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Thread: Do you shoot what you are?

  1. #1
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Do you shoot what you are?

    I'm really hoping that some of you will reply to this one, because as a result of being on this forum the relationship between photographer and image is fascinating me. It's a huge area for discussion, but I've been wondering how the choice of image and way in which it's portrayed reflects either the introverted or extraverted nature of the photographer.

    At its simplest, do introverted photographers make introverted images, and the same for extraverts ? Or can people use photography as a way to make otherwise hidden or unexpressed emotions have a real presence in the world?

    Apart from my relationship with daughter, friends, nature and the sea, I'm very inhibited in real life. I'd rather die than swim naked, dance in public, or play music onstage.

    I love to draw, but even these come out stripped of all emotion. I tried to paint when I was younger but fretted over all the images being so tight and controlled. A late friend of mine, a brilliant potter, once told me to forget what everyone else was saying about being 'free' and 'loose' in my paintings, and just carry on painting quiet landscapes in the greyed colours I loved so much. I gave up trying because I still wanted to show more movement and life in my paintings, but it felt as if my hands were bound and I couldn't do it.

    So now I'm learning photography, and love it beyond words. I'm hoping that I'll be able to finally find a way to make my feelings visible, because I know it will never be possible for me to ever express them to anyone face-to-face.

    I'd really like to hear from anyone who has something to say about their own experiences. Extravert or introvert, does your photography reflect the person others see in real life, or does it reveal another side of you?

    Seri

    P.S. This is an old and mistake-ridden painting of mine that someone else forced into a frame, and it shows my inhibited style. But when I got a compact a few years ago, I never took photos like this, but only of raging seas

    It was done in soft rain, and is one of my favourite places.

    Do you shoot what you are?
    Last edited by Seriche; 12th July 2011 at 11:53 AM.

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    I'm a bit of a schizophrenic I've been described as deeply introverted by a headteacher and at the same time, offered a job in a top London club as a dancer. (Really silly, but I was really good and don't mind showing off things I'm good at)

    I do nice postcard pictures of identifiable things most of the time, because I'm not into interior decoration and I think I will leave the shape recognition up to artists and abstract photographers. Although I was a pure mathematician and was very good at seeing abstract patterns, until I was run over that is.

    Do you shoot what you are?

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Apart from my relationship with daughter, friends, nature and the sea, I'm very inhibited in real life. I'd rather die than swim naked, dance in public, or play music onstage.
    Me too. I walk a lot... for exercise and just for that 'me' time. Me and my dog. For so many years for so many reasons I can't share with many people... it's me and my dog. I love my family beyond words and would stand in front of train for each and every one of them. But, I am very much an introvert. My heart is stuffed full of emotion with not much way to get it out... well.... silent tears in my solitude, I guess.

    When I walk I listen to music. I never used to, but was encouraged to after I got my iPhone and the same person that encouraged me to listen to music informed me that my iPhone could also be used as an iPod. I started walking with music because I was so frustrated with people wanting to stop me and pet my dog, and ask questions about her etc... can they not see that I'm sweating like crazy for a reason?The songs that are on my playlist almost all have some kind of meaning to me... they make me think of certain people, or experiences... and there are a few that when they come on make me want to stop and dance... but... I would absolutely die before dancing in public. It's funny, too, because I was a cheerleader in high school. Somewhere along the line...I know when it happened... I withdrew and tucked 'myself' inside my heart... it's safe there...

    So, when I walk I observe what's around me... the ocean, the beach,the surfers, the solitary people slowly walking along the shore, the water crashing against the rocks, the vendors, the kids and their ice cream cones, the marinas, the fishermen, the kids playing in the surf, the flowers and palm trees blowing in the breeze... the sun setting over the trees, the Navy jets flying overhead... but, I can't seem to capture them... almost like real life... I can't express my heart properly and can't compose or click the shutter properly... I see the image in my mind... an am hopeful that eventually my images can capture what my heart can't express face to face.

    I think my images (if I shared them) would often give the impression that I am a much more extroverted, bubbly, outgoing personality than I really I am. If someone were taking an image of me, that accurately captured my personality, it would be of me walking barefooted with Lucy at my side, in the surf just as it barely hits the sand, or me and Lucy sitting alone, somewhere on the beach where there aren't many people (so after tourist season) looking out to sea... Just a girl and her dog.

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    I'm a bit of a schizophrenic I've been described as deeply introverted by a headteacher and at the same time, offered a job in a top London club as a dancer. (Really silly, but I was really good and don't mind showing off things I'm good at)

    I do nice postcard pictures of identifiable things most of the time, because I'm not into interior decoration and I think I will leave the shape recognition up to artists and abstract photographers. Although I was a pure mathematician and was very good at seeing abstract patterns, until I was run over that is.

