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Thread: The Joy Of Photography

  1. #1
    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    The Joy Of Photography

    I ask this in a light hearted way and don't mean to cause any offence - but:

    "Have we lost the joy that actually taking a photograph can bring?"

    I know that CiC has a tendency to err towards the technical and that a lot of the talk revolves around the physics of photography which I enjoy as much as the next man but I often get the nagging feeling that some members have lost the joy of going out with a camera and just taking photographs...surely the whole point of a camera.

    I read posts about Depth of Field calculators, step wedges, dynamic range, iso, pixel density, circles of confusion, diffraction, sensor sizes, focal lengths, RAW processes, shooting to the right, shooting to the left, only ever shooting in a particular mode....the list is almost endless and I read them all. I even understand a fair few of them as having worked in the photographic trade for 20+ years one tends to soak up 'stuff' but what I love most about photography is going out (at any time of day and not just in the 'perfect light') and capturing what I see and feel. I love taking pictures more than anything else. I love spending a few hours somewhere with a camera and having photography as the overriding reason for being there, I love just wandering about and looking for a shot, taking the kids out for the day while keeping an eye out for a shot, driving to work on a morning and spotting something that makes me a few minutes late, taking the dog on one of a handful of routes and picking a different camera/lens each time to keep me on my toes and keep me looking for a picture. My Nikon has over 30k on the clock, the iPhone at less than a year old has over 5k on it and thats just two of the cameras I use to take photographs every single day. A huge proportion are snaps, a fair proportion are rubbish but a few I will keep forever. I don't mind as I love taking photographs.

    I get the most joy from my hobby when I'm actually taking photographs.

    Do you?

  2. #2
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    I get the most joy from my hobby when I'm actually taking photographs.
    Couldn't agree more Robin. I participate a fair bit in the technical discussions because I am interested in these things. However to some extent, this is just filling in time. I'd rather be out and about with the camera any day. There is nothing like the experience you describe in finding and taking the shots and also the reward (mostly) in reviewing them when you get home and turning them into masterpieces in Photoshop, for the whole world to just adore

    Dave

  3. #3
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Well said Robin.
    I really enjoy all the contributions on CiC ( and on other forum) but have to confess to a wry smile more often than not when colleagues are getting wound up on issues that just don't matter to me.
    I have old cameras and a limited income so the chances of me upgrading are fairly remote, but this does not in any way detract from the enjoyment I get from my photography.
    I know I went through a stage when everything mattered and I was keen to continuously upgrade, and seen to be conforming. I like to think I've seen the light but I suspect others will dismiss such thoughts as sower grapes or lack of commitment, whatever.
    I started this hobby nearly sixty years ago and I still love it having learnt precious little over those decades, but then when one comes down to it, I have only myself to please, and I'm happy.

  4. #4

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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    I think there is a nice balance here between sharing photographs and sharing technical discussions. There actually seem to be a lot more of the former. There is certainly enough enthusiasm for sharing photographs here that you could ignore all of the other threads and still probably feel very satisfied.

  5. #5
    DanK's Avatar
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Different strokes for different folks, as the old song goes. I don't really understand the point of your post.

    Speaking for myself: what gives me the biggest pleasure in photography is when I manage to produce an image with which I am really happy. (This does not happen as reliably as I would hope.) The technical stuff often helps me get there, either by helping me take a better capture, or by helping me process one better. And even when it doesn't help, I enjoy learning it, just as I enjoy learning all sorts of things that may or may not prove useful. The technical stuff certainly does not in any way lessen my enjoyment in taking photos or processing them, which I have been doing seriously, albeit off and on, for 45 years.

    People differ. If you find that focusing on technical issues distracts you from the parts of photography that you most enjoy, then don't focus on them. But don't assume that it has that effect on others.

    I visit a number of different photo sites and read forums, and this is my favorite. I learn a lot here, and people on this site are remarkably helpful. And if you read forums on this site other than the one where you posted, you will find lots of emphasis on nontechnical issues, such as composition.

    I'm not being defensive, and I don't take offense at your post. I just want to give a frank reply.

  6. #6
    James G's Avatar
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Mike, Dave, Robin, This strikes a chord! Like Mike I stated taking photographs a long time ago. I still get a buzz out of the shot I manage to capture, and I'm still critical of all the issues with that capture, but I keep on shooting....
    It has kept me engaged the way no other subject has. (and I've had an interesting, fulfilling, and varied career.

