Why?

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  • Re: Why?
    This little write up by Michael Reichmann may help you with finding your answer.
    Been there done that
    Peter
  • Re: Why?
    Or, as the spiritual master said, "Why not?"

    Devotees sitting with Ramana Maharshi would ask him, "Should I continue my sitting meditation practice?" and he would say yes. Others would approach him to ask "Should I stop my sitting meditation practice?" and he would say yes.

    There is no REASON to do anything. Our mind wants reasons, but as the famous quote says, "The mind creates the abyss the heart crosses." The only thing that matters ultimately is what makes your heart sing. If you are foolish enough to believe that the applause from others will make you happy, perhaps you will allow such matters to dictate your choices. Far better to listen deeply each moment and see what calls you.

    I hadn't taken a serious photograph in decades before I stumbled on TrekEarth about seven months ago. I was captivated from the start, in part by the photographs, but more so by the spirit of those engaged in this exchange. I was quickly motivated to go out and take photos and stumbled through post processing with software I didn't know very well so I could participate in the dialogue. The more I looked at photos and listened to the talented folks hanging out in this corner of cyberspace, the more excited I became about the whole adventure. I ended up buying a new camera and at the moment am contemplating upgrading my lenses. Photography, which wasn't on the landscape for me the beginning of the year has become a passionate hobby which I don't doubt will be with me for the rest of my life, whether I'm hanging out at TE or not. I'm pleased, of course, that a friend wishes to use some of my photographs in a newsletter he publishes each year. That is gratifying. But it is taking photos and spending time at the computer making creative choices that excites me.

    So, the only why must ultimately come from you, hopefully from your heart rather than your mind. All you need to understand is the next moment, and the choice to be made there. Will you post a photo? Will you write a critique? We'll wait to find the answer to those questions for this character named Sean who lives somewhere in South Africa.
  • Re: Why?
    Thanks for all the replies. For a start i'm glad to see i'm not the only one who has had this experience (and thanks for the link Peter). I'm also starting to get a fuller idea of what this community is about.

    On the semi-philosophical issues, I take the point that it has to be about *my* purpose and not relying on what other people may or may not see or think. I think that is the attitude I have had most of the time, but after reading the book in question I seriously doubted my own reasons for taking photos. [I can't go into the issues in any detail here]. Anyway, I think i'm getting over it (slowly)and i'll post some of my old (haven't taken any photos for about 8months) photos soon and I look forward to any comments/criticism.

    I actually noticed that there is a post on the Photography forum that touches on one of the key issues that Sontag raises - 'realism' in photography - and i'll be interested to see how that thread develops.

    Cheers for now,
    Sean
  • Re: Why?
    But the question remains Sean: When are going to see your photographs? :-)

    Cheers!
  • Re: Why?
    The other members have already provided excellent answers to this question and it is something I think about now and then too. There are a few more I'd like to throw on to the wisdom already listed here.

    1- I am enjoying where I live now very much, but started skipping going to events I've already seen before - parades, displays or some cultural events. I can now take a new angle with a camera in hand to these activities. The things that I began to take for granted, I try to learn to see again.

    2- Why do people climb mountains? There are things we do that require skill and practice, but really don't get us anywhere except for that feeling of reaching the top. When I take a look at a great slide image or processed a digital file I've created, I get that feeling. Don't you?

    3- I appreciate the quality of a good machine. The shutter in my SLRs, the feel in the hand of a fine tool, is something along the feelings cavemen had for good spears. This feeling also has me looking in the shop windows at old Leica cameras and the like with considerations of going back to film.

    4- While I can not share my stories with friends and relatives who do not speak the same languages, I can share images.

    5- I have seen improvement in my work. So much so, that I find it harder and harder to post new images that meet my newfound standards. This brings me back to point number 1 about revisting places and events to do them right.
  • Re: Why?
    I’ve been reading the answers written in this thread, and I confess that they have been disturbing me more than the initial answer.

