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Challenge: Self-Portrait Revisited (Classic Editing)
Camera: Sony DSC-F707
Location: Hickory, North Carolina
Date: Jun 12, 2003
Aperture: F5.6
ISO: ISO 100
Shutter: 2
Galleries: Humorous, Black and White
Date Uploaded: Jun 12, 2003

Do you ever feel stuck? Do you ever feel that you are limited in what you can shoot for use on DPChallenge? Do you feel that certain restrictions are keeping you from getting any better? I have won ribbons on DPChallenge. I have been sitting at the top of the 'favorite photographers' list since its conception. To some, that may sound like a great thing. To me, it says that I'm not good at anything except taking stock photos.

I have learned how to control my camera. I can take technically great photographs that seem to appeal to a broad audience. I can choose subjects to photograph that seem to appeal to the DPC masses. There is no fun in that challenge for me anymore. I want to break away from all that and take a different style of photos.

Creativity is often shunned on DPC. I see a lot of great photographs here every week that really capture the essence of the moment... the subject... the time... the vision of the photographer... These photos 'say' something and convey a mood or a feeling. They are much more than just technically pretty pictures. They don't score very well in many cases. I believe that stomping on this creativity is harmful. I believe that it will ultimately limit your ability to expand as a photographer in the realm of fine art photography. I also understand that not everyone wants to do these different types of photography, and that is OK too.

I have reached a point in my own photography where I am not learning much from DPChallenge. I need to break away from my attempts to make simply 'pretty' pictures and start exploring the reality of photography and work on creating my own message and conveying what is my own vision.

Part of accomplishing something like this sometimes involves creative use of the camera. Different perspectives... blur... sharp focus... grain... sharp contrast... combinations of these... hoping to create an enhancement of the mood... capture the moment :)

I don't plan to participate in the challenges anymore but I do plan to remain active on the site in other ways. I enjoy watching everyone develop and I still enjoy viewing the photos that surface here.

Cheers :)


Searching for new things...

Place: 51 out of 222
Avg (all users): 5.8924
Avg (commenters): 7.4634
Avg (participants): 5.9552
Avg (non-participants): 5.8377
Views since voting: 3127
Votes: 288
Comments: 57
Favorites: 9 (view)

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03/10/2004 06:12:27 PM
thanks John, these are lovely and inspiring words!
07/12/2003 09:21:06 PM
thank you.
07/08/2003 07:04:40 PM
I added this as one of my favorites, not because of the photo, but because of the comment under it, well said. Good luck.
07/02/2003 02:01:51 PM
John, bravo. Ditto. Good luck to you...

My goal... The work of Emil Schildt //www.98981010.dk/emil/

Emil has found his voice. That is my goal, to find mine. Sounds like you have the same goal. I also said my goodbyes on my last image... Individuality is dead here and not rewarded IMO...

Message edited by author 2003-07-02 14:05:05.
06/26/2003 10:42:59 AM
Setz, I don't think I could have said it better. You are dead-on with how this site rewards the literal and not the art. It is one reason I rarely submit anymore. I have taken photos where I was extremely pleases with the results but deleted it because I knew it would get penalized for content, style and/or quality. This site has a great purpose, but it does not inspire me to push the limits of myself.

I'm glad you have faced the reality that this site is not geared towards creative (or necessarliy advanced) photography. Countless wonderful moments captured are frowned upon for a "hot spot" or a "blur" or something pathetically insignificant like that. Like how many people brought up your over exposure in Light of the Spirit, even after you bring attention to it with your title.

Best of luck!
06/25/2003 11:29:55 PM
Personally John, I think you always explore creatively. Didnt you do a shot of urinals?

You shot in the bar was quite edgy, and real, and also did pretty well.

I think you are caught in the creative versus popular conudrum. If it is popular, it must not be creative? if it is creative, why can't it be popular? but it is popular, so it cant be creative.

I am sorry you are not enjoying your photography as much. Personally, I would love to be able to shot great stock photography. Good luck in your endevors, and enter challenges when it fits with what you want to do.
06/25/2003 08:15:57 AM
SETZ, SSSSSTTTTTAAAAAYYYYY. I love your work mate. But whatever you decide to do, I know you will do it well. Pop in and say 'hi' from time to time ok. PROMISE...
By the way, love the legs and that bald head!!
06/25/2003 12:37:42 AM
Setzler, it's you! I'm sorry to hear you won't be participating in challenges anymore, we are going to miss your great work. I hope you change your mind and decide to participate from time to time. Your work and participation really inspires a lot of people here so I'd hate to see you less active. :(

I understand however. I wish Drew and Langdon would consider ways for adding another demension to the DPChallenge by possibly adding a new type of challenge geared towards beginner "photo art" with no rules. Then it could evolve from their to intermediate, etc. I wouldn't want that to be the focus of the site, but I think it could add a great new aspect to DPC.

06/25/2003 12:23:59 AM
I really think your "vision" need not exclude DPC, it just may preclude more ribbons until the site (and the voters) progress further.
06/25/2003 12:15:25 AM
How great that you can put yourself in that situation for us all to see.

Good luck with whatever road you decide to embark on.

From what I know of you from my time on here, I know you will be successful in whatever it is that you choose.

