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So, why do you pursue photography?
#1
Hi all,

I was fortunate to have a day’s photo tuition with David Clapp last week (check http://www.davidclapp.co.uk).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, as we were driving to a wind-blasted photo-shoot on a rather soggy Dartmoor, he asked why I want to pursue photography. Why indeed!

Well, these are the reasons more or less as I gave him:

1. Commercial - my brother is MD of a publishing company and is asking for shots for publication
2. Watchers – to my amazement quite a few people like to see my photographs and that means honouring their interest with pleasing images
3. Awareness - that is, increasing the awareness photography has already given me of light, texture, colour, shape and atmosphere and more – David immediately dubbed that ‘spiritual’ - perhaps it is!
4. Maximising the benefit of recent travels – all through 2014 I frequently visited and revisited the many images I took on a foreign adventure holiday
5. Enhancing quality of retirement life – the big outdoors, exercise, challenge, companionship and more.
6. Remedying some of my personal frailties – after a lifetime of pressure in the workplace I need to go slower, wait longer, come closer….photography demands all of those!

Of course, the real reason is simply that I like it – well most aspects of it, though the technicalities of post processing can be frustrating at times…

Are these credible reasons for aspiring to be a passing fair photographer?

What would you have said? It might be illuminating to hear why you all are drawn to spending the time, money and effort - if you care to share?

Regards all, Jeff

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#2
Jeff, interesting thread!

I have been photographing all my life, more or less. My parents bought me a little black box as a birthday present when I was a little guy and it has been a personal hobby more or less, ever since. In high school, I shot a lot of the student activities, sports, the "annual play", etc. Some of these ended up in the school newspaper or the yearbook. A lot of it in my adult years was just "documentary" - where we've been, kids growing up, etc. I also used it to document field conditions and situations for my work. I then got away from it for a while and have really only returned to it seriously since I retired. When you retire, as those who haven't retired will find out, you need a reason to get up in the morning - you need a "hobby". This could be volunteering for a local society, serious pursuit of a card game like Bridge, or something else. You have to occupy the retirement time in a personally meaningful fashion.

For me, that was, and is, photography. I went from film to digital about 8 years ago and haven't looked back. Having worked with computers as an IT consultant for many years prior to retirement, the "post-processing" became part of the whole photography scene for me. I enjoy the shooting of the image as much as the processing of it. The whole process is an outlet for my creative spirit. I have done a lot of travelling in pursuit of my hobby - 3 times to Africa with a fourth later this year and a fifth next year. As well, I have had the good fortune of visiting places like Death Valley, Alaska, the Galapagos, South Dakota's Badlands, Florida for bird photography (four times) plus many other local excursions to test my skills and give me an outlet for my creativity.

The artistic side of photography (Yes, I believe that photographers are artists.) involves a continuous learning experience. I believe that if you aren't learning, you're dead, or soon will be. So this post-retirement reawakening of the photographic creative spirit in me keeps me going, gets me up in the morning and keeps my mind thinking and working. When I pass on, I hope I do so with a camera in my hand.

WesternGuy
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#3
Pleasure. Smile

Cheers.
Philip

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#4
Jeff,
Being a Sports photographer, I find it a challenge at each event to capture not only the action of whatever sport it is I am covering, but to relay the emotion and energy of the athletes or participants. Every sport has it's challenges to be able to "capture the moment". I would like to think each assignment allows me to improve my skills and continue to provide parents and spectators memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Jimbo9948
Jim Weber
Zephyrhills, Florida USA
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#5

Pleasure. Smile

Hi Philip - yes! What aspects give you the most pleasure? I suspect you derive huge pleasure from contributing to this forum like many of us. as well as the technical and processing challenges, but maybe I am just guessing! I may be miles off! Cheers, Jeff

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#6

Jeff,
Being a Sports photographer, I find it a challenge at each event to capture not only the action of whatever sport it is I am covering, but to relay the emotion and energy of the athletes or participants. Every sport has it's challenges to be able to "capture the moment". I would like to think each assignment allows me to improve my skills and continue to provide parents and spectators memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Jim Weber

Jim - The aspects of challenge and fulfilment totally resonate with me. By the way, do you have any sports shots to share with us? I do like a bit of that myself. Cheers Jeff

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#7
(Jan 14, 2015, 02:21)WesternGuy Wrote: Jeff, interesting thread!

