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Thursday, 28 May 2020


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I think it would be very difficult to take good photographs of something you were not interested it. Sure, any technically competent photographer can produce a technically competent photo of any given subject, but the deeper meaning, the insight, the certain je ne sais quoi will not likely be there.

Then again, while trying to take that good photograph, you might well become interested in that subject.

The chicken or the egg

This seems to be a common sentiment. These thoughts are not exactly the same as Nigel's comment, but struck me as being in that vein:

Winogrand: “I photograph to find out what something will look like photographed.”

Bill Jay, in conversation with David Hurn: “When we were discussing some definitions you remarked that photography’s core characteristic was to show what something looked like.”

That’s a great quote. Well said. I remember reading something once that said a craftsman is not a master of his craft until he can use his tools in non-standard ways. It seems Nigel is talking about using his camera in an ancillary way to explore something of interest because the camera as a tool suits him best while others might use a paint brush, a hammer, or their words. Using curiosity and a favorite tool to MacGyver life is a good way to keep things interesting. :-)


I was very chuffed to see this post. Thank you.

It is a question that is perhaps more complicated than those four lines.

I love hiking in the Italian Apennines near my home, it is a place of total peace and escape from everyday life for me. I started to ask myself why I was doing these strenuous hikes. Was it to find something interesting to photograph? Or was it to document and have a reminder of a day in the mountains?

My other interest is history and being a Structural Engineer by profession, I am interested in the built environment and architecture. Much of my photography concerns the spontaneous architecture of the area where I live. So here it is clearer. I photograph something I am interested in. The camera is a tool. It could also be a pencil or a paintbrush.

At the moment I am doing a self-assigned photo project about the area of Italy near Mantua, ruled by the Gonzaga family. It takes a lot of research and I have enjoyed learning about this Renaissance period family.

I believe my interest in the subject gives substance and cohesion to this photo project. But I am not sure that I am more interested in exploring this area and its history, rather than making a set of pictures.

Photography as a “hobby” started for me when I went to London at 17. I wanted to show the people back home in my rural town, what London was like.

By nature, I like to do the things I am interested in well and I did my best to get my technique perfect and I dived into the artistic and compositional side of things too. So, from a certain point of view I am interested in photography for photography’s sake too.

Is this "International Philosophy Day"?

Long time ago, I remember a training class where the instructor divided people into "product people" and "process people."

Product people want to accomplish something. Process people want to do things.

Some people want to produce satisfying photographs. Some want to enjoy the process of finding the perfect camera, processing perfect images in their computer and maybe even making the perfect print, no matter how much work or time it takes.

One of my favorite sayings came from a waiter at a restaurant in Boston when asked if they minded if we had a singing telegram delivered to the restaurant for a friend's birthday: "Whatever you need to get you through the day, man.".

If you choose a caree

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