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Re: [OM] Aesthetic sense.

Subject: Re: [OM] Aesthetic sense.
From: "Dr. Matthew J. Cordery" <cordery1@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 14:49:19 -0700
I think what you need to do here is define for yourself what you think is
your 'natural' subject matter. For me, doing landscape and nature
photography is a 'natural' extension of both my background and my
interests. I grew up in Alaska and love being outdoors. However, I'm
abysmally bad at 'people' photography, flash work, etc. I have no 'feeling'
for it (or desire really). Of course, it's possible that you can have more
than one interest but it would help to focus on just one since they seem to
require different things from the photographer. I think photographers with
a well-defined 'vision' immerse themselves in the topic. For instance, I am
not a 'natural' photographer I don't believe. In fact,  the only failing
mark that I ever received was for a photography course that I was forced to
take in jr. high! Go figure, eh? I think I am passably good at nature
photography simply because (1) I adore the subject, (2) I spend a lot of
time out in it actually looking for things that catch my eye, and (3) I've
spent some time looking at other people's photographs asking myself why I
do or don't like them (Hey, I don't like *all* of John Shaw's stuff...a
point he would admit is absolutely great except from the standpoint of his
personal economics). Once you realize what starts to 'catch your eye' in a
particular field, then you can refine your 'vision'. I think a good example
of this might be classically trained painters. They first start by learning
good solid technique and then reproducing works/styles of great artists.
Exposing yourself (not in the lurid sense) to the techinques and visions of
others and going from there is how the art advances or becomes more
diverse. It's natural for you to feel that you aren't producing the
photographs that you think you should be producing. Heck, I'm my own worst
critic. I probably throw away more things people would keep.
I still mess up on exposure's too even though I live and die by my spot
meter and the zone system. If you really do want to improve, I strongly
suggest that you actually focus on a particular aspect of the craft. Hope
this helps.

PS. Be ready for the element of surprise. Sometimes, I get a transparency
back and think "*I* took this????"

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