Musings on Photography

feedback, part 2

Posted in process by Paul Butzi on December 2, 2009

II-091202-1664.jpg

In this post on timing of feedback, Julie asks

I always felt that when people encouraged you to leave as much time as possible between shooting and editing that you’d be as well editing someone else’s pictures, because that connection to the event would be lost. If I can paraphrase, to see if I’m understanding your thought process… you take your pictures and then edit them within a shorter timeframe because you want to put as much of your experience into the process as possible?

That seems close, and I like the idea of putting more of my experience into the process. Right now, it’s being in the process that’s the rewarding part for me.

But I admit that those thoughts are post-rationalization. Mostly I was just observing that if you want to train a neural net, you want the reward to come as close to the event you’re rewarding as you can reasonably arrange, and you want to have the process of delivering the reward to be as minimally disruptive as you can manage, and that it sort of seems like those two things sometimes conflict.

Bear in mind, I’m not saying everyone should do what I’m trying. I’m just trying different stuff, here, and reporting back on what I find happens when I do. I’m not claiming superior results or deeper insight. It’s possible I’m out in the weeds, here. Time will tell, I guess.

7 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. scott said, on December 2, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    The problem I see is that most people looking at your pictures are not going to have the experience that you did. Shortening the time between editing and shooting is distancing yourself from the consumer.

    Maybe that doesn’t matter for the excercise you are describing, but I think it is an important thing to consider.

  2. Paul Butzi said, on December 3, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Sure. Eliminating enough time to let go of my feelings about the photos means I’m distancing myself from the consumer. And if my big concern the consumption of my images, I guess I would care.

    What I care about most is my experience making the art. I’m looking to improve my process experience. I’m interested in what happens after the I make the photos, but my focus is rather different from most photographers.

    A lot of this is perhaps best expressed in Art Is a Verb.

  3. Bronislaus Janulis said, on December 4, 2009 at 9:24 am

    My impression of Winogrand was he was more interested in taking, than in the final image. I like the process of working an image fresh, myself, though I do tend to have “review” turned off, for anything other than studio work.

    As to distancing oneself from the consumer, I would think that a good thing. Visual mediums, nonconducive to verbal explanation, are going to be understood in different ways, have different meanings to different consumers.

    Closer to the process, akin to painting directly from the scene.

  4. Peter Szawlowski said, on December 4, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Right on!! – It is all about making art. I wish I could express it better in words …

  5. julie said, on December 6, 2009 at 3:50 pm

    But… the more you try to look at your stuff from the consumer’s point of view, the further you’re getting away from a photographer’s point of view – and isn’t that what other people actually want to see, by a strange quirk of fate? I can’t help but think that’s related to what this guy is saying to a certain extent, too.

  6. Paul Butzi said, on December 6, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    But… the more you try to look at your stuff from the consumer’s point of view, the further you’re getting away from a photographer’s point of view – and isn’t that what other people actually want to see, by a strange quirk of fate?

    Hah! A strange circular conundrum. I keep coming back to that Wessel interview: “When your mind gets in there they start to look like photographs that you already know. They look like problems that you’ve already solved. They’re never taking you to a place that’s unfamiliar. They’re taking you to what you’re supposed to do.

    Then they look like everybody else’s photographs.”

  7. julie said, on December 7, 2009 at 3:19 am

    Yep – that’s like a westernised version of all that stuff they are talking about in Zen & the Art of Archery – concentrate, without concentrating. So difficult to describe in english without it sounding clumsy. And so difficult to do, consciously-unconsciously…


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: