Why do you choose to take pictures of what you choose to take pictures of?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Acsom, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Acsom macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2009
    I wonder.

    Let me explain. I'm an older guy, 55. I started taking photographs seriously a little over a year ago; what I mean by that is, I started taking more than just snapshots. But I also mean that I started taking them earnestly; I take pictures for an artistic reason, one that is hard to articulate. The shots I choose, I choose them as representational; literalness is my nature. But I also try to choose something that means a little bit more that what it appears to be. I try to get my shots to capture the essence of what I've chosen to photograph, within my admittedly limited skill range.

    I don't pretend to be anything more than what I am; another moke with a camera and a keyboard. But I am also entranced by the idea of adding something to the world, something that other people appreciate for what I meant it to be, even if only for the few moments they are looking at it.

    I don't burn to take photographs; I'm not driven. But when I do take photographs, I burn. I'm driven to make them say more than what might be said by flattening and framing the world. How successful I am, well, it would probably have been better to start younger. Nevertheless, I do it.

    And you?
  2. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Per the old Kodak slogan:

    "Remember the time of your life..."
  3. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    I get bored with the "real world." Imagemaking is my outlet, a chance to create something that does not exist without me making it. I feel reality should be lived and experienced. The moment you raise a camera to your eye, you're no longer living in the moment but instead detaching yourself from it and failing to replicate it with a camera. Put the camera down and experience with all of your senses what it is you're so interested in.

    The images I make are constructed. Pure fabrications. Often, I'm working from my imagination to tell quirky stories. I get to be a kid again, off in the woods building forts and military bases for the scenes I construct and act out. This is probably why I also love fiction and movies, but do not like biographies and documentaries. I don't care what really happened. I don't make work specially about any issue or topic. I don't have an agenda, I simply want to recreate what the imagination sees. I want to see how other people imagine things to be. The imaginary world is so much more interesting to me, so that is why I do the things I do.

  4. Doylem macrumors 68040


    Dec 30, 2006
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    Photography is a 'broad church', thank goodness. I feel just the opposite: that is, I never, ever get bored with the "real world". And I don't feel "detached" when I look through the viewfinder; I feel "connected", very much in the here and now. There's nothing I can make, or imagine, that can match what I see and experience. Creativity, for me, is being in the moment and giving total attention to my surroundings...

  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    I've always been fascinated by the points of intersection between nature and culture, especially where nature has in some way overwhelmed culture. I primarily photograph ruins and antiquities, but I find these points of intersection in all sorts of subjects. I began to take photos more seriously as a supplement to my professional activities (I'm an art historian/archaeologist), but photography has since become part of my own nature that is to some extent overwhelming me...but in a good way. :)

  6. ThunderRobot macrumors regular


    Aug 10, 2008
    Glasgow, Scotland
    My passion lies with architectural heritage. The city around me is constantly changing and I like to capture that.

    Almost every facet of city life intrigues me in some way including people.

    I suppose my desire is to document.
  7. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    Actually, I want to take pictures of the good and sad times in my and other people's life. I am also fascinated by the sheer beauty that Photography can capture in an instant. So I guess I do it for all of the reasons mentioned so far :D

  8. JFreak macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2003
    Tampere, Finland
  9. CrackedButter macrumors 68040


    Jan 15, 2003
    51st State of America
    Professionally, (in brief) I take pictures to discuss social issues within the UK.

    On a personal level, I'm not sure what I do.
  10. Acsom thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 10, 2009
    "Photography is a 'broad church'..." That is what I think, too, after seeing the responses so far. Given a tool, each finds a way to make it do as he or she pleases.
  11. askthedust macrumors regular


    Jan 17, 2003
    i do it to get textures and uncopyrighted images to use in graphic design.
  12. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    Very broad church. I work at a well-known photography workshop campus and see an enormous variety of photo instructors and student work coming through here. In a given week, the span of people lecturing about their work can be anything from food photography, to war photojournalists, to landscape photographers, to digital artists, to commercial location lighting people. Always fun to see the variety and how different people interpret this medium.
  13. Nicholie macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2008
    Huntsville, Al
    I just like getting out and trying to see things from different angles, or putting a concept together. Really, it's not something i can fully explain.