    I'm also still learning. One other thing, I've only taken photographs for myself. It has been the ONE thing over the years I have done basically just for myself. I am in awe of other peoples images, and I like to see others becoming engaged in photography, but, like Robin has said, I'm always surprised when I see criticism of technique with no comment on the real impact of an image, the emotional effect or the mood it generates.
    I mostly put this down to a failure in language.. it is easier to be 'technical', and I do try to communicate how I feel about images, but usually, this still comes back as technical issues....
    I have a few more years of getting out and taking the shots with a bit of luck, reckon I'lll just keep on shooting... It gives me the greatest and most sustaining of pleasure.
    James

  7. #7
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Bless you, Robin.
    There are as many reasons for taking photos as there are people with cameras. I would certainly not be critical of those who are fascinated by the technical issues or seek technical perfection in their pictures, nor those who 'work' for a living and produce our photos of commerce, documents, science and sin. But for the majority of us the pleasure comes from the taking, recoding of special events and sharing with others.
    Every year I see about 100 new students who often have never taken a picture with a digital camera. The most exciting thing for them is to be able to point the camera at something that interests them and record it it all its glorious blur. As they advance in their understanding of photography we venture down that dreaded path of settings and numbers. Most decide they know enough and move on to something less demanding. Others revel in the digital world.
    My golden rule for all my students is: "if you are out for the fun of photography, set your camera on auto everything and enjoy the search. If you are out for the technical stuff, set your camera on manual everything and get a headache."
    Either way, your skills will improve.
    As a teacher of photography for almost 50 years to all levels and abilities, my greatest enjoyment in just being out with people and taking photos. Most of the time my camera will be on auto everything so I can concentrate on the picture, the company, the sharing at the end of the day. If we end our outings with a coffee break, which we usually do, the conversation usually revolves around social chat and not the tech stuff. People who ask about what camera someone is using usually gets to pay for everyone's coffee. We hear the stories of what people saw and its bloody fantastic.
    Stay with it, Robin. Sure, learn the other stuff but its just another means to another end.
    Photography is fun, even after 50 years of it.

  8. #8
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Robin,

    I'll have a seat on this bus. I very much enjoy the technical aspects of this art, and have learned much from the good folks here in CiC, but it will never take the place of a walk-about with camera in hand.

    I almost imagine myself to be a "better person" when I'm looking to shoot whatever comes along- I'm a better listener, I notice more detail, I'm more patient, I'm more satisfied with whatever presents itself, and am far more aware of God's Creation than man's creations. I almost never feel that I've wasted a moment. It has become my therapy as well as my beloved hobby.

  9. #9
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    50% joy from taking the photo 50% joy from viewing the outcome.

  10. #10
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    It's odd, when I re-started, I enjoyed the PP side of things.

    Now I would order things as
    1st Taking photos - as best I can, using my (ever expanding thanks to CiC members) technical knowledge
    2nd CiC - helping others
    3rd PP-ing my own shots

    Once I have looked through, found the good ones, culled the naff ones, renamed a few, I lose interest

    I may have a period of enforced lower activity (on the shooting front) upcoming and during that time I think I'll enrol in Lynda.com or Kelby Training and learn how to use CS6 properly!

    Up to the point of tiredness, being out in the sunshine shooting now outweighs all other activities given the opportunity. I'm sure I'll change my tune in the winter

  11. #11

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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by DanK View Post
    ....People differ. If you find that focusing on technical issues distracts you from the parts of photography that you most enjoy, then don't focus on them. But don't assume that it has that effect on others....
    Well said. One of the biggest causes of conflict in the human race is the difficulty people have in seeing the world from a perspective other than their own.

    There are two aspects of my personality that have been consistent from childhood. A desire to know how stuff works and a love of nature. Photography is a medium that exercises both sides of my brain, so to speak. My biggest challenges tend to be on the creative side of the craft. Figuring out how to create images that make me truly re-live what I felt in the field and, more challenging, to convey something of that same sense of joy/excitement/awe to others.

    The Joy of Photography? I feel joy looking through the viewfinder, joy if I'm in the field and never take the gear out of the bag due to bad conditions, joy processing photos on the computer after a shoot, joy cleaning/tuning my equipment at home, joy sharing/discussing things like this on forums, and the list goes on.