    Do you shoot what you are?
    Oh my gosh, Steve! I LOVE that!!!! I'd hang it on my wall.

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Cheers Mary; maybe it would fit in with the old door as a headboard I seem to remember, very very creative,

    I would absolutely die before dancing in public
    I would literally now; but I'm good at dad dancing (dad dancing is the sort dads do at wedding receptions).

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    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    I'm a bit of a schizophrenic I've been described as deeply introverted by a headteacher and at the same time, offered a job in a top London club as a dancer. (Really silly, but I was really good and don't mind showing off things I'm good at)

    I do nice postcard pictures of identifiable things most of the time, because I'm not into interior decoration and I think I will leave the shape recognition up to artists and abstract photographers. Although I was a pure mathematician and was very good at seeing abstract patterns, until I was run over that is.

    Do you shoot what you are?
    Steve, that is one superb image!

    By self-diagnosing yourself as schizophrenic, you're self-selecting yourself out of the experiment But it's unrealistic to ask such infinitely complex creatures as human beings to force themselves into one of two boxes, so perhaps you might answer as one and then the other in separate posts

    Gotta ask you about this part though: 'Although I was a pure mathematician and was very good at seeing abstract patterns, until I was run over that is.'

    I keep thinking of people like Roland Barthes who was struck by a laundry van, but he wasn't a mathematician, and I'm wondering if there's a reference in your sentence that I'm not quite getting But if you mean it literally you can't leave things like that. More please

    Seri

  7. #7

    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Hey Seri

    I believe It's a frame of mind, thing... On my last trip to the Hebrides, for the Solstice, It was very much an Earthy feeling, thing

    Do you shoot what you are?

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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Interesting sky colors, for Scotland... I usually get and nice shade of flat gray.

  9. #9
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    Me too. I walk a lot... for exercise and just for that 'me' time. Me and my dog. For so many years for so many reasons I can't share with many people... it's me and my dog. I love my family beyond words and would stand in front of train for each and every one of them. But, I am very much an introvert. My heart is stuffed full of emotion with not much way to get it out... well.... silent tears in my solitude, I guess.
    If they're tears for yourself it will help to shed them. It's a step in the right direction. Some people only ever cry tears for others but find it impossible to cry for themselves.

    I think we all need different ways to release pent-up emotions. I need to exhaust myself physically, but there are so many ways. Most people have problems with expressing anger, but that was never mine - I think that anger released is a very healthy thing, but then I have a lot of Celt in me Do you find it hard to express anger?

    When I walk I listen to music. I never used to, but was encouraged to after I got my iPhone and the same person that encouraged me to listen to music informed me that my iPhone could also be used as an iPod. I started walking with music because I was so frustrated with people wanting to stop me and pet my dog, and ask questions about her etc... can they not see that I'm sweating like crazy for a reason?The songs that are on my playlist almost all have some kind of meaning to me... they make me think of certain people, or experiences... and there are a few that when they come on make me want to stop and dance... but... I would absolutely die before dancing in public. It's funny, too, because I was a cheerleader in high school. Somewhere along the line...I know when it happened... I withdrew and tucked 'myself' inside my heart... it's safe there...
    I think you're going to have to get yourself a much less attractive dog

    And don't start me off about music! I was married to a musician, have known musicians all my life, and can't live without music around me - except when I go out by the sea or in the countryside - then I need silence and natural sounds (Suzanne Vega: '99.9F Degrees' on now, just for you )

    I understand the Cheerleader bit. At school I was fine playing music on stage, I even danced in public until the age of 15. Like you, I have no idea when the inhibition started.

    My safe zone is my home, and apart from my daughter and very close friends, no one else is allowed inside that space. I like my own company, but don't like to travel inside myself, so my heart would be far too uncomfortably intimate a residence.

    So, when I walk I observe what's around me... the ocean, the beach,the surfers, the solitary people slowly walking along the shore, the water crashing against the rocks, the vendors, the kids and their ice cream cones, the marinas, the fishermen, the kids playing in the surf, the flowers and palm trees blowing in the breeze... the sun setting over the trees, the Navy jets flying overhead... but, I can't seem to capture them... almost like real life... I can't express my heart properly and can't compose or click the shutter properly... I see the image in my mind... an am hopeful that eventually my images can capture what my heart can't express face to face.
    When you say you can't capture them, is it because you find it hard to relate to them? It's hard to express what I mean, but do you feel a distance between you and other things in the world sometimes?