  14. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

    Oct 6, 2008
    Could you ask your subject how her conversion to Snow Leopard is going?
  15. Chappers macrumors 68020


    Aug 12, 2003
    At home
    I do it to capture what I see of the world and sometimes more than I can see. I like to try things because they are difficult.

    I'm usually limited by my kit but that's the challenge.
  16. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

    Nov 19, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I take photographs for a lot of different reasons. Mainly because I think there is a lot out there in each of our daily lives that we fail to take notice of. I ride the train to work everyday, pass by all this century old urban decay on the seedy side of my city, and until recently I failed to realize just how beautiful it really is.

    I go to the zoo with my kids and end up noticing the way a bubble reflects multiple iridescent colors as it floats along in the pool of one of the animals.

    I like to record the small little things that most people don't ever even notice.

    Oh and I keep a camera to capture images of the moments I get with my family.

  17. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    My interest in photography started when I realized that I could use it as a tool to show others how I see the world, and where I find beauty in the world. I'm sure that sounds like a canned response, but really that's how I look at it.
  18. someoldguy macrumors 68000

    Aug 2, 2009
    You're forcing me to think about what I've been doing for the last 40 years.Maybe my photos are a reflection of a lifelong tendency to look around and see things that others don't .... or see things differently than others. I have a fascination with landscapes,streetscapes , flowers , bugs and derelict architecture/machinery . My pictures are for the gratification of myself , family , and friends , I'm not trying to make a statement , or be another Ansel Adams (or better yet Weegee) . Then again , maybe it's just cheap therapy .

    Attached Files:

  19. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    I like to extract the essentials from a situation: a typical gesture or behavior of a friend or something that I find typical in a city I've arrived in. It's very intuitive, I don't have pictures in my mind and then take a picture, I just take pictures. I'm also not someone who looks all day for the best places and then comes back at the golden hour to take `the shot.'

    For me, taking pictures is a hobby, it's supposed to be relaxing. :)
  20. romanaz macrumors regular


    Aug 24, 2008
    I take pictures because I like freezing moments in time, or trying to tell a story, if possible.

    Attached Files:

  21. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I've rarely found anything in photography (at least gear wise) to be especially cheap :)

  22. Dmac77 macrumors 68020


    Jan 2, 2008
    I really don't have one set area of photography that I explore. I try to do a little bit of everything.

    I guess I photograph what I photograph, because I want to freeze that exact moment in time for ever. I want to preserve it. Wether it be the joy on my friends' faces after they've won a football game, or the pain they feel when one of their teammates gets his leg broken.

    I try to photograph what can't easily be described with words. Those are the photos worth keeping.

    Someone once told me that "A picture is worth a thousand words, but a photo is worth more words then can be said." I try to achieve that when I go out and photograph things. I just want to capture emotion wether that emotion be from a human, an animal, a flower, or just someone's surroundings.

  23. Pikemann Urge macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2007
    It's not always possible to put your motivations into words. You just have a passion and you go with it. It is not that I just like taking photos. No, the photo must be taken. It is sort of like a religious imperative. :p

    Oh, yes. I hate 'improvements'. Bah. Keep the decay!! It really is beautiful. There's nothing like an abandoned factory. I love this quote, it's from the Spanish mystic, Gongora:

    There is no street with mute stones and no house without echoes.
  24. neutrino23 macrumors 68000

    Feb 14, 2003
    SF Bay area
    I have three reasons (at least).

    On a simple level, I photograph objects (customer samples, instrumentation) so that I can use these photos in presentations and reports.

    I am intrigued with the idea of photography and take photos just to become technically better at it. Better meaning I understand what will happen when I press the shutter and I'm not just hoping it turns out. Still a fair amount of hope involved but I'm getting more proficient.

    Finally, I like to take photos of favorite places (forests and such) such that I can capture that moment (fog in the redwoods for example).
  25. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    In short. I love getting those photos of people that really capture that je ne sais quas... it's kind of a doorway into their mind for a split second. Fortunately, it's not something that takes a whole lot of skill per se to get. It's more of a "right time, right place" thing than setting up a shot. People are so interesting, though, and fun to shoot (with a camera...).

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