How many of you are trying to be original and how many are trying to reverse-engineering other peopl

Discussion in 'Photography' started by Wild Cabayo, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. Wild Cabayo

    Wild Cabayo Guest

    Just curious. It seems like more and more people joining the photographer
    ranks are more interested in reverse engineering (read: copying other
    people), than they are trying to strive for originality.

    I don't buy that everything has been done already crap because, what that
    really means to me is that no one (in the photographer ranks), these days
    wants to readily acknowledge their peer for being original.

    Has the spirit of photography sunk down to an all time low and overshadowed
    by fierce "Internet" competition and aggresive competitive practices??


    It used to be, Photographers were so secure with themselves that commenting
    on another person's work wasn't at all expensive. After all, each of our
    localities is sizable enough to be adequate for encouraging competition. Or,
    is it that the marketplace is just attracting new and newer photographers
    every day?

    Has the world gone to shit and under the whim of just a few very successful
    tight gripped photographers that the word "prosperity", has a slim chance in
    hell of ever getting to other photographers whose work is good or,
    astonishingly good?

    Has the photography world expanded that much due to the digital camera age
    that the leagues of new gen photogs are so tight lipped to not even
    acknowledge that their skills are/were borrowed from the diligent reverse
    engineering of the masters (or simply those who strove to set themselves

    The hell?

    What ever happened to the time when the customer's opinion counted more? It
    seems like we spend a lot of time trying to get peers to comment on our work
    rather than simply trying to meet customers' requirements.

    Have we gotten that shallow? That critical? That cynical?

    What ever happened to the time when photographers, took off their photog hat
    and commented on a simple image without going into a whole lot of technical
    diatribe about things that make the image look inferior. Yet, many of us can
    look at images in a regular family album and say, wow, that was a great
    picture, even though the lighting is not so perfect (due to the fact it was
    a greenish polaroid pic).

    Whatever happened to those days? Replaced by punks with smart ass one liner
    comments? OR...

    Replaced with competition who thinks the Internet and Usenet forums mean the
    size of a single city? Therefore, do, say and write anything to make the
    competition look bad.

    Wow. That sucks. Business wise, it might make practical sense but, wasn't
    the purpose for coming to online forums was to have fun in the first place,
    network and maybe learn a few new things? Whatever happened to that feeling?

    Hm. Just curious.
    Wild Cabayo, Jan 2, 2007
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  2. Wild Cabayo

    Celcius Guest


    I read your text with interest. However, I kept wondering to whom it was

    Who are those photographers? People who take pictures? People who write in
    this forum?

    In the first case, a majority "freeze" souvenirs. They take snapshots on
    automatic. Don't ask them what Dof is. They aren't even aware what makes a
    good photo, except not to cut someone's head off. I'm slightly exaggerating
    of course.

    This forum (as others) represents only a very slight minority of
    photographers. Participants present a very wide array of interest and
    specialisation. Personally, I love photography and try to handle my camera
    the best I can in order to get as good results as possible. However, many
    here are great photographers. Their results and advice inspire others.
    Others simply join in for the fun of it. That's Internet, a popular, easily
    reachable place for anyone with access.

    Your comments are still valid, but shouldn't be generally applied. Many
    photographers, those who take photographs, try to better themselves.
    Digital photography indeed helps in allowing people to take many shots and
    choosing the "best" one later. Hundreds of titles are published on
    Photography, showing that publishers know these will be sold and indeed,
    there is interest out there. Forums such as this one allow good exchange of
    ideas. Of course, there are purists as in any other field. This is a world
    apart of your "common" everyday photog, but as the song says: "It takes all
    kinds to make a world".

    Happy New Year!

    Celcius, Jan 2, 2007
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  3. Wild Cabayo

    AustinMN Guest

    I do both. It's a sad day when you can't learn from someone else. And
    I always thought that "Immitation is the most sincere form of
    There are so many people taking so many pictures and doing so much with
    them that I doubt YOU have ever done anything that has never been done
    Frankly, I don't know what this is directed at. I don't find anything
    wrong with the things you have "complained" about so far...
    This appears to be totally unrelated to your previous comment.

    I comment on other people's work all the time. What I don't do is say
    "Cool photo" because I know when I show my stuff, I already think it's
    cool, or I would not be showing it to you. To me, having someone say
    "I would have tried to get a shallower depth of field in order to make
    the subject pop" is a hundred times more useful than "cool photo," so
    those are the onyl types of comments I leave.
    Another subject change...the rants above say nothing about money. I
    don't sell my photos, because I don't want profit to interfere with
    creativity. That does not mean that profit is bad, or that
    professional photographers are not creative. But it does mean that my
    photography is for *me* and *my* satisfaction, and I don't have to
    please anyone else.
    Trying to give proper attribution to techniques can be a daunting task.
    I've looked at hundreds of 3D (anaglyph) photographs, dosens of web
    sites, and a couple of book chapters. Where did that idea come from?
    It would take me forever to research the source of the idea. It would
    likely be a useless attribution, too. If I say I got it from John (who
    himself got it from Jacques who got it from Juan who got it from Ian
    who got it from Ivan, but that part is not documented) is not
    particularly useful.