I have been photographing all my life, more or less. My parents bought me a little black box as a birthday present when I was a little guy and it has been a personal hobby more or less, ever since. In high school, I shot a lot of the student activities, sports, the "annual play", etc. Some of these ended up in the school newspaper or the yearbook. A lot of it in my adult years was just "documentary" - where we've been, kids growing up, etc. I also used it to document field conditions and situations for my work. I then got away from it for a while and have really only returned to it seriously since I retired. When you retire, as those who haven't retired will find out, you need a reason to get up in the morning - you need a "hobby". This could be volunteering for a local society, serious pursuit of a card game like Bridge, or something else. You have to occupy the retirement time in a personally meaningful fashion.

The whole process is an outlet for my creative spirit. I have done a lot of travelling in pursuit of my hobby - 3 times to Africa with a fourth later this year and a fifth next year. As well, I have had the good fortune of visiting places like Death Valley, Alaska, the Galapagos, South Dakota's Badlands, Florida for bird photography (four times) plus many other local excursions to test my skills and give me an outlet for my creativity.

The artistic side of photography (Yes, I believe that photographers are artists.) involves a continuous learning experience. I believe that if you aren't learning, you're dead, or soon will be. So this post-retirement reawakening of the photographic creative spirit in me keeps me going, gets me up in the morning and keeps my mind thinking and working. When I pass on, I hope I do so with a camera in my hand.

WesternGuy

My goodness, this is one of the best contributions I have seen on this site, WesternGuy, (just my personal opinion, mark you), though I have been influenced in what I do by your previous postings among others. Funny how our roots spring up again after many years. My elderly parents were talking last night about their Ensign Full View from 1947 (Ed: are you there?).

If it's not too tangential to this thread, do you have any tips for photography in the Galapagos as you mention your visits there? I leave for Ecuador and Galapagos next Saturday (24th). Polariser perhaps? Zoom/landscape? Light and so forth? Travel photography almost worth another thread - would you care to start one? Maybe there is one already. I'll be hanging on your thoughts on that!

I fully endorse what you say about photography in retirement, though I am less convinced about my creative and artistic ability showing in my photography so far!

Cheers, Jeff
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#8
Ensign Full View from 1947 (Ed: are you there?).


Got one. Ed.

To each his own!
Reply
#9
(Jan 15, 2015, 04:56)Freeman Wrote: Jeff,
Being a Sports photographer, I find it a challenge at each event to capture not only the action of whatever sport it is I am covering, but to relay the emotion and energy of the athletes or participants. Every sport has it's challenges to be able to "capture the moment". I would like to think each assignment allows me to improve my skills and continue to provide parents and spectators memories that will hopefully last a lifetime.

Jim Weber

Jim - The aspects of challenge and fulfilment totally resonate with me. By the way, do you have any sports shots to share with us? I do like a bit of that myself. Cheers Jeff

Here are a few from last nights action. The second is a winning goal but since I am limited to 200mm at f/2.8 it had to be cropped which brought out the grain at ISO 12,800.        
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#10
(Jan 15, 2015, 04:54)Freeman Wrote: Pleasure. Smile

Hi Philip - yes! What aspects give you the most pleasure?...

Cheers, Jeff

Hello Jeff. I find it difficult to restrict comment, as I enjoy almost everything about photography - all those things that others and yourself have mentioned in posts here - as a retirement pastime. Hence one exception that you mentioned is the commercial aspect - I have no interest in producing photographs to order, or in selling anything I produce.

On a personal level, it keeps mind and body active. There is so much to learn, question and consider, alongside trying to develop the skills and creative thinking that contribute to the quality of the end product. It encourages exploration of different places by traveling and walking, and looking at them much more closely and carefully and in different ways.

On a social level, in addition to the somewhat remote interaction on web sites, there is the very friendly but competitive atmosphere of the local camera club for one evening every week, plus gaining new friends there to meet at any convenient time. It is also satisfying when friends who are not serious photographers often ask to see the latest batch of photographs, and want to know all about them.

On the technical aspects, I admit to being a bit of an addict. I am captivated by the design, structure, composition and workings of the equipment and software. To me each camera body and each lens is not merely a tool to enjoy using for creative endeavour, but a true marvel of technology to look at, feel, hold, study and respect. And the amazing enhancements that can now be achieved by processing images in computer software are almost magical!