    Yes people differ. One's not good, one's not bad, they're just different.

  12. #12
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    The Joy of Photography. I get that out of every phase of photography. I love hiking around Hawaii and traveling elsewhere, finding favorite places to make photographs, and capturing all the beauty I can find. I love reading technical forums here (even the rants) written by people who know much more about the technical side than I will ever remember. I love getting out of bed at 6am and promptly sitting at my computer with a cup of black coffee in hand to process one more image in PhotoShop, Lightroom, or Nik before I do whatever else needs to be done that day. I love to read photography books about the "art" of photography and the "technology" of photography. I love to learn, to experiment, to improve, to experience, and to share with others who may have an interest (however fleeting).

    It all enhances my ability to make a better image. It all makes the journey of photography more pleasurable with each passing year. It all increases my appreciation for the world in which I find myself. And it is all fun.

  13. #13

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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Robin;

    I would agree with you that CiC does lean more towards the technical but as others have said these conversations are something that you can 'pick & choose' from at will. I have found that when asking for constructive criticism it is best to be pretty specific when you ask for questions and then the answers that you get will be spot on.

    However, I can only think of one or two members that consistently present artistic interpretations or work of a more abstract nature (you can read that as less technical if you wish as there are some fine examples of highly technical abstract work on the the site). I have hesitated present my work along those lines because as like all 'art' it is very subjective and the advice that I seek is more about refining a personal vision and a portfolio of work and I am not sure how to get appropriate feedback on that at CiC.

    I don't think the joy of photography is lost on this site, it just may not (and cannot) be everything for everyone IMHO.

    My joy is similar to what Jeff expressed. I love finding and taking the shot, I love opening them up on the computer, I love the successes and I even love what the 'failures' teach me about myself and my technical and artistic limitations.

  14. #14

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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    I ask this in a light hearted way and don't mean to cause any offence - but:

    I get the most joy from my hobby when I'm actually taking photographs.

    Do you?
    Yes, I do.

    It's like watching tv. I enjoy it without having to know/learn every or any single technical thingy bout it.

    But , each to his own.


  15. #15

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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    Robin;

    ... I have hesitated present my work along those lines because as like all 'art' it is very subjective and the advice that I seek is more about refining a personal vision and a portfolio of work and I am not sure how to get appropriate feedback on that at CiC.
    You might be surprised, Shane. If everyone didn't post their 'best' images because they feel it is too 'artsy' or too' 'abstract' or too 'subjective' them we get nowhere. The nature forum is the busiest here and that is fine: I take shots of birds and animals - anything that moves really - but that is not my main interest. I am still a long way from being able to express my vision, but I don't let that stop me from posting my attempts. Some people get it ... and that is encouraging.

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    I love finding and taking the shot, I love opening them up on the computer, I love the successes and I even love what the 'failures' teach me about myself and my technical and artistic limitations.
    Amen to that, Shane. I am often surprised by what I have captured without realising it at the time. The failures are more valuable to me than the successes. I sit here and look at them, and ask myself: what the hell did I do wrong, or what was I thinking with this. Reflection is the key...

  16. #16

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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    Hi Robin,

    Members of CiC seem to enjoy the joys of Photography. The different discussions about technical stuff and all that is part of the joy of Photography. The dogfights about different points of view and heated debates around technical issues are all part of the joy of Photography.

    We all share one common interest, Photography, and the joy of capturing images that can be shared with others. No matter how advanced or basic the skill, some use very basic P&S cameras and others more advanced high end DSLR’s, all post images and get involved in various discussions and learn from it.

    One year and 1000 posts later as a member of CiC, I have learned so much that I am only now really beginning to enjoy Photography. All of those technical discussions (some of which I do not understand much) have been very helpful to me in improving my skills. Many of the posts, I have read, sparked new inspiration.

    All of us should have much pleasure enjoying our hobby, passion, obsession. All of us have different views and find pleasure in different approaches to Photography.

    I find more and more joy the more I learn. The more I realize how little I know, the more pleasure I get in overcoming another handicap. The most joy I get from my Photography is when I succeed in capturing the essence of the mood in that moment in time.

    I am but another boy with an expensive toy, feeling like a sixteen year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, when I succeed in what I am aiming for.