    I think my images (if I shared them) would often give the impression that I am a much more extroverted, bubbly, outgoing personality than I really I am. If someone were taking an image of me, that accurately captured my personality, it would be of me walking barefooted with Lucy at my side, in the surf just as it barely hits the sand, or me and Lucy sitting alone, somewhere on the beach where there aren't many people (so after tourist season) looking out to sea... Just a girl and her dog.
    That formed a lovely image in my mind. I'd like you to promise me something, with no time limit, just go to your favourite place for contemplation, set up your camera on your new tripod and use the timer so that you can take that photo of you and Lucy yourself. I'd really like to see that

    Seri

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    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulwilbur View Post
    Interesting sky colors, for Scotland... I usually get and nice shade of flat gray.
    So you're an introvert then?

    Seri

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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    Hey Seri

    I believe It's a frame of mind, thing... On my last trip to the Hebrides, for the Solstice, It was very much an Earthy feeling, thing

    Do you shoot what you are?
    I think you knew I'd like that one Is that a fire in the middle? What was going on to celebrate that Solstice?

    And are you saying that it's less to do with basic personality types and more to do with whether we're feeling in an extraverted or introverted mood at the time of taking the photos?

    Seri

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    arith's Avatar
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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Seriche View Post
    Steve, that is one superb image!

    By self-diagnosing yourself as schizophrenic, you're self-selecting yourself out of the experiment But it's unrealistic to ask such infinitely complex creatures as human beings to force themselves into one of two boxes, so perhaps you might answer as one and then the other in separate posts

    Gotta ask you about this part though: 'Although I was a pure mathematician and was very good at seeing abstract patterns, until I was run over that is.'

    I keep thinking of people like Roland Barthes who was struck by a laundry van, but he wasn't a mathematician, and I'm wondering if there's a reference in your sentence that I'm not quite getting But if you mean it literally you can't leave things like that. More please

    Seri
    I avoid explaining my past like the plague Seri but since you asked; I was really good at pure mathematics and was even offered jobs in research down the south, trouble was I lived in the north and was married with a kid. Couldn't afford the move and it was considerably harder to find a job where I lived; for instance one very large company said:'they would rather employ an engineer that can do something else as well as mathematics,' another said: ' we have no use for abstract maths.'

    I realised the odds were stacked against me and as I didn't want to be viewed as mediocrity, avoided teaching the school math nonsense, but did not want to languish on the dole and so eventually became a lorry driver, of the large 14 wheel sort, while I looked for a proper job.

    Unfortunately this job then became the millstone that defined me: one employer said, 'my staff are high flyer's and non of them would ever do a thing like that.'

    So lorry driving was all I ended up doing; albeit with rather challenging reading matter, until one day I was opening my trailer in a factory and was run over and knocked out by a fork lift truck, causing a brain injury, preventing me seeing more than one step ahead, bad short term memory, slow reactions and a change in character from non-smoking teetotal fitness fanatic, to a heavy smoking, heavy drinking violent womanising thug.

    Well I'm not that anymore but I still like a tipple and keep away from the ladies.

    Nothing much happened in my life really. The only constant thing is photography on and off all the way through.

  13. #13

    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Isn't It more to do with what the Image is for? Why the Image was produced?

    A long exposure, ( 5 mins ). Someone had lit tea lights in the tomb, below the surface. People were milling about, Bag pipes, bells and singing bowls. I cloned out the push chair with a music system attached to it.
    I also took out most of the blue cast. Replaced the grey skies with a little Imagination.

    This Image is more to do with what I wanted the mood to be, or more to the point, what I wanted it to look like. Don't think this would make the front of a post card.

    Glad you like it

    Mick

  14. #14
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    I avoid explaining my past like the plague Seri but since you asked; I was really good at pure mathematics and was even offered jobs in research down the south, trouble was I lived in the north and was married with a kid. Couldn't afford the move and it was considerably harder to find a job where I lived; for instance one very large company said:'they would rather employ an engineer that can do something else as well as mathematics,' another said: ' we have no use for abstract maths.'

    I realised the odds were stacked against me and as I didn't want to be viewed as mediocrity, avoided teaching the school math nonsense, but did not want to languish on the dole and so eventually became a lorry driver, of the large 14 wheel sort, while I looked for a proper job.

    Unfortunately this job then became the millstone that defined me: one employer said, 'my staff are high flyer's and non of them would ever do a thing like that.'

    So lorry driving was all I ended up doing; albeit with rather challenging reading matter, until one day I was opening my trailer in a factory and was run over and knocked out by a fork lift truck, causing a brain injury, preventing me seeing more than one step ahead, bad short term memory, slow reactions and a change in character from non-smoking teetotal fitness fanatic, to a heavy smoking, heavy drinking violent womanising thug.

    Well I'm not that anymore but I still like a tipple and keep away from the ladies.