06/25/2003 12:12:53 AM
I think you have a fine sense of humour! Congratulations on your POTD on DPContest. Looking forward to seeing your work on other sites. Goodluck.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/24/2003 10:03:57 PM
lol...i love it!
06/24/2003 06:02:36 PM
I can almost smell and hear this shot ! lol Too damn funny. :)
06/24/2003 05:49:05 PM
:-) For the title, too.
06/24/2003 03:49:04 PM
LOL! what paper are you using, good humor good photo :O) 10pt
06/24/2003 09:52:24 AM
the quote from your profile might be appropriate here, no? "I think I have reached a point where I need to explore new possibilities in photography and put the challenges aside." i chose not to rate this one...
06/22/2003 07:50:40 PM
ha,ha,ha, ha,...clever and naughty man...com' on give me a smile...i really like the concept and idea, its simply amazing...the lighting is just perfect...its great time to read a book...mine is newspaper...excellent works....perfect 10!
06/21/2003 11:34:56 PM
LOL. Some of the best reading happens in the bathroom. :p There apparently are three John's here. =-) Nice use of B&W
06/21/2003 09:07:28 PM
Charming, just charming! I think black and white suits this very well. Very self deprecating portrait.
06/21/2003 01:12:06 PM
Well, my husband (mag) told me to be on the lookout for your shot, and here it is. He just told me that this is your last submission to dpc, and I'm disappointed and surprised. As you may know, I don't really follow the chatty stuff, but mostly just focus on the photos. I've always found your work to be both interesting and inspiring. I hope that your hiatus is short.
The element of this picture that I really like is the lighting, with all the little catchights on the various surfaces, like on the toe of your shoe.
Return soon.
06/21/2003 12:39:38 AM
ROFLMAO, I love it...you're crazy dude...LOL 10 !!!
06/20/2003 08:30:21 PM
06/20/2003 08:42:03 AM
Brave, well taken and clever. 9 - floyd
06/20/2003 01:19:09 AM
Art imitates or life been there done that. RLS - 8 - Blemish on right leg is distracting and shadows on right foot too dark for my taste cause minor loss of detail. (Sidenote - smoking is bad for your health).
06/20/2003 01:18:24 AM
LOL, you are a freak. :) To be honest, it's a very good shot, with great lighting and contrast. Did you get this idea from the book you're reading? :D
06/20/2003 01:04:58 AM
very punny ;-) I take it you're a John too.
06/19/2003 11:57:52 PM
Hey, I'd get that mole on your right leg checked.
06/19/2003 09:08:25 PM
Im I just a prude or is this just unnecessary? compostion-wise, its a magical photo; i like the lighting as well, but the subject?
06/19/2003 03:33:01 PM
Creative and clever, definitely. A bit personal for my taste, though.
06/19/2003 01:24:40 PM
I love this shot. I was going to do one similar in Matrix, since it didn't mean squat to me. Great job.
06/19/2003 01:58:49 AM
Nice shot John. Seems you have this thing for your bathroom. Im wondering if thats really a window behind your head? Almost looks like something is hanging there to block the light. Great shot though and love the book. I have a bunch of stuff by him.
06/19/2003 12:12:01 AM
Great one, John! I was heading to bed and remembered I did not vote on this photo!
Definitely made me smile...Thanks! John 3 I get it....lol
06/18/2003 11:33:32 PM
this is my favorite so far! great shot!
06/18/2003 10:52:52 PM
John, you are the master 10
06/18/2003 09:22:15 PM
I don't get it.

lol. Great shot John. Very creative. Looks like you've got a copy of Hustler stuck under the book cover. lol. Jacko. 9 for creativity.
06/18/2003 09:14:28 PM
06/18/2003 05:15:12 PM
How many takes was this then?!! Nice lighting, grain and composition.
06/18/2003 05:14:32 PM
Funny and brave - 8
06/18/2003 04:33:20 PM
Funny as hell!!
06/18/2003 03:30:21 PM
john..get off the toilet already.
06/18/2003 02:32:07 PM
just too coool!
06/18/2003 01:08:16 PM
This is so great. Technically well done, funny, and the perfect book thrown in pushes it over the top in terms of creativity. Congrats! 10
06/18/2003 12:22:20 PM
You are such a NUT!!!!!!!!!! LOL
Get out of the bathroom. lol
06/18/2003 11:44:03 AM
06/18/2003 10:57:26 AM
So THIS is how The Master comes up with his best shots, eh? (Let me grab my notebook here and jot that down...) Nicely done... very well exposed (in a couple ways, I guess). I like the use of B&W here, too... it adds to the mood.
06/18/2003 10:56:53 AM
ja.ja.aj. =)
06/18/2003 10:20:41 AM
Where's the apple ?
I had to get back up in my chair before I could vote on this. I love it ! A perfect photo of a photographer ! You never let us down. 10
06/18/2003 10:17:04 AM
that commentry on the book or on the site ? I like the use of the rule of turds in this shot. The focus placed on the bruise on the right leg can't be praised highly enough.
06/18/2003 10:07:50 AM
great title, nicely framed... good picture. It's nice the way your upper body is balanced between the white shower curtain and the white of the mirror.
06/18/2003 07:17:36 AM
Great idea, great execution.
06/18/2003 06:35:07 AM
:) A Classic!
06/18/2003 03:06:42 AM
I'm glad you don't have to hold books close to your face to read. Great touch of humor with a serious side.
06/18/2003 02:25:54 AM
Heee hee heee ! 9
06/18/2003 01:50:51 AM
Is there toilet paper? the roll appears to be empty....Hope not:)
06/18/2003 01:39:07 AM
LMAO John. Very well done!!
06/18/2003 12:58:40 AM
Too funny! (or is it funny squared?)
06/18/2003 12:56:04 AM
Yummy... look at my hot fiance <GRIN> Setz... LOL.. this cracks me up... it rocks! Very well done :-) The lighting here is so good... everything is wonderful, as usual in your photos :-) I also love the nae... hehehehe... good job!

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