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Business / Philosophy of Photography Taking pics is one thing, but understanding why we take them, what they mean, what they are best used for, how they effect our reality -- all of these and more are important issues of the Philosophy of Photography. One of the best authors on the subject is Susan Sontag in her book "On Photography."

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sharing prints w/ remote subjects, the goodwill factor
Old 09-17-2012   #1
Bob Michaels
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sharing prints w/ remote subjects, the goodwill factor

In this short video, David Alan Harvey walks across a muddy field and gives some prints to a young Cuban cowboy. David Alan Harvey says (for the camera) "40 million people will see this pictures in the magazine . I will not see the reaction of of any of them." The Cuban beams proudly and laughs although he probably does not know the difference between David Alan Harvey and me or what National Geographic magazine is.

Let us never underestimate the impact of giving prints to subjects, especially those who are remote. It often means the world to them and gives us such reward.

I know a lot of people in South Apopka who have prints of them that I shot pinned up on the wall. I feel good when someone tells me that I photographed them years ago, even if I don't remember them. Only a handful of Cubans have prints because I never know when I am going to be back where I have photographed before.

Try to make an effort to hand out prints to those we encounter and photograph. It really makes a difference to them.
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Old 09-18-2012   #2
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While not "remote subjects", I have found that people are always (very) happy to get a print of a shot that I have made of them, especially in this day when most of the digital images snapped never make it out the camera in any form, much less a physical print that you can touch and hold in your hand. And that's why a physical print is always the end game for my personal photography.
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Old 09-18-2012   #3
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Wonderful way to spread goodwill.
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Old 09-18-2012   #4
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I agree 100%. My wife and me will go back to Prague in a few week to finish our "Prague Project" and we'll bring many prints, at the best of my print ability to the people whose photo we took last time. We hope to be able to meet most of them. For the street photos it's almost impossible to meet the same people...
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Old 09-18-2012   #5
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I happened to have a 5x7 print by coincidence of these two young children in Havana when I passed by their house 5 months later. Their mother was impressed that I brought her a print. Of course she never understood my decision to frame the photo so her face did not show.

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Old 09-23-2012   #6
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Despite ample evidence of the power and importance of giving prints to subjects I confess a far less than perfect track record in this area. I've yet to ritualize this step into my workflow, especially in the chemical darkroom. Digitally it should be far easier but indolence and sloth rule there as well.

Kudos to those of you who manage to complete the act...
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Old 09-23-2012   #7
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Yes! indeed a wonderful gesture of goodwill & a great way to break the ice & make friends.
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Old 09-23-2012   #8
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Last week I made a trip by to see Mr. Curtis Robinson, the man in my avatar. Since I made this photo 7 years ago, his health has deteriorated including amputation of his legs above the knees because of diabetes. While he does not look as sharp he does remain in good spirits. I asked if he still had the print I have him years ago. He told me that his grandson who lives out of state wanted it so bad that he gave it to him.

Last Friday, I brought Mr. Robinson the matted and framed 10x10 print from my exhibition series. I told him that particular print had been exhibited many places in FL, the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the Univ. of Mississippi, and most recently in Havana Cuba. That print now shares a space on his wall right next to one of President Obama.

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Old 09-24-2012   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Fizzlesticks View Post
.............. If you are photographing someone, there is no excuse to not give them the best print you can make. ..................
I learned that years ago when I gave someone a print and later found it framed and hanging in a museum.

OTOH, I gave someone a print which he proudly showed everyone who hangs out on his street corner. Then he neatly folded and creased the 8x10 print and put it in his pocket.
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