Cheers.
Philip
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#11
[/quote]

Here are a few from last nights action. The second is a winning goal but since I am limited to 200mm at f/2.8 it had to be cropped which brought out the grain at ISO 12,800.
[/quote]

Love these, Jim, especially the first which shows the two ladies in contention with the ball. Great sense of moment and action and the depth of field adds hugely to the general sense of sporting enjoyment. Hope to see more over time? Jeff

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#12
(Jan 15, 2015, 11:39)MrB Wrote:
(Jan 15, 2015, 04:54)Freeman Wrote: Pleasure. Smile

Hi Philip - yes! What aspects give you the most pleasure?...

Cheers, Jeff

Hello Jeff. I find it difficult to restrict comment, as I enjoy almost everything about photography - all those things that others and yourself have mentioned in posts here - as a retirement pastime. Hence one exception that you mentioned is the commercial aspect - I have no interest in producing photographs to order, or in selling anything I produce.


Cheers.
Philip

Philip First of all, I can't believe my brother is ever going to pay me for any of my images he publishes!!! What a challenge though!

Totally agree with a lot of what you say but you are miles ahead of me so your delight in the processing complexities has yet to reach me....

By the way, I owe you lunch...

Cheers, Jeff

Reply
#13
(Jan 15, 2015, 05:10)Freeman Wrote:
(Jan 14, 2015, 02:21)WesternGuy Wrote: Jeff, interesting thread!

I have been photographing all my life, more or less. My parents bought me a little black box as a birthday present when I was a little guy and it has been a personal hobby more or less, ever since. In high school, I shot a lot of the student activities, sports, the "annual play", etc. Some of these ended up in the school newspaper or the yearbook. A lot of it in my adult years was just "documentary" - where we've been, kids growing up, etc. I also used it to document field conditions and situations for my work. I then got away from it for a while and have really only returned to it seriously since I retired. When you retire, as those who haven't retired will find out, you need a reason to get up in the morning - you need a "hobby". This could be volunteering for a local society, serious pursuit of a card game like Bridge, or something else. You have to occupy the retirement time in a personally meaningful fashion.

The whole process is an outlet for my creative spirit. I have done a lot of travelling in pursuit of my hobby - 3 times to Africa with a fourth later this year and a fifth next year. As well, I have had the good fortune of visiting places like Death Valley, Alaska, the Galapagos, South Dakota's Badlands, Florida for bird photography (four times) plus many other local excursions to test my skills and give me an outlet for my creativity.

The artistic side of photography (Yes, I believe that photographers are artists.) involves a continuous learning experience. I believe that if you aren't learning, you're dead, or soon will be. So this post-retirement reawakening of the photographic creative spirit in me keeps me going, gets me up in the morning and keeps my mind thinking and working. When I pass on, I hope I do so with a camera in my hand.

WesternGuy

My goodness, this is one of the best contributions I have seen on this site, WesternGuy, (just my personal opinion, mark you), though I have been influenced in what I do by your previous postings among others. Funny how our roots spring up again after many years. My elderly parents were talking last night about their Ensign Full View from 1947 (Ed: are you there?).

If it's not too tangential to this thread, do you have any tips for photography in the Galapagos as you mention your visits there? I leave for Ecuador and Galapagos next Saturday (24th). Polariser perhaps? Zoom/landscape? Light and so forth? Travel photography almost worth another thread - would you care to start one? Maybe there is one already. I'll be hanging on your thoughts on that!

I fully endorse what you say about photography in retirement, though I am less convinced about my creative and artistic ability showing in my photography so far!

Cheers, Jeff
Jeff, thanks for kind words. I have taken the liberty of starting a new thread to answer your question on Galapagos travel. I did not want to hijack this one.

WesternGuy
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#14
Brilliant, thanks! Hope the thread on reasons for photography continues here with more folks contributing. Regards Jeff
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#15
I think you are right. As passionate about photography, I always enjoy this.
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#16
Me encanta mucho todo este tema, las personas exponen aquí todo lo que piensan. A mi en lo particular me encanta bastante aquello que tiene que ver con la fotografía porque me parece que es una viva memoria de lo que pasa y pasará
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#17
Translation: I love this whole subject a lot, people expose everything they think here. In particular, I quite love what has to do with photography because it seems to me that it is a living memory of what happens and will happen.

Hello Vanesa - nice to hear of your love for photography! You are more than welcome to add an introduction here in the forums - let us know how long you have been interested in photography and at what stage you are in learning the art.

Thank you,
Barbara
Barbara - Life is what you make of it!
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