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Does the genre affect you?

There is bird 'record' photography and bird 'artistic' photography. For instance, if you look at the UK part of the NPN website, I would say 80% of the photographs fall into the former category. That's fine for scientific recording of for record keeping but surely as photographers (as distinct from Ornithologists even if the photographer is that too), we should be looking at the aesthetic and artistic merits of an image. In that regard, the species or the degree of difficulty should be incidental.

As Cheryl says, if anyone thinks photographing a BOAS is easy, they clearly haven't tried it. It certainly isn't and particularly, if you are trying to produce a photographer's image rather than a bird spotters one. The same applies to images of animals under controlled conditions (BWC for instance). Yes, the degree of difficulty cannot be compared to photographing in the wild (or the satisfaction I'd wager) BUT again, as photographers, that really shouldn't enter the equation. It's the end result that counts and that applies equally to controlled or wild images.

As to genre, I do think temperament does play a huge part. If you are not possessed of a garrulous outgoing personality, stick to architecture and leave social photography well alone. If you are not a patient person, then wildlife photography probably would not be a good idea. I started off in photography because of my love of natural history but as I've got older, I've found it increasingly difficult to spend hours on my own waiting for something to happen so despite it still being my favourite photo subject, I rarely shoot it.

So to summarise, temperament does influence genre I feel Smile

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losbarbados 8 236 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2011 7:48AM

Quote:Pete shot himself in the foot there....Smile LOL

I used to do that quite a lot, usually with a camcorder.
I'd always blame it on a sticky record button (although that was probabley down to some dodgy bird picturesWinkWink )
Pete Plus
17 18.8k 97 England
25 Mar 2011 9:04AM

Quote:So to summarise, temperament does influence genre I feel

My question was more - does genre influence temperament? If I want to be the best bird photographer (and I know it's not easy) I have to go and spend hours (sometimes in a tiny hide) to get a shot that is brilliant, but maybe not a million miles better than someone doing it from the comfort of their kitchen window. And if that kitchen person is getting 100s of clicks because they have hundreds of friends on here ( or happened to take a great shot ) then the balance will seem wrong and the cooked up steam rises?
Yet I don't see the same happening with landscape photographers who may have travelled to the wilderness and beyond, slipped and broke a leg etc to get a shot when someone else drives up to a lay-by and gets a good grab shot and it scores 100s.
hobbo Plus
7 1.2k 2 England
25 Mar 2011 9:29AM
This thread has made me smile:

I guess that folks know me as an ...eclectic?.........photographer.......................no one speciality, just a couple of good cameras and lenses to capture the sublime to the ridiculous to the best of my ability:

I appreciate the Twitchers with their hides, long lenses and tripods.........I admire the fashion/studio/glamour toggers who fill their lives with reflectors, umbrellas and lights...................I admire the Landscape and Street Photographers who spend an age acquiring the right view, settings and are willing to wait months for the right light and conditions...........I bow to the dedicated Macro photographers who are willing to get down and dirty for their art............I am bowled over and sometimes puzzled by those who prefer mono to Colour, and spend hours in Lightroom............transforming a shot into a ...Fine-Art....gallery print..............Not forgetting all those other specialities in between..............The Stacker's..........The HDRs.......The Panorama makers and the Digital Manipulators and Artists:

I attempt to have a go at all these.......except perhaps for the glamour/fashion and studio stuff:

What is incredibly difficult is to capture something very familiar to make it look entirely different:

On browsing the huge Thumbnail Gallery on offer here it is any of those shots that stand out for a closer look.......................Yes!.................a Robin, is a Robin, is a Robin...................but capture that Robin doing something interesting or unusual is entirely different:

After five or more years developing my....Photographers-Eye............I feel I am finally getting there:

But please remember that you were once the photographer who managed to get a real (and excellent) close-up of a Robin and proudly posted it on to a Forum..................Please those developing as photographers a chance..............and..............occasionally dish out praise and encouragement together with constructive criticism laced with a little humour:

It is possible I suppose that it does. Press and sports photographers sometimes get really pumped at a shoot and afterwards, can take some time to become 'human' again so you could argue their work is influencing their behaviour.

