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An act of creation

Discussion in 'Critique Corner' started by FundyBrian, 16 July 2016.

  1. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    Brian Townsend
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    Let's banish incorrect terminology from photography. I don't think anyone here is just "taking" pictures. Taking pictures implies a relatively mindless snapshot activity. Making them, yes. Creating them, yes. Taking implies theft or stealing. Some aboriginal people used to worry that the act of photographing someone peeled off a layer of their soul, and it was done against their will - an aggressive act.
    A lot of the common language of photography dates back to the film days. For most people, what happened at the moment of pressing the shutter was the last creative step they made. This was especially true with slide film. "What you shot is what you got". You couldn't do anything to a slide to improve it after it had been developed and mounted.
    "Great shot" - borrowed from hunting - implies taking down the subject in an aggressive way.
    Most of our photo slang carries over from those days and implies that the image was in its final form at the moment of pressing the shutter. Nowadays, a large amount of the creative work on a photo happens AFTER the initial exposure. Using language that ignores the creative work after exposure is rather insulting and demeaning. It's as though we are ignoring the creative work that happened after the initial exposure and are acknowledging only the initial take, shot, grab, capture, theft, rip-off. What about the rest of the work that happened to create the final image? Will we pretend it never happened?
    Classic fine art zone system photography involved a lot of previsualuzation. You made spot meter readings at a number of points throughout the scene and determined in what zone you wanted those tones to fall in the final print. In most cases your calculations involved knowing in advance the type of paper that would suit the image and the exposure scale of that paper. I used the Phil Davis BTZS system with a pocket computer. Your zone system calculations would tell you the developing time required for that sheet of film in a particular developer to ensure the resultant negative would print correctly on your chosen paper. Even back then this does not imply simply taking pictures.
    Our creative work today still involves a lot of previsualization but most of the image finishing happens after the initial exposure.
    So what's it going to be? Continue insulting photographers and pretend their creative editing never happened?
    I say it's time to update the use of language to match the current reality. We have hopefully got through racism and sexism in our everyday language. Can we do less in what we love?
     
    Kmenglee, lisamjw, chimera and 2 others like this.
  2. RoseCat

    RoseCat MobiFaerie... Site Staff

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    Interesting and informative Brian!! It makes sense.... and "words have power"...

    I like the word "create"... Now, breaking old habits of speech might prove a little difficult, but isn't it just 3 weeks to change a habit? Or is it 10 days...
     
    Kmenglee, FundyBrian and JillyG like this.
  3. chimera

    chimera MobiStar

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    Great read. Thank you so much. To your point, I completely agree.
     
  4. lisamjw

    lisamjw MobiStaff Site Staff

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    Excellent commentary, Brian! I totally agree with you. (Not sure why I did not see this when you first posted it!)
     
    Kmenglee and FundyBrian like this.
  5. Ryn S

    Ryn S MobiPassionista

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    I've always heard 30 days to break a habit and 30 to make a habit for a total of 60 days.
     
    RoseCat likes this.
  6. Ryn S

    Ryn S MobiPassionista

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    I agree! I wrote "great shot" the other day on someone's image. It bothered me. I didn't know what else to say. Are we Mobitog-ers up to the task of finding replacement lingo? I'll be happy to share it around :)
    Can we start with "nice shot!" ??? What else can we say?
     
    RoseCat likes this.
  7. Kmenglee

    Kmenglee MobiPassionista

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    Totally agree on what you said FundyBrian
    That is why I always said images rather photos
    Nowadays almost all images taken digitally are edited in some ways
    There was an argument on FB by someone saying (My view on these effects are why not take up painting? They are not photography).
    I ask even if you photograph a scene or portrait and develop it I am sure there are adjustment on the amount of light reaching the photo paper (colour burn) and washing the photo paper with the chemicals. the measurements of the chemicals must be correct to have the effects that are needed
    So I ask images taken digitally and edited with an app or apps Does it call photographs or images. The person taking the photos analog or digital call photographers or artists
    My thinking are both are called creative artists
    I have being a photographer when digital cameras were not invented and still own 5 of these analog cameras and use to develop the photos myself, very messy and needs a darkroom to process the photos The most frustrating thing were the photos that turn out in the chemical trays You will be happy if it turns out right but not up to your imaginations and foresee the photos when you took them
    When the digital cameras came we could delete photos or images on the spot and take them again without any edits Well its better than crossing your fingers during developing from negatives and the time spend A digital camera with 5mp was great than Now if my info is right it goes up to more than 60mp
    So my questions are photos taken by a digital cameras call images or photos
    The person taking the scene call photographers or digital artists
    I prefer to call them creative artists
    My thoughts.
     
    lisamjw and RoseCat like this.
  8. RoseCat

    RoseCat MobiFaerie... Site Staff

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    I try to say great image....
     
    lisamjw likes this.

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