    I have the feeling that most of you are worried about justifying a utility for taking photographs, and I’m afraid that surprises me because I’ve never considered photography, as any other form of creativity, as useful. Well, at least I don’t think it is a premise for taking photographs. I first take photographs, and if one of the consequences is that they help someone else (to learn about the world or whatever, fine with me). But I never rationalise the act of taking a photograph before I actually press the shutter.

    I’ve never considered “LOVING” as a useful feeling. I’ve always seen it rather as NECESSARY. There is no point, in my opinion, to find a utility in every human act because as a Portuguese poet once said “our heart has reasons that are unknown to the reason”.

    In the previous answer of this thread, Dan asks : “Why do people climb mountains?”. And in his own answer he carries a clue of the way I approach this subject : “…there are things we do… but really don’t get us anywhere..”.

    That’s how I understand photography. It won’t get me anywhere. But there are things that I just have to do..
  • Re: Why?
    I read many very interesting ideas in this thread.

    First of all, from my own experience : the pictures I have seen here, the comments I made after studying a photo, the comments I have received about my pictures have somehow changed my life (for the better). I learned.

    Also from the comments I received from my pictures let me think that somehow I touched other peoples lives.

    So making photos and sharing them DOES have an impact (Thanks TE).

    My contribution on TE made a very small impact to the world, something like a sparkle in the night. Many sparkles together can make lasting light for thousands..

    Second : making and sharing a picture is not the destination of your life, but it can be part of the journey.
  • Re: Why?
    Hi Sean,

    First off all, your name "Pentax", you were the first to choose this one. Unique, most likely could have been taken already, but you are the one who got it. I had to write this first after reading the replies.
    "You'll only understand when you see it" (Johan Cruiff)

    One of the things I'd like to add is my, still unmentioned, reason. After many years the only remains of things you've done and seen are your memmories and most likely your photos. For example, a vacation, the wine was good but finished, the local crafted object broken in de dustbin, the nice body-tan repainted by various other occasions and the moments you still do remember have did fade a bit.

    So it's very nice to have photos, so you, and maybe who is with you can take a look at them and enjoy or TALK about it, each of you with another vision, memmory or feeling about it. I also went up the Eiffel tower in Paris, asked my wife to marry me (I know, I know) and took my pictures of that moment. I won't forget that moment, but I still did not see any other pictures like the ones I have. They're unique! TE, and others, help me, and maybe I them, to make the best out of it and share the passion of life.

    And! I don't like the saying: "What's the point?" Make your presence, show the world you ARE. I try to "score" a smile each day, to myself, my wife, people around me, and all the others I can get to. That's my goal.

    Just like your posting, you stired the world in 4 continents so far, the replies are proof of that. I learned a lot reading the replies, some the best advices people can give. To me, one of the best threads in this forum. The text in the replies are proof that: "Photography goes beyond just taking photos."

    Please, do show some photos, tell your own story, you never know where it will get you to.

    That's the point! And you did it by posting your question! Thank you for starting this thread. You brought me to a higher level.
    And, You made me smile!

    DigiSpy
    "This moment -also- listening to Crashtest Dummies"
    sorry for the crappy english ;-)
  • Re: Why?
    Richard
    you have made a really good point basically all the replies on this thread shows the passion, enjoyment, love and reason of people on photography and it is very touching how people look at photography in a different ways. i agree with you if someone reads this thread will surely be brought to the next level of photography it will never be the same again for them co'z it happen to me. this threads gives me more reason to continue taking picture that gives me more enthausiastic of photography.

    Pentax. thanks for starting this thread am sure you will be posting some photo soon

    and to those who replied thanks also you made me love photography more

    brgds
    verge
  • Re: Why?
    You humble me with your English... so much better than my Dutch or my anything. Thank you, RIchard, for expressing yourself so honestly. Your words, the English that is your second, or perhaps your third language, is eloquent.