More often though, I do think it's the other way round.

People getting annoyed with someone else's photo getting clicks is often just envy (and we are all guilty of that to a greater or lesser degree). As I say, for a purely photographic point of view, the image is the thing not how it was obtained. That's why I used to feel irritated when Kingfisher shots were getting ECs all the time not because they were necessarily 'better' (technically or aesthetically) photos than (for example) a sparrow on a wall, but because they were deemed more difficult (which they probably are but shouldn't be taken into consideration when judging the PHOTO) Smile
ade_mcfade 14 15.2k 216 England
25 Mar 2011 9:46AM

Quote: If you are not possessed of a garrulous outgoing personality, stick to architecture

....not quite what I was getting at Barrie Wink

You probably end talking to more people doing Architecture than most genres - as they pass, they usually ask if there's anyone famous coming, or tell you some history, or more commonly, do a daft pose and say "take mi photo" Wink

Best to have a nice mix in the portfolio - I've done mainly models/portraits this week, arhictecgure the week before and this weekend, Landscape... alas, no "bird on stick"....why?

Because you end up with a picture of a bird.,.... on a stick.... Wink
ketch 10 770 50 Turks And Caicos Islands
25 Mar 2011 10:06AM
Does the type of photograph you take, effect your temperment - or does your temperment effect the type of photograph you take?

An interesting idea but is it really very credible?

If taken to an absolute conclusion all BOAS photographers have the same sort of temperment, which seems most unlikely. Or everyone who has a certain type of temperment will somehow be attracted to taking BOAS photographs - an even more unlikely scenario.

I suspect temperment has a minute part to play but the drivers that decide what images we end up capturing are far more complex and often impossible, I suspect, to even deduce. As for the corollary, perhaps a life spent photographing just one subject may have some marginal effect on our characters and temperments. Its probably not the images themselves but rather the mechanisms and trials we have to go through in order to capture an image, that has a bigger impact (and even then I suspect it is only minimal - when you think of all millions of other things in our lives that have an impact on our temperments).

My personal conclusion would therefore be no - at least not so that you would ever be aware - we all have too many other things going on to be able to reach such a simple cause and effect conclusion.

25 Mar 2011 10:07AM
I wasn't referring to any other comment Ade - just a generalisation. When I say "garrulous and outgoing", social photography tends to be the only genre that involves a very high degree of interaction with your subjects so if you are a shy or taciturn, you shouldn't be doing it Smile
SteveCharles 15 2.3k 18 England
25 Mar 2011 11:21AM

Quote:I think you should all become architecture photographers - we're a very chilled out bunch, it's like landscape but you don't have to drive hundreds of miles and NOT get a sunrise, your subject doesn't move (unless you're in Japan), you can do it at lunch time or after work, you can pop into the pub very easily, you meet interesting (usually drunk) people who ask you interesting (yet inane) questions, there's lots of interesting stuff around buildings and on the EPZ richter scale, there's very little disruption... I think the only real scrap was in the tell it as it is group, which was meant to be a provocative place.

Love your fellow togs by shooting architecture!

Well, I guess like any other genre, it depends on the type and purpose. That statement is fine for amateur / artistic architectural photography, done in your own time and you can hang around as long as you like doing long exposures. Commissioned professional work comes with the same pressures as any other professional work, when there is a paying client expecting quality work in a short space of time. A couple of weeks ago I shot 25 bathrooms & kitchens, across 3 locations from Ascot to Kingswood in Surrey (20-ish miles apart) in 1.5m - 3m properties, in one day, with a set of edited images delivered 2 days later. It's enjoyable, but hard, work, and not especially 'chilled', and I wouldn't even post them here because they are as boring as f***, and nobody would see the work behind them, as should be the case with photography.
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2011 12:18PM

Quote:but capture that Robin doing something interesting or unusual is entirely different:

I am trying to teach our robin how to juggle, it is a long uphill battle. With a previous robin I got as far as him being able to eat without throwing half the seed away, but then he got eaten by the sparrowhawk (which I was trying to teach about how tasty magpies are).

