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Photography DiscussionHypothetical: On a stroll with companion(s), How Much Time Do or Can You Take to Compose and Shoot?

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Re: Hypothetical: On a stroll with companion(s), How Much Time Do or Can You Take to Compose and Shoot?

Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:22 am

Matt Quinn wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 7:48 pm
Charles,

Man, have you pressed a button! Family squabbles galore as I pause on the beach or on a walk to photo them or one of the grands, but they give thanks later when they see the photo. They tolerate me but don't miss me because I am a terrible conversationalist -- I listen more than I talk. They don't wait; I eventually catch up.

With my wife, however, the situation is way different; she has no patience and fumes if I pause to take a photo and spend more than 10 seconds to do so. That prompts me to go out on my own, or to wander in the mall while she is shopping. The only photos she likes are of the grands; she dismisses the others.

I never went to kindergarten, so I never learned to "play well with others." I had a meet-up with another photographer from "that other site" to take some photos at Cape Cod. I learned nothing, suggested a few locations for shots; we spoke very little; I left early. We never got together again.

My other experience was with an instructor and two other students on Cape Cod. We had hustled across some wetlands at low tide into a dense forrest and tramped around for a few early-morning hours. I always felt the pressure of not wanting to delay the others so I hurried my shots; only one turned out to my satisfaction. I have hoped to go back on my own, but the best laid plan...

So, I guess I do better walking alone when I have my camera, and, when with others, walking without my camera and taking mental pictures.

My effort at peace on earth.

Matt
Aw, Matt, some of that makes me a little sad, but each of us has to deal with our own reality. I see nothing at all wrong with the solitary photo walk either. I haven't done a lot of it since I was lucky enough that Daphne didn't mind my stopping here and there to grab a shot of this or that unless it got ridiculous (and yeah, define that willya?). (By the way, they tell me good listeners are the best conversationalists!)
Duck wrote:On a photowalk, that's a whole different animal. I am surrounded by like minded individuals and what I've found is that if someone spots something of interest others will join in the moment. Those that aren't feeling it tend to wander a bit away and find something else of interest. For the most part, though, everyone stays together and enjoys the company, the conversation and the collaboration. If I am leading the group I often tend to purposely slow people down because I know the tendency is to rush things.
I wonder if your Cape Cod fella was rushing. As I've mentioned elsewhere I have never been on an actual photo walk. I did just contact the local Lincoln camera club and I bet they get together and do them, and if so I will try to join them. Then I may have a better idea of the protocols, but it strikes me that if the whole purpose of the walk is to photograph then there ought not to be a sense of excessive hurry.

As to mental pictures, though, I have a problem with that owing to a foolish mistake I made when I was posted overseas. I had orders for Germany, and as it happened I had not then gotten the photo bug. My dad had been a working pro, a war correspondent, but died when I was 10 and his loss devastated my mom to the point that she actively discouraged any interest I showed in photography. Just about the time I got my orders I read an article in a magazine. In 20/20 retrospect I may have been flat too dumb to recognize satire when I read it (I was seriously dumb). The gist of the thing was, if you are going off to see wonderful once-in-a-lifetime things, don't take a camera, it just gets in the way of your memories. You are a thoroughly rotten photographer anyway, and all you will do is distract your stupid self with settings while missing the literal picture, and whatever you do manage to get will be awful but you will load it into a carousel anyway and inflict it endlessly on your thoroughly bored friends (assuming they stay friends after your ghastly slide show). I was, like, 20 and almost too dumb to breathe, so I spent almost 2 years in Germany and environs taking not. one. single. picture. :doh: :dunce: None. No pics of my buddies. My barracks (a vintage German kaserne of great blocks of cut stone with a curving face), my bicycle, my travels to Berlin just months after the wall went up... you get the idea. Dum Dum Gum Gum indeed! It might be funny but it really isn't. So anyways, at minimum I recommend carrying a pocket camera or at least a phone. Pitchers remember longer than your head. :D
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Post by Duck » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:02 am

Charles Haacker wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:22 am
[...] My dad had been a working pro, a war correspondent, but died when I was 10 and his loss devastated my mom to the point that she actively discouraged any interest I showed in photography. [...]
Things aren't so different on my end. Almost deja vu...

My father died when I was eight, also a very impressionable age. He was hit by a bus at an intersection on his motorcycle. For as long as my paternal grandmother was alive all I heard was, "don't get a motorcycle." To this day, I don't do motorcycles.

My little brother who was four at the time, on the other hand... he's the family rebel and was responsible for getting me involved in tattooing. :doh:
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:51 pm

LindaShorey wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:31 pm
I have several experiences:

1. With a camera club in 1990, we went out at night with tripods. Unfortunately, the only thing I remember is, "Do you know you can make people disappear from the shot if the shutter speed is slow enough?" :)

2. With a birder-turned-photographer; she was willing to wait for something to happen, or to turn around the car and go back where we came from because an eagle overhead was flying that direction...whereas I was always about "Let's see what is around the next corner!"

3. With a painter-turned-photographer. If I noticed her stopping to photograph something I had just passed, I would go look over her shoulder and try to see the close-up or scene through her eyes because I knew she brought a lot to the table with her artistic sense of composition.

4. With non-photographer friends who took me to visit Mt Saint Helens. They knew I would be taking a lot of photos, but there were several times I did indeed feel rushed. This was unfortunate because I can never again get that FIRST experience - the one of complete awe of what I was seeing 33 years after the eruption.

There is also a left brain/right brain thing going on: even if someone appears to be totally OK with however long I want to take at a spot, if they talk to me, I can't concentrate. I need to be able to get into that "instinct" mode you speak of, Chuck. The more I think about a composition, the more I work a scene, usually the less happy I am. Off-topic, but I do want to say that familiarity with a subject, such as my hops fields, can contribute a great deal to the success of instinctive shots IMO.

Thanks for a super topic!
Linda, I think we maybe get a lot more from every experience than perhaps we realize, like the camera club at night. I think you remember the specific thing about letting the shutter run on because it was something new (I was pretty excited when I was handed that as an assignment in school in the 70s). I bet the rest of what you learned that night was quietly absorbed and became an unconscious part of your overall photo knowhow. Rereading each of your points I tend to think the same; it's additive. Your hops fields aren't off-topic, they are smack on it. You have photographed them many times. Each time you see something new, a different angle, a leaning pole, weather's different, light's different, but also your mind replays pretty much every older shot and provides a base from which to build something new and different from an old familiar scene. I think that might just be the "instinct mode."

I wonder if that mode doesn't build on itself as well. I am sorry you felt rushed by others at Mt. St. Helens, but I know the feeling because when I was first there it was the weather that was rushing. We already expected to be disappointed because the weather closed in as we climbed to Johnston Ridge. No one has to remind you of the Pacific Northwest weather joke, where it is always raining, has rained, or is about to rain. ;) When we arrived the mountain was socked in but hey, there's plenty to see in the museum and memorial. We watched the movie and the curtain going up on the mountain that was still socked in, except just then the cloud lifted, literally, like a big pot lid, and everyone dashed madly outside before it slammed down again. I got some exciting pictures but they had to be shot fast. There was sunlight dappling the scene through holes in the cloud but the light was changing by the second, so it's not just companions that rush us. I wonder if in the long run being rushed isn't an overall good thing, honing our ability to see? :look:
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:30 pm

minniev wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:43 pm
Wow, what an interesting discussion!

I'm most often alone or with my husband when I'm shooting. He is a non-photographer and not very patient, usually in a hurry to get back to where we started from, or look for food, and he prefers guided tours to self-exploring - so mostly I'm just taking snapshots when we're out and about. Sometimes I'll broker for a bit of dedicated photo time on our adventures, and when I do I prepare in advance (prepare him and prepare for shooting whatever it is I'm expecting to shoot). He is very good at spotting birds and animals though, and he likes for me to take pictures of them. Everything else, I think he finds kinda boring.

When I'm with another photographer it's different. I've had multi-day shoots with a local photo buddy Anita, with Dave Chinn, Graham Smith, St3v3M, even with people I've met when traveling,and all of them were are so easy to be with. We were/are very flexible, shooting same or different subjects, wandering off on our own then back together again. Anita and I travel for up to two weeks at a time together, and it's like a two week workshop with us learning together and from each other.

I'm often disappointed (maybe 70% of the time) with the hurried photos I take, because once I look at them I know they could have been so much better, and they are often from beautiful places I'll never see again. My trip to Holland made me crazy because everything was so photogenic, but on a tour you are hustled about in buses and let out for brief intervals where you have to rush to keep up, so even snapshots aren't always possible. It was my husband's dream vacation, and I enjoyed the sights and the fun of traveling together, but the photography drove me mad.
Another post that reminds me how lucky I was to have a life companion who at least tolerated my lagging sometimes to take a pitcher. ;)

This is turning into a pretty lively discussion on the subject. The overall sense I get is that all of us sometimes (or mostly) feel a little or a lot rushed to get it and move on. So I wonder if in some way that isn't an overall good thing, in that it (hopefully) helps train us to that ideal of making the camera an instinctive extension of hand, eye, and brain, precisely because sometimes (often?) we cannot stop to properly assess and compose, we just gotta get it. Linda mentioned Mt. St. Helens, which reminded me that when we were there the big hurry-up motivator was weather: the mountain was socked in with cloud that opened up for maybe 5 minutes, so it was git'r'done or forget it, and be glad you got that much. Your husband likes for you to shoot the birds and animals that for the most part don't stick around and pose beautifully against the perfect backdrop. The pressure to get the shot doesn't always come from anyone but the subject, and that will often be true even if you are on a lone quest. Even your shy tree doesn't always give you much time to work, nor do her companions, who often help hide her behind maybe a little too much of their own foliage. In thinking about this whole subject I realize that an awful lot of the things I grab-shoot in passing as I try not to hold up the hull war are static subjects, buildings, statues, flowers (whole lotta flowers!), things that can be framed, composed, and grabbed quickly before the rest of the gang disappears into the crowd and suddenly ya hafta scramble to find them (happens a lot in big cities).