  17. #17
    rtbaum's Avatar
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    "I am but another boy with an expensive toy, feeling like a sixteen year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert, when I succeed in what I am aiming for. [/QUOTE]"

    Just do NOT drive like Justin Bieber!

  18. #18
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    I only worry about technical details when those details have an discernable impact on my images. Of course, that is a "Catch 22" situation because I do need to know quite a bit about the technical details of DSLR photography before I can decide whether various technical matters are important enough for me to involve my time and effort in perusing...

    However, I will say this: today's digital cameras allow the capture of images with far less technical knowledge than did manual exposure and manual focus film cameras of the past. They also provide far better quality imagery without technical skills than did the Box Brownie and Instamatic cameras of the past which were generally the tools of the non-photographer...

    BTW, that is the bane of the professional wedding photographer today. Uncle Ralph with his Digital Rebel and kit lens is far more likely to try to shoot his niece's wedding than Uncle Louie ever was when Uncle Louie shot with a Kodak Box Brownie or Instamatic.

    Of course, Uncle Ralph might not capture the wedding decently but, that was just one less wedding available for the professional to shoot!

    I absolutely love photography but I get enjoyment from more than just shooting. I love planning a complicated shoot or a vacation to ensure that I have the right equipment and am in the right place at the right time; of course, I love the actual shooting but, I also enjoy post processing my images. Post processing brings me back and allows me to somewhat vicariously relive the shooting experience. While post procesing, I can actually recapture some of the feelings I experienced when shooting.

    Digital photography is far more enjoyable to post process than was film photography. I can sit down at any time and open one of my digital images and start working on it. If I don't have the time to complete the post processing; I can stop and save my image to resume working on it later. I don't have to set up chemicals (or have a place reserved to set them up) nor do I need a darkened room to work in. Also, I don't have any cleaning up to look forward to at the end of my post processing. That clean-up is what I hated the most about film photography.

    BTW: IMO processing transparency film was about a much fun and was about as creative as changing a flat tire. And, unless the photographer had a very complicated printing setup (like Cibachrome) shooting transarencies was a dead end. What you saw is what you had. Most non-pro photographers had only B&W printing setups. While I printed a lot of color in the various Navy photo organizations I was attached to; I never had a color printing operation in any of my home labs.

    Additionally, the post processing is virually free (once I have obtained the computer and processing software) and I can share my images with photographers from all over the world. This was never the case with silver halide based film photography. Come on guys, I know that the electricity used while running a computer costs money but, that is not something that I consider.

    Finally, I can store my images on saveral hard drives which take up far less space than did storage of film based transparencies and prints. I can pull up images that I shot years ago and re-post process them when I have a new program (like my new NIK software suite) with which to work...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 5th June 2013 at 03:52 PM.

  19. #19
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    1. 49% photography.. Because I adore traveling, nature, wildlife and the challenge of capturing what I see in a photograph.

    2. 49% sharing photos and special places/moments/wildlife with others with the hope that it will inspire them to travel (and to appreciate different cultures and places (especially less than perfect places)) and to appreciate and respect the environment and wildlife. And if traveling is not possible, at least we can the experience of other places through our photography.

    Also the pure joy on a child's or parents face when they see a photo of themselves, a friend or member of the family, a pet etc... for the first time.

    3. 2% being able to heal dust spots and fix a special photo that just needs a little work through editing.

    That said learning the technical side of photography has helped me to improve my photography. Thank you to Cambridge in Colours, and its' amazingly helpful members.

    My love for photography evolved from a passion for travel, to out of the way places. I'd take photos once a year and I found great pleasure in being able to share my experiences with friends and family who had never traveled.

    Most recently, I enjoyed the opportunity of living in a different county for a few years... A small town in Mexico with tropical climes, a unique culture, an abundance of natural beauty, unique wildlife, and ugly bugs which I came to love. It is there that my love for photography blossomed. However, I could not manage to capture birds in flight with the quality I hoped for... I found Cambridge in Colour and started learning the technical side of photography and the importance of reading my camera manual .

    I still have a ways to go, but my photography is improving. Thank you to all.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 5th June 2013 at 04:08 PM.

  20. #20
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    Re: The Joy Of Photography

    To enjoy my photography more ... i just share them on various photo sharing websites as worldwide photography lovers always want to see amazing photo work .... so, i try to modify these images as much as i can and put some nice creativity around them to make them more attractive

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