    If you really want your original thechnique to be
    tracable/attributable, patent it. You will discover thousands before
    you have had the same idea.
    This is completely counter to the concept of originality. Despite what
    they think, the vast majority of customers don't want originality, they
    want what they've seen before repackaged. One of the reasons I don't
    want money for my photos.
    Ah, I think this is the core of your whole post. Someone told you your
    junk photos were junk. Let's see them, and we can comment on them.
    But ultimately, there are a lot of photographers out there who think
    they are a lot better than they are. It's the same as "American Idol,"
    where thousands of people who can't carry a tune in a sealed container
    think they can be the next superstar.
    Frankly, I don't comment much on family albums unless I see something
    worth commenting on. Most are incredibly boring.
    Usenet forums have the feel of the people in them. People with thin
    skins (easily offended) don't last long in *any* public forum, so that
    whole group is not part of the picture. People who just have to be
    heard have an inordinately large influence. Throw in a few trolls, and
    a number of helpful people will just go away.

    Usenet forums are what they are, and they change constantly.

    AustinMN, Jan 2, 2007
  4. Wild Cabayo

    Wild Cabayo Guest

    If you mean, others emulate those they admire then, I agree. What if there
    were no teachers? Did that stop the caveman from inventing the wheel?
    Why so quick to doubt and doubt loudly with the capitalized "you"? What if
    I've done things that could be deemed original? Why would it cause you or,
    anyone else to scoff me?
    That's fair. Everybody is at a different place in time.
    But don't let that stop you from weaving seemingly unrelated topics together
    in order to build some kind of big picture.
    I agree. However, insightful comments like the one you suggested are far and
    few between.
    You articulated that very well and I wouldn't have thought about it from
    that perspective. However, personally, I'm pretty good at attributing where
    I got my inspiration.
    Now, that's a good idea and good discussion for some other time in the
    future. Patenting ideas relating to photography. In all my years, I've never
    come across a discussion around this.
    Me and my subject changing. My apologies.
    You make a good point with the American Idol scenario. Kudos. I appreciated
    this perspective.
    I find them very interesting. So, every chance I get, I ask to take a peek
    at family albums.
    Thanks for chiming in Austin. Your perspective on things is interesting and
    different. I'm not sure if it's a case of being fortunate or, not but, I've
    never had anyone tell me my work sucks. Perhaps, they were just being polite
    or, maybe, they trust that I know well enough to know if I've produced a
    sucky image.

    At any rate, the process of critiques interest me. I once submitted an
    invitation for people from this board to visit my website and critique my
    work and I received none. What's that supposed to tell me? Because, if my
    work truly sucked I figured people from here won't be shy and won't hesitate
    to let me know. Sometimes, I feel that I'm being denied "something" when I
    don't get at least a couple of "you suck" comments and this concerns me a
    little because, what are the dangers of working in a vacuum as opposed to
    working in an artist's collective or, groups like this place?

    I guess it never hurts to ask or, to do as I did, and throw a bunch of
    thoughts into one post. Truthfully, based on my last two visits to this
    group, I was almost convinced my NewsReader was broke. Where I can submit
    posts and can't see the responses.

    Based on the two responses I got to my post, it's a fecking relief to know
    people can actually see and respond to my posts. LOL.
    Wild Cabayo, Jan 3, 2007
  5. Wild Cabayo

    Wild Cabayo Guest

    Hi Celcius. These were just random thoughts dumped from my brain in order to
    make room for more. Thanks for replying.
    Wild Cabayo, Jan 3, 2007
  6. Wild Cabayo

    AustinMN Guest

    Since can't find a posting history for you, I can't
    look at _how_ you posted the invitation. Either you changed your user
    name or email address since that post. But there are definitely links
    I will not follow because of how they are posted or introduced.
    There is a lot more activity in the* newsgroup hierarchy.
    Glad to be able to help. ;-)

    AustinMN, Jan 3, 2007
  7. Wild Cabayo

    Wild Cabayo Guest

    I tried looking and I think my newsserver expired it. Oh well. No big deal.
    It's been a couple of years since I posted in this group. The last time I
    did, two commercial stock photographers responded with encouragement and
    some praise. I'm not an attention whore in any sense. Lol. I just get
    curious every now and then to see what non-models and clients think about my
    Hey. That's good to know. It would make sense since most people are afraid
    to tread in the alt.* hierarchy. Lol.
    Wild Cabayo, Jan 3, 2007
  8. Wild Cabayo

    smb Guest

    But what do you REALLY think? :)

    I agree, simply copying someone's work or style is not creative.
    HOWEVER, all artists are influenced to some degree by the work of
    others. True originality rarely exists; and when it does, it is very
    special. What we often do is add our own perspective to something
    that has already been done many times before. This is as true in
    photography as it is true in music and other creative endeavors.

    As to meaningless critiques by so-called online "experts," check out
    this site. It's a hoot!

    smb, Jan 27, 2007
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