BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

Photography Question 
Ryan Chai

Okay Everyone, Get This!

Okay everyone I have a great question. Why do we photographers enjoy taking pictures so much? What makes photography so enjoyable?

Kind of a fun question to get you thinking.

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11/21/2003 5:38:03 PM

Brad Lambert   My Wife asks me the same question when I spend hours out taking pictures or when I get up early in the morning (Pre-Pre-dawn) to get to the right spot to get that perfect picture, or when she sees me packing my camera every where I go. My answer to her and you is that When I am out in the moutains, early in the morning or late in the evening, I see some of the most beautiful sights. Some times it's a breathtaking sunset, other times it's a bull elk bugeling near by. whatever the case may be, I have a burning desire to capture that moment on film, either still or video. Not so much to say "look at me, I'm so cool this is what I saw." but to share it with others that otherwise couldn't be there to witness it in person. Very rarely to the pictures do the moment justice, but at least it gives them an idea of what is out there for them to enjoy. That is the main reason I enjoy photography. The second is a little more scientific. I seem to have a facination with the concept of the physical/chemical changes that occur when film is exposed to light. Ever since I was in high school this concept had captured my attention and still does today. I guess that is why I can't trade in my film camera for a digital one yet. I guess there is a third reason I enjoy photography so much, and that has to do with my kids. I love to capture their moments as well. Their smiles, their happieness, their beauty (i've got two of the cutest little girls in the world, I really mean it. They're knockouts!)They grow up so fast if you don't capture a few moments on film, those moments are left to your memory alone. Why not get it on film to help remind you and others of those moments? Any way I hope that wasn't to deep of an answer, but that's how I feel.

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11/21/2003 11:26:47 PM

Bob Cammarata
BetterPhoto Member Since: 7/17/2003
  Well Ryan, you've given me (and others, I'm sure), an opportunity to certify my sanity.... (or lack of it).

Photography, for me, is more than recording an event for posterity. It's a kind of high... like that once-in-a-lifetime hole in one on a tough course, or that 300 game at the lanes. There are times when everything seems to come together... that perfect light, the sunset that seems to go on forever, and get more spectacular by the minute, or that dragonfly, or other difficult subject, which refuses to fly off no matter how close I am able to get. I often find myself muttering nonsensically while clicking away.
Then, comes the anticipation of viewing the final images, and the sense of fulfillment, or dismay, that ensues:
"What did I do wrong?"
"What did I do right?"
"How could I have made it better?"
"Can I re-shoot this, or did I blow it?"

Photography is the only art form in which one must master a machine before the art can materialize. I think this is part of its allure.

A major part of my photography is conceptual. Quite often, I will envision a particular image, then try to work out the details and pitfalls to realize the vision and record it on film. When the final result is as I pictured it in my mind's eye... well, that's what photography is all about.

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11/22/2003 5:39:16 PM

Chris L. Hurtt  
This is an interesting question. What drives us? Is this the only way we can truly communicate? Are we just killing time? Ryan's question brings up many others.

I know that when I am standing up on a cliff shooting a picture like the one I attached there are many things going through my mind. Am I doing this justice? Aperture? Shutter speed? Do I need a filter? Where is my lens hood?

The other thing going on is a lot of emotion. When you see something that truly captures your attention you feel emotion. You try and recreate that scene in the camera... emotion and all. Is that something that will ever happen? The answer is no, but I am happy to spend the rest of my life trying.

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11/23/2003 7:28:47 AM

Shirley D. Cross-Taylor
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/7/2001
Contact Shirley
Shirley's Gallery
  For me, this is a hard question, because it is like an obsession...a compulsion that I cannot stand not to do. Before I became a photographer, I drew and painted. I think some of us are born with a compulsion to try to create or capture what is interesting of beautiful to us. I can only go so long before I have to have my photo-taking 'fix'.

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11/26/2003 8:56:29 PM

james marcus   Wow! Thought provoking question. I can only relate my story and I am sure the answer for me will manifest iteself. I began shooting about 10 years ago to record my travels with the US Army. It was to record beautiful places and people and to provide an escape from the everyday. During my first marriage I placed my hands on an SLR (my wife's) and fell in love with the new level up from point and shoot. I still used photography as an outlet, a release from the norm that was my life as a jail officer and the a police officer. It helped me keep alive the thoughts that good things too exist in this world. Not soon after I put a Minolta HTSI Plus and a Nikon N80 into my photo arsenal did I find myself capturing images of family gatherings, weddings, models, landscapes, and such. The knowledge to learn now about the art I found myself in took over and I find myself reading and shooting more than ever. This is an art, a love, an escape and a serious addiction that I never want to be cured of. I hope this clarifies for you why I carry my camera everywhere and why I love to create images.

Jim M.
Charlottesville, VA

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11/28/2003 6:48:45 AM

Ryan Chai   Wow you guys! I didn't think so many people would respond. I can relate to many of your comments.
"I click (the shutter) therefore I live."

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11/28/2003 11:20:34 AM

Gail Cimino   I think this is a really great question, actually! My interest in photography developed mostly through my travels. Like many others, I wanted to record the gorgeous scenery, the people and emotions of a place, the ‘moment’. But I began to realize that what I wanted to do most was to see a place more fully, to find an interesting detail or angle that others often overlook or pass by too quickly. Even simple everyday moments are opportunities for me to ‘see’. While waiting for the bus in New York City, where I live, I often look up to see the branches of a tree against a sharp blue sky, or watch fast moving clouds reflected in a glassy office tower. Whether I’ve got my camera in hand or not, I see “photo ops” all around me, and it’s a great feeling, it really brightens my day. So for me, it works sort of hand in hand: I look at the world differently – and more carefully – because of my photography, and my photography has improved because of the attention I give to looking.

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12/2/2003 8:55:26 AM

Lee A. Dauwalder Heath
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2003
  For me photography is a true gift of God. It is always there, a venue to express one's self.It always get my adreneline pumping! In a critical world, I find photography is one way of expressing your "mind's eye" to others. Although there are many highly aclaimed art critics, no one can steal your vision, your creativity. With others who enjoy and value photography, it is a medium to share ideas and expression. I have made some very real connections with other photographers, who share this point of view, others who have not. Whether Technical perfection,or simply sharing emotion, there is something for everyone within the little black box. :)

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12/2/2003 10:44:19 AM

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