Daphne and I often wondered about one of those bus tours but never went, but now I wonder if that wasn't a good thing too. Being herded here and there with pretty much zero time to think or compose while shoulder-to-shoulder with all those other folks (I like cameras where the shutter sounds can be damped or silenced because it a mob it must be deafening :lol: )... Oh look a windmill and a dike and a little kid with his finger in it and back on the bus folks got a schedule to keep...! GAH! Yeah, would drive me nuts too, but it also goes to my original not-very-well-articulated premise: because life won't hold still sometimes ya got to grab the shot when it's there. Sometimes you are forced to move. Sometimes the shot is already moving. Sometimes it doesn't even matter that you are by yourself and there's "no pressure." The more we discuss this the more I think those no pressure times are actually pretty rare regardless. It's the Moving Finger thing. 8~
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:34 pm

St3v3M wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:45 pm
Charles Haacker wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:26 pm
...
On the subject of photo walks, I just this afternoon sent an email to the Lincoln Camera Club (since 1933). I don't know if they conduct photo walks but the main thing is that I think it's high time I got socially involved with someone outside of immediate family, and a camera club might be a good place to start. (Y)
You are blessed and you are loved, share that with others! S-
Matt Quinn wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:57 pm
I second Steve's comment. Matt
Thanks to you both, fellas. (Y) :thanks: :cheers:
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:54 pm

Duck wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:02 am
Charles Haacker wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:22 am
[...] My dad had been a working pro, a war correspondent, but died when I was 10 and his loss devastated my mom to the point that she actively discouraged any interest I showed in photography. [...]
Things aren't so different on my end. Almost deja vu...

My father died when I was eight, also a very impressionable age. He was hit by a bus at an intersection on his motorcycle. For as long as my paternal grandmother was alive all I heard was, "don't get a motorcycle." To this day, I don't do motorcycles.

My little brother who was four at the time, on the other hand... he's the family rebel and was responsible for getting me involved in tattooing. :doh:
We always remark on the Small World thing! I am truly sorry about your dad, Duck. Obviously I know how it feels, except my dad was not killed suddenly in an accident or even on the job: he was felled by (of all things) a mosquito, specifically a mosquito-borne virus that at the time nobody even knew what it was (eastern equine encephalitis). Still, no time to prepare and he was only 36. :( Interestingly enough, for no obvious reason my mom warned me against motorcycles as well (I think she had a bad date on one once), but I did in fact get one, several over time in fact, and enjoyed them very much. Still, if you stop and think about it, there are so many things that could have taken us out along the way but we got lucky and didn't... For what it's worth I've concluded that we all just do the best we can. Stuff (life) happens. Your dad got unlucky. So did mine. Different vector, same outcome. It's life altering more for the survivors, I think. I often say, "Ain't nobody gettin' out alive," and it's (duh) true. I would almost bet you think so too, and to an extent precisely because you lost your dad at that impressionable age. The older we manage to get (I have now managed to live twice as long as my dad got to) the more we realize that maybe we are lucky to get as far as we do, and try not to do too much dumb stuff along the way and frighten the horses. :lalala:
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Post by Matt Quinn » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:06 pm

Charles Haacker wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:54 pm
Duck wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:02 am
Charles Haacker wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:22 am
[...] My dad had been a working pro, a war correspondent, but died when I was 10 and his loss devastated my mom to the point that she actively discouraged any interest I showed in photography. [...]
Things aren't so different on my end. Almost deja vu...

My father died when I was eight, also a very impressionable age. He was hit by a bus at an intersection on his motorcycle. For as long as my paternal grandmother was alive all I heard was, "don't get a motorcycle." To this day, I don't do motorcycles.

