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Thread: How has your eye changed?

  1. #1

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    How has your eye changed?

    No, not as a result of surgery, contacts or other physical manipulations!
    Rather, as you gain more experience, how has your taste changed in imagery?
    Both in terms of your appreciation of anothers imagery and in terms of the shots you take/create yourself?

    I ask this cos I am currently doing a promo shoot (local dancehall, Mask Ball). Virtually everyone is wanting the same limited poses (full frontal or slightly turned - which I do for them). When I get them to pose for me beyond that, sometimes they like (usually), sometimes not. HOWEVER, others watching almost always love the 'new' pose more than the more common pose (and then the viewers cameras come out and a shooting match ensues (in good fun) with us all trying to get to the best position for the shot).

    My wife is used to being photographed and she much prefers the less common poses (for herself as well as others, as do I).

    So, is it a case of 'familiarity breeds contempt', boredom with the same old thing, appreciation for other artistic factors?

    Love to hear your input.

    Graham H

    (getting ready for the second mask ball shoot)

    Other examples of 'controversial' poses. The David Bailey type where the top of the head is out of frame (or other parts of the body are not fully shown, e.g. a foot it out of frame - leaving a leg as a leading line), selective focus (either via DoF or panning),

  2. #2
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    The eye or your perception probably changes due to your familiarity with the same poses. For instance, when you think of the "farmer's daughter" what is the first thing you think of including in the image besides the model? On the other hand, how many photographers are willing to try something new when you know that being creative has its limitations. I think photographers are more likely to try something new when the results are for our own pleasure or our own growth as image makers.

  3. #3

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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    It's not exactly my 'eye' which has changed but as I acquire more skill/knowledge, my brain interprets a potential scene differently. And as a result I have ditched a lot of my earlier 'excellent', as I originally thought, work because it simply didn't match up to what I now require in terms of acceptability.

    However, I know what you mean in terms of a photographer often seeing a scene differently from the subject. And for an example, consider my insect photography; my subjects are certainly seeing a different scene to me!

    Last year I had to photograph a fashion show for my local regatta.

    http://www.pbase.com/crustacean/regatta_fashion_show

    To make things doubly difficult, I had just purchased a Speedlite flash so wasn't completely sure of the best settings to use.

    However I persevered and started with some posed shots as the models entered the room, then as they strutted between the tables I tried to grab a few quick action shots.

    It is the 'best' of these casual shots which proved the most popular amongst the majority of people, although the shops which were displaying their wares tended to prefer a posed group shot.

    But to work well, quick 'candid' shots must show the subjects in flattering but relaxed mode. There is little long term scope for photographing people in embarrassing situations.

    ps. Referring to John's comment about the 'farmer's daughter'. Considering some of the local calendars which have been produced here recently; the first thing I think of standing beside her is a naked man!
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 30th October 2011 at 12:11 PM.

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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    Graham, I don't take a lot of posed shots, but I understand what you mean. If your dancers are given what that they think they want, and if you take some shots of your vision,too, you just might win them over to being more open.

    If our eye doesn't change, then we're not learning much, are we? I'm starting to "see" more light issues, clutter, and new ways to capture action. Unfortunately, I don't always see it in time through the viewfinder, but at least I can recognize issues more easily as I look at the product.

    Sounds like a fun project to shoot!

  5. #5

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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    Thanks for your thoughts.
    I know what you mean about previously 'excellent' shots. I've just done some admin and removed a great whack of pics. Around 12,000 and counting (leaving 25k+ and still growing).
    I am finding that my 'eye' is much more aware of detail within a shot than I used to see and that affects my decision greatly. What was once a great shot is now not much more than a 'snapshot'.
    Doing portraits for people (mini event photography), it's amazing how many people are happy with a well lit shot but the pose is almost irrelevant.
    Musing, I wonder how the ease of use of digital has affected people. So many more pics are taken and shown around with great immediacy, how does that affect peoples perception of a photo. Perhaps another thread on that - changing appreciation and how digital has been involved?

    Interesting comment on how different end users preferred different shots? Something I need to consider more. A lot of my image making is based on personal preferences, I need to see things from other peoples perspective (hence, in part, this thread).

    Graham

  6. #6

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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    So many more pics are taken and shown around with great immediacy, how does that affect peoples perception of a photo.

    100 years ago having one's portrait taken, or a family photo, involved quite a bit of expense and careful posing. Nowadays, where ever we go, we see people of all ages snapping around continuously. But although many of these images are immediately printed or posted on internet sites, I wonder how many of them will be of any interest in 100 years time.

    And like you said, how many of these snaps are of sufficient quality to be 'useful' and worth saving for posterity.

    But, at the moment, so many people seem to be more concerned about quantity than quality.

    Often, I find myself facing a tricky scene with some reasonably good equipment but facing a dilemma over what settings, or equipment, I should use for best results. Then I look around to see other people happily snapping the same scene with very basic point and shoot cameras or mobile phone cameras.

    I do frequently wonder if they are happy with the results; or perhaps they simply don't care about how their 'photo' appears. Maybe it is just a need to click the shutter irrespective of outcome?

    There is certainly a need to record events and people within a community for future reference but this still needs a reasonable amount of 'quality'.

