Does it Matter? Photo Philosophy

leaves-2016

New Hampshire is gorgeous in the fall  people come from all over the country, all over the world, to see the leaves change.  This year they came on very slowly, but all at once it seemed like every leaf changed.  Usually it’s more drawn out, so the last two days have been spectacular!  But…

OK, photography has not been in the cards for the last few days and won’t be again for a few more.  And then, I’m like over 1000 photos behind.  What I mean is, I have over 1000 photos on my camera that I have not gone through.  The are from the last half of the summer and the beginning of autumn.  So do I even need to take more pictures?

So there is my question: Does it matter one bit if I take any photos or not?

My back yard

I am enjoying the colors, so do I need pictures of the colors?  I have hundreds, no, thousands of autumn foliage photos that stretch back years, decades even.  Do I need anymore?  I mean I never look at 99% of them, I took them, didn’t delete them but never used them.  Do I need more to take up space on my hard drive?

Pond, Milford, MA

I guess I can ask the same things about any photo with the possible exception of memento type pictures: you, family and friends.I’ve taken hundreds of pictures of osprey, some which are pretty good, but none that will ever make the cover of National Geographic.  Same thing with the dozens of bald eagle pictures.

Baby Osprey - isn't he cute?

Baby Osprey – isn’t he cute?

Of course there are other considerations with animal shots.  Having the camera makes me stay aware of them.  Also, I can zoom in much closer, see them much better, than with the naked eye.  So for me, that’s what animal photos are about, going out and seeing it and experiencing it.

But fall foliage?  I’m experiencing it well enough without a lens.  The trees are beautiful!  Do I need a camera to tell me that?

Anyway, just a little bit of photo-philosophy to make me feel better about not being able to take any pictures. ;)

Corner of mytown - phone phot october 18

So what do you think?

Note – The top photo was from my phone today.  The other two fall pictures at the top are from last year (the hillside is the woods I always talk about running up and down with my dogs).  The Osprey chick was from this summer.  The last fall picture is from 2014 (phone photo).

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39 thoughts on “Does it Matter? Photo Philosophy

  1. infinitytoinfinitysite

    This is an interesting subject to think about. Vision is so very dynamic, memories are too. A photograph however, is a still encapsulation of a dynamic vision. It is admirable that you are asking yourself why you need to take a picture/s, my take on this is for you to think about what you thought as you took those pictures, surely you decided that something was aesthetically worthwhile as you captured them. I often find that photographs are made more beautiful when the photographer reveals the school of thought at the time of the capture. Who knows, perhaps you have captured something exquisite in those unseen pictures of yours, you will never know until you go through them.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      There is that side of it. Photography is an art and even if the photographer is just recording what they see, it is impossible to not put something of the photographer into the photo. A lot of my unseen photos are “just snaps”, that is pictures with little thought behind them, yet I’m sure there is something about my vision and value judgement behind them,and even a little of my experience as a photographer. Every so often i go through and look at some of the unused photos and have found some hidden gems. That’s why I keep them.
      BTW – I did take some photos this autumn, but not as many as in previous years, unless you include some late autumn hikes. I took hundreds of photos in New Hampshire’s White Mountains in mid November.

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  2. odell01

    This was terrific. I’ve just come across your blog. The pictures are captivating, and your writing adjoining the photos is intriguing, too, as it certainly generated quite a lot of comments joining you in the exploration of all the photos you’re taking.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! I was surprised at how much response I received on this. I did make it out and took a few pictures this autumn. Not as many as last year, but there are some good ones mixed in.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      taking the same picture year after year perhaps I could do that. I just need to be a bit more scientific and make sure it is as close to the same picture each year. You don’t see the changes as they happen, but after several years….

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  3. Pingback: If We Were Having Coffee on the 22nd of October, 2016 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  4. Pingback: Week 42 Part 2 #weeklysmile | Trent's World (the Blog)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. I love living in an area that has the four seasons, though spring here can sometimes be lacking. Autumn, though, has always been my favorite – not too hot, not cold and the wonderful colors!

