actually feel about the image is very painful - and I know a lot of people feel that way about their images. It's why we have so many "people who score below 3 should explain why" threads. I hate that it makes me question my love for my own image.

So I guess to me, my camera is a magical, miraculous vehicle for intent, focus, calm, expression, creativity. And yes, it's wonderful when I get expressions of admiration when I share them :)
02/16/2019 02:44:03 PM · #16
For me, photography is about the pursuit.

A quote I like:

The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world—impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family from all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not—to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy. Or we might liken him to a mirror as vast as the crowd itself; or to a kaleidoscope gifted with consciousness, responding to each one of its movements and reproducing the multiplicity of life and the flickering grace of all the elements of life.

-- Charles Baudelaire

Message edited by author 2019-02-16 14:44:34.
02/16/2019 03:09:27 PM · #17
Originally posted by Sisto:

Cause my uncle was a photographer and my mother worked in his shop; I grew up with bread and photos and I breathe celluloid, fixing and development since I was born. I wanted to be a rock star but the photography won.
I would been a great a rockstar, I'm sure

Meanwhile, in an alternate universe...

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1232671.jpg
02/16/2019 03:54:46 PM · #18
Originally posted by Art Roflmao:

Originally posted by Sisto:

Cause my uncle was a photographer and my mother worked in his shop; I grew up with bread and photos and I breathe celluloid, fixing and development since I was born. I wanted to be a rock star but the photography won.
I would been a great a rockstar, I'm sure

Meanwhile, in an alternate universe...

Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_1232671.jpg

yeah!!!!
02/16/2019 04:38:31 PM · #19
I am not a photographer. ...but I play one in my head.
02/16/2019 06:10:42 PM · #20
and I think sharing is a very innate part of who we are as humans ..

look at little children ..
look at me .. look at me .. they are sharing who they are ..

I feel .. as photographers .. or just ppl who love photography .. we are doing much the same ..

02/17/2019 12:12:57 AM · #21
Originally posted by marnet:

My only current incentive to score higher at DPC is to stop 21.gif Alexkc from overtaking me in the official Top Ten Most Ribbons ;) (yes I am competitive by nature :)


LOL! If I get more ribbons at the end of the year you should invite me in Switzerland to stay in that beautiful house with mountains view. This would be a super incentive for me :p

About the main question: I always loved every kind of artistic expression. I love literature and reading books and I started writing stories and published several of them. Writing stories can't be just for other people's appreciation, so I'm quite sure I did it for myself. I always loved music and I started playing guitar at the age of 17. No idea I would have performed in front of people and recorded albums, so it's the same, I've done it for myself. And I think playing an instrument is of the most magical things you can do in your life. That's why a I decided a few weeks ago to buy a synthesizer because I wanted to explore new areas and not be confined only to strings instruments. The same with cinema. I started from there and reached video and photography. Both are projections of what I see and probably what I think. I never start from what people would like. I start from myself. But it's too simplistic to say that we don't search for other people's appreciation. In some way we always do. I guess that some lone guys can truly have that feeling of creating stuff just for themselves, but for the rest of us is the joy of creating and sharing. When I shared my New Zealand image with the yellow trees (one of my highest scores) I shared that moment, that light, being inside the water for a couple of hours to get that shot. I printed it on canvas and it's hanging over my son's bed and each time I remember that amazing moment. I feel good and especially with travel/landscape stuff I love to share that and I hope that the other can feel good as well watching them.

Last but not least photography (and video) is main and only job. If I get great photos client will be happy and me too because even when you do it for a living, you can still love it... as I do.

Message edited by author 2019-02-17 00:15:12.
02/17/2019 03:04:29 AM · #22
Originally posted by Alexkc:

Originally posted by marnet:

My only current incentive to score higher at DPC is to stop 21.gif Alexkc from overtaking me in the official Top Ten Most Ribbons ;) (yes I am competitive by nature :)

OK, you are on but I hope you can ski!!! :)
02/17/2019 05:57:48 AM · #23
Originally posted by marnet:

OK, you are on but I hope you can ski!!! :)


Surely not Alberto Tomba, but I can shoot great Ski photos ^_____^
02/17/2019 06:13:19 AM · #24
Originally posted by Alexkc:

Originally posted by marnet:

OK, you are on but I hope you can ski!!! :)


Surely not Alberto Tomba, but I can shoot great Ski photos ^_____^

I am not an expert either, just a groomed slopes skier but I can do Blacks fast (my max speed in Zermat was 76km/h :)
02/17/2019 02:41:58 PM · #25
At my core, I'm a functioning introvert. I like living in my own headspace, but my career and life have kept me outside of it more often than not. I function well in both areas, but... when it comes to emotional recharging, photography is my happy place. I prefer to shoot alone and I enjoy post-processing as quiet contemplation, too.

Why, then, am I a photographer?

It's a combination of things that engage my soul and my intellect. It's a place to learn and express. It's productive quiet. It's food for my creative hunger. And like so many others, I appreciate the recognition that comes from those who enjoy my work, although it seems that what I like best and what others like best are not often in sync.

I also relate to this well-stated sentiment:
Originally posted by bob350:

Photography encourages me to see with clarity and awareness wherever I look. I see and appreciate more - the play of light and shadow, repetition and shapes, colors and dynamic ranges, momentary events and lasting compositions. And the process of making images helps me better appreciate an increasingly wide range of images produced by others. It sometimes helps me make better images. Create beauty and appreciate beauty - enriches life both ways.

And this:
Originally posted by posthumous:

I take photos because I am still in awe of what a camera can do. It is a magnificent achievement, and I do everything I can to twist it and subvert it. I am like the gorilla with that suitcase, but also the person watching the commercial, amazed at the punishment that suitcase can take.

And this:
Originally posted by Alexkc:

I start from myself. But it's too simplistic to say that we don't search for other people's appreciation. In some way we always do. I guess that some lone guys can truly have that feeling of creating stuff just for themselves, but for the rest of us is the joy of creating and sharing.

Thanks, 21_N.gif jagar, for posing the question!

Message edited by author 2019-02-17 19:16:20.
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