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Finding your photographic style.


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Nice article. I’ve never paid attention to whether I have a style or not!  Mainly because I didn’t understand how to recognize style in my own work. This article makes that clearer.

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On 25/01/2021 at 11:56, Betty LaRue said:

Nice article. I’ve never paid attention to whether I have a style or not!  Mainly because I didn’t understand how to recognize style in my own work. This article makes that clearer.

 

Have to admit that I haven't given much attention to "style" either. A couple of things that I've noticed is that I'm drawn to warm colours. Also, I don't like opening up shadows too much even though I know that 'keep it bright and cheery' is the usual advice for "stock" photos. Here's an image that licensed yesterday. I could have opened up the shadow areas more, but I prefer it the way it is. I took another shot of this scene with fill-flash to bring out the flowers. However, this one appeals to me more. It probably looks too dark to some people.

 

the-dome-of-the-parroquia-san-pedro-chur

 

 

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33 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Have to admit that I haven't given much attention to "style" either. A couple of things that I've noticed is that I'm drawn to warm colours. Also, I don't like opening up shadows too much even though I know that 'keep it bright and cheery' is the usual advice for "stock" photos. Here's an image that licensed yesterday. I could have opened up the shadow areas more, but I prefer it the way it is. I took another shot of this scene with fill-flash to bring out the flowers. However, this one appeals to me more. It probably looks too dark to some people.

 

the-dome-of-the-parroquia-san-pedro-chur

 

 

I really like it as it is, John. It’s dramatic. I like dramatic but stink at accomplishing it.  That said, I guess “my style” would have probably used a brush to bring out the color of the flowers above the rail. Listening to you and looking back at my stuff, I do like bright images. I seldom punch them up with more intense color as much as some do. I prefer color over B&W and almost never do B&W. (And there my B&W avatar is😂)

I think style is more of an unconscious thing we do in the process of shooting and developing  that comes from what we like to see. It happens naturally without too much thought.

I remember reading about “finding your style” back when I started. I tried to consciously find my style but it was forced and I overthought it. Then I got busy working, and if I have a style, then it found itself.

I think Paulette has a lovely style that is consistent through her work. And aside from her sought after subjects, I think her style is as much a part of why she sells well.

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29 minutes ago, Betty LaRue said:

I really like it as it is, John. It’s dramatic. I like dramatic but stink at accomplishing it.  That said, I guess “my style” would have probably used a brush to bring out the color of the flowers above the rail. Listening to you and looking back at my stuff, I do like bright images. I seldom punch them up with more intense color as much as some do. I prefer color over B&W and almost never do B&W. (And there my B&W avatar is😂)

I think style is more of an unconscious thing we do in the process of shooting and developing  that comes from what we like to see. It happens naturally without too much thought.

I remember reading about “finding your style” back when I started. I tried to consciously find my style but it was forced and I overthought it. Then I got busy working, and if I have a style, then it found itself.

I think Paulette has a lovely style that is consistent through her work. And aside from her sought after subjects, I think her style is as much a part of why she sells well.

 

Thanks. That's a good suggestion about bringing out the colours of the flowers. It would improve the image. Part of my "style" is that I'm not very good at post-processing techniques like using brushes, etc. This is something I need to work on. I think you're correct, "style" is mainly an unconscious thing that has to emerge naturally -- i.e. it can't really be forced, much like a writer's "voice." I agree that Paulette's images have a very distinctive look.

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When I first became involved with photography, around 1960, there was a major change in approach and style happening. The picture story was giving away to strong single-image illustrations. Black and white was being replaced by colour. Jay Maisel, Art Kane, and Pete Turner were becoming stars. Life and Look magazines were where stars published editorially. Fashion magazines, ads, and album covers were how they got rich.

 

This article seems to be saying style is a thought-out intellectual thing. I don't agree. Yogi Berra said, "You can't hit and think at the same time." I feel that's true with art too. It's mostly intuitive. In baseball, you pay attention to the moment. And you practice a lot. 

 

 

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Oh my goodness. Thank you for the nice comments. I think a lot of what I have done is to look at images I like and ask myself why I like them. Then I (sometimes) think of those things as I am shooting. I'm not conscious of having a "style". I learned a lot when I won the challenge and had to pick the 8 best images. Again, I asked myself why I liked them. Usually it was clear what the subject was and the other elements were not distracting.

 

Paulette

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9 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

When I first became involved with photography, around 1960, there was a major change in approach and style happening. The picture story was giving away to strong single-image illustrations. Black and white was being replaced by colour. Jay Maisel, Art Kane, and Pete Turner were becoming stars. Life and Look magazines were where stars published editorially. Fashion magazines, ads, and album covers were how they got rich.