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  5. Corina

    I read this yesterday, ironically, as I was taking a break from going through pictures! I’m one of those that snaps pictures like I will never see the subject again. Today, at the mall, I took 24 pictures of the boys on those quarter rides. Yes, they are cute kiddos but 24 pictures? And clouds. And trees. And rain puddles. Lots and lots of those, too! I suppose it lets me focus in on something while I am taking the picture, pausing long enough to enjoy it. But yup, I think most of us take way too many pictures!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Isn’t digital great? Remember when you had 24 pictures to take total, so you had to use them wisely? You are right that a big part of it is that taking pictures forces you to focus on that object/person/animal/landscape/whatever as you take the pictures. Sometimes with me if i see a wild animal I’ll take a few pictures, move closer take more, etc. until it flies/runs away. By then I might have 100 photos of it! How do I decided which is the one to keep?

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  6. D. Wallace Peach

    Beautiful colors. I’m from VT and the hubby’s from NH. We miss the amazing October colors. Oregon is pretty good but more yellow than anything else. I love the baby osprey (National Geographic material in my opinion!).

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      It is very pretty here and in VT. I do have to admit, though ,that I took the photo photo across the water in MA. Is the foliage in Oregon mostly Aspen? And thanks! The baby osprey picture is one of my favorites.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yeah, I’ll keep taking pictures. I might not get as many fall foliage photos this year as I’d like (like I might get zero…) but I’ll continue to take pictures. As soon as I catch up on the ones I’ve taken and not looked at ;)

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          1. Thumbup

            OOOOH! Gotta stop by as soon as I finish commenting! So behind! First I had been working, it’s was to be temporary but then it kept on for a few months then finally it’s over then I had to concrete on unpacking my junk when I moved here last JULY! Getting better but not done and today I am taking a break from it and be hanging around at wordpress.

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  7. Norm 2.0

    I have this same conversation with myself every once in a while too. Taking pics of certain annual events can start to feel redundant. I still do though, just on the off chance that a little something might be different, or new, or unusual. Besides, each year it FEELS a little different so I think it’s normal that we’d want to try to capture that.
    Now what we do this those pics afterwards is entirely up to us :-D

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I’m sure I’ll continue, I just don’t know how many fall foliage shots I’ll get this year…. Of course taking pictures does make us focus on whatever we are taking a picture of, so in many ways the taking of the picture is more important than the having the end product. but it’s still nice to see a great photo and say, “I did that!”

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  8. utesmile

    For me it matters. I take photos every year and sort them on my external drive into the seasons. Every day and every year is different. Go through your pictures and delete what you don’t want and keep the rest in appropriate files. It is like an album and you can go through it in years to come and enjoy. Your pictures are wonderful!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks! I’m a pack rat and keep almost everything. At least digital photos don’t take up physical space! I have an organizational system, but it is based mostly on date (Camera, then year, then date I download, then the good pictures). I need to sort through and organize by category too. Maybe someday.

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  9. eloisedesousa

    I was thinking the same thing yesterday as I took my autumnal photos whilst walking Henry! There are so many photos waiting to be seen or culled from my phone as I tend to love capturing moments on walks or drives through the seasons. I guess you can never have enough. Your pics are absolutely lovely.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks Eloise! Taking photos does force us to actually look at our surroundings with a more critical eye. There’s nothing wrong with capturing moments. And I expect to see a lot of pictures from Oz!

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  10. davidprosser

    It matters if it matters to you. We see what you decide we’ll see so it doesn’t matter to us if it’s a particularly brilliant shot from last year or one from yesterday.You are able to make the decision whether to store fresh pictures when the old ones may be adequate or whether old memories should be discarded to make room for more current ones. The only thing is, whatever picture you decide on will never be the duplicate of one before as no two are going to be exactly alike.
    You may not make the cover of Nat.Geo but you’re a very good photographer who must ultimately decide whether to and what to discard.
    Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks David. I do enjoy taking pictures and will continue to for my own sake if I share them or not, but sometimes, like when I have hundreds of photos I haven’t even looked at, I have to wonder.

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