Author Topic: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!  (Read 3837 times)

BruceSD

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Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« on: January 10, 2024, 04:05:13 »
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I find "straight" photography boring.  There are billions upon billions of straight photos taken every day; and if you're into straight photography, chances are high that none of your images will ever be unique or special enough to stand out from the billions of images out there.  I find it almost impossible these days to differentiate between straight photos posted online taken with a smartphone vs those taken with expensive dedicated cameras.

Birna likely also has this same creative drive - as evidenced by the pioneering work she's done in UV photography.

I am motivated by new forms of photography like ICM (Intentional Camera Movement), Brenizer Bokeh Panoramas, unusual bokeh balls, 3D images, adapting non-photographic lenses for use on digital cameras, and reversing lenses' front elements.  I have my own little lens repair shop and am continually modifying and adapting lenses in an attempt to create special and artistic images that are truly unique.  I always carry odd ball adapters, individual lens elements, and optical "Lensballs" ( https://www.photoworkout.com/best-lensballs/ ) in my vest pocket to modify lenses when in the field.

For "experimental photographers" like me, Photography is a lifelong journey that involves continuous exploration and experimentation.  Once one masters the many forms of traditional/straight photography, it's then time to go where none have gone before and find new capture methods that involve either unusual gear and/or never before employed techniques.  And let's not forget the many opportunities to create unique images afforded through the use of post processing methods that involve the creative use of multiple image editing software products (e.g. developing RAW image files in Luminar Neo, and then painting on the image in Corel Painter 2023).

Do any of you feel the same way?  If so, could you share what you are currently experimenting with?  If not, how come you are not already burnt out by straight photography?

Erik Lund

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2024, 09:35:39 »
Luckily we are fortunate that NikonGear has many Photographers that produce interesting images, again and again - Many of them have their own style and their images reflect this.
I for one enjoy to shoot both the boring and the experimental images - IMHO both have their place.
Erik Lund

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2024, 09:57:46 »
Lots and lots can be said on the topic(s) raised by Bruce. I'm in a hurry right now, so just mention a few given points.

- the photographer is solely responsible for the final outcome. Not the gear used.

- the camera "sees" and communicates differently to a human. Learn the differences and utilise them for better photography

- no amount of fancy tehniques can salvage a picture that has no strong inner meaning to the photographer and cannot be retold in words

- boing photography may or may not be caused by a boring photographer

Certainly 100+ more points can be added to the list.


Fons Baerken

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #3 on: January 10, 2024, 14:33:38 »
Could be an interesting topic or thread with many examples i may hope!


Airy

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2024, 14:35:17 »
Shooting for oneself, straight photography may remain a rewarding exercise (the process as well as the result).

Shooting for sharing with family and friends is more difficult. Shooting for the general public and hoping to contribute to something is even more difficult, given the inflation. Same with literature or painting. Straight photography remains relevant (as is straight literature, using plain grammar, plain words, and meaningful sentences).

That being said, I'm not encouraging anybody towards the production of monochromes (as some painters would name them) ;)

... although there is a photographic equivalent to monochromes: brickwall shooting.
Airy Magnien

Akira

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2024, 16:20:49 »
So long as the photographer shoot scenes, people, objects or any other motifs with a certain intention and has succeed in conveying it to a viewer, the photograph should be interesting to the viewer, regardless of the style.  So, I've never really been bored with the photography because of its style, straight or candidate or abstract or whatever.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Dogman

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2024, 16:41:57 »
No, not at all.

If anything, overused techniques--gimmicks--bore me.  And here I go, becoming opinionated.  ::)

I skip over "photo-derived art" very quickly because it doesn't move me.  I'm interested in photographs that explore the personal vision of the photographer, humanist photos, found objects associated with the daily lives of people.  And, yes, most of the time I find the most interesting photographs are basic black and white pictures done simply and presented simply.

That doesn't mean I discount all techniques because any way you do a photo is fine with me as long as it the picture has a coherent voice that can speak to me.
"If it's more than a hundred feet from the car, it's not photogenic."--Edward Weston

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BruceSD

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2024, 18:47:30 »
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Thanks for your comments!     

Matthew Currie

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2024, 23:20:23 »
I can understand the urge to find new techniques and new ways to manipulate a photograph, but I must say that my favorite photographs tend to be "straight." 

I think photography is an art of its own, and as such, the greatest masters of that art tend to be those who know how to do what they do in actual photographic ways. Just where that line is drawn is open to various long and tedious debates, no doubt, but I think most photographers have a pretty good idea of what may or may not be done to an image while still calling it a photograph.

Of course people who are really good artists can stretch all kinds of rules, and create all kinds of interesting new things, but most of the heavily modified or manipulated photographs, or combinations of media I've encountered tend more to suggest that the object might have been better achieved by either a better photographer or a better draftsman. 

Most of the best photographs I can recall seeing have been "straight." Although that category includes considerable abstraction at times. But as Birna reminds us, a photograph is not something else.  As soon as something in front of a camera has been recorded as a two dimensional image with boundaries, it has entered a new domain.

This is of course the opinionated opinion of an old curmudgeon who is not notably proficient in any art, whose photographic teeth were cut on self-developed black and white failures and slides, where "got" and "didn't get" are pretty clearly evident.

Ann

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2024, 02:02:46 »
Perhaps some photographers (like me) have a twisted view of "Straight"?



Ice crystals on glass window

Snoogly

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #10 on: January 11, 2024, 07:20:31 »
A timely topic, as just this week I discovered the TPE YouTube channel. I feel this video relates to it.

https://youtu.be/TA-fwrlIQg4?si=qQTCYs1RFDoWfH0R
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Akira

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #11 on: January 11, 2024, 09:56:02 »
One of my ways to get out of the straight photography.  :)
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

"Limitation is inspiration." - Akira

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #12 on: January 11, 2024, 12:02:13 »
A difficult recognition for most photographers is the understanding that exotic and exciting places rarely result in interesting pictures. By contrast, finding exciting opportunities within mundane and boring scenery is a rewarding challenge.

Fons Baerken

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #13 on: January 11, 2024, 15:35:00 »
''Making something out of nothing'' !

I was looking at William Eggleston the other day,!
Very boring, no?!


Dogman

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Re: Do You Find "Straight" Photography Boring? I do!
« Reply #14 on: January 11, 2024, 15:58:42 »
A difficult recognition for most photographers is the understanding that exotic and exciting places rarely result in interesting pictures. By contrast, finding exciting opportunities within mundane and boring scenery is a rewarding challenge.

I love this quote.  Can I steal it?

William Eggleston is one of my favorite few color photographers.  And I love abstract photographs.  And Ann's ice crystals photo is beautiful. 

The only time in my long life I can say I've had anything close to an epiphany took place years ago at Yellowstone National Park in USA.  I was shooting photos of the lower falls of the Yellowstone River when I realized I was taking the same photo as everyone else around me.  As well as everyone else before me.  And given the lighting, the photos would not be nearly as well done as had been done by hundreds...thousands, before me.  So I challenged myself to avoid the standard "pretty" pictures I usually sought out.

The following year I went to Grand Canyon National Park with a pair of Leica rangefinders, lenses from 21mm to 50mm and lots of B&W film.  It was like photographing a football game and turning your back on the play on the field--photographing the spectators can sometimes be more interesting and unique.  The types of photos I made were different from the scenics I had previously tried to do.  I thought them more interesting.  Many would not agree, I'm sure.  And that's okay.  There's room for everyone to march to the beat of their own drummers.
"If it's more than a hundred feet from the car, it's not photogenic."--Edward Weston

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