 

This article seems to be saying style is a thought-out intellectual thing. I don't agree. Yogi Berra said, "You can't hit and think at the same time." I feel that's true with art too. It's mostly intuitive. In baseball, you pay attention to the moment. And you practice a lot. 

 

 

 

Yup.

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I'm with Ed. And Yogi. Style is simply the the total of all decisions you make in solving problems.

 

wim

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This kinda reminds me of the concern in poetry circles when I was way younger about "finding your voice."  We're all products of how we reacted to things we've seen, our sensibilities that evolve out of our lives, including things we've seen and work we've done.  One of my friend wrote by accumulating bits that she liked out of her work in general and figuring out ways to put the good bits together.    Other people talked about  never revising. 

 

Idolizing someone tends to make for slavish copying.  In any art or craft.

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14 hours ago, wiskerke said:

I'm with Ed. And Yogi. Style is simply the the total of all decisions you make in solving problems.

 

wim

 

Exactly! And Yogi was a baseball genius, the best bad ball hitter ever. I saw his hit a homer on a ball that bounced in front of the plate. 

 

If I'm till alive when this lockdown lifts, I want to buy you a slap-up lunch in Amsterdam or Haarlem, Wim. 

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16 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

Exactly! And Yogi was a baseball genius, the best bad ball hitter ever. I saw his hit a homer on a ball that bounced in front of the plate. 

 

 

 

interesting.  I Never got the pleasure of seeing Yogi play.  How would be compare him to Vladimir Guerrero (Sr) who is the best i've had pleasure of watching hit bad balls, including some on bounce.

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Ah, yes—the Orioles great outfielder! I also saw Yogi jump up and hit a ball over his head for a 2-run double. Haha.

 

I lived in Brooklyn in the '40s and '50s, but I was a hardcore Yankee fan because DiMaggio was my idol. Until the Dodgers left us for LA, Brooklyn had the most loyal fans. Brooklyn has never forgiven them for that. There is no forgiveness in baseball. Old history now but the betrayal still hurts. The last game I saw live at Yankee Stadium was with the Blue Jays

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1 hour ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

Exactly! And Yogi was a baseball genius, the best bad ball hitter ever. I saw his hit a homer on a ball that bounced in front of the plate. 

 

If I'm till alive when this lockdown lifts, I want to buy you a slap-up lunch in Amsterdam or Haarlem, Wim. 

 

Accepted! Liverpool is fine too!

We only have partial lockdown and curfew from 21:00 til 4:30. Combined with being the slowest but one in Europe with vaccinations Covid/Corona will reign us until well into Q1 2022. So to honor that you and will have to take care of ourselves for a while. 😂

Been to a funeral (close relative - 50 persons allowed) 2 days ago and I can tell you if there's one potential super spreader event it is the funeral of a young person. (I have no symptoms - yet.)

 

wim

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Iron Man Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles hits the ball during his last season in august 2001 - Stock Image

2001 Cal Ripken Jr. hitting a ball in his last season.

 

Click on my blue number and see that I have no style.

 

wim

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53 minutes ago, wiskerke said:

 

Accepted! Liverpool is fine too!

We only have partial lockdown and curfew from 21:00 til 4:30. Combined with being the slowest but one in Europe with vaccinations Covid/Corona will reign us until well into Q1 2022. So to honor that you and will have to take care of ourselves for a while. 😂

Been to a funeral (close relative - 50 persons allowed) 2 days ago and I can tell you if there's one potential super spreader event it is the funeral of a young person. (I have no symptoms - yet.)

 

wim

My style since the 70s .... Generalist ..
Covid in Brazil ,,, Save yourself if you can !!

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50 minutes ago, Jose Decio Molaro said:

My style since the 70s .... Generalist ..
Covid in Brazil ,,, Save yourself if you can !!

 

We've had an uptick in my Nicaraguan town.  I'm using KN-95 masks when I go anywhere other than the pulperia across the street (use a surgical mask for that).  People were getting careless with mask wearing.  And for some people, the masks are expensive.  Some of the street vendors wear one mask for weeks or months.  We at least don't have high rise slums, so spread is nasty in multi-generational homes, but not common between houses, much less towns.  Most first cases in Central America came from either nationals who'd gone to the US or Panama or tourists who'd come in from the US.  And Costa Rica has dropped the requirement for a Covid test before landing by air, so Nicaragua will get people fleeing when the cases go up.  They have an economy based largely on tourism, and if they lose the hotel help they have, they'll just bring in more from the poorer Central American countries. 

 

So far, so good here.  Nicaraguans are expected to take care of themselves and the stores and banks are enforcing mask wearing inside their establishments.  And the guys doing the enforcing would just cosh one of the anti-mask hysterics in the head and drag them out of the store or bank, then soak down with hand sanitizer. 

