Self Portrait

by James V May. 09, 2021 144 views

Recently I watched a blog by James Popsys on YouTube. A very talented photographer, hiking for his landscapes in the North of Wales along the Snowdonia mountain formations. He made a comment I found interesting. After recently reviewing some excellent photos of a volcanic eruption, he found himself, a "hundred ought photos in, bored with it." To this individual, the problem with photography is "over saturation" or "over exposure," in the sense of quantity, not the quality of the photo(s).

Everyone is taking photos, of everything. And everyone is sharing them.

Are there limits?

Above is a photo of myself, from 2016, facing the West Side of Manhattan.

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David Nurse 1 month, 1 week ago

Great image (yours) and I agree the cityscape is magnificent. I too follow James and he does have some real insights. He mentioned a while ago about a photo being "About something" and not just "Of something" which really sets me wondering what's this image about, what's the story? Now if I could just ask it before I press the shutter and not when processing!
I think perhaps the advantage of taking lots of images and viewing lots of images it helps to find ones "Own Style". I don't think I have found mine yet and I am envious of a few photographers here have it as I know their images before I look at who took them.
Thanks for an interesting post.

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
James V Replied to David Nurse 1 month, 1 week ago

Thanks for the comment. James has recognizable images. He just posted a video of a question/answer session in which he encouraged photographers to develop a style, also mentioning that it can change. His photos are developed with color processing very distinct from those of other photographers...avoiding over saturation and extreme contrasts. In a sense, he is avoiding the “look” of most digital camera jpeg files. I don’t believe I’ve seen him take a black and white photo from the moment of capture. What he has done, which I think is important, is to have visited the same landscape regularly and as a result, recognize successfully taken images, lighting and compositions instantly. His approach has allowed him to hone his skills for his particular photography.

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Craig Casterline 1 month, 1 week ago

Nice shot! The quote you shared was interesting and probably -- unfortunately -- true, brought on by the ease of becoming a "photographer" with just a phone and when you can shoot nearly unlimited photos. I really love photography and trying to create something new and unique. But it is much more difficult to stand out. To some extent, I miss the old film days when each photo counted, but I certainly wouldn't want to give up the flexibility and creativity that digital photography allows.

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
James V Replied to Craig Casterline 1 month, 1 week ago

Thanks. It is true that the phone has made photography as a hobby less "unique" or specialized. As a general rule, with so many people taking photos on their phones, we should be creating master photographers. After all, the "10,000 hour" rule should apply to this skill as it would to any athlete. Without knowledgeable instruction or the ability to learn, however, I believe are we all challenged to create photos that aren't "new" or "unique." It requires we ask ourselves what is good and unique. What contributes to the art, not just the library of photos posted on the internet. I recently faved a photo on flickr that is a black and white cityscape composite (?) which, to me, is extremely unique, artistic, moving and special. I fell in love with the damn thing the minute I saw it. At the risk of some type of copyright infringement or violation of the blog, I leave it here: In my opinion, this photo, while using techniques not necessarily new, is unique. The sense of verticality, movement, abstraction, repetition, all contribute to a surreal urban landscape somehow familiar and alien at the same time. Ok, perhaps it isn't THAT great, but it is intriguing and certainly not of the normal variety of photos. It is a photograph and art at the same time. Is that the future of the photographic discipline? Does a beautiful or intriguing photo cut it any longer? Must it also be art?

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Craig Casterline Replied to James V 1 month, 1 week ago

I do like that photo and what it does is portray something that pushes the boundaries of reality just slightly. Yes, I do think that photography must now become in the end a new art form that does more than just catch glimpses of reality but also unites a unique perspective with technical skill and possibly a story. Maybe that is why photography requires passion and why it can become so consuming.

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
James V Replied to Craig Casterline 1 month, 1 week ago

Excellent comment. Thanks for contributing!

1 month, 1 week ago Edited