My little brother who was four at the time, on the other hand... he's the family rebel and was responsible for getting me involved in tattooing. :doh:
We always remark on the Small World thing! I am truly sorry about your dad, Duck. Obviously I know how it feels, except my dad was not killed suddenly in an accident or even on the job: he was felled by (of all things) a mosquito, specifically a mosquito-borne virus that at the time nobody even knew what it was (eastern equine encephalitis). Still, no time to prepare and he was only 36. :( Interestingly enough, for no obvious reason my mom warned me against motorcycles as well (I think she had a bad date on one once), but I did in fact get one, several over time in fact, and enjoyed them very much. Still, if you stop and think about it, there are so many things that could have taken us out along the way but we got lucky and didn't... For what it's worth I've concluded that we all just do the best we can. Stuff (life) happens. Your dad got unlucky. So did mine. Different vector, same outcome. It's life altering more for the survivors, I think. I often say, "Ain't nobody gettin' out alive," and it's (duh) true. I would almost bet you think so too, and to an extent precisely because you lost your dad at that impressionable age. The older we manage to get (I have now managed to live twice as long as my dad got to) the more we realize that maybe we are lucky to get as far as we do, and try not to do too much dumb stuff along the way and frighten the horses. :lalala:
Chuck et al,

Yes, Chuck, this is a very happy thread you started. Lots of common stuff in our lives. For me, my wife's sharp impatience is a small price to pay for a long and happy marriage, if it is, indeed, a payment at all. After 50 years, the marriage is still a see-saw. If we both were at the same end, there would be no ups.

With or without a camera, (I almost always have my iPhone), I see the world differently now as a result of photography. I have become more aware of light and how it plays on surfaces, of lines and shapes and how they relate, of tones and how they draw the eye. Sometimes I am even framing a scene as I look at it without raising the camera. I have become more aware; I am not always looking so as to find the best angle, but just looking and now seeing. Sometimes I share what I see, sometimes I keep it to myself so as not to have it diminished by disdain.

When I do take a photo, I do not work it in pp to recapture the scene; I seem to be working it to bring out some pleasing or attractive relationships within the photo, relationships of tones, shapes, lines and gradients. And when it somehow comes together, the joy tingles.

That's why pM is so important for me, more so than a photo walk. I see the work of others and marvel at what they have accomplished; I can slowly contemplate it on my own first, then read what others write, then go back and look again with others' insights and contemplate some more. The comments others offer to my posts open my eyes to possibilities I never saw. The tutorials are super. The tone of the conversation is respectful, professional and informed.
Best learning ever. And I am not rushed.

Many thanks for tripping the shutter on this topic, Charles.

Matt
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Post by Charles Haacker » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:52 pm

You're welcome, Matt, and thank you for this:
Matt wrote:After 50 years, the marriage is still a see-saw. If we both were at the same end, there would be no ups.
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Post by St3v3M » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:57 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:06 pm
...
With or without a camera, (I almost always have my iPhone), I see the world differently now as a result of photography. I have become more aware of light and how it plays on surfaces, of lines and shapes and how they relate, of tones and how they draw the eye. Sometimes I am even framing a scene as I look at it without raising the camera. I have become more aware; I am not always looking so as to find the best angle, but just looking and now seeing. Sometimes I share what I see, sometimes I keep it to myself so as not to have it diminished by disdain.

When I do take a photo, I do not work it in pp to recapture the scene; I seem to be working it to bring out some pleasing or attractive relationships within the photo, relationships of tones, shapes, lines and gradients. And when it somehow comes together, the joy tingles.

That's why pM is so important for me, more so than a photo walk. I see the work of others and marvel at what they have accomplished; I can slowly contemplate it on my own first, then read what others write, then go back and look again with others' insights and contemplate some more. The comments others offer to my posts open my eyes to possibilities I never saw. The tutorials are super. The tone of the conversation is respectful, professional and informed.
Best learning ever. And I am not rushed.

Many thanks for tripping the shutter on this topic, Charles.

Matt
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Post by Duck » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:49 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:06 pm
[...] If we both were at the same end, there would be no ups. [...]
Like Charles, I love this comment also. Fortunately for my wife and I we've had more ups than downs, so there's that to be thankful for.

Both you and Charles touched on how you see the world differently since taking up photography. This reminds me of a silly argument my wife and I got into near the beginning of our relationship. To be honest, I can't even remember the exact cause for the argument but she was upset with me because I was not giving her the kind of attention I was giving my art. She obviously never dealt with an artist and I never dealt with a situation where someone was jealous of my time dedicated to my art.

What launched the argument was a comment I made about how I can't turn off being an artist because it's how I see the world and everything in it. Obviously she didn't get it, which frustrated me because I have a low tolerance for ignorance (not in the negative sense of the word) and I couldn't understand why she didn't get it as it was very obvious (to me). Plus, she can often be like a pit bull and not let go of certain issues, for better or worse.

Finally, after about 20-30 minutes of holding my ground and trying every form of analogy I could think of, she finally conceded and let the subject drop. For about a month after that argument I made it a point to periodically verbalize what I was seeing so she got a better sense of how I was wired. After a while I think she finally understood and now doesn't bother me about it. She does, however, needles me on how I have more patience teaching others than I do at teaching her. :-D
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