 

We still have insane people trying to come to Nicaragua on vacation because the official figures are quite low, but the unofficial figures are about ten times that.  Both are probably inaccurate, and the real figures are somewhere in the middle.   I've heard that we won't get a vaccine here until Marsh.  Foreigners who need Covid tests to go back to the US or EU have to pay $125 US for the tests.

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3 hours ago, wiskerke said:

 

Accepted! Liverpool is fine too!

We only have partial lockdown and curfew from 21:00 til 4:30. Combined with being the slowest but one in Europe with vaccinations Covid/Corona will reign us until well into Q1 2022. So to honor that you and will have to take care of ourselves for a while. 😂

Been to a funeral (close relative - 50 persons allowed) 2 days ago and I can tell you if there's one potential super spreader event it is the funeral of a young person. (I have no symptoms - yet.)

 

wim

 

The vaccine rollout is really slow in Canada as well due to vaccine shortages. Most of Canada's vaccine comes from Europe, which doesn't bode well. My age group is supposed to get their first jab in April, but I really have my doubts. I think you're correct about Q1 (even Q2 or Q3) of 2022 before King COVID is dethroned (if he ever is), especially with all the new variants popping up. This is going to be a rough year on a lot of different fronts. Hope you stay well.

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3 hours ago, Ed Rooney said:

Ah, yes—the Orioles great outfielder! I also saw Yogi jump up and hit a ball over his head for a 2-run double. Haha.

 

I lived in Brooklyn in the '40s and '50s, but I was a hardcore Yankee fan because DiMaggio was my idol. Until the Dodgers left us for LA, Brooklyn had the most loyal fans. Brooklyn has never forgiven them for that. There is no forgiveness in baseball. Old history now but the betrayal still hurts. The last game I saw live at Yankee Stadium was with the Blue Jays

 

 

i totally forget about the last year with the Orioles :-)..  Actually he retired as a Dunedin Blue Jays ( A-ball team, trying one last year, but never making it up to the big league)

 

As for betrayal, i'm an Expos fan, so i understand.... still bitter about 1994...    last game i've seen live was in Japan, the Hiroshima Carp at the Mazda Zoom Zoom stadium.....  Japanese fans are wonderful....  

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To end all discussion about the response of our respective states to the pandemic: https://interactives.lowyinstitute.org/features/covid-performance/

The whole survey looks very thorough and not very flattering for most states we are in. Least of all my own. Well Brazil and the US are below the Lowlands, but that's not saying a lot.

 

So now we can go back to style.

I like the comparison with batting, because that ball comes at you fast or with a funny curve. No time to think indeed.

So one response to that could be to avoid those situations and get a tripod and/or go into the studio.

Another reaction could be to let the camera decide everything.

I used to say in class: so that your images look like generic images by generic Japanese amateurs. Not true probably, but I did say that.

 

wim

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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

To end all discussion about the response of our respective states to the pandemic: https://interactives.lowyinstitute.org/features/covid-performance/

The whole survey looks very thorough and not very flattering for most states we are in. Least of all my own. Well Brazil and the US are below the Lowlands, but that's not saying a lot.

 

 

wim

 

 

my country is even more frustrating, as most of the ongoing response- health care, testing, tracing, vaccination is Provincial responsibility we have a great discrepancy on response depending on the Provinces so Canada would rank 61, but us in Ontario would be much worse- including now finding out that our country wide lowest vaccination rate, was actually overstated by 100%... so even by counting Double, we were worse!....

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4 hours ago, wiskerke said:

To end all discussion about the response of our respective states to the pandemic: https://interactives.lowyinstitu

te.org/features/covid-performance/

The whole survey looks very thorough and not very flattering for most states we are in. Least of all my own. Well Brazil and the US are below the Lowlands, but that's not saying a lot.

 

So now we can go back to style.

I like the comparison with batting, because that ball comes at you fast or with a funny curve. No time to think indeed.

So one response to that could be to avoid those situations and get a tripod and/or go into the studio.

Another reaction could be to let the camera decide everything.

I used to say in class: so that your images look like generic images by generic Japanese amateurs. Not true probably, but I did say that.

 

wim

 

 

 

Nicaragua isn't included in your linked site.  Nobody knows what the real figures are.  My helper told his other old lady that some small community near him has nine new cases.  People are masking up again. 

 

The thing with studio shots is that they have to justify all the gear needed to make them work, or they need to be so well done that their studio-ness isn't apparent.   I love doing formal portraits or semi-formal portraits, but what I've been licensing are fish, plants, and collections of stuff.  Right now, I'm tempted to do more books that look like a reader just left them on a table.  

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