It has taken a little while for the new robin to feel safe in our garden (a process which involved buying the sparrowhawk a Hairy Bikers cookbook) but I am hopeful that, one day, I will be able to post a different robin photo.

RoyBoy 13 287 2 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2011 1:01PM
Firstly, I do not think that it has anything to do with temperament.

I also don't think any half-serious photographer takes images of a certain subject because they are easy. What would be the point? I think the images we take or create are of things we find personally interesting.

I see lots of natural history images, birds included. They are, for the most part, technically perfect but for me hold little real interest, probably because they do not invoke any real emotion or inquisitiveness. I have never been interested in sport and consequently this in another genre that does not particularly inspire.

Why does bird photography get some adverse comments. Because the viewer is perhaps personally bored by the subject matter and does not have the sense to simply move onto something that they, as individuals, find more interesting.

What do I like? ; Creative images of still-life, landscape, people and places, etc, with emphasis leaning more towards monochrome than colour. Each to their own eh!
roxpix 14 2.2k 11 Scotland
25 Mar 2011 2:03PM
Oh goodie time for a pub analogy

Pete you have the Wine Club & the Real Ale crew meeting in your pub on the same night......every night!
How often will some heated discussion kick off & would they content themselves with promoting the virtues of their own tipple or resort to slagging off the other camp!

Would you then look to their temperament as a steer in assessing whether they drink pints or vino..........or simply tell them to put a sock in it!
brian1208 Plus
14 11.4k 12 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2011 2:07PM

Quote:...have you ever considered that a photographer's temperament could be a reflection of the subjects they shoot

Probably not - but I have see a photographers's temparment reflected in how they react to someone else's genre! Wink
aftertherain 13 4.2k 2 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2011 5:15PM
I've recently been trying my hand at bird photography.
During the winter months my arthritis flares up and I find it hard going yomping up the hills, so sitting in a bird hide in the garden, with coffee and painkillers on hand does appeal.

It's not easy and it's not cheap either, a good lens costs as much as a small car.

I've progressed to nature reserves but only in the wild areas, (don't like captive birds with half their wings cut off)
The birds very rarely sit where you need them to, the light hardly ever catches the eye and branches leave shadows across them in just the wrong place.
It's a real challenge to get everything to come together, my Starling Murmeration shot came after many trips to Gretna over two years and then I had absolutely no control over the birds, I just happened to have placed myself in the right place at the right time.
My shot of the oystercatchers, which has been, in the main, ignored is the best I'd managed after three trips to the Solway, either the birds weren't where I hoped or the sun was too bright for a black and white bird or dog walkers chased the birds off.
The shot I did get was taken in thick fog.
But I'll try again.

I take on board the temprement thing Pete is getting at. Just as I love being out at sunrise for landscape shots when no-one is about, there's a zen like quality to sitting waiting for a wild bird to come and sit just in the exact spot.
(I don't bait a tree stump, tried that and it just gets covered in poo)
So yes I'd say you do need a certain type of temperament to wait patiently for something that might never happen, be it birds or a sunrise.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
25 Mar 2011 5:23PM
Not wanting to turn this in to a click debate, but...

Isn't one of the real problems here that a few are bemoaning their lack of votes and making the comparison against the cliques. What is a good number of votes?

Well if you comment and click on 200 shots per day you would probably average 100 clicks yourself.
If you click and comment on 50 shots per day you would maybe average 30 - as you are likely to only be voting on the work of like minded people.

So if like me you vote and comment on just a few images per day what "score" would you expect? There is no right answer.

Is an image with 100 votes better than one with 20. Sometimes yes and sometimes no. Do poor bird shots sometimes outscore technically and compositionally better ones, definitely. Do poor bird shots and their posters sometimes think that their image is better than it really is, definitely.

A few people need to work out why they post. If they want votes they know how to play the game to get them. If they truly don't care then leave the cliques to themselves. They will never change.

The only thing that "concerns" me about the cliques is the work that fills the "best of" galleries. Quite clearly some of the images in there are not the "best" if best means quality.

Really as Barrie has said this has nothing to do with genre, image quality, or cliques, or votes, it is just simple human nature and specifically some ill-placed jealousy.

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