My five personal rules of photography

olli

Super Moderator Emeritus
Location
Sofia, Bulgaria
Real Name
olli
Not trying to be smart but genuinely curious: what does 'previsualise' convey that 'visualise' doesn't?

Answering my own question courtesy of wikipedia:

Visualization is a central topic in Ansel Adams' writings about photography, where he defines it as "the ability to anticipate a finished image before making the exposure". The term previsualization has been attributed to Minor White who divided visualization into previsualization, referring to visualization while studying the subject; and postvisualization, referring to remembering the visualized image at printing time. However, White himself said that he learned the idea, which he called a "psychological concept" from Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. Though the term previsualization was and continues to be used by many noteworthy photographers, and had become part of the vernacular, it is often regarded as redundant

And a useful article here.
 

Gary

All-Pro
Location
Southern California
Real Name
Gary Ayala
Yeah, it's redundant, just part of Adams vernacular. When Adams was in the Autumn of his years, a few of us from The Times went up and did a story on him and his 'fading' workshops. Adams used previsualize in his conversations ... and who am I to argue with Adams. So in order not to turn the Gods of Photography against me in the Autumn of my photography, I use previsualization and hop over cracks in the sidewalks.

Gary
 

Phoenix

All-Pro
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Real Name
Phoenix Gonzales
1. Take photos that you like, some people will like your photos and some people won't, that's just the way it is. Stay true to your vision.
2. Any gear is only limited by the person who uses it. One can buy every camera gear there is with the right amount of money, however no amount of money in the world can buy you imagination.
3. Be polite and courteous at all times, be a human being first and a photographer second.
4. (Like Bill) Think before, during and after.
5. You can only break and discard the rules if you know the rules. Know and understand the rules first so that you know what you are breaking and why it should be broken.
 

Archiver

Top Veteran
- Enjoy yourself.

- Be discreet unless you need to be bold. Look like you are supposed to be doing this if the latter.

- Choose the right gear for the situation. If all else fails, the smallest camera with the best image quality wins.

- Back up and regularly review and enjoy your work. Share with others if you want.

- Shoot to please yourself unless you shoot for profit. Then be mindful of your clients, but still shoot to please yourself, because you won't last long if it becomes a soul-sucking drudge.

- The photo you take today becomes a memory for the future. It encompasses the sum total of your skill, gear, situation and life at that moment. Treasure it.
 

Archiver

Top Veteran
I think this line VERY MUCH overstates the situation.....like a cheesy motivational poster.....but I like it! It goes against my grain to think in these terms, but I'll try it.

I agree, it overstates the situation, but I find it helps give the work some perspective. For some, they are 'just taking photos', 'messing around', 'doing a job', 'shooting the kids', 'testing a camera', or whatever. I have a different approach.

Something which is very deeply intrinsic to me is the documentation of life as a resource for the future. We all go through so many things in life, much of which is remembered only in fleeting terms. The arrangement of books in a shelf, the coffee shop on the corner you thought would always be there, the quirky smile of a girlfriend long since moved on. Documentation gives perspective on your path through life, and even the photos you take a literally snapshots of who and what you were at that moment. In years to come you can allow these details to show you the richness of your life so far.
 

Boid

All-Pro
Location
Bangalore, India
Real Name
Rajiv
I'm not sure if this is a rule, but it helps me to sometimes have an audience in mind when I shoot. Who am I making this image for? I don't even care if the audience is real or imagined.

Sometimes its fun to pretend that my life is entirely sponsored by a Guggenheim grant, and they're paying me to make pictures and that the pictures I make actually matter.

But I'm quite aware that I'll maybe make an image or two during my entire time playing at being a photographer, across multiple bodies and lenses, that I will end up being happy with. Those images might even be meaningful to someone else. Something that pins down and resolves an issue, or maybe unravels a mystery. The small successes sometimes involve making a portrait for a friend that makes her feel loved an beautiful, and that keeps me shooting as well.

But there's a constant nagging doubt, that its all mostly digital noise. An assemblage of photons that very well might not have been.

Then I shrug it off and make some pictures.
 

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