    In my spare time I work for our local History Society and 'waste' so much time trying to restore badly taken old photos which, with a little bit of care at the time of shooting, could have produced so much more details.

  7. #7

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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    100 years ago having one's portrait taken, or a family photo, involved quite a bit of expense and careful posing. Nowadays, where ever we go, we see people of all ages snapping around continuously. But although many of these images are immediately printed or posted on internet sites, I wonder how many of them will be of any interest in 100 years time.
    And not so recent history. 1989, first weding, pro photographer took a series of group shots and that was all. My recent wedding (2007), pro photographer did roughly the same. HOWEVER quite a lot more photographers (amateur) in the party. Wife and I ended up using ONE pro picture and hundred of the other peoples (two in particular) pics in our wedding album.
    Last year I was invited to be the wedding photographer at two weddings of friends (weekend warrior, that's me, undercutting the industry). Even saying so myself (along with others who have seen all sets of pics) mine were far better than either of the pro's pictures. As I get better wife is now asking me to get some good post wedding pics of us as she likes my recent work much more so than the 2007 shots.
    Our appreciation of imagery has certainly changed over the last three years (since I restarted photography seriously) and now what was in the past isn't good enough.
    Now we are looking for more drama, more glamour, more of everything I suppose. The photojournalism style is okay as far as it goes, but we now need a splash of something more exotic to spice it all up.
    The industry has certainly changed with the digital revolution. We are all so much more familiar with photos now.

    Graham H

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    mike the bike's Avatar
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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    Dont know if this counts but . .as i look around now i see shots everywhere . .my "eye" as of late has become very sensitive to "seeing" i look at my old shots and can see the progress ive made i look at other peoples pics and its great to get inside their "eye" for a moment seeing the shot as they saw it . . I tend to look at every photo i see in mags or papers and find myself trying to work out how the shot was composed what settings were used etc . . i also gain much inspiration from this . .as a musician i cannot listen to a guitar without working out what it is . . or what pickup setting they are using . . is it a Martin or a Gibson acoustic . etc . . i tend to divide my attention between listening and evaluating . i get the same now with photography looking at some of the work on the net is very inspiring and just makes me work that little bit harder and i guess having this extra dimension only adds to the overall enjoyment

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike the bike View Post
    Dont know if this counts but . .as i look around now i see shots everywhere . .my "eye" as of late has become very sensitive to "seeing"
    I'd suggest that is exactly what it's all about. Mike is talking about 'seeing' as a photographer. And I'm convinced it's a different observation skill than exists among the non-photographer (or perhaps non-painter, etc).

    I know my powers of observation are now much more acute than they ever were before my interest in photography was re-kindled 3 years ago. And, as I've written on here before, the greatest pleasure that photography has given me is the ability to do that. So, even if I don't make an image as a result of a day out with the kit, the pleasure is still there because I've been looking and seeing.
    Last edited by Donald; 2nd November 2011 at 10:09 PM.

  10. #10

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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    I absolutely have to agree with Donald on this point. Even if I don't have a camera with me, I'll see things that others in my group do not, and I'll see things that I wouldn't have noticed myself a few years ago. Patterns and lines that I used to take for granted now grab my interest and I even notice flaws in those patterns that I never saw before.

    What everyone else has said above is also true of myself. Looking back through the years at photos I have taken, I see things that I thought were fabulous at the time, and now consider to be just so-so. I'm not great in photography and I still have a good deal to learn, but I'm also very happy to be able to see how much I've improved and how I've raised my own standards.

    I also find the question about whether or not people with P&S cameras or mobile phones are happy with their pictures to be an interesting point. I think I understand the mobile phone people.... I'm in their position often enough. Some of those people own better cameras (as I do) but don't get to carry it around as often as they'd like and, on seeing something special, they don't want to miss the opportunity to capture it and so they turn to the equipment they have to hand. In my case, I'm pretty much always disappointed with the outcome and start thinking along the lines of "if only I had my SLR" and so on, but at the time, I'm always glad to have some means to catch that which would otherwise have been "the one that got away". Of course, some of the other phone-cam people really don't give a damn about what the image looks like, they just want something documented and the phone gives them that opportunity. Also, let's not forget that some phones now have built-in cameras that are of better quality than the dedicated cameras of only a few years ago and so there are people who will be very happy with their phone shots.

  11. #11
    mike the bike's Avatar
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    Re: How has your eye changed?

    Very true . . even when i dont have my camera with me i still find myself "looking" and when i "see" something i still get a buzz (even if i dont have the means to record it) its ok because i take comfort in the fact that im constantly training my "eye" to look for possible shots if its woth it i will go shoot it the next day . . from all the comments i recieved lately on my portraiture today i spent lots of time deliberately searching out posters adds and pics to look for eye contact and quite a high percentage had good strong eye contact . . and i looked at how this made the picture pop with energy!! being observant is very rewarding . as a motorcyclist in London its compulsory !! one of the first lessons i teach students in my Martial Arts /Self Defence sessions is awareness/observation if we only lifted our heads from the mundane slog occasionaly we will be rewarded with sights to lift the spirit good photography is evidence of that and it proves that there exists in the world beauty and wonder beyond imagination but always within ones grasp

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