    Nothing much happened in my life really. The only constant thing is photography on and off all the way through.
    I know what you mean about talking about the past. I never think about past or future at all until someone asks, and only if it's a way to explain the present.

    I have an abiding fondness for lorry drivers as they kept this fifteen-year-old runaway safe on her hitching journeys for many years, but I can see how it would have been frustrating for you. (I love pure maths too, though not higher than 'further maths').

    Your brain injury reminds me of the classic story of Phineas Gage. It must have been unbelievably traumatic to go through that, and I doubt that many people around you were able to understand what was going on, so it must have been a very isolating time for you.

    Your photography is superb. Were you taking photos before your injury or during your convalescence, and if so, were your images different before or during any of the stages of your recovery?

    No need to answer if you don't want to, of course. I've always been interested in perception, that's all

    Seri

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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Does this all mean that I'm some ugly bug that no one really wants to get that close to?

    Actually - probably not too far off target. You're onto something, Seri.

    - Bill

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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mick View Post
    Isn't It more to do with what the Image is for? Why the Image was produced?
    Mick
    That's a very good question, and I've had to think hard about it. For the purposes of the thread I'd imagine that the question would apply mostly to people who take photographs for pleasure rather than those who have clients to please, for instance.

    From looking around I'm learning that there are many reasons for producing photographic images; to please, to share, to garner praise, to sell, to express emotions, to shock etc. Exactly as in the other arts. So the question I posed was more out of general interest, and with the knowledge that it wasn't watertight in any academic way.

    But most of all, I think, is that I find it fascinating to hear people talk about their relationships to their images. I really would like to know whether an extravert can express a quieter side through his images, or if there is even one introvert out there who has found in photography a way to express those locked-up emotions.

    A long exposure, ( 5 mins ). Someone had lit tea lights in the tomb, below the surface. People were milling about, Bag pipes, bells and singing bowls. I cloned out the push chair with a music system attached to it.
    I also took out most of the blue cast. Replaced the grey skies with a little Imagination.
    All positive changes by the look of the finished work

    This Image is more to do with what I wanted the mood to be, or more to the point, what I wanted it to look like. Don't think this would make the front of a post card.
    I've got to admit that I don't see that as a failing, but I'll assume you were being ironic

    Glad you like it
    I never, ever say I like a thing unless I really do

    But while I agree that it matters what the images are for, most of us choose certain genres, and at the crudest level something must guide that choice. It may turn out to be a very trite and obvious answer, but it still interests me. Would introverts more than extraverts be more drawn to B&W photography, for instance? Not rocket science, more like fun

    Seri

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    Cheers Mary; maybe it would fit in with the old door as a headboard I seem to remember, very very creative,



    I would literally now; but I'm good at dad dancing (dad dancing is the sort dads do at wedding receptions).
    It very much would fit in with my 'old door headboard'.

    That's the perfect kind of dancing.

  18. #18
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Quote Originally Posted by ktuli View Post
    Does this all mean that I'm some ugly bug that no one really wants to get that close to?

    Actually - probably not too far off target. You're onto something, Seri.

    - Bill
    Hello Bill

    I think you and I are stuck in the same boat - I don't like to think what my spider and fly obsession says about me

    Mind you, I don't tend to be attracted to conventionally pretty things to photograph, and I know that this consciously stems from a deep dislike of anything being judged by its looks....don't mind pretty objects or scenes so much, though I prefer dark, bleak or brooding; it's just pretty living things that I avoid.

    Wonder if insect macro people have things in common?

    Seri

  19. #19
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    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Seri,

    My comment was semi-tongue in cheek, semi-serious...

    I like my macro shots mainly because I am completely enthralled with the natural world. Particularly wildlife in all forms... from bugs, to underwater, to the big stuff... and I love to share that with others and give them a glimpse at stuff they normally would just overlook. It horrifies me when I go to the zoo and people walk up to an enclosure, ask their kids if they see the (insert animal) and then walk on... like they're just there to be checked off some list. Our iPhone checking, Starbucks drinking (sorry Mary), non-stop world we live in has completely lost all sense of stopping and observing what is in front of us. And I think I try to fight that with my photos - to capture things... even bugs... in such a way that just might cause someone to take even a half second more to look at something in a different way.

    So in that sense, yes... I shoot what I am.

    - Bill

  20. #20

    Re: Do you shoot what you are?

    Hi, Seri! It's very pleasant and fun having you around. You ask some great questions! I haven't had much time to comment, these days, but I've still been looking in and following along. If I may.... I had some thoughts about the topic that I shared here.

    We choose the subject, which version of it, how we post process it, what we focus on - yes, photography reflects who we are - where we're at - how we're